Fresh avocados, canned salmon and six gallons of milk later...
Thanks to Sara Lee coupons, I've saved $$ on meat, eggs and now milk!
Wholly Guacamole souped up with fresh avocado, cilantro, salsa and lime juice!
As I said, tortilla chips are one of those guilty pleasures we crave at our house.  Salsa or this easy guacamole recipe (filled with heart healthy avocados) are healthy dips that balance the chips.  While I was making the Red Curry Chicken, my daughter threw this guacamole together in less than 10 minutes.  We like our guacamole to be chunky, which is why we mixed the whole avocados ($.97 at Harris Teeter) with the free Wholly Guacamole, also from Harris Teeter.  The .$79 cilantro and salsa were a couple deals from Publix.  *We'll mash the last two avocados we bought and freeze them for later use along with the other two packs of Wholly Guacamole.
2 packs Wholly Guacamole
2 whole avocados, chopped
1 cup salsa, (Ro-tel tomatoes would work too)
1 bunch cilantro washed, dried and chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
kashi red curry chicken recipe
Who knew this $1 E-Vic deal find could inspire an easy international recipe?
I just wanted something quick and tasty while I watched the finals of the first season of Master Chef.  Tender crisp vegetables, grilled chicken and a mind blowing red curry sauce on a bed of whole grains and brown rice?  The funny thing is, if Harris Teeter didn't have the E-Vic special that made Kashi meals $1, I never would have tried it. Inspired by Whitney Miller's decisive win, I had to recreate this masterpiece for our Friday night meal.  Just like in baking tech class, I used the ingredient list on the back of the Kashi box to get as close as possible to the original recipe.  But, I didn't have several of the ingredients, specifically the kale and bok choy for the red curry or any of the grains for the pilaf.  No problem.  The beauty of cooking at home is the freedom to make changes based on what's available.  For the kale, bok choy, I substituted yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant leftover from Monday's grilling and sauteed carrots as a sweet potato replacement.  Instead of the Kashi pilaf mix, I used the Basmati and Jasmine Rice (Uncle Ben's Ready Rice) packs I'd gotten on sale at Publix.  For the sauce, I used several of the flavors highlighted on the box - curry (which is a blend of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper), sesame seed oil, coconut cream (coconut milk worked in its place) with extra cumin, garlic, ginger for good measure.  A humble can of tomato soup was the perfect addition for the red sauce.  Sugar content in the coconut milk and tomato soup will burn if the heat is too high, so I added a can of water to give the sauce time to simmer and thicken.  Here's the approximate list of ingredients for you to try.

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, diced
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp each ground cumin and curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can water
  • large handful of cilantro chopped

Over medium high heat, saute the carrot in 2 Tbsp vegetable oil for a few minutes turning to brown evenly on both sides.  I added about 3/4 cup of water to steam them - this allows them to soften up a lot.  Once the water has evaporated, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil and the remaining vegetables and saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the other veggies soften.  Add the chopped chicken, cumin, curry, ginger, garlic, turmeric and sesame oil.  WHEN YOU WANT FLAVORFUL MEALS, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL INGREDIENT IS SEASONED BEFORE ADDING THE SAUCE.  I then added the coconut milk (don't worry if it's thick) the tomato soup and used the tomato soup can to add more water.  Let the curry simmer for another 10 minutes.  Add the cilantro about 5 minutes before you finish the dish.  The rice cooked up in the microwave in no time.  All I can say is restaurant night is back in the Jenkins household!
grilled chicken and eggplant sandwich
My sad attempt not to dirty any extra dishes.
Back in my Cleveland days, I had an AMAZING grilled chicken and eggplant sandwich at some restaurant near my law school job.  Every now and then I think about making that sandwich, get busy and forget.  Last night, I wanted to do something with the B1G2 free boneless skinless chicken breasts I scored at Harris Teeter on Sunday night ($2.01 a pack after using $1 off chicken Sara Lee bread tear off q's I found during my visit). The chicken was partially thawed when I got it home and not wanting to refreeze it, I stuck it in the frig.  Fast forward to last night, and on our way home, I remember all that chicken in the frig.  Grilled it all, along with most of the veggies I had in the frig.  It wasn't until we got back in the house that I realized what I'd grilled.  Anyway, it was it good.  Wanna know how to make it?  Wrote a song about it, wanna hear it, here it go:

(To the tune of McDonald's Big Mac song)

'Half grilled chicken breast,
roasted eggplant,
grilled onions,
seasoned lightly on a Sara Lee bun.'

My 11 year old sous chef helped get our homemade bbq grill going and chopped the veggies for gilling. The kids topped theirs with a little ketchup, hubby and I enjoyed ours with some roasted garlic bbq sauce, extra veggies on the side and that was dinner.  Big hit with us, hope you like it too!

G, what happened to the rest of that chicken?  I'll play around with a couple breasts tonight, but the rest is going in the freezer for future meals this month.

homemade bbq grill
That's our $25 homemade bbq grill! We built it by making a pallet frame that supports 2 washtub style cans. We use the big one for grilling and the small one for smoking (as it has a lid). Haven't grilled in forever, nice night to start again.
Late night Harris Teeter run: Got all this and 2 gallons fat free milk and 2L soft drink for about $80.
Harris Teeter E-Vic deals
Here's another view of the Harris Teeter shopping trip spoils. If you're not signed up for E-Vic, do it now. I got 2 of the cereals and the two bagged salads for $.97. Two Kashi dinners sold for $1 each. Non-EVic deal 2 bagged avocados also $.97 each last week.
sara lee tear off q's help save $$ on meat
Thanks to Sara Lee tear off q's in store, I got $1 off deli meat that was on sale AND 3 packs of B1G2 free boneless skinless chicken breasts at $2.01 a pack with a couple $1 off chicken Sara Lee q's!
Buying healthier ingredients on my new food coupon 'diet' is still a bit of a challenge, but I'm definitely having fun playing around in the kitchen again.  With that said, I have two recipes to offer .  The first is a quick and easy flank steak meal.  The second is an Italian-ish style treatment of pork country ribs.  Hope you enjoy them both!

rare & well done: easy flank steak menu at work
10 Minute Flank Steak Meal (12 Minutes If Your Husband Likes His Steak Well Done)

It literally took 10 minutes to throw this simple, healthy and delicious meal together from the time I turned on the kitchen light to the time I served dinner.  There's only 4 key ingredients, all of them were on sale.

  • Leftover Rice A Roni, Wild Rice Pilaf Flavor
  • Flank steak (with Light Kraft Olive Oil and Balsalmic Salad Dressing)
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 lime

The steak was marinated in a Ziploc overnight.  To get the most intense flavor, I squeezed all the air out by rolling it like a sleeping bag before zipping it closed.  I turned on my Foreman Grill, coating the top and bottom with a little vegetable oil (cooking spray works too).  I cooked the steak for 5-6 minutes.  While the meat rested, I heated the rice and sliced the cucumbers.  I added the steak slices to my plate and threw my husband's on the grill for another 1-2 minutes to get it closer to the shoe leather texture he prefers.  I squeezed the lime over the steak and cucumbers.  Simple and delish!

country ribs - the other Italian secret ingredient
Country Pork Ribs Italiano

The idea for this recipe came as I scrambled to do something with the country ribs we didn't grill on the 4th.  Suddenly I remembered from forever ago focused on an Italian American restaurant owner with a famous Cleveland rib eatery.  When his family prepared their 'gravy' for pasta, they used slabs of ribs to season the sauce.  Once the sauce was done, they'd pull out the ribs, grill them and the rest is history.  We didn't have a slab of ribs but it was worth a try.

Season the pork: Garlic and onion powders, poultry and Cajun seasonings with pepper to taste.  I seared the pork in vegetable oil until browned on both sides.  Then I removed the meat and cooked the same assortment of veggies we'd used for the Very Veggie Spaghetti Sauce (along with the rest of an eggplant, celery and onions, I rinsed two handfuls of Lindsay Large Pitted Olives that I simply sliced in half).  I added more garlic powder, Italian seasoning and celery seed to the pot.  Boy, I wish I had some red wine to deglaze this pan, in its place I used a little chicken base and water.  I added a couple large cans of $1 store brand spaghetti sauce and simmered the ribs in the sauce for two hours on low heat.  Before serving, I browned the ribs on our Foreman Grill and retrieved not only the ribs, but also the browned sauce too.  I served the ribs with Rice A Roni - I cooked 2 boxes using only 1 flavor packet and added seasonings, the same in fact that I used to season the raw pork.  The ribs were super tender and my husband was a very happy man at lunch today.

After our taste testing last night and my husband's lunch today, what will we do with last 3 pieces of pork and all that sauce?  A couple ideas come to mind.  This sauce would be a great in lasagna.  The rest of the pork served shredded and used on a bun or to top a baked (or microwaved potato) served with or without the sauce.  I'm considering making a fresh batch of burger buns tomorrow. Come back to see what I end up making.  Gotta go exercise, this cooking frenzy is adding to a girl's figure.

This meal also came from the Harris Teeter shopping trip.  The pork wasn't listed on the SouthernSavers website, but like other meat I've purchased, it was nearing the expiration date, so it was $2 off the regular price.  I paired it with the Taco Bell Dinner Kit.  I over thought this meal a little and seared the pork before cooking it in the salsa.  It was a little dry but still good eating.  Next time, I'll just let it simmer on low heat in the salsa.

  • 2 Tbsp oil or cooking spray
  • Pork chops, meat cubed, seasoned with cumin, chili and garlic powder
  • Green onions from our garden
  • 1 handful cilantro chopped
  • Taco bell salsa
  • Fat free sour cream, shredded lettuce and cheese, chopped tomatoes
Heat oil in pan.  Cook pork pieces for 2 or 3 minutes then add onions and salsa.  Saute for about 10-15 minutes or until the pork is cooked through, stir in cilantro.  Fill flour tortillas or corn tortillas with lettuce, flavored rice and cheese. We then topped our tortilla with a few pork pieces and the sauce.  Add sour cream and tomatoes.  This 30 minute meal was served with Rice A Roni and a side salad.

Seasoned Crock Pot Black Beans:  We didn't let the pork bones go to waste.  They still had some meat on them so I browned them in the oven and let them cool before refrigerating.  Soak the dried black beans in hot water for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Rinse the beans to remove any dirt and place them in a crock pot with the pork bones, 2 or 3 garlic cloves and just enough cold water to cover.  I set the crock pot to cook on low overnight. The next day when the beans had softened, we added more garlic powder, sauteed onions, and stewed tomatoes. Very good eating!

Easy Recipes for Cheap Living
Last Updated November 26, 2010
Web Site Content by Mrs. Germaine Jenkins (gwhiz@germainesolutions.com)
Easy Recipes for Living Well on a Budget