Monthly Archives: June 2012

Corndog Muffins

I have another delightfully simple recipe for you today, but first, let’s talk gluten free. It seems like more and more people everywhere are needing gluten free options. Most of the time I think they are all just silly people who are just trying to lose weight by eating gluten free. Basically the only reason people lose weight from eating gluten free is because they are cutting out a bunch of carbs, not because of the gluten free-ness of it.

Anyway, I really shouldn’t be so judgmental. I know first hand that there are plenty of people who need to eat gluten free and not just because they want to lose weight. There are now three people in my family that must eat gluten free. They are both on my husband’s side and mine. Two because of celiac disease and one because of gluten intolerance. I recognize that my relatives truly need gluten free food. For the ones with celiac disease, even a tiny little bit of gluten will throw their bodies into a frenzy for a week. I also know that for someone who cooks non-gluten free, getting gluten free right can be pretty hard.

So, I’ve decided to add a new category to the dinners on this website. It is…. (drum roll please) Gluten Free! I’ll try to add one recipe for this category every week or so. The first one will be tomorrow. Many of them will be adaptations to the recipes already on this website, with specific brands for items that are not always gluten free (like BBQ sauce, salad dressing, vanilla, etc.).

Now on to the non gluten free recipe. If you are looking for the gluten free one, check back tomorrow.

This meal is pretty awesome. You start with a box of cornbread (or a bag, or a homemade dough, etc.) Make it according to the directions on the package.

Don’t mind that my mixer has chocolate splatters on the bottom of it. 🙂 I just cleaned it after seeing this picture, but come on, that part never touches the food anyway, right? It’s okay if chocolate splatters stay there for a few days, or months. 😉 Next, get some hot dogs straight from the fridge and cut them up into little pieces. Here is the bowl with only one chopped up hotdog.

Since, we have a one year old in the house, I cut the hot dot in half long ways before cutting it into smaller cuts. You could just cut it into circles without cutting it in half first. I only cut it in half because of my baby. However, after trying this recipe, I actually would suggest the smaller pieces. It just seemed to have a better cornbread to hotdog ratio. If you want to taste more of the hotdog, feel free to use bigger pieces.

Here is the cornbread with all of the cut up hotdogs before I mixed it in.

I used five hot dogs and that seemed like a really good amount. Here are the hotdogs after they are mixed in. I just used a regular spoon to mix them. I did not use my electric mixer.

Next, spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin. You will not be able to fill up all the muffin spaces. I would go for 8 or 9 depending on how big you want the muffins.

Next, cook your muffins according to the directions on your cornbread package. I did have to add about 5 minutes to the cooking time because of the hotdogs.

Here is the last of the muffins. I forgot to take a picture of the pan when they came out of the oven, perhaps because my ravenous family devoured them too quickly. You all know how that is, right?

As evidenced by the last remaining muffin that is already half eaten, my family loved these. Even I loved them. I’m not really a hot dog person. When we get hot dogs for my husband and me, we always get all beef hot dogs. They are the only kind I will eat. Since, I was going for cheap, though, I used the cheapo hot dogs. I still thought it tasted great. I don’t think I would have liked it if I hadn’t cut the hot dogs in half, but with them small, the cornbread really made the hot dogs yummy.

Also, I wasn’t sure if I should serve this with ketchup or not. It is supposed to be like a corndog after all. It turns out that I did not serve it with ketchup. The muffins tasted really good on their own and for me, the cornbread was a little too bready to have with ketchup. You can of course make that call for your own family. If you have ketchup lovers, then maybe a little ketchup would simply be necessary. Don’t forget to add a vegetable to this meal. It’s so inexpensive, you will have more than enough to buy some veggies.

 

Corndog Muffins, $2.25

1 box of cornbread mix and ingredients needed to make it ($1.25)

1 package of hot dogs ($1)

Directions: Make the cornbread mix according to package directions. Cut 4-6 hot dogs into bite sized pieces and add to the cornbread dough. Mix the hot dogs into the cornbread mix until they are well incorporated. Spoon mixture into a greased muffin tin (you will only use 8 or 9 spaces). Cook corndog muffins according to package directions, but add about 5 more minutes to cooking time.

Tips to Make this Healthier: Serve this with a vegetable. You could even try adding half a package of frozen mixed vegetables to the cornbread mix with the hot dogs. I’m not sure how this would taste. If you have tried it, please let me know in the comments. Another tip is to use a homemade cornbread mix. There are lots of healthier options for hot dogs, too, but they will be more expensive.

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Today’s recipe is so easy you won’t know what to do with your extra time. Here are some ideas: take a nap, take a shower, paint your nails, play tag with your kiddos, get dressed, put on some make up, twirl around in circles etc. etc. etc. The possibilities are endless. If you can make macaroni and cheese and open a few cans, you can make this dinner!!!

Step one: Make a box of macaroni and cheese according to package directions.

Step two: Add a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of tuna, and some frozen corn or peas. We used a can of corn because that’s what we had in the pantry.

Done. Easy shmeasy. I will now show you the picture of it completed, but please, please, please don’t make fun of my picture taking skills.

Okay, you can make fun of the picture a little bit. It’s sooooo blurry. Just pretend a certain child of mine bumped me right as I took the picture and then lost my camera temporarily so I couldn’t take any more pictures. Don’t assume that I had no idea the picture was so blurry until I downloaded it onto my computer days later. That’s not what happened at all…….

But at least I used up my free time well. Look at my pretty fingernails.

Thank you Pinterest for fingernail inspiration. I have to say, I was a little worried that this would turn out  tasting a lot like macaroni and cheese. While this was a childhood favorite of mine, my palate has since become more sophisticated. Meaning, I now hate boxed macaroni and cheese. 🙂 I was happily surprised by this meal, however. It turned out delicious and didn’t taste at all like boxed macaroni and cheese. Not only did my kiddos love it, but so did I!!! Now, here is your written recipe (although I’m sure you don’t need it.)

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, $3.45

1 box macaroni and cheese and ingredients needed to make  it ($1.50)

1 can undiluted cream of chicken soup ($ .75)

1 can drained tuna ($ .60)

1 can corn or 1 C frozen vegetables ($.60)

Directions: Make the box of macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Add the soup, tuna, and vegetable to the macaroni and cheese and cook on stove until heated through. Serve and enjoy.

Tips to make this healthier: Use homemade macaroni and cheese rather than the boxed variety. Also, make your own cream of chicken soup. You could probably add twice as many vegetables as well and still have a delicious dinner.

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Filed under Other/Any Meat, Pasta

Beefy Cauliflower Pasta

This week in my food co-op I got some green cauliflower. I don’t know why it’s green. It tastes the same as regular cauliflower and cooks the same; it just looks different. Well, I needed a good recipe for this green cauliflower because I knew that a certain kiddo of mine wouldn’t eat it just the way it was. Enter Beefy Cauliflower Pasta.

First brown some ground beef in a skillet. Drain the excess fat.

Add some salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. I also added some onion powder and some garlic powder just for some added taste.

Next, cook 1/2 pound of pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, chop your cauliflower (mine is green cauliflower, remember: 🙂 ). Add the cauliflower to the pasta water for the last 5-10 minutes until both it and the pasta are cooked through.

Next, add some cream cheese and shredded cheese to your deliciously seasoned beef. I only added about 1/4 of the cream cheese block, but I wish I had added a lot more. The cream cheese acts as a binder so everything will stick together. The meal tasted good, but it didn’t really stick together at all. It felt like it needed more sauce or something. I think more cream cheese would have helped considerably.

Now, mix everything together and serve it to your very impressed family.

By the way, yes I am aware that this meal is a little more than five bucks. I don’t expect every single meal on here to be five bucks or less. I do try my best to get them as close to five bucks as possible. This one counts as close. 🙂

Beefy Cauliflower Pasta, $5.85

1 lb. ground beef ($2)

1/2 lb. pasta ($ .50)

1 tsp. salt ($ .05)

1 tsp. onion powder ($ .05)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder ($ .05)

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce ($ .20)

1 box of frozen chopped cauliflower or 1 head fresh cauliflower ($1)

2 oz. cream cheese (you might want to add more like 4-8 oz.) ($1.25)

1 C shredded cheese ($ .75)

Directions: Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain excess fat. Season beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook 1/2 lb. of pasta according to package direction. Add the cauliflower to the pasta water for the last 5-10 minutes. Drain pasta and cauliflower. Mix cream cheese and shredded cheese into the beef until it melts. Add the pasta and cauliflower.

Tips to Make this Healthier: Use whole wheat pasta or half whole wheat, half white pasta. You could make a homemade white sauce in place of the cream cheese. As always, serve with an extra vegetable and fruit. Use less shredded cheese.

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Black Beans and Rice

Let me start by saying that I have never liked black beans and rice. I had it a lot growing up. I always ate it dutifully without any complaining since my mom had taken the time and effort to make it. I tried to like it. Everyone else in my family LOVED it. I pretended that I liked it. I tried to convince myself that I liked it. None of it worked. I just don’t like black beans and rice. That was true until last night!!! I’ve been making dinners for 6 years now and this is the first black beans and rice recipe that I have ever liked. What makes it so different, you ask? The addition of canned tomatoes. Delish.

First cook some rice. Hopefully you have a rice cooker which makes it sooooo easy.

Next, you get out a frying pan and saute your chopped onions in some olive oil. I, as usual, used onion powder instead. Next, add your garlic powder and Italian seasoning. I added some salt, too and apparently forgot to put the onion powder in the picture. Next, add the canned tomatoes (undrained) and 2 cans of black beans (rinsed and drained). I didn’t have 2 cans of black beans so I just used 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of black beans. It was still really yummy that way.

Saute this mixture for about 20 minutes on medium low heat.

When it is all cooked through, your rice should be done. You can serve this on top of cooked rice, or you can mix it all together before you serve it. I served it on top for everybody in our family, but we all just mixed it together before we ate it. Next time I’ll just mix it all together before I serve it.

There may or may not have been a few bites taken out of this before the picture was taken. 🙂 It was so good I couldn’t resist.

Black Beans and Rice, $3.05

2 C hot cooked rice ($ .50)

1/2 chopped onion ($ .50)

1-2 Tbsp olive oil ($ .25)

1 tsp. garlic powder ($ .10)

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning ($. 10)

1 can petit diced tomatoes, garlic and herb flavor ($ .60)

2 cans black beans ($1)

Directions: Saute the onion in some olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add the canned tomatoes and stir. Pour in the black beans. Saute about 20 minutes on medium low heat. Use a potato masher to mash a bit of the mix (2/3 whole, 1/3 mashed). Serve over cooked rice.

Tips to make this healthier: Serve with a vegetable side. Use brown rice instead of white rice.

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Filed under Vegetarian