Archive for the ‘Cheap Eats’ Category

I was a vegetarian for two years in college — but like other vegetarians I’ve met the smell of frying bacon pulled me back to the dark side. However, I still find a diet with less of a focus on high-fat meat and more of a focus on beans, veggies, and healthy grains to be very satisfying.

PiggyBank Raid’s contest this month ($20 prize!)┬áseeking frugal, primarily vegetarian recipes has inspired me to pull out some of those fave recipes or even to try some new ones to submit to the site by June 30.

I’ve got a two and a half weeks to cook up a few tasty dishes — focusing on quickness and ease of preparation, frugality, and health all at once — and the ones I submit I’ll also post here as a part of my Cheap Eats series, with price breakdowns.

Already on hand in my pantry are some bags of beans I’ve been considering doing something with this weekend. And I also had been planning to hit the farmers’ market this Saturday, so the timing couldn’t have been better.

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Cheap Eats #1

This is the first in an occasional series of posts about inexpensive meals that I’ve actually cooked for myself and I find to be tasty bargains.

First, I’m a huge fan of using a slow cooker. I’m single and not the greatest cook in the world — so the convenience of preparing ingredients in the morning, setting a timer, letting the slow cooker do it’s thing and coming home to warm smells of freshly cooked food can’t be beat!

I get many of my slow cooker recipes from Fix-It & Forget-It Lightly. Here’s one I made┬áMonday and following the recipe will be a breakdown of the costs directly from my grocery receipt.

Chicken Chowder Recipe (serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 ” chunks
  • 1/2 lb. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 15-oz. cans cream corn
  • 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

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  • Combine all ingredients except potato flakes and cheese in the cooker.
  • Cover. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
  • Add potato flakes and stir well.
  • Cook on high, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until chowder has thickened.
  • Top each serving with cheese (optional).

This was my first try with this recipe and it turned out to be quite tasty. It was a hearty meal that I paired with a small salad and a roll. Reheating it for dinner last night, it kept it’s flavor and didn’t get too mushy.

Keep reading for the cost of the meal… Continue Reading »