Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Easy Empanadas

I grabbed 10 cans of free Pillsbury Biscuits during the last big Catalina deal at Jewel. I've looked for some new recipes to use all these biscuits, and I created an easy take on empanadas. With a handful of basic ingredients, this meal came together in less than 30 minutes.

1 can reduced fat Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits (free after coupons)
1/4 lb. ground turkey ($.30)
1 small onion, minced ($.10)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine ($.20)
1/4 tsp. oregano ($.05)
1/4 tsp. chile powder ($.05)
1 clove garlic, crushed ($.05)
3 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend ($.45)
1 1/2 tsp. canola oil ($.05)

In a small, nonstick skillet, brown ground turkey and add onion, bell pepper, oregano, chile powder, and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.

Roll out biscuits to approximately 6" around. Add 1/8 of mixture to one side of each rolled out biscuit, top with 1 to 2 T. cheese. Fold dough over filling and use a fork to seal the edges. Brush dough lightly with oil and place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake 15-17 minutes, serve with salsa, sour cream, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, and refried beans.

Yields = 8 empanadas
Cost: $1.25
Cost per empanada: $.16

Monday, October 25, 2010

Orange Soaked Cranberry Brownies

3/4 C. cranberries ($.65)
1/3 C. orange juice ($.25)
1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix ($.11 after coupons)
2 eggs ($.24)
1 C. vanilla caramel coffee creamer ($.39)
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce ($.25)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon ($.10)
1/2 tsp. black walnut extract ($.25)

In a small pot, bring orange juice to a simmer. Pour over cranberries and let soak for 15-20 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except cranberries. Mix until well combined. Drain cranberries and fold them into the brownie batter. Pour into a well greased 13x9" baking dish.

Bake according to directions on box.

Cool and cut.
Yields = 24 brownies
Cost: $2.24
Cost per brownie: $.09

Basic Tostadas

1 lb. ground turkey ($.79)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine ($.25)
1 small onion ($.05)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)
1/2 tsp. oregano ($.05)
1/4 tsp. onion salt ($.05)
2 T. Mexican-style marinade (free after coupons)
1 T. Worchester sauce ($.05)
1/2 tsp. black pepper ($.05)

8 oz. monterey jack cheese blend, shredded ($1.00)
12-14 tostadas ($.99)
16 oz. can refried beans ($.59)
2 small onions, minced ($.10)
1 small bunch cilantro ($.33)
1 C. salsa (any variety) ($.22)

In a nonstick skillet, add turkey, bell pepper, 1 small minced onion, seasoning, marinades, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until meat is browned and veggies are tender.

Heat refried beans in a small skillet until hot.

Top tostadas with beans, cheese, browned meat, salsa, minced onion, cilantro, and cheese.

Yields = 4-6 servings
Cost: $4.62
Cost per serving: $.77 - $1.15

Additional Topping Ideas:
Sour cream
Black olives
Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Hot sauce

Mushroom & Swiss Burgers

1 lb. ground chuck ($1.69)
1/8 C. bread crumbs ($.15)
1/4 tsp. hickory smoked salt ($.05)
3/4 tsp. black pepper ($.05)
1/2 tsp. onion salt ($.05)
1 tsp. salt ($.05)
1/4 small onion, minced ($.05)

1 T. olive oil ($.10)
salt and pepper ($.10)
8 oz. mushrooms (white button or cremini) ($.99)

4 slices swiss cheese ($.35)

Mix well ground chuck, bread crumbs, seasonings, and minced onion.
In a preheated, nonstick skillet, add burgers and cook over medium high heat 4-6 minutes per side.

In a separate, nonstick pan add oil and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat, add salt and pepper. Cook until tender.

Top burgers with mushrooms and cheese - cook covered over medium heat until cheese melts.

Yields = 4 servings
Cost: $3.63
Cost per burger: $.91

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

3/4 lb. mild Italian sausage ($1.15)
1 lb. ground chuck ($1.69)
1 tsp. fennel ($.10)
1/2 C. bread crumbs ($.10)
1 egg, slightly beaten ($.10)
1 tsp. basil ($.10)
1/2 tsp. oregano ($.05)
1 tsp. garlic powder ($.05)
1/2 tsp. onion powder ($.05)
1 tsp. salt ($.05)
1/2 tsp. black pepper ($.05)
3 oz. mozarella, - 12 cubes total ($.59)
2 T. olive oil ($.25)

Combine all ingredients except mozzarella and olive oil, mix until well combined.
Divide meat into 4 equal parts. Divide each quarter into thirds and form into balls around the cube of mozzarella.

Heat oven to 375. Drizzle olive oil over formed meatballs and place in a nonstick baking dish.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning over every 5 minutes during baking to brown evenly.

Yields = 12 meatballs

Cost: $4.33
Cost per meatball: $.36

Serving size = 2 meatballs per person (cut meatballs in half for subs, placing cut side down on sub bun and drizzle with marinara)

Cookie Truffles

8 oz. sandwich cookies (any variety)
2 to 4 T. cream cheese
¼ pkg. almond bark

In a food processor, add cookies and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Add in cream cheese, 1 T. at a time and mix until a soft dough forms. Shape dough into 1” balls, chill for 1 hour.

Place 3-4 squares of almond bark in a microwave safe bowl, heat on high for 45 seconds, stir. When almond bark is melted and smooth (microwave in 30 second intervals until almond bark is fully melted), dip balls into bark – turning over to coat completely.

Place balls on wax paper (or parchment paper) lined cookie sheet. Chill for 1 hour in fridge or freezer.
Yields = 15-20 truffles