Penny Pinching Peach


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Easy Mexican Bean Salad

I love to cook, but don’t always have a lot of time to spend on making dinner. This super simple Easy Mexican Bean Salad is ready in a snap, healthy, delicious, kid friendly, and cheap enough for the penny pinching people among us! I mean, this is a meal I felt great about feeding to my family, but literally spent  less than 15 minutes int he kitchen preparing from the time I opened the fridge to get out things to start chopping! Who needs more meals like this? I know I do!!! 🙂 Keep reading for the how-to of this yummy meal!

Easy Mexican Bean Salad

Easy Mexican Bean Salad

Ingredients? You can choose your own! This time I use canned black beans (two cans seasoned with cumin, garlic powder and chili powder to taste should be about right for a family of four), avocado, tomato, cilantro, onion, cheese and sour cream. You can also use ground beef, venison, turkey, pork and chicken, shredded chicken or beef, pre-cooked dried beans of any kind you like, other types of canned beans, lettuce, green pepper, jalapenos, olives, fresh spinach, green onion, corn, sprouts and a variety of other things that sound appealing and reside in your kitchen at any given moment. The beauty of this meal is that it is so flexible to your individual tastes, pantry, dietary needs, and budget without being a hassle to throw together something different for everyone.

Give everyone a bowl, spoon in a healthy helping of your protein(s) of choice, then let them pile on their own choices from the rest of your ingredients you have set out for your family! My kids absolutely adore getting to pick all of their own toppings for their bowls of beans! It makes the battle of the belly filling non-existent, because most kiddos love to eat things they help prepare. Even my five year old, who is currently waging battle over half of her meals even when she likes them, didn’t give me a bit of trouble when she realized she was in control of all of her ingredients other than the beans she was piling them all onto! Since she chose it, she worked to make it herself and she is doggone proud of her own work in pretty much every instance…no arguments for the prissier side of my table. Bambam loves making his own selections, but he has a lifelong love affair with food, so if he ever protests a meal….well, the child is sick. 😉

If you pack lunches a lot, like I do for my hubby, this container is amazing for being able to carry leftovers to work or school for a healthy lunch without making a big soggy mess. Stay Fit Deluxe Salad Kit, EZ Freeze

Are there any toppings I didn’t think of that you think would be the bomb diggety on this easy Mexican bean salad? What do you think you’d like on yours? Are you hungry yet?? 🙂

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Little Boy Approved!

Little Boy Approved!

Little Girl Approved!


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Ramen Noodle Meals

Ingredients

Ingredients

If you are like me, you make an honest attempt at feeding your family healthy meals, but sometimes…you settle for kinda sorta healthy. One of my “I’m too busy to be truly healthy” meals is to make souped up Ramen noodles.

One beyond easy option? Merely fix a box of the teriyaki flavored noodles in the microwave while sauteeing some fresh spinach and mushrooms in a pan with a bit of butter. When the noodles are finished, just stir it all together and eat. I only use half of the seasoning, because the sodium content is through the roof and it tastes fine without it all.

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Another way? Get the regular type of ramen you have to boil. The flavor doesn’t matter because you aren’t going to eat it. While the noodles are boiling, shred a carrot, slice a few mushrooms and toss some mushrooms into a pan with a little butter or olive oil. Saute until just tender, then push to the edges of the pan and scramble an egg or two in the middle. Add the noodles. For seasoning, I either saute some minced garlic with the veggies, sprinkle a generous ammount of parmesan with the finished product or spritz it with some soy sauce. Whichever way you choose, it’s yummy and even moderately healthy. 🙂

Yet another yummy Ramen twist? Make it into tuna casserole. Cook the noodles while you mix a dollop of mayo, dollop of sour cream, handful of cheddar cheese, diced celery, and sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh). Stir it all together in a small baking dish and top with either crushed Ritz crackers or cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F until warm through, usually about 20 minutes.

One last version for the day? Boil two packs of the noodles at the same time as microwaving a steam bag of broccoli florets. When they are both ready, throw together in a large pot with a can of cream of chicken soup, half a cup of sour cream, and about a cup of cheddar cheese until warmed through. Supper is served!

What are some of your favorite twists on Ramen noodles?

For some great recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!

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