Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Basil Pesto Turkey

Double batch of basil pesto marinade ($1.40)
14-16 lb. turkey ($4.78)
6-8 cloves of garlic ($.35)
1 T. basil ($.10)

Crush cloves of garlic, mince very fine. Add garlic and 1 T. basil to marinade. Clean turkey, remove gizzards, etc. Pat dry.

Pour marinade over turkey, marinade 24 hours before roasting, basting every 4-8 hours.

Bake turkey at 375 for 4-5 hours, basting turkey every hour while roasting.

Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

Reserve pan dripping for gravy.

Yields = 10-12 servings
Cost: $6.63
Cost per serving: $.66

Classic Green Bean Casserole

3 - 15 oz. cans green beans ($.72 after coupons)
10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup ($.50)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder ($.05)
1/8 tsp. black pepper ($.05)

Mix all ingredients well, bake in oven at 375 until heated through - approximately 10-15 minutes.

Yields = 12 servings
Cost: $1.32
Cost per serving: $.11

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peas in a Bechamel Sauce

16 oz. frozen peas (or 2 15 oz. cans of peas, drained) ($1.00)
4 T. flour ($.10)
4 T. butter ($.35)
2 C. milk ($.50)
salt and pepper to taste ($.05)
pinch of nutmeg, optional

In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, melt butter and whisk in flour, until a paste forms. Slowly pour in milk, whisk to combine thoroughly. Cook over a medium low heat, stirring constantly - being careful not to bring mixture to a boil. Once sauce has reached desired consistency, season with salt and pepper, then fold in peas, heat through and serve.

Lighter variation:
Replace 2 C. milk with:
1 1/2 C. milk & 1/2 C. chicken stock or use equal amount of fat free milk

Yields = 8
Cost: $2.00
Cost per serving: $.25

Basil Pesto Marinade

I was looking for a chicken dish to compliment lasagne and spaghetti marinara - something light to balance with the heartier flavors of the garlic tomato sauce used in the pastas, but still with enough to flavor to stand up to the rich pastas.

With a few simple pantry staples, I whipped up a great marinade in less than 5 minutes. It's almost too simple to be called a recipe...

2 T. basil (dried) ($.15)
1/2 C. lemon juice (I used bottle lemon juice) ($.20)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil ($.15)
1 1/2 tsp. salt ($.05)
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper ($.05)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)

Whisk all ingredients together. Use to marinade chicken, turkey, pork, or beef. Allow meat or poultry to marinade 4 to 24 hours. Grill, oven roast, or pan fry the meat/poultry. Discard any excess marinade.

Yield - 2 batches of marinade (enough to marinade 5 lbs. of meat each)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ginger Stirfry with Chicken

1/3 C. Kraft Asian Sesame salad dressing (free after coupons)
1 1/4 lb. cubed chicken ($1.75)
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered ($.89)
4 medium yellow onions, sliced very thin ($.30)
1 each red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, cut in bite-sized chunks ($.89)
2" piece of gingerroot, peeled and chopped/minced ($.40)
3 T. sesame ginger marinade (free after coupon)
2 T. canola oil ($.10)
3-4 T. soy sauce ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)
pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

In a large covered skillet, heat oil and add minced/chopped ginger and half of the onions. Cook over medium-low for 5-7 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Add in 2 T. soy sauce, pork, mushrooms, marinade, garlic, crushed red pepper, Kraft salad dressing, and remaining onions. Cook over medium high heat to lightly brown pork, then simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. When mushrooms are fork tender and chicken is cooked through, add bell pepper chunks and additional soy sauce (to taste) and heat an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve over fried rice or with basmati rice and a salad.

Yields = 4 servings
Cost: $4.53 or $1.13 per serving
(A comparable dish at our favorite local Thai restaurant costs $9.95 a plate!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Shells

With a few, simple ingredients - these tasty treats come together in a matter of minutes. Full of that smooth, creamy peanut butter flavor, these balls are a combination of delicious decadence and roasted nuttiness that kids and adults will be clamoring for - only you know that you didn't spend hours creating this dessert.

8 oz. peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed ($.49 - after coupons)
2 oz. fat free cream cheese ($.25)
6 T. peanut butter, divided ($.10 - from $.29 jar of peanut butter after coupons)
4 squares almond bark ($.10 - from holiday mark down at Target last year)

Mix 3 T. peanut butter with cream cheese, stir in cookie crumbs (must be very finely crushed). Mix together until a soft dough forms. Add additional cream cheese if needed.

Chill dough 30 minutes.

Place almond bark in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 45 second intervals until bark is smooth and creamy. Add remaining peanut butter and stir to combine.

Form dough into balls, dip in almond bark mixture to coat. Place on a sheet of waxed paper, refrigerate until serving.

Top with chopped peanuts or even a halved peanut for a little crunch and an elegant appearance.

Yields = 22-26 balls.
Cost: $.94
Cost per ball: $.05