Penny Pinching Peach


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Warm Salad

Warm salad

Warm salad

My kiddos and I love our veggies.

Sometimes you don’t really need a recipe to have a quick and healthy meal, and this is one of those times. When I was a little one, I loved veggies, but absolutely hated salads. I think it may’ve been because they were just so much lettuce and so little flavor, so it kinda felt like I was literally eating rabbit food.

My munchkins love Mommy style salads, because there are lots of veggies, but lettuce is never the only star of the show. I have mixed greens growing in my little backyard garden, and prefer spinach or green leaf lettuce to iceberg, for both taste and nutrition. I make sure to use a variety of ingredients like a variety of veggies, shredded or cubed cheese, crushed pecans or croutons, fruit, and at times even proteins like chicken or egg.

Sometimes I even make a warm salad, which is what I want to share with y’all now. For supper the other night I threw together a warm broccoli, carrot and egg salad, which the kiddos and I gobbled right up. Wanna try it?

You’ll need to steamed or boiled  broccoli florets and julienned or thinly sliced carrots. (If you’re in a huge hurry, you can microwave them on high for 4 minutes in a microwave safe container with a moist paper towel over them.) Add chopped boiled eggs, shredded cheese and a small amount of salad dressing. You want enough dressing to lightly coat your veggies, but not enough for them to swim in. 🙂 We used caesar salad dressing this time, because that’s what was in the fridge at the time. Ranch or Italian both work well, also. Stir until everything is well coated, and serve warm.

It’s as simple as that! I had my little ones digging into their vittles less than 10 minutes after I opened the fridge to gather my ingredients together. They thought it was yummy, and I knew it was healthy. That is what I call a win-win! 🙂

Good stuff!

Good stuff!

What is your favorite kind of salad?

We eat lots of different types of salads during the spring and summer. There are just too many delicious fresh fruits and veggies available this time of year for us not to take advantage of them! They make for many healthy, delectable meals, desserts and snacks for this penny pinching peach’s family. 🙂

For another great vegetarian dish, try my Easy Mexican Bean Salad!

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Home Flavored Yogurt

Home Flavored Yogurt

How to Make Your Own Home Flavored Yogurt!

My family loves to eat yogurt, but I’ve ran into a couple of problems with the pre-flavored yogurts available at the store.

First off, they are getting too stinkin’ expensive for my taste! Second, there is a ton of sugar, artificial dyes and extra junk I can’t even pronounce added into most of them, and I’m not too crazy about that when I’m trying to make a healthy choice by eating yogurt in the first place.

So, being the penny pinching peach that I be 🙂 , I decided to start experimenting with making my own flavored yogurt, starting with the big (and much cheaper!) tubs of plain yogurt.

The first thing I tried was a recipe I found for chocolate chip cookie dough yogurt. It was just a couple of scoops of plain yogurt (Greek or regular works, although the recipe asked for Greek), a couple of scoops of creamy peanut butter, a sprinkling of vanilla extract and a small handful of chocolate chips. It was surprisingly good!

Next, I used some of my son’s baby food to flavor some of that same plain yogurt. Both of my children were crazy about it! It actually tasted very similar to the store bought fruit flavored yogurts, just slightly less sweet because there was no sugar added. This one is 100% healthy and sugar free, which is fantastic since too much sugar makes my munchkins act like they’ve been transformed into the Energizer bunny until all hours of the night. 🙂

Banana baby food and a generous dollop of peanut butter mixed into yogurt was a definite hit, with both my daughter and myself! Some other baby food flavors I’d suggest: strawberry banana, apple blueberry (sounds weird, but my kids loved that one), peaches, banana, apricot & mixed fruit…pretty much anything fruity that sounds yummy to you will work.

My husband brought me a yogurt mix treat the other day, bringing with it more yogurt mix-in inspiration. Try almond slivers, dark chocolate shavings or chips and shredded coconut. Can we say delicious? Ooooo, yeahhh! 😉

A winning flavor is mashed banana and peanut butter mixed together and then mixed into your yogurt.

Cinnamon, honey and raisins makes for a different twist, with flavors reminiscent of rice pudding.

Does anyone else flavor their own yogurt? What’s your favorite?


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Mexi-Mac

Mexi-Mac

Mexi-Mac

I must admit. This recipe was born from the same place many of my “recipes” are born from: It was simply a case of me wanting something quick and easy to make to fill up my family’s grumbly tummies with ingredients I had on hand. I actually had leftover mac and cheese when I first made this, and just scrounged around the cabinets for something different to make a dinner-in-a-dish with my leftovers. My kiddos really enjoyed this Mexi-Mac, but if you don’t like any spice at all, you could probably do it with plain diced tomatoes or half plain and half the kind with chilies. It would be good with ground beef added, as well. There are so many ways this could be changed up, and it would still be yummy. It’s really just up to your family’s tastes and what’s in your cabinets that day. I’m the queen of playing with recipes to make them work for my family better, or just to use ingredients I don’t have to run out and buy. 🙂

Mexi-Mac

1 10 ounce can Rotel mild green chili and diced tomato
1 16 ounce can black beans
1 box mac and cheese, prepared according to the instructions on the box
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix Rotel, beans and mac and cheese together in a 9X13 baking pan.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until everything is warmed through and cheese is melted.
Enjoy!

*keep reading*

Do you have any dishes that were inspired by leftovers? Does you family eat leftovers or turn up their noses to them? I know some folks hate leftovers, but we hate wasting ours! We often eat them just reheated, but almost as frequently we have leftover makeovers. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know what the original meal was. Yep, I’m that good! 😉

There are no coupons for these specific ingredients, but they are so inexpensive that it almost doesn’t matter. There is a coupon for frozen Hanover beans here, if you want to try those, though: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

If you want to earn points toward gift cards while printing coupons, see my post here: https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/05/15/mypoints/

For more recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!


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Grandma’s Sunday Special Ritz Cracker Chicken

A Family Favorite!

A Family Favorite!

This is a treasured family recipe, dating back at least to my great-grandma. My mom told stories of going every Sunday to her grandma’s house for this Ritz cracker chicken and a good time with her huge, close-knit clan of kinfolks. This was one of her stand-by meals for our family growing up, and one we looked forward to every time. When I was dating my now-husband, I fixed this chicken for him. He had a fit over it, and insisted on taking me to his parents’ house and having me fix it for him. Maybe it brought on a proposal? 😉 He requests it from time to time, and my little Princess Peach and her baby brother are already in love with what she also calls Grandma’s Special Ritz Cracker Chicken. She thinks it is a “recipe from Heaven”, though, because it is so yummy and she knows it is a recipe I learned from her Grandma, whom she never met ’cause she went to live in Heaven before Princess Peach was born. This recipe has so many good memories attached to it for me, in addition to being delicious! I’m happy to share it with you, and hope you can make memories with your own family while feeding them this scrumptious chicken treat.

We don’t always make this with chicken breast, for the record. You can use any pieces you want. We just like breast meat better in our house, so I buy huge packs when we find it on sale. I also frequently add chicken liver, made the same way, in with our chicken breast. It stretches the budget, and  the hubby and I love liver. I usually serve this chicken with mashed taters and either green beans, corn, baked beans or mac & cheese, but it would go well with just about anything. It is truly that good! 🙂

With no further ado…

Grandma's Sunday Special Ritz Cracker Chicken

Grandma’s Sunday Special Ritz Cracker Chicken

♥Grandma’s Sunday Special Ritz Cracker Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large strips

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter and black pepper until all is moistened.

Coat each piece of chicken well with the Ritz cracker mixture, and place in medium sized baking pan.

 Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.

Enjoy!

She was enjoying her chicken and wouldn't stop to pose. :)

She was enjoying her chicken and wouldn’t stop to pose. 🙂

This recipe doubles well, and I usually do at least double the recipe so we can eat it

Chewing his chicken with a cheesy grin

Chewing his chicken with a cheesy grin

multiple times. You just have to cook it a few minutes longer for the extra chicken. The pan shown is about double the recipe, for reference. We love it so much that we’re always happy to eat the leftovers the next day!

No coupons this week, but this is a super frugal main dish.

So, now that I’ve shared one of my favorite family recipes with you, what’s a dish your family has long term ties with? If you don’t have a recipe like that, what dish do you fix that appears to have the potential to become “Grandma’s special recipe” for your own future generations?

For more recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!


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Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas

When I Became a Spinach Addict

When I Became a Spinach Addict

As someone who is addicted to both cheese and spinach, and loves Mexican food, this is a fantastic recipe! I’ve been a lifelong lover of cheese, but spinach has become a consistent craving for me ever since I got pregnant with my now one year old son. Weird, random, but true, especially since I was barely a mediocre fan of all things green and leafy until then. I’m drooling right now just thinking about these Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas! I want these right now, seriously! This is an awesome meal for a vegetarian or someone like me who can do without meat easily…or the guy whose wife can sneak in a meat-free meal when there’s enough cheese and sauce involved. 😉 It’s also very inexpensive, so who can complain about this one? If you’ve got someone who can’t do without meat at even one meal, just add a sprinkling of shredded chicken to each enchilada (or just his), so everyone will be happy. If you want to double the recipe and freeze one before you finish cooking, usually enchiladas freeze well, although I can’t guarantee them, of course. There are also coupons available to go with this delicious dish, which makes an inexpensive dish even cheaper. Can we say woohoo here?? 🙂

~*~Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas~*~

1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach , thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in spinach, and cook about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.

Go to this site: http://www.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=MKRU3JAAR6CCY

Print these coupons: $1.00 off 2 Las Palmas Products and 50 cents off one Sargento cheese

I’m in love with this recipe, but I have a meat addict for a hubby, so I’d probably have to add some shredded chicken to mine, or at least make some beans with it. Does anyone else have a meat junkie in their household? Did anyone else crave something during pregnancy, and never lose the newfound love for a food which wasn’t a favorite before? My weakness is cheese. I could live as a vegetarian, if necessary, but being vegan would probably send me into withdrawals. 🙂

For more recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!


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Hot Dog Casserole

Hot dog!

Hot dog!

This is one of those recipes I love, because it has your veggies for the healthy appeal, your hot dogs for the kid appeal, and the ease of throwing it together for the busy person appeal! It’s also very budget friendly, which teetotally appeals to the penny pincher in me! The doggie in the picture isn’t exactly the kind that goes in this casserole, but I think she’s pretty cute! I hope y’all enjoy this recipe! I’d say it’s a keeper. 🙂

First comes the recipe…

♦ Hot Dog Casserole ♦

16 hot dogs , cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans with liquid
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a 2-quart casserole dish, stir together sliced hot dogs, green beans with their liquid, and stewed tomatoes with their juice.

Bake in the preheated oven until the juice is thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, stir again, and sprinkle the casserole with mozzarella cheese. Heat the broiler of the oven, and place the casserole under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as the broiler works quickly and could burn.

Now comes the savings…

Go to this site: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

Print these coupons: Ball Park Lean Hot Dogs and/or Jennie O Turkey Franks

What’s your favorite way to eat hot dogs?


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Throw-Together Casserole

Diapered dude and discount diva proving frugal is cool!

Diapered dude and discount diva proving frugal is cool!

Lately life has been moving right along at a busy pace, and I don’t always have time to prepare alot of dishes, desserts or anything special at all. This one dish meal is very simple to throw together, though, along with having some great coupons to go with it this week. You mix it up in the casserole dish, too, so clean-up is quick and easy, as well. It covers all of the food groups in that one dish, too, so…woohoo for health! On the days when my kiddos are more-than-usually underfoot and thinking my every moment revolves around their every sneeze and whim, one dish dinners are almost literally lifesavers. 🙂 What more could a busy person want from a hearty family dinner?

Throw-Together Casserole

1/2 pound sausage, fried and drained

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup  sliced green olives

1 cup whole kernel corn

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup cubed Cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked white rice

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
~In a 2 quart casserole dish, combine all ingredients. Mix together well.
~Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
There are a few coupons to go with this recipe. For the coupons, go to: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/
Print these coupons: Bob Evans Sausage, Hinode Rice, Contadina Canned Tomatoes
Who else is in love with one dish meals? I love the simplified preparation and snappy clean-up.