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Cheap and Easy Recipes and Dinner Ideas

10 entrees you can make for $5 or less.

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10. Last-Minute Chili

Chili is a popular entree at any time of year. For the Last-Minute Chile recipe below, you'll buy a pound of braised beef tips for $2 to $2.50 per pound, plus some Mexican-style stewed tomatoes and kidney beans for $1 or less a can. The rest of the ingredients are mostly items you have in your spice cabinet and liquor cabinet. That's right, I said "liquor" cabinet -- I like to use a couple tablespoons of whiskey or brandy. But if you don't have that on hand, just leave it out. Even if you have to buy an onion, a batch of this chili will cost you right around $5, and it serves six.

5 Cheap and Easy Recipes

Here are five easy recipes for cheap family dinner entrees:

Fridge Leftover Frittata

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped vegetables (use whatever you have on hand: onions, bell pepper, mushroom slices, tomato, broccoli, asparagus, etc.)

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

4 large eggs

8 egg whites (toss the yolks or save them for another dish)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese (any type will work)

Canola or olive oil cooking spray

1 teaspoon no-salt herb seasoning blend

Preparation:

  1. In a large, nonstick skillet, cook the vegetables (except tomato, if using) in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat, stirring often, until veggies are tender (about 3 minutes). Stir in chopped tomato if you're adding it (it doesn't need to be cooked like the other veggies). Add salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat or whisk together the eggs and egg whites until blended. Stir in the shredded cheese and the sauteed veggie mixture.
  3. Begin heating the large, nonstick skillet again over medium heat until hot. Coat the pan generously with cooking spray and quickly pour in the egg mixture, distributing the veggies evenly in the bottom of the skillet. While it begins to cook, sprinkle the herb blend over the top. Cover the skillet and cook, without stirring, for about 6 minutes (the frittata should be set and the bottom nicely brown).
  4. If desired, brown the top of the frittata in a preheated broiler, about 4 inches from the heat, for 1-2 minutes. Slide frittata onto a large serving plate and cut into 4 wedges.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information: Per serving: 231 calories, 21 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 12.8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 5.5 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 210 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 365 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 50%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.5 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids: 1.5 gram.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: 2 eggs without added fat + 1 cup vegetables without added fat.

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