Category Archives: Other/Any Meat

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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Veggie Stir Fry over Rice

Hello blogging world! After a short recess, I am back with a vengeance. And by vengeance, I mean I am ready to give you some rocking $5 dinners. When I first started doing this blog I had a goal of only spending $40 a week on groceries. The $3o I spent on fruits and vegetables from the food co-op would not be included in the $40. This way, I would fit comfortably into my goal of $200 a month on food and I would even have a $10 leeway.

Well, I’ve only been grocery shopping about 3 times since I started  this plan and I must say, the results have been great! The first week I spent about $45. I spent a little extra because I found boneless skinless chicken breast at such a great price. I knew I only went over my budget because of the chicken, but I was still pretty worried about maintaining this budget. I figured I just had to keep trying. After all, I had some cheap meals to work with.

The second week was a little better. I spent about $32. I was at a $38.50 average for both weeks, which is pretty good and within my budget. Well, my real success came this week. My grocery shopping for the week was less than $20!!! I’m realizing that the more I do this budget, the easier it is to save. I know which ingredients to buy and where to buy them. I know what foods I still have leftover and use them in my meal planning for the next week. If all goes well with shopping next week, I should be well under budget for the month! I may just have to go looking for a good deal on something we use often (pasta, rice, peanut butter, or something) to use up the extra money in my budget. If not, I guess we’ll just roll the money over into next month. Saving money is great! Without further ado, here is your recipe.

Veggie Stir Fry over Rice, $4.75

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen stir fry veggies ($1.25)

1 C chopped, cooked meat – you can use chicken, ham, shrimp, whatever you want ($1.50)

2 C cooked rice ($ .75)

1/2 C teriyaki sauce ($ .75)

1/4 C soy sauce ($ .50)

Directions: Stir fry the frozen stir fry veggies with the teriyaki sauce and soy sauce. Add the meat and continue stir frying until everything is heated through. Serve over the cooked rice.

Tips to Make this Healthier: The unhealthiest thing about this meal is the amount of sodium that is included in pre-made teriyaki sauce and soy sauce. You could make your own teriyaki sauce, and use soy sauce that has reduced sodium. You can also serve this with another vegetable or a fruit. I would suggest using fresh vegetables instead of frozen vegetables, but fresh vegetables aren’t really that much better. If you have some fresh veggies on hand though, feel free to use them. They are better than frozen, just not by a lot. You could also use brown rice instead of white rice. Delicious.

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Chef Salad

What is a food coop? The first time I saw that written down I was seriously confused. A food coop? Of course, I pronounced it coop like a chicken coop. Logical right?

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Well, it’s actually called a food co-op, or a food co-operation. It took me awhile to finally join one because I had to go pick up the food on a Saturday morning! I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of my Saturday morning, especially some lousy produce. I finally caved, though, and I am so glad that I did.

So, what is a food co-op? Here’s how I like to explain it: A whole bunch of people get together and buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables in bulk straight from where it grows. This makes it cheaper in two ways, 1- there is no middle man, and 2- buying in bulk is almost always cheaper. Now, the people that “get together” usually don’t physically get together. Usually you can sign up for a food co-op online. Many food co-ops get local produce, but not all of them do. Sometimes, most of the food is local, but not all of it. Check with your food co-op to find out more about where the food comes from.

If you are dedicated to buying only local produce, another great option is a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you give money to a farm in your area at the beginning of the growing season (this gives them the money they need at the beginning to buy seeds, equipment, etc.). Later, when the fruits and vegetables are harvested, you get to take home a specified amount every week, every other week, or every month. This option is typically more expensive than a food co-op, but you can guarantee that the produce is local and/or organic.

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To find a food co-op in your area, just google “food co-op + your state”. There are 3 main food co-ops in my state, with a few smaller ones. The 3 main food co-ops have locations all over the state. One of them guarantees local produce. From my food co-op, I buy one share of produce every 2 weeks. It costs $32 and is plenty for my family of four for a whole month. If you are looking for a CSA, just google “CSA + your state.”

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Now that I’ve gone on and on about yummy produce, let me give you the recipe for the day. This one is over $5, but it’s still “about” $5, especially if you get your produce cheaper because you have a food co-op!

Chef Salad, $5.50

½ head of chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce ($1.25)

½ lb. cubed deli ham, chicken, or turkey ($2)

2 sliced hard boiled eggs ($.20)

2 sliced carrots ($. 30)

1 sliced cucumber ($ .50)

1 sliced tomato ($ .75)

½ C of your favorite salad dressing. ($ .50)

Toss all ingredients except the dressing together. Pour salad dressing over and serve. Feel free to add some extra cheese if you have some, but the cheese does put it over my “about” $5 limit.

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