Category Archives: Budget Meals

Quick and Easy Taco Salad

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I have been missing my best friend a lot lately. I mean I miss her all of the time, but lately it has been a lot! She lives in Southern California and I am in Western Washington. We haven’t seen each other in 5 years, but we can sure burn up the phone lines when we want to!! You know a true friend  (and she is more like a sister to me than a friend) when you can not speak for a while, but when you do it can last 3 hours! That’s us!!
Anyway, this is a salad that she used to make all of the time. The first time I made it for my family they thought it sounded like a weird combination of flavors, but they ate it so fast I almost didn’t get any! After that I was requested to make this at least every other week (more like every week actually). This salad is inexpensive and extremely simple to make, and a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies if they aren’t big fans. My kids hated tomatoes but ate them up like crazy when I made this salad for them. Kevin had never had it so he was skeptical about having a salad for dinner, but once he had it he said that it was like an entire meal in one bowl. He is right! Meat, veggies, dairy, yummm!! 

You can use packaged dressing and taco seasonings if you want. I make my own now so I have them on hand to use. Here is the link to my Homemade Italian Dressing Mix. I will post the recipe for homemade taco seasoning at the bottom (I don’t have a post for that yet).
Quick and Easy Taco Salad
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 package low sodium taco seasoning or 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning (see below for ingredients)
1 bag of chopped romaine hearts
1 to 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 can sliced black olives
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix or 2 tablespoons of my Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Tortilla chips
Hot sauce, optional
Taco Seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Brown the ground beef/turkey over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon in to small bits. Add the taco seasoning mix and stir to combine. You can add a splash of water here if needed. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, avocado, and cheese. Toss to combine. 
In a shaker bottle, or medium bowl, combine the dressing mix, olive oils, vinegar, and water. Shake or whisk to combine well. 
Add the taco meat to the salad mix, toss, add salad dressing (as much or as little as you want), toss. Crush up several handfuls of tortilla chips and toss with the salad. Dish up into bowl and top with hot sauce if desired!
Serves 4 to 6
ENJOY!

Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupper

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I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.

I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right? 

I do go a little overboard on the decorations sometimes, I will admit. When the kids were young we actually would have people bring their kids to see our house. The last few years we have toned it down, but since we moved into the new place Kevin has informed me that we are going to “light the whole place up”. Alrighty then, this could get interesting!!

This year I am also very happy to be able to share my recipe with the #SundaySupper crew.  If you haven’t heard about #SundaySupper yet let me explain. It is the baby of a wonderful woman and mentor Isabel from Family Foodie. It has been her mission to bring the family back around the supper table together. I am so proud and honored to participate in this with her and the many other fabulous bloggers who’s posts for this weeks theme of What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers are linked at the bottom of this page.




Leftover Turkey Soup

Broth:
1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
1 carrot, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, halved
bay leaf

Soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 (16-ounce) package of noodles (Recommended Grandma’s Fresh Frozen Homemade Style wide egg noodles)
2 cups cubed turkey meat
1 to 2 cups leftover gravy if available
Salt and pepper
Fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

To make the  broth: 
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Add water if the level drops below the carcass. Remove turkey carcass from pot and discard.  Strain both with a colander into another stock pot.  Discard remains in colander.  

Make the Soup: 
In stock pot the broth cooked in, melt butter.  Add minced onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. If using, add gravy and mix well until gravy is heated through
Add onion mixture and 4 to 6 cups of stock to stock pot and bring to a boil.  Thaw noodles according to package directions.  Add pasta and boil for time required on package. Add turkey and simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and or pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a little fresh parsley if desired.
If any soup is left over, it will thicken up after refrigeration.  Just add a little water (or leftover broth) when reheating to thin it back down.

ENJOY!!


Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper today,  November 18, 2012.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.
Thanks for visiting this week!

Italian Style Skillet Pie

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The other day I was watching Symon’s Suppers on The Cooking Channel. I adore Michael Symon! I love his sense of humor, his talent, how energetic and caring he is. WOW am I gushing? Ya, I think he is pretty sexy too, but that might just be a foodie thing.
Anyway, I love watching his show. I am always finding things I want to make as soon as possible. He always seems to mix up flavors and give you little surprises here and there. When I saw this dish on his show I liked the sound of it. I had made the potato/cauliflower mash he used for the topping of the pie before and loved it.  I loved the idea of cooking in my cast iron skillet, something I have been wanting to try more and more, and I also loved that it was a “One Pot” meal so I wouldn’t have a ton of dishes to do after dinner. Also, it is a bit of a twist on Shepherds Pie, which is a favorite here.

I have been trying to lighten things up a bit where I can. In this dish I try by using turkey sausage in place of ground beef. The potato/cauliflower mashed topping already did that for me, but if you wanted to sub all cauliflower for the mix of potato and cauliflower you could and that would save more carbs for you. I just prefer the mix as we aren’t big fans of the strong cauliflower taste. I do use butter in this but you just can’t sub anything else in my mind.
It was a fun dish to make for me. I was kind of winging it a bit and when it came out so good, and got Kevin’s stamp of approval, I was a happy camper. He even took it for lunch the next day and I ate the last of it yesterday for lunch, so no waste with this meal at all! 
Italian Style Skillet Pie
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Cast-Iron Ground Beef Pie
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package Italian style ground turkey sausage (usually come in 1 1/3 package)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head cauliflower, core removed and quartered
1 cup chopped celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (some reserved for topping if wanted)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potatoes, cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pour the olive oil into a preheated 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then flip and caramelize the other side.

When the sausage is caramelized, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the celery, celery leaves and onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and stir in the parsley. Add a red wine. Remove from the heat and set aside. Adjust seasoning if needed.

When the potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and mash well. Stir in the Parmesan and butter until thoroughly combined.

Spread the potato mixture over the beef mixture in the pan, and smooth the top to seal in the sausage mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired. 

ENJOY!


Shared at the Lady 8 Home

"Ghoulash" for #Halloween

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Hello and happy almost Halloween. Halloween has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was little. We were pretty broke while I was growing up, but my Mom always had fun creating costumes for me out of whatever we had on hand or Goodwill finds. I think that is why I ended up being so creative with my kids. I loved making their costumes and come up with crazy ways to decorate the house. Shoot I have even dressed my dogs up (yes…yes, I am one of those people).
I know I have told you that my Mom wasn’t much of a cook (love you Mom) but my Grandmother prided herself in a lot of her traditional holiday meals. Well they were our traditional meals, meaning meals she always made for certain holidays. She always made a huge batch of oyster stew for New Years, fresh bread at Easter with the glazed ham, and this was one of my favorites that she made for Halloween. I can remember when I got older I asked her why she called it “Ghoulash” and she said it was because it was frighteningly good! Gotta love Grandma!!

But she was right. This is the perfect comfort food. It warms you from the cold October nights (well they were cold in Nevada…and here in Washington too), but it is so good you want to eat bowl after bowl of it! I tried to lighten it up just bit by using ground turkey instead of beef, and just a dollop of low fat sour cream on top instead of stirred in. You could do away with the sour cream altogether but it would be hard for me to have this meal without it. 
So give this dish a try on Halloween night. Send your kiddos out trick or treating with a nice warm full tummy. That way they won’t be tempted to eat the candy while they are out and there will be more for Mom and Dad to scavenge through hehehehe.
Do you have any traditional holiday dishes? I would love to hear about them!
“Ghoulash”
1 package lean ground turkey (usually about 1 1/3 pound)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons died marjoram
3 bay leaves
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flake (optional)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole grain pasta)
Saute the ground turkey in a dutch oven, over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Add the onions and garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, marjoram, crushed red pepper flake, and bay leaves to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and add the elbow macaroni. Replace the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up. 
ENJOY!!!

Healthy Mexican Pizza

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I love taking my fast food favorites and lightening them up. It takes the guilt out of the equation for me while I can indulge in something that used I used to feel guilty eating. This is a knock off of Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza, something I used to eat all of the time, but the Taco bell version was so full of fat and calories it was insane!! So I gave it up and figured I would never be able to enjoy one again. Then I decided to start picking some of my old fast food favorites and challenging myself to “healthify” them. So not only I, but everyone else could enjoy them without feeling like we needed to eat them in a closet somewhere! I did that with my Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls and to everyone’s surprise here at home they were a huge hit. So when I announced I was again making a healthy version of a fast food fave I wasn’t met with much resistance.

I have become a big fan of black beans and they are one of the things that lighten this dish up and make it healthy. Trust me, you will not miss those fattening re-fried beans at all, which is a huge things for me to say because I used to be addicted to re-fried bean and cheese burritos!! I also use lean ground turkey in place of that greasy beef taco meat they use. Reduced fat cheese, baked tortillas instead of fried, and fresh veggies make this a fantastic tasty fast food at home dish. You can of course add low fat or fat free sour cream if you like as well.
Bye bye Taco Bell, hello healthy and tasty food!!
Healthy Mexican Pizza 
recipe is for 2 pizzas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon Mexican chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Salt and pepper 
1 15-ounce can of black beans with jalapeno (Recommend Bush’s Beans)
4 soft taco size flour tortillas
1/2 cup chunky salsa (Recommend Pace Garden Pepper Salsa)
1 cup low fat cheddar or cheddar jack cheese, grated
4 green onions, chopped
1 vine ripened tomato, diced
Sliced black olives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Heat olive oil in a skillet, over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Breaking the turkey up with a wooden spoon, cook until meat is no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
In a sauce pot heat the black beans over medium heat. Using a potato masher or fork, mash half of the beans to make them thicker. Once warm remove from heat.
Spray the bottom of two shallow baking dishes or pie plates with non stick spray. Place a tortilla in each one. Top the tortillas with the beans and then the meat mixture. Place another tortilla on top and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the cheese, green onion, tomato, and black olives. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing pizza into pieces.
ENJOY!!

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli #SundaySupper

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It has been a while since I have had school age kids but I still remember the rush of getting kids to soccer, football, getting homework done, and getting a good meal on the table as quickly as possible. I mean if it wasn’t for quick school night meals we would have all been eating at 10 PM!
There of course was always the problem of not only getting a meal on the table quickly, but trying to make it a balanced meal that the kids would eat. That can really be the tough part right? I used to be good at hiding the “good stuff”. A wonderful way to do that is by making things like meatloaf and then grating up some zucchini, carrots, squash, etc. and mixing it in. You can freeze the meatloaf and then cook it on the night you want. But this is about those nights when you need/want to get meal from stove to table in under 30 minutes. For those nights I loved one pot meals. You have your protein, vegetable, and starch all together. Cook it all up and Bing Bam Boom dinner is served!!

This one has been a favorite in our house for quite some time. It is actually one of the dishes that got my kids to actually like broccoli. It is also a dish that, because it is so simple, you could have the kiddos in the kitchen helping out and still get it done quickly. I know I used to love it when my kids got into the kitchen with me, it just made it more about family and less about just trying to rush to get something on the table. I think that is why my kitchen is really the heart of my home and I love having the family with me while I cook, chopping, tasting, and talking about their day. 
You can use many different type of pasta for this dish. I prefer the tube shaped pasta with lines like penne or rigatoni, but farfalle is a great one for little ones because it looks like little bow ties and if you are trying to distract them from the fact that they are eating broccoli this can do the job.

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli
1 pound pasta (penne, rigatoni, farfalle, etc.)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (can be bought in links and the casings removed)
2 heads of broccoli cut into bite sized florets
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and the juice of one half reserved
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
In a large pot of boiling salted water (pasta water should taste like the “ocean”), cook the pasta according to package instructions adding the broccoli florets to the pot for the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water and then drain.
While pasta is cooking have one of the kids whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and garlic together in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Add the sausage, crumbling as you drop it into the skillet. Cook sausage until browned, stirring to break it up (although the kids liked chunky bites you can break it up as much as you like). Remove from the heat. Add pasta and broccoli to the pot. Toss with the oil mixture, using pasta water if needed to make a thin sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
ENJOY!

Just take a look at our line up of other awesome recipes.

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day on Sunday. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about Back to School Meals and ways to make meal time easier!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat! We’ll be sharing great recipes and tips all afternoon, and we’ll be talking all things Back to School Meals during our chat!
We’d also love to feature your Back to School Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Mexican Style Slow Cooker Beer Chicken

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When it is summertime I am always looking for meals to make that don’t heat up my kitchen. Not that it gets that hot here very often, but once in a while it can sneak up on us so I want to be prepared when it does. So when I ran across a recipe for Beer Crockpot Chicken on My Daily Dish my curiosity was peaked. I mean what is not to like about the idea? Beer + chicken + crockpot + cheap = dang good idea in my book! 
I had it stashed in my “going to make someday” file when I had one of those days. You know what I mean. I call them manic Mondays but really they hit anytime they want. I had been working on blog posts and recipes all day when I looked up at the clock and realized UH OH it is 1:00 and I haven’t planned dinner! I rushed out to the fridge, no meat to be found, thought quickly about a salad but Kevin would shoot me (just kidding folks no need to call 911) if I sat a salad in front of him and called it dinner. The I thought about the beer crockpot chicken recipe. I vaguely remembered something about the fact that you could use frozen chicken and it would still be ready in 4 hours! No way right? Yes way…..I am serious!

I ran to my freezer, OK well maybe I walked briskly, and grabbed the frozen chicken thighs. With chicken in hand I snatched a beer out of the fridge and to my crockpot I went. within a few minutes I had the meal cooking away and I was back to work on the computer, my stress relieved. As I finished my work for the day I realized there was a very pleasant smell coming from my kitchen. I was still a bit skeptical that it was actually going to be done when that timer went off.  Shock of shocks it was! Plus it was so tender it was amazing. Kevin loved it so I knew it would be a keeper. Gotta love low impact cooking hehe
Fast forward to one of my late night, unable to sleep, thinking about food sessions. You know my love for Mexican food so I thought why not use the seasonings I use for my Mexican style chicken recipes. DUH what took me so long to think of that? So I took a trip to the store and picked up a 6 pack of  a dark Mexican beer, a pack of chicken thighs, and some corn to grill for a side dish. I was excited to give my recipe a try. 
Kevin came home after it had been in the cooker for about 2 1/2 hours and immediately asked what smelled so good. Seriously, the smell was amazing! I couldn’t wait for it to finish cooking. Finally 4 hours were up and we dove in to the chicken like we hadn’t eaten in a week. I don’t think we even left the kitchen, we just stood at the island and scarfed it down. Kevin’s only complaint? Was that I hadn’t made more! 
As I said, I used frozen thighs the first time and they were perfectly cooked on high for 4 hours. Depending on your cooker I would say 4 to 6 hours would be fine on high or 8 to 10 hours on low. I cooked the thawed chicken for 4 hours on high and it was falling off the bone, so I would say no more than 4 hours if your chicken is fresh and 7 to 8 at the most on low.
Whether you make the original recipe, or my Mexican version, I know you will love it and keep it as a “go to” recipe for a nice stress free week night meal.
Mexican Style Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
adapted from Beer Crockpot Chicken by My Daily Dish
6 to 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
1 bottle of dark Mexican Beer (I used Modelo Negro)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used roasted ground cumin by McCormicks)
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle each thigh with the seasoning blend and place them in the cooker. Pour in the beer (I pour it down the side so I don’t rinse the seasoning off the top of the chicken. I just think it is pretty with the seasoning on it) cover the cooker and set your time.
Frozen – 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low
Thawed – 3 to 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low
ENJOY!!

Bobbi on a Budget – Chicken with Snap Peas

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I have been all about peas lately. The lovely little green pods call out to me when I am in the produce section. “Pick me…pick me”!! Oops did I say that out loud? OK well now that the word is out, yes, I am addicted to peas right now. I guess I can’t just say I am addicted to peas, it is all of the fresh summer produce making my head swim. But peas are making it do the butterfly stroke right now, hard and fast (Yay Olympic swimming plug). 
So when I went shopping the other day and found fresh snap peas and fresh snow peas on sale. I was beside myself with excitement. I grabbed two bags and finished my search for other goodies. Boy was I happy to see chicken thighs on sale too!! This whole meal was coming together for under $10!! 

When I got home Kevin was helping me unload the bags. 
Kevin – Why did you buy so many peas?
Me – They are two different kinds of peas, snap and snow.
Kevin – Again, why did you buy so many peas?
Me – I was hoping everyone will like them. I mean we need to get fresh veggies in the kids.
Kevin – Good luck with that.
Oh ye of little faith. The kiddos loved them! Just look at how pretty the dish was before it even hit the plate. With the nice browned and crispy skin on the chicken, and the green of the peas and parsley, yummmm I was so happy with how this came out. Not to mention that this is a one pot meal budget meal. This is a win/win for me. Great taste with very little mess!!
Chicken with Snap Peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 chicken thighs, skin on bone in
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound fresh snap peas
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leafs, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large oven safe skillet (if your handle is  not oven safe just wrap it in several layers of tin foil), heat the oil over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, 8 to 10 minutes, you want it to be deep golden brown and getting crispy. Turn the chicken over and remove the pan from the heat. Tip the pan a bit and remove the excess fat with a spoon. Return to the heat and add the garlic, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake 17 minutes, then add the snap peas and half of the parsley, stir, and bake 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and spinkle with remaining parsley.
ENJOY!!!

Bobbi on a Budget – Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

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I know I haven’t posted a budget meal in a while but it has been a bit difficult for me to make meals for 4 when I never know how many I am going to have here. At any given time it could be 2 or 6 with no warning *sigh* the joys of kids right? This was a meal that I knew could be made and if it wasn’t all eaten I could freeze the rest. Yes, I love soup!!

I actually chose to make this because I was thinking about my Dad. I miss his little comments “What experiment are we having tonight” “I love being a guinea pig” “Can we please have something besides chicken I am going to sprout feathers and cluck” My Dad was a crack up! One of the things I knew I could make any time and he would be happy about it was split pea soup. He LOVED it. I haven’t made it since he passed away last year so this one was for my Daddy.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 8 to 10 parsley stems
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Tie the parsley stems and thyme together with kitchen string and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the split peas, leek, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas are tender 6 hours. Add the cubed ham and cook on low an additional 2 hours.
Discard the herb bundle. Vigorously stir the soup to break up the peas and make the soup smoother. Thin with water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the thawed peas. Serve with bread, if desired.

Bobbi on a Budget – Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes

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SO much has been going on around my house that it seems cooking and blogging has taken a backseat, something I really hate. So you know that making a good meal (and a BUDGET meal) last night made me happy. My kitchen smelled wonderful and actually sitting down to a tasty meal was a breath of fresh air!

This recipe is easy peasy! No stress, whip it together, and enjoy. It is a recipe for 4 but if you, like me, are cooking for two most of the time now it is a great recipe to give you leftovers. The chicken is so juicy and makes wonderful sandwiches or you could throw it in a nice soup with the leftover roasted veggies.

When you break it down this recipe costs about $2.25 per serving so that is something else you can love about it!

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Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut in thirds lengthwise and the across
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
1 lemon, quartered
1 whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds), patted dry
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Poultry seasoning
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place chicken on a rimmed backing sheet. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, sprinkle poultry season over the outside. Roast chicken in the oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl toss the broccoli and potatoes with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven and scatter the potatoes, broccoli, and lemon around the  baking sheet. Sprinkle them with garlic powder and onion powder (amount depends on how strong you want the flavor, I used about a teaspoon of both). Return to the oven and roasted an additional 35 minutes turning the the vegetables after 20 minutes.. Chicken is done when the juices run clear when chicken is pierced between the breast and thigh (an instant thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh). Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.