Thursday, October 2, 2014

Twofer meals...

aka, how to stretch your budget and still eat a tasty meal. 

Y'all we are broke. The real kind of broke. Living paycheck to paycheck, never enough money to pay all of our bills each month, no savings, no safety net, the scary kind of broke and looking to  2 jobs kind of broke. In other words, just like 67 % of Americans according to  an April 2014 money and finance article on CNN

I don't know about y'all but going the grocery store anymore just about makes me sweat.  Long gone are the luxuries of  buying what I want, when I want or buying name brand  foods--hello generic. Call me the casserole queen. I focus on the staples (beans, rice, pasta), supplement with broths, cream soups, frozen vegetables and smaller portions of meat (and to the hubbs horror, 1 or 2 meat free meals each week).

We didn't have a very good garden this year, I wasn't able to can  and of course that pesky no kitchen issue has made it very difficult to control my budget. I don't have the luxury of  cooking in bulk. What I can do; however, is make my meals count. Leftovers are all well and good, but I like the TWOFER meals. 2 meals from 1 main ingredient.

Earlier this week,  I splurged on the grocery deli rotisserie style chicken. Normally a 32 ounce cooked chicken sells for $5.99. However, with a coupon, I only paid $3.99, yasssss!!!

I split the rotisserie chicken for 2 meals to make a Cheater Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Salad.
 Easy peasy super pleasy--dinner one night and lunch the following day for me and the hubbs.

Cheater Chicken Pot Pie
Here's what you need:
For the crust:
1/2 cup baking mix
1 teaspoon butter milk powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon melted butter
1/3 cup milk*
*I  use powdered milk and water (1/3 cup water + 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered milk, mixed well)
1 egg beaten
Mix well. The batter will be thick but pourable.

Yes I am using "convenience" foods (frozen potatoes, packaged gravy, cream of soup). It would  be much healthier and less expensive from scratch but this is a way to make a tasty meal when time is limited. This recipe is definitely not for the calorie conscious!

For the filling:
2/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2/3 cup frozen diced potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package chicken gravy mix
1 cup milk*
*I  use powdered milk and water (1 cup water + 3 heaping tablespoons of powdered milk, mixed well)
1/2 of the rotisserie chicken meat (light and dark) rough chopped which was close to 2 cups.
Pepper, poultry seasoning and parsley to taste (in our case it is 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoons each)
Mix all ingredients and pour into a  lightly greased 8x8 foil pain. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour batter over the top of chicken and vegetable mixture. Bake for at 350°F (on lower rack) for 35-40 minutes. Crust will be golden brown and filling bubbling.

It looks (and tastes) like  the from scratch version. Yummy!

The other half of the rotisserie chicken was shredded to make chicken salad (sorry no photos). But I will be making it again soon!

Chicken Salad
2 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup minced celery
2 tablespoons minced scallions (white bunching onions)
1/2 cup sliced red grapes
1/4 c chopped apple (tart)
1/4 c. fat free sour cream
3 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
squirt of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon parsley
salt and pepper to to taste
(Throw in some walnuts or pecans and it becomes a fancy Chicken Waldorf Salad)

Combine all ingredients until well mixed. This is great on lettuce, in a wrap or on bread.  Or maybe just a couple (dozen) spoonfuls on it's own. Not that I would do that...heheh

What are some of your favorite Twofer meals?

1 comment:

Please leave me a comment! I love feedback on what you like-(what you do not) and any stories or anecdotes you would like to share! Please know that while I may not be able to reply right away, that I do read every single comment and will respond as soon as I can!

Now chime in!