Here are a few of my recipe ideas that help keep costs low.
Taco Seasoning - Makes enough to season about 1# of meat
1 Tblsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Mix all together in a small dish add to taco meat after meat is cooked.
*There is no onion or garlic powder listed because I cook my meat with fresh onion or garlic.
When making Tacos I use my taco seasoning and add 1 can of drained black beans/# of meat while I am cooking my meat. We all like it even my pickiest eaters and we get a few more tacos per pound of meat.
Want extra veggies on those tacos? chop up any leftover veggies finely and cook them along with the meat.
I've also made black bean tacos using the same seasoning and 3 cans of black beans coarsely smooshed. Serve with cheese. The first time I did this my husband asked me for more taco meat and said it was good. I had forgotten to tell him it was just beans and I had to laugh as I revealed the news to him.
1 whole chicken - the largest you can find
seasoning of choice, to taste
Peel onion and cut in half or quarters. Cut apple in half (you don't have to remove core). Have seasoning ready to apply. Sprinkle bottom of baking dish or crock-pot with a little seasoning. Rinse chicken and place breast side down in baking dish. Stuff cavity with apple and onion. Loosen skin on the back of the chicken and rub seasoning under skin. Sprinkle a little more seasoning directly on top of the chicken. Cover tightly and bake in 325 degree oven for 2-3 hours or in low crock-pot for about 4 hours, may take longer if a larger chicken. Cooking it with the breast down helps keep it from drying out.
This chicken should be used for a couple of meals. Here are my ideas:
Day 1: Have small servings of Roast Chicken with veggies and salad and potatoes. If you think you need more to eat serve bread or finish with a dessert. After dinner remove all the meat from the bones and set it aside in two to four equal amounts depending on what you plan to use the rest of it for. Put the bones and leftover onion and apple in the crockpot add 1-2 stalks of celery and 2-3 carrots or any other veggies you want. Cover with water and cook on low for 18-24 hours. Pour through strainer into a large pot and you have a lot of chicken broth to use for day 2 and 3 or to freeze and use the next time you need chicken broth.
Day 2: Use some of the chicken and broth you set aside and make chicken and rice. Add veggies to make it a one pot meal or have veggies and fruit as sides. You could even add a little cream and have creamy chicken and rice.
Day 3: Use some of the chicken you set aside and make chicken quesadillas. Serve with salsa, pinto beans and a salad.
Day 4: Make chicken soup or cream of chicken soup. If I make cream of chicken soup I freeze it to have on have for and recipes that need it. I make it gluten free by using rice flour to thicken it.
Make a big pot of pinto beans, serve with cornbread and a salad or spinach for a meatless meal. Sometimes I flavor the beans with pieces of bacon or brisket, but that's not very often.
Here's the recipe we like for Gluten Free cornbread.
Gluten Free Yellow Cornbread
1 3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/8-1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine cornmeal, rice flour, honey, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and oil, then beat in eggs 1 at a time until fairly smooth. Pour into a well greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake for 25 min. Serve hot. (or bake in 18 muffin cups for 15-20 min.)
*This recipe is adapted from The Mount Vernon Cookbook.
Do you have any special low cost meals that your family likes?