Cooking meals at home can be easy, fast and delicious. I’ve been focusing on the cost of my meals as part of a challenge to eat on $1.50 per day. There’s no need to eat off the dollar menu to save money on food. Check out Julia’s 17 easy 15-minute dinners if you don’t have lots of time to cook.
I’m sharing 10 tasty meals for $2 or less.
1. Turkey and bean chili – Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and turkey. Cook until turkey is done. Stir in chili powder, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Cost: $1.75 per cup serving
2. Fish in a packet – Any type of fish will work, but I like using Tilapia. Grab a sheet of foil or parchment paper. Top with cooked brown rice, fish and veggies. Add salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees until fish is done and flakes easily with a fork and veggies are crisp-tender. Cost: $1.45 per serving
3. Chicken and broccoli pasta – Boil pasta and add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cooked chicken. Combine drained pasta, broccoli, and chicken in a bowl. Add mayo and Parmesan. Season to taste. Cost: $1.33 per serving
4. Beef broccoli stir fry – Cook rice according to instructions. Heat a skillet. Add oil, garlic, and ginger. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the beef and stir. Then add broccoli. Add pepper and soy sauce to taste. Cost: $1.52 per serving
5. Quiche in pepper pots – Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Stand peppers upright in muffin-pan cups. In small bowl, beat together eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Spoon ¼ cup of your favorite frozen vegetables mix into each pepper. Make sure to thaw veggies beforehand. Ladle egg mixture leaving about half an inch of space from the top. Bake in preheated 325 degrees oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cost: $1.39 each
6. Corn, zucchini, and cheese enchiladas – Dice zucchini. In a skillet saute it with garlic and frozen corn. Add salt and pepper to taste. Warm tortillas and stuff them. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Cost: 2 enchiladas for $1.98
7. Broccoli soup – Heat chicken broth and add cut up broccoli and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the broccoli is tender, use a handheld blender or regular blender and blend to the consistency of your choice. Top with cheddar cheese. Cost: $.60 per cup
8. Tuna salad – Open a can of tuna and drain. In a bowl, add mustard and mayo, and tuna. Add tomato, cucumbers, bell pepper, and onion. Mix and chill. Enjoy on toasted bread or wheat crackers. Cost: $.95 per sandwich
9. Tomato-basil tart – Thaw puff pastry. Prick pastry with fork all over. Top with black olive tappenade or marinara sauce. Add mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. Add a little olive oil to the sides. This will taste like a pizza, but it looks a little more sophisticated. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut into 6 even pieces. Find the complete tart recipe from All You mag. Cost: $1.03 per serving
10. Chicken salad – Use your favorite lettuce like romaine, mesclum, or arugula. Top with grilled chicken, and grilled peaches. I also like to use grilled pears, or mangoes. Use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as your dressing. Cost: $1.92 per plate