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Comfort Food on the Cheap [Oct. 9th, 2008|10:02 pm]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

This is all stuff I've actually eaten, cooked, and enjoy. They are lower calorie versions than the classics, but please watch portions or it could still be fattening.

Ingredients Needed-Shopping
  • 1 whole chicken $5
  • Light bisquick $4
  • 1 bag of potatos $3
  • 2 carrots $1
  • Celery $2
  • 1 onion $2
  • Dried pitted dates $5
  • Unflavored goat cheese $3
  • Canned Pumpkin (not sweetened) $1
  • Swiss Miss Sugar Free Hot Cocoa $3
  • Fat Free Sour Cream $3
  • 1 large box chicken broth $4
  • 1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese $3

So, this is under $40 and should feed several people

Spices Needed and Staples I assume you have
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Flour or Cornstarch
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Splenda
  • Milk

Night 1-Roast chicken with potato and gravy with faux pumpkin pie dessert
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Remove giblets from the chicken and dry with paper towel.
2. Drizzle olive oil on the chicken lightly and rub it in (to keep it moist) Season with salt, pepper, rosemary (fresh if possible), and garlic powder.
3. Cook until the internal temperature reads safe for poultry and chicken is cooked through.

About 30 minutes before the chicken is ready, slice a few potatos into 1/8ths or so and boil until you can poke with a fork, drain.

When chicken is ready, take the drippings from the whole chicken, add flour, salt and pepper to make gravy.

Take the skin off the breast and grab 2oz or so chicken and a tiny bit of potato for taste. Add gravy to keep moist! Enjoy and you have a beautiful meal for the family. Immediately after dinner put away the chicken leftovers for the next night (there should be some). Remove the skin from the chicken and shred. Put into a tupperware container for the next few days meals.

Faux Pumpkin Pie

Take small can of pumpkin and add splenda and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Bake next to your chicken for 30 minutes, then add a small amount of butter to the top. Bake until the top turns brown. This is best eaten warm. Some people may like to add 1 dallop of sugar free whipped topping (if you can afford the calories). You can also create a graham cracker sandwich out of this filling for variety.

Night 2-Chicken and Dumplings with Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
1. Cut 2 stalks of celery, 3 carrots and 1/2 an Onion and put into a large pot with a lid.
2. Add a large chicken broth with 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp Thyme. Boil uncovered until all veggies are tender.
3. Add half of the remaining shredded chicken and bring to a boil.
4. Mix 1 and 2/3 cups light bisquick with 2/3 cup milk using a fork in a small bowl. Lower the heat to simmer and drop the batter into the soup mixture in tablespoons full.
5. Cover and let cook for at least 15 minutes. The dumplings are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve yourself mostly the soup, but 1 dumpling doesn't hurt me.

Take each pitted date and slice it with a knife down the side. Using a spoon put in unflavored goat cheese. Refrigerate during dinner. This is a tasty and elegant dessert, and the protein is nice and can balance out the natural sugars. However, just try one and see how it goes.

Night 3-Chicken Stuffed Potatos with Mexican Style Hot Cocoa for dessert
1. Microwave the largest potatos from the bag until soft.
2. Scoop out centers into a bowl.
3. Add the rest of the shredded chicken, 1 cup shredded cheddar, a bit of butter, 1/2 the small container fat free sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Mix it all together with a fork.
4. Put the potato skin/shells in a glass casserole dish and stuff the mixture into the center of the potatos with a spoon. Sprinkle cheddar over the top of each potato.
5. Cook at 350F until cheese is melted and crispy.

Mexican Style Hot Cocoa
1. Boil water and add Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix following the directions.
2. Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to taste.
3. Add a dallop of SF whipped topping.

[User Picture]From: ebullientjenn
2008-10-10 03:04 pm (UTC)
OMG I'm totally going to do this. You know I plan my meals for the family for half the month at a time. This is a totally awesome idea. I could bake a chicken on a Sunday and then have dinner for the rest of the week. Tim doesn't eat chicken on the bone but I can cut it off for him.

Hell I might even make him some stuffing. He'll be in heaven. Thanks for the ideas! Oh and the pumpkin pie thing - awesome!

I think creativity is your secret super power. Lipgloss is just the disguise!
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-10-10 03:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I have had a blast making these meals and it's been much easier on the budget since I figured out the whole chicken trick.

I'll post a few more "revised comfort food" recipes. This is one area where I just love being creative. I miss comfort food and bringing it back into my diet in a healthy way has been good for both Craig and I.
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[User Picture]From: ebullientjenn
2008-10-10 04:53 pm (UTC)
I do a pretty good turkey meatloaf and I found a easy peasy Chicken Alfredo broccoli recipe online too. I just need something beyond Tacos sometimes. I'm getting sick of turkey tacos.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-10-10 04:55 pm (UTC)
I should also post my 3 days of beef. Ha! I have some healthier lean beef classics too. I LOVE comfort food in fall, so I have to find ways to make it healthier while still tasting really good.
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[User Picture]From: carryaway
2008-10-10 03:33 pm (UTC)
Don't take this the wrong way, but that's not real Mexican Style hot Cocoa. Whoever told you that is not being honest or doesn't know. Mexican Style Cocoa has Cayenne in it. They used to put cayenne in it to smooth out the bitterness in cocoa beans. I learned this in Taste & Flavor classes.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-10-10 03:56 pm (UTC)
I know. Cayenne sounds good! Will try it. Mine is just slightly spiced.

p.s. How come you never post any of your amazing cooking ideas? You are SO good at it. I'd love to see some of your cooking knowledge in your LJ and some of your creative ideas. I also like it when you post your photography.

Edited at 2008-10-10 05:05 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: carryaway
2008-10-10 09:24 pm (UTC)
p.s.r. I actually just got my large tub of cooking notes that I have done like designs of restaurants and recipes, plus my notes and books from culinary school. When I get some time, I'm going to go through them and maybe try to scan some stuff in to show off. I've wanted to sit down and work on some classic recipes and make them lighter, yet still tastier for you and whoever wants healthier stuff that tastes awesome.

I also need to sort through all my photos on my computer and add them to my "PRO flickr" account. Plus, we all need to take fun cheap trips around the area and other fun stuff... and take lots of photos. I love my new camera. It takes the most amazing shots of simple stuff!
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[User Picture]From: carryaway
2008-10-10 09:25 pm (UTC)
and thank you for the compliment. :)
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[User Picture]From: vivaine666
2008-10-11 12:26 am (UTC)
As delicious as these sound I have a problem with you menu--NO VEGETABLES! Sorry, but the potatoes just don't count. Or the onions and carrots. And there's not enough of the celery to count as a vegetable. Of course it's easy enough to add a salad or a can of green beans, but without a vegetable, I can't consider them a square meal.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-10-11 12:42 am (UTC)
Oh. Well, this is the sort of food I'm supposed to eat for maintaining with my altered digestive system. People who've had surgery can't eat many veggies and if we do, crispy ones are hard to digest.
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[User Picture]From: vivaine666
2008-10-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, your digestive system is NOT normal, but then, you knew that.
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