More Really Inexpensive Meals

As always, I’ve been on the lookout for really inexpensive meals but I don’t want the same old things over and over. Fortunately I’ve found a few more really inexpensive meals that won’t feel like we’re not dining well. The recipes here will keep both your tummy and your wallet full!

I love tomato cream sauce so this tomato soup is perfect! And what goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese?

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • A pinch of  crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (crush by hand)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

For the grilled cheese croutons:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Spray a grill pan with non-stick spray and put over medium-high heat.
  2. Spread 1/2 tablespoon butter over 1 side of each bread slice.
  3. Turn the slices over and top 2 slices with cheddar and place remaining 2 slices of bread on top, buttered sides up.
  4. Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Cut into little triangles (about 1 inch each).
  6. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
  7. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in tomatoes.
  9. Stir in heavy cream and brown sugar.
  10. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  11. Puree using an immersion blender or a regular blender with a towel held tightly on top of the blender lid.
  12. Return to Dutch oven and stir in vegetable broth until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  13. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with parsley, if using.
  14. Serve immediately with grilled cheese croutons.

More-Really-Inexpensive-Mea

These tasty quesadillas are a good way to use up leftover chicken and cheese. I usually serve these quesadillas with Mexican rice for a full meal.

Easy Chicken Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 4 large (or 8 small) flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Salsa

Directions:

  1. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray or melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
  2. Lay tortillas in the skillet making sure that they do not overlap. You may have to do a couple at a time.
  3. Spread some of the cheese on the tortillas.
  4. Add chicken to half of the tortilla.
  5. Spoon a little well-drained salsa over chicken.
  6. Fold the tortilla in half to form a half circle.
  7. Continue to cook the tortilla until golden brown.
  8. Serve immediately.

Italian sausage is something I love and my husband can eat so when my garden is producing like crazy this is a super cheap meal. But even if you buy the vegetables it’s a money-saver!

Italian Sausage with Summer Vegetables and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. baby red or yellow potatoes, quartered
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 Italian sausage links, sliced in 1-inch thick  rounds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large spring rosemary, thyme or oregano
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced about 1/2 inch thick then quartered

Directions:

  1. Pour oil in a large skillet with a tight lid and heat on high until the oil shimmers.
  2. Add potatoes.
  3. Season the potatoes with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes, stirring gently occasionally so potatoes don’t stick.
  5. Remove from heat, leaving lid on skillet for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes and set aside.
  7. Add the Italian sausage to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat until browned but not quite cooked through.
  8. Meanwhile, season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and herb to the skillet and stir.
  10. Cook until the onions and peppers are slightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally until zucchini is tender-crisp.
  12. Return potatoes to the skillet and stir to combine.
  13. Season everything to taste with salt and pepper.
  14. Cook an additional 5 minutes.


I love frittatas because they can be adapted to use whatever you have on hand. I’ve included a few recipes for add-in ingredients but you can pick and choose your own favorites.

Your Way Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Add=in ingredients:

French:

  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper, sautéed
  • 1cup zucchini, sautéed
  • 1/ 4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

Italian:

  • 3 Italian, turkey, or chicken sausages, removed from casing, browned, and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup broccoli rabe, cut into 2 inch sections and cooked
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Greek:

  • 1 pound baby spinach, wilted and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped dill and green onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Add olive oil to preheated cast iron skillet (if baking the frittata in one).
  3. Add diced onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix the eggs until the whites and yolks are well combined.
  5. Pour the egg mixture and add-ins into a cast iron skillet or oven proof 2 quart baking dish.
  6. If using cast iron skillet cook over medium heat until edges begin to pull away from the skillet.
  7. Put pan in preheated oven and cook until set – 16 to 18 minutes.
  8. If using a baking dish place in preheated oven and cook until set – 22- 25 minutes.

 

 

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Author: Elizabeth

I'm a wife, mom, and grandma who loves cooking, baking, gardening, and all things that go into making a cozy coop for my brood. Although I'm disabled I try not to let it get in the way of what I love doing.

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