Tag Archives: budget friendly

Egg Roll Tostadas

I do not like egg rolls.  When we have Chinese out, my husband orders 6.  My daughter eats two and my husband eats the rest.  All that slimy cabbage and barely any meat.  I do like the crispy part of the wrapper though.  In fact, I’ve been known to peel the crispy wrapper off and eat it – leaving behind any soft wrapper and all the filling.  So, when I was scanning Pinterest for new dinner ideas the other day, I saw a pin for egg roll bowls.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t even click on the pin.  I saw the title and thought, “I can do this.  And, I can do it in a way I like that is as healthy as it is delicious!”  And thus, this recipe was born.  There’s another budget tip here.  I got broccoli in my Bountiful Baskets basket last time.  So many people toss the stems, but I just can’t see doing that.  I know when I buy it from the store, I pay per pound for those stems.  Instead, I use those pieces in soups or slaws or, now, in these delicious tostadas.  Wanna cut back on the carbs even more, serve it up in a bowl with one or two wrappers on the side (or just eat the filling alone, it is THAT good).

This recipe does take quite a bit of prep time.  If you’re crunched for time, you could buy broccoli slaw and shredded carrots at your local grocery, or you could run this all through the grater (the texture will be different though).  I started by julienning equal parts carrots, bell pepper and broccoli stems and shredding twice as much cabbage. Aren’t they beautiful!


After your veggies are prepped, cook your meat, drain it and set it to the side.  I used ground beef, but pork or even turkey would be just as delicious.  Then, in the same pan you cooked your meat in, heat 2 Tablespoons oil.  Add onion, garlic, ginger and red chile flake to the hot oil and sauté just until onion is soft.  Add carrot, bell pepper and broccoli to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until it just starts to get a little tender.  Add your cabbage and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Then, add the meat  and soy sauce and heat through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Fry up some round won ton wrappers and serve a generous spoonful of filling on top.  These are garnished with julienned cucumber.



1 cup julienned bell pepper

1 cup julienned carrot

1 cup julienned broccoli stems

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 pound ground beef (or pork or turkey)

2 Tablespoons oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1″ ginger, diced

pinch red chile flake

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Fried round won ton wrappers

In a large skillet, brown ground beef.  Drain and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat oil over high heat.  Add onion, garlic, ginger and chile flake.  Sauté until the onion is translucent.  Add bell pepper, carrot and broccoli.  Sauté 4-5 minutes, until vegetables just start to get tender.  Add cabbage and sauté 2-3 minutes more.  Stir in meat and soy sauce until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve on crispy won ton skins.


More Than Microwaving – Broccoli Cheese Casserole

If you grew up anywhere even remotely near the South, chances are you’ve had a generous amount of broccoli cheese casserole.  It’s ok, but I just really don’t care for those canned, condensed soups.  My husband, however, LOVES this casserole.  Our compromise? I make it with leftover, homemade broccoli cheese soup.  I’ve seen this served as a side or even with whole chicken breasts or thighs roasted on top of the casserole so it makes a one dish meal.  I like to do it that way, but this time of year is lean for us. My husband works in the oilfield.  Seems these companies always underestimate their yearly operating expenses and work gets cut to the bare minimum toward the end on the year.  This recipe uses up your leftovers, stretches a little bit of meat and makes a hearty meal that is a crowd pleaser. Oh, and did I mention it is seriously easy?

Cube up one large or two small chicken breasts.  Seriously, I hate that when I buy frozen chicken breasts there are always a couple of monster pieces and then some that are so small it is obvious they aren’t whole breasts.  I use those for this.  Here is the chicken I started with.  It made about a cup and a half of cooked cubes.


That is seriously all the chicken I used.  After your chicken is cooked, add equal parts prepared brown rice (or you could use half as much uncooked minute rice) and leftover broccoli cheese soup (or, if you prefer, used condensed soup and some milk) to the pan with your chicken. Pour the whole mixture into a large casserole dish (9×13), and sprinkle with cheese.


Bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.  It doesn’t take long since everything is cooked through already (you may have to cook it longer if you use uncooked rice).  Serve wit ha nice salad and you’ve got a full meal.



1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 Tablespoon oil

salt and pepper

4 cups leftover broccoli cheese soup

4 cups prepared brown rice

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350*

Heat oil in large skillet.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken in skillet and remove from heat.

Stir in leftover soup and loosen any brown bits that remain from cooking the chicken.  Stir in rice.

Transfer the meat, soup and rice mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Taco Soup

The weather has been getting progressively cooler here.  And that means soup season is upon us.  Also, somehow, my schedule seems to be filling up, which means that I use my crock pot more often.  This recipe is adapted from my grandma’s taco soup.  It’s easy, feeds a crowd inexpensively, and just plain tastes good.  If chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to use hamburger.  No crock pot? You can easily make this recipe on the stove top, but in that case I’d definitely used canned beans instead of dry.

To start, add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and a can of corn kernels into your crock.


Then add dry or canned pinto beans and chicken breasts (I used whole, frozen).  Also stir in a package of low sodium taco seasoning (or a tablespoon of your favorite homemade taco seasoning) and enough water to cover everything well.  Turn your crock pot on low and walk away for 6-8 hours.  Just before serving, remove the chicken and shred or dice it.  Put it back in the soup, give it a stir and serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese.  Yes, it really is that simple and so delicious.



1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 can whole kernel corn

1 cup dried pinto beans (or one can pinto beans)

1 package low-sodium taco seasoning

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

water to cover

tortilla chips for serving

shredded cheese for serving

Place first 5 ingredients in a crock pot.  Stir.  Add enough water to cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.

Before serving, remove chicken from crock pot and dice or shred.  Return to crock.  Stir.

Serve with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese.