Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's For Dinner?

Along with the rest of you, I too am always looking for reasonably healthy to healthy meals, that don't take too long to make, and are affordable.  Here are a couple of our recent meals that the total cost for the whole meal was about $5:

Fall Chilli

I threw some kale in this one, mostly because I like the
added color.  It ended up tasting pretty good.
This is a standard recipe I often use in our home.  Mostly because it is easy, cheap, and healthy, but also because the whole family will eat it.  

The base of this recipe is dried kidney beans.  Prepare as directed then add a can of diced tomatoes (I like the organic ones to avoid GMO's and pesticides), and one large onion cut into about 1 inch pieces.  That's the basics.  From there I change it up depending on what I have on hand.  

Common add in's are garlic, organic red bell peppers, organic green bell peppers, organic zuchinni, squash, and organic frozen corn.  The corn really adds to it as it puts just a bit of sweetness in the chilli that I like.  

Simply dump all ingredients into nearly cooked beans, add your favorite chilli seasoning, and cook for about half an hour to 45 minutes.

We like our's with organic sour cream and grated cheddar cheese!

Coconut Corn Bread

This has become a great favorite in our house!  The kids get so excited when they find out I am making corn bread.  By making I mean using a box of Krusteaz corn bread mix, then next best thing to making it from scratch.  

I use organic milk and cage-free eggs in it.  The real secret ingredient though is coconut oil.  I swap out equal amounts of vegetable oil for an equal amount of coconut oil.  The coconut oil gives it just the slightest hint of coconut flavor, while making the mix so moist and delicious!  

To top it off we add butter from grass-fed cows, and raw (because raw honey still has its nutrients) local honey!  Oh la la!

Homemade Pizzas

It's a little extra work to make a pizza crust from scratch, but a big money savings.  Also making it myself allows me to use organic flour (as wheat tends to be high in pesticide residue).  I use half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour, in place of all all-purpose flour.

 I like it because I can start about an hour before dinner and it will still be ready in time.

Smear half a jar of organic spaghetti sauce on the two stretched out pizza crusts, top with cheese and your favorite toppings, then bake for about 15 minutes.

I also sprinkle a little dried basil, oregano and parsley on the pizza before I bake it to add flavor, and it looks kind of fancy.  :)  We had a little fresh pineapple on hand and put that on one pizza, then the kids wanted all cheese for the other.  They were both good, especially the pineapple one!  

Pizza Crust:
1 packet (or 1 1/4 tsp.) regular or quick active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Cornmeal- optional

Dissolve yeast in warm water in medium bowl.  Stir in flour, 2 Tbls. oil and the salt.  Beat vigorously 20 strokes.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
For thin crust:  Move oven rack to lowest position.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease 2 cookie sheets, or 12 inch pizza pans with oil.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Divide dough in half; pat each half into 11 inch circle on cookie sheet with floured fingers.  Prick the dough thoroughly with a fork.  Bake 10 minutes or just until crust  begins to brown.
For thick crust:  Move oven rack to lowest position.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 2 square pans 8x8x2 inches with oil.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Divide dough in half; pat each half onto the bottom of the pan.  Cover and let rise in warm place 30-45 minutes, or until almost double in size.  Bake 20-22 minutes, or just until crust begins to brown.

What are some of your favorite meals?

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