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Cheap and Easy Recipes and Dinner Ideas

10 entrees you can make for $5 or less.

5 Cheap and Easy Recipes continued...

8 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces reduced-fat Ruffles potato chips, crushed (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 13-x-9-inch baking pan with canola cooking spray.
2. Thaw potatoes and combine with all ingredients except the potato chips. Spread into prepared pan and top with crushed chips if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes

Yield: 16 side-dish servings or 8 as a main dish

Nutrition Information: Per side-dish serving: 115 calories, 7 g protein, 14.5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g fiber, 10 mg cholesterol, 308 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: 1/2 cup starchy foods and legumes without added fat

Last-Minute Chili


1 teaspoon canola oil

2 tablespoon whiskey or brandy (optional)

12 to 16 ounces braised beef tips (small lean cubes)

1 1/2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic (or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 yellow or white onion, chopped

2 cups cubed vegetables (whatever you have on hand: eggplant, zucchini, etc.)

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes (crumble while adding)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chili con carne seasoning

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (add more to taste)

24 ounce can stewed Mexican-style tomatoes (or 2 14.5-ounce cans)

1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed well

2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)


  1. In large, nonstick skillet or saucepan, heat oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Add beef cubes and saute for a minute, stirring constantly. Add whiskey, brandy, or water and stir.
  2. Stir onions and vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, etc.) into beef mixture and simmer about a minute. Stir in spices and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in tomatoes with juice, tomato paste (if desired), and beans.
  3. Cover skillet and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Nutrition Information: Per serving: 246 calories, 22.5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat, 2.2 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 538 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.2 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids: 0.4 gram.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: 1 cup "hearty stews, chili, bean soup" + 1/2 cup "vegetables without added fat"


Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2008 Elaine Magee

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


Reviewed on October 15, 2013

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