As you know, I'm all about living simply! So here are some of my favorite easy and cost-effective recipes, one for each day of the week. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry, and the rest are not expensive (I just don't do expensive!)
Each recipe serves 2.
Cook long-grain rice (brown or white) according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Once warm, add half a pound cubed boneless skinless chicken breast and cook on med-hi heat until no longer pink (6-10 minutes, turning for even cooking). Remove from skillet. Add a little oil to skillet again, and cook 1/2 pack frozen stir-fry vegetables until tender (follow package directions). Once cooked, return chicken to skillet with vegetables to warm through. Serve chicken and vegetables over rice. Top with soy sauce as desired.
Top four slices of bread (white, Italian or English muffins work best) with tomato-based pasta sauce of any variety. Top with shredded or sliced cheese. Other vegetables or toppings may be added as desired. Toast in toaster oven (on a baking sheet) on med-hi setting or pop into 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes - just long enough to melt the cheese.
Pasta with olives
Cook half a pound of your favorite pasta according to directions. Slice 1/2 cup of your favorite olives. Heat a tsp olive oil in skillet. Once warm, add olives and a couple shakes of garlic powder. Cook on low heat for 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 tsp of dry rosemary or mixed dry Italian herbs. Toss with cooked pasta. Top with parmesan cheese.
Cook half a pound of ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink. Make sure to break up with spatula while cooking to keep it from clumping. Add half a small can of sloppy joe sauce and heat through. Toast two hamburger buns or four slices of bread. Serve sloppy joe mixture on the bread as a sandwich.
Salad and cheesy bread
This is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Place 4 slices of hearty bread on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with feta (or whatever cheese you have). Bake at 450 degrees for 9 minutes. If using a toaster oven, toast on med-hi. While cooking, mix 1 Tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar, a tiny blob of mustard, dash of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 3 Tablespoons olive oil. This is your dressing. Toss with salad greens. Place greens on plates. Top each salad with two slices of the cheesy bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Lemon herb chicken
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in skillet. Saute half pound cubed boneless skinless chicken breast 10 minutes (turning for even cooking) or until browned without pink spots. Add 2 tsp olive oil, 2 shakes garlic powder, 2 shakes Italian herbs, a big squeeze of lemon juice. Heat a couple more minutes. Serve with toasted bread.
Pasta and veggies
Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions. Heat 1/2 jar tomato-based pasta sauce on med-lo heat. While heating, add in 1/2 c frozen veggies or chopped fresh veggies if you have some. Heat through. Serve sauce over pasta. Top with parmesan cheese as desired.