Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicken Taco $10.25

I have a neice who every once in a while says "zia Barbara, will you make me a chicken taco?" Since this was not part of our weekly menu, I told her I could make the taco, but some ingredients would be missing, she was ok with that as long as the taco contained chicken. :) So as it turns out, the only item missing from her taco was the shredded lettuce. I used a can of diced tomato to make a tomato and corn salsa, a handful of shredded chedder cheese, a small dolup of sourcream, and I was in the the taco business. yeah!
Leftover salsa going to be used for a side next week with salmon or crabcakes.
1 box taco shells .99(ten taco shells)
2 chicken breasts $2.25
1 cup shredded cheese .80
1 10 oz can diced tomato .69
1 cup frozen corn .25
2 tsp salt .02
1 tablespoon taco seasoning .20
1 tablespoon parsley .10
1 tsp hot sauce .15
1/2 cup sour cream .60
total $ 5.06 yields 10 hefty tacos
for salsa
combine corn(drained) and tomatos(keeping all the tomato sauce) add salt, parsleyand hot sauce 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
mix well
in bowl combine chunked can chicken and salsa
to build your taco, there is really no correct order I think
chicken salsa combo on the bottom
then layer of cheese and finally layer of sourcream

Friday, June 25, 2010

Egg Salad Sandwhich $2.25

Why is it I never make this salad/sanwhich? It is easy, and as we know -healthy b/c eggs are super uber healthy, and it is really good! It seems the only time I make egg salad is after Easter, when I have a couple dozzen boiled eggs that I dont know what to do with. Micheael looked at me kinda strangely when I plopped down this fluffy, yellow and white sandwhich infront of him, but nontheless, dug in and ate it, he even uttered an "mmmm, this is good" I could think of many ways too be funky with this sandwhich, or creative, but I figure for the first time on the blog, we would go just basic, and then slowly incororate other ingredients to jazz up an otherwise basic, straightshooter sandwhich.
You will need
6 eggs .60
1/4 cup mayo(lowfat) .30
8 slices of bread $1.20
pinch of salt and pepper.05

total: $2.25

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ham and Cheese Panini(oh and bacon too) $2.20

Bacon is sizzling HOT! No pun intended:). Looking for a way to dress up an average sandwhich? Frist thing, invest in a panini maker. They are cheap and can be found almost anywhere- Target, Walmart, I got mine at Walgreens many, many years ago, and it has made 100's of great sandwiches. Next addition a sandwhich is bacon. Bacon has become a very popular food ingredient. It is used in sweet and savory dishes, dipped in chocolate, added to icecream, so including it in a sandwich isnt such a stetch, however when I made this sandwhich for my son and his friend, you would have thought I reinvented the wheel.
8 oz sliced Ham .60
4 slices Mozarella Cheese .80
4 slices Bacon .40
8 slices of Bread .40
Fire up the Panini Maker
Layer on bread the ham, cheese and bacon, close with the other peice of bread
place in heated Pani
ni Maker and close, heat for a few minutes until cheese is melted

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So, I ate a hot dog on vacation...

So, as you might know, I've been out of town for a while.  Joe and the kids and I spent 10 amazing days together with great attitudes and amazing sights, and some food that was good, and some food that was quite mediocre.  Don't even get me started on the quality of hotel chain coffee...and gas station coffee... well, sometimes its better than the hotels, but man, was my Mexican Chiappas, Organic, Free-Trade, Whole-Bean/Freshly ground, Black coffee fantastic this morning!

So, we've been eating breakfast each day at the hotel continental breakfast.  Most mornings I had a piece of fruit, an english muffin or bagel with peanut butter, and a yogurt.  Now, I did change up the muffin for a "make your own waffle" more than once, and I had a blue berry muffin one morning and well, they've blended together, but breakfast was always provided "for free" by the hotel.  You know, with three kids eating at the same time as I did, I ate a bite from them and a bite from my plate, and I don't really know what I ate.

Lunch... well ... The first two days I primarily munched on fresh veggies - but by day three they weren't so fresh anymore... then I turned to fast foods right along side the kids.  I did the McDonalds salads a few times - rather high in sodium, but overall, a really decent salad.  Ours is better, but I do REALLY like their Southwestern dressing (Newmans Own).  And I had a great burger at Arnold's in Rapid City, and somewhere I had a buffalo burger (Al's Oasis - who knows where).  The buffalo was tasty, but the preparation of this particular burger left it really dry.  Both were enhanced with blue cheese - no ketchup for me!  Oh, and sit down, I ate a hot dog... day five we were at a park with the kids and the park had a 99 cent lunch deal - an all beef hot dog on a bun with a small soda for $.99.  Lucky for me they offered it for $.79 without the soda (I swore off soda about 14 months ago - I've drank nothing but water, coffee, tea, and lemonade since - mostly I don't drink artificial sweeteners if I can avoid it!).  So, I ate a hot dog on vacation.  I also had a really nice mahi mahi taco with good mango salsa on it!  It's a world of give and take my friends!

Dinner - let's see, pizza, French Dip at a Roast Beef Chain, 4 oz burger with cheese (:-)), buffet meal @ a chain restaurant - Mommy needed a lot of salad and veggie options!, way too much Mexican food, then homemade sloppy joe's at my sister-in-law's, a brat and fresh fruit and a great Buffalo Chicken Salad at her friend's cookout (and a lot of hard cider), Fathers Day dinner at a salad buffet place, Pizza, Amazing Pork Tacos (recipe next week) one of my BFF's in Iowa, and then we are home!

I've never looked so forward to cooking seafood and citrus together with steamed veggies as I did tonight!  I can't wait to help put the menu together again next week.  I have REALLY missed cooking!  And I think I've really realized I'm a good cook!

So, I get that alot of people don't have access to fresh foods - and fresh veggies in particular.  Growing up we ate alot of canned veggies, and what wasn't canned was usually frozen.  Frozen really is the way to go if you can get it.  It lasts for several servings, it will not go bad if you keep it cold, and it probably is the peak of freshness veggie.  Transported veggies have to be picked to allow for ripening during time in transit - frozen veggies are processed immediately.  Perfect!  I am 90% on board with doing the entire shopping from Walgreens - or any other convenience store - but I am a sucker for veggies - I'm calling them a necessity in my world.  I'll be there 100% someday - I just know it!  If they would dedicate that cooler space to corn, peas, broccoli, and mixed veggies (without Lima Beans) instead of alcohol, they'd earn my 100% business!

Enough for now - know that I'm back in the cooking grove for a week, taking another week off to visit Joe's parents, then finishing out the remaining 25 weeks of this year with a storm. 

Thrifty is Hot ... it's the new cool thing to do... it's better than wearing black over black!  It's like "green" or something!  Being thrifty while eating healthy is HOT!

Spaghetti With Baby Shrimp and Peas $7.21

Ok, I broke the Kim cardinal rule I am sure, we had pasta two days in a row. The reasons are many. The recipe was quick and easy and we needed that b/c I was in a hurry lastnight, I really was anxious to try "baby shrimp" in a can, and most importantly, MIchael wanted pasta. I dont think the carb rule or carb overload can apply to an active boy of 11, who never sits still and his doing camp and golfing whenever possible and playing travel baseball, I think he needs the carbohydrates for energy. Long and short of it, the pasta was really good, and I loved the baby shrimp. I will say though, I put them in skillet too early and definitely cooked them too long, but still the dish was very tasty.
1 lb pasta $1.50
1 can baby shrimp $3.50 *
1 can peas $1.69
1 tablespoon olive oil .30
1 tsp garlic powder .05
2 tsp salt .05
1 tsp black pepper .02
1 tablespoon dried parsley .10
2 tsp red pepper flakes(optional).10

boil noodles according to instruction
heat skillet with oil on medium
add peas, garlic powder, salt and pepper, saute for 5 minutes
when pasta is cooked and drained, add to skillet and toss in shrimp, cook 5 minutes
sprinkle with parsley
top with red pepper if desired
This reicpe yields 6 servings
*shrimp is on sale quite often at my convenience store. Ive seen it as low as $1.50 a can

Spaghetti with Black Olives, Diced Tomato and Tuna $4.60

This is kindof a spin off of our spaghetti puttenesca. Im lacking capers b/c I would be hard pressed to find a convenient store that carries capers, however in the official version of Puttenesca, anchiovees are required, so tuna is sort of in the same family, isnt it? Either way, I made it lastnight and am just getting around to putting the recipe up because my life has been out of control with travel baseball. Michael did pick out the olives, but ate all the tuna. No worries, I ate his olives.

1 lb pasta $1.50
1 can diced tomatos $1.69
1 can tunafish .99
1 can black olives $1.99
1 tablespoon olive oil .30
2 tsp garlic powder .05
2 tsp salt .05
1 tsp pepper .02

boil noodles according to instruction
in saucepan heat oil
add diced tomatos with tom sauce, tunafish, garlic powder, salt and pepper to pan
saute for 10 minutes
when noodles cooked and drained, add to the skillet, toss for a few minutes and serve

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

shopping list June 20-26

Canned, boxed, dry or refrigerated
Canned peaches $1.99
milk $1.99
honey $3.79
cheddar cheese shredded
ham $1.99
1 dozzen eggs $1.29
2 boxes 1 lb pasta
2 cans tuna $1.98
1 can black olives $2.29
1 can diced tomato
1 can diced pinapple $1.99
olive oil $3.99
garlic powder $1.19
can peas $1.59
can baby shrimp $1.50
taco shells
canned chicken $1.50
can corn $1.59

Peach Smoothie and Grilled Cheese Sandwhich $6.79

I have a serious "cheap" problem, and I cant help analysing at all times how much cheaper it would be for me to make something to eat then order it in a resturaunt. There is a certain coffee chain that I will not name, but they make a mean fruit smoothie. I did not buy one, I tried sample, and I will admit it was really good. However, at over $3.00 for a small glass, I could not be swayed. Instead, I was inspired to make my own. Im not certain, but I dont think this particular coffee chain uses fresh fruit, my guess is they use canned or frozen, so I did kinda a combo of each. I wanted my smoothie to have a slushy feel to it, without adding ice, so I put the peaches from the can in a ziplock and froze them over night. The result was a smooth, yet cold and refreshing summer treat!!
2 cup frozen peaches $1.99
2 cup lowfat milk .40
1 tsp honey .2o

throw all ingredients in blender and blend until mixture is smooth
substitute half milk with orange juice optional
Grilled Cheese
8 slices whole wheat bread .80
8 slices swiss or cheddar cheese $3.00
2 tablespoon olive oil.40
heat skillet on medium, pour in 1/2 olive oil
assemble sandwhiches evenly placing the cheese in middle of bread
talke two sandwhiches and place in skillet
cook on medium making sure to flip sanwhich every 5 minutes

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oatmeal and Dried Fruit $ 1.75

If I had to name the best deal at Walgreens, I would say all around everyday low price goes to dried fruit. we are talking cheap!!! 6 ounce box of dried-cranberries, raisins, pinapple, apricots, dates, prunes $1.00!! Everyday!! Sometimes they are 2 boxes for a dollar! As a former baker, I know the price of dried fruit and that is just very inexpensive, consequently I buy dried fruit a lot from Walgreens. I find many ways to cook/or bake with it, I also eat them alone. I have been known to eat 10 dried apricots in one sitting. Not only are they cheap, dried fruit is actually very nutritious. Here is a a very basic oatmeal recipe and although i am using cranberries and raisins, any dried fruit will do.
Ingredients:3 1//2 cups water
1/4 cup cranberries .25
1/4 cup raisins .25
1/3 cup honey .15
2 cups oats $1.10

In 3 quart saucepan bring water to a boil
add fruit, honey, cinnamon
stir in oats, boil for 5 minutes or until moisture is absorbed
top with cinnamon

jUne 20-26 menu

It is Monday and I am posting for Saturday, I know, Im slipping a bit this month, but no fear I will regroup! Just dropped my 4 neices and 1 nephew off at the airport for a 9 week trip to Italy, Im very, very sad, but I am also filled with a bunch more free time, so stay tuned for more fun, easy, thrifty recipes! I think we are going to have one more convenient store week, because Kim is away, and I am clearly not as detailed as her in the grocery or ingredient department, so shopping Wallgreens, keeps it simple.
I looked through the sales yesterday, and this is what i have come up with for the week:

Peach Smoothie and grilled cheese
Ham and Cheese Omlette
Pasta with tuna, black olives and diced tomato
Pasta agli olio peas and baby shrimp
Chicken Taco with corn tomato salsa
Ham and Cheese Panini
Egg Salad Sandwhich

Salmon Patties with Mandarin Orange and Pinapple Salsa

OK, here comes the lazy side of me, but also the side of me that really, really appreciates this blog. I allready made this recipe last month, (loved it by the way) so in my laziness, I dont feel like posting it again, so I am "referencing" my blog(under seafood, and Walgreens) and there is the recipe. I will put up a picture, but honestly the patties and salsa came out almost identical as the last time I made them. How great is it, to use my own blog to follow a recipe!!

Spaghetti White Clam Sauce $3.71

Another quick and easy "go to" meal for my family has always been well receieved. Those little canned clams pack tons and tons of nutrition. They are a reliable source of protein and zinc. Clams also supply more then half the DV for iron and minerals you may lack if you avoid red meat. This is a 5 ingredient meal.
1 can clams $1.99
1 tablespoon olive oil .15
1 lb pasta $1.50
2 tsp garlic powder .05
1 tsp salt .02

boil noodles according to instruction
heat oil in skillet
add clams, salt and garlic powder
saute for 10 minutes on medium
when noodles are cooked, drain and toss in skillet, mix all together for 5 minutes
dried parsley optional