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Quick and Inexpensive Meals
Be Prepared to Reduce Preparation Time
To provide a meal for four in about half an hour, try one of the five following lower cost recipes that use cheese, vegetables, fish, chicken or lean meat, and wild rice. Any of the four can be prepared for dinner and the egg meal is delicious for any meal. The Salmon Chowder is especially one of my favorites.
Cooked meat and chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days in order to quicken preparation times in these dishes, allowing you to put the cooked meat right into the recipe. If I know I will be rushed the next day, I cook rice the night before and store it in an air tight refrigerator container and have had good results with this as well.
If You Can't Make Sushi...
Superfood - Salmon
Good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Dietary Fiber & Omega-3 fats
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Cups frozen O'Brien Potatoes (has browns, onion & green or red pepper)
- 1 (14 oz) can lo-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 1 (12 - 13 oz) can skim evaporated milk
- ½ Cup frozen sliced carrots
- 1 Cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 (7 oz.) pouch or can of chunk salmon, well drained
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp red cayenne pepper (optional)
- Heat oil a medium-size pot;
- Add frozen hash browns and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Immediately reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with crusty bread.
NOTE: Broth- and tomato-based soups are lower in calories and fat content than creamy and cheesy soups. If you enjoy cream soup, substitute evaporated skim milk in your recipes in place of cream or whole milk to reduce calorie content without losing flavor. For canned soups, look for those soups that are lower in sodium (450 mg or less per cup), lower in saturated fats (under 2g per cup), and contain about 100-130 calories per serving.
Macaroni and Cheese from Scratch
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese - use lo-fat and/or lo-salt if you wish, or even a milk-substitute based cheese.
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour or rice flour for thickening
- 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
- 8 ounces shell or elbow macaroni
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups 2%, 1%, or lo-fat milk
- For a bit of bite & heat, add 1/8 teaspoon powdered red pepper.
- For a variation, reduce milk to 1.5 cups and add 1/.2 cup lo-fat sour cream.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook macaroni in salted boiling water until al dente - 6 to 8 minutes.
- Whisk milk and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Continue to stir milk over medium heat until the cream (béchamel) sauce starts to thicken.
- Add salt, pepper, and 1-1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese to the sauce.
- Continue stirring until the cheese melts so that nothing burns or sticks.
- Remove form heat, add cooked macaroni to the pan, and stir until well mixed.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese into a casserole or baking dish.
- Spread remainder of the cheese on the top, followed by the breadcrumbs.
- Bake approximately 25 - 35 minutes. Check at 20 minutes for doneness and every 5 minutes afterward; don't let it burn. The top should be golden brown and the center should not be runny.
Teens & Native Americans Restore Michigan Wild Rice Crops
Wild Rice Entree
Good source of Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron
- 1 Box (6-7 oz.) prepared long grain & wild rice mix
- 1 Pound leanest ground beef - substitute turkey or sausage if you like.
- 2 Tbsp chopped onion
- ½ Cup skim or 2% milk
- 1 Can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 Cups frozen French style green beans, thawed; or 1 can, drained
- Cook rice mix according to the package directions.
- In a non-stick frying pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray, over medium heat, brown ground beef and onion.
- Remove from heat and drain excess grease.
- Combine cooked rice, beef, milk, soup, and green beans in a baking dish.
- Cover the dish and microwave on high for 5 - 6 minutes, until heated through.
- If you prefer oven baked texture, bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
NOTE: For lean meat choices, look for the words "loin" or "round" on packages of beef or pork and avoid the highly marbled cuts of meat. For ground beef, use 95% lean beef or chuck or substitute ground turkey breast or chicken breast. Frozen soy crumbles are available if you are vegetarian and they often are good in flavor in these sorts of recipes..
Video Pro-Eggs: Eggs Not As Unhealthy As Thought
- Vidsage.com | Eat the Damn Yolks! Eggs Are Good For You
Adobe Flash Player not installed or older than 9. 0. 115! Despite what you may have heard, eggs do NOT raise your cholesterol. They do NOT cause heart disease. The nutrients are in the yolk. Don't
Egg Bake for Breakfast or Dinner
Eggs can be a good protein source. A single large egg contains ~ 70 calories, 5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 210mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 7g of high quality protein and significant amounts of several vitamins & minerals.
- ½ of a 24-oz. bag of frozen O'Brien style potatoes (hash browns, onions & green pepper)
- ½ Cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 5 whole eggs
- 3 Tbsp skim milk
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Spray an 8" by 8" pan with cooking spray.
- Break up the hash browns into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the has browns.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and pepper with a fork.
- Pour egg mixture over the hash browns and cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 about minutes or until eggs are set.
- Serve with any type of salsa you like.
NOTE: Recent of research shows that cholesterol in foods has only a small effect on blood cholesterol levels and that dietary saturated and trans fatty acids have the greatest effect on blood LDL (bad) cholesterol. Most healthy people can consume 1 egg per day without increasing risk of heart disease. If your LDL cholesterol level is high, check with your health care provider or a registered dietitian (RD) for specific menu help.
Inexpensive Meal Preparation
Chicken Taco Soup
Good source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, and Fiber
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- 1 (16 oz) can fat-free refried beans - regular or vegetarian
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
- 2 Cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 package prepared lo-sodium taco seasoning mix
- 2 Cups water (I use spring water)
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & chunked
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat
- Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add refried beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, taco seasoning, and
- water; mix well.
- Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Add cooked chicken and cook 2 minutes.
- Serve with a tossed green salad and lo-fat sour cream for a topping. A fruit salad would be good for dessert.