Monday, April 19, 2010

One Bag of Chicken, Three Meals

As most of you know I am a big fan of variety and making the most out of what you have. We eat A LOT of chicken in my house so I love this next article I found on the Everyday Cheapskate Newsletter by Mary Hunt. I often do this.... make a menu and then shop for the week. When I do I am able to keep my budget in check. When I don't I end up buying things I don't need and nothing goes together enough to make a decent meal. Hope you enjoy this article too. - tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)


One Bag of Chicken, Three Cheap Dinners


By Jane DeLaney, founder of E-Mealz

Sometimes to get through a chaotic week, or to make it a few more days until your paycheck, a simple "mini-menu" is all you need to cover a three-day crunch. Often the temptation is to make a quick run to the grocery store to grab a few things to tide you over. The next thing you know, you've spent $75 and still don't have anything to cook for dinner!

Life can spin out of control very quickly, and it is in those times that money can easily go down the drain. Here's a simple mini-menu to serve six the next time you are in a pinch! Print it out and tuck this emergency plan in your glove compartment. Then, say, "no!" to the pitfall of drive-thru grocery shopping!


E-Mealz Mini-Menu


Do-Ahead Chicken Instructions: Place thawed chicken evenly in a 9" x 13" dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Finely chop all of the chicken into small pieces. Reserve 1 cup for meal #2. Divide remaining chopped chicken in 2 equal portions to use in meals #1 and #3, approximately 3 cups each.


Meal 1: Cheater's Chicken and Dumplings


3 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth, or 6 cups
1 (10-ounce) can of fat-free cream of celery soup
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 pound (or more) finely chopped cooked chicken, approx. 3 cups

In a soup pot, combine chicken broth, cream of celery soup, poultry seasoning and salt and cook over medium-high heat. Stir until smooth. Stack tortillas on a cutting board. Cut into 2" x 1" strips. Stir strips into broth. Bring to boil. Then, simmer 3 minutes to soften tortillas. Add cooked chicken. Remove from heat to prevent over cooking tortilla strips. Serve immediately. Serves: 6.

Side Dish: Romaine Mandarin Salad
1 heart of Romaine, rinsed and chopped
1 (5-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
Sliced green onion
Italian dressing


Meal 2: Club Quiche


1 (9-inch) deep dish frozen pie shell
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
1/3 cup real bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 medium eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 375 F. Bake crust for 8 minutes. Cool. Sauté onion in butter until tender. Sprinkle breadcrumbs in bottom of crust. Combine sautéed onions, bacon bits, chicken and cheese. Spoon evenly into crust. With mixer, blend eggs, milk, mayo, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour into crust. Bake at 375 F for 45 to 55 minutes until quiche is set and knife comes out clean when dipped into the center. Serves: 6.

Side Dishes: Steamed Broccoli and Blueberry Muffins
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets
2 (7-ounce) boxes blueberry muffin mix
Combine muffin mix with: 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk


Meal 3: BBQ Chicken Cheddar Pita Pizzas


6 pita rounds
1 pound or more finely chopped cooked chicken, approx. 3 cups
1/3 cup real bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onion

Preheat oven to 400 F. Trim pitas around the edges and separate each into halves, making 12 round halves. Place pitas, inside halves down, on 3 large cookie sheets. Thin barbecue sauce with water for drizzling consistency. Divide toppings evenly over pitas in this order: chicken, bacon, drizzled barbecue sauce, cheese and green onion. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 400 F, until cheese is melted.

Side Dish: Tossed Salad
1 heart of Romaine, rinsed and chopped
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
Croutons
Ranch salad dressing


Grocery List


Store: Wal-Mart SuperCenter
Date: February 2010
ITEM PRICE*
PRODUCE
18-ounce package hearts of Romaine, 3 pack, Dandy® 2.78
5-ounce bunch green onions, FreshN'Quick® 1.18
DAIRY
8-ounce package shredded cheddar cheese, GV® 1.96
1 dozen medium eggs, Sunny Meadow® 1.26
MEATS
3-pound bag frozen boneless chicken breasts, GV® 6.48
FROZEN FOODS
1 package deep dish frozen pie shell, GV® 2.18
16-ounce bag broccoli florets, GV® 1.34
PACKAGED / BOXED
12-ounce package flour tortillas, taco size, GV® 1.84
12-ounce package 6"pita rounds, Toufayan® 1.24
2 boxes 7-ounce blueberry muffin mix, Jiffy® 1.06
CANNED / BOTTLED
3 cans 14-ounce chicken broth, GV® 2.31
10-ounce can cream of celery soup, GV® .86
6-ounce can mandarin oranges, GV® .53
18-ounce jar barbecue sauce, GV® 1.08
2.5-ounce package real bacon pieces, GV® 1.46
TOTAL: approx. without tax 27.56

*Prices may vary slightly by location.

©Copyright 2010 Mary Hunt
Everyday Cheapskate is a Registered Trademark

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