Balsamic Vinegar Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic-minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. An easy method to use for coating is to put flour, salt & pepper mixture into a Ziploc bag; then add chicken, shake and remove. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat and sauté the chicken until it is nicely browned on each side (about 2-3 minutes per side). Reduce heat to low. Add the garlic to skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and chicken broth. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over the chicken and serve.
Balsamic Glazed Vegetables
Baby packaged fresh carrots
1 package broccoli heads
½ cup water
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Place veggies in a pan with water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook ten minutes. Remove lid and increase heat, to allow water and vinegar to reduce and glaze the veggies, about five to seven minutes. When glazed to a sweet rich brown color, add butter to coat veggies lightly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Money Saving Tips for this Meal
Aldi's frozen chicken breasts are very large cuts of the breast. You can easily feed two people from one of the chicken breasts. Cut the breasts in half and see if that serving suffices before serving the entire breast (especially for children)
If a different type of vegetable is on sale, that your family prefers, try making the balsamic vegetables with the sale-priced veggie. Some other great options are cauliflower, squash, or zucchini. Be creative in your veggie choices and mix & match.
The veggie side dish can be a great way to use up some of those leftover vegetables, that are taking up space in your refrigerator, and the recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled) if you have a lot of veggies to use up.
Creamy Chicken Burritos
3 chicken breast halves cooked and cubed
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 Cup Salsa
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 15 oz can pinto beans drained
1 ½ Cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Add cream cheese and salsa to large sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until cheese is melted and blended with salsa. Add garlic, beans and chicken. Mix well. Fill tortillas, roll up and place in baking dish. Mixture will be a bit runny so be careful not to burn yourself filling tortillas. Sprinkle burritos with cheese, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with the rest of the salsa & tortilla chips
Fun Ideas for This Meal:
Make a Mexican topping bar with all of your favorite toppings (sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, & salsa). Each family member can dress their burrito in their own special way. Yet another great way to get some veggies on their plates!
A yummy chip dip can be made by simply blending one brick of softened cream cheese with a jar of salsa. Blend with your hand mixer and serve with the tortilla chips. If you are in a time crunch, simply pour the salsa over the brick of cream cheese and serve with a spoon.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
1 pound spaghetti
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste (minus 2 tablespoons for the meatballs)
½ cup beef broth
1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup breadcrumbs (directions for preparation to follow)
2 tablespoons paste
3 tablespoons of beef broth
Handful of parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti and cook as directed or until al dente. The spaghetti will continue to cook in sauce, later. To a large skillet add prepared spaghetti sauce, tomato paste (minus 2 tablespoons), and diced tomatoes, and allow to cook together. Add beef broth and allow the sauce to simmer while you make the meatballs. In a large bowl mix together turkey, bread crumbs, tomato paste, egg, beef broth, handful of cheese, and salt and pepper. Shape into meatballs (any size, just make sure they are all the same size for even cooking) and bake the meatballs for fifteen to twenty minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Carefully remove meatballs from the baking sheet and add them to the sauce. Drain and add cooked pasta to the pan and mix together with the red sauce.
Serve meal with a tossed garden salad.
Making your own breadcrumbs can be easy and inexpensive. The flavor of fresh breadcrumbs versus the store bought variety is not even comparable. Store your breadcrumbs in your freezer and you will always have fresh breadcrumbs on hand. I keep mine in a freezer-safe container and when I get low, I simply make another batch. Breadcrumbs can be made out of loaf ends, stale bread, hot dog rolls, & hamburger buns- whatever you have on hand! Keep a bread bag with all of your bread in it and store it in the freezer. Once the bag is filled, it is time to make some breadcrumbs!
Set your oven to broil and then lay all of the bread out on cookie sheets. You only need to broil the bread a couple of minutes (keep one eye on it because it can burn quickly). This helps just to dry the bread out and make it easier to handle. Once the bread is toasted, put this bread into my food processor. You can just have only the bread in there, or if you like the Italian seasonings type of breadcrumbs add your own seasonings (I add garlic salt, and an Italian seasonings dry blend of herbs to mine for that variety). Run the food processor until the bread crumbs are of a fine consistency. Then put these crumbs into a freezer-safe container.
Money-Saving Tips for This Meal:
Omit the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, & beef broth and just use the jarred sauce, if you are looking to save even more money. The prepared sauce is delicious by itself.
This is a great meal to take to a new mom, a welcome to the neighborhood meal, or a sick friend/relative. The cost is just right and the dish has wonderful stage presence. Not only that, but it is an easy meal to reheat.
Save yourself from ordering a pizza and make a double batch of the meatballs. Store half of them in your freezer for a night off of cooking. These can be used in another batch of spaghetti & meatballs or put them on a hoagie roll and have a yummy meatball sub.
Meal #8 - Mom's Night Off: Pasta Night
Stuffed Rigatoni in Marinara Sauce
1 package frozen spinach or Portobello stuffed rigatoni
1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce
Cook frozen ravioli as directed on package. In a separate saucepan, heat the spaghetti sauce through. Toss the pasta and sauce together and serve.
Serve with a Caesar salad & garlic toast.