Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Great Kitchen Challenge

Okay, folks, I’ve been spending too much money trying out so many new recipes. So, this week, I’m going to give myself a crazy challenge: only spend $20 on groceries. The only reason I think it can work is because I have a ton of stuff in my freezer and my pantry. This could also be called The Great Pantry Clean-Out. I am only slightly more excited about this week than I would be about a root canal.
I have a big bag of frozen chicken, frozen green beans, tons of frozen broccoli, plenty of canned goods, seasoning packets, rice, frozen hamburger patties, and pasta. I’m only purchasing about 5 items (not including WIC items … God bless WIC).
Here’s the plan:
Sunday: tuna casserole (yes, people, even I will eat such items)
Monday: poppy seed chicken casserole with rice and frozen green beans
Tuesday: spiral pasta, broccoli, and chicken with pesto sauce
Wednesday: bean and cheese quesadillas
Thursday: hamburgers and green salad
Friday: curry potatoes, broccoli, and carrots
Saturday: leftovers

Tuna Casserole
1 box mac ‘n’ cheese
1 can peas
1-2 cans tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Make box of mac ‘n’ cheese according to instructions. Put mac in a 9x13 pan. Mix in peas, tuna, and soup. Heat in 350 oven for 20-25 minutes.

Poppyseed chicken casserole
4 chicken breasts
¼ tsp pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 oz shredded mozzerella or cheddar
1 (8-oz) carton sour cream
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 ½ cups crushed cornflakes
¾ cup melted butter
Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Lay chicken breasts in pan. In separate bowl, mix pepper, soups, sour cream, cheese, and poppy seeds. Pour this over the chicken. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. While it’s baking, mix crushed cornflakes and melted butter in a bowl.
Sprinkle cornflakes over the top of the casserole and return to oven for another 5 minutes.

Spiral pasta, broccoli, and chicken with pesto sauce
½ lb (8 oz) spiral pasta
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
2 small chicken breasts
Place chicken in baking pan. Rub olive oil on both sides and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn chicken over and bake 15 minutes more. Let cool, then dice.
In large pot, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and return to pot. In another pot, steam broccoli till soft; drain. Add broccoli and diced chicken to pasta.
Make pesto sauce (I’ll use Knorr’s pesto sauce mix), and add to the pasta mixture.

Bean and cheese quesadillas
Makes 2
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup diced tomatoes
4 tortillas
Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat to medium heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle with half the beans, half the cheese, half the onions, and half the tomatoes. Top with another tortilla. Grill on one side for 3-5 minutes, then flip over and grill the other side till cheese is melted and outside of tortilla is slightly blackened.
Repeat with other tortillas.

Chad will grill the hamburgers. We’ll have green salad with ‘em.

Curry Potatoes, broccoli, and carrots
1 bag tri-color potatoes
2 cups broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
Trader Joe’s yellow or red curry sauce
Clean and cut potatoes into chunks. Place in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out and stir. Return to oven for another 25 minutes.
In the meantime, steam carrots and broccoli till soft.
Mix all vegetable together and serve with warmed curry sauce.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

This is HILARIOUS! I have had the EXACT same problem . . . only probably a lot longer than you have. My friend Marne, who does a blog about how to save money, showed how she made a list of all her family's favorite meals and then developed a monthly meal calendar from it. I've been doing a monthly meal calendar for about two years, but the list of family-favorite meals was a new concept because every month, I get out all my recipe books and make the calendar from recipes I've never tried. After having a couple weeks of FAILED recipes, I decided that this month, I'm doing all of the recipes that I've noted are "excellent" or "very good."