Best of Budget Bytes 2014

by Beth - Budget Bytes
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I know, I’m about a month late on this post, but so many good things happened in 2014 that I wanted to make this roundup, even if a bit late! 2014 was a busy year, with the launch of my first book, the purchase of my first home, and the adoption of my first dog (yay!). Despite all these firsts, I had time to crank out a few delicious recipes in between. I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten, so here are 15 of my favorite recipes from 2014!

Best of Budget Bytes 2014

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup – The year started off strong with this amazing soup on New Years Day. It’s packed full of delicious and colorful vegetables, black beans, and lentils. This soup is every bit as tasty as it is healthy, which is why it is one of my all-time favorite Budget Bytes recipes!


Easy White Spinach Pizza

Easy White Spinach Pizza – I didn’t even mess around with making a separate sauce for this pizza, I just mixed the cheese, spinach, and spices together into one creamy topping. You can make your own dough or simplify it one step further by topping a store bought crust with this amazingly easy spinach and cheese topping.


oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

Oven Roasted Ratatouille – A medly of thinly sliced vegetables get the “pizza” treatment with a few dollops of red sauce and a generous sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. If you’re looking for a delicious way to get more vegetables, THIS is the way to do it.


If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner, this Southwest Chicken Skillet is it! Precooked chicken makes this dinner possible in about 30 minutes.

Southwest Chicken Skillet – 2014 was the year that I got really into “one pot” and “skillet” meals. These easy dinners contain your meat, vegetables, and starch all in one dish, so you never have to sit around trying to decide what sides to make. And, because it all cooks in just one pot or pan, there’s a lot less cleanup!


Falafel Salad – This salad! This is what it’s all about. I love falafel, but didn’t want to mess with making patties and frying them up, so I just made a salad out of the ingredients. BINGO. I never looked back.


It only takes one skillet and a few ingredients to make this incredibly flavorful and filling Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet.

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Skillet – Another fantastic skillet meal, this time utilizing that glorious combination of spicy Mexican chorizo and the subtle sweetness of sweet potatoes. YUM. I need to make this again soon.


Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – Rich, velvety, and packed with vegetables that you can’t even see (a good way to trick those vegetable haters!). This soup cooks itself in the slow cooker while you’re busy doing more important things and delivers a hearty and delicious soup to your table at the end of the day.


Overhead view of a Spicy Tuna Guacamole bowl with a black fork stuck in the side.

Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowls – This is the perfect hot weather food. Lots of texture, flavor, and color in one delightful and good-for-you bowl. When it’s too hot outside to be weighed down by food, this will fill you up and keep you feelin’ light.


A simple overnight no knead dough makes a perfectly crispy yet thick crust on this no knead pan pizza. Deep dish pan pizza has never been easier.

No Knead Pan Pizza – I’m pretty obsessed with pizza, so when I finally tried cooking pizza in a cast iron skillet, I was in love. The heavy duty cast iron gives the crust a gloriously crisp outer edge, while keeping the inside soft and fluffy. Deep dish WIN.


This super easy and satisfying, "sweep the kitchen" Penne Pasta with Sausage and Greens is an entire meal in one pot. Cook once, eat all week.

Penne Pasta with Sausage and Greens – I took part in the SNAP Challenge last September and many good things came of the incredibly difficult experiment, including this Penne Pasta with Sausage and Greens. Tossing any frozen vegetable I can find into a pot of pasta with red sauce has always been my go-to easy weeknight meal, but this combo of spinach, broccoli, and Italian sausage takes the cake.


One Pot Chili Pasta is fast, easy, full of good-for-you beans and vegetables, and just enough cheese to feel like comfort food.

One Pot Chili Pasta – This is another winner born of the SNAP challenge. Chili is always awesome, but you can stretch the flavor and your dollars even further by cooking some pasta right in the flavorful chili goodness. Melting a little cheese into the sauce at the end adds a little creaminess for good measure.


Rosemary Garlic Beef Stew -

Slow Cooker Rosemary and Garlic Beef Stew – At the first cold snap of the year I was craving a warm and filling pot of beef stew. I utilized my slow cooker to make sure the beef was extra tender and all the amazing flavor of rosemary and garlic infused into every bite!


Warm intoxicating spices make this vegetable filled Moroccan Lentil and Vegetable Stew perfect for cold Autumn nights.

Moroccan Lentil and Vegetable Stew – This one is so good that I’m seriously hoarding my last two servings away in the freezer for a special occasion. It’s going to be a sad day when they’re finally gone. Aaaaand, make that one last serving. I just gave in and reheated one for lunch after drooling over this photo.


Side view of dressing being poured onto kale and chicken salad

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad – Hooray for salads that are so filling they can be a meal! This one has more texture than you can shake a stick at, thanks to crunchy almonds, crisp celery, sweet golden raisins, and kale. It’s topped with a sweet honey mustard-esque dressing that makes every bite lip-smacking good.


A hand scooping up a spoonful of Vegan West African Peanut Stew with Rice

Peanut Stew – Vegan never tasted so good. This is one of those recipes that no one would ever guess is vegan unless you told them. It’s rich, filling, and just bursting with flavor. Serve it over rice for a full out meal.


What were your favorite new recipes from 2014? Be it from Budget Bytes or any other website, share your favorites in the comments below!


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  1. Everything I cook from these recipes is just wonderfull..that Wonderpot is fantastic…the summer veggie tartan is great…

    Any Wonton ideas you have are great too…I really got into stuffing and making Won Ton chips… Congradulations on the best site for easy good cooking with things that everyone can find..I love it here.. I print out many and share them… Will in Michigan

  2. I’ve made so many of your recipes and loved them but the ones I make the most are definitely the baked oatmeals (especially the banana bread and pumpkin pie) and the No Knead Raisin Spice Bread. Love the cookbook, love the site and congratulations on your big year!!!

  3. I made the Moroccan lentil stew and LOVED it! I ate it for a straight week, froze some, and shared some with friends, who also loved it. Thanks for all the awesome recipes. I love your site. :)

  4. Lentils and beans soup. I’m a student and this recipy is easy nutritive cheap and tastes Awesome! Did it 4 times. (Doubling or tripling the recipy most of the times…)

  5. Beth, yours is my “go to” website when my husband and I are planning meals for the week. The Southwest Chicken Skillet has been a favorite of ours!
    Friends of mine recommended your recipes after moving to a big city and needing to cut costs.
    We now exchange photos of your recipes when we turn to them for dinner inspirations (din-spirations… HA!). It’s been a great way to keep in touch and have an excuse to chat with each other.
    I’m happy for your successes in the past year. Best of luck in the future!

  6. Definitely the Sweet Potato Chorizo Skillet and the Southwest Chicken Skillet (you can tell I am a fan of one pot dishes too, LOL!), they were a huge hit in our household.

    I can’t even count the days when I used your book to just flick through it and go “oh yum, need to make that soon …. and that … and that ….” or browsed your website because I had some ingredients that needed using, and my head was so busy with other things that I just didn’t come up with ideas myself.

    Thanks for your recipes, looking forward to each and everyone in 2015!

  7. The African peanut stew was my favorite, but the coconut vegetable curry was phenomenal as well and a delicious way to get in those veggies!

  8. Some of my favorites were the Coconut Vegetable Curry and Vegetable Alfredo Pasta Bake.