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Archive for the tag “recipe”

Crunch Time: Baked Potato

Hey Foodies! For our university, this is the week before exams meaning it is full of stress, deadlines and late nights. Last night, I found myself needing to eat dinner but having zero time to prepare anything, so looking at the bag of potatoes in my pantry I was inspired to have a baked potato. I know you are probably thinking making a baked potato isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but some how it ended up being the best baked potato I have ever had so I thought I would share it with you all.  Here is what you will need:

  • 1 potato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • aluminum foil
  • assorted potato toppings (I chose cheese and ranch dressing)

First, preheat the oven to 350⁰. Wash your potato, then put it in the center of a piece of aluminum foil (large enough to cover the potato). Pierce the potato with a fork a few times so the steam can escape while it cooks. Coat the potato in a little olive oil and then sprinkle the pepper and salt on top. Roll the potato around in the foil to cover the entire potato, then wrap it up. Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour for a small to medium potato and 1.5 hours for a larger potato. Then cut open your potato and top with your favorite things. Here are some ideas: chili, cheese, sour cream, butter, plain greek yogurt, ranch dressing, marinara sauce, bacon, chives, salsa and broccoli. This is the best way to bake a potato because you just put it in the oven and leave it, so there is zero energy and attention required as well as no messy clean up, leaving you more time to get in some studying. Plus the olive oil on the outside gives the potato skin a great texture and flavor. Enjoy foodies and happy stressing 🙂

-Kelsey-

 

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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

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: Fajitas

How can you go wrong with a quick and easy Mexican recipe to spice up your date?

Here’s what you need for delectable fajitas:

  • 1 pre-cut/packages container of green, red and yellow bell peppers
  • Pre cooked, sliced chicken
  • 1 onion
  • Soft tortilla shells
  • Mexican shredded cheese
  • Salsa

First, sautee the vegetables in a pan with the onions. While that is happening, warm up the tortillas in the microwave (on a plate in between paper towels to prevent sticking). Put the cheese and salsa in separate bowls. Add the chicken in with the vegetables for a few minutes to warm it up. When the vegetables and chicken are done, put them in separate bowls as well. Now you are ready to make your fajitas.

Recommendations: Take a tortilla. Put some vegetables and chicken inside. Top with salsa and cheese. Enjoy.

-Sarah

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

Date night: Chicken and pasta, with a twist

Hey foodies! For this week’s cheap date theme, I am bringing you a super easy chicken recipe with a side of pasta, sure to impress any date.

Things you will need for chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (I recommend chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
  • ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. dill
  • Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, juice both lemons; add the white wine, thyme, poultry seasoning, dill and some salt and pepper. Then, slowly add in the olive oil, using a whisk to vigorously combine them. In a zip lock bag, pour the marinade over the chicken breasts and let them marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Once you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 375⁰, put the chicken in an oven safe dish and bake for at least 30 minutes. You could also grill them if you have a grill and the weather is nice; this would add some good flavor to the freshness of the marinade. Hint for guys: watching you man a grill is a big turn on and it can give you and your date an opportunity to talk while you finish grilling. Once the chicken is cooked through, aka not pink in the center, you are ready to enjoy.

Things you will need for pasta:

  • Leftover marinade
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ box bowtie pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

To go alongside the chicken we have a great pasta side dish, using the left over marinade. First, boil water for the pasta (I recommend bowtie for date night, but I used angel hair) and cook according to the package. While the water is boiling, put the marinade in a bowl over medium heat and bring to a boil for at least 2 minutes. Then let simmer on low. When the sauce is no longer boiling add in two tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour a little of the sauce over the pasta and toss (do not drench the drench, a little will go a long way). Then toss in some parmesan cheese and enjoy. I suggest bowtie pasta because you can eat it in one bite so there is none of that slurping noodles awkwardness that can happen on a date. Note: this is a great date meal because there is no garlic or onion involved in the recipe and lemon is actually great for your breath, so no need to run for a mint right after you eat (it is date night after all). Plus, this recipe is fairly cheap and very healthy. Enjoy foodies and happy dating!

-Kelsey-

Guest Blog: Frittata- Breakfast Any Time, In No Time.

It’s as simple as scrambling eggs, cutting up veggies, and adding seasoning. My mom used to make this all the time when I lived at home. The smell of peppers and onions would fill the air as I barreled through the door, ravenous after expending most of my day’s energy at track, soccer, and/or dance practice. This Italian style dish is one of my favorite home-cooked meals, but I never took the time to try to recreate the deliciousness for most of my college career. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how simple, affordable, and time-savvy this recipe really is. My mom typically served it as dinner, but is just as good between ciabata bread for lunch, and of course, as a protein-rich start to your day. It’s got the lightly crisped browness of a omelet and the fluffiness of a quiche, and it’s just as good cold as it is hot. Here goes.

Ingredients for Mama’s Zucchini Frittata:

  • Whip up about 8 eggs
  • Onion slided in rings
  • Orange and red Bell peppers sliced length ways
  • Zucchini sliced in coins
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Heat the pan with olive oil and sauté the onions until they’re very brown with a just a dash of salt and pepper. Then, throw in the peppers, and when the peppers are soft, add the zucchini as a top layer. Continue to gently sauté all the ingredients. Once the zucchini is tender (but not over-cooked!), pat it all down, so it creates a flat pie-like layers. Then, pour the well-beaten eggs into the pan, completely covering the arranged layers of veggies, and let it sit. I repeat, do not stir! Then, lightly salt and pepper the ingredients, and cover it up with a lid.

When the eggs are completely puffed up (should take about ten minutes), slide it onto a big plate and flip it over on the other side onto the pan. Since the eggs are already cooked, the flip maneuver is just to brown the other side for a couple minutes. And that’s all there is! Put it on a plate, and serve in slices, like a pie.

About the Guest Blogger: Alicia Hesse

I’m a senior with SMAD major with a minor in Italian and British Communications, graduating in December 2012. I am a staff writer for The Breeze, in addition to having a health column for a year, and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. I am a group fitness instructor at JMU, teaching boxing, cycle, body sculpt, and yoga, etc. Being an athlete my whole life, and now a coach, I’ve spent a lot of time studying and practicing nutrition and exercise. From a young age I learned this: it feels good to eat well. It’s a pretty simple equation.

My favorite food is definitely hot wings, I love spicy and ethnic food like Thai and Indian. Anything involving balsamic vinegar OR peanut butter (in addition to hot sauce) simply has to be delicious. I’m sort of odd in that I think in flavors first, and how to have those flavors second.

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

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