Budget Meal Week Continues!

Erin walked you through a great $5 lunch earlier this week, and I’m going to continue our budget week with two meals you can make for under $10 each. The first is a simple shredded chicken quesadilla, and the second is a salmon dinner with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

MEAL ONE: SHREDDED CHICKEN QUESADILLA

This is one of my favorite easy, cheap meals. All you’ll need is a frozen chicken breast or two, some tomato sauce, garlic, and a few spices like salt, pepper, hot sauce, powdered onion, and chili powder.

First, put your chicken breasts in a pot. You can use fresh, but if you’re like me and often eat on a budget, you can get a whole bag of frozen breasts for about $5. Open a 4 oz can of tomato sauce (usually about $0.50), and pour it over them. Then add water or some of the stock Erin showed you how to make until it covers the chicken breast. Add your spices, and cook on low heat for an hour or two, until the chicken comes apart in shreds with a fork. Keep cooking until the sauce and spices reduce. Heat up a tortilla (you can buy a pack of them for under $3, usually) and melt a little shredded cheese on it ($2). Voila! Instant tasty meal!

MEAL TWO: SALMON WITH MASHED POTATOES AND ASPARAGUS

This recipe takes a little longer, but if you’re up for a fancy meal on a budget, it’s the way to go!

Erin showed you a few weeks ago how to make mashed potatoes, and while I highly recommend any of these, my go-to mashed potato recipe is a regular potato-salt-pepper-cream-butter one with caramelized onions added to it. That’s what I’ve made above! Potatoes cost around $2 for this recipe, and onion, cream, and butter another $2.

I buy a lot of frozen salmon, and that’s what I used here. Since I added a hollandaise sauce, I just popped on in the oven and let it cook for 20 minutes without seasoning. A bag of salmon filets runs you about $8 for 3 or 4, so the cost for the salmon here is $2.

I heated asparagus with a little olive oil in a tinfoil tent in the oven, too. That’ll cost about $2 as well.

To make the finishing touches on the meal, I made a quick hollandaise sauce. For that, I put 2 egg yolks, a dash of cayenne, and a teaspoon of lemon juice in a blender for a minute, then poured it into a pan with two tablespoons of butter, whisking continuously. That is another $2.

There you have it! Two quick, homemade meals for under $10.

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