quick meals http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11657/all en-US 20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade_soup.jpg" alt="cheap, fresh and easy homemade soup recipes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As winter clings on, now is the perfect time to make a pot of soup. Warming and nourishing, soup is the ultimate meal in a bowl, and even freezes well. The following 20 recipes are affordable and easy to make, and can be adjusted to feed a crowd or a dinner for two. Try one this week &mdash; your wallet and your stomach are sure to thank you.</p> <h2>1. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup</h2> <p>This creamy <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2009/10/butternut-squash-and-sweet-potato-soup.html#tabreviews">squash and potato soup</a> is a beautiful color, and the main ingredients are affordable and have a long shelf life. The recipe comes together easily, especially if you can find pre-cut butternut squash on sale.</p> <h2>2. Sausage, Potato, and Spinach Soup</h2> <p>A hearty <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup">one-pot dish</a> of sausage, potatoes, and spinach that requires mere minutes of active cooking. Potatoes are always cheap, and you can use whatever sausage is on special that week.</p> <h2>3. Lentil Soup</h2> <p>To make this <a href="http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/01/05/lentil-soup-mini-loaves-complete-goodness/">lentil soup</a>, just throw some lentils and veggies in a pot; and that's it! It's flavorful, simple, and inexpensive. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.</p> <h2>4. Lighter Spinach and Egg Drop Soup</h2> <p>A very easy and light but comforting <a href="http://food52.com/recipes/32333-a-lighter-spinach-and-parmesan-egg-drop-soup">egg drop soup</a> that's also quick. It makes a great first course, and it doesn't get much cheaper than greens, broth, and eggs.</p> <h2>5. Winter Vegetable Minestrone</h2> <p>A <a href="http://peasandcrayons.com/2014/12/winter-vegetable-minestrone-soup.html">tasty minestrone</a> that is chock-full of healthy and budget-friendly veggies. In a pinch, use whatever vegetables and pasta you have available.</p> <h2>6. Healthy Asian Soba Noodle Soup</h2> <p>A light but <a href="http://thefitchen.com/2014/01/15/healthy-asian-soba-noodle-soup/">flavorful Asian soup</a> that utilizes healthful buckwheat noodles. It comes together fast, and cabbage can be substituted for bok choy if you can't find it at your local grocery.</p> <h2>7. Easy Vegetarian Chili</h2> <p>This simply <a href="http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/easy-vegetarian-chili/">delicious veggie chili</a> doesn't take many ingredients or much effort. It's very affordable and good for you, making it a great option to feed a crowd or freeze for later.</p> <h2>8. White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup</h2> <p>A cost-effective and <a href="http://shewearsmanyhats.com/roasted-mushroom-soup/">healthy mushroom soup</a> that uses blended white beans to create a creamy base. Add in crumbled, cooked sausage or wilted greens to mix it up.</p> <h2>9. Easy Chicken Orzo Soup</h2> <p>A <a href="http://samanthaskitchentable.blogspot.com/2015/01/easy-chicken-orzo-soup.html">simple chicken soup</a> that's sure to cure what ails you. Chicken thighs make it especially affordable, and it couldn't be easier to put together.</p> <h2>10. Broccoli Cheese Soup</h2> <p>This one-pot <a href="http://addapinch.com/cooking/broccoli-cheese-soup-recipe/">broccoli cheese soup</a> is exceedingly easy, with no pureeing required. The addition of dairy makes this a rich and creamy soup, and the ham is optional.</p> <h2>11. Italian Wedding Soup</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/italian-wedding-soup">flavorful Italian soup</a> with just a few ingredients and a few simple steps. The classic dish has little pork meatballs that cook in the soup along with chickpeas, spinach, and orzo.</p> <h2>12. Cauliflower Soup</h2> <p>A surprisingly <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/22/cauliflower-chowder/">hearty cauliflower soup</a> that is a twist on the classic chowder recipe. Cauliflower replaces potatoes for a low-carb option, while still making a creamy and rich soup.</p> <h2>13. Black Bean Soup With Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber</h2> <p>A very fast and very <a href="http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/black-bean-soup-with-avocado-orange-and-cucumber">easy bean soup</a> that's full of fiber and protein. Plus, beans are cheap! Don't skimp on the creative toppings, and blending this soup is optional.</p> <h2>14. Whole Roasted Pumpkin Soup</h2> <p>Did you know you can make a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/purewow/whole-roasted-pumpkin-sou_b_6087498.html">pumpkin soup</a> by roasting a whole pumpkin with the ingredients inside? Impress the whole dinner table with very little effort!</p> <h2>15. Corn Chowder</h2> <p>A fresh and <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/corn-chowder">delicious corn chowder</a> that is a cinch to make. This inexpensive recipe can be made with frozen corn if fresh isn't available.</p> <h2>16. Avocado Spinach Soup</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.mygourmetconnection.com/recipes/soups/avocado-spinach-soup.php">pretty green soup</a> that is smooth and creamy while still being healthy and light. The recipe only requires a couple of avocados, and the other ingredients are low cost. It can be served chilled or warm.</p> <h2>17. Tortellini Soup</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/tortellini-soup-with-spinach-and-tomatoes/">super quick soup</a> with prepared tortellini (from the fridge section), tomato, and spinach that's sure to please even picky eaters. It makes for a nice presentation with almost no effort.</p> <h2>18. Goulash</h2> <p>A thick and flavorful beef stew that tastes great over noodles. <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/01/goulash/">Homemade goulash</a> calls for affordable ground chuck and a few other ingredients, and comes together in a single pot. Be sure to scale this recipe down if you're not feeding a big group.</p> <h2>19. Potato Leek Soup</h2> <p>A classic <a href="https://yalesustainablefoodproject.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/fast-cheap-and-easy-potato-leek-soup/">potato leek soup</a> that also happens to be very inexpensive. Don't forget to add fun toppings like cheese, green onions, and bacon.</p> <h2>20. Carrot Ginger Soup</h2> <p>This healthy <a href="http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/carrot-ginger-soup">carrot ginger soup</a> has a light sweetness with a kick from the ginger. Just simmer the ingredients together, blend, and you have a beautiful dish that goes great with a salad or bread.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite cheap and easy soup recipes? Share a bowl in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-clean-eating-slow-cooker-recipes">8 Great Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap meals easy dinners quick meals soup recipes Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:00:04 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1347584 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vegetable-soup-pot-Dollarphotoclub_47198839.jpg" alt="vegetable soup" title="vegetable soup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a special place in my heart for meals that can be made in just one pot. Most of the recipes I've encountered take less than a half hour to come together. And the possibilities range from Mexican to Italian to Asian food favorites and beyond. Best of all: There's less cleanup. And isn't that something we're all striving to lean out during the busy work week?</p> <p>If you want to get into one pot cooking, I recommend purchasing a quality <a href="http://www.amazon.com:80url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;amp;field-keywords=5+quart+pot/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MQCOAY3KDQELD5NS">5-quart pot</a>. I like stainless steel or cast iron, but the material is up to you and your preference. We use our pot almost every day for recipes like these or boiling pasta, etc. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-to-pick-the-best-cookware-for-your-needs?ref=seealso">How to Pick the Best Cookware for Your Needs</a>)</p> <h2>1. Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>Beef up the nutrition of your go-to comfort dish quite literally. This <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/15/one-pot-chili-mac-cheese/">Chili Mac and Cheese</a> cooks in just one pot. You'll add ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to the noodles and cheese and let cook until melted. Vegetarians can also make this dish by using vegetable broth and omitting the meat or substituting something like TVP.</p> <h2>2. Farm Pot</h2> <p>I'm dreaming of when market season opens up again in our neck of the woods. This <a href="http://www.blessthismessplease.com/2014/09/farmstand-one-pot-wonder.html">Farm Stand One Pot Wonder</a> is made up of all the greatest CSA goodness. Combine potatoes, green beans, ham (or veggie substitute), broth, and onion. Cook for 25 minutes before topping with corn on the cob and steaming around 20 minutes more.</p> <h2>3. Tabbouleh Bread</h2> <p>My jaw dropped when I found this <a href="http://parsleysagesweet.com/2012/05/14/one-pot-tabbouleh-bread-and-part-11/">One Pot Tabbouleh Bread</a>. You actually mix, proof, and bake your bread all in one pot. This particular recipe goes beyond a basic loaf by adding all the yummy ingredients you'd find in tabbouleh (tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion). Then bake, slice, and enjoy amazing sandwiches.</p> <h2>4. Mexican Casserole</h2> <p>Rice, beans, bell pepper, onions, corn, tomatoes, cheese, herbs, and spices &mdash; all the vibrant flavors and textures you enjoy are in this <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/08/27/one-pot-mexican-rice-casserole/">Mexican Casserole</a>. Bonus: This dish takes around 30 minutes to make from start to finish and you'll have tasty leftovers for lunch the next day.</p> <h2>5. Salmon Curry</h2> <p>My husband eats a lot of seafood. I'm crazy-excited to try this <a href="http://www.culinarytribune.com/?p=29601">Salmon Coconut Curry</a>, which would take the guesswork out of cooking the fish for me. Add all ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a (covered) simmer for 17 minutes. Mix a few times before serving.</p> <h2>6. Red Wine Pasta</h2> <p>There are lots of one pot pasta meals, but this <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/10/one-pot-red-wine-pasta.html">Red Wine Pasta</a> particularly caught my interest. Use any kind of pasta you have, but fettuccine or spaghetti work wonderfully. The rest is onion, garlic, basil, veggie stock, seasonings, and &mdash; yes &mdash; two whole cups of your most beloved red wine.</p> <h2>7. Sunday Lunch</h2> <p>Though I'm vegetarian, I love the idea behind this <a href="http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/one-pot-sunday-lunch">Sunday Lunch</a> one pot meal. The weekends are busy, so it's nice to have something hearty cooking all on its own while you knock stuff off the to-do list. This particular mix features sausage, bacon, chicken thighs, and root vegetables. The leftovers would make fantastic lunches for the beginning of the week.</p> <h2>8. Parmesan Pasta</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/11/one-pot-garlic-parmesan-pasta/">Garlic Parmesan Pasta</a> in just one pot for a sauce that's a rich mixture of milk, broth, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Don't forget lots of garlic. And vegetarians can make this dish their own by using vegetable broth, soy or almond milk, and their favorite non-dairy butter substitute (I like Earth Balance).</p> <h2>9. Miso Meal</h2> <p>I used to think of miso soup as a side. But this one pot <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2011/09/hearty-one-pot-meal-miso-soup.html">Hearty Miso Meal</a> dish turns it into a full dinner the whole family can enjoy. The buckwheat soba noodles take center stage here, but the vegetable ingredients are flexible. The author suggests using what you have on hand versus going out and buying the specifics outlined in her recipe.</p> <h2>10. Stovetop Lasagna</h2> <p>You'll want to use oven-ready noodles in this <a href="http://www.yellowblissroad.com/one-pot-stovetop-lasanga/">One Pot Lasagna</a> recipe. First you'll cook your ground beef (or veggies, if you like). Then layer your sauce, noodles, and cheese, and let cook for around 20 minutes. Top with more cheese and serve while warm and bubbly.</p> <p><em>Do you love one pot meals as much as I do? What's your favorite recipe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink easy dinners one pot quick meals Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1320482 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Delicious Make-Ahead Salads http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-make-ahead-salads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-delicious-make-ahead-salads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chicken-salad-Dollarphotoclub_61069421.jpg" alt="chicken salad" title="chicken salad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feel like you should be eating more salad, but can't be bothered to get everything chopped and prepared every day? Luckily there are some delicious and nutritious salads that you can make days ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes?ref=seealso">10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a>)</p> <p>Spend just a few minutes on Sunday making a couple of these make-ahead salads, and you'll be a happy, healthy eater all week long.</p> <h2>1. Quinoa Salad</h2> <p>A take on tabbouleh salad, this <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/10/make-ahead-quinoa-salad-cucumber-tomato-parsley-mint-recipe.html">Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Tomato, and Herbs</a> is easy and healthy. A little prep, and you'll have a nutritious lunch that lasts five days in the fridge.</p> <h2>2. Spicy Chicken Salad</h2> <p>Use leftover chicken to throw together this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spicy-chicken-salad-recipe.html">simple salad with a kick</a>. Chopped jalapeno, red onion, red pepper, avocado, and scallions combine with a flavorful dressing to make a tasty dish. Add the avocado just before eating to prevent browning.</p> <h2>3. Israeli Couscous Salad</h2> <p>Israeli couscous is a fatter, plumper version of it's tiny counterpart. Just cook some up and add in cucumber, green onion, snap peas, parsley, and feta for a <a href="http://joythebaker.com/2011/07/green-israeli-couscous-salad/">fresh salad that lasts</a>. Swap out the vegetables to mix things up.</p> <h2>4. Moroccan Carrot Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad-with-spicy-lemon-dressing">crunchy salad with a kick</a> finally gives carrots a starring role. It lasts several days in the fridge and goes great with some arugula thrown in at the last minute. Be sure to scale this recipe down (it serves 20).</p> <h2>5. Asian Noodle Salad</h2> <p>You can't go wrong with a <a href="http://foxeslovelemons.com/asian-noodle-salad-jars/">make-ahead salad</a> that's pretty and delicious. Just cook the soba noodles and layer them with edamame, fresh veggies, peanut dressing, and crispy noodles in a mason jar and you have an easy to transport lunch.</p> <h2>6. Orzo Salad</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Orzo-Salad-with-Feta-Olives-and-Bell-Peppers-4562">quick salad</a> that uses a tiny rice-like pasta called orzo. Combine the cooked orzo with feta, olives, bell peppers, and an easy dressing, and you have a salad that will last a week in the fridge.</p> <h2>7. Asian Tuna Salad</h2> <p>A tasty take on the traditional mayo-laden <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/asian_tuna_salad/">tuna salad</a> that doesn't require cooking, serve this salad over lettuce or cooked, cold soba noodles. The recipe suggests storing the cilantro and chopped onion separately and sprinkling them on before eating.</p> <h2>8. Black Bean Salad</h2> <p>This very simple <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2010/08/black-bean-salad-with-corn-red-peppers-avocado-lime-cilantro-vinaigrette.html">Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette</a> takes longer to say than it does to make. It's a great flavor combination, and it tastes better the longer it sits.</p> <h2>9. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad</h2> <p>A <a href="https://dashingdish.com/recipe/mediterranean-chickpea-salad/">chickpea salad</a> featuring cucumber, feta, tomato, bell pepper, olives, and a fresh vinaigrette that takes mere minutes to prepare and no cooking needed! Store the dressing separately until the day of eating.</p> <h2>10. Chicken Salad With Grapes</h2> <p>Whip up a lighter version of <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Salad-with-Grapes-and-Walnuts-358017">chicken salad</a> made with yogurt, grapes, walnuts, and capers and serve it over fresh greens for a well-rounded meal.</p> <h2>11. Beet and Barley Salad</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-riff-golden-beet-and-ba-88567">This salad</a> takes a little work in the kitchen, but if you can find the time, it makes for a delicious dish. Roast the beets and cook the barley and chard before tossing with a lemon dressing and feta cheese. It keeps for about a week in the fridge.</p> <h2>12. Spring Pea and Romaine Salad</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.simplebites.net/crunch-crunch-a-week-of-make-ahead-spring-salads-in-jars/">fresh green salad</a> with spring peas, creamy feta, crunchy cucumber, and zesty radishes that comes together in about five minutes. It can be layered in jars for easy transportation.</p> <h2>13. Rainbow Slaw Salad</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/rainbow-slaw-salad/cb5b88d0-b382-4f29-94c8-33b7890e095c">crunchy salad</a> with a rainbow of veggies and a light but flavorful vinaigrette. It actually tastes better the next day, so it's perfect for meal planning. Add some grilled chicken and it becomes a raw &quot;stir fry.&quot;</p> <h2>14. Egg Salad</h2> <p>Need a high-protein lunch that you can make ahead? A <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30681-egg-salad">classic egg salad</a> with a little mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, and celery will do the trick. Serve it over crisp greens with crackers.</p> <h2>15. Roasted Broccoli Pasta Salad</h2> <p>This tasty <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/313208/pasta-salad-with-roasted-broccoli">pasta salad</a> with roasted broccoli and red pepper is made even easier if you have leftover cooked pasta or veggies to use up. Throw in the walnuts just before serving.</p> <h2>16. Kale Salad</h2> <p>Try a crunchy, healthy <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/kale-salad-with-root-vegetables-and-apple">kale and apple salad</a> that you can dress the day before. Massage the kale leaves with vinegar and salt to tenderize them a bit before topping with a fresh-tasting vinaigrette.</p> <h2>17. Burrito Bowl Salad</h2> <p>A protein-packed dish like this <a href="http://www.strictlydelicious.com/burrito-bowl-mason-jar-salads/">Burrito Bowl Salad</a> is sure to be a lunchtime hit. It takes a little prep work, but when stored in mason jars, this salad will last for a few lunches. It features chicken, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, and bacon.</p> <h2>18. Chickpea and Farro Salad</h2> <p>This easy <a href="http://cookieandkate.com/2014/mason-jar-chickpea-farro-and-greens-salad/">chickpea salad</a> has protein and whole grains that will keep you going until sundown. It packs great as a lunch and pairs well with fish.</p> <h2>19. Chopped Brown Rice Salad</h2> <p>A great way to use leftover brown rice, this <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-chopped-brown-rice-salad-with-grapes-and-pecans-recipes-from-the-kitchn-190988">chopped salad</a> has the tang of fresh grapes and the crunch of nuts. Be sure to read the notes after the recipe &mdash; store ingredients in separate containers, and feel free to add some protein.</p> <h2>20. Mediterranean Tuna Salad</h2> <p>Not your typical <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/mediterranean-tuna-salad">tuna salad</a>, this recipe is packed with flavor. Just combine tuna with artichoke hearts, bell pepper, olives, red onion, herbs, and garlic &mdash; no cooking required!</p> <p><em>Do you make make-ahead salads part of your lunch routine? What are your favorites?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-make-ahead-salads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price">The Best and Worst Nuts, by Nutrition and Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink healthy eating make ahead quick meals salad Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:00:30 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1284843 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Delicious Freeze-Ahead Dinners for Busy Fall Weeknights http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-freeze-ahead-dinners-for-busy-fall-weeknights <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-delicious-freeze-ahead-dinners-for-busy-fall-weeknights" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/quesadilla-179218531-small.jpg" alt="quesadilla" title="quesadilla" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fall is the busy season in my house. School is back in session, work is in full swing, and dinners are difficult to craft quickly each evening. The solution? Freezing! I am a huge fan of freezing delicious, nutritious dinners ahead of time for quick reheating and minimal cleanup.</p> <p>If you're feeling ambitious, try a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk cooking weekend</a> to make a month's worth of meals (or more!) at once. You'll not only save yourself some time in the long run, but you'll likely save some major money by using up all your ingredients with little waste. Our comprehensive guide linked above has you covered from start to finish. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us?ref=seealso">The Five-Day Freeze: Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us</a>)</p> <p>If you'd rather dip your toe in the waters, here are some fantastic, frugal recipes to try in your kitchen this week.</p> <h2>1. Stuffed Acorn Squash</h2> <p>This <a href="http://onceamonthmeals.com/stuffed-acorn-squash/">Stuffed Acorn Squash</a> is both freezable and <a href="http://whole30.com/">Whole 30</a> approved. To make, slice squash in half and bake while you cook the carrot and beef mixture on your stovetop. Then combine the two components, place in foil baking dishes, label, and freeze.</p> <h2>2. Veggie Burgers</h2> <p>Stop buying burgers at the store and try this bulk <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/09/vegetable-burgers-in-bulk-frozen.html">Veggie Burger</a> recipe at home. Just cut all ingredients into small bits and combine using your hands in a large bowl. Shape into patties and freeze on a baking sheet. Then transfer to freezer bags.</p> <h2>3. Chicken Taquitos</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.seededatthetable.com/2010/02/22/baked-creamy-chicken-taquitos/">Chicken Taquitos</a> are bursting with flavor. Mix all the filling ingredients together and roll into your flour tortilla. Like the veggie burger recipe above, freeze flat on a baking sheet. Store in labeled freezer bags.</p> <h2>4. Lasagna Roll-Ups</h2> <p>If you love the Pioneer Woman, you'll love her <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2014/05/lasagna-rollups/">Lasagna Roll-Ups</a>. The best part? They're totally freeze-friendly. Mix together the pasta filling, simmer the sauce, and cook the pasta. Then assemble and freeze before the final baking step.</p> <h2>5. Pumpkin Chili</h2> <p>This hearty <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/10/new-and-improved-pumpkin-chili-recipe.html">Pumpkin Chili</a> is perfect for fall. I make a double batch and freeze each month to serve with homemade cornbread. Just make the soup following the directions &mdash; don't forget the pumpkin puree &mdash; and then pour into freezer bags or jars (leaving room for expansion).</p> <h2>6. Pizza Dough</h2> <p>Make pizza nights easy (and skip last-minute takeout) with this freezer <a href="http://brownsugartoast.com/fill-up-your-freezer-series-freezable-pizza-dough/">Pizza Dough</a>. You'll need to thaw at room temperature for at least four hours. Then bake as normal and top with whatever cheese and vegetables and proteins you need to use up.</p> <h2>7. Manicotti</h2> <p>Pasta freezes famously well, so this <a href="http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/freezer-meal-recipes-the-best-manicotti/">Best Ever Manicotti</a> recipe is sure to please your crowd whether you eat it immediately or five months down the line. If you're really strapped for time, consider skipping the from-scratch sauce and subbing in your favorite store bought version.</p> <h2>8. Calzones</h2> <p>This step-by-step <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-calzones-and-freez-151276">Freezer Calzones</a> recipe looks simple enough. If you can resist eating them right away, let cool completely before wrapping each in plastic wrap and storing in a labeled freezer bag.</p> <h2>9. Meatballs</h2> <p>Heating up pasta and topping with sauce is simple enough, so why not create the meatballs ahead of time? This <a href="http://www.cleverlysimple.com/easy-meatball-recipe/#_a5y_p=1210619">Easy Meatball Recipe</a> can be doubled or tripled to make a quick protein to accompany your weeknight meals for months to come.</p> <h2>10. Quesadillas</h2> <p>Make a bunch of <a href="http://www.atimetofreeze.com/freezer-quesadillas/">Freezer Quesadillas</a> in different varieties to add a lively punch to your evenings. Try chicken, pizza, or black bean quesadillas and then freeze in wax paper to keep them from sticking. Transfer to freezer bags.</p> <p><em>How do you manage dinner on busy fall weeknights? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-freeze-ahead-dinners-for-busy-fall-weeknights">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink easy dinner freeze ahead dinner freeze ahead meals quick meals Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1218887 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stir-fry-cooking-87469726-small.jpg" alt="stir-fry cooking" title="stir-fry cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the fastest, cheapest meals I make on a regular basis is the stir-fry. As a vegetarian, it's a great way to get a big dose of vegetables and protein in one convenient pan. Meat eaters, too, can get their fill of healthy foods in just about 20 minutes. And the best part? There's little clean-up when you're done cooking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">10 Tricks To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <p>So check out these 10 fantastic stir-fries that will have you eating more and scrubbing less.</p> <h2>1. Chicken and Broccoli</h2> <p>The most delectable part of this <a href="http://www.cookingminette.com/2013/01/chicken-and-broccoli-stir-fry-20-minute-meals.html">Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry</a> is the marinade, which features ginger, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and lemon zest. If you're not into meat, you can always substitute your favorite protein, like fried tofu. (The same trick applies to any non-vegetarian recipes that follow &mdash; and vice versa.)</p> <h2>2. Blackened Shrimp</h2> <p>Onions and peppers make up the veggies in this tasty <a href="http://sweetcsdesigns.com/20-minute-blackened-shrimp-stir-fry/">Blackened Shrimp Stir-Fry</a>. The seasoning is a hefty dose of Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seafood Magic. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, try this <a href="http://recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_0/2014/APR/87893.html">copycat recipe</a> that contains several common herbs and spices with a spicy kick of paprika.</p> <h2>3. Thai Peanut</h2> <p>One of my favorite meals is this delicious <a href="http://veggieandthebeastfeast.com/2013/09/17/simple-thai-peanut-noodle-stir-fry-and-exciting-news/">Thai Peanut Stir-Fry</a> with fresh veggies atop brown rice noodles. The sauce is made extra thick and creamy with full fat coconut milk. Don't skimp on the sprouts &mdash; they give the dish a nice crunch.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Fajita</h2> <p>Part stir-fry, part salad, this <a href="http://www.auntbeesrecipes.com/2014/07/stir-fry-chicken-fajita-salad.html">Chicken Fajita Salad</a> is ready in just 20 minutes. It's a healthy twist on this Tex-Mex favorite, complete with liquid smoke for extra flair. I'd use black beans in this recipe for some solid vegetarian protein.</p> <h2>5. Almond Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/almond-vegetable-stir-fry">Almond Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> recipe is simple yet complexly flavorful. You'll notice that cornstarch is a key ingredient in the sauce, which is meant to give the dish thicker texture and also a more vibrant color. You can also substitute in arrowroot powder at an equal ratio.</p> <h2>6. Indian Style</h2> <p>I adore Indian food, and this <a href="http://yummilyyours.com/vegetable-jalfrezi/">Vegetable Jalfrezi</a> recipe looks authentic without the fuss. The author claims this recipe takes 25 minutes to make from start to finish, but I imagine if you're in a pinch, you can cut off 5 minutes or more if you chop veggies in bulk at the beginning of the week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend?ref=seealso">Save Time and Money with a Monthly Assembly Cooking Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>7. Easy Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://greatist.com/health/vegetable-stir-fry-healthy-recipe">Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> is so fresh, it might just make your regular meal rotation. If you have a garden or CSA farm share for the growing season, you can always substitute in whatever you have in your fridge for the other vegetables in this recipe.</p> <h2>8. Fig, Apple, and Pear</h2> <p>Fruit for dinner? Yes! This <a href="http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fig-apple-and-chicken-stir-fry">Fig, Apple, and Chicken Stir-Fry</a> can be cooked in 20 minutes flat if you're smart with your preparation. The fruit only takes three minutes to cook, so the rest is in getting that chicken done. Cutting it into small chunks from the start should help.</p> <h2>9. Sumptuous Steak</h2> <p>I love the mix of vegetables that accompany this <a href="http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=3324">Steak Stir-Fry</a>. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and even edamame. Don't have all these on hand? No problem &mdash; use what you've got! And one of my favorite tricks for quick meals like these is using frozen mixes of veggies. They always stay good and require zero prepping before being tossed into the pan. Many also contain those more traditional blends of stir-fry vegetable favorites.</p> <h2>A Frozen Veggie Secret</h2> <p>And if you'd like to skip the marked-up frozen veggie packages at the store and make your own, <a href="http://www.frugalfamilyhome.com/food/freezer-cooking/make-frozen-stir-fry-packages">this method</a> is the way to go. Chop up vegetables and then blanch them before cooling to freeze in plastic zip bags. Take advantage of in-season vegetables or whatever is on sale to make your custom mix. Then enjoy dinners in a flash whenever the days get busy. With back-to-school just around the corner, I think we all need a trick like this in our back pockets.</p> <p><em>Do you have any favorite go to stir-fry recipes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-foods-for-everyday-italian-cooking">4 Low-Cost Foods for Everyday Italian Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink easy meals quick meals recipes stir-fry vegetarian Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1193087 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-178766539.jpg" alt="smoothie" title="smoothie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We cram a lot into our days, and there's no more hectic time than morning. Between hitting snooze, working out, getting ourselves (and kids) ready for work (and school), and all other sorts of random responsibilities &mdash; it's no wonder an estimated <a href="https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/pr_111011b/">31 million Americans</a> skip breakfast each day. By now, I'm sure most of us have heard that omitting the morning meal can make <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/most-important-meal">weight control difficult</a>, along with a host of issues, like increased risk of <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20130722/skipping-breakfast-a-recipe-for-heart-disease-study-finds">heart disease</a>.</p> <p>If you fall into the skippers category, there's no better time to change than today. I've combed the Internet to find the 15 fastest, most portable breakfasts that are perfect post-workout or just as fuel for your busy day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts?ref=seealso">Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait</h2> <p>This <a href="http://backtoherroots.com/2011/02/17/my-favorite-snacks-packable-fruit-and-yogurt-parfait/">Packable Fruit and Yogurt Parfait</a> is as gorgeous as it is healthy. Just rinse out a Mason jar and fill it with your favorite seasonal fruits, granola, and lowfat Greek yogurt for added protein (17 grams per cup), and you'll be set for the day.</p> <h2>2. Overnight Oats</h2> <p>If you'd prefer to fix and forget your breakfast, try this <a href="http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/06/skinny-overnight-oats-in-jar.html?m=1">Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar</a> recipe. You can use any milk you prefer (I like almond) and don't forget those chia seeds. They're a good source of <a href="http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html">omega-3 fatty acids</a>, beating even flax, and help keep you full.</p> <h2>3. Mini Quiches</h2> <p>Eggs are always an excellent choice post-workout because they're inexpensive and good for you. Try making a batch of these <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Crustless-Mini-Quiches-366969">Crustless Mini Quiches</a> to enjoy several days of grab-and-go breakfast. They can be eaten hot or cold.</p> <h2>4. Western Omelets</h2> <p>Another genius muffin tin recipe, these <a href="http://thehealthyfoodie.com/portable-western-omelettes/">Western Omelets</a> are suitable for those of you on the Paleo diet. Plus, who doesn't love a good wrap of bacon?</p> <h2>5. Eggs in a Mug</h2> <p>If you think ahead, you can stock a few eggs, sprinkle of cheese, etc. in the fridge at the office and pop them in your coffee mug (make sure it's clean!) to have a piping hot breakfast at your desk. Yup &mdash; it's that simple with <a href="http://kareninthekitchen.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/eggs-in-a-mug/">Eggs in a Mug</a>.</p> <h2>6. Breakfast Egg Rolls</h2> <p>I'm smitten with this idea to make <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/on-the-go-breakfast-egg-rolls-283051/">Breakfast Egg Rolls</a>. If you're unfamiliar, egg roll wrappers can be found in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.</p> <h2>7. Make-Ahead Smoothies</h2> <p>Set up your blender and pop in one of these <a href="http://www.allthingstarget.com/2012/04/04/make-your-own-pre-package-smoothie-mixes/">Make-Ahead Smoothie Mixes</a> before heading out the door. Without having to fumble around in your fridge, you can make a satisfying beverage in just minutes. (And it costs much less than the store-bought version of this same concept.)</p> <h2>8. Banana Dog</h2> <p>I don't know why I didn't think of this one! <a href="http://spoonful.com/recipes/banana-dog">Banana dogs</a>: Use leftover hot dog buns (whole wheat is best), slap a banana inside with some peanut butter and a squeeze of jam. I could also see making a delicious loaded version with other fresh fruit, chia and flax, and almond butter.</p> <h2>9. PBJ Rollup</h2> <p>This next one &mdash; the <a href="http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-7/">PBJ Rollup</a> &mdash; is labeled as a school lunch. However, I think we can all agree that peanut butter, jelly, banana, and granola sounds just as delicious for a quick and easy breakfast on the go.</p> <h2>10. Mason Jar Pancakes</h2> <p>Use your favorite pancake mix (a whole grain version will keep you fuller, longer), and try out these <a href="http://themamasgirls.com/microwave-mason-jar-pancakes/">Mason Jar Pancakes</a>. The recipe says to serve with syrup &mdash; but if you want to avoid a sugar crash, use fruit and nut butter instead.</p> <h2>11. Microwave Muffins</h2> <p>If you'd rather craft something more homemade, try <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/06/hearty-pecan-chip-micro-muffins.html">Microwave Muffins</a>. They are customizable, so you can go fancy or simple on the spectrum. If you'd like to make them on the regular, consider mixing up the dry ingredients ahead of time and storing in an airtight container.</p> <h2>12. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches</h2> <p>You can buy all sorts of prepared foods, but making your own is way healthier. Take these <a href="http://www.eatcakefordinner.net/2013/11/homemade-freezer-breakfast-sandwiches.html">Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches</a>, for example. They have all the flavor of their store-bought counterparts with much more wholesome goodness.</p> <h2>13. Freezer Breakfast Burritos</h2> <p>Same concept applies with these <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/05/freezer-friendly-breakfast-burritos.html">Freezer Breakfast Burritos</a>. You can use eggs, cheese, and meat &mdash; whatever you have. I'd love to try making them with a mix of beans, rice, and veggies for a vegan twist.</p> <h2>14. Retooled Muffins</h2> <p>If you're looking for energy, it's best to avoid breakfasts that are high in sugar. Unfortunately, many muffins fall into this category. However, these <a href="http://www.playfulcooking.com/cakes-cupcakes-muffins/savory-quinoa-breakfast-muffins-guest-post-for-vijitha-spices-and-aroma/">Quinoa Breakfast Muffins</a> are a great, savory alternative.</p> <h2>15. Energy Bars</h2> <p>Paired with fruit and even yogurt, an energy bar can make a solid, quick breakfast. We have you covered with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">20 tasty energy bar recipes</a> that won't break the bank. There's something for everyone, and I love making foods in bulk for easy grabbing!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite healthy breakfast on the go? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts">Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty breakfast on the go quick meals Tue, 20 May 2014 09:00:37 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1139914 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-177432103.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is lazy the correct word? We're all so rushed these days; it's probably more apt to say &quot;25 Healthy Recipes for Normal People!&quot; But whether you're short on time or just want a few more hours to spend with the kids, the pets, a good book, or your favorite TV show, these recipes can be made quickly and easily. And they're just as good for your health as they are your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <p>Let's start with the most rushed meal of the day.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-140094090-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>Breakfast</h2> <p>They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, it doesn't have to be the most time-consuming. In fact, these little wonders can be prepared in minutes, and they're way better for you than a bowl of cereal or a pre-packaged granola bar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">Make-Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h3>1. Southwestern Egg and Bean Wrap</h3> <p>The beans are optional in this quick <a href="http://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-Southwestern-Egg-and-Bean-Wraps-5199.html">breakfast wrap</a>, and if you're counting calories you can always remove them (or another ingredient of your choice). At only 245 calories though, it's filling and delicious.</p> <h3>2. Kale Egg Bake</h3> <p>The buzzword of the moment seems to be kale. It's everywhere, and with good reason. It's versatile (try making kale chips; even the kids love them), and it's full of flavor. This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Baked-egg-and-kale-cups-364788">baked egg and kale dish</a> is very easy to prepare, and if you make several you can reheat them for days after. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-with-kale-easy-recipes-for-real-people?ref=seealso">Easy Kale Recipes</a>)</p> <h3>3. Quinoa Breakfast Bake</h3> <p>Quinoa for breakfast? Sure, why not? And this <a href="http://greatist.com/health/quinoa-breakfast-bake-healthy-recipe">breakfast quinoa recipe</a> is actually more like oatmeal, flavored with cinnamon, allspice, maple syrup, and berries. Very simple to make, it bakes for an hour (it'll be ready right after you finish the Sunday crossword), and it is delicious. Leftovers taste even better.</p> <h3>4. Quick Breakfast Burrito</h3> <p>Mmmm, burritos. They are up there with sandwiches as a very versatile and easy-to-make meal. Fill them with fruits, meats, vegetables&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;you name it. This </span><a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quick-breakfast-burritos-10000001911261/" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">breakfast burrito recipe</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"> calls for the traditional blend of eggs, tomatoes, and chilis. And it's delicious.</span></p> <h3>5. Egg in a Frame</h3> <p><a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=718467">Egg in a Frame</a> was introduced to me by my wife when I first moved to America, and I had a hard time believing it had taken me 26 years to try it. It's also one of the simplest breakfasts to cook, and you can vary the recipe by adding a little bacon, spinach, or different types of bread. You can even use raisin bread for a sweet and salty treat.</p> <h3>6. Bacon and Apple Fast Wrap</h3> <p>This <a href="http://ca.askmen.com/sports/galleries/10-minute-meals-10.html">very quick and easy breakfast wrap</a> uses bacon, cheese, and a whole wheat tortilla. You can also vary the ingredients, substituting or adding avocado, lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-easy-breakfasts-for-people-on-the-go?ref=seealso">Easy Breakfasts for People on the Go</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-476416107-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Lunch</h2> <p>Forget the fast-food trap&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;it's loaded with calories and costs can really add up if you go daily. Most of these can be prepared at home quickly and easily.</span></p> <h3>7. Apple Curry Turkey Pita</h3> <p>Anything with curry in it gets my vote. In fact, did you know that curry has the same addictive qualities as chocolate, and releases the same endorphins? Try this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-curry-turkey-pita/">curried turkey with apple</a> for a sweet and tangy lunch. Add a little mango chutney for extra sweetness.</p> <h3>8. Shrimp-Filled Sweet Potato</h3> <p>This recipe for a <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001046787,00.html">baked sweet potato</a> contains as much protein as four slices of turkey breast. But the flavor far exceeds anything turkey could ever bring to the table, thanks to the kielbasa and tangy shrimp. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/45-special-sweet-potato-dishes?ref=seealso">45 Sweet Potato Dishes</a>)</p> <h3>9. Chicken Satay</h3> <p>What's better than meat on sticks? Well, some would say meat in a cone, but I think sticks have it beat. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chicken-satay-recipe.html">Chicken Satay</a> is delicious, very easy to make, and low in calories.</p> <h3>10. Spicy Couscous Soup</h3> <p>More Indian flavors come to the party, this time in a vegetarian dish that takes little preparation and cooking time. As with most Indian food, the flavors are bold and complex, but the recipe isn't. Enjoy this <a href="http://vegetarian.about.com/od/soupssalads/r/spicedcouscous.htm">very filling soup</a> that's low in calories</p> <h3>11. Chili-Spiced Salmon Salad</h3> <p>Make use of your blender or food processor to whiz up a <a href="http://recipes.menshealth.com/Recipe/chili-spiced-salmon-salad.aspx">tasty sauce for this salad</a>, which can be assembled in minutes. And the flavors are well worth it.</p> <h3>12. Whole-Wheat Chicken Panini</h3> <p>At 570 calories per serving, this <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Chicken-salad-panini-297180">chicken panini</a> proves that tasty food doesn't have to be fattening. If you don't have a panini press, you can get the same results from a hot pan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-panini-presses?ref=seealso">Best Panini Presses</a>)</p> <h3>13. Prosciutto and Fig Panini</h3> <p>The wonderfully complex but complementary flavors in this <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/prosciutto-fontina-fig-panini-10000001895945/">lunch panini</a> are well worth the shopping trip. You will need to pick up Fontina cheese and the best prosciutto you can find, but your taste buds (and your waistline) will thank you. And all it takes is 10 minutes.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-476009523-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Dinner</h2> <p>It's probably the trickiest meal of the day to prepare. Everyone's home, and everyone's got different tastes (especially the kiddos). These ideas should keep even the fussiest family members happy and healthy. Some of these recipes are for one person, so increase according to servings required. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-dinner-party-dishes-you-can-make-in-advance?ref=seealso">Easy Make-Ahead Dinner Party Dishes</a>)</p> <h3>14. Chicken Florentine</h3> <p>This delicious and <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-and-healthy-chicken-florentine/">healthy version of the classic chicken Florentine</a> dish takes a little time, but it's not complicated at all. And when you're done, you will hardly believe this can be good for you.</p> <h3>15. No-Bake Macaroni and Cheese</h3> <p>Who needs the hassle of baking a mac 'n' cheese dish? This <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/no_bake_macaroni_cheese.html">simple crowd-pleaser</a> takes just 25 minutes to create, and it's both healthy and delicious. The addition of broccoli gives it a more well-rounded flavor than traditional mac 'n' cheese, but the kids should be fine with it. After all, everything's covered in a tasty cheese sauce.</p> <h3>16. Turkey Chili</h3> <p>Chili is all about good spices and long simmering. Although this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-healthy-turkey-chili/">turkey chili</a> is ready in just thirty minutes, if you want the best flavors, let it simmer on low for a few hours.</p> <h3>17. Healthy Chicken Nuggets and Blackberry-Mustard Sauce</h3> <p>You don't have to feel guilty about serving up chicken nuggets. These <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_nuggets_blackberry_mustard.html">chicken nuggets</a> are not deep-fried, but simply flipped in a pan with a little hot oil. And the cornmeal gives them a great crunch!</p> <h3>18. Creamy Avocado Pasta</h3> <p>You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can throw together a <a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/">tasty pasta dish</a> &mdash; just 15 minutes, a little over the time it makes to boil the pasta! And the results are worth sharing.</p> <h3>19. Zesty Stir-Fried Shrimp</h3> <p>The reduced fat and reduced salt ingredients in this <a href="http://www.sunkist.com/recipes/zesty-stir-fry-shrimp-and-vegetables_1093.aspx">zesty stir-fried shrimp recipe</a> keep it healthy, but the tangy lemons and shrimp keep it a treat for the tastebuds. It's easy and impressive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/70-scrumptious-shrimp-recipes?ref=seealso">70 Shrimp Recipes</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-178714431-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Dessert</h2> <p>Finally, dessert. Many of these recipes are also low calorie, so you can splurge a little. And thankfully, these ideas are also just as good for your body as well as your hectic schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-single-serving-fake-desserts?ref=seealso">Single-Serving &quot;Fake&quot; Desserts</a>)</p> <h3>20. Cantaloupe Granita</h3> <p>If you're looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream, this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cantaloupe-Granita-232509">cantaloupe granita</a> is perfect. It takes about an hour to set, but only requires about 10 minutes of actual work.</p> <h3>21. Light Peach Parfait</h3> <p>Take just 10 minutes out of your busy day to prepare a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/brookes-light-and-lovely-peach-parfaits-recipe.html">dessert parfait</a> everyone will love. Make sure you use fresh peaches (grilled really makes a difference, too) and fat free topping.</p> <h3>22. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries</h3> <p>A favorite around Valentine's Day, there is no reason not to enjoy this <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/strawberries_dipped_in_chocolate.html">decadent little treat</a> after any meal. As the main ingredient is fresh strawberries, you're being good to yourself, too.</p> <h3>23. Instant Apple Crisp</h3> <p>Rolled oats are the secret to this family favorite. But unlike traditional apple crisp, this <a href="http://www.eatlifewhole.com/2012/11/healthy-apple-crisp-under-10-minutes/">quick apple crisp</a> will take just 10 minutes and won't be a guilty pleasure.</p> <h3>24. Baby Tiramisu</h3> <p>It's not often you see the word <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/baby_tiramis.html">tiramisu</a> on a list of quick and/or healthy desserts, but this one is the exception to the rule. It takes just 15 minutes to make, and it's delicious.</p> <h3>25. Instant Rice Pudding</h3> <p>Well, instant may be a strong word, but it's very quick. The addition of fresh fruit and the smart use of cooked rice (use brown for an even healthier version) makes this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/instant-rice-pudding-with-cinnamon-cardamom-and-blueberries-recipe.html">rice pudding</a> a winner.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite easy, healthy dishes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-5-ingredient-recipes-that-save-time-and-money">25 Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes That Save Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fuel-up-your-kids-frugally">Fuel Up Your Kids -- Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less">9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty cheap recipes easy meals healthy meals quick meals Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:36:46 +0000 Paul Michael 1133368 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-5054071-small.jpg" alt="burritos" title="burritos" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, freezer-to-microwave burritos, those tubular temptresses that deliver easy satisfaction with the added thrill of wondering if you will freeze or burn your tongue with every bite. My children would live on them if I let them, and to be honest, I love a good microwaved burrito myself &mdash; especially on days that I exercise the discipline to wait until the heat has evenly distributed and avoid burning my mouth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microwaves">Top 5 Microwaves</a>)</p> <p>However, as a <a href="http://www.frugalisticmom.com/">frugal mom</a>, I&#39;ve avoided buying pre-made frozen burritos unless I could combine a coupon and sale. As cheap as these goodies can be, making food at home is almost always cheaper &mdash; and healthier.</p> <p>Luckily for the kids and me, lately I&#39;ve noticed that homemade frozen burrito recipes are everywhere online. True, most of the recipes posted by bloggers who are into freezer cooking are not exactly authentic Mexican street fare &mdash; you won&#39;t find much in the way of carnitas, tripe, or carne asada on the ingredient lists. But once you absorb these cooks&#39; basic methods for stuffing, wrapping, and freezing, you can swap in the ingredients of your choice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-phenomenally-frugal-single-serving-freezer-meals">15 Frugal Single-Serving Freezer Meals</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 posts and articles that helped me reach my own personal freezer burrito heaven.</p> <h2>1. Money Saving Mom&#39;s Freezer-Friendly Brown Bag Burritos</h2> <p>I thought <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/05/4-weeks-to-fill-your-freezer-brown-bag-burritos-day-7.html">these burritos would be stored and baked in a brown bag</a>, but according to <a href="http://amysfinerthings.com/brown-bag-burritos">Amy&#39;s Finer Things</a>, which also posted the recipe, they get their name from the idea that they&#39;d be great to pack for a cold lunch. (No thanks, I&#39;ll stick to heating mine up.) I like this recipe because it looks a bit spicy, and because the paper towel/foil wraps look like a good way to avoid freezer burn.</p> <h2>2. Shutterbean&#39;s Freezer Burritos</h2> <p>This post has great tips on how to <a href="http://www.shutterbean.com/2009/make-your-own-freezer-burritos/">work with the tortillas to make them wrap nicely</a>. With two kinds of beans, rice, and other goodies, these burritos would have a nice textural variety with low-cost ingredients. Personally, though, I would not add the greek yogurt/hot sauce into the burrito before freezing, because I don&#39;t think that would taste good when the burritos are heated. It would make a great dipping sauce, though.</p> <h2>3. Mel&#39;s Kitchen Cafe Super Bean Burritos (or Freezer Beef and Bean Burritos)</h2> <p>I like the spices used in these two recipes to keep things from getting boring: <a href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/01/super-bean-burritos.html">Super Bean Burritos</a> and <a href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2013/08/freezer-beef-and-bean-burritos.html">Freezer Beef and Bean</a>. These posts have good instructions on how to freeze the burritos. First lay them on a baking sheet in the freezer, unwrapped, then remove after half an hour to wrap in plastic wrap, then store wrapped burritos in a large freezer bag. The pre-freeze is supposed to prevent the burritos from falling apart while you wrap them.</p> <h2>4. Unconventional Kitchen&#39;s Five Different Frozen Burritos</h2> <p>My kids would be happy with plain refried bean burritos, but mama likes variety. So I flipped when I read that <a href="http://www.unconventionalkitchen.com/day-2-freezer-session-5-different-frozen-burritos/">Unconventional Kitchen whipped up five different burritos</a> for the freezer in one morning &mdash; before church! Fajita chicken burritos,sweet potato black bean burritos, butternut squash burritos, salsa chicken and brown rice burritos, and a curry wrap. This post made me realize that you can pretty much throw any old leftovers in your fridge into a tortilla and call it a wrap &mdash; as long as you use a good combination of moist and dry ingredients that taste good together. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fancy-ways-to-use-leftover-food">8 Fancy Ways to Use Leftovers</a>)</p> <h2>5. Andrea Dekker&#39;s Freezer-Friendly Burritos</h2> <p>This would be one of the quickest recipes to whip up, because it gets its punch from a jar of salsa and packets of taco seasoning. I like how <a href="http://andreadekker.com/freezer-friendly-burritos/">Andrea spreads the refried beans</a> thin all over the inside of the tortilla to glue the thing together.</p> <h2>6. Macheesmo&#39;s the Homemade Trials: Frozen Burritos</h2> <p>This post answers the nagging question that always occurs to me when I&#39;m elbow-deep in a supposedly-money-saving project and my phone rings and one of my kids gets hurt and also I spill something hot on my toe: Is this really worth it?</p> <p>In the case of frozen burritos, it turns out, making at home delivers a pretty large cost savings compared to buying a nice, big, high-end frozen burrito like those sold by Amy&#39;s.</p> <p>The recipe looks good too, but the best part of <a href="http://www.macheesmo.com/2012/03/the-homemade-trials-frozen-burritos/">this post is that Macheesmo does the math for us</a>.</p> <h2>7. Vegan Freezer Burritos From The Runner&#39;s Plate</h2> <p>Of course, a plain bean burrito is perfectly vegan if the beans aren&#39;t cooked in lard, but why be boring? <a href="http://therunnersplate.com/2013/04/30/vegan-freezer-burritos/">This recipe includes potatoes, carrots and onions</a>, and sounds delicious and nutritious. You drizzle a spicy vegan &quot;cheese&quot; sauce over everything before wrapping them up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Vegan Grocery List</a>)</p> <h2>8. Goodness Gracious&#39; Breakfast Freezer Burritos</h2> <p>When do you need the convenience of a <a href="http://goodenessgracious.com/2011/10/breakfast-freezer-burritos.html">freeze-and-go meal more than at breakfast time</a>? The ingredients are what you expect &mdash; but I loved learning how to cook two dozen scrambled eggs easily in the oven, and I like the idea of only wrapping these in just paper towels, no foil, so they&#39;re ready to microwave as soon as you take them out of the freezer bag. The foil, however, might provide a little more protection against frost.</p> <h2>9. Reluctant Entertainer&#39;s Chicken and Quinoa Burritos</h2> <p>With a pre-cooked <a href="http://reluctantentertainer.com/2013/07/recipes-for-chicken-burritos/">rotisserie chicken and grains from the rice cooker</a>, these burritos can be thrown together very quickly.</p> <h2>10. The Oregonian&#39;s Vegetable-Heavy Freezer Burritos</h2> <p>Not only does it pack a nutritional punch with kale, broccoli and sweet potatoes, but <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_detail.html?id=7865">this recipe has great, specific instructions</a> on how to use freezer paper and tape to keep the burritos freezer-safe.</p> <p>For any of these recipes, check out <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/freezer-friendly-conquering-the-frozen-wrap-167542">TheKitchn&#39;s system for protecting wraps from freezer burn and reheating them</a>.</p> <p>Does all this cooking, stuffing, wrapping and freezing sound like too much work? You can always fall back on the freezer aisle. This amusing post from <a href="http://www.fromaway.com/observations/a-detailed-discussion-and-comparative-analysis-of-sketchy-frozen-burritos">From Away: Cooking and Eating in Maine compares 13 &quot;sketchy&quot; frozen burritos</a>. The post also shares a bit of wisdom worth carrying over from store-bought frozen burritos to homemade ones: Although it&#39;s quicker to microwave them, baking a frozen burrito for about 30 minutes will have better, more even results.</p> <p><em>What&#39;s your favorite frozen burrito recipe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-vs-frozen-5-dinner-comparisons">Fresh vs. Frozen: 5 Dinner Comparisons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink burritos cheap recipes frozen burritos frozen food quick meals Thu, 10 Oct 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1002511 at http://www.wisebread.com One Recipe, Lots of Food: 10 Great Main Dish Casseroles http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_casserole.jpg" alt="Woman cooking" title="Woman cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a time when the word &quot;casserole&quot; mostly made me think of less-than-appetizing options, like the dreaded tuna-noodle. But over the years, I have learned to love casseroles &mdash; they are easy to make, are often inexpensive, are simple to put together, and provide lots of delicious leftovers perfect for fridge or freezer. So if you're also ready to fall in love with these delicious, oven-warm dishes, check out the casserole recipes below. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-ahead-food-10-things-to-cook-on-a-sunday">Make-Ahead Food:&nbsp;10 Things to&nbsp;Cook on a Sunday</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lasagna</h2> <p>I think it would be fair to call lasagna the most ubiquitous of all casseroles. Try this <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/lasagna/">classic lasagna</a> from&nbsp;Simply Recipes, a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-noodle-zucchini-lasagna/">no-noodle lasagna</a> that replaces pasta with zucchini, or one of these <a href="http://www.messyvegetariancook.com/2009/12/15/vegan-lasagne-recipe-roundup/">vegetarian and vegan lasagnas</a>.</p> <h2>2. Mexican Casserole</h2> <p>Ah, the Mexican casserole. At its most basic, it's usually a combination of tortillas, meat or beans, and Mexican spices. But I've seen it take many variations, like this one with <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Favorite-Mexican-Casserole-107199">fresh cilantro and crush tortilla chips</a> or this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/burrito-pie/detail.aspx">burrito pie</a>.</p> <h2>3. Vegetable Casserole With Tofu Topping</h2> <p>Packed full of vegetables and topped with protein-rich tofu, this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Vegetable-Casserole-with-Tofu-Topping-109451">vegetable casserole</a> is a healthy option.</p> <h2>4. Cajun Shrimp Casserole</h2> <p>Tuna isn't the only <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seafood-on-the-cheap">seafood</a> that can get the casserole treatment. This <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cajun-shrimp-casserole-10000001108225/">Cajun shrimp casserole</a> from Southern Living pairs shrimp with a variety of bell peppers, rice, and spices. The recipe also includes acceptable substitutions, including using frozen vegetables instead of fresh.</p> <h2>5. Dairy-Free Chicken Casserole</h2> <p>One thing I will say about casseroles &mdash; they tend to have an awful lot of cheese. But this highly rated <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/dairy-free-chicken-casserole-140107">dairy-free chicken casserole</a> packs in flavor with spices while skipping the milk products.</p> <h2>6. Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding</h2> <p>Bread pudding &mdash; sweet or savory &mdash; is one of my greatest weaknesses. My mother and I made this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Butternut-Squash-and-Cheddar-Bread-Pudding-355792">butternut squash, kale, and cheddar bread pudding</a> as a vegetarian main for Christmas one year. It was tasty and filling, and would also make a great casserole for a dinner party.</p> <h2>7. Lentil Casserole</h2> <p>My aunt Mich's recipe for lentil casserole was a dinnertime staple when I was growing up.</p> <ul> <li>1 package lentils, rinsed</li> <li>2 cups diced canned tomatoes</li> <li>2 large onions, diced</li> <li>1 bay leaf</li> <li>2 tsp salt</li> <li>1/4 tsp pepper</li> <li>1/8 tsp each marjoram, sage, and thyme</li> <li>2 large carrots, sliced</li> <li>1 1/2 cups celery, sliced</li> <li>1 green pepper, diced</li> <li>2 tbsp parsley, chopped</li> <li>3 cups shredded cheddar cheese</li> </ul> <p>Combine the first seven ingredients with two cups of water in a 9&quot;x13&quot; casserole pan. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, and stir in carrots and celery. Cover and bake for another 40 minutes. Uncover and stir in green pepper and parsley. Top with shredded cheddar. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.</p> <h2>8. Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole</h2> <p>Over at 101 Cookbooks, Heidi purposefully goes light on the cheese in this <a href="http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/almost-cheeseless-pasta-casserole-recipe.html">pasta casserole</a>, which is full of flavor thanks to well-chosen ingredients like fresh mint, feta, and kalamata olives.</p> <h2>9. Shepherd's Pie</h2> <p>Here's another great one from Simply Recipes &mdash; <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_shepherds_pie/">Shepherd's Pie</a>. As many of the commenters on this recipe mention, you can easily pump up this classic dish with more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">vegetables</a>.</p> <h2>10. Macaroni and Cheese</h2> <p>OK, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this&nbsp; delicious, ubiquitous casserole. Increase the health factor a little bit with a recipe like Country Living's <a href="http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/roasted-vegetable-mac-cheese-recipes">roasted vegetable mac and cheese</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite casseroles? Share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts">Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fancy-ways-to-use-leftover-food">8 Fancy Ways to Use Leftover Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes casseroles leftovers quick meals Mon, 02 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Meg Favreau 915073 at http://www.wisebread.com Oodles of Noodles: 25 Ways to Prepare Pasta http://www.wisebread.com/oodles-of-noodles-25-ways-to-prepare-pasta <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/oodles-of-noodles-25-ways-to-prepare-pasta" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating_pasta_2_0.jpg" alt="Woman eating pasta" title="Woman eating pasta" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pasta is one of the most versatile ingredients in your pantry. It can be whipped up in a couple of minutes for a quick weeknight meal, or it can be elegantly prepared for a dinner party. It's perfect for potlucks, can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, and tastes great microwaved the next day. I've divided this collection of pasta recipes into different sections &mdash; Quick and Easy, International, Classic Pasta Dishes, Impressive Dinners, and Up for a Challenge? &mdash; for easy reference.</p> <h2>Quick and Easy</h2> <p>A friend of mine who is a mother of four takes this easy shortcut to making dinner &mdash; at the beginning of the week, she boils up a big pot of pasta, drains it, and stores it in a large container in the fridge. During the week, whenever she needs a quick meal (emergencies happen when you&rsquo;ve got four kids), she whips up a sauce to serve with the pasta, stirs in some frozen spinach, and calls it a meal. Pasta dishes are the easiest main dishes to cook in a flash, especially if the pasta&rsquo;s already done. Most of the below recipes serve two to three, so double if cooking for a family.</p> <p><strong>1. Spinach, Ham, and Artichoke Pasta</strong></p> <p>In a little olive oil, sauté 2 handfuls of baby spinach and 3 slices of ham until warmed through and spinach is beginning to wilt. Add a few spoonfuls of artichoke antipasto (or tapenade, or prepared pesto) and 2-3 cups cooked penne, and stir until heated through. Add a couple tablespoons of water if sauce is too thick. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.</p> <p><strong>2. Stovetop Tuna Casserole</strong></p> <p>In a large pan, heat a can of Campbell&rsquo;s Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup, stirring until smooth and creamy. Add a drained can of tuna and 1 cup of frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, and corn). Cook until veggies are thawed and heated through. Add 3 cups of cooked ziti, penne, or other large pasta, and stir into sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with grated Parmesan.</p> <p><strong>3. Pasta Primavera</strong></p> <p>In a tablespoon of olive oil, sauté 1 thinly sliced zucchini, 1 bell pepper, and &frac12; cup frozen peas with a clove of minced garlic until cooked through. Add 2 handfuls of baby spinach and cook until they begin to wilt. Add a jar of marinara sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook until sauce is heated through. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.</p> <p><strong>4. Black Pepper Chicken Pasta</strong></p> <p>This Asian-inspired pasta is easy and quick to make. Sauté &frac12; chopped onion until softened, then add 1 diced chicken breast and 1 sliced zucchini. Cook until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is softened. Add 2 heaping tablespoons Lee Kum Kee Black Pepper Sauce (available in the Asian grocery aisle) and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Mix well until sauce coats chicken and vegetables. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over cooked spaghetti.</p> <p><strong>5. Quick and Easy Couscous Tabbouleh</strong></p> <p>Couscous is one of the easiest pastas in the world to make &mdash; no cooking required! And it truly is a pasta, made of semolina flour, NOT a grain. For this quick salad, dice up 1 English cucumber and 2 tomatoes and place in a large bowl. In a separate, heat-proof bowl, mix together &frac12; cup whole-wheat couscous and &frac12; cup boiling water. Let couscous sit for five minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Let couscous cool while whisking together a vinaigrette of 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and 1 teaspoon dried basil or parsley. Toss together cooked couscous, vegetables, and some of vinaigrette to taste; adjust seasonings. Serve with a grilled chicken breast or other protein.</p> <p><strong>6. Cheater&rsquo;s Chicken Pho</strong></p> <p>Pho, the quintessential Vietnamese rice noodle soup, typically takes hours to make when you&rsquo;re simmering the stock. This quick version of chicken pho takes all of 15 minutes. Simply soften the rice noodles in hot water, and then add them to pre-bought chicken stock doctored up with five-spice powder, lime juice, fish sauce, and shredded rotisserie chicken.</p> <p><strong>7. Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta</strong></p> <p>Cook &frac12; pound penne in a large pot of water. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. In a skillet over low heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, and the zest and juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small). Mix together until sauce is bubbling &mdash; add a little pasta water if sauce is too thick. Add &frac12; cup of chopped fresh basil and the penne, and toss together until ricotta sauce coats pasta. Serve!</p> <h2>International</h2> <p>Pasta and noodle dishes from around the world can add variety to your repertoire.</p> <p><strong>8. Mango-Shrimp Summer Rolls</strong></p> <p>Pasta goes light with these <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mango-Shrimp-Summer-Rolls-108091">Vietnamese summer rolls</a>: vegetables, rice noodles, shrimp, and mango wrapped up in rice-paper rounds.</p> <p><strong>9. Egg-Topped Soba Noodles With Asparagus and Prosciutto</strong></p> <p>Soba, Japanese buckwheat noodles, are the delicious and healthy base for this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Egg-Topped-Soba-Noodles-with-Asparagus-and-Prosciutto-357234">egg-topped noodle dish</a>, which combines crisp asparagus and savory prosciutto with the creaminess of a fried egg. A delicious easy lunch or weeknight dinner recipe!</p> <p><strong>10. Chinese Fried Noodles</strong></p> <p>My mom used to make this fried noodle dish for a quick Saturday lunch. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, &frac12; cup chicken broth, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over med-high heat. Stir-fry 1 sliced bell pepper, a cup of thinly sliced broccoli or cauliflower, and 2 cloves garlic until cooked through. Add 1 tomato, sliced into wedges, and cook until beginning to soften. Push vegetables to side of pan and add 2 beaten eggs. Scramble until cooked through. Add &frac12; package cooked, drained spaghetti and toss with vegetables and eggs. Add the sauce you mixed earlier and stir the whole thing together until hot and coated with sauce. Taste for seasonings and serve.</p> <p><strong>11. Singapore Curry Noodles</strong></p> <p>Classic <a href="http://chinesefood.about.com/od/noodles/r/singaporenoodle.htm">Singapore rice noodles</a> are fried with yellow curry and various vegetables. The rice noodles are easily cooked by soaking in warm water, and then all you have to do is stir-fry the rest of the ingredients for an easy curry dish.</p> <h2>Classic Pasta Dishes</h2> <p>Sometimes you just crave those comforting classics.</p> <p><strong>12. Prize-Winning Noodle Kugel</strong></p> <p>Sweet pudding and pasta in one? Yes, please! This honey-sweetened <a href="http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2008/09/24/prize_winning_noodle_kugel/">noodle kugel recipe</a> reportedly won first prize at the Yiddishkayt Festival in Los Angeles, so it must be delicious as well as authentic.</p> <p><strong>13. Spaghetti Bolognese</strong></p> <p>My sister&rsquo;s fabulous mother-in-law shares this recipe for <a href="http://foodrepublik.com/auntie-vals-bolognese/">spaghetti Bolognese</a>, with a delicious, slightly sweet sauce simmered with olives and bay leaves for a hearty, stew-like texture.</p> <p><strong>14. Eggplant Lasagne With Parsley Pesto</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Eggplant-Lasagne-with-Parsley-Pesto-108733">white lasagna</a> is made with vegetables and a béchamel sauce instead of a traditional meat sauce, but it&rsquo;s just as tasty and provides a nice alternative for vegetarians. You can substitute a prepared basil pesto instead of the parsley pesto to make this recipe a little faster to put together.</p> <p><strong>15. Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad</strong></p> <p>A good <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cherry_tomato_orzo_salad/">orzo salad</a> is an essential dish for parties and potlucks. This one includes sweet cherry tomatoes, feta, and a light vinaigrette. Simple and sweet.</p> <p><strong>16. Beef Stroganoff</strong></p> <p>A good friend of mine makes this excellent Beef Stroganoff. The finishing touch is plenty of fresh dill. Brown 2 pounds of stew beef in a hot skillet in a little olive oil. Remove meat from pan. Add 2 onions in chunks and cook over medium heat until beginning to soften. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and add the meat back into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup and 2 tablespoons sweet barbecue sauce. Pour in enough beef broth or water to just cover the chunks of meat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1&frac12; hours. Add 1 pound sliced mushrooms and simmer another half-hour. Add chopped fresh dill to taste, and serve over egg noodles.</p> <p><strong>17. Baked Ziti</strong></p> <p>Sausage baked with tomato sauce, cheese, and pasta in this comforting <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/baked_ziti/">baked ziti</a> casserole is perfect for a filling meal or for bringing to a potluck. You can even make this ahead of time and freeze it for those nights when you don&rsquo;t feel like cooking.</p> <h2>Impressive Dinners</h2> <p>Pasta can be an impressive main course, even at a formal dinner, when paired with the right ingredients.</p> <p><strong>18. Linguine With Clams</strong></p> <p>This easy <a href="http://momofukufor2.com/2010/08/mario-batalis-linguine-with-clams-recipe/">clam pasta</a> with a tomato-parsley sauce is surprisingly easy to make. Just steam the clams open with tomatoes and herbs, and toss the liquid with the pasta. You&rsquo;ll impress your dinner guests, but you&rsquo;ll still have time to sit down with them and enjoy the company.</p> <p><strong>19. Lobster Mac and Cheese</strong></p> <p>If this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lobster-mac-and-cheese-recipe/index.html">lobster mac and cheese</a> is good enough for the Barefoot Contessa&rsquo;s guests, it&rsquo;s sure to be elegant for your dinner party. Bring up the luxe factor of classic macaroni and cheese by adding silky lobster meat and then baking the pasta in individual gratin dishes topped with breadcrumbs and cheese.</p> <p><strong>20. Chianti-Braised Chicken Thighs on Egg Noodles</strong></p> <p>When in doubt, add wine. These <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chianti-Braised-Stuffed-Chicken-Thighs-on-Egg-Noodles-106217">stuffed chicken thighs</a> are a classy company meal, served on top of egg noodles and accompanied with a good bottle of Chianti. This recipe isn&rsquo;t difficult, but it does take time, so you might want to save it for impressing the in-laws.</p> <p><strong>21. Baked Manicotti With Sausage and Peas</strong></p> <p>More elegant than lasagna but simple to put together, this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/baked-manicotti-with-sausage-and-peas-recipe/index.html">baked manicotti</a> can be prepared and then left to cook in the oven while you entertain your guests.</p> <h2>Up for a Challenge?</h2> <p>Yes, dried pasta from a package is easy and delicious, but making your own pasta from scratch really kicks things up a notch. The following recipes are for those who like to experiment in the kitchen, but the recipes really aren&rsquo;t that difficult to master. You&rsquo;ll feel an immense sense of accomplishment when you taste your own gnocchi, spaetzle, and other pasta.</p> <p><strong>22. Basic Gnocchi</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/04/saved-by-a-grater/">basic gnocchi</a> recipe from Smitten Kitchen is an easy place to start if you&rsquo;re not experienced making pasta. Gnocchi are dumplings that are basically composed of mashed potatoes mixed with flour, so they&rsquo;re pretty simple to make.</p> <p><strong>23. Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts</strong></p> <p>When this recipe for <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sweet-Potato-Gnocchi-with-Fried-Sage-and-Shaved-Chestnuts-355415">sweet potato gnocchi</a> appeared in Gourmet magazine in 2009, it spawned a plethora of inspired blog posts around the Internet as home cooks tried &mdash; and loved &mdash; the flavorful, pillowy gnocchi. This recipe is a bit of a process, but the results are rewarding in the end.</p> <p><strong>24. Homemade Trofie al Pesto</strong></p> <p><a href="http://orangette.blogspot.com/2005/08/trofie-al-pesto-with-drama-and.html">Trofie</a> is a rustic handmade pasta from the Ligurian coast of Italy, and it doesn&rsquo;t need to be rolled out with a pasta machine. All you need are your hands, some flour, salt, and water, and you can make this pasta. And if your pasta turns out looking like little worms rather than rustic corkscrews, it&rsquo;ll still taste delicious.</p> <p><strong>25. Homemade Ravioli</strong></p> <p>Learn how to make your own ravioli with this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Making-Ravioli/Detail.aspx">ravioli tutorial</a> from AllRecipes. Or you could take a short-cut and use pre-made wonton wrappers to wrap up mixtures of ricotta and spinach, butternut squash, mashed green peas, and other easy ravioli fillings.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite pasta recipe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oodles-of-noodles-25-ways-to-prepare-pasta">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-vs-frozen-5-dinner-comparisons">Fresh vs. Frozen: 5 Dinner Comparisons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap dinner recipes pasta quick meals Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:36:33 +0000 Camilla Cheung 818250 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rotisserie_chicken.jpg" alt="Men with rotisserie chickens" title="Men with rotisserie chickens" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A rotisserie chicken is a busy cook's best friend. Whether you get yours from the farmers market or from your local grocery store, nothing beats being able to have dinner on the table in about five minutes. When simple roast chicken gets boring, you can save time by using the precooked chicken in various recipes. Read on for a big list of recipes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-easy-to-freeze-meals">5 Awesome, Easy-to-Freeze Meals</a>)</p> <h3>1. Enchiladas</h3> <p>Cottage cheese lightens up these <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/cottage-cheese-chicken-enchiladas/detail.aspx">chicken enchiladas</a> and gives them extra flavor. They feed a crowd and are sure to become a new favorite.</p> <h3>2. Chicken and Wild Rice Salad</h3> <p>This simple <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/recipe-chicken-wild-rice-salad-136457">chicken and wild rice salad</a> is easy and nutritious, with almonds for crunch and grapes for extra sweetness.&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Pho</h3> <p>The classic Vietnamese rice noodle soup, <a href="http://foodrepublik.com/cheaters-chicken-pho/">chicken pho</a>, is super easy to make with pre-cooked chicken and canned chicken broth.</p> <h3>4. Fried Rice</h3> <p>Use up leftover chicken and vegetables in this simple <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/01/chicken-fried-rice-recipe.html">chicken fried rice</a> dish.</p> <h3>5. Chicken Pasta</h3> <p>A quick pasta dish is a lifesaver for busy families everywhere. Steam some vegetables and combine them with cooked chicken, pasta, and your favorite jarred pesto or pasta sauce.</p> <h3>6. Chicken Salad Sandwiches</h3> <p>Make a delicious sandwich for lunch the next day with this <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chicken_salad_with_tarragon/">chicken salad</a> flavored with tarragon.&nbsp;</p> <h3>7. Chicken and Vegetable Soup</h3> <p>Simmer leftover vegetables, rotisserie chicken, and chicken stock together for a quick and satisfying <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Hearty-Chicken-Vegetable-Soup-107411">chicken soup</a>. Throw some noodles in for extra heartiness.</p> <h3>8. Pasta Salad</h3> <p><a href="http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/bistro-chicken-pasta-salad-53126.aspx">Chicken pasta salad</a> is an easy dish for potlucks and picnics. Mix cooked chicken and raw vegetables with cooked pasta, and add vinaigrette or other salad dressing.</p> <h3>9. Chicken and Apple Quesadillas</h3> <p>Kids love quesadillas, especially when apples add a bit of sweetness and crunch to these <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/apple_chicken_quesadilla/">apple chicken quesadillas</a>.</p> <h3>10. Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich</h3> <p>Make a quick version of this grilled <a href="http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/grilled-chicken-recipe">chicken and pineapple sandwich</a> by subbing shredded rotisserie chicken for the grilled chicken. Doused in teriyaki sauce and served with a juicy slice of pineapple, this Hawaiian chicken sandwich is sure to please.</p> <h3>11. Chicken, Jicama, and Mango Salad</h3> <p>Lean chicken can be an excellent part of a low-fat diet. Try this naturally low-fat <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-mango-jicama-salad-with-tequila-lime-vinaigrette-10000001591056/">chicken and jicama salad</a> that is as delicious as it is healthy.</p> <h3>12. Chicken and White Bean Chili</h3> <p>Lighten up a classic chili by making it with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-and-White-Bean-Chili-107492">chicken and white beans</a> instead of the usual ground beef.</p> <h3>13. Pot Pie</h3> <p>There are few things as comforting as a hearty <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-and-Fall-Vegetable-Pot-Pie-102378">chicken pot pie</a>, which is easy to make when you've got pre-cooked chicken.&nbsp;</p> <h3>14. Chicken à la King</h3> <p><a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-a-la-King-233531">Chicken à la King</a>&nbsp;is smothered with creamy sherry-laced sauce and mushrooms and served over a slice of toast.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Chicken Tetrazzini</h3> <p>Rotisserie chicken and store-bought alfredo sauce are two shortcuts that make this <a href="http://family.go.com/food/recipe-636348-quick-chicken-tetrazzini-t/">chicken tetrazzini</a> ready in a flash.</p> <h3>16. Cobb Salad</h3> <p>Keep things fresh with a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cobb-salad-balsamic-vinaigrette-10000001736075/index.html">chicken cobb salad</a>, a perfect entree salad that is healthy and satisfying.</p> <h3>17. Chicken Curry</h3> <p>Yes, <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-curry-hurry-10000001586856/index.html">chicken curry</a>, usually a recipe that requires several steps, can be quick and simple when you have pre-cooked chicken. Serve this savory yellow curry over steamed rice.&nbsp;</p> <h3>18. Sesame Noodle Salad</h3> <p>This classic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/sesame-noodles-with-chicken-recipe/index.html">Asian noodle salad</a> combines shredded chicken, cold sesame noodles, and a delicious peanut sauce for a unique twist on pasta salad.</p> <h3>19. Empanadas</h3> <p>These <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chicken-empanadas-recipe/index.html">chicken empanadas</a> look impressive, but they&rsquo;re surprisingly easy to make with rotisserie chicken and store-bought pastry dough.</p> <h3>20. Chicken Tortilla Soup</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing like a hot bowl of comforting, spicy <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/01/chicken-tortilla-soup/">chicken tortilla soup</a> on a rainy day.</p> <h3>21. BBQ Chicken Pizza</h3> <p>Dress up some store-bought pizza dough with barbecue sauce, shredded chicken, and your choice of toppings.</p> <h3>22. Chicken Caesar Wraps</h3> <p>Throw cooked chicken, romaine lettuce, and a drizzle of low-fat Caesar <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-money-saving-healthy-homemade-salad-dressings">dressing</a> into a flour tortilla or wrap for a quick and healthy lunch.</p> <h3>23. Curried Chicken Salad</h3> <p>Classic sweet and spicy <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/curried-chicken-salad-10000000682914/">curry chicken salad</a> is perfect when stuffed into a pita with some shredded lettuce.</p> <h3>24. Chicken Lettuce Wraps</h3> <p>These savory <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/p-f-changs-chicken-lettuce-wraps-15865">chicken lettuce wraps</a> are a great way to avoid carbs, especially when topped with P.F. Chang&rsquo;s &ldquo;special sauce.&rdquo;</p> <h3>25. Chicken Stock</h3> <p>When the meat is gone from your rotisserie chicken, try using the leftover bones for stock. Simmer the chicken carcass with about five quarts of water and carrots, onions, leeks, parsnips, celery, or whatever <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">vegetables you have lying around</a>, along with a couple of bay leaves for about two hours. Freeze the stock for later, or use immediately.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts">Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">One Recipe, Lots of Food: 10 Great Main Dish Casseroles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes chicken chicken recipes easy recipes quick meals rotisserie chicken Tue, 11 Oct 2011 10:24:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 739167 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-5336068-small.jpg" alt="woman eating sandwich" title="woman eating sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know how difficult it is just to get out the door in the morning (though it can be easier if you know how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">wake up fast and attack the day</a>), so it's no surprise that preparing lunch often falls by the wayside. Make bringing lunch &mdash; or preparing it at work &mdash; easier by using one of these 25 trouble-free and tasty ideas.</p> <h2>Sandwiches</h2> <p>Sandwiches are the epitome of an uncomplicated lunch, but they don't have to be boring. Use ingredients from last night's dinner in innovative ways to bring new life to those two slices of bread. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">The 5 Best Bread Machines</a>)</p> <p><strong>1. Chicken Salad Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-chicken-salad-sandwich-1362532-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Dice or shred leftover chicken with celery or pickles (both are delicious), mix with mayonnaise or ranch dressing, and add a Kaiser roll, and you've got one delicious, easy lunch.</p> <p><strong>2. Meatball Sub</strong></p> <p>This is one of my all-time easiest lunches. Anytime I have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, I reserve three to five meatballs and some sauce for lunch the next day. After dinner, I cut a French baguette in half, layer on meatballs on sauce, and go to bed. That <em>is</em> the easiest lunch ever, right?</p> <p><strong>3. Italian Sub</strong></p> <p>The classic Italian sub is both practical and delectable. Start yours with a good foundation of a French or sourdough sub roll, and layer on salami, provolone, lettuce, and add Italian dressing. Done! You can spice up your sub with the addition of pepperoncini, roasted red pepper, or even artichoke hearts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">Sex Up Your Sandwich</a>)</p> <p><strong>4. Philly Cheese Steak</strong></p> <p>Being a new resident of Philadelphia, I had to add this one to the list. Make your own, super-easy version of this old favorite by sautéing half a white onion and half a bell pepper in 1 tbsp of butter until the onion is translucent. Mix in leftover steak and heat. Put the filling on a hoagie roll and top with provolone cheese (or, like the real cheese steak, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NMGC4C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006NMGC4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Cheese Whiz</a>). What's that you say? No leftover steak? No problem &mdash; just use sliced roast beef deli meat for an easy alternative, like <a href="http://hillshirefarm.com/recipes/philly-cheese-steak-sandwich.aspx">Hillshire Farm</a> recommends.</p> <p><strong>5. Tasty Turkey Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-turkey-sandwich-1932401-small.jpg" /></p> <p>We've all probably had a turkey sandwich greet us for lunch at some point in our lives. Dress up your turkey with this <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/garden-turkey-sandwich-lemon-mayo">turkey sandwich recipe</a> from Good Housekeeping. It gets a lift from fresh lemony mayo and spinach greens.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p>Pasta is a lunchtime staple because it's easy to combine the three main components of any pasta dish &mdash; noodles, sauce, and a protein or veggies &mdash; in countless ways to create delectable new lunches.</p> <p><strong>6. Pasta Frittata</strong></p> <p>Almost everyone eats spaghetti, but not everyone enjoys eating leftover pasta the next day. Transform leftover spaghetti noodles into a tasty pasta frittata by adding six eggs and &frac14; cup milk to one cup of leftover spaghetti or fettuccine noodles and cooking on medium heat in a skillet for about five minutes. Add about two cups of cheese (any kind will do), and broil the frittata until the eggs are set and the cheese is golden brown. For a more fancy version, try this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/egg-pasta-frittata-recipe/index.html">frittata recipe</a> from Rachel Ray.</p> <p><strong>7. Easy Pasta Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-pasta-salad-4158989-small.jpg" /></p> <p>I love pasta salad, not only because it's delicious, but also because it's easy to make and easy to eat on the go. The most economical way to make past salad is, of course, with leftovers &mdash; use pasta, veggies from another dish, and cheese (cubed or grated), then toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and spices. You can also add in a protein for an even more filling salad. My personal favorites are cubed chicken, shrimp, or pepperoni.</p> <p><strong>8. Shrimp and Orzo</strong></p> <p>Orzo (that small, rice-shaped pasta) is wonderful eaten both hot and cold. I make a lunch version by cooking &frac14; pound orzo the night before and throwing in &frac14; pound pre-cooked shrimp, &frac12; cup feta cheese, &frac12; of a chopped cucumber, and some cherry tomatoes. Toss all the ingredients with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and chill. Mmmm, mmmm good!</p> <h2>Random Lunches</h2> <p>For those people who refuse to be boxed into a neat category, try a lunch recipe that refuses to do the same. Decide for yourself which most suits your unique personality.</p> <p><strong>9. Pinwheels</strong></p> <p>This staple at office food days and parties is easy, cheap, and can be made with a tortilla and just about any filling your heart desires. One of my go-to favorites is cream cheese and turkey, but if you're looking for some inspiration, try a few of these ideas from the <a href="http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/pack-pinwheels-for-a-fun-lunch/">Williams-Sonoma Blog.</a></p> <p><strong>10. Mediterranean Pita Pocket</strong></p> <p>In my humble opinion, the pita pocket is second only to sliced bread when it comes to making a variety of lunch items. I personally love a Mediterranean-inspired version, which involves stuffing a pita with lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, and Kalamata olives and topping with Greek yogurt and cucumber (a quasi-tzaziki sauce, if you will). You could substitute the yogurt and cucumber with hummus, too.</p> <p><strong>11. Quinoa Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quinoa-salad-5273480-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Quinoa, a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds, is a good source of protein, amino acids, and calcium. It is also, by the way, gluten free. Quinoa can be a perfect lunch staple because it is so healthy and easy to make. Try making your own quinoa salad by cooking two cups chicken broth with one cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Add cooked broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Enjoy!</p> <h2>Mexican-Inspired Fare</h2> <p>The tortilla is Mexico's answer to the sandwich. Endlessly versatile, inexpensive, and tasty, tortillas can be filled and folded in innumerable ways. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <p><strong>12. Black Bean and Corn Burrito</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-burritos-5009998-small.jpg" /></p> <p>What could be easier than opening a can of beans and a can of corn, and folding into a burrito? I make these tasty lunches by using one can of black beans and one can of corn (rinse before using); adding an avocado, red onion, and cilantro; and mixing with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Pile the filling on a flour tortilla, <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2126935_fold-burrito.html">fold burrito-style</a>, and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>13. Taco Salad</strong></p> <p>OK, this one does not call for a tortilla like the other lunches in this category, but it's equally versatile. I'm not a huge fan of leftover ground beef (personal choice, I guess), so I leave that out when making a super-easy taco salad for lunch. Instead, I substitute black beans. I pack beans and salsa separately from shredded iceberg lettuce and cheese. Also separately, I pack a nice lime vinaigrette (2 tbsp lime, 4 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper). Come lunchtime, my lunch is still fresh and appetizing.</p> <p><strong>14. Omelet Burrito</strong></p> <p>Take a portable, protein-filled lunch by wrapping your omelet in a tortilla. Cook three eggs in a skillet, adding cheese, veggies, and ham as desired. Fill a tortilla, fold burrito-style, and wrap in wax paper until ready to eat. I especially love to eat this one when I'm feeling under the weather &mdash; maybe because having breakfast for lunch is also a pick-me-up.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L10SK3-12-Inch-Pre-Seasoned-Skillet/dp/B00006JSUB?tag=seealso-20">Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet at Amazon</a>)</p> <p><strong>15. Chicken, Apple, and Cheese Quesadilla</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quesadillas-4187670-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you have leftover chicken from last night's dinner, use some of it to make this easy lunch. Place &frac12; cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella is my personal favorite, although cheddar works fine too) on a tortilla, add chicken and apple, and top with another &frac14; cup of cheese. Add another tortilla on top and microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice and eat.</p> <h2>Old Favorites</h2> <p>Just because you grew up doesn't mean your lunch has to &mdash; as far as the basics, that is. Below are some of the best of classic lunches from our childhood, dressed up in work-appropriate form.</p> <p><strong>16. PB&amp;J</strong></p> <p>What's not to like about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">peanut butter and jelly sandwiches</a> of our youth? They are the epitome of cheap, easy, and tasty. If you feel that you need your PB&amp;J to grow up with you, try preparing a gourmet version, with almond butter, peach raspberry preserves, and sliced sourdough bread. You can get creative in other ways, too, like with <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/peanut-butter-and-jelly-sushi-rolls/detail.aspx">PB&amp;J &quot;sushi&quot; rolls</a>.</p> <p><strong>17. Macaroni and Cheese</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="452" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mac-n-cheese-4054850-small.jpg" /></p> <p>It doesn't have to come from a box to be easy and cheap! Try making this easy <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-stove-top-macaroni-and-cheese-60350">stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe</a> the night before and taking it along for lunch. I also like to add a protein to my mac, like chicken, shrimp, or sliced Italian sausage.</p> <p><strong>18. Hot Dogs</strong></p> <p>Try making these childhood favorites easier to eat at the office by wrapping them in croissant rolls. Buy refrigerated croissant rolls at the grocery store, and unwrap one of the triangular squares. Add a shredded cheese of your choice and a hot dog, roll up, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350&deg;F for 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.</p> <p><strong>19. Ramen Noodles</strong></p> <p>This staple of college dorm pantries is also an easy and cheap lunch option for grown-ups. For an exhaustive list of things to do with ramen noodles, check out the appropriately named book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586857355/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1586857355&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles</em></a>. For a quick lunch without the tutorial, simply add 1 cup of fresh or frozen veggies of your choice and &frac12; cup alfredo or pasta sauce to ramen noodles. Cook according to noodle directions, but only add &frac12; of the seasoning included &mdash; that's where all the sodium is.</p> <p><strong>20. Grown-Up Lunchables</strong></p> <p>A typical Lunchables package is filled with crackers, cheese, and meat. Pack your own version with whole-wheat crackers, cubed or sliced cheeses, and deli meat. Add some hardy fruit that's easy to eat on the go (like sliced apples, grapes, or clementines), and you've got a balanced lunch for cheap.</p> <p><strong>21. Mini-Pizzas</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mini-pizza-4720219-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Spread some tomato sauce on an English muffin, add cheese, top with pepperoni or chicken, and broil until the cheese bubbles. These delicious bites are easy to take with you on the go and just as easy to make. You can also try variations on the theme, like chicken alfredo pizza (alfredo sauce), barbeque chicken pizza (barbeque sauce), or buffalo chicken pizza (with butter and hot sauce).</p> <h2>Soups</h2> <p>Soups are great lunches for a number of reasons: They won't make you feel full enough to put you to sleep mid-afternoon, they're generally healthy, and they are almost always economical to make. Here are a few that are particularly well suited to lunchtime.</p> <p><strong>22. Cheddar Beer Soup</strong></p> <p>Who couldn't use a drink at the office? Get your fix with a hearty cheese soup enlivened with a splash 'o beer. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/cheddar-beer-soup-recipe/index.html">cheddar-beer soup recipe</a> takes only 15 minutes to make and requires only five ingredients. Make it the night before (or even the morning of), take along, and heat for lunch.</p> <p><strong>23. Sweet Corn Soup</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://divya-dilse.blogspot.com/2008/07/sweet-corn-soup.html">sweet corn soup recipe</a> is delicious, nutritious, and (bonus!) can be made in the microwave, making it officially one of the easiest soup recipes around. I highly recommend it for a chilly fall day.</p> <p><strong>24. Gazpacho</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-gazpacho-5226004-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Gazpacho, or cold tomato soup, was originally invented to avoid using the stove on a hot summer day. Make it any time of year for an easy lunch using this simple <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gazpacho/">gazpacho recipe</a>. Add some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">croutons</a> or a crusty baguette, and you're set!</p> <p><strong>25. Cannellini Bean and Tomato Soup</strong></p> <p>Here's another one that is über-simple to make ahead or even in the microwave at work, if you have one. Empty one can of cannellini beans (plus liquid) and one can of spaghetti or marinara sauce into a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for three minutes. Let sit for one minute before removing. Dress it up with Parmesan cheese and bacon if desired, and enjoy with some croutons.</p> <p>So there's the big list of 25 quick and cheap lunch ideas. Was there anything I left out, or do you have a variation on a theme? Share your thoughts in the comments!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash">10 Quick Bread and Biscuit Recipes That Bake in a Flash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bread cheap lunch ideas easy lunch ideas easy recipes lunch box lunch ideas quick meals Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Janey Osterlind 731740 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_eating_breakfast.jpg" alt="Woman eating breakfast" title="Woman eating breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="139" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m not a morning person, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean I skip breakfast. Because I am slow-moving in the a.m., though, I don&rsquo;t like to take a lot of time to eat before launching my day. So, I have discovered some quick-to-fix, simple-to-eat breakfasts that are nutritious and cheap, ranging in price from 50 cents to a couple of bucks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Here are ideas for the morning meal.</p> <h2>Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies</h2> <p>My mainstay smoothie is made with bananas, blueberries, yogurt, orange juice, and milled flax seed of variable quantities, blended to drinkable form in a blender. By keeping peeled bananas and blueberries in my freezer and the remaining ingredients in the refrigerator, I always have a fast breakfast at my fingertips.</p> <p>Alter the recipe for your preferences (or mood) using this basic formula:</p> <ul> <li>1 1/2 cups of fruit, fresh or frozen: banana, blueberries, pineapple, mango, strawberries, raspberries, etc.</li> <li>3/4 cup dairy or dairy-like substance: plain or flavored yogurt, ice cream, sherbet, milk, soymilk.</li> <li>3/4 cup juice: orange juice, apple juice, or juice blend.</li> <li>2 tbsp of add-ins: milled flax seed, whey protein, wheat germ, antioxidant powder, etc.</li> </ul> <p>This breakfast has been great for pre-workout or pre-race meals as well as recovery snacks (I store a glass of leftover smoothie in the refrigerator). To make an ultra-frugal smoothie, use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yogurt-should-you-try-making-your-own">homemade yogurt</a>.</p> <p><em>Approximate preparation time and per serving cost: Five minutes and $1.50 &ndash; $2.00, depending on size of smoothie</em>.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>For a cheap meal packed with protein, eggs are a great option. A simple way to prepare just one egg quickly is to pour a cracked egg (yoke intact) into a frying pan coated with oil or butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat until the egg white is cooked to your liking.</p> <p>If you want to add some variety to your egg dish, cook an <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/omelet-recipe/index.html">omelet</a> or try one of these meals.</p> <h4>Scrambled Eggs</h4> <p>A basic meal is scrambled eggs, possibly with whole wheat toast. Crack a couple of eggs in a bowl, scramble with a fork, add some milk (a couple of tablespoons will do, though I never measure; use yogurt if you have run out of milk), season with salt and pepper, and place in a frying or omelet pan with butter or butter-equivalent like Smart Balance. Cook on medium heat. When the eggs start to solidify, scramble them some more; repeat until the eggs are cooked, being careful not to let them cook too long.</p> <p>Embellish the eggs with cheese; veggies like mushrooms, green peppers, and onions (sautéed the night before and reheated in the pan before cooking the eggs); and/or hot sauce if you are daring.</p> <h4>Egg Sandwich</h4> <p>For a hearty meal that my teenage son especially likes, place scrambled eggs on a toasted and buttered whole wheat bagel, top with cheese, and serve like a sandwich. Substitute an English muffin or regular toast for the bagel if you are interested in a lighter but still substantial meal. Get the bagels and/or English muffins during regular BOGO sales at the grocery store to keep costs down for the sandwich.</p> <p><em>Approximate preparation time and per serving cost: Eight minutes and $.75 for eggs alone, or $1.25-$1.50 for extra veggies or sandwich.</em></p> <h4>Egg Casserole</h4> <p>To feed a crowd of six to eight people, make an egg casserole. Assemble the night before and bake in the morning. This option requires planning, but active preparation time in the morning is minimal (baking time is about an hour). You'll need the following ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>6 eggs</li> <li>1 lb. bulk pork sausage, browned, crumbled, and drained</li> <li>1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded</li> <li>1 cup milk</li> <li>6 slices of bread, cut up in cubes</li> <li>1 tsp salt</li> <li>Cooking spray or butter to grease baking dish</li> </ul> <p>Place bread in greased 9&quot;x13&quot;baking dish. Layer sausage and cheese on top of bread. Beat eggs and combine with milk and salt, then pour over sausage, cheese, and bread. Refrigerate over night. Remove from refrigerator in the morning 15 minutes before baking; bake at 350&deg;F for 45 minutes or until done.</p> <p>For variations, substitute half-and-half for milk, add spices such as parsley and dry mustard, and include sautéed veggies such as green onions, peppers, and mushrooms.</p> <p>For a slow-cooker egg casserole recipe, check out Thursday's post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/four-inexpensive-breakfasts-in-under-five-minutes">fast, inexpensive breakfasts</a>.</p> <h2>Breakfast Bars and Breads</h2> <p>Try some homemade treats with some healthy ingredients. These bars and breads are great for on-the-go meals. Grab a bite before you leave for the day; or wrap them up and enjoy with a cup of coffee, milk, or juice after you have arrived at work or school.</p> <h4>Granola Bars</h4> <p>Many of the healthy recipes for breakfast bars that I've tried had the consistency and flavor of cardboard, but I did find one that I liked and seemed reasonably nutritious. Though this chewy <a href="http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/frugal/breakfast.htm">granola bar recipe</a> does not specify the type of oats, I used old-fashioned rolled oats rather than instant or quick-cooking kind for excellent results. I added dried apricots (cut up) and substituted dark chocolate for the regular chocolate chips or M&amp;M&rsquo;s.</p> <p>For a cookie that uses similar ingredients, check out Myscha's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-cooking-breakfast-cookies-for-the-life-hacker-on-the-go">breakfast oatmeal cookie</a>.</p> <h4>Zucchini Bread</h4> <p>My favorite sweet-bread recipe (snagged from a bread-making class at the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-frugal-resource-the-community-college">community college</a>) makes a great quick breakfast or snack.</p> <ul> <li>3 eggs</li> <li>1 cup oil</li> <li>2 cups sugar</li> <li>1 tsp vanilla extract</li> <li>2 cups zucchini, grated</li> <li>1 cup applesauce</li> <li>3 cups flour</li> <li>2 tsp baking soda</li> <li>1/2 tsp baking powder</li> <li>1/2 tsp each salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg</li> </ul> <p>Beat together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add zucchini and applesauce. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Add to first mixture. Pour in bread pans (three medium-sized or four small pans) and bake in 350&deg;F oven for 40 minutes. Test center for doneness and bake more if needed.</p> <p>Usually I use a few zucchini for this recipe. If I don't have enough zucchini, I add more applesauce to make up the difference. If I have too much zucchini, then I use less applesauce. For a yummy variation, I substitute butternut squash for the zucchini. To prepare the squash, place it in a casserole dish filled with some water (about halfway up the side), cook in a 350&deg;F oven until fork tender on all sides (rotate the squash for even baking), remove pulp from cooked squash, and use mashed pulp instead of grated zucchini.</p> <h4>Bagels With Specialty Spreads</h4> <p>To make a specialty spread, soften cream cheese and mix one or more of the following in the cheese: honey, chopped walnuts or pecans, or fruit spread (jam, jelly, etc.). Spread on bagels for a made-at-home treat.</p> <p><em>Approximate morning preparation time and per serving cost: A couple of minutes and $.50&ndash;$1.00.</em></p> <h2>Leftovers and Throw-Togethers</h2> <p>Many people like leftovers for breakfast. These may be traditional lunch or dinner meals like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-and-easy-pizza-dough-and-sauce">homemade pizza</a> or sweet treats like dessert. Peruse your refrigerator or kitchen counter for already-prepared meals or key ingredients for a new dish. Here are a couple of my favorites in this style.</p> <h4>Fruit Crisp</h4> <p>To make this dish for a dinnertime dessert, place fruit in baking dish (I use blueberries, cherries, or apples), top with a combination of butter, oats, flour, and brown sugar; and bake at 350&deg;F for about 30 minutes. In the morning, reheat a portion or eat cold, alone or with yogurt.</p> <h4>Yogurt Parfait</h4> <p>Layer chopped-up breakfast bars from chewy granola bar recipe (or granola) with yogurt, and fresh or frozen fruit in a parfait.</p> <p><em>Approximate preparation time and per serving cost: A couple of minutes to reheat and/or assemble the meal, and less than $1.00.</em></p> <p>What's your favorite fast and frugal homemade breakfast?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">One Recipe, Lots of Food: 10 Great Main Dish Casseroles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes breakfast quick meals Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:36:18 +0000 Julie Rains 699516 at http://www.wisebread.com Fresh vs. Frozen: 5 Dinner Comparisons http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-vs-frozen-5-dinner-comparisons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fresh-vs-frozen-5-dinner-comparisons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frozen food aisle.jpg" alt="frozen food aisle" title="frozen food aisle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I really love to cook. Recently, however, my work schedule was ridiculously busy, and I was getting home later and later. To get dinner on the table, I decided to try something completely out of character: frozen food. If you read my posts, you know that I&rsquo;m usually a die-hard do-it-yourself-er. I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-rate-condiments-homemade-mayo">make my own mayonnaise</a>, for crying out loud. Also, frozen foods tend to be high in sodium and fats, so I have, in the past, stayed clear.</p> <p>The beauty of frozen meals, though, is that they take about 15 minutes or less to heat. So on one of my dead-tired days, I took a trip down Walmart&rsquo;s frozen food aisle. There were a surprising number of frozen bags of food that looked pretty darn appetizing. I decided to give one of them a try. My husband and I thought it was fine for a busy-day dinner, rounded out with bread and salad. That experiment led me to wonder about the other brands and varieties, and we ended up trying five &ldquo;bagged&rdquo; dinners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-ways-to-use-frozen-spinach">25 Ways to Use Frozen Spinach</a>)</p> <p>At first I wrote a post about my frozen-dinner taste-tests. In all honesty, it was pretty boring. Then I had an epiphany: I would make home-made versions of all the dinners we had tried and compare them to the store-bought versions. There was a challenge, and I do love a challenge.</p> <p>So, here are the results of my experiment &mdash; reviews of the frozen versions and their fresh counterparts. Of course, I could not find the <em>exact</em> recipes online, but I thought these versions were very close. Also, I live in Hawaii, so my prices are likely higher than mainland prices.</p> <h2>Stouffer&rsquo;s Teriyaki Chicken Skillet</h2> <ul> <li>Cost: $6.18</li> <li>Servings per container: 2</li> </ul> <p>My husband pronounced this entrée &ldquo;eminently edible.&rdquo; He has a good vocabulary. I don&rsquo;t, and I would say, &ldquo;It was okay, but next time I&rsquo;ll try microwaving it.&rdquo; This is because although I followed the directions exactly, the rice wanted to stick to the bottom of the skillet. I finally just let it steam for a few minutes, and then it came off. Also, the vegetables were a little overcooked.</p> <h3>Fresh Version</h3> <p>As far as time went, the homemade <a href="http://caloriecount.about.com/teriyaki-chicken-rice-recipe-r2941">teriyaki chicken with rice</a> lost, because you begin by marinating the chicken for two hours. Once the chicken was marinated, though, it went together in about a half an hour. For flavor, the homemade version won, hands down. I added a cup each of carrots, broccoli, and red peppers, plus one can of water chestnuts (and was careful not to overcook the vegetables). I was able to make dinner <em>plus</em> lunch the next day.</p> <h3>Cost Per Serving</h3> <ul> <li>Frozen: $3.09</li> <li>Fresh: $2.41</li> </ul> <p><strong>Winner</strong>: Fresh</p> <h2>Birds Eye Voila! Garlic Chicken</h2> <ul> <li>Cost: $4.18</li> <li>Servings per container: 2</li> </ul> <p>We both really liked this frozen dinner. With a tossed salad and some French bread, it was just great. The vegetables (assuming you follow the directions) are not overcooked, and the chicken really, um, tastes like chicken.</p> <h3>Fresh Version</h3> <p>The homemade <a href="http://caloriecount.about.com/garlic-chicken-pasta-recipe-r134">garlic chicken</a> tasted a LOT like the frozen version. It was very good and easy. However, I did a lot of tinkering with this recipe, starting by cutting it way down (1/4 lb. pasta and 1/4 lb. chicken). I also reduced the garlic to 1 tbsp and used a combination of 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in place of 4 tbsp of butter. I added a cup each of broccoli, corn, and carrots. This went together fairly quickly, in under 45 minutes. Again, it made enough for four servings.</p> <h3>Cost Per Serving</h3> <ul> <li>Frozen: $2.09</li> <li>Fresh: $2.25</li> </ul> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Draw</p> <h2>Birds Eye Voila! Three-Cheese Chicken</h2> <ul> <li>Cost: $4.18</li> <li>Servings per container: 2</li> </ul> <p>Basically, this is macaroni and cheese with vegetables and chicken. That is not a complaint! We both liked it and ate it all. Plus, the Birds Eye folks have this frozen veggie thing DOWN. No mushy stuff. Two thumbs up on the frozen.</p> <h3>Fresh Version</h3> <p>To use a texting expression, OMG. It was so good. Birds Eye calls their version &ldquo;three-cheese&rdquo; chicken, but if you look at the ingredients, there are actually four cheeses: Romano, cheddar, Parmesan, and blue cheese. I could not find a recipe close to this online, so I made up my own, adding 1 1/2 cups each of broccoli, corn, and carrots to 10 oz. of pasta. I sauteed 2 boneless chicken thighs and tossed the mixture with 1 cup of the mixed cheeses. My husband thought the blue cheese &ldquo;made&rdquo; the dish, and we could have eaten a ton of it. But we didn&rsquo;t, since there was enough for leftovers. It took about 45 minutes to put together.</p> <h3>Cost Per Serving</h3> <ul> <li>Frozen: $2.09</li> <li>Fresh: $2.24</li> </ul> <p><strong>Winner: </strong>FRESH, definitely</p> <h2>Bertolli Mediterranean Garlic Shrimp, Penne &amp; Cherry Tomatoes</h2> <ul> <li>Cost: $6.88</li> <li>Servings per container: 2</li> </ul> <p>The Bertolli packaging looked great, which convinced me to try it. (Yes, sometimes I buy wines by their labels and books by their covers, too.) This tasty meal contained swanky asparagus and shrimp, plus cherry tomatoes, in a great buttery garlic sauce with penne. The vegetables were surprisingly good. I hesitated a little when I saw the price &mdash; but I had also recently priced both frozen shrimp and asparagus, so I knew they were expensive. We would have liked to have more shrimp, but that is probably asking too much.</p> <h3>Fresh Version</h3> <p>&ldquo;Fine.&rdquo; How is that for a resounding review of this <a href="http://caloriecount.about.com/shrimp-asparagus-pasta-recipe-r5495">shrimp and asparagus pasta</a>? To keep it frugal, I bought raw shrimp. That meant deveining and peeling, a cooking chore I don&rsquo;t enjoy. No, wait &mdash; I hate it. It <em>looked</em> a lot like the frozen version, but next time, I&rsquo;ll let the Bertolli people do all the work. Also problematic &mdash; it took forever to make. Well, maybe not forever, but the stupid shrimp alone took 20 minutes, and then it was another roughly 30 minutes of chopping, grating, and cooking. Sure, it made enough for leftovers, but it was only &ldquo;fine&rdquo; the second time around, too. I added a half cup of grape tomatoes to the recipe.</p> <h3>Cost Per Serving</h3> <ul> <li>Frozen: $3.44</li> <li>Fresh: $3.70</li> </ul> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> FROZEN. (Who wants to eat &ldquo;fine&rdquo;? BOR-ing.)</p> <h2>T.G.I. Friday&rsquo;s Sizzling Chicken Fajitas</h2> <ul> <li>Cost: $6.88</li> <li>Servings per container: 2</li> </ul> <p>Of all the packaged meals we tried, I was the most hesitant about this one. My husband is a big fan of fajitas, and I was worried that a frozen fajitas meal would not meet his criteria. I followed the directions exactly and heated up some fat-free refried beans to go on the side. Surprise! The fajitas were tasty. His words: &ldquo;Hey, it&rsquo;s not Chevy&rsquo;s, but it&rsquo;s good.&rdquo; (Chevy&rsquo;s is a west-coast chain of Tex-Mex restaurants.) He also thought I had to buy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tortilla-tips-for-mealtime-madness">tortillas</a> to go with them. Nope. I did take out some of the onions from the vegetable mix (there were just too many for me). These frozen fajitas were something you could really dress up, if you wanted, with guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, etc.</p> <h3>Fresh Version</h3> <p>The homemade <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-fajitas-91860">fajitas</a> really had a WOW factor. I was left wondering &quot;Why the heck haven&rsquo;t I been making these, all along?&quot; I had this incorrect idea in my head that they were hard to make. Not so. My husband said, &ldquo;Frozen, pretty good...versus fresh, VERY good.&rdquo; It went together in about 45 minutes, and I have to admit there was a lot of chopping. I cut it down to a four-serving size, though, and we made breakfast burritos the next day out of the leftover filling and scrambled eggs.</p> <h3>Cost Per Serving</h3> <ul> <li>Frozen: $3.44</li> <li>Fresh:&nbsp;$2.73</li> </ul> <p><b>Winner:</b> &iexcl;FRESCO!</p> <p>My ending thoughts? Unless you are the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X4MwbVf5OA">Enjoli woman</a>, go ahead and give yourself a weeknight break with one of these frozen meals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-vs-frozen-5-dinner-comparisons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store-Bought: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oodles-of-noodles-25-ways-to-prepare-pasta">Oodles of Noodles: 25 Ways to Prepare Pasta</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap dinner recipes eating fresh frozen food quick meals tv dinners Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:37:34 +0000 Marla Walters 522987 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Low-Cost Foods for Everyday Italian Cooking http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-foods-for-everyday-italian-cooking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-low-cost-foods-for-everyday-italian-cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000013950453Small-2.jpg" alt="Woman cooking pasta" title="Woman cooking pasta" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have to admit I have a few pet peeves when it comes to cooking Italian food at home. My biggest issue is with the claim that good Italian food costs too much and is time consuming to prepare.</p> <p>I say &quot;Nonsense!&quot; and counter with a story near and dear to my heart: namely, my Italian parents' food odysey upon arriving in the United States in the 1970s. Like with many recent immigrants, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-and-money-lessons-learned-from-immigrant-parents">money was tight</a> in the Scordo household, and time was even harder to come by as both of my parents worked long hours. Yet food remained paramount. My mother struggled to find her native Italian ingredients, and when she did find a specialty shop, she quickly learned how expensive items like extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and quality meats and fish were in the United States.</p> <p>Eventually, however, enough Italians immigrated to our region of the United States, and prices for Italian specialty foods came down. My mother also learned to bargain fiercely and often bought her food supplies in bulk and with the other Italian ladies in the neighborhood, earning deep discounts because of the quantity of food she and her friends purchased. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-101">Bulk Buying 101</a>)</p> <p>The solution to cooking great Italian at home isn't complex; it's centered on knowing which ingredients to buy, which dishes to prepare, and how to most effectively spend time in the kitchen. What follows are cheap, yet high-quality foods for making authentic and tasty Italian food at home with minimal time spent in the kitchen. <em>Buon appetito</em>!</p> <h3>Pasta</h3> <p>I'm sure you expected this; it's at the heart of Italian cooking. Most Italians consume pasta two to three times per week, and it's usually served as a starter for a given meal. The typical Italian pasta portion is also small by U.S. standards; one pound of pasta typically serves 8-10 people. Good quality Italian-made dry pasta can be found online for for a little under $1.50 per pound and is even cheaper when you buy in bulk. I like to keep the following pasta shapes in the house at all times: thin linguine, rigatoni, penne, and orzo. Boiling water and preparing pasta in the <em>al dente</em> (translated as &quot;to the tooth&quot;) fashion is straightforward and fast. The sauce, or &quot;condiment&quot; as the Italians call it, can be anything from an <a href="http://www.scordo.com/2009/03/how-to-make-tomatoe-sauce-meat-gravy-sanmarzano-plum-best-recipe-italian-food-recipes.html">easy tomato sauce</a> to a bit of heavy cream and peas to extra virgin olive and thinly sliced garlic, and it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to prepare.</p> <h3>Beans for Soup</h3> <p>Our Italian family consumes soup two times per week at least, and we refer to soup as our secret &quot;diet food;&quot; that is to say, it's incredibly tasty, satisfying, and low calorie. All of <a href="http://www.scordo.com/2011/01/italian-soup-pasta-fagioli-pasta-fazool-lentil-pea-minestra-minestrone-beans-zuppa.html">our homemade soups</a> have water as a base and often include beans such as cannellini, pea, lentil, and chickpea. And, pound for pound, beans are some of the cheapest food items on the planet, especially when purchased dry. A good pot of from-scratch soup should not take more 30-40 minutes to prepare and can be the whole meal, especially when a bit of short pasta (such as orzo or ditalini) is added.</p> <h3>Pantry Items: Olive Oil, Canned Fish, Sun Dried Tomatoes, etc.</h3> <p>Yes, some of my favorite foods come in a can! Our family preserves, pickles, and cans sun-dried tomatoes as well as vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, and wild mushrooms. In addition to preserved vegetables, we keep lots of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-ideas-for-canned-salmon">canned fish</a> in oil in our pantry, including tuna, sardines, and anchovies. Canned fish is often cheaper than the fresh variety, and unless you have an excellent fish market, can be of higher quality and store longer. We like to buy and make our pantry items in bulk, usually setting aside the late summer months to preserve all of our vegetables and waiting for online sales to purchase our canned fish. Other Italian pantry staples include canned tomatoes, unseasoned breadcrumbs, olive oil, and dried oregano/thyme/rosemary. A well-stocked pantry is a huge part of eating like an Italian on a budget, just be sure to buy in bulk and make as many of the items as possible at home.</p> <h3>Bread</h3> <p>My grandfather always said that if a family has bread on the table, it will never starve. Nonno was right, and bread is the foundation of any Italian meal. Good bread is satisfying, usually cheap, and can be made at home or purchased at a local market. Bread also stores well in the freezer, can be made into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scordo.com/2011/01/crostini-bruschetta-or-italian-toast-recipe-toppings.html">tasty Italian toasts</a>, and served with virtually any dish. Some of my favorite ways to use bread in a meal include a starter with diced tomatoes or a cannellini bean spread (this is usually called bruschetta or crostini).</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vincent-scordo">Vincent Scordo</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-foods-for-everyday-italian-cooking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-savory-soups-that-make-perfect-freezer-meals-for-fall">9 Savory Soups That Make Perfect Freezer Meals for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Flour Tortillas that Taste Great!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-iii-the-crisper-from-hell">Delicious Way to Use Up All the Vegetables in Your Crisper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cooking food pantry italian food quick meals recipes soup Mon, 31 Jan 2011 14:00:27 +0000 Vincent Scordo 481320 at http://www.wisebread.com