I think I've hit on another good 4 Under $40 this week. I’ve tried out (most of) these recipes and they are yummy and kid friendly. Tuesday's meal is for the slow-cooker and Friday's meatballs you can make ahead and cook when you're ready. Give yourself time to thaw your pizza dough (Monday) and remember that brown rice takes about an hour to cook (Thursday).
Monday: Homemade Pizza ($14.04)Adapted from The Fresh 20
NOTE: Instead of using pizza crust, you can use Portobello mushroom caps (4), brushed and bottom gills removed. Arrange top down on a foil lined baking sheet and follow direction from there. I didn't see any that looked very good today, so I opted for frozen pizza dough and Baby Bellos as a topping.
Frozen (Brooklyn Pizza Dough $4.28) or premade (Mama Mary’s $3.88) pizza dough/crust
2 come in each of these packages
15 oz can Cannillini beans (Bush's $1.12)
4 c baby spinach ($3.38/bag or $2.84 organic box - yes, that's right. Check for it!)
1 T dried oregano
1 c part-skim Ricotta cheese (LL $2.48/8oz or Sorrento 2/$5)
2 Roma Tomatoes (grape tomatoes 2/$3)
Baby Bellos ($2.28/qt or $2.98/qt organic Leaving out 2 or 3 for Friday)
NOTE: If you use frozen you will need 6 hours to thaw at room temp or thaw in fridge overnight. So for you this is a later in the week meal!
Prepare crust per package directions. Puree beans and spinach in a blender/food processor until smooth. Stir in s&p (salt & pepper). Spread puree onto pizza crust. Combine oregano and ricotta. Spread layer over spinach blend. Top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Bake according to crust package directions and until tops start to brown.
If you’re more of a traditional pizza type of person then mozzarella (LL chunk $2.76) and pizza sauce (LL$1) will set you back about another $4, but it will be a trade-off for some of the others.
After trying this tonight I have two suggestions: 1 - Unless you're using both pizzas from the dough or premade, don't use all the Ricotta mix nor all of the spinach/bean mix. It's wonderful, just too much of a good thing. 2 - when they say "lightly" coat the frozen dough with oil while thawing give it a "good coating" so your dough won't become crusty. Otherwise I LOVED this. The kiddos, not so much, but there was a LOT of green to get through. We ate ours with Ranch dressing!
Tuesday: Mango-Chicken Tinga ($14.33)
Adapted from BHG slow cooker meals
1 onion in wedges ($0.75 +/-)
1 mango – halved, seeded and cubed ($1.50 organic or $1.98 regular)
2# chicken thighs – skin removed (2.7#/$4.54)
3 cloves garlic (bulb $0.42)
14 oz can diced tomatoes (LL $0.81)
14 oz chicken broth (LL $1.98/32oz and store remaining broth in fridge)
1 c mango nectar (Jumex $0.58/can)
Hot cooked rice (LL Brown Rice $0.93/lb) cooked per package directions
Pineapple wedges (slices $1.18)
Lime slices (Limes $0.33))
Tortillas (La Banderita Corn Tortillas $1.78)
1 ½ t chipotle chili pepper
1 t salt
½ t cumin
½ t ground ginger
¼ t cinnamon
Place onion and mango in the bottom of your CrockPot. Top with chicken, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. Pour undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, and mango nectar over all. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2 – 2 ½ hours. Remove chicken from cooker, debone, and return shredded chicken back to cooker. Place chicken mixture into serving bowls including some broth. Add cooked brown rice. Serve with pineapple, lime and tortillas.
It sounds exotic, but it’s very flavorful and even my pickiest liked it.
Wednesday – off night
Thursday – Pasta ($8.67)
Celentano has all their frozen pastas (manicotti, stuffed shells, ravioli, and tortellini) 2/$6 this week at Ingles. I was just going to do the large Stouffer’s, but my other meals are a bit steep and at nearly $14 for a large and $11 for a family size, the Celentano looks like a much better deal. And besides that, they’re super yummy too!
Celentano Pasta ($3)
LL Pasta Sauce ($1.50/24oz)
Whole wheat dinner rolls ($2.68)
Artisan lettuce ($1.49 Manager’s Special)
Cook pasta per package directions. Top with heated pasta sauce. Leaving out 3 dinner rolls for tomorrow night’s meal, heat rolls. Tear Artisan lettuce and top with favorite dressing for salad. Voila!
Friday – Turkey Meatballs ($4.50)
Adapted from The Fresh 20
1 whole wheat roll (use 3 dinner rolls from last night)
1 c broth (use remaining from Tuesday)
½ onion finely chopped ($0.75 +/-)
1.5# ground turkey ($2.50/lb = $3.75)
1 egg yolk
1 Portabella cap (use remaining Baby Bellos from Monday)
Fresh parsley (used dried from your spice rack)
1 T (whole wheat) flour
1 T unsalted butter
1 c chicken broth (use remaining)
In small bowl place bread and ½ c broth to soak. Set aside. In large bowl combine onion, turkey, egg yolk, mushrooms, s&p, and parsley. Add soggy bread to turkey mix and form into 1-inch round meatballs. Makes 20-40. (If you make these ahead you can store them flat in a ziplock, otherwise proceed with directions.) Head ½ c broth in large sauté pan on medium heat. Add meatballs and cook for 10 minutes rotating frequently. Transfer meatballs to paper towel lined plate. On high heat add butter to the bits of browned meatballs remaining in pan. Wisk in flour and cook until mix becomes slightly brown (2 minutes). Wisk in broth. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in milk. Allow to thicken. Add cooked meatballs to gravy and simmer 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Use last night’s lettuce and make a side salad or grab another on sale veggie this week (the multi-colored peppers look amazing or a can of green beans will cost you another dollar.
So my grand total is $41.54. I’m nearly $2 over, but the Mango-Chicken Tinga will be SO worth it – I promise! And actually, if you count you only use one of the frozen dough balls ($2.14) for pizza then we're UNDER!! Yay!