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One Dish Budget-Minded Recipes (that freeze well)

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Old 01-02-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default One Dish Calorie Counting Budget-Minded Recipes (that freeze well)

I like to cook (and I'm sure you do too if you clicked on this topic)! I know how to cook many very tasty dishes, but have zero idea about the serving size or calorie value. Counting calories is a big part of my new (and permanent) life style, and as such, I have begun to weigh, measure, add, and log every calorie I consume (my new nutritional scale rocks). I am putting together my favorite one dish meals here (altered to be more healthful but still tasty), these are meals that freeze well in individual portions to offer convenience for lunch or dinner and make choosing a healthy meal easy. And to top it all off, the recipes are budget-minded! I figure that if I'm going to go through all the work of logging everything for myself, I might as well share the recipes that turn out nicely here.

Chicken/Broccoli/Rice Casserole
(with a twist)
9 servings, 375 cal. per serving, $1.33 per serving


1 3/4 lbs. (28 oz.) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1/4 lbs. (36 oz.) of frozen (thaw before using) or fresh broccoli (I got Steamfresh broccoli florets super cheap at Wal-Mart, or I would have bought fresh)
315 grams (just under 1 3/4 c.) of uncooked brown rice (I used Uncle Ben's natural whole grain brown rice)
10 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 c. of water
1 tbsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. of garlic salt
1/2 tsp. of chili powder
1/2 tsp. of black pepper

and here comes the "secret" ingredient...

1 1/2 tbsp. of oyster sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the chicken into roughly 1 1/2 inch cubes and throw everything together in a large casserole dish and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stir thoroughly, and cook an additional 30 minutes or until rice is desired tenderness.

I portioned the casserole out into nine 1 1/2 c. servings, clocking in at around 375 calories a serving. I spent $12 on ingredients (already had spices and oyster sauce on hand), so that's $1.33 per serving.

It's very hearty and filling, and more tasty than you'd think (it's the oyster sauce)! If you have allergies (it's made from fish, not oysters, but you never know), or just don't want to buy oyster sauce (really good condiment investment in my opinion, a little goes a long way), you could probably substitute fat free low sodium Swanson chicken broth for the water to keep things flavorful.
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Last edited by ars : 01-02-2010 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
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This sounds really tasty! And I'm aiming for a lean January, cash-wise as well as weight-wise, so thankyou!
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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That is a great recipe, another idea I make often is spaghetti with whole wheat pasta and replace the meat with veggies, also pretty cheap and freezable!
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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Asparagus Quiche with Potato Crust
6 servings, 185 cal. per serving, $1.50 per serving

Potato Crust:
2c. (235 grams, about 5 small potatoes) loosely packed grated red potatoes
1/4c. (75 grams) grated yellow onion
1 large egg white
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
a few drops of extra virgin olive oil

Quiche:
2 large whole eggs
5 large egg whites
10 slices of turkey bacon (I used Jennie-O Extra Lean 95% fat free since it's only 20 calories a slice)
1 lb. (340 grams after trimming) of fresh asparagus
1/3 c. almond milk
1 1/2 c. low-fat 2% cottage cheese
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grate potatoes and squeeze dry. I found putting them in a flat bottom strainer, putting a towel under the strainer, and pressing with a plate worked well to squeeze out the moisture. Salt and pepper potatoes lightly. Mix in onion. Lightly whisk egg white and add to potato mixture and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Lightly grease a 9 in. glass pie plate with olive oil (I put a few drops on a paper towel and rubbed the plate). Pour in potato mixture and press into bottom and sides of plate with the back of a spoon - it should reach all the way up the sides. Bake uncovered on center rack for 20 minutes or until it begins to turn brown on the edges.

While crust is cooking:
1) line up bacon slices on a cookie sheet and place in bottom rack of oven to crisp
2) trim ends of asparagus and cook covered in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat (they are done when they turn bright green and the skin begins to soften, but they should still be fairly firm)
3) combine almond milk, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a bowl
4) in a separate bowl, lightly whisk eggs

Remove crust and bacon from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Allow crust to cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

While crust is cooling:
1) finely crumble bacon (food processor works great)
2) finish cooking asparagus, and cut into 1 in. pieces

Almost there! Once crust is cool, fold eggs into cheese mixture until just combined. Fold in bacon crumbles and asparagus pieces. Pour into crust. Bake uncovered on center rack for 45 minutes or until center is firm. There will be some liquid pools on top of the quiche, don't worry, they are reabsorbed as it cools! Cool completely before serving. Quiche is best refridgerated and served cold the next day.

This quiche yields 6 satisfying slices, and at only about 185 calories a slice, it's totally guilt-free deliciousness! Cost of ingredients was about $9, so that's $1.50 per serving.

I was pleasantly surprised with this quiche. It doesn't quite have all the cheesy custard goodness of traditional quiche, but it's a nice compromise for not using the heavy cream and several cups of whole milk cheese that most recipes call for! Topped with a sprinkle of hot sauce or a thick slice of fresh tomato, it's super yum. If you don't have almond milk on hand (you should, it's a great low calorie milk and soy milk alternative...we're talking only 40 calories for a cup, yes, a whole cup), I would substitute with an extra 1/3 c. cottage cheese (but keep in mind the calories per serving will increase just a little bit).
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaCee J View Post
That is a great recipe, another idea I make often is spaghetti with whole wheat pasta and replace the meat with veggies, also pretty cheap and freezable!
I love pasta dishes too, especially for lunchtime as the carbs are a nice kick of energy. And pasta does freeze very well!
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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Oh yay!! These both look wonderful! I have been thinking about making my lunches ahead and freezing portions. These should be great additions to my recipe book. Thank you!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #7
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Wow! Thanks for this recipes. You can really make a lot of servings at once.. which makes it easy.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
10 servings, 121 cal. per serving, less than $.50 per serving

2 lbs. sweet potatoes (the big ones w/ orange flesh), peeled and chopped
10 oz. (just under 2/3 lb.) celery, peeled and chopped
10 oz. (just under 2/3 lb.) carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small (2 1/2 in. diameter) yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
3 c. chicken broth (I like low fat reduced sodium Swanson)
3 c. water
1 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt to taste

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except buttermilk and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Allow to cool uncovered (should still be warm, but not burning to the touch). Blend in a blender in batches until smooth and poor back into the stock pot once the entire mixture is blended. Bring mixture back up to a slow simmer and add in buttermilk. Simmer for 5 minutes longer and it's done.

I portioned the soup out into ten approx. 1 1/2 c. servings, clocking in at around 121 calories a serving. I spent under $6 on ingredients (already had spices and buttermilk on hand), so that's less then $.50 per serving.

I like to throw a dollop of sour cream on it if I'm eating at home. Pairs well with turkey if you're looking for a larger meal.

The recipe could be altered to vegetarian if you substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and replace the buttermilk with 3/4 c. almond milk. And a note about buttermilk since I find many people give it a bad rap or associate it only with baking...yes, buttermilk is hard to drink on its own (sort of like drinking watered down really sour sour cream), but it is low calorie (100 calories per c.) and can be low fat. It's fantastic with vegetables and potatoes, delightful in smoothies, super in homemade salad dressings (adds great tang w/ creaminess), and so on. Plus, it generally has a nice long expiration date so it doesn't go to waste.
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Last edited by ars : 03-15-2010 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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Chicken and Chard Pasta Fagioli

10 servings, 285 cal. per serving, $1.50 per serving


1 large yellow onion, diced
3 c. carrots, grated
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (reduce amount if you don't like spicey)
1 lb. of swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped
5 c. chicken broth (I like low fat reduced sodium Swanson)
3 chicken bouillon cubes (so flavor isn't diluted by water)
5 c. water
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
16 oz. can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
5 c. cooked (poached works) chicken breast meat shredded
10 oz. pasta (I used Barilla Plus farfalle multi-grain because it was on sale, go for ditalini or tubetini for the traditional fagioli shape)

Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat with a splash of broth to wet the bottom. Add onion, carrots, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and cook, mixing often, for 4 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add in swiss chard, mixing often, and cook until wilted. Add broth, bouillon, water, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes. Add pasta, bring pot back to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. If at any point after adding ingredients there is not enough liquid to just cover them, add more water! I'm sure I added another 2 or 3 cups during cooking as needed.

I portioned the fagioli out into ten heaping 2 c. servings, clocking in at around 285 calories a serving. I spent $15 on ingredients (already had spices and bouillon on hand), so that's $1.50 per serving.

I LOVE this soup! It's my new favorite chicken soup! It's slightly spicy, but not hot. The 2 c. serving is a nice portion - this is not a soup where the ingredients are lost in broth, every spoonful is hearty! I topped my bowl with some freshly shredded parmesan cheese (adding another 40 calories) - it was a nice compliment.

If you are scared of swiss chard, you could substitute spinach.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:24 PM   #10
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This thread is amazing! Thank you so much! I've bookmarked it specifically so I can try all these recipies. I've never tried swiss chard though, does it taste like spinach? Cause spinach is one thing I can't stand the taste of...maybe I could just leave it out, I really like a lot of liquid in my soups.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsey View Post
This thread is amazing! Thank you so much! I've bookmarked it specifically so I can try all these recipies. I've never tried swiss chard though, does it taste like spinach? Cause spinach is one thing I can't stand the taste of...maybe I could just leave it out, I really like a lot of liquid in my soups.
It's hard to describe the flavor...very earthy, slightly bitter when raw. The closest thing I can come up with would maybe be brussel sprouts. If you like those, you'd probably like chard. I think it would still be a good soup without the chard, with the carrot and tomato standing out more in the flavor. Do you like mushrooms? Those would add back some of that earthy flavor to the soup if you skip the chard.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:47 PM   #12
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Oh that's good to hear, I do like brussel sprouts! And I LOVE mushrooms, mmmm! I don't be shopping for a while, but this will be on my list to get ingredients for when I do. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:02 PM   #13
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I had this yesterday. This recipe makes about 8 servings but it is easily halved. A good hardy meal for cold winter nights. Just pop everything in the slow cooker in the morning and have everything piping hot for supper.

Vegetable Curry
16-oz. package baby carrots or 1 lb. carrots, sliced or cut in sticks
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 lb. fresh, or frozen green beans, cut in 2-inch pieces (or may use canned*)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons minute tapioca
3 teaspoons curry powder (or to taste)
2 teaspoon salt
1 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon, or 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Combine carrots, potatoes, green beans, pepper, onion, garlic, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes in large bowl. Stir in tapioca, curry powder, and salt. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Pour over vegetables. Mix well. Spoon into large slow cooker or two medium ones. Cover. Cook on Low 8-10 hours or High 3-4 hours. Serve with cooked rice.

*If using canned green beans, add toward the end of the cooking time.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:59 PM   #14
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Retiredone, that's sounds yummy! I'm going to try it soon. I love my crockpot.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #15
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Baja Black Beans and Corn

12 servings, 400 cal. per serving, less than $1 per serving


two 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
32 oz. frozen whole yellow corn kernels, thawed
28 oz. can diced tomatoes (plain or with green chilis), drained
1 c. red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, diced
juice of whole fresh lime (about 4 tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 c. cooked long grain brown rice

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover tightly, and let sit overnight for flavors to blend (it gets tastier each day).

This dish can be served cold or warmed. My favorite way to eat this is hot over 1/2 c. cooked long grain brown rice with lots of hot sauce. I'll add some sour cream and scrambled eggs also to make a fuller meal. Tastes wonderful as a salsa or as a side to grilled fish or chicken.
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