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5 Recipes for $58

12 Apr

I am $8 over this week, but I feel like the recipes are worth it. There is a great mixture of hot comfort food and cool spring time fresh food. I found a new combination of flavors (mint and olives! who knew?) this week and also discovered a new cheese that tastes like bacon (not gouda, but fontina–it’s cheaper!). Have a great week and happy cooking and eating!

This week’s Recipes:
Each recipe amounts to 4 servings each.

Tortilla Chip Salad
Vegetarian Cranberry and Walnut Spring Salad
Mint and Olive Chicken over Couscous
Vegetarian Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Fontina Cheese
Vegetarian Collard Greens and Tomatoes with Garlic Cheese Bread

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For a pdf version of this shopping list, CLICK HERE.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Fontina Cheese

12 Apr

I think I have to vote for this one as the week’s favorite. I love comfort food and I love mac and cheese. I grew up on Kraft boxed mac and cheese. This is a bit more complicated, but a lot more tasty. If you are feeling a bit of a gourmet itch and have a bit more time in the kitchen for dinner prep, take a shot at this recipe. So worth it!

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Fontina Cheese
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes for Bechamel Sauce, 10 minutes for pasta and 30 minutes of baking

Ingredients:
1 pound macaroni pasta
4 TB butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 ts thyme
2 cups shredded sharp cheese
2 cups shredded smoked fontina cheese
salt
black pepper
1 ts paprika

Bechamel Sauce:
4 TB unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
6 TB all purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 ts dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts nutmeg
black pepper

Directions:
1. Make your bechamel sauce: Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Add shallot, carrot, and celery to pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and bring it all to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes in order to thicken the sauce.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it starts to boil add your pasta. Cook according to the packaging.

3. While your pasta cooks heat a medium sauce pan and melt butter with garlic cloves. Add the bread crumbs and thyme and mix.

4. When pasta is cooked, drain and toss with cheeses. Fold in the bechamel sauce, salt, pepper and paprika.

5. Transfer macaroni mixture to a greased baking dish. Cover top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

5 Recipes for $38

5 Apr

I have no idea how I managed to get my total to $38 this week! I love saving money while not skimping on flavor. This week is full of delicious vegetable combinations, one skillet meals and a bit of a gourmet edge. You may want to slip some of these ones into your pocket for your next dinner party.

Vegetarian Zucchini Frittata
Vegetarian Sweet Potato Ravioli in Garlic Cream Sauce
Vegetarian Pesto Pasta with Green Beans
Vegetarian Vegetable Hashbrowns
Chicken in Leek Lime Sauce with Carrot Quinoa </a
***This weeks favorite***

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Click HERE for a pdf version of this week’s shopping list.

Have a great week!
Happy eating, cooking, and saving!

Sweet Potato Ravioli in Garlic Cream Sauce

5 Apr

Make this recipe when you are throwing a dinner party or want to feel like you are eating at a gourmet restaurant. I tend to avoid ravioli because it is time consuming, but I LOVE the taste so this week I gave it a shot. You can always make your ravioli the night before and store it in your fridge over night. Then you cut your dinner cooking time to only 20 minutes or so!

Sweet Potato Ravioli in Garlic Cream Sauce

Prep. Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 lb orange sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
5 oz. ricotta cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB Parmesan cheese
1 9 oz. package won ton wrappers
2 oz. butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 oz. heavy cream

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes.
2. Transfer sweet potato to a mixing bowl. Add ricotta, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Mix and mash until smooth.
3. To make the ravioli: Place one TB of sweet potato mash in the center of one won ton wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water. Place another won ton wrapper on top and press all four edges together. Place on baking sheet with wax paper, cover with damp towel. Repeat this until your filling is gone.
4. Melt butter in skillet. Add green onion and garlic. Cover and cook 1 minute. Add cream and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until cream sauce is thickened.
5. Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil. Cook ravioli in batches 3 minutes each. Drain and place on serving plates. Cover ravioli with hot cream sauce and serve.

Pesto Pasta with Geen Beans

5 Apr

Pesto tends to be expensive both to buy or make. I used walnuts instead of pinenuts for this recipe and saved a little bit of cash without changing the flavor too much. This recipe can be eaten warm for dinner or cold for a picnic or lunch!

Pesto Pasta with Geen Beans

Prep. Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
8 oz. pasta of your choice
8 oz. fresh or frozen green beans

Pesto:
1/2 cup walnuts
3 bunches basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3 garlic cloves
salt
black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Pesto
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnut on baking sheet and bake 8 minutes. Let cool.
2. Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Turn processor on and slowly drizzle oil into mixture as it mixes and smooths.
Pasta:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 TB salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions. If using fresh beans, add them after letting pasta cook for two minutes. If using frozen green beans, either cook in the microwave or add to pasta when 5 minutes remain for your pasta to cook.
2. Drain pasta and green beans. Mix with pesto and serve.

Cream of Spinach Pasta

28 Mar

I have been sticking with tomato based pasta sauces for a while, but wanted to shake things up a bit with a cream based sauce. It is a great way to get yourself to eat some more spinach!

Cream of Spinach Pasta
Serves 4
Prep. Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. frozen spinach
1 lb. pasta of your choice
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup milk
pepper

Directions:
1.  In a medium-sized skillet, melt half the butter and add the garlic and onion. Cook until golden but not browned. Add the spinach and partially cover the pan until the spinach has heated through.

2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss it with the remaining butter, the spinach mixture, cheese, and cream until all are blended and heated through.

Parmesan Chicken and Pasta

7 Mar

I usually make this recipe when I’m down to the ends of a loaf of bread. No need to ever buy bread crumbs as long as you have a way to grind up your slice of bread. Makes the breaded Parmesan chicken have so much more flavor!

Parmesan Chicken and Pasta
Serves 4
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
4 chicken breasts
2 slices of bread
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked pasta of your choice
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce, heated

Directions:
1. Using a tenderizing tool, lightly pound on each of your chicken breasts in order to make them thin and easier to cook faster.

2. Start boiling the water you will use to cook your pasta. When water is boiling cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.

3. Mix your beaten eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Mix your Parmesan cheese with your bread crumbs; place in another shallow roomy dish.

4. First, use a paper towel to dry your chicken breasts. Dip it first in the milk and egg mixture, then the bread crumbs. Place on a plate to get ready to cook.

5. Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, place the chicken breasts in the pan. Cook on medium to high heat for 7 minutes. Flip over and cook the other side for 7 minutes.

6. To serve, place pasta on a plate, cover with sauce, then chicken and more sauce. Yum!