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$5 Meal Ideas!!

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Old 03-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default $5 Meal Ideas!!

I haven't seen a thread about this yet, but if there is one, please point me in that direction!

Let's share $5 meal ideas!

One of mine to share:

Stuffed Green Peppers
2 large green peppers [$1.50]
1 box rice-a-roni, your favorite flavor [$2]
1 lb ground turkey [$1]

-Cook rice-a-roni according to the package.
-Cut top off of green peppers & remove the middle & seeds.
-Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green peppers & boil for 5 minutes.
-Take peppers out of water & put in a baking/casserole pan.
-Fill peppers with rice-a-roni.
-Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
-Serve & enjoy!

You can also just used plain rice & add seasonings. It would make it healthier and even cheaper.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, I have never seen ground turkey for $1/lb (must be west coast prices??) - great recipe though I'll have to think about it and come back to add....

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Old 03-17-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Default Tamale Pie

I calculate this recipe at about $3.60. I cut it into nine "servings", but it takes two to feel satiated! Even better, a two-slice serving is only 168 calories, 2 grams of fat and 30 carbs. Since we have two adults and a toddler eating, this is actually almost two meals for us. So, it's really under $2 per meal.

Tamale Pie

Ingredients:
1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. crushed garlic (jar or fresh)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel
1/2 cup zucchini, cubed
1/2 cup corn, frozen
Jiffy cornmeal mix

Directions:
Mix dry TVP with a cup of boiling water and a teaspoon of veggie or beef base. Saute onion for five minutes. Add garlic. Saute another minute. Add TVP and seasonings. Cook for three minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. Spoon into an 8x8 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Make cornmeal per package directions and pour over top, spreading to edges of pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into nine servings.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default Vindaloo

http://www.amazon.com/Pataks-Vindalo.../dp/B000JMAVPS

To make vindaloo, I use a jar of this (available locally for $3), five pounds of potatoes (boiled first), a pound or so of lamb, a jar of tomatoes and an onion or two. It takes me around $10 to make an entire stock pot full. For my family, that's about five or six meals, maybe more. I serve with flat bread, so that adds cost, but it's still way under $5. It freezes wonderfully, so I have "instant" meals available all the time. You could easily replace a variety of vegetables for the potatoes and/or the meat.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:12 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if this makes it quite under $5, but I think it would. I buy a lot of things on sale and in bulk so it's be hard for me to calculate. Anyway, my fave cheap eats:

Canned Salmon Patties

1 can of salmon (14.5oz), drained bones removed if you want (I leave them~more calcium)
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1t dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (depending on egg size)
other seasonings (I like to mix it up~capers are good)

Mush everything together and form into 4 patties. Pan fry in a little olive oil or non-stick spray.

Serve with brown rice and a salad or veggie.

I always make extra brown rice when I cook rice. Leftovers get made into "fried" rice (I use broth instead of oil~so "steamed" fried rice) with all the other extra bits left in the fridge.
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Last edited by zenor77 : 03-17-2008 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:07 AM   #6
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Question: What's Rotel?

Nice to see a recipe for TVP, as I have some in my cupboard and have been thinking about what to make with it.

I made a barley and lentil casserole the other day, and would imagine that was pretty cheap, but unfortunately I don't know the calorie counts for it. I'm afraid it was pretty calorie dense, with all the barley, brown rice, and lentils that went into it.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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Rotel is a brand of tomato products. http://www.texmex.net/Rotel/main.htm
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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Rotel is diced tomatoes with green chilis. You could use regular petite-diced tomatoes, but you'd be lacking some of the flavor and heat that green chilis impart. You could add green chilis or diced jalapenos. Green chilis do have better flavor - and milder heat - than jalapenos. Another option would be to bump up the seasonings a bit, unless you like things more bland.

Rotel actually has come out with a variety of "flavors" recently, but the classic Rotel is just tomatoes and green chilis. It's often used with Velveeta to make (yummy) party dip.

So far, that's the only thing I've done with TVP, but I'll be using it the next time I make tacos or Sloppy Joes. I'm also going to try to put some in the next time I make spicy lentil burgers. They should add some nice texture. I think TVP works out to something like $0.50/lb after you add water. So, it's WAY cheaper than ground beef, especially when you consider the price you pay for ground beef includes a lot of fat that you'll be draining off.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:31 PM   #9
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just go to trader joes! they have all sorts of delicious/cheap/nutritious stuff.

tonight i am making their Masala curry simmer.

Masala curry simmer ~ $2.00
Mixed frozen veggies ~ $2.00
Brown Rice ~ $1.50

Shoot, I went .50 over...but trust me, its worth it!
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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Boosha, what's the recipe for masala curry simmer? (I do have garam masala on hand which I suspect is an ingredient!)
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #11
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I believe she's talking about the simmer sauce that you buy in jars at trader joes.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:31 PM   #12
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Oh. We don't have Trader Joe's. Is it their house brand or made by Pataks, Maggi, etc?
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:45 AM   #13
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My husband is a vegetarian, and it's a challenge sometimes to come up with something he will eat, which is often high carb, and something that I can eat that is calorie counted. Last night we ate different things...I had a turkey burger on a Weight Watchers bun and some barley mushroom pilaf I concocted, and he had vegetarian baked beans and a salad.
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