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Archive for the tag “food”

Crunch Time: Lunchable Creation

Hey foodies!

Today, I decided to create my own version of one of my favorite childhood foods- the pizza lunchable. I assume many of you, just like me, used to beg your mom to pack you a lunchable to bring to school instead of  the usualy PB &J. Since this week’s theme is “crunch time,” I decided to try and find a crunchy-ish crust to substitute for pizza dough.  The cheapest and easiest substitute I could think of is flakey breakfast buttermilk biscuit dough.

Ingredients:

  • Flakey breakfast biscuits
  • marinara sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil
  • chopped tomato
  • pepperoni
  • other toppings of your choice!

Preheat the oven to 350* (follow the directions on the biscuits wrapper).  Flatten out the biscuits until they are about 5 inches in diameter.

Let the biscuits cook for about 12 minutes. While the busicuits are baking, go ahead and chop up fresh tomato and basil along with any other toppings you would like.  Once the buiscuits look slightly golden brown go ahead and take them out of the oven.  I removed the top layer of the biscuit, which had hardened over the flakey and soft inside layers. Add a spoon full of marinara sauce, fresh tomato, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni for a complete mini pizza.

This quick and easy recipe only took about 15 minutes.  It is a great recipe for when you are in a time crunch but still want to enjoy a childhood favorite!

-Katie

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The Ranting Chef: Cajun Chicken and Veggies Skillet

Ranting Chef here. When Letsgetbasted approached me about guest blogging, I knew exactly what to post. While it has been a while since I’ve been a student myself (in fact I just came back from a marathon day of visiting three colleges with my high school junior), I do remember those days.

I was a dorm rat for three years (two of those being a resident advisor) and so I was excited to finally have a real kitchen my last year at school. I recall running to the grocery store and thinking of all the great things I would make. I grabbed my cart and started walking the aisles throwing a few items in the cart. I quickly realized that my budget was not going to match my culinary tastes. This was never more true than walking the spice aisle. I had gotten used to cooking at home with the variety of spices in my parent’s cabinet, but quickly had to settle for a much more limited set of choices.

The realization continued when I went into the kitchen and put my entire set of cookware on the stove at once. 1 pot. 1 pan. That’s it.

With that in mind, this dish is a 1 spice (well….blend) and 1 pot/1 pan dish.

While I am pretty organized in the menu department, sometimes I make things up on the fly. The other day I looked in the pantry and freezer can made a quick Cajun Chicken and Veggies Skillet.

The ingredients were a pound of chicken breasts, some oil, a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, a few vegetables and some Cajun spice blend. Consider the ingredient list very flexible. Boneless thighs? Fine. Vegetable or olive oil? Your choice. Don’t like onions? Leave them out or substitute something else in. I had a half bag of pearl onions, some frozen corn and Parisian carrots. Don’t ask me how I ended up with Parisian carrots (they look like little carrot balls), but there they were. Any kind of fresh or frozen carrots will work.

Cut the chicken up into a few big pieces (you can dice and they will cook faster, but since I knew that my vegetables would all be bite sized, I was looking for some size variety). Fry them up in about 2T of oil until they are not pink and the juices run clear.

After the chicken is cooked, sprinkle with 1-2 T of Cajun spices. Continue frying for another 2 minutes.

Cook your vegetables while you are frying the chicken. If you have a steamer, use it. If you don’t, follow the microwave directions on the frozen or canned vegetables.

Add the vegetables and the diced tomatoes into the skillet. Cook on medium for five minutes until the moisture reduces and the flavors mix.

Serve. This works well on its own, or if you are craving some carbs, you can serve over rice.

Brain Food: Smoothie On-The-Go

Good Morning Everybody!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gets your metabolism running and your brain going after, hopefully, a good nights sleep.  A problem I face almost every morning is that I am in a rush do not have the time to prepare a good breakfast.  With finals approaching, I know I need to be on my A game so I came up with a cheap and easy solution.  For a while I was buying yoplait yogurts and taking them on the bus with me, but then I was stuck carrying around a spoon all day. I decided to do a little experiment, and it turned out great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bananna
  • 1 yoplait yogurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • blender

Make sure to wash your blender before use it if it has been in a cabinet for a while. Then, put the cup of ice, yogurt and sliced banana into the blender and hold down the smoothie button.  After 30 seconds turn off the blender and mix it all around. Blend again with the smoothie button for about 30 seconds or until all of the ice is blended.

I actually made this smoothie last night right before bed, poured it into a disposable styrofoam cup, covered it in plastic wrap and hoped it would be perfectly chilled in the morning to grab on my way out the door. I definitely enjoyed the peach mango smoothie this morning and am going to try different fruit and yogurt flavors!

-Katie

Brain Food: Yogurt Parfait

Happy Monday foodies! This week at letsgetbasted, we are focusing on brain foods. Here at JMU, our semester is coming to an end meaning exams are nearing and the work is beginning to pile on. Therefore, we thought it would be a good week to sharpen our minds with some nutritious treats. I am bringing you a yogurt parfait recipe with homemade granola.

Things you will need:

  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Assorted fruit
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cuts grape nuts (or the generic brand)
  • 2 cups rice krispies or puffed rice
  • 1 ½ cups sliced almonds
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

First, preheat your oven to 350⁰. Then in a large bowl, mix together the oats, grape nuts cereal, rice krispies, almonds and coconut. Then, toss in the syrup, honey, cinnamon and sugar. Spread the mixture in a thin layer onto a baking sheet (you may have to use two) and bake for about 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes so it browns evenly. Let the granola cool and put it into a plastic bag to save. When you want to create your parfait, layer the yogurt, fruit and granola. If you have vanilla yogurt but want to try some other flavors, try mixing in a little of your favorite jelly or jam to flavor the yogurt. This is also a great way to save money by buying only one kind of yogurt but being able to create everyone’s favorite flavor using only a little jam. This recipe is great brain food because it has whole grains which boost blood flow to the brain and contain vitamin B6 which is important for brain development. It also contains almonds which stimulate natural mood boosters and boost memory. Yogurt helps improve alertness and memory and fruits like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries contain important antioxidants and vitamins that prevent brain cell degeneration. So before that next big test or next time you need a break while working on a project, try a yogurt parfait and get all the nutrients you need for some good brain food. Enjoy!

-Kelsey-

Cheap Date: Fried Shrimp Appetizer

If you are looking to impress your date will a cheap and easy appetizer, I’ve got just the right recipe for you! I am always tempted to order an appetizer or appetizer sampler at restaurants because a. they are usually fairly inexpensive and b. they always look so delicious. Luckily for you, and me, I’ve figured out a way to make a popular appetizer even easier and cheaper!

Ingredients:

  • shrimp
  • flour
  • egg
  • panko bread crumb
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • seasoning of your choice

Take three bowls and put a bit of flour in one, an uncooked egg with the yoke broken in the second and panko bread crumbs mixed with seasoning and pepper in the third. As you are preparing the bowls put a skillet with about 1/4 inch layer of vegetable oil on a low setting. Take the shrimp and dip it in the flour first, then the egg and finally cover it in the breadcrumb mixture. Put the breaded shrimp back into the egg and then add more breadcrumbs for a thicker layer. Place each shrimp on the skillet after breading and continue the process with all of the individual shrimp. Flip the shrimp over once the bottom side is a golden brown.

Cheap and super easy appetizer in just about 10 minutes!

 

Personally, I enjoy ketchup with my fried shrimp but you can try any dipping sauce.  I’d recommend cocktail sauce.

-Katie

Cheap Date: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Happy Monday everyone,

To start off the week of our cheap date recipes, I thought chocolate covered strawberries was a great and inexpensive way to impress your date.  The ingredients you need are simple and this meal is easy to make for dessert.

Things you will need:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Chocolate chips
  • A little milk
  • A package of angel food cake

Put the chocolate chips in a sauce pan and melt, add a little bit of milk to make it creamier. Carefully dip strawberries in the melted chocolate and place them on a plate with wax paper under it. Put the berries in the refrigerator (feel free to eat excess chocolate) for a few hours. When time to eat, slice up a little bit of the angel food cake, plate the berries around it and enjoy with that special someone

-Sarah

Chicken Enchiladas

Today, I decided to try something new.  I am a big fan of Mexican food but never want to spend money to eat out.  One of my all time favorites is chicken enchiladas so I took a stab at making up a recipe myself.

These chicken enchiladas were super cheap, extremely easy and delicious! To make these enchiladas you will need:

  • tortillas
  • chicken or beef
  • can of enchilada sauce
  • tomato (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • cheese
  • olive oil
  • small glass pan
  • skillet
  • sour cream (optional)

Prepare chicken or beef any way you like and then begin the enchilada process.  Preheat the oven to 350 and heat a small skillet to medium heat.  Put 3/4 of the enchilada sauce, all chicken or beef and half a cup of cheese in the skillet.  Stir occasionally.  At the same time heat each tortilla (I used 5 to feed myself and roommates) in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften them.  Grease the glass pan with a bit of olive oil and then put it all together!  You will want to put a bit more cheese and 1/5 of the mix from the skillet into each tortilla, roll it up and place next to one another in the glass pan.  Once all of the tortillas are in the glass pan pour the rest of the enchilada sauce from the can on top and sprinkle more cheese.

Once the oven is preheated, place the glass pan into the oven so that it can bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.  Carefully take a glass pan out of the oven and sprinkle chopped fresh tomato and cilantro on top.  You can also add salsa or sour cream to the dish if you would like. Enjoy!

-Katie

BYOBowl: Cheesy ANYday

A classic D-hall favorite that attracts tons of JMU students each week is “cheesy Thursday.”  This weekly menu option attracts long lines of students eager to get one grilled cheese and a small bowl of soup.  You may be thinking that this is a very simple recipe… you’re right, it is. To make this recipe more interesting I have a couple of different ideas to improve the meal.  Adding croutons to the soup is the first option.  This idea came from Panera which serves its tomato soup with a handful of croutons.  The second option is to put multiple types of cheese as well as slices of tomato on your grilled cheese.

Another great reason to make this meal off campus or at home is because you will save a meal plan punch or around $9.50.  Every JMU student will admit that they wait in the grilled cheese line and beg the chef to give them two at a time. This begging almost always fails to convince him or her and they end up in the back of the line to wait again for a second grilled cheese.  At home you can cook as much as you want while also saving money. Cheesy Thursday can now be on any day of the week!

Ingredients:

  • can of tomato soup
  • pepper
  • milk & water
  • croutons
  • two slices of bread
  • cheese
  • butter

Empty the can of tomato soup into a pot.  Then fill the empty soup can half and half with milk and water.  If you prefer your tomato soup extra creamy fill the entire can with milk, no water.  Stir occasionally on medium heat for about 7 minutes.  At the same time, butter both sides of each piece of bread and allow the bread and butter to heat up on a skillet (medium).  Once the first two sides of bread are headed put the cheese in the center of the heated sides and then allow the cool sides to cook until golden brown. This will take a minute or so on each side.  Once the soup is heated up add a touch of pepper and some croutons!

-Katie

BYOBowl: Breakfast Bowl

A breakfast bowl is a simple, relatively quick fix in the morning before running to class or even for the all sacred breakfast for dinner.  All it takes is a few ingredients and a little preparation.

  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • Milk
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • 2 Sausage links
  • Salt/Pepper

First, chop up a little of onion, red pepper, and green pepper.  Then sauté the vegetables in a small pan for 1-2 minutes, or until cooked. Next, warm up the sausage links in the microwave for the amount of time specified on the box. When they are done, cut them up into small pieces. Then while the sausage is cooking, crack one or two eggs in a bowl, add a little milk, mix it up, and put it in the frying pan to scramble.  Add salt and pepper as needed. After the eggs are done put them in a bowl, add the vegetables and the sausage. Give it a little mix and enjoy! Feel free to add some hot sauce or salsa if that is what you like.

-Sarah

Stuffed Crust Secret

Hey everyone,

I know that pizza is that “typical” college eat and we all could just order a pie, but a homemade pizza tastes so good.  I decided I wanted to try and make a homemade stuffed crust pizza so I did a little experimenting until I figured out how to make that delicious stuffed crust.  It clicked and I decided to wrap the edges of the dough around string cheese and it ended up working perfectly.  Here are some photos of the homemade stuffed crust pizza I made.  I used the leftover dough to make pizza bites.

 

If you want to make the pizza yourself you’ll need:

  • 2 Pillsbury pizza dough tubes
  • 1 large jar of pizza sauce
  • 2 bags of mozzarella cheese
  • any toppings you would like to put on your pizza ( I used pineapples, onions, pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms)

Now you don’t have to order a pizza if your craving stuffed crust.

-Ryan

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