Archive for the ‘Under $10’ Category

postheadericon Corn and Bean Quesadillas

Quesadilla lunchOnce upon a time, before we went gluten-free, I was a vegetarian. During that time, I lived in Texas, and we ate a lot of quesadillas. This is one of my favorite recipes from that time. I served it to my kids last night, after a long time, and they devoured them! This recipe barely fed my family of four, so I’d recommend doubling it if you want leftovers or if you have more than 4 hungry people to feed.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes and for under $10! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe. You could easily make this dairy-free by using a dairy-free cheese, but I haven’t tested it with dairy-free cheese. If you do that, please comment so I will know how it works!

Serves 4, easy to double

Corn & bean quesadillaIngredients:

  • 1 TBS coconut or canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can black beans
  • 1 14oz can corn (or 1 3/4 cups frozen corn, defrosted)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, clipped
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese mixture (not the kind that already has spices, though)
  • Cayenne or hot sauce (we like Frank’s Red Hot) to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas

Corn and bean quesadilla with cheeseToppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Additional cheese or cilantro

Method:

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, warm coconut or canola oil. Saute onion for a minute or two, and add cumin so it will toast a bit in the skillet. Saute for another minute, until the onions are tender,  then add the beans and corn.

Increase the heat to medium, and stir until the mixture is warmed. Add cilantro and 1/2 cup of cheese, and stir until combined and the cheese is melty, helping the mixture stick together.

Wrap corn tortillas in a damp kitchen or paper towel. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.

toasted corn & bean quesadillaHeat a small non-stick skillet or two (or one large one if you have a skillet that will fit 2 corn tortillas) over medium heat, and add a bit more oil. Place one tortilla in the skillet, add a small handful of cheese, 1/4 of the corn & bean mixture, then another sprinkling of cheese before  putting the second tortilla on top. Let it cook for a few minutes, then carefully flip. Both sides should look a bit toasted, and the cheese should have melted when done. Repeat until all of the corn & bean mixture is used up.

Eat them up, yum!

 

 

 

postheadericon Sausage, Beans, and Potatoes

Weilding a mean skillet

My oldest daughter, Mackenzie (almost 11), created this meal one evening when she heard what I was planning to make for dinner and decided she’d rather have something else. It’s yummy, easy, and even nutritious. The only negative is that if you don’t rinse the black beans really well, the entire meal turns a dingy charcoal color. It still tastes great, just doesn’t look good.

This meal is now in steady rotation, with a few variations, and it’s one that Mackenzie can make almost all on her own, which is fabulous! We’re big believers in kids being active participants in cooking, and in fact this is the third recipe by one of my kids to be published in this recipe blog – you can also check out Mackenzie’s Italian Soup and the Fluffernutter cookies by Isabel (now almost 9).

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. This recipe is Faux Fast Food, and can be made in under 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

Stirring in a skillet
  • 1 lb sausage (sweet Italian or a mix of sweet Italian and Linguiça)

  • 4-5 medium potatoes (russet and yukon gold have both worked well)
  • 1 14 oz can black beans
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 lb green beans (When we’re feeling lazy we get 1 bag of green beans that are prewashed with the ends already snapped off)

Method:
Snap ends off the green beans if you didn’t buy the shortcut green beans. Dice the onion, mince or press the garlic, and slice the sausage into 1/2 inch rounds. Pour black beans into a colander and rinse very well.

Stab the potatoes a few times with a fork, and then microwave for 5 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes feel right (a bit tender to the touch), if not, microwave for a few more minutes.

Add olive oil to a large skillet, and bring to medium heat. Add garlic, onion, seasoning, and sausage and stir until the sausage is cooked.

Mmmmm... dinner!

Add black beans, potatoes, and green beans. Combine the ingredients together well, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple times.

Serve, and enjoy! or, as Mackenzie says, “Dig in!”

Variation:
If you want your green beans more crunchy than they get from being steamed in this dish, use the roasted vegetable technique, and serve the green beans on the side.

postheadericon Quick and Tasty Tea Treat

I was recently at Starbucks, and when you don’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea, AND can’t have milk, there’s not a lot of choices. I was in the mood for something warm, though, and managed to spot the “Vanilla Rooibos Latte”. Since Starbucks has soymilk, I had it made that way. Yum! Sweet and creamy, but with no caffeine to make you jittery in the afternoon!

My 3 daughters had a little sip of the little I had leftover, and loved it. Thankfully I had some Adagio rooibos vanilla in the tea cupboard at home! I brewed a pot of the rooibos vanilla, using the awesome ingenuiTEA teapot I received from the lovely Nanny Ogg, then warmed up some vanilla soy milk, and combined. Big smiles on my girls’ faces, and for a fraction of the cost of the one I bought! Additionally, making it at home means that you are not limited to soy or cow milk, as you are when out. We’ve had this several times now, and I just restocked our tea supply to make sure we’ll have plenty.

Vanilla Rooibos Soy Latte Ingredients
(but it could be a vanilla rooibos hemp latte, almond latte, or rice latte..)

Ingredients

  • 1 pot vanilla rooibos “tea”, I like Adagio rooibos vanilla.

  • 1/3 cup vanilla flavored milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp, etc)

Method

Yummmy herbal teas

Brew one pot of the vanilla rooibos tea (it’s not real tea, it’s a reddish needle-like leaf of a plant found in South Africa)

Warm the milk substitute in a pot or microwave.

Combine the tea and the milk substitute in a mug, with a bit more tea than milk substitute. Enjoy!

(If you’d like to try the Adagio rooibos vanilla, or another flavor, leave a comment with your email address, and I can send you a $5 gift certificate)

postheadericon Balsamic Chick Chick

How often do you eat boneless/skinless chicken? I keep wanting something new to do with it! We love balsamic vinegar here, and it combines beautifully with rosemary. This is a light recipe, one which uses less meat, but has the addition of chick peas to supplement the protein. This is one of my Faux Fast Food recipes, ready in under 45 minutes, as well as costing less than $10 for the recipe!

If you are looking for a heartier version of this recipe, check out the Balsamic Chicken Sauté, which pairs chicken with mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, and

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegan/vegetarian, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Balsamic Chick Chick dinner

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 lb boneless/skinless chicken, cubed
  • 1 (14 oz) can chick peas
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Method:
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until they become tender.

Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, and rosemary to the pan, and stir, browning the chicken.

When the chicken has browned, deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, and add the chick peas.

Let the chicken and chick peas simmer as the balsamic vinegar reduces a bit.

Serve with a starch and salad or a roasted vegetable. We really enjoyed it with some rosemary new potatoes and asparagus.

postheadericon Hearty Lentil and Sea Vegetable Soup

My oldest daughter has been asking for more vegetarian meals. This makes me happy, as we were vegetarian before the celiac and food sensitivities took over. My daughters needed a lot of protein, so we switched our diet. 5 1/2 years later, we are able to reduce some of our dependency on meat, so we are having at least one vegetarian meal a week.

This is an inexpensive and delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, vegetarian and vegan recipe.

Hearty Lentil and Sea Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS cooking oil

  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 piece kombu (seaweed)
  • 1 lb brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup rice (white or brown)
  • 3 TB soy sauce
  • 1 TB rice vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame

Method
Bring the 2 oils up to medium heat in a large soup pot. Add celery and onion, and stir. Sauté until the celery and onion start to soften.

Add all other ingredients other than the wakame, and stir well.

Turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

When the soup has come to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check the water/broth level after 30 minutes, and add a cup or 2 of water if needed. Remove the kombu & discard.

Soup for me!

Add the wakame, and replace the cover on the soup. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then check rice & lentils for done-ness.

This is a delicious soup that will really fill you up! This served 5 hungry people with enough leftovers for a few more meals.

postheadericon Indian-Inspired Lentils, Pork, and Quinoa or Rice

I read a book a while ago which included a chapter about eating frugally without eating fast food. If you have dietary restrictions, it’s unlikely that you’ve been eating fast food, but it is likely that you’ve been paying a lot of money for your food. Sometimes cooking from basic whole foods and looking at dishes inspired by other cultures will lead you to something inexpensive, tasty, filling, and delicious.

I always make sure we have some meat in the freezer, and if I can’t get to the grocery store, we’ll eat this meal. We eat it more frequently than that because it’s a meal everyone likes, and it’s inexpensive. What a great deal!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and an under $10 recipe.

Indian-inspired Lentils, Pork, and Quinoa or Rice

Ingredients:

  • splash cooking oil (canola or olive)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb pork, cubed (substitute chicken, ham, or whatever is on sale)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala spice mix (I highly recommend having this on hand, it’s well worth the original expense!)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • splash wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup red lentils (optional, but it adds to the flavor and color)
  • 5-6 cups water or broth
  • about 2oz frozen spinach (I buy the 1lb bags of frozen spinach, and use 2 handfuls)

Method:
Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until they begin to soften.

Add meat and spices, and continue to sauté until meat has browned.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine (or not if you don’t have any/don’t cook with alcohol).

Mix in rice, lentils, and broth, and bring to a boil.

A touch of green on the plate

Add the spinach, then turn heat down to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir 2-3 times during the cooking time.

Check rice & lentils for done-ness, and cook for a longer period of time and/or add more liquid as needed.

Serve and enjoy with a salad or a yummy roasted vegetable!

postheadericon Pasta Carbonara

This is based on an Italian peasant dish. It’s made with a little of this and a little of that – leftovers that have been turned into a delicious meal. The original has plenty of milk and cheese, but our version is dairy-free. We needed to keep the eggs, though – so this won’t work for folks with egg allergies.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and corn free recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta (we like the Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta)
  • 3 eggs
  • several pieces of bacon or ham, cut into small pieces (double check ham/bacon for allergens!)
  • olive oil, flax oil, or margarine

Method:
Prepare pasta according to package directions

Lightly whisk the 3 eggs together.  Add a bit of milk substitute if desired.

Drain pasta, immediately dump into a serving dish, and drizzle with olive oil, flax oil, or margarine.  Stir until combined.

Drizzle the egg mixture over the pasta, and toss – the hot pasta will cook the egg.

Add the bacon or ham, and mix until well combined.

Serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light dinner.  Yummy, easy, quick, and inexpensive – what’s not to like?

postheadericon Speedier Dairy Free Stroganoff

We love Beef Stroganoff here. It’s got a deliciously creamy sauce, meat, sautéed mushrooms, and noodles. Add a salad or a steamed veggie on the side, and you’ve got dinner in less than 30 minutes, and for well under $10. Our other Dairy Free Beef Stroganoff recipe required 3 pots, and was a bit of a hassle. This revamped recipe only requires 2 pots, and is less work. Same delicious taste, but with less work. What’s not to love?

Remember: Coconut milk does not have a coconutty taste when used in a savory dish. For some reason, salt appears to eliminate the coconutty taste, and you end up with just a deliciously creamy dinner that tastes like you’re able to eat dairy again!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Simmering dairy free stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • splash cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/3 lb ground beef (approximately)
  • 6-10 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced (use whatever size container you can buy easily)
  • 3 TBS starch – arrowroot is best, but you can use tapioca or corn starch if that’s what’s available
  • 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning, or a little more salt and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 lb brown rice pasta (we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti)

Method:

Set a large pot of salted water over high heat so it will come to a boil for the pasta.

Place a large skillet with a splash of cooking oil (we use canola or olive) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and begin to sauté.

When onion and garlic begin to soften, add the mushrooms. Sprinkle a couple pinches of salt over them, and stir frequently.

When the mushrooms have started to darken and shrink, add the ground beef. Sprinkle the Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning, or a little more salt and cayenne pepper over the skillet and continue stirring.

Spaghetti tossed with dairy-free stroganoff

Add pasta to the water when it boils, and cook according to the package directions.

When the beef is browned, sprinkle the mixture in the skillet with the starch. Stir, then add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Mix together well. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Taste test and add more salt or Tony Chacheres or cayenne pepper as needed.

Drain the noodles, then toss with the sauce – easy, quick, and delicious! The tang of the lemon, the slight kick of the Tony Chacheres and the creaminess of the sauce all meld in your mouth for much yumminess!

postheadericon Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

I miss going to Mexican restaurants and eating gooey cheese enchiladas. While beef and bean enchiladas aren’t quite the same thing, having delicious enchiladas at home is wonderful. It’s great to know your food is safe because you made it at home, when you’ve always got some risks eating out. The trick is finding a gluten-free enchilada sauce, as most use wheat as a thickener. It is very easy to make your own enchilada sauce if you can’t find a commercial Our grocery stores sell “La Victoria” brand, which has a good taste and is gluten-free and dairy-free.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

These are really easy, and (if you have premade enchilada sauce) should get you from chopping to table in under 45 minutes, and should cost less than $10 for the meal, too. Just pop in a roasted vegetable next to the enchiladas in the oven, and you’re good to go!

Unphotogenic, but yummy

Ingredients:

  • Splash cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/3 lb ground beef (approximately)
  • 2 14oz cans black beans, or 1 28oz can, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cans or 3 cups homemade enchilada sauce (double check ingredients!)
  • 15 or so corn tortillas

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400F and lightly oil a 9×13 pan.

Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and begin to sauté.

When the onion & garlic start to soften, add the ground beef. Stir, browning the beef. Add spices so that the flavors will meld while cooking.

While the beef is browning, warm the tortillas. Wrap the stack of tortillas in a slightly damp tea towel or paper towel, then microwave for 30 seconds. Flip the stack over, and repeat. Check to see if they are warm and softened. You may need to microwave them a little longer because microwaves vary.

Drain the fat from the beef mixture, then add the drained beans and stir until well combined.

Pour a little enchilada sauce into the 9×13 pan, enough to lightly cover the bottom. Hold a tortilla across your palm, and spoon in a couple tablespoons worth of the beef/bean mixture. Roll the sides over (they fold over just like your fingers and thumb do when making a fist), and place in the pan seam-side-down. Repeat until you are out of filling, tortillas, or space in the pan!

Pour enchilada sauce generously over the enchiladas – you want them to end up deliciously moist. Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 25 minutes. If you slide in a quick roasted vegetable next to it, dinner will all be ready at once!

Serve as is or with guacamole, olives, or chips & salsa. Yum! A great tex-mex dinner without the hassle!

postheadericon Mexican Chicken and Black Beans

In our ongoing search for wonderful one-skillet meals, we decided to try a more Tex-Mex flavor rather than our usual Cajun red beans and rice variations. This got a big thumbs up from all of the taste-testers here, as well as some very intrigued onlookers as our taste-testers were eating their leftovers for lunch.This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Mexican Chicken and Black Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 TBS cooking oil (canola or olive) 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless chicken, diced (approximately). We like chicken thighs, but it works with chicken breasts, too.
  • 1 1/2 cups rice (basmati cooks quickly, but you can use any type)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can black beans, or 2 14oz cans black beans
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
  • a couple grinds of pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Method:Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until they begin to soften.Add chicken and spices to the onion and garlic, and cook stirring frequently until chicken is browned.Mix rice, beans, tomatoes, and water into the skillet. Mix well, and keep stirring until the liquid comes to a boil.Turn down the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Let simmer for 20 minutes, test rice for doneness, and serve with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad. Yum!

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