Breakfast Burrito

This is one of my favorite breakfasts to make on the weekends.  It’s a simple dish to make, yet tastes like something you would get at a restaurant.  Pair the burrito with a piece of fruit and it becomes a well rounded meal to start the weekend.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

3 eggs

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese

2 tortillas

toppings (salsa, sour cream, ect)

salt, pepper, hot sauce

Directions:

1. Place tortillas on two plates 

2. In a pan crack open the eggs, and break the yoke with a fork or spatula

3. as the eggs are cooking, stir them around the pan so they are light and fluffy

4. When the eggs are cooked half way, pour in the cheese

5 Stir the egg cheese mixture until the eggs are finished cooking and all the cheese has melted.  

6. Dish out half the eggs onto each tortilla

7 Top with additional toppings, then add salt pepper, a generous amout of hot sauce then serve

All the ingredients can be bought at the dollar store for a dollar or less, but I made this from food I already had in the house for other meals.  When picking out cheese, make sure to read the label, because I have accidentally bought cheese from my dollar store that was “not formulated to melt.”  To avoid this mistake, it is much more reliable to buy block cheese; even though you have to grate it yourself, you can have confidence that its not a “pasteurized process topping.”   

This meal is very versatile, so make sure to add other ingredients you want.  I like to stick to the simplest recipe possible, but if you wanted to add more veggies, or meat it would taste wonderful just the same.  

Potato Bar

I love the potato bar because it’s extremely versatile.  First of all, what I mean by potato bar is that you bake a medium size potato, and garnish it with whatever leftovers or toppings you have in your refrigerator.  I have a potato bar about twice a month because its a fresh way to finish leftovers.  I hate having the same meal three times because I made too much food, so I avoid it by having a potato bar.  

Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

2 Medium potatos

Salt

Pepper

extra toppings (broccoli, sour cream, meat, chili, ect)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2) Wrap potatoes in tin foil, then put in oven

3) Let potatoes cook for one hour

4) When the potatoes are almost done heat up leftovers or toppings in the microwave

5) Top the potatoes and enjoy

Last week I made my potatoes with leftover pork, broccoli, bacon bits, sour creme, and spices.  I made this meal without having to go out and buy anything, but all the ingredients, except for the pork and potatoes, I originally bought at the dollar store for a dollar or less.  

Popcorn Chicken Salad

This salad is a great as a stand by as a quick and easy dinner.  I have it about every once or twice a week because I get home late from my night class and usually don’t want to cook.  It’s up to you how much or little of the ingredients you want to use, so there are no measurements for the items below.  

Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce

Popcorn Chicken (soy chicken nuggets would work nicely as well)

 Tortilla

Tomato

Hot Sauce

Light Ranch Dressing

Cheese (optional)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees, while the oven is preheating spread chicken onto a pan and douse with hot sauce

2) Bake chicken for 8 minutes and let cool

3 As the chicken is cooling, rip the lettuce into bite size pieces and put in a bowl

4) Cut up tomato and put in the bowl, then add all the other ingredients and serve 

This is a meal that is beyond easy to make, there is so much room to make it your own.  The fresh vegetables did not come from the dollar store, instead I bought them at the supermarket: a head of romaine lettuce is about $1.60, (it will last about a week for two people who eat salads regularly), tomatoes are a little more pricey at $2.99 lb.  Fresh vegetables are more expensive than processed food, but if you have an extra $10 a week to spare, it’s definitively worth the expense. My staple fresh vegetables are a head of lettuce, carrots, spaghetti squash, and potatoes; all my other veggies  I can get in the frozen food section back at my dollar store.  

Except for the vegetables, I bought everything else at the dollar store for $1 per item.  This meal cost a little more up front, but you will have plenty of left over ingredients for future meals.  Also try to experiment and make this salad your own, there is plenty of room for personal flourishes like canned beans or canned corn to emphasize the southwestern flare.  Food should be enjoyed, and in order to have the best experience with your food you should make it feel personal.  Enjoy!

Bean Taco with veggies

Bean Tacos make a quick and filling lunch or dinner.  This a convenient meal to pair with baby carrots or chips and salsa for on the go, or if you have more time, it goes well with a backed potato and a green vegetable.  By having vegetables on the side, your meal is more dynamic in taste and health benefits.  Any can of precooked beans will work; I prefer vegetarian re-fried beans because they are less messy.

Makes 2 Servings:

2 tortillas (corn or flour)

1 cup beans

2 cups frozen broccoli 

2 potatoes

water

taco toppings (tomato, sour cream, salsa, ect)

salt, and pepper 

  

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Wrap potato in tin foil and place in oven.  Wait 1 hour

3. After 1 hour: put frozen broccoli in medium bowl, then fill bowl halfway with water

4. Cook broccoli in microwave for 5 minutes

5. Open can of beans and pour into a small bowl

6. Once broccoli is done, cook beans in microwave for 2 minutes (you can add taco seasoning for more taste)

7.  Take potatoes out of oven and garnish with salt and pepper, dispense broccoli 

8. Lay tortillas flat on plate, after beans are done dip them into the tortilla, garnish, fold and serve.

I bought everything but the potatoes and tomatoes at the dollar store.  I have many tortillas and beans left over for future meals, which is great for having spent 2 dollars on them.  I used all the broccoli but it was worth the dollar to get some green veggies.  Potatoes, as always are a staple for my meals (I got a 5lb bag for three dollars so be on the lookout for sales at your grocery store.)  

Muffins

I love muffins!  They are a versatile quick bread that can be consumed any part of the day as a snack or breakfast.  Surprisingly, muffins don’t take very long to make and they can last for about a week in a zip lock bag.  This recipe is for a sweeter muffin, so if you prefer muffins that taste more like a bread than a pastry, just decrease the sugar by 1/2 a cup.  Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients   

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar (3/4 brown sugar can be substituted)

3  tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup milk or soy milk

1/2 cup margarine (butter is more likely to be found at a dollar store but it was worth the taste to spring for the margarine.)

vanilla extract to taste

other flavoring (chocolate chips, blueberries, peanut butter, jam, etc.)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients

3. Add in wet ingredients and stir until batter is smooth

4. With a tsp scoop batter into a greased muffin pan

5. Put pan in oven for 20 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean

6. When muffins are done, place muffins on cooling rake or plate, allow to cool, and enjoy

The muffins shown above are date muffins.  Except for the dates and the margarine, I bought all the other ingredients at the dollar store or had them in my cabinet.

 I want to encourage people to experiment with flavoring their muffins because they can be quite versatile.  I have had muffins with meat, passion fruit, and corn just to name a few, and they were all very good.  In fact for my Christmas gifts this year I plan to make batches of mint chocolate chip muffins for my family and friends.  Since the fall is fast approaching, I would also recommend apple or pumpkin muffins  You can make these seasonal treats by adding a cup of shredded apple or pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to taste.  

Shells and Cheese with broccoli

This is a great filling meal for those students who are always on the go.  As school draws near I know that there are going to be few opportunities for me to make more extravagant dinners, so I will be relying heavily on my shells and cheese.  I love mac and cheese, but usually it is too plain to eat as an independent meal.  I decided to mix frozen broccoli into the shells and cheese, which adds a serving of veggies, and also adds a more dynamic flavor.

Makes 2 servings 

Ingredients:

1 box of shells and cheese dinner

3 cups frozen broccoli

salt and pepper

4 cups water

Instructions:

1. Fill pot up with water and bring to boil

2. Add pasta, boil for 8-10 minutes

3. While pasta is cooking microwave broccoli in and bowl filled with water for 5  minutes

4. Once pasta is done cooking, strain 

5. Add cheese sauce and broccoli, then stir

6. Dish into bowls, salt and pepper to taste, and serve

Everyone will enjoy Shells and Cheese with Broccoli.  It is a quick, easy meal to make, and will leave you totally satisfied.  There is also plenty of left overs which is always a good thing for lunch or another dinner.  Both the Shells and Cheese dinner and the frozen broccoli can be purchased at your local dollar store for a dollar each.  The broccoli will also last as a side dish two more times so it’s economical as well as delicious.

Red beans and rice with Sausage

I love red beans and rice.  Not only is it delicious and super satisfying, but it also gives me that wonderful taste of Cajun cuisine.  While a simple box of red beans and rice is a meal in it’s self, when sausage is mixed into it, the taste is unbelievably good.  I was able to purchase the box of red beans and rice as well as the sausage at my dollar store, so this whole meal cost me $2.00 and I had enough left over to have again for lunch.  

Ingredients:

Box of Red Beans and Rice

6 cups water

Sausage (I had Bratwurst in mine but any sausage will do.  If it’s a special occasion I would go to the grocery store and spring for some Cajun sausage.  It will be about $4.00 more expensive, but would be totally worth it.)

Hot Sauce (optional, but encouraged)

Butter (optional)

Instructions:

1. Fix red beans and rice as directed on the box

2. After you let the red beans and rice stand (third direction on box), add hot sauce to your liking.  

3. Grill sausage in a pan, till the sausage is browned.

4. Once both the sausage and the red beans and rice has finished cooking, cut up sausage into bite size pieces.

5. Combine the sausage with the red beans and rice, then serve.

This is one of my absolute favorite meals, so I hope you all will enjoy it too, especially since it’s so cheap on top of being delicious. 

Banana Bread

Last week I picked up some bananas at the grocery store, which is where I have to buy all of my fresh produce.  Unfortunately, I didn’t end up eating hardly any of them so 4 of the bananas I bought got over ripe.  I always feel bad when I let food go bad so I wanted to try to find some way to use my over ripe bananas.  Luckily, I remembered that banana bread uses bananas that aren’t edible anymore, so last night I whipped up a batch of banana bread that was delicious.

Ingredients:

3 over ripe bananas

2 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil (Whatever is available at your dollar store will be fine.)

vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon baking powder

cinnamon

cardamom 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, leave out bananas, oil, vanilla, and eggs

3. Add in wet ingredients, and mix (I ended up using my hands because it was easier than using a spoon.  I would definitely recommend this way if you have clean hands and don’t mind getting a little dirty) 

4. Pour dough into a greased bread pan and cook for 60 minutes

5 Let cool and serve.

This dessert was a wonderful end to my evening, except for the bananas everything was available for a dollar or less at my dollar store.  

Saving on Cereal

Instead of a recipe today, I wanted to bring awareness to how everyone can cut down cost on a food most people buy regularly, cereal.  Since we were kids cereal has been a constant food in our lives, from sugary delights such as Captain Crunch to the more healthy cereals like Cheerios.  However, once I had to start buying this ultra-convenient breakfast on my own I quickly realized how expensive it really is.  A gallon of milk costs $4.25 at my grocery store and a box of store brand cereal cost at least $2.50, and that’s for the smallest 12 oz box.  

To me these prices were just too high so I was ecstatic when I discovered that my dollar store sold both milk and cereal.  They only sell the milk in quarts, but the 4 $1.00 quarts will still be cheaper than buying the gallon all together.  Also, buying milk in smaller units will leave less of a chance that your milk will spoil, which is money lost. My store also sells soy milk for $1.00 so it’s worth investigating whether your store does as well, if that’s what you prefer.  As far as the cereal, I was able to get a family size box of Corn Flakes for only $2.00.  I don’t usually buy name brand products, but my store carries select name brand cereals, like Lucky Charms, just expect to pay more for them.  So in conclusion, what would have been at least a $6.75 expense, now only costs me $3.00, cutting my cost in half, and giving me more bang for my buck.

Double Decker Tortilla Pizza

It’s Friday night and for me that means it’s pizza time.  Double Decker Tortilla Pizza is a fresh take on a common dish, and it is also a cost effective alternative to traditional pizza.  (Makes 2 Servings)

Ingredients:

4 Tortillas

1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce of your choosing

Italian style cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Lay two tortillas on the bottom of a lightly greased oven safe pan

3. With a spoon dip sauce onto the tortillas and spead

4. Sprinkle cheese on to taste

5. Cover the pizzas with the remaining tortillas, then repeat steps 3 and 4.

6 Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until the tortillas are crispy.  

7. Let cool then serve.  

What I loved about this dish was how personal it is.  By making your own little pizza you and your friends can have exactly what you want without having to compromise.  This time I chose to have mine with only cheese, but next time I definitively plan on adding some toppings.  I had the tortillas from yesterday, but I bought the sauce and cheese for two dollars, and still have plenty of left over supplies for future meals.