Okay, welcome back, thank you so much for joining me today. If this is your first time welcome. After my last meal plan, I had a lot of requests to have a more comprehensive meal plan for two weeks with about 175 dollars, so I actually only used about 160 for this plan. It includes breakfast lunch dinner and snacks, so let’s get to the store and see what we need to pick up got my list. As usual, I’ve got two full weeks: lunch, dinners, breakfast and snacks.
So, let’s get shopping first thing I want to do is find five or six dollars in chicken and get some of that. I found this package for 6.85 and it’s almost three pounds. So let’s get this one next I’ll get one pork sausage roll for 229, then we’ll get a 12 ounce container of hot dogs for 79 cents. Then a pound of butter for 3.9, then some whole milk, Greek yogurt for 3.49 A gallon of two percent milk for three dollars and twenty cents. Eggs are 1 79, a dozen and I need four dozen eggs today then I’ll get a container of cottage cheese for two dollars and 45 cents.
Then we’ll get some of this kielbasa here for three dollars: I’ll get two bags of flour for 235. Each then I’ll get a 12 pack of ramen for 3.8, one bag of granulated sugar for 285, a bag of brown sugar for 1.95, a bag of milk, chocolate morsels for 219., then I’ll get a packet of yeast for 75 cents, I’m going to be using the Instant yeast, then I’ll need some baking powder for a dollar 55 Two pounds of spaghetti for 1 99, two boxes of macaroni and cheese for 59 cents each, and I will mention that if you like organic better, they do have great prices: 1.45 for a box of organic mac and cheese, a bag of lentil beans for 1.29, two pounds of black beans for 269.
Six ounce bag of slivered almonds for 3.49 And two boxes of corn muffin mix for 98 cents, each one can of enchilada sauce per dollar; two bags of tortillas; a box of taco shells for a dollar 49.; three: seven ounce bags of shells; vegetable oil for 379; One packet of taco seasoning for 42 cents, we’ll get the less sodium version this time. So I was going to get three cans of tuna for 88 cents each, but they only have the one in oil and I don’t want that.
So I’m going to go ahead and get the more expensive one here for 1.5. This is the Albacore, then three pounds of white rice for 265., one container of mustard for 95 cents, one bottle of soy sauce for 1 55, a container of mayonnaise for 315. I prefer the one with olive oil, but you can get whichever you like. One container peanut butter for dollar, Forty, Nine, I’m actually gon na get this one for 1.9. Instead and I notice they do have organic for 449.
Then one ham steak for 349 a pound. This one is 4.4, so it’s about 1 3 pounds then I’ll go ahead and get two pounds of the sharp cheddar the 379 each 12 ounce container of Mexican shredded cheese for 289, then I’ll get one big can of baked beans for 1.99. This is part of one of my easy meals this week. One can of corn for 64 cents, a few cans of crushed tomatoes for 1.39; each a two pound bag of carrots for 69 cents; one bag of yellow onions for 1.
9; two cucumbers for 39 cents, each two packs of bell peppers for 268; each one bag of Spinach for 1.39, a bag of green onions for 79 cents, cilantro for 79 cents, blueberries for 249 Three pounds of gala apples for four dollars: three avocados for 79 cents, each two limes for 19 cents; each. Let’S get some bananas next for 39 cents; a pound garlic for 1.77, we’ll get some grape tomatoes for 247. I normally grab the Roma tomatoes and all I’m seeing right now are grape cherry and these beef steaks.
So I’m just going to get a combination of these and just see how much I can get for my money here then we’ll get one red onion there, a Dollar twenty seven a pound is getting very full than a three pound bag of sweet potatoes for 387. I’M gon na get one pound of roasted almonds here for 5.79, and this is just for snacks and if you don’t like almonds, they also have a lot of other options like cashews for 549 for 10 ounces and some other.
You know roasted options for the almonds and things like that, so lots of different things to choose from here. Next, I’m in the freezer section I’ll get one bag of broccoli, florets for a dollar nine one bag of mixed veggies for 85 cents; a bag of frozen peas for 99 cents, one pound of frozen ground beef for 4; 29 – and this is 85-15 ground, beef and last, but certainly not least, one frozen pizza for four dollars and fifteen cents.
This is another one of the easy meals. Okay, it’s time to go, ring up and see what our total is. We got a lot a lot of stuff and today we’re spending 163.50. So the first thing that we want to do is prep these perfect waffles, and if you don’t have a waffle maker, you can make pancakes.
Instead, I’ve linked the recipe in the blog post as well, so you can find that super easily. So, first we’re just going to combine some flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and then in a separate Bowl. We’Re going to combine two eggs one and a half cups of milk, which I warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Just to make sure it wasn’t ice cold when I was adding it to the eggs and then about six tablespoons of unsalted butter, which I melted as well now. Warming, the milk just ensures that the butter doesn’t solidify when you’re trying to mix everything together, because if that happens, you will end up with a couple little chunks of butter here and there in your batter.
Now we’re going to add all of that mixture to the dry ingredients and mix that until it’s just combined it’s okay, if there’s a couple little lumps here and there we don’t want to over mix this and then we’re going to go ahead and pour that in About quarter cup portions into our prepared waffle maker and that might differ depending on the size that you have so just fill it. The way that you know how and you should be getting about eight to ten waffles and I’m actually going to be letting these cool completely and then I’m going to freeze them in a Ziploc bag to use for later.
You can just take these and throw them right in the toaster and they’ll toast right up perfectly fine and be nice and crispy and ready for breakfast. Next, we’ll make a small batch of this butter brown sugar syrup. It’S just brown, sugar and water, we’ll bring that to a simmer and let that simmer for about five minutes, then we’ll add the butter and stir until it’s melted, take it off the heat and let it stand for five minutes.
This will last up to a month. In the refrigerator, but I promise it won’t last that long you’re just going to be using one tablespoon of syrup every time that you eat one of these waffles, because after we toast them we’re going to be making this blueberry cottage cheese waffle with about a quarter Cup of cottage cheese on each waffle, some fresh blueberries and some slivered almonds and, of course, that syrup now you can can skip the waffle. If you want and just add those ingredients to a bowl that works great too, it’s going to be protein packed and it should keep you full for a little while definitely one of my favorite breakfasts. Now, if you really can’t stand cottage cheese, you can definitely substitute Greek yogurt just make sure for this meal plan that you’re getting an extra container of Greek yogurt to allow you to make these breakfasts just like this and it’ll taste amazing as well. So either way works and again we’re just freezing these waffles or pancakes, if that’s what you’re making and we can grab them later.
It’S super easy. So next we’re going to be working a little bit because we’re going to be making some fresh English muffins I’ve listed two recipes in the blog post. So that way you can pick whichever one works best for the amount of time that you have. I have a quick one and then one you can make the dough the day before. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight and then make all of these English muffins the next day so just depends now.
This is not my recipe. Neither of these recipes are ones that I wrote, so I just sent the link in the blog post, so you can take a look at that. This one is really simple: it’s just flower, instant, yeast, salt and some milk, water and butter that are warmed all together. Just to make sure that it works well with the yeast and this one I did let sit for about, I think 12 or 18 hours – something like that in the fridge before I continued with the next proofing stage, but it was, it was relatively easy, although the Dough was pretty sticky, so the main notes that I want to give you for this some tips and tricks to make this a little bit easier, is when you’re handling the dough, try to use a metal spatula, and that will help keep things from sticking, because you Can’T use a lot of flour here, because the extra flour will ruin the dough. So again, it’s very, very sticky and that’s okay.
That’S what you want, because if they’re not sticky, they’ll end up being more like biscuits because of the extra flour and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just it wouldn’t be an English muffin. So a little bit of flour on the surface will work just fine and not a ton and again just maybe use a metal spatula or a scraper, or something like that to help with getting all of the English muffins off of the surface, when you’re cutting them And I used a three inch biscuit cutter, but if you don’t have that at home you can just use a cup like a glass cup, that’s about three inches in diameter and that’ll work pretty good. So you could just use that instead or you can just try to cut out the circles, it really doesn’t make a huge difference. These really surprised me. This was the first time I actually ever made English muffins.
I had seen the recipe before and it looked super easy again: it’s just the dough working with the dough and everything taking a little bit more time, but this is going to make a ton. The recipe says that it only makes about eight English muffins, but I doubled the recipe and I recommend you doubling it as well, because you don’t want to have to do this again, the next week, it’s better just to do them all at once, so I doubled The recipe so I should have got 16 and I believe I got around 30 English muffins. If I remember that right – and so I had plenty for the breakfast sandwiches that I wanted to make plus plenty for snacks – and I did over proof the dough a little bit – but they still tasted amazing – look at all those nooks and crannies. So this is a pretty good recipe, but I do have a faster one available, so you can choose either. So now I’m going to go ahead and make the egg and cheese casserole that’s going to be the middle of the egg sandwiches that I’m making for a quick grab and go breakfast.
So first I just grease my 8 by 11 casserole dish with a little bit of butter. Just so that way things don’t stick and I’m going to go ahead and just crack the eggs directly into the casserole dish. And this is 12 eggs and I add a little bit of milk, salt and pepper and garlic powder. I just add the milk really to stretch the eggs. It doesn’t make them more fluffy, necessarily or softer or anything according to most people.
It just depends on how much you whisk it and all that jazz, but we’re we’re just adding the milk, because it’s a little bit more budget friendly right now, because eggs are so expensive. It’Ll stretch those eggs a little bit and after that, I’m going to go ahead and throw that in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the eggs are set, and then I’m going to add some shredded cheese on top. Let that melt for about three or four more minutes, and then I pull that out set that aside, let it cool just a little bit and then slice it and add it to my English muffins. Once everything is completely cooled, then I wrap them in parchment paper and put them in an airtight container like a Ziploc, you know bag and put that in the freezer. So that way, it’s easy to just grab one and reheat it in the microwave.
It turns out really great now, with these English muffins there’s also a snack or breakfast option of putting some peanut butter with a banana on the side. So next I’m going to make these super easy muffins, It’s a very basic muffin recipe, but I’m going to go ahead and make mine blueberry. You could make yours chocolate chip because we did get chocolate chips and you will probably have extra. So that’s up to you and you could make a double batch. I highly recommend doing that you’re going to have extra flour left over anyway.
So definitely do that. If you have the time or you know, you don’t want to make the effort the following me to make more muffins it’s up to you so first in a large mixing bowl, we’re going to add two cups of flour: some baking powder, salt and sugar mix. That till it’s well combined, then in a separate Bowl, we’re going to add one egg: a cup of milk and a quarter cup of vegetable oil mix that all up until that’s combined and then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and again, when you’re mixing. Most the time for baking, you don’t want to over mix so just mix until it’s just combined and you don’t see any more streaks of flour and it’s okay. If it’s a tiny bit lumpy then add the blueberries or chocolate chips or you can just leave.
You know the batter just like that and cook it. It doesn’t have to have any add-ins, then we’ll grab our cupcake tin and put some of the liners in there. If you want, you can just grease them. Instead, if you don’t have any of these liners, that’s fine just a little bit of butter or oil, something like that. So it doesn’t stick and and then fill these three quarters full and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean at 400 degrees super easy.
I also froze them and had them later again in the microwave for about a minute. Maybe 30 seconds will do so. The next breakfast idea is just a quick egg and veggie bake. This one is really nice and fresh because of all the vegetables in it. So, first we’re going to go ahead and whisk together our eggs, milk and Seasonings.
It’S garlic powder, salt and pepper, and that’s going to add most of the flavor to this dish. So don’t forget those seasonings, then, in a large pan, we’re going to saute some red, onions and grape tomatoes, not sliced grape tomatoes, make sure they’re whole until they’re, all nice and soft, and then add some spinach we’re just going to stir that around until the spinach Is just wilted and then I’m going to grease at 8 by 11 casserole dish again and then add those sauteed veggies down on the bottom and just make sure that it’s pushed to the edges and in an even layer. So that way, everybody this casserole is going to have some veggies in it. We don’t want it to just be in the middle or you’ll get some bites that don’t have any veggies, then we’re just going to pour the egg mixture on top. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
It’Ll spread out all on its own, then add about a half a cup of shredded cheese on top and lightly cover this with foil and bake it at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes until the eggs are set and the cheese is nice and melty. Now you can have this by itself or serve it with a muffin and a banana or apple whatever you like next we’re going to make some sausage biscuit Puffs again a super easy recipe, very few ingredients in a large bowl we’re just going to mix together. Flour, baking powder sugar in a little tiny bit of salt, not a ton until it’s nice and well combined. Then I’m going to add the shredded cheese and mix that together until it’s really well Incorporated and after that, we’re just going to throw our sausage right in there and it’s best to use your hands to get in here. To really make sure that the flour is nicely Incorporated with the sausage and make sure you try to get a sausage, that’s seasoned to like this one, because it will make the flavor entirely different, so make sure it’s either a breakfast sausage or a seasoned sausage like This one we picked up and the more you mix the better in this case, because you want to make sure that it’s not a little bit of lumps of flour here and there then just roll that into small little tiny, bite-sized balls and bake for about 15.
To 25 minutes, mine took 18 minutes to get golden brown on the bottom and they tempt to 165 degrees in the middle and there you go just freeze those and you can heat those in the microwave for about a minute until they’re, nice and heated through next We’Re going to prepare our crackers now a lot of these recipes. You could possibly buy the convenient versions, but it did save us about thirty dollars to make all of these things from scratch, instead of buying the ready-made versions. So just keep that in mind. So for this one we’re just going to mix the dry ingredients here in a large bowl and put some cold butter. That’S very important for this.
It’S kind of like a biscuit cracker, a butter cracker and again it’s not my recipe for this one either. I put a link in the blog for you to check this one out but very important that the butter is cold and you’re just going to combine the butter until it feels like bread crumbs on your fingers and then start adding the liquid and slowly add it. Until the dough forms, you don’t want to add too much liquid because then it’ll get too sticky and that’s not what you want. But if you find that it’s too wet to come together, you can add just a little bit more flour, a tablespoon or two at a time until it really comes together. It’S going to be a nice soft dough and it’s nice, because you can keep this dough in the refrigerator up to two days until you’re ready to make these crackers.
But it just needs at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator and then we’re just going to cut this into quarters because we want to work with it a quarter at a time, because we do want this dough to stay relatively chilled. While we roll it out and make sure it’s not too warm, so you can keep the rest in the refrigerator until you’re ready to work with it or you can just leave it there, depending on how quickly you work and we’re going to make this as thin As possible and the thinner you go, the more crispy these crackers are going to be, and again I used the biscuit cutter. This is a smaller biscuit cutter, but you can just use a glass cup or you can actually just slice these into rectangles, which is what I would recommend doing. Instead of all these circles, I recommend just slicing these into rectangles, or you know, a sloppy little shape is fine, they’re going to taste amazing, no matter what and again since this is kind of a sticky dough. I do recommend using a metal, spatula or a scraper to help get things off of the floured surface and then we’re using a toothpick just to make sure that the bubbles don’t make these the crackers expand a bunch.
We want the crackers to be flat. So that’s why we’re poking holes and then we’re going to brush these with some egg wash. But you don’t need to use a you, can use water if that’s what you prefer and a little bit of salt before they go in the oven, and I made about 75 to 100 crackers and let me tell you they turned out so delicious. My kids ate them up in a couple of days. These do last about a week in an airtight container longer in the refrigerator.
So just keep that in mind, but these are really delicious and they’re going to be great to go with your snacks, with some peanut butter on top or some cheese on the side or you can top them with the chicken salad we’re about to make. As a lunch option and here’s an example of the rectangles, I just found them being so much easier than cutting the rounds out. So it’s up to you so next we’re going to make some chicken in a slow cooker. You can certainly make this in the oven or with an instant pot. Either way will work whatever you decide, we’re just going to Pat the Chicken dry and then season it with salt, pepper and paprika then place that in the slow cooker and add about a cup of water, and I just cooked this on low for about an hour And a half and check the temperature and everything was already 165 degrees internally.
So that’s as long as it took in and again I’m using my instant pot, but this is actually on slow cooker mode and if you didn’t know that instant pots do have a slow cooker mode, so you can do that and you can use the regular lid. I just have this clear lid instead again an hour and a half, and these were done so I just pulled them out and let them rest. I saved the liquid to on the side for later and refrigerated it. But after these cooled, I just chopped them and just into little pieces and kept them for later. When I decided to make the chicken salad – and this is the amount of broth that I got from that a little over a cup and again, I’m saving that for another recipe to make the chicken salad we’re just going to add about two cups of the cooked Chicken to a bowl, add half an onion diced, a quarter cup of mayo, a little bit of salt and pepper to taste and then just mix that on up now, the sky is the limit.
With this one, you can add a little bit of lime juice like I did here or lemon juice. If you have any on hand, it adds a little bit of brightness. You can add any kind of seasonings that you have on hand just do whatever your heart desires with this, and the flavors will really be up to you and again. You can serve this with crackers, but I actually suggest wrapping some in a tortilla topping it with some spinach and wrapping that up and if you have hot sauce, definitely add some, because it always adds a ton of flavor and that’s a really great lunch option. And you could make this the day before, keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container and it’s ready for you to grab and go out the door.
So I definitely love wraps and I definitely recommend giving this one a try with the tortilla. You can do crackers, though, if that’s what you prefer now, we have to have some easy options in this meal plan, because we’re doing a lot of cooking, so I’m going to suggest doing some Ramen with a little bit of a Twist once the ramen noodles are Cooked we’re going to stir and add some beaten eggs into it to get these strings of eggs. And then I add a little bit of spinach after adding the flavor packet and I’m using two whole containers of ramen noodles. For this to make four servings, because technically one packet of ramen is two servings, so you’ll have enough Ramen to make 24 servings depending on. If you want lunch or dinner now this next easy one is just boxed mac and cheese, with a can of tuna added.
Very simple: you don’t need a recipe for this one, and if you don’t like canned tuna, you can try canned chicken instead, it’s a little more expensive, but I can say that canned chicken is also delicious. So again we have to have some easy meals, you’re going to have one box of leftover, mac and cheese at the end of this meal plan. So you can make that for lunch or an easy dinner, or something on the side, with something else that you have on hand and that’s totally up to you. But you got to have some easy options in order to avoid some burnout. Cooking at home can definitely save on the budget, but I understand sometimes it’s a lot of work.
So next we’re going to make a very easy tuna salad and we’re doing this on some homemade brioche buns, which I’ll talk about in a little bit. But I’m just going to use two cans of tuna: a quarter cup of onions, quarter cup of mayonnaise, salt, pepper and garlic powder mix that all up and then put that on our brioche buns and serve it with a little bit of spinach and some hot sauce. I’M always adding hot sauce to everything, but again just add any seasonings that you like to this and really make it your own and you’re just going to be making this one time with four of those brioche buns. This next recipe is a very easy egg, fried rice, I just recommend, make taking the rice in advance the day before refrigerating it, because it’s going to make the difference in the texture, for the fried rice and in a large pan, we’re going to add some oil And saute our Frozen veggie mix until it’s heated through this will only take a couple of minutes. Then we’re going to set it aside and in that same pan, We’ll add some oil and two tablespoons of butter and once that butter is melted, we’re going to add our cold chilled rice and really get that coated in there with the oil and butter.
That’S going to make a big difference with the texture and the flavor here. So don’t skimp on the mixing here and then, of course, you can leave it be for just a few minutes to try to get it to Brown a bit as well. Once that’s browned you’re, going to start adding some of your seasonings a little bit of salt and pepper will be just fine, but you can really add anything you like and then just a dash of soy sauce, mainly for color at this point, because you can serve It with soy sauce on the side and people can add their own, but there’s a lot of salt and soy sauce, so don’t add too much. You want to be able to add some later. If need be, then just just continue to season as needed, and once that rice is nice and golden brown and cooked through, then you can make a well in the center or you can pour out the rice into a bowl and set it aside.
We’Re just going to add a little bit of oil in the middle to give something for our eggs to cook in and a little bit of butter too. Once the butter is melted, we’ll crack a few eggs in the center, you can use two up to four eggs in this. It just depends on how much protein you want, how many people you’re serving then just go ahead and scramble those eggs right in the middle and just stir, occasionally and then add some seasoning salt, pepper, and if you want, you can add a little bit of soy. Sauce, that’s up to you and then just add everything back together, start stirring in the rice and then add back that cooked veggie mix that we left on the side and that’s it now. If you had any extra Chicken on hand, you could add some of that in here as well, because it’s already cooked then you can just add it and heat it through as well.
So that would be super easy way to add a little bit more protein and then add a little bit of butter in some seasoning at the end, to really give a little bit of extra flavor to the rice and serve this with some sliced green onions. On the side and some soy sauce, that dish would be great for servings and lunch or as a dinner option and now we’re moving on to the snacks. So the first one is just a super. Easy basic quesadilla just put that tortilla down in a heated pan. Add some cheese on half of it and then fold it over and you’re just going to warm that until it’s a little bit browned or at least melty and then turn it over and repeat on the other side only takes a couple minutes.
You can put some Greek yogurt and hot sauce on top some sliced green onions super easy. Another snack idea is to do some ranch with some veggies or you can do cheese and crackers or some almonds, as well now to make the ranch. This is super easy. Just some Greek yogurt, some mayo milk and then we’ll add onion powder, garlic, powder, pepper and some salt and a little bit of parsley. You can add Dill if you have that too, just give that a really really good mix until it’s completely combined and then serve that on the side with your veggies.
This next snack idea will double as a dessert or a treat if you like, and it’s pretty simple we’re just going to slice an apple. So that way it’s in rounds and then I just used a little teaspoon to cut out the center. So it was a nice little circle looks sort of like a donut. These are called Apple Donuts, so not actually Donuts, but they’re apples that we’re going to dip in chocolate. Now I just use the chocolate chips.
I actually recommend doing semi-sweet or dark chocolate for this. The milk chocolate is just not quite strong enough, but you could do what you like then take those apples and put them in a little bit of water with some lime juice, just to make sure they don’t Brown and we’re going to use the chocolate chips in A double boiler, but you can actually just do it in a microwave by heating it up for 30 seconds stirring it and then heating it for another 10 seconds at a time until it’s completely melted, just don’t over heat this, because then it will not work out. Well then, we’re just going to Pat those apples, dry and dip them in the chocolate. Then we’ll put them on a plate which I suggest lining with wax paper. So it doesn’t stick and then you can put any toppings that you, like some sprinkles, a little more chocolate chips, anything your heart desires, it’s so fun and so easy.
This next recipe is homemade black beans using our dried black beans, and I recommend doing a double batch right at the beginning of the week. It’S very easy to do this ahead and freeze these in portions. We’Re just going to cover the dried black beans with water, and let that soak for about six to eight hours then come back strain it and then add those to another pot. With about six to eight cups of water, then I’m just going to be adding about four cloves of garlic and a quarter of a red onion that I’ve diced and mix it all up, add a little bit of salt and then we’re going to bring that to A boil then reduce the Heat and just cook that on a simmer for about 60 to 90 minutes until those beans can be smashed pretty easily with a fork, then smash the garlic cloves mix, everything together, let it cool and and then portion this into about two Cup portions and then we’re going to freeze Those portions for later just to make it easy to grab those when we need them for recipes. The first dinner we’re making is my absolute favorite loaded, sweet, potato fries, so first we’ll just start by peeling those sweet potatoes.
I’M using about half the sweet potatoes that we got for this and you’ll have enough ingredients to make this dinner twice during the two weeks. Once the potatoes are peeled, go ahead and slice those into fries, you can make them as thick or as thin as you like, add those to a large bowl and then cover those with a little bit of oil you’re just going to drizzle it around give it A good Shake then add some seasonings we’re going to start with just salt and pepper. My kids don’t like spice, so I go ahead and season them all the way through with salt and pepper, only and then remove some of those to a tray. Just whatever portion is for them, then add the chili powder to the remaining fries for me, and my husband give that a good toss and really season really well with that chili powder and again Place those on a sheet tray as well. Well, I like to line the sheet trays with parchment, but that’s up to you.
It’S just for easy cleanup just make sure that those fries are in one even layer and then put those in the oven. While those are baking we’re going to be making the yogurt lime sauce to a small bowl, we’re going to add about a half a cup of plain Greek yogurt, one garlic clove, that’s been minced, a tablespoon of fresh lime juice and a little bit of salt mix.
That on up, I promise this is one of the best sauces you’ll ever have on fries and you’ll probably make it every single time, once those fries are half cooked through you’re, going to take those out and toss them a little bit. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to turn them a little bit then put them back in to cook for the remaining rest of the time once they’re, nice and crispy take those out and sprinkle them with some cheese, put them back in the oven. For a couple minutes until that cheese is melty, then serve it on a plate with half grape tomatoes, avocado cilantro and, of course, that yogurt lime, sauce and some black beans.
This next recipe is a meatless meal and it’s one of the fastest meals. You’Ll, probably ever make we’re going to use the instant pot for this, but you can see the notes for stovetop, cooking or slow cooker, if you like, but to the instant pot, we’re going to be adding one diced onion one diced bell, pepper: two cups of black Beans that are already cooked three quarters cup of dry lentil beans, a cup of corn, two cups of chicken broth, 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic, powder, salt and pepper. Now we’re just going to make sure that those lentils are really nice and covered.
We don’t want to mix this too much because we don’t want it to stick or give us a Burn Notice on this. So just sort of gently mix in the seasonings to the tomato sauce, don’t mix it a ton and then put that lid on and close the valve, then pressure cook on normal for about 15 minutes.
It will take 12 to 20 minutes to come to pressure. Then 15 minutes then you’ll, let it natural release which will take about 15 to 20 minutes or so for it to drop on its own. In the meantime, I’m taking one or two of those tortillas slicing it in strips and then just frying it in some oil to make some really yummy. Tortilla strips this is totally optional, but I just had to do it. I mean I’m making tortilla soup.
I’Ve got to have tortilla strips, so there is enough tortillas in there for you to use one or two for this. So that’s totally up to you then, once that is all done and has dropped the pin, then you can open that lid. Give it a good stir and serve it in a bowl with all the optional toppings, it’s absolutely delicious. I love this one. This next recipe we’re going to talk about the brioche buns, the recipe that I’ve linked in the blog post states that you can make eight buns, but I found that they were gigantic buns.
So I recommend separating the dough into 12 pieces when you make this, and there are several bun recipes out there. So if this one is a little bit too tricky, you can always find one that takes a little bit less time, but this one will take about two and a half hours all together, including the time that the dough has to rest. And all of that so we’re just going to heat the milk to make sure it’s about 110 degrees and adding the yeast. Then, in my stand, mixer I’ll add all of the dry ingredients mix that until it’s really well combined and then I’ll add the yeast mixture and some eggs and get that beaten with the hook attachment in. So this can be done with a mixer and hand kneading.
But the dough is very, very sticky, so I find that that will be really tricky so for this one I do recommend using a stand, mixer or something similar, because again, that’s just a very sticky dough. Once the dough has come together, we’ll add our softened butter and just let that really go for a while just several minutes, probably 10 minutes or so until the dough starts to form a little bit.
And after that, I recommend, instead of pouring it out onto a floured surface, just pour it into the oiled bowl and sort of try to turn it over. So the whole thing is coated in oil and then cover that and let that rise and it should take about an hour or so to double in size and when you’re ready to work with this dough definitely use a metal scraper or a metal spatula. Because it’s a very, very sticky dough and you will probably have some problems if you don’t have something metal to cut through it, and you can even put a little bit of oil on your metal, scraper or spatula to help separate the dough.
But once you get working with it and your hands are a little oily, it’s not that bad, especially with a scraper or a metal spatula to help you form things we’re going to form it into a little bit of a log here and then again, I recommend Cutting it into 12 pieces, eight pieces just yielded these gigantic buns. So definitely do 12 and that’ll. Give you plenty to work with the sloppy joes and the tuna sandwiches. Once you separate the dough you’re going to sort of make a little bit of a ball and put that on a parchment, lined baking sheet to finish proofing that’ll usually take about 30 to 50 minutes to get them nice and puffy and sort of that bun shape. Then we’ll put a little bit of egg wash on top and if you wanted to, if you had sesame seeds, you could add those if you like and then we’ll bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes until they’re, nice and golden brown.
Now I was going to make regular buns, but my husband requested brioche and I’m glad he did they were delicious. I definitely recommend trying out this recipe again, it’s not mine, but I did link this recipe in the blog for you to try or you can search one that you like better and just to note. I did make the buns at the beginning of the week and left them in the refrigerator until we’re ready to use. So I did not make all of the hat before dinner, but I am going to be showing you the sloppy joe recipe now in a large pan, we’re just going to saute some onions and bell peppers until they’re, nice and soft and add some garlic saute that Until it’s nice and fragrant about 30 seconds or so then add one of those bags of black beans, this is two cups of the prepared black beans. I did not drain or rinse those, then I’m adding some rinsed lentil beans and since we’re adding some tomato sauce, the lentil beans are going to take a little bit longer to cook.
So keep that in mind at 30 minutes of boiling they’re still going to be hard. So you’re going to need to boil these for at least 45 minutes just to make sure that they’re, nice and cooked through so make sure you taste them and continue boiling and simmering until it’s cooked through We’ll add some brown sugar and some mustard for flavor over Bring that to a simmer, then I let that simmer for a few minutes before covering reducing the Heat and simmering for 30 to 35 minutes. Until those lentils were nearing being cooked through, then I uncovered and continued to cook until it was reduced to about half. You can just reduce it to the consistency that you like for sloppy joes it’ll, usually take about 10 to 15 minutes. Put that on your buns top it with some red onions and maybe some hot sauce or jalapenos, and a little bit of cheese and there you have it perfect, sloppy joes.
This next recipe is an easy sheet: pan meal, it’s a kielbasa with veggies and rice. So, first we’re just going to add our sliced kielbasa and our sliced veggies to a sheet tray toss it with some oil, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder. Yes, all of the seasonings, then we’re just going to bake that in the oven for 20 minutes, then give it a good toss and bake it for 20 minutes more now, if you like your veggies a little bit more cooked, you can bake the veggies by themselves Without the kielbasa first then add the Kilda when those veggies are halfway cooked through and then continue cooking until the veggies in kielbasa are done to your liking, 20 to 35 minutes after that, so it just depends on what you like. I’Ve listed the recipe, the way that I normally make it, but in this case I just added the kielbasa right there at the beginning, and it turned out to be just fine as well, so either way it’s very fast and easy, and then I just made some White rice, while that was cooking, and that was it. This is a super, easy fast meal to make your life easy and speaking of easy, of course, we had to have some easy dinner options for all this cooking that we’re doing at home.
So this one is a very simple Franks and Beans, so we’re just going to slice up our hot dogs and add those to a heated pan and brown. Those once those are browned We’ll add our baked beans, just bring that to a simmer and then add a little bit of brown sugar and a little bit of mustard for flavor. You can add anything that you like or not add anything at all. It’S up to you once that’s heated through then you’re just going to serve it just like that or you could serve it on top of rice if you like. That would definitely help stretch this meal.
If you’re looking to have this, maybe for leftovers the next day, this easily serves four to six people depending on how much your family eats and it’s a very quick meal that comes together in about 10 minutes. This next dinner is a Cheesy ham and broccoli cornbread. First, we’ll preheat the oven to 375 degrees, Fahrenheit and add our cast iron skillet to warm or you can use a heavy bottom oven, safe Skillet. Whatever you have on hand, then in a medium mixing bowl, we’ll mix together our eggs, milk and Greek yogurt or sour cream. If that’s what you have on hand, then we’ll melt two tablespoons of butter in that cast iron and put it back in the oven.
While we mix everything else, let’s add the cornbread mixture to the wet ingredients and then start adding all of our add-ins. This is where we’re going to be using that cooked ham, we’re just going to be using half of that ham steak. For this recipe, then chop up that frozen broccoli add that in some sliced green onions and some shredded cheddar cheese, you could use the Mexican blend cheese. If you you like either one will work fine, just mix until it’s combined, then we’re going to pour that directly into our cast iron skillet. Here just make sure that all of the butter is sort of coating, the entire pan.
So it doesn’t stick after it’s cooked. After you pour the batter in just spread it around, so it’s relatively even so, it Cooks evenly and bake that for about 35 to 40 minutes until it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out relatively clean, then you’re just going to let that rest. For a few minutes about 10 to 15 or so and then go ahead and serve it, and you could put some Greek yogurt on top or some hot sauce. This next recipe is shells and cheese with ham and peas. Yes, I rhymed, I know I’m just going to be making essentially a homemade mac and cheese with homemade cheese sauce, but first I’m going to start by sauteing the rest of that ham that I’ve cubed I’m going to remove it after it’s heated through and just use Kind of a little bit of that fat to help with the cheese sauce I’ll, add two tablespoons of butter and melt that and then add two tablespoons of flour to to make a roux.
And I’m going to cook that for a few minutes. Just to make sure that the flour flavor is cooked out and it’s nice and golden brown and then I’ll start adding my liquid. So I’m slowly going to add my milk to this just a little bit at a time to make sure I don’t get lumps just whisking every single time that I add liquid until it’s mostly combined, then I’ll continue adding just a little bit of milk. At a time until I’ve added all of the milk now in the meantime, I’m cooking my pasta in a separate pot of water and when the pasta is almost completely cooked through I’m, going to add my frozen peas to give them a chance to also cook through. While I’m making this cheese sauce now after I’ve combined all of that milk, I’m going to go ahead and bring this to a very low simmer, I don’t want it to boil.
I don’t want it to Scorch, then I’m going to add some seasonings just a little bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder. But you can add any seasonings that you like to judge this up. Give that a good mix and then we’re going to turn off the heat before adding the cheese, and I do recommend taking the cheese out of the refrigerator before you start cooking all this to to allow it to come to a little bit more of a room. Temperature, so it doesn’t curdle, that’s one of the secrets to making sure that cheese melts properly if the cheese is too cold. That could be one reason why it doesn’t melt properly, so just continue stirring that until your cheese is all melty and then add in your cooked noodles and peas save a little bit of that pasta water to add to make the cheese a little bit more creamy, Then mix it all together, add in your cooked ham and go ahead and serve that up.
Just like this, a little bit of Cracked, Pepper or some hot sauce would be great on this. This is a family favorite and I definitely will be making this dish again. Now next we’re going to go ahead and make some more bread. This is focaccia bread, it’s a very easy recipe. I started this the day before actually the night before and then just baked it just before dinner.
So it was relatively easy and it’s not my recipe. I linked it in the blog and I promise this one is very, very simple. I just added all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, then added some warm water and mixed that until it was combined, then topped it with a little bit of oil. Actually, a good amount of oil to make sure that it was nice and coated and then covered that tightly and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, when I came home the next day about three or four hours before I needed to cook dinner, I just pulled it out of the fridge and transferred it and let it finish proofing on the countertop and then I baked it when it was time to start Making dinner, but you could definitely make this one in advance, it’s going to hold really well, so I would definitely do this one, maybe the day before or just when.
You have a little bit of extra time. If you aren’t going to be home in enough time to bake this one, but it’s definitely worth it you’re going to end up with a lot of bread, it’s going to be great to go with the next meal, I’m suggesting, and it also will leave you with Enough bread for maybe some sandwiches, so you could put some peanut butter on this to make peanut butter sandwiches and you will have a can of tuna left. So you could make a tuna sandwich with this, but the possibilities will be endless. Definitely try this one. If you’re going to try any of these bread recipes, it’s very very easy and the dimpling part is really really fun.
But again, if you want to buy the ready-made options of all of these things, you will end up spending at least 30 dollars more to do. That, but that’s up to you, depending on how much convenience you want. So if you do that, you won’t need the flour, the baking powder or the yeast, and again the decision is definitely up to you. This is just a way to really maximize our budget, so this next meal is going to be a really fresh and delicious spaghetti with grape tomatoes. First, I start by cooking my spaghetti in a separate pot, then in a large pan, I’ll heat some oil.
A lot of oil because that’s going to be the main sauce here then saute, some garlic until it’s fragrant that only takes about 30 seconds to a minute, then add my halved grape tomatoes. The yellow ones are from my garden if you’re wondering where those ones came from instead of wasting. I just added them to this dish. Then I’m just going to saute them that until those get nice and wrinkly and the juices start to come out and then I’ll add some of that pasta, water and some seasonings. Just a little bit of salt is all we need for this one.
Then, when the spaghetti is about three minutes away from being fully cooked through, I pull it out of the pasta, water and add it to the sauce and let it continue cooking in this sauce and adding a little bit more pasta water here and there. To really add a little bit of moisture and to get that nice and Saucy, then I’m just going to serve this, as is, if you have parmesan cheese or some red chili flakes.
If you have any leftover cooked chicken, you can add that to this dish as well, and, of course, with that Focaccia, this next dinner recipe is a very basic beef taco in a large pan I’ll go ahead and brown my ground beef until it’s fully cooked through. If there’s any fat I’ll remove it, but this is the 8515 and there wasn’t that much fat. So I just left it then I added my taco seasonings and as much water as it mentioned on the packet stir that up and just let that thicken for about five minutes that that point.
I also cooked my taco shells in the oven and then I just served this all together with a little bit of diced tomatoes, diced onions and some Greek yogurt, and I had some jalapenos from the garden. So I went ahead and added those as well, and if you have some cheese left over, you can add that too next I made some cilantro lime rice to go as a side dish with my enchiladas that I’ll make next, but also add some extra food.
To add to some black beans as extra meals, but I’ll talk about that in just a minute. So first I started by Browning my rice in some oil, then adding some water and some salt and the zest from one lime gave that a stir and then brought that to a simmer and covered it and cooked it. For about 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed, this is going to vary depending on the rice that you bought.
Then let that rest off the heat for a few minutes and fluff. It then add the lime, juice and some fresh cilantro that you can either chop or just tear, and that’s it for this one. That is very, very easy and you can refrigerate this for a few days and have it on the side or put it in some burritos with some black beans. It’S really tasty and a very delicious side dish, and it goes perfectly with the lentil and Black Bean Enchiladas that I’m making next first, I started by cooking my lentils in a separate pot straining and setting those aside, then, in a large mixing bowl. I added my black beans and those cooked lentils, some minced garlic and then some seasonings, cumin garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and try to make it into the bowl.
We didn’t quite make it all the times, but they did end up getting all the seasonings into the bowl. Give that a good stir and set that aside, then, with your 9 by 13 casserole dish, you’re going to put about half of that enchilada sauce down on the bottom, and this is just to keep everything from sticking when it’s baking just make sure that it goes All the way to the edges and a little bit up the sides, if you can then take three of your tortillas and put those on the bottom, they can overlap. That’S totally fine, then add half of your bean mixture on top of that and make sure you spread it all around. So it’s in an even layer and covers most of that casserole dish and most of the tortillas then we’ll add three more tortillas.
On top of that and the rest of that bean mixture again you’re going to overlap the tortillas, that’s perfect, and then the bean mixture we’re going to want to spread that around as well making an even layer for the top.
Then we’ll add the rest of that. Enchilada sauce and some cheese on top to cover then bake that in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until everything is bubbly and the cheese is melty. Allow that to rest for about five to ten minutes before serving so that it doesn’t completely fall apart when you serve it and then top it with some Greek yogurt any diced tomatoes that you might have on hand. Some hot sauce, some red onions, any kind of toppings that you like, would do for this and, of course, that cilantro lime rice will do really well on the side. With this one and the last plan meal that we have for this is the frozen pizza and you can make that anytime.
That works for you and then you’ll have some leftover ingredients. Some rice, sugar, flour, oil, maybe some pasta – and you can do what you like with that. But I do have some suggestions in the blog so check that out. If you’re wanting to know what else you can do with the remaining ingredients and really stretch your budget, I hope you found this meal plan how and helpful – and I hope you love all of the recipes. I know some of it is a little bit more work at the beginning, but I promise all of that prep will pay off because you won’t have to do as much cooking later.
So if you try anything, let me know down in the comments what you thought: if you have any suggestions for more meal plans or what budget you want me to use, leave those in the comments, of course, give me a thumbs up. If you love this article, it really helps my blog And subscribe to see more articles just like this have a great day.