Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cheap and Easy Dinners

At the request of a friend, I am throwing some fast, easy and cheap dinner recipes on here. Times are tight, but you gotta eat, right? Here are some super fast go-to dinners, quick and pretty well-balanced. All can be made for 4-6 for about $10 or less with little preparation time.

Papa's Casserole
- one can peas, drained
- one can corn, drained
- one can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
- one pound browned ground beef, cooked with a tsp of dried onions
- combine all the above in a casserole dish, cover with mashed potatoes
- bake at 350 for 20 minutes

Chicken Tacos
- 1 pound boneless chicken
- 1 pkg low sodium taco seasoning
- 1 can tomatoes, half drained
- combine and put in crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
- shred chicken, put in tortillas with beans and shredded lettuce.

One pot spaghetti with a twist
- brown 1 pound ground beef, drain and set aside.
- cook 1 pound pasta, drain and return to pot
- add one large can or jar of spaghetti sauce, meat and a drained can of corn with peppers, stir to combine and heat through.

Chili
- brown 1 pound ground beef (I add dried onions to the meat)
- one large can chili beans
- one can finely diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 small can tomato paste
- Combine all ingredients in crock pot, season with desired pepper and chili powder. Cook on low for 2-4 hours, until bubbly.
- we eat it with fritos and shredded cheddar cheese

Chicken and dumplings
- 2-4 breast or other boneless pieces of chicken, cut into small pieces
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- one small onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/4 cup carrots, diced
- bay leaf
- one chicken bouillon cube
- 2 cups water
- add all to the crock pot, cook on low for 6 hours
- tear refrigerated biscuit dough into 1 inch pieces, roll into balls and drop into cooker. Cover, cook on high for 30 minutes.

Teriyaki stir fry
- defrost one frozen bag of stir fry vegetable blend
- cut up 1 pound boneless chicken into bite size pieces
- cook in 1-2 tbsp oil on stove on high until chicken done
- add vegetables and heat through
- toss to coat with 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (I like Yoshida's gourmet sauce too)
- serve with steamed white rice

Chicken fried rice
- cook white rice, set aside
- dice 1 pound chicken, cook in oil on high until done
- add thawed frozen mixed vegetables, cook through
- add 4 cups rice, 2 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup soy sauce, toss and heat.

Homemade chicken nuggets
- Crush 3 cups corn chex cereal
- add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- combine all dry ingredients
- cut chicken into bit size pieces, coat with melter butter and roll in crumb mixture
- bake at 400 for 20 minutes, check for doneness.

Chicken noodle soup
- dice two chicken breasts and one small onion
- cook in vegetable oil until onions are clear and chicken is done
- add 8 cups chicken broth, 3 diced stalks celery, 2 large diced carrots and 2 cups pasta of choice - bring to a boil, then cover and reduce. simmer for 3o minutes.

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