What is your go-to recipe when you don’t have much food in the house or money to spend on groceries? This question was recently posed in a group that I’m a part of on Facebook, and since many people’s budgets are tight around the holidays with all the expenses that go into buying gifts and traveling, I thought it to be timely.
Interestingly enough, many mentioned pasta… with meat sauce, marinara sauce, or just tossed with a little olive oil and garlic. I never thought of this as a budget meal, but now that I think about it… it is. Doh. A box of pasta costs under $1, a jar of spaghetti sauce, $2.50, a pound of ground beef $3 or maybe a little less, and add a green veggie for a few cents more per serving. I can feed my family of four for $5-6, and maybe even have a little leftover! The fact that I’m done in less than 30 minutes? Priceless!
There are some cheap staples that I always have on hand – eggs, rice, pasta, ground beef, chicken, beans and lentils, potatoes, onions, canned tuna, jarred pasta sauce, a variety of frozen veggies, and tortillas – to make:
Pasta • Chili • Quesadillas • Lentil soup • Tuna casserole
Fried rice • Sloppy Joes • Rice and beans
Migas con huevo (scrambled eggs with torn pieces of tortilla)
Roast chicken (leftovers can be used with pasta, fried rice, quesadillas, soups, etc…)
One of my faves: TORTILLA SOUP!
I don’t have a precise recipe; I just kind of take a look in the fridge and toss stuff in!
onion • garlic • bell pepper • chicken stock (I try to make my own)
can stewed tomatoes (I often use leftover pasta sauce instead) • cooked chicken
black beans • frozen corn • seasonings: cumin, chili powder, s&p to taste
tortillas • lime • a little shredded cheese and cilantro for garnish
1. In a large pot, I saute the onion in a little vegetable oil.
5. Simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
7. Ladle the soup into the bowls, and squeeze a tiny bit of lime on top.
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Disclosure: This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program.
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