Budget Friendly Dinners

Camping Recipes| Recipes to Feed a Crowd on a Budget

Many people think of budget dinners as those that are not to be looked forward to. However, it is easy to make a delicious meal on a budget. A few key items to note when trying to cook on a budget, first cooking large quantities is cheaper than cooking in small quantities. You don't have to eat the same dinner all week to cook in bulk, instead you can freeze meals, which also doubles as a way to have quick easy meals for nights that you don't have time to cook. Another thing to keep in mind is that while fresh vegetables are more flavorful, you can also use frozen vegetables in your cooking without loosing nutritional value. You should also make sure to keep track of the sales going on at your local grocery, purchase things that can be frozen when they are on sale.

Enchiladas are a tasty simple dinner. You can cook as a vegetarian meal or use shredded chicken, ground beef or any other meat of your choice. I prefer the vegetarian version personally.

You will need:
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of refried beans
1 onion coarsely chopped
2 or more cloves of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small can diced green chilies, mild to hot
9-12 flour tortillas, get the tortillas that are smaller than the burrito sized, but larger than a corn tortilla
1 can Enchilada sauce
Grated medium cheddar cheese

Start by chopping the onion and garlic cloves, then sautéing them over medium heat until soft. Add the bell pepper and cook for a bit longer. Next add the black and refried beans, and the green chilies. Stir thoroughly until the entire mixture is hot. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Meat can be added if you choose. This is a great way to use left over chicken, steak, pork or ground meat.

Grate enough cheese to fill 9 to 12 tortillas. Lay out the tortillas, cheese and bean mixture, and lightly coat  a 9 x 12 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a large spoonful of bean mixture onto a tortilla. Top with grated cheese. Roll the tortilla and place in the pan. Continue this process until the pan is full. Pour the can of enchilada sauce over the pan of burritos, covering evenly. Top with some grated cheese and place in the oven. Cook the enchiladas for approximately 45 minutes, or until the enchilada sauce is bubbling and the edges of the tortillas are crispy.

Roasted Chicken with Rice
This is a simple meal to prepare and it is one of my families favorites. A roasted chicken is much like a rotisserie chicken you buy at the store, but it is a lot more budget friendly.

Purchase a whole chicken. If it is frozen, thaw it out. Cook about 2 cups of rice. My family prefers to cook the rice in chicken broth.

To cook the rice:
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth

Bring the stock to a boil and add the rice, turn the heat down and cover. Allow to cook until the rice is almost, but not completely done. Once the rice has reached this point, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.

Prepare the chicken for cooking. Remove the bag of chicken organs and pull off any excess fat you find on the chicken. Place the chicken in a large baking pan and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Stuff the chicken with the cooked rice, and spread the rice around the bottom of the pan. Spray the chicken with nonstick spray or rub with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning of your choice over the top of the chicken.

Cook at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes per pound of chicken. The chicken should be cooked to the appropriate temperature and should ooze clear juice. When the chicken is finished, cut into pieces and serve hot with a salad or steamed vegetables.

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