8 Home-Cooked Meals for under $20?? No Problem – I’ve got you covered!

As I’ve shared many times before, I spend a few hours in the kitchen every weekend and we’ve got fresh and delicious home-cooked meals throughout the week ahead – and beyond!  Today’s adventure in the kitchen (and this blog post) isn’t about a new recipe I’ve been waiting to try, but all about my regular routine of ensuring I can always answer the question, “What’s for Dinner?” (and lunch, too, for that matter!)

So what does 8 meals for under $20 look like?

Chicken Salad Roasted Chicken goat-cheese-basil-chicken

 

 

 

 

I reserved 4 of the chicken breasts to prepare the Goat Cheese-Basil Chicken that will go in the freezer for easy weeknight meals (2 [2 serving] meals) that can be on the table in 45 minutes.  Then I roasted the remaining 2 chicken breasts with all the dark meat pieces.  The roasted breast meat (and a few of the thighs) were used to make the Chicken Salad (Quart size container – Easily 4-5 servings), and the rest of the dark meat pieces to be served alongside a salad, rice or potato, for another 2 [2 serving] meals.  (I saved the back bones to make chicken stock, too!)

Although I’ve shared each of these food prep ideas before, I thought it worth another post to remind everyone that fresh and delicious home-cooked are always within reach – at a fraction of the cost of going out or stopping at the drive-thru window on your way home from work.

I’m reminded about what I wrote in the “About Joe” section of this blog nearly 7 years ago, and it’s still true today.  Here’s an excerpt from that section:

I’ll write about shopping smart and turning leftovers into delightful new creations.  I’ll share ideas on dishes that can be made ahead and placed in the freezer to ensure a hot healthy meal after a long day at work.

I believe everyone can enjoy home-cooked meals at a fraction of the cost of going out – and feel good about what you’re doing for yourself and others in the process!  Food is a great way to share a part of yourself – and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.

Thanks for joining me on my adventures in the kitchen, and I hope you’re inspired to try some of the recipes and prep-ahead ideas to reduce stress, eat fresh, and enjoy great food together!

Buon appetito!

 

 

 

 


Ina’s Cranberry Orange Scones

Comin’ at ya, Juli!  Just in time for April’s monthly unit meeting, Ina’s Cranberry Orange Scones!  I made it my habit to bring in some sort of homemade treat to our monthly unit meeting – and I’m ready for tomorrow.  Anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog over time, knows I’m a huge fan of @inagarten, Barefoot Contessa.  Ina gets all the credit for this recipe – and I’ll take credit for the smiles that are sure to be on everyone’s faces!  Orange_Cranberry_Scones_2

Picture of glazed scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

This was my first attempt at making scones – and I’m planning to do it again and again!  The rumors are false – scones are easy to make!  THE BEST!  Flaky, tender, and buttery – of course!    Thanks, @inagarten, for another fool-proof treat.  Enjoy!


Cranberry Apple Cake – (Ina Recipe Share)

You know I’m a big fan of Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network.)  As we’re getting into this fall time of year, you might be looking for something a little different to make for a dessert treat – so here it is!  Ina’s Easy Cranberry Apple Cake.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-cranberry-and-apple-cake-recipe.html

Given that fresh cranberries were not available yet, I substituted a 10 oz. bag of frozen and it was great!  As with every Ina recipe, you won’t be disappointed!  Enjoy!
Easy_Cran_Apple_Cake


Avocado Lunch Snack

Simple, Delicious, and Nutritious!

Sliced sourdough (or other crusty bread) drizzled with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper, then toasted/baked until golden brown.  Top with a small handful of arugula, sliced hard boiled egg, and sliced avocado – sprinkled with fleur de sel or other coarse salt.  A little side of Sopressata (or other hard salami) is an ideal complement to this nutritious lunch snack.  (I enjoyed this perfect little lunch while preparing our Thanksgiving meal.)

Avocado Lunch Snack

Avocado Lunch Snack