I know we've all noticed how grocery prices continue to climb. My heart goes out to young couples with family. I want to share some ideas for everyone to help stretch their budget and still enjoy some great meals.
Basing your meals on pasta, rice, eggs and beans is a great way to keep costs low. And eating vegetarian meals more often is a slimming habit, according to WebMD's "recipe doctor," Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Vegetarians weigh up to 20% less than meat eaters. Most Americans get only half the amount of needed fiber, which fills you up with fewer calories.
Kids of all ages will enjoy this quick meal. Use what you have on hand. Add leftover browned burger for added protein.
REFRIED BEAN QUESADILLAS
salsa, any kind
Spray the griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Spread a tortilla with refried beans. Add salsa; sprinkle with cheese. Top with another tortilla. Fry on the griddle or skillet till browned, then flip and brown the other side. Cut into triangles and serve with more salsa and maybe sour cream. Add fresh carrots or grape tomatoes for a quick lunch or dinner.
BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER CHEESE SOUP
1 onion, chopped
2 Tb. butter, melted
4 c. chicken broth
3 c. broccoli and/or cauliflower, chopped,
fresh or frozen
2 c. carrots, diced
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. all purpose flour
4 c. half and half, divided
2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
In large saucepan, saute onion in 2 Tb. butter; add broth. Bring to a boil and add vegetables; cook over low heat until tender - about 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper. While vegetables are cooking, in a large skillet, melt 1/2 c. butter over medium heat; whisk flour into butter, stirring constantly until thick. Add 2 c. of 1/2 & 1/2, stirring until smooth; add cheese and heat until melted.
Let cool a few minutes; transfer half the soup mixture to blender and puree, or mash vegetables with hand masher. Pour veggie mixture back into saucepan.
Blend milk/cheese mixture into puree; add remaining cream. Stir until well blended and heated through, but don't boil. Add nutmeg just before serving.
I know I've shared this before, but this egg salad really is scrumptious!
SPECIAL EGG SALAD
4 ozs. (reduced-fat) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. (fat free) mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 hard cooked eggs, chopped
wheat bread - lettuce leaves
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper; fold in the eggs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Toast bread and serve sandwiches with lettuce for added crunch. Yield: 6 servings
I have fond memories of my mom making this cake. It has no eggs, no milk, no butter and you don't need a mixer!) SCORE! (Trust me - You won't taste the vinegar!!) Recipe can easily be doubled to make in a 9" X 13" pan.
CHOCOLATE WACKY CAKE
(No eggs, dairy, or mixer)
1 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 Tb. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tb. vegetable oil (or melted margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp. vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8" X 8" baking pan with cooking spray. In prepared baking pan, mix first 5 ingredients. Make 3 'wells' in the mixture, one bigger than the other two.
In the large well, add vegetable oil -
In a small well, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract-
In the last small well, add 1-1/2 tsp. vinegar-
Add 1 c. cold water to the pan and stir with fork until combined and smooth. Bake about 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool; serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite chocolate frosting.
Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. -Zig Ziglar