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Budget friendly recipes, Frugal tips & websites! Post them here.

Posted by on Jun. 12, 2008 at 4:39 PM
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by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:16 AM

Baked Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or equivalent chicken tenders
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp
garlic powder (or probably a couple of minced garlic cloves)
1 Tbs
Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup
bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup dried parsley

Mix together the butter, garlic powder, Dijon, and Worcestershire in a dish. (I typically use old pie pans for this.)

Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and parsley together in another.

Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the bread crumbs, then place in a buttered or greased 9x9 or so pan. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until done through.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:18 AM

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour — $0.35
3 tbsp sugar — $0.10
1 tsp baking soda — $0.05
1 tbsp baking powder — $0.08
1/2 cup butter, softened — $0.90
(plus extra for brushing)
1 cup buttermilk — $0.35
(plus extra for brushing)
1 egg — $0.15
1/2 tsp salt (negligible)

Total: $1.98

Get the oven to 375F and grease a baking sheet. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl. You can use margarine instead of butter if you like.

Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and the egg so that you make a soft dough. You might need more (or less) buttermilk to make it right. Put some flour on a board and dump the dough onto it. Knead it slightly. Try not to overknead it, it gets tough otherwise. Shape it into a round loaf and put it on the baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut a cross onto the top.

Melt some butter and add it to the extra buttermilk. Brush the top of the loaf well with that mixture. Pop it into the oven for 45 min or so. Do the toothpick trick to see if it’s done: poke a toothpick into the center. Comes out clean, then it’s ready.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:19 AM

Penne Pasta Casserole

1 26oz can spaghetti sauce (Hunt’s, etc.) — $1.00
1/2 med. yellow onion — $0.20
1 tbsp e.v. olive oil — $0.05
2-3 cloves minced garlic — $0.07
1/2 box dry penne or other pasta– $0.50
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped — $0.20
1 cup grated cheddar — $0.40
1/3 lb ground beef or italian sausage - $1.00
salt, pepper, sugar — negligible

Total: $3.42

Get a pot of salted water going. Over low heat in a large skillet, add some olive oil, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat / simmer that until translucent (you can keep adding some water to prevent it from drying out). Remove to a plate. Add the ground beef and/or italian sausage (casing removed) and brown that. Drain it, return to pan with onion mixture. Add spaghetti sauce, and cook on low stirring occasionally for about 10-15 min. Add chopped basil (and any other herbs or veggies at this point). You may want to alter the flavor with salt, pepper and sugar depending on your spaghetti sauce.

When water boils, add the penne and UNDERCOOK it. How much depends on you and your oven. I just know you don’t need to cook it all the way because it’s going in the oven. When done to your liking, drain pasta and rinse it in cold water, if you like. I know they say not to rinse it, but because it’s a casserole I feel the noodles benefit a bit from a dunk.

Combine spaghetti sauce mixture and noodles together in the pot. In a shallow baking dish (flatter, shallower allows for more cheese browning area - if you like that.) Top with cheese, bake at 350F for about 30-45 minutes. You might want to cover lightly with aluminum foil until the last 10 minutes. You can also blast it in the broiler if you like the top extra crunchy.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:20 AM

Hash Browns

1 large potato — $0.40
1-2 tbsp butter (from $1.00 4 oz stick) — $0.13
(or 1-2 tbsp of oil or cooking spray)
salt, pepper — negligible

Total: $0.53

Russets are probably easiest and most people have ‘em around. I don’t pre-cook the potatoes for hash browns because it’s thin enough, though for thicker home fries you might want to try that.

You can use either butter, oil, or cooking spray… but you should probably use at least something to prevent sticking and help browning. On my cast iron flat grill I’ve gotten away with using very little oil or cooking spray. If you’re using a pan, try using a non-stick surface one first… it’ll allow you to use less oil. Butter really makes the potatoes brown nicely, however, so you might want to experiment.

Peel and wash the potato(es). Heat up the pan/griddle and oil/butter it. Meanwhile, grate the potato finely. What I like to do is put the grated potato in a paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze the heck out of it. A considerable amount of water will drain out.

Scatter the potatoes on the grill and cook until brown on one side. Try and always keep the potatoes spread thinly instead of clumped up together. Flip it with a spatula and cook until desired doneness is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:22 AM

Clam Spaghetti

2 3.5 oz pouches of baby clams — $2.00
2 tbsp e.v. olive oil — $0.10
3-4 cloves minced garlic — $0.07
1/2 lb dry spaghetti / spaghettini — $0.50
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley — $0.05
1/2 cup chicken stock — $0.15
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese - $0.10
red pepper flakes — optional
salt, pepper, water - negligible

Total: $2.97

Get a pot of water for the spaghetti going on high. Mince up the parsley and set aside. Mince the garlic and set that aside. Open the pouches and drain the clams, reserving the liquids.

Wait until water boils, then add the dry spaghetti. Start melting the butter in the olive oil in a skillet on medium. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the reserved clam liquid and chicken stock and simmer for 3-5 minutes. (Keep and eye on the spaghetti so it doesn’t get overcooked!) Some people also put in a few tablespoons of Chardonnay or other white wine as well. If you do so, add that first and make sure to cook it out before adding the chicken stock and clam juice.

Add the clams to the skillet (do NOT cook this for too long - ). When the spaghetti is al dente, I like to take it out with tongs and put it directly into the pan. Then whack the parsley in there along with the parm cheese and salt/pepper to taste. If it’s too dry, add a bit of the pasta cooking water. Toss it a bit and serve.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:23 AM

Ghetto McMuffins

1 english muffin — $0.25
1-2 eggs — $0.15
1/2 - 1 hotdog — $0.12
1 slice cheese, optional — $0.10
pepper, optional

Total: $0.62

Cut the english muffin in half and put it in the toaster set for extra crispy. Meanwhile, beat the egg(s) lightly in a small bowl. Throw in pepper if you like. Cut up the hotdog into chunks. Get a medium fire under a small (8-9 inch is fine) non stick omelette pan going. At some point you might want to put a bit of oil in the pan but I find I can avoid it for non-stick.

Cook the hot dogs until slightly browned. Distribute them across the bottom of the pan and pour in the egg(s). Lower the fire. Stir a bit with a spatula. Let it set up a bit, a few minutes. You can cover it to speed it along.

When the top is nearly cooked, get a rubber spatula and cut the scramble down the middle. Here, you can insert a slice of cheese or whatever you want on each semi-circle. Fold the egg semi-circle over so it’s a quarter-circle.

Put each quarter-circle on a toasted english muffin half. This makes 2 open face McMuffins, or close it up for a gigantic McMuffin.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:25 AM

Frito Pie

1 can chili (homemade OK too) — $0.99
1 1/2 cups fritos - $0.45
1 cup shredded cheese — $0.25
1/3 cup chopped onion — $0.20
optional parsley sprig — negligible

Total: $1.89

Preheat the oven to 350°F or so. Spread out about 1/2 the chips on the bottom of a glass pie plate dish or baking dish. Spread about 1/2 the onion and half the cheese on the Fritos. Top with all the chili. Then put the remaining cheese, onion, and Fritos on top of that.

Bake it for about 17-20 minutes and serve it hot. Instant trailer cuisine.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:26 AM

Green Split Pea Soup With Ham

1/2 lb of dried green split peas — $0.35
4-6 cups of water — negligible
1 Ham Hock or Ham Bone with meat still on it — free!
1 bay leaf — $0.05
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped — $0.25
2 stalks celery, chopped — $0.20
1 carrot, chopped — $0.10
2 garlic cloves, minced — $0.05
1/2 tbsp oil — $0.05
salt, pepper to taste — negligible

Total: $1.05

Wash and drain the dried peas. Watch out for tiny ROCKS in the peas… the occur every so often and can break your teeth if left in! If you’d like to, cut off the ham from the bones, cube it and set aside. Some people leave it on and then cut it off after cooking, but cutting it off before will decrease the saltiness of the soup.

Heat up the oil in a large pot, add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.

Add the water, peas, ham bones, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cook half covered over low heat for about 1 to 1.5 hours stirring occasionally. When you get near the end of cooking, you can add the cubed ham if you’ve reserved it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Delicious split pea soup is now ready!

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:27 AM

Cabbage Rolls

2/3 lb. Ground Beef — $1.00
1/3 lb. Ground Pork — $.0.33
1 cabbage, core removed — $0.45
Brown Onion (1/2 an onion) — $0.25
1 cup of cooked rice — $0.10
Parmesan cheese (1/8 oz of $3.50 8oz can) — $0.05
1 egg — $0.10
Parsley (1/4 cup chopped from $0.69 bunch) — $0.06
Homemade Breadcrumbs — free
1/2 can Chicken Stock — $0.25
1 8 oz Can Tomato Sauce — $0.30
Olive oil (1 tbsp) — $0.08
Water / Salt / pepper — negligible

Total: $2.97

I like to boil the cabbage leaves first to make them easier to wrap. You need a huge pot of water, salt it a bit and get it boiling. Meantime, if you don’t like crunchy onions in your meat (I don’t) mince the 1/2 onion fine and start simmering it in a pan with olive oil. When it sucks up all the oil, add some water. Keep adding water every so often while cooking… you want the onions to be really soft, almost mushy.

Drain the cabbage and separate the leaves. You can also separate the leaves first before boiling. Set the cabbage aside. In a large bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, rice, parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs (I make my own from bread loaf ends so it’s free), and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste (you can also throw in some soy sauce, worcestshire sauce, garlic powder, etc.) Mix well to combine.

Take a scoop of meat mixture, place it on a cabbage leaf and roll it up until all the meat is covered. Place it in a lightly oiled deep sauce pan, seam side down; that way you don’t need to use toothpicks. Continue filling the pan. I try to have only 1 layer of cabbage rolls. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and about 1/4-3/4 cup water. Shake the pan a bit to make sure the sauce has coated the rolls. Cook on very low heat, covered, for about 40 min to 1.5 hours. Check the rolls every so often to make sure there’s enough liquid in the pan… if not, add some water or chicken stock.

by Group Owner on Jun. 13, 2008 at 7:28 AM

Quick Basil and Tomato Pasta

1/2 box Barilla pasta — $0.50
Basil, cut in a chiffonade — Free, hopefully
6 cloves garlic, slivered or minced — $0.10
Olive oil (1-2 tbsp) — $0.10
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes — $0.45
Parmesan cheese (1/4 oz of $3.50 8oz can) — $0.11
1 tsp of dried oregano — $0.05
pinch of red pepper flakes — $0.02
1 tbsp sugar — $0.02
salt, pepper — negligible

Total: $1.35

Start boiling a lot of water in a big pot for the pasta. Wash the basil, remove stems so there are only the leaves. Set aside. Peel and mince (or sliver if desired) all 6 garlic cloves. In a skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of the olive oil (extra virgin olive oil tastes best) over medium heat for a minute or so. Add the oregano (if dried, roll between fingers to release more flavor), garlic, red pepper flakes and a few grinds of black pepper to the oil and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Don’t let the garlic and oregano burn, turn the heat down if needed.

Open up the can of tomatoes and add it to the pan, along with the liquid from the tomatoes. Add the sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-20 minutes. Depends on how blended you like your sauce. Meanwhile, add thin spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta in collander, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Now cut up your basil. Add pasta, cooking water, and remaining olive oil to sauce in pan and toss to coat. Add salt, pepper to taste. Serve in plate topped with parmesan cheese and basil.

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