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How can we eat healthy meals that are also affordable

Notice how so many so called “healthy” recipes are also filled with expensive ingredients? Things like organic this and that can be quite costly and many of us simply cannot afford to use them. Well guess what? Most experts say that natural or organically grown meats and vegetables are not necessarily all that much better for us anyhow

If you buy chicken or beef and handle it intelligently that meat should be safe. If you wash vegetables as you prepare them they will also be safe. So buy what is on sale or what’s cheapest and feel confident that you are taking good care of your family. A caged chicken won’t be out eating things it shouldn’t nor will a cow or hog that’s confined be nibbling on poor quality grass. They will be fed foods that are safe as well as water that’s pure and not contaminated with parasites. Enough for the lecture now let’s find some yummy recipes that we all can afford!

Meatloaf – fills bellies without draining the piggy bank

One of the most popular main dishes is a hearty meatloaf! It costs little to make and usually produces leftovers that make good sandwiches later in the week!

1 ½ pounds ground chuck

½ pound ground turkey

1 TBS dried diced onion

1 large egg (beaten lightly)

½ cup Italian breading mix

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

Topping =

1 can tomato sauce

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Put ingredients in large bowl and mix thoroughly. At this point you can put in your refrigerator to blend ingredients and flavors for about an hour or just go ahead and place the mixture in an oven proof casserole or baking dish. Put into oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for one and one half hours. After about ½ hour remove meatloaf from oven and drain off excess grease then put it back into the oven.

Pull from oven and apply tomato sauce over top. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes then pull it back out to add the shredded cheese. Back into the oven another 5-6 minutes or until the cheese has begun to melt and look yummy! Let it set on a coaster or rack for 5 minutes or so then slice to desired thickness and serve. Serves 6-8

 French Onion Salisbury Steaks

Salisbury steaks are so tasty and easy to make yet very affordable!

1 ½ pounds ground chuck

1 egg (lightly beaten)

1 pkg onion soup mix

1 TBS Worchershire sauce

3 cans (or 1 quart container) low sodium beef broth

2-3 large yellow onions (sliced into ¼ inch strips

1 tsp sugar

1 cup finely diced red bell pepper (optional)

2-3 TBS flour

Place beef, egg, onion soup mix, and pepper (if you want it) into mixing bowl and blend the ingredients together. Form beef mix into oval shaped patties about 3” x 5” each or approximately 6 oz each.

Add small amount of olive oil to a large medium hot skillet, then add meat patties, keeping some distance between so they cook thoroughly. In another skillet add 2 tsp olive oil and heat up then add the sliced onions and sugar and let them cook until they become soft and golden brown.

When beef patties are browned on both sides remove them briefly and add beef broth, Worchershire sauce, and flour to the skillet, stirring with a whisk until it thickens slightly and becomes brown. Taste the sauce at this point and add salt and or pepper if needed. Add onions to the sauce and pour over Salisbury patties when plating. Serve with mashed potatoes and use the sauce for a gravy.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken – so versatile and affordable!

Chicken is so affordable and easy to fix in hundreds of different ways! Bake it along side some home made biscuits and roasted potatoes and you’ll kill two birds with one…. Well never mind you get the idea! My family prefers boneless skinless breast meat and this will work with either it thighs or even legs and wings, just adjust the time a bit for those pieces that have a bone.

6 thighs or 8 legs or 10 wings or 6 breasts, with or without bone and skin)

1 cup parmesan cheese (divided)

½ cup Panko bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 tsp each of sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper all sides of the chicken and let it sit in the fridge ½ hour. Heat oven to 400 and spray a casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray. Mix 3 large eggs until blended in one bowl, add 1 cup flour plus ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, spices, and ½ cup parmesan cheese in another bowl. Dip chicken pieces, one at a time, into egg mixture then into dry ingredients (use one hand for wet and the other for dry ingredients). Place each piece onto baking pan, sprinkle on remaining parmesan cheese, and put in the oven for 45 minutes. Check by separating a thick piece slightly to make sure no blood runs out. (if you have a meat thermometer test for correct temp for chicken which is 165). Serves 6 and would work great with roasted potatoes and those home made biscuits!

Roasted Potatoes – work great with almost any baked meat dish

3 pounds baby red potatoes (scrubbed but leave skins on)

1 stick butter (margarine will work too)

Salt & pepper


1 lemon

Cut potatoes into halves (or quarters if they’re larger). Microwave to melt butter in a bowl then mix potatoes in with butter. Sprinkle a light dusting of salt and pepper and paprika (about 1 tsp each) over potatoes then place in baking pan and bake 350-400 (depending on the meat you’re baking them with). Test with a fork after 30 minutes and remove when softened and turning golden brown. Squeeze lemon juice over hot potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Serve with any of the above meat dishes.

From Scratch Biscuits - an easy and hardy addition to any meal!

Why not make your own biscuits? They’re cheap and easy to make (and you can bake them right alongside your entrée and potatoes). The following recipe is for Cheddar Cheese Biscuits and makes 12.

Preheat oven to 400

2 C. flour (all purpose) plus some extra for kneading

½ C. powdered milk

1 ½ C. finely shredded cheddar cheese

2 tsp baking powder

2 TBS sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ C. chopped chives (they’re optional and dried work as well as fresh chopped)

1/3 C. cold unsalted butter (in small pieces)

1 C. water

Mix flour, cheese, sugar, dry milk, baking powder, salt and chives if using them

Work in butter with pastry cutter or with a fork or two knives until evenly distributed. Add water a little at a time until just moistened. Knead a few times until well mixed but don’t overwork your dough. Roll or pat out until you’ve formed a 6” x 8” rectangle. Cut into 12 biscuits and place on a baking sheet (sprayed with pan spray). Keep biscuits separated by about ½” so they can spread when baking. Bake 12-15 minutes or until they turn light golden brown. Serve soon as they come out of your oven. They will complement any of the above recipes!

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