Tag Archives: easy dinner recipes

Venison pot pie

 

You guys want to know a little secret about the Budget Epicurean?

I can’t believe I lived over 2 decades in Ohio, and never tried venison. It’s true.

I’ve had elk, and bison, and goat, and pheasant, and a whole bunch of other more exotic meats. But still no venison.

Until now.

I’m lucky enough to have a friend who knows a guy who hunts regularly. Turns out, excess deer population is a problem shared in North Carolina too. This seems to be a problem just about everywhere, as they now have almost no native predators to worry about. Their only concern is a too-fast passing car.

why we should eat deer

Deer will eat just about anything when they are hungry, and a rough winter or over-population means more infiltration into neighborhoods. We live between two big patches of forest, and they are well known to stroll through around dusk. They have decimated my pansies more than once, and I’ve already seen evidence of browsing on my brand new ivy and hostas as well.

So really, I’m doing us all, and myself a favor by eating deer meat!

Do us all a favor too, and make this recipe soon. If you or someone in the household doesn’t think they’ll like deer because it is “gamey”, you need to find a new supplier. Deer, when ground and spiced right, is totally delicious and almost indistinguishable from ground beef. If your store doesn’t carry venison, try a specialty meat market, or ask around. You never know who you know that might know a guy…

venison pie with biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound venison (you could use any ground meat though)
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • 1 container biscuits (you could use mashed potatoes instead)
  • Garlic salt to taste

Venison pot pie

Step 1: Microwave the milk for 1 minute, whisk in the flour and let sit. Meanwhile brown the venison in a skillet. Add the frozen vegetables and let cook until just thawed.

venison pot pie with biscuits

Step 2: Spray the bottom of a round pie plate or 8×8 casserole dish. Pour in the meat mixture, and cover with the milk and flour mixture. Pop open the biscuits, and line the top with the dough.

baked biscuit venison pot pie

Step 3: Bake at 350 on the bottom rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the biscuits are nice and browned on top. Let cool for a minute, and enjoy.

 

Venison pot pie

Venison pot pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound venison (you could use any ground meat though)
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • 1 container biscuits (you could use mashed potatoes instead)
  • Garlic salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Microwave the milk for 1 minute, whisk in the flour and let sit. Meanwhile brown the venison in a skillet. Add the frozen vegetables and let cook until just thawed.
  2. Spray the bottom of a round pie plate or 8x8 casserole dish. Pour in the meat mixture, and cover with the milk and flour mixture. Pop open the biscuits, and line the top with the dough.
  3. Bake at 350 on the bottom rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the biscuits are nice and browned on top. Let cool for a minute, and enjoy.
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Easy 10 minute minestrone

 

This recipe is a super simple one!  If all you want is a hot, fresh bowl of soup that tastes great and is also quite healthy, you have come to the right place. You can easily make this in a slow cooker on low all day, or boil it on the stove to have dinner in 10 minutes, your choice.

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Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound small pasta
  • 1 potato, chopped small
  • 1 carrot, chopped small

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Step 1: Place all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Boil for 8-10 minutes, and serve! It is essentially ready when the potato and carrots and pasta are soft enough to eat.

 

Pulled Pork Burritoes

 

Burritos are a staple in my house, I’d say we have them at least once a week if not more often.  They are just so simple to put together, yet always delicious and hit the spot.  You can use basically any meat you have, just add rice and beans to bulk it up, and whatever toppings you prefer.

These burritos use pulled pork, with or without BBQ sauce, of which you should have plenty if you’re doing One Week of Meals from One Pork Roast.  I would recommend the BBQ, but it is not required. And of course, always customize to your preferences.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large tortilla
  • 1/2-1/4 cup pulled pork
  • 1/4 can pinto beans
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup cooked rice
  • Sprinkle of shredded cheddar

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Step 1: Put the pork loin in a slow cooker with about 1/2 cup of liquid. You can use beer, cola, or stock.  Cook on low for about 8 hours, it won’t hurt to go a little shorter or longer. Shred the meat with 2 forks. If you want BBQ pulled pork, add 1-2 cups sauce and cook another hour.

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Step 2: Layer all your ingredients in the tortilla. Make sure there’s a good distribution so that once you roll it up, you get a little of everything in each bite!

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Step 3: The best way to roll is to flip 2 opposing sides in just about 2 inches. Fold the corners over on both sides.  Then take one open end and roll it towards the other, scooping the fillings under. Roll it tight, and enjoy!

 

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Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

 

Last week, a terrible thing occurred.

No it has nothing to do with upcoming elections. It wasn’t weather related. Everyone I know and love is just fine. (as far as I know.)

My Crock Pot broke.

It was in the sink with dirty dishes, and one thing lead to another, somehow in the mountain of dishes the crock got split right down the middle. The lovely workhorse of my kitchen, and it’s hardy ceramic bowl was now split in twain, to be used no more. I was heartbroken to say the least.

Any reader of the blog knows how in love with my slow cooker I am. This thing is amazing, making my life so much easier by preparing dozens, even hundreds, of slow cooked meals for me while I work or play or do whatever somewhere else. Then we come home to a house that smells amazing and a hot and healthy meal.

Though I will of course replace my crock as soon as humanly possible, I dedicate this post to the crock pot, as its last documented meal prior to fatal injury. May your crock last many years more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound sausage, cut in slices or ground
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • Optional: parmesan cheese and rustic whole grain bread

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Step 1: Rinse and tear the kale into pieces and place in the slow cooker. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add those. Open the white beans and either dump it all in or rinse them first then add to the crock pot. Add in the water or broth to your desired thickness.

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Step 2: Brown the sausage quickly in a frying pan, and add to the crock pot. At this point you can add any spices you want such as garlic, onion, paprika, rosemary, etc. Set on high for 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours and let it cook.

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Honestly, this really only needs heated through to be eaten, but the longer you let it stew the more the flavors meld and the broth thickens to become more stew-like and less soupy. Up to you how long you want/need to wait.

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This is amazing on its own, or you can serve it with some nice thick bread on the side. This makes plenty for about 4 servings, and you can of course double or halve it to your needs.

 

Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 head kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound sausage, cut in slices or ground
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • Optional: parmesan cheese and rustic whole grain bread

Instructions

  1. Rinse and tear the kale into pieces and place in the slow cooker. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add those. Open the white beans and either dump it all in or rinse them first then add to the crock pot. Add in the water or broth to your desired thickness.
  2. Brown the sausage quickly in a frying pan, and add to the crock pot. At this point you can add any spices you want such as garlic, onion, paprika, rosemary, etc. Set on low for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours and let it cook.
  3. Honestly, this really only needs heated through to be eaten, but the longer you let it stew the more the flavors meld and the broth thickens to become more stew-like and less soupy. Up to you how long you want/need to wait.
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Simple soy sauce chicken

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This is a super simple recipe that I’ve used time and time again. It is great on its own, or as the base of a more complex sauce. Feel free to experiment with adding new ingredients as you become more sure of your own tastes and what flavors go well together. Ideas include: slices of lemon or orange, zest from citrus, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, thyme, parsley, oregano, tomato paste, pureed anchovies, olives, crushed nuts…
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Chicken is also a great meat for those on a budget. Especially if you buy dark meat like drumsticks or thighs, these are often on sale for 0.99/pound or less. You can also use chicken leg quarters, which includes both drumsticks & thigh meat. My sister, who is in college now, also loves this quick, easy, always-delicious chicken. Pair with a veggie or two & a carb for a filling, frugal meal in under 20 minutes.
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Ingredients:
  • 2-4 pieces of chicken (thighs, drumsticks, or breasts all work)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced garlic (or 3-4 cloves, chopped)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • Sprinkle of garlic salt or S&P
Step 1: In a frying pan, lay the chicken in a single layer. If using breasts, spray the pan or spread around 1 tbsp oil first. If using drumsticks or thighs, the chicken should release some of its own fat while it cooks so it won’t stick.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix well, and pour over the chicken.
Step 3: Bring the heat to medium, and cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes. Flip, and cook the other side for 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: Poke with a fork or cut a small slice in the thickest part. Once you’re sure there is no pink inside, your chicken is ready!
This chicken is especially good when paired with fried rice, but it works well with any grain (white/brown rice, quinoa, barley, couscous) or potato (mashed, baked, boiled). I love fresh asparagus & boil-in-bag edamame was on sale, which rounded out this meal nicely.