Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thrifty Thursdays: $10 Dinners

I apologize this is coming so late. . .my internet went down earlier this afternoon and I wasn't able to post until just now!  I hope you enjoy my first installment of $10 dinners-let me know if you have any questions, comments, or requests!  Thanks.

$10 Dinners

Here is a week’s worth of $10 dinners.  Some of these use ingredients from other dinners- so some (like the whole chicken one) cost slightly more than $10, but the chicken pillows (which you use left overs from the whole chicken) cost much less than $10.  So, it ends up costing approximately $70 for 7 nights of dinner!  I’ll list the dinners, then I’ll include my recipes for these dinners.  I’ll only list the bread, breadsticks, and rolls recipes once.  These are all meals my family really enjoys and we eat over and over.  I’ll include the basic ingredients for each of these meals-as with any meal, you can add things to it to make it even tastier, but those things often also make it more expensive (and normally don’t add a whole lot of nutritional value to the meal)!  J  I apologize I don’t have pictures, I took pictures of many of them, but my camera had a major malfunction when the baby dropped if off the counter, so sorry I don’t have them anymore.  I’ll be sure to include pictures in my next $10 dinners post.  Here’s the week’s menu:

Sunday night: Beef roast with carrots and potatoes. Served with Bread and broccoli.
Monday night: Southwestern Chili with rice.  Served with Breadsticks.
Tuesday night: Chicken Cacciatore with spaghetti.  Served with rolls and broccoli.
Wednesday night: Tacos (Wednesday night is always taco night at our house)
Thursday night: Chicken Pillows.  Served with corn and mashed potatoes.
Friday night: Creamy Chicken soup.  Served with breadsticks.
Saturday night: Beef stroganoff.  Served with green beans, baked potatoes and bread.

Here are the recipes for these meals (you may notice I don’t use exact measurements in all my recipes, sorry. . . that’s the way my family passes recipes down).  I have to thank my sister, my Mom, and Jeremy’s mom for most of these recipes.  I also want to thank Cat for her recipe.:

Beef Roast with Carrot and Potatoes

1 Roast (I normally use one that’s 2-3 pounds)
6 potatoes
3 carrots
season salt
extra virgin olive oil

Coat crock pot with olive oil.  Coat roast with olive oil, rub crushed garlic and season salt over roast and place in crock pot.  Peel and cut potatoes into quarters (if you cut them any smaller, they tend to get mushy and soupy in the crock pot) and place in crock pot.  Peel and cut carrots into thirds and place in crock pot.  Poor enough water into crock pot to cover 1/3 of the roast (many people only put about ½-1 inch water, I find that makes the roast too dry for my taste).  Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. 


I was going to include a recipe for the bread, but I decided not to-I simply use my bread maker and use the recipe for white bread in my breadmaker user’s manual.  If you have a breadmaker, do that. . . if not, I can add a recipe for homemade bread, from scratch for you.  Just leave a comment and let me know you want that recipe and I’ll add it.  Thanks.

A big thanks to Cat for allowing me to include this recipe.

This recipe calls for ground beef, but I use left over roast from the night before and just shred it before I put it in the Chili.  I also use white rice, just because that's what I normally have on hand. 

4 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb of ground beef (or ground turkey is good too)
Salt and pepper
½ of a lg. onion (or whole small onion) finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (or a spoonful of the nacho jalapeno slices), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of dried basil
One 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or two 14.5 oz cans)
1 ½ cups of chicken broth (I used chicken bullion broth)
¾ cup brown rice
1 can of Black Beans (15oz)
1 (11 oz) can of Green Giant Nibblet corn (Other corn can be used too, but this is my favorite)
Optional: chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced scallions, chopped avocado and/or hot pepper sauce, for toppings.

1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons (3 if you are using ground turkey) olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef (turkey) and cook, breaking it up, until browned, 7-10 min. Season with salt and pepper; using a slotted spoon, transfer the turkey to a plate.
2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot and stir in the onion and jalapeno; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, basil and oregano and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the chicken bullion and 2 cups of water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the rice and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 35 min. Stir in the beef, beans and corn; cover and cook until rice is tender, 30-35 min. Season with salt and pepper. 


1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour (it’s better if you have bread flour, but regular flour works just fine)
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar (I normally use 3-1/2)
1 pkg (1 scant Tbsp) active dry yeast

Put ingredients, in order, in bread maker.  Turn bread maker on dough only setting.  (If you don’t have a breadmaker, you can do this the old fashioned way-by hand, just allow it to rise twice before making it into breadsticks).  When dough is done, roll into 10-12 snakes (breadsticks-the kids LOVE to help with this part, just make sure their hands are clean) and place on greased cookie sheet.  Let rise for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook about 15 minutes or until slightly golden.  Immediately smother with lots of butter for the best tasting semi-homemade breadsticks.  You can also smother with garlic salt and butter for garlic breadsticks. . .. . .or you can smother with cinnamon, sugar, and butter for dessert breadsticks-if you do that, make a quick milk and powdered sugar glaze to dip them in, yummy!!

Mushroom Chicken Cacciatore

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 8 chicken breasts)
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup Chicken Broth
2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder in a pinch)
1-1/4 tsp oregano
½ tsp rosemary-herb seasoning
¼ tsp salt or to taste
¼ tsp pepper or to taste

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil on both sides.  Transfer to a slow cooker that has already been coated with extra virgin olive oil.  In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours or until chicken juices run clear.  Serve over spaghetti with broccoli and rolls.

Everyday Rolls

Just over ¾ cup milk
Just over ¼ cup warm water
1 egg
4 cups flour (bread flour is better, but regular flour also works)
1 tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
½ stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
2 tsp active dry yeast

Put ingredients, in order, in bread maker.  Turn bread maker onto dough only setting.  (If you don’t have a breadmaker, you can do this the old fashioned way-by hand, just allow it to rise twice before making them into rolls.)  When dough is done, make into 20 rolls (any kind of rolls you prefer, I normally make them into balls.  If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll make them into crescents).  Let rise 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook for 17 minutes.  You can also stuff these rolls with meat for a quick and easy dinner. . . or fruit pie filling for an easy dessert. 

I’m trusting you all know how to make tacos-let me know if you don’t and I’ll be glad to tell you how we make them.

Chicken Pillows

2 cups cooked chicken, diced (left over chicken from the Cacciatore)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1-2 onions chopped (I normally only use one because my kids don’t like onions as much as I do)
2-4 stalks celery (optional)
8 oz canned mushrooms, drained (my sister uses fresh mushrooms, she’s good like that)
Everyday rolls
Melted Butter
Bread crumbs
Cream of anything (I prefer mushroom) soup

Saute onions, celery (and mushrooms if you’re using fresh mushrooms) in olive oil.  Add to a bowl where you have already mixed the softened cream cheese and the chicken.  Mix together.  Drop by spoonfuls into center of flattened out rolls (uncooked).  Close up roll and pinch edges together to seal in the meat mixture.  Roll in melted butter, then roll in bread crumbs.  Put on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Serve with mixture cream of anything soup/milk (to desired thickness).  I like to serve this with mashed potatoes and corn.

Creamy Chicken Soup

1 onion, chopped (or ½ onion, if you don’t like that much onion)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 stalks celery
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper or to taste
1 Tbsp chicken gravy mix and 1/3 cup water
½ cup butter
½ to ¾ cup flour
1 quart milk
chicken, cooked and chopped (left over chicken from chicken cacciatore)

Boil 2 inches of water on high in large pan.  Add onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, salt, and pepper.  Boil on medium high until carrots and potatoes are soft.  Add chicken to soup.  In separate glass, add chicken gravy mix to 1/3 cup water until semi thick.  Stir into soup.  Separately melt butter, take off heat.  Add ½ to ¾ c flour to butter and mix.  Add 1 quart milk gradually.  Pour into soup, stirring, until soup thickens.  Add milk to thin to desired consistency.  This soup is REALLY yummy, and really easy too.  We serve it with breadsticks and call it good! 

Beef Stroganoff

4 cups dry noodles (boil 10 minutes, strain, return to pot)
1 lb hamburger
½ onion, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup ketchup
½ to 1 cup sour cream (basically watch as you’re adding it and stop when it’s the way you like it)

Brown hamburger and onions.  Mix garlic powder, salt, pepper, ketchup, and sour cream in separate bowl.  Pour over hamburgers and onions, cook about 5 minutes. Pour into pot with noodles, mix together.  Cook about 5 more minutes and serve.  We like to have green beans, baked potatoes (the stroganoff is good over the baked potatoes), and bread with this.  It’s a super simple, non-fancy, stroganoff that kids love! 

I think that’s it!  Enjoy and let me know what you thought about these if you decide to try them.  Thanks!  Goodnight!!



Beckee said...

Looks good! Thanks for the post!