We are now going into day seven of the 30 Days of Nothing challenge that A Bushel & A Peck is hosting and I'm having fun...well almost, I could use my daily latte made for me by someone but me. :) But hey, we're putting pennies in the pot for our Christmas spending spree.
So last night I put together this yummy dinner with a little help from myrecipes.com, which by the way I LURVE! By planning our meals like I do, I'm able to shop at a organic/natural market and then I buy large amounts of chicken and meats, nuts, beans, sauces and other pantry staples (did you see that garlic jug?) at large warehouse stores. This way I'm well stocked and should have what is needed for staples and the occasional batch of cookies. During this challenge I'm planning on cutting my weekly budget by $50 by using what's over stocked (or never used because we went out and believe me there's some strange stuff in there...Mango Marmalade????) in pantry/freezer. When I plan our meals as much as I can I throw in something we've never had and this Chicken with Chili-Cheese Rice was a hit right off the bat!
Part of this challenge is to empty our pantries and freezers and this recipe made it easy for me to use a can of chilies that have been sitting in the pantry and a bag of chicken from the freezer. All I had to buy was the cilantro, jalapeno pepper and the cheese....score! I do a lot of cooking and almost all of our dinners are made at home and while our pantry may be ready to be emptied, I'm hoping to teach myself to save that other half of the onion to use later in the week instead of throwing it away like I normally would. I need to stop wasting to be precise. :) I'm also hoping to make our meals to fit our family of four instead of having enough for eight and then not eating the left overs...I'm a huge failure at that! Again...too much waste on my part. I do have one meal though that I do triple and the leftovers are eagerly sought out...but that's for later in the month. Stay tuned!
One of the fun things that has been happening in my kitchen for a while is the little voice that asks me every.single.night if she can help. Oh man I'm loving this!! And of course I always figure out something for her to participate in. For this meal she helped me measure all of our ingredients and make a yummy salad and enjoyed some samples to tide her over until dinner.
We eat LOTS of salads! Tomatoes are staples on my list as are shredded carrots...they can go in anything for a little crunch and some great color! I had a bag of slivered almonds in the pantry that I found when I cleaned it out so I polished this treat of a salad off with those.
My little secret....Words while dinner cooks. ;) One thing I loved about this recipe was that it used one dish from start to finish. Big J liked that too when he came home to see what was for dinner but he quickly changed his mind when he did dishes...the cheese is not so much fun to get off the pan.
My sweet helper is always looking for a job! She LOVES to help me empty the dishwasher and she now has mastered putting away the silverware which takes her FOREVER but she's really good at getting everything thing in it's place. It's also a perfect distraction while the pots boil and momma gets a little break.
Ahh the finished product! Kinda looks a little scary to me but once I took a bite I was dying for more! When I'm making a new meal for the family I follow the recipe to the tee and if it's a hit I'll make it again with my own tweaks. For this meal I'll definitely need to double it as everyone wanted seconds but alas there was none! I'll also try to add some more color...red bell peppers I'm thinking. My favorite part though was knowing it cost me just a few dollars and a little bit of my time looking for a quick, cheep meal. I'm off to add a few more pennies to my pot.
What are some of your favorite one pan cheep dinners?? Do share!
Well this is a bittersweet Wednesday for so many out here in bloggerland...this is the last Black and White Wednesday after two incredible years. I've always loved Wednesdays and I know so many of my family did too as I often got emails or calls from them, not only commenting on my post but SO many others from around the world. Thank you Lisa for hosting this weekly bit of artwork from around the world...I always loved sitting down with a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night and looking at photos processed in my most favorite ways. It's been a great party!