Tag Archives: one-pan

Healthy & hearty turkey bacon breakfast sandwich

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This week Meijer had a sale on turkey bacon for $1.99 and whole wheat english muffins for $1. These are 2 of my favorite things, because they make an amazing breakfast sandwich in about the time it would take you to drive through somewhere, and much cheaper. Plus it tastes amazing!
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Ingredients:
1 english muffin (preferably 100% whole wheat)
1 egg
2 slices turkey bacon
1 slice cheese
Ketchup (if you like it, I do)
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Step 1: Slice the turkey bacon in half. Fry the 4 pieces about 4 minutes, turning once. They should be slightly browned on both sides.

Step 2: Cook the egg. If you like the yolk runny, flip it and take it off heat sooner. I like my yolk cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: Layer the hot egg, cheese, and bacon onto the muffin, top with a squirt of ketchup and the top of muffin, enjoy!

 You can of course use other breakfast meats like a sausage patty or ham. Or get rid of the meat and use avocado, hummus, tomato, or other veggies for a vegetarian/vegan option.
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 1
  • Calories: 317.7
  • Total Fat: 15.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 214.7 mg
  • Sodium: 770.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 27.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 18.7 g

Vegetarian Stir Fry

This is one of my favorite go-to meals because: 
a) it is quick
b) it is easy 
c) it is cheap
d) it is different and delicious every time! 
Stir fry is great because it is so versatile. Basically it’s rice and whatever else you want to put in it! I’m sure I will be stir frying a LOT this summer, because I’m working on an organic CSA farm (http://www.facebook.com/schoonerfarms) and will have a ton of fresh veggies once the growing season gets into full swing. Also, I’m trying to eat at least 2 full days a week vegetarian, for health purposes. So anyways, here is the stir fry du jour.
Ingredients
1/2 cup white rice ($2 for 24 oz)
2 large baby bella mushrooms ($1 for the pack)
Handfull snow peas (Free from the farm)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped ($1 for pepper)
1/2 large carrot, shredded ($1 for 1 lb bag)
1/2 cup small broccoli pieces ($1 for a head)
1 stick celery (~1 for 2 lbs)
2 tbsp each soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce
Garlic salt
Total cost: ~$2
 
Step 1: assemble ingredients, put oil in a frying pan on low. Boil water for the rice.

Step 2: Dice up all the veggies while the rice cooks.

Step 3: Begin cooking veggies, toughest one first. I put in the broccoli for about 2 minutes alone, then the celery and peppers, then the carrots and peas, and finally the mushrooms. It helps to add a few tbsp water and cover tightly to steam them for a few minutes.

Step 4: Add the cooked rice and sauces, fry everything together for a minute or 2, and enjoy! There are endless variations of this, you can add as much sauce and different kinds or none at all, you can scramble an egg or add meats if you like. This is also very frugal and budget-friendly because you can use up all the odds and ends of vegetables in your fridge before they go bad!

Thai-style tilapia and pak choi

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I love Thai food, and recently came across a recipe for Thai-style steamed fish. So of course I took it and made it my own based on what I had in the house. I had just brought home some fresh pak choi (an Asian vegetable like cabbage) from the farm I’m working on. I also had one more tilapia fillet in my freezer, and a lemon in my fridge. So…
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Ingredients:
  • 1 tilapia fillet
  • 4 small bunches pak choi, rinsed and roots cut off
  • 1/2 lemon + juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Thai red chili spices
  • Olive oil
  • Aluminum foil
Step 1: Cut a square of aluminum foil, roll up the sides a bit so the oil doesn’t run out. Pour about 2 tbsp oil in, add a bit of spices. Put the tilapia on top, and another sprinkle of spice. Then squeeze half the lemon juice, and add a slice or 2 for good measure.
Step 2: Arrange the pak choi around the fish, sprinkle garlic and sea salt over it all.

Step 3: Roll up the sides and seal the top, leaving space for steam to circulate. Put in the top part of a steamer.

Step 4: Boil water underneath the steam basket. Let this cook for about 20 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and the fish is white and flakes with a fork.

The greens have a tangy bitterness from the lemon juice, and the fish’s natural flavors complement the bite of the red Thai chili spices. It smells lovely, and tastes fantastic! Plus it is only 400 calories!

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 1
  • Calories: 403.4
  • Total Fat: 30.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.0 mg
  • Sodium: 2,553.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 13.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 26.4 g

At-home stir fry, no take out required

 

One of my favorite super-cheap, super-flexible meals is stir fry. As a lover of all things salty, soy sauce in particular, stir frys are always a staple. You can use virtually any kind of rice, veggies, and/or meats.

This is what I had left in my freezer/cabinets:

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup white rice
1 cooked steak (not sure what cut)
1 pint mushrooms
1/2 bag frozen edamame
Soy sauce
Garlic salt

While the edamame and rice were boiling (follow directions on box or bag) I put the veggies and mushrooms into a frying pan with about 4 tbsp. soy sauce.

I cut the steak into small chunks, and added that to the pan. Once the rice and edamame were done, I put all the ingredients in together with some more soy sauce and a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt.

After eating my fill, I had at least 3 meals left over to put in the fridge for the rest of the week.
A lesson I learned from this: don’t put oregano in it. I tried to get fancy with the spices, but then it tasted less chinese-inspired and more like messed-up pasta.

Desperate times call for creativity

As I’m sure you all know, sometimes in life a situation arises in which you are more financially pinched than normal. Even the best budgeters with decently padded savings accounts can’t anticipate things like home repairs, doctors bills, or car problems. Such is the situation I found myself in when a knocking sound in my car lead to one part needing to be replaced, which then lead to several other parts needing replaced, until the source of all the problems was found and I had to replace that as well!

All said and done, nearly $1000 later, even with parental help (bless their hearts!) my budget belt is tighter than it has ever been before. That, compounded with a soon upcoming move to a new apartment, meant a stock-taking of my fridge/freezer/pantry was in order.

The goal: By August 1st, have used up every edible in my apartment, purchasing as little extra as possible. This means the meals I will be eating will be sure to get interesting!

 

I have actually found that sometimes, the best meals are the ones where you just open a cupboard and say, ‘ok, what can I do with this?’ With a bit of inspiration from Allrecipes.com (one of my favorite recipe websites) I did just that, opened my cupboard and came out with:
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
Dried onion flakes
Chili powder
Garlic salt
1 cup white rice

Step 1: I boiled the rice, and meanwhile drained the chickpeas and simmered them with the diced tomatoes for about 10 minutes. I added about 1 tbsp of chili powder and 1 tbsp of the onions. For a bit of extra veggies, I threw in about 1 cup of frozen corn.
Step 2: Once the rice was done, I separated it into 3 individual portions and poured the mixture over the rice. And you know what? It was actually really delicious! Slightly Indian in taste because of the chili powder, the texture of the beans mixed with the tomatoes and sweetness of the corn was very satisfying. And I got 3 meals out of it!
This mission may be easier than I thought. =)