Budget Bytes https://www.budgetbytes.com Delicious Recipes Designed for Small Budgets Wed, 23 Jan 2019 22:29:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala https://www.budgetbytes.com/easy-cauliflower-and-chickpea-masala/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/easy-cauliflower-and-chickpea-masala/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2019 19:29:37 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40894 This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala is my new favorite dinner! That spicy-creamy sauce is just so ūüĎĆthat I have to sop up every last bit with a piece of naan. This dish comes together super fast, requires very little chopping, is insanely inexpensive, and holds up well in […]

The post Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala is my new favorite dinner! That spicy-creamy sauce is just so ūüĎĆthat I have to sop up every last bit with a piece of naan. This dish comes together super fast, requires very little chopping, is insanely inexpensive, and holds up well in the fridge, so it’s great for meal prep! This one is going right into my weekly rotation. :)

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

A bowl full of Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala with a black spoon and torn piece of naan bread.

How to Serve the Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

I’ve been eating my Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala with a piece of naan bread to scoop up that delicious sauce, but this dish would be equally as good over a bed of hot rice. Either way it’s creamy, spicy, and oh so delish!

Spicy or Not, Make it Your Own

You can adjust the heat of this sauce by increasing, decreasing, or even eliminating the amount of cayenne pepper in the spice mix. The amount listed below creates what I would call a “medium” spice level, but that’s extremely subjective, so take that with a grain of salt.

Make it Vegan

An easy sub for the heavy cream in this recipe would be full fat coconut milk (the stuff that comes in cans, NOT the dairy milk substitute). You can play around with the quantities, but I’d guess somewhere between 1/2 to 1 cup would work well.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala will be your new favorite weeknight dinner! So much flavor, so little effort. 

Masala Spice Mix

  • 2 Tbsp garam masala ($0.60)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper ($0.03)

Skillet Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.21)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.15)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 12 oz. frozen cauliflower florets ($1.00)
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained ($0.49)
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce* ($0.59)
  • 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream ($0.26)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the spices for the masala spice mix (garam masala, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper).

  2. Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger. Add all three to a large skillet along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the spice mix and continue to sauté for one more minute.

  3. Add the frozen cauliflower florets to the skillet with the aromatics and spices, and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes more, or until the cauliflower have thawed through and are completely coated in spices.

  4. Add the drained chickpeas, tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Stir to combine, then allow them to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. This will help mellow the acidity of the tomato sauce and allow the spices to blend. If the mixture becomes too dry as it simmers, add a couple more tablespoons of water.

  5. After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Give the masala a taste and add salt as needed. Serve in a bowl either over rice or with a piece of bread for dipping.

*For those living outside the United States, our “tomato sauce” is pur√©ed cooked tomatoes with a little salt and sometimes a scant amount of onion powder. The closest product to this would probably be passata.¬†

A wooden spoon scooping up some Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala out of a skillet

Step by Step Photos

Combine spices for masala spice mix

Begin by combining 2 Tbsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl.

Diced Onion Minced Garlic and Grated Ginger

Finely dice one yellow onion, mince three cloves of garlic and grate about 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (ginger is hard to measure, so this is flexible). 

Saute onion garlic ginger and spices

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the spice mix and continue to sauté for one more minute.

Add Cauliflower Florets to Skillet

Add 12oz. frozen cauliflower florets to the skillet and continue to sauté until the cauliflower is thawed through and coated in spices. 

Add Chickpeas and Tomato Sauce to Skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can chickpeas (drained), one 15oz. can tomato sauce, and about 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Stir to combine and then let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce starts to dry out as it simmers, add a couple more tablespoons of water.

Add Heavy Cream to Skillet

After the sauce has simmered and the tomato sauce has mellowed a bit, turn off the heat and stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream.

Stir to Combine Cream with Sauce

After stirring the cream into the sauce, give it a taste and add more salt to taste (I added about 1/4 tsp).

Finished skillet full of Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala with cilantro and torn pieces of Naan bread

I garnished here with fresh cilantro, but didn’t find that it added a lot to the flavor, so that’s entirely optional!

A bowl of creamy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala being eaten with a spoon and two pieces of naan on the side.

Dig in!

The post Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/easy-cauliflower-and-chickpea-masala/feed/ 2
Vegetarian Challenge Week 3 Recap https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-3-recap/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-3-recap/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2019 16:37:00 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40864 January is¬†flying by!¬†I honestly can’t believe I’ve been doing this Vegetarian Challenge for almost a month already. Week three went by quickly, as my attention was focused on chaos elsewhere, but I feel like I’m finally getting into a groove with the meal planning. Here’s the week 3 recap! Quick Summary: I’m finally getting a […]

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 3 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
January is¬†flying by!¬†I honestly can’t believe I’ve been doing this Vegetarian Challenge for almost a month already. Week three went by quickly, as my attention was focused on chaos elsewhere, but I feel like I’m finally getting into a groove with the meal planning. Here’s the week 3 recap!

Quick Summary: I’m finally getting a feel for how much food I need to buy and prepare to match my appetite, and I have developed a core group of ingredients that I like to keep on hand for impromptu meals. I’ve had a strong craving for sushi all week, fatty salmon in particular! I battled some pretty extreme stress this week, which made me¬†really want to order take out, but I overcame the temptation. And I feel like a champion because I repurposed a LOT of leftovers this week!

Vegetarian Challenge Week 3 Recap

What I bought, cooked, ate, and how I felt throughout week 3 of the Vegetarian Challenge. Using up leftovers, battling stress cravings, and more! Budgetbytes.com

What I Bought

The first two weeks of the Vegetarian Challenge I did my grocery shopping on Monday, and was met with ransacked grocery stores and nearly bare shelves. So this week I waited until Tuesday and had much better luck! I had so much food left over from weeks one and two that my grocery shopping list was super short this week, so I decided to take this opportunity to stock up on some things, like blueberries, chia seeds, and flax seeds. I had a few higher ticket items this week, which led to my highest grocery shopping total for the challenge thus far.

Week 3 Grocery List and Receipts

Total Weekly Expense: $40.06

Week 3 Aldi Haul

Week 3 Aldi Haul: $25.57

Week 3 Kroger Haul

Week 3 Kroger Haul: $14.49

 

What I Cooked

Here is what I cooked in week 3:

What I Cooked Week 3

What I Ate

As I get into a groove and learn what I like to eat and what is convenient for me to prepare, my diet is beginning to look a little repetitive. I suspect that if I were to do this challenge longer than 31 days, I would need to start switching up my breakfast and snack options. Here is what I ate in Week 3:

Tuesday 1-15-19 / Daily Total: $4.70

  • Breakfast: 2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.04), 2 eggs ($0.50), 2 cups spinach ($0.30), 1/4 bell pepper ($0.25), 6 grape tomatoes ($0.34), 1/4 tsp seasoning salt ($0.03)
  • Lunch: large flour tortilla ($0.24), 1 cup spinach ($0.15),¬†Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad (from freezer, $1.41), 2 Tbsp ranch dressing ($0.16)
  • Dinner: Vegan Winter Lentil Stew¬†($0.64)

Wednesday 1-16-19 / Daily Total: $4.89

  • Breakfast:¬†2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/4 cup oat bran ($0.18), 2 Tbsp sliced almonds ($0.22), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp chia seeds ($0.16), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed ($0.03), 1/3 cup frozen blueberries ($0.36)
  • Lunch: Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet ($1.40), 2 slices Freezer Garlic Bread ($0.37)
  • “Dinner”: 1/2 cup yogurt ($0.29), 1 banana ($0.19), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed ($0.03)
  • Snacks: 1/4 bell pepper ($0.25), 1 serving Hummus ($0.37), 1 large flour tortilla ($0.24)
Hummus and Vegetables

Homemade Hummus with Bell Peppers and Carrot Sticks

Thursday 1-17-19 / Daily Total: $5.02

  • Breakfast:¬†2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/4 cup oat bran ($0.18), 2 Tbsp walnuts ($0.29), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp chia seeds ($0.16), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed ($0.03),¬†1 banana ($0.19), 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • Lunch: large flour tortilla ($0.24), 1 cup spinach ($0.15),¬†2 cups spinach ($0.30),¬†1/4 bell pepper ($0.25),¬†1 serving Hummus ($0.37),¬†1 egg ($0.25)
  • Dinner:¬†Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes ($1.79)

Friday 1-18-19 / Daily Total: $4.89

  • Breakfast: 2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.04), 2 eggs ($0.50), 2 cups spinach ($0.30), 1/4 bell pepper ($0.25), 6 grape tomatoes ($0.34), 1/4 tsp seasoning salt ($0.03)
  • Lunch: 1 cup milk ($0.33), 1 banana ($0.19), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed ($0.03), 1/2 tsp honey ($0.04)
  • Dinner:¬†Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes ($1.79), 1 orange ($0.25)

Saturday 1-19-19 / Daily Total: $5.39

Dutch Baby Slice

Slice of Dutch Baby Pancake with sweetened ricotta, banana slices, and maple syrup

Sunday 1-20-19 / Daily Total: $3.13

  • Breakfast:¬†2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/2 Dutch Baby¬†(no almonds or jam $1.16), 1/2 banana ($0.10)
  • Snacks: 1 serving¬†Hummus ($0.37), 2 Tbsp ranch dressing ($0.16), 1/4 bell pepper ($0.25), 6 grape tomatoes ($0.34), 1 carrot ($0.11)
  • Dinner: DATE NIGHT! We went to Five Points Cocina Mexicana and I got a vegetarian platter (and a margarita!)

Monday 1-21-19 / Daily Total: $5.34

  • Breakfast:¬†2 cups coffee ($0.42), 2/3 cup milk ($0.22), 1/4 cup oat bran ($0.18), 2 Tbsp walnuts ($0.29), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp chia seeds ($0.16), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed ($0.03),¬†1 banana ($0.19), 1 Tbsp maple syrup ($0.30)
  • Lunch: large flour tortilla ($0.24), 1 cup spinach ($0.15),¬†2 cups spinach ($0.30), 1 serving Hummus ($0.37),¬†1 egg ($0.25), 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.04)
  • Dinner:¬†Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes ($1.79), 1 orange ($0.25)
Breakfast Oat Bran Week 3

Oat bran with seeds, bananas, peanut butter, and maple syrup

Total Weekly Meal Cost (not include restaurant meal): $33.36

Leftovers

What got frozen: I had one serving of the Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms and Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes and¬†two servings of the Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet left, so I froze all three of those with hopes that I would eat them later rather than have them land in the compost bin. I had one banana I didn’t get to either, so I sliced it up and froze that as well (for use in smoothies or adding to my oat bran). I have plenty of Freezer Garlic Bread left and that will help carry me through the next month or two. I find one slice of that goes a long way toward squashing my stress food cravings!

What’s carrying over to week four: I have a couple scoops of hummus left, a few grape tomatoes, and some carrot sticks that I can still chomp on for a few days into week four. I have a little bit of yogurt leftover that is still good, and miraculously I still have an orange or two!

What’s going into the compost bin: I had a few slices of bell pepper that I didn’t eat and unfortunately they got a bit slimy, so those have to go into the compost.

How I Feel

I’m¬†really happy that I was able to make use of the last two pounds of potatoes that I bought in week one, and the remaining ricotta cheese that I had bought in week two. Using things up instead of throwing them out makes me feel like such a champion!

I’m still not really craving meat, but I am strongly craving sushi or a poke bowl with fresh salmon. Like, I can’t get it out of my mind. I have to admit that I’m starting to daydream a little about the freedom I’ll feel come February and what I’ll eat first, but I think half of that might just be the relief of not having to log my meals anymore. :)

I’m still really enjoying the freedom that comes as a result of planning ahead. Grocery shopping just once per week and knowing exactly what recipes I’ll cook and when has freed up so much of my time. I know the first few days of my week will be super busy with shopping, cooking, and photographing, but the remainder of my week will be pretty chill, and that feels SO GOOD.

I’ve also begun to really enjoy being super strict about eating out only once per week. I have to admit that I’ve gotten really lax with that over the last year or so, but when I limit myself to just one meal out per week I enjoy it so much more. It becomes more of an event and is just way more fun. :) I definitely plan to carry this out past January.

Goals for Week 4

I don’t have anything from week 3 that I feel needs altering (that means I’m finding my groove!), so I plan to just keep on truckin’ in week 4. As always, using up leftovers is a high priority!

How’s it going for you? What have you learned through your Vegetarian Challenge? I’d love to hear your reflections and lessons, so drop them in the comments section below!

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 3 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-3-recap/feed/ 19
Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes https://www.budgetbytes.com/balsamic-roasted-mushrooms-with-herby-kale-mashed-potatoes/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/balsamic-roasted-mushrooms-with-herby-kale-mashed-potatoes/#comments Sat, 19 Jan 2019 20:15:44 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40826 While planning my menu for week 3 of my Vegetarian Challenge, I took inventory of my pantry and noted that I still had about two pounds of potatoes left over from week one that needed to be used ASAP. I decided to make a version of my Fluffy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes, but modified to […]

The post Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
While planning my menu for week 3 of my Vegetarian Challenge, I took inventory of my pantry and noted that I still had about two pounds of potatoes left over from week one that needed to be used ASAP. I decided to make a version of my Fluffy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes, but modified to use up some of my leftover sour cream. I stirred in some saut√©ed kale to make the potatoes¬†colcannon-esque, and topped them with some balsamic roasted mushrooms for a “meaty” element to the dish. The results were amazing and this might be my favorite recipe from the challenge thus far!!¬†

Meal Prep It!

This dish holds up super good in the refrigerator, so it’s perfect for meal prep! I probably won’t have a chance to test it in the freezer though, because I’m eating through it¬†so fast.

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

A bowl full of Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

Shout out to Aldi for having amazing prices on mushrooms. I was able to get one pound of mushrooms for less than 1/2 pound would cost at other stores, making this recipe ULTRA affordable.

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

These Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes are a vegetarian meal that will please any “meat and potatoes” style meal lover. 

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

  • 1 lb. mushrooms ($2.58)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.33)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.02)

Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes ($1.08)
  • 6 oz. kale, chopped ($1.68)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided ($0.04)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.45)
  • 1/2 cup milk ($0.17)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF. Wash the mushrooms and cut them in half if they are large.

  2. In a small dish, stir together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and thyme. Place the mushrooms in a casserole dish big enough to allow them to be in a single layer. Pour the balsamic marinade over top and stir until the mushrooms are coated.

  3. Transfer the the mushrooms to the preheated oven and roast for 45 minutes, giving them a stir every 15 minutes. After 45 minutes the mushrooms should be tender and there should be a nice sauce in the bottom of the dish.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the mashed potatoes. Peel and dice the potatoes into one-inch cubes. Rinse the cubes well in a colander, then place them in a large pot, add 1/2 tsp salt, and cover with cool water. Place a lid on the pot, bring it up to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are very tender (about 7-10 minutes).

  5. Once the potatoes are very tender, drain them in the colander and rinse them briefly with hot water. Let the potatoes drain in the colander as you prepare the kale.

  6. To the pot used to boil the potatoes, add the chopped kale, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 Tbsp water. Sauté over medium heat just until wilted (3-5 minutes), then remove the kale from the pot.

  7. Return the drained potatoes to the pot along with the sour cream, milk, dried parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then taste and add more salt if needed. Stir in the saut√©ed kale. 

  8. To make the bowls, add 1/4 of the herby kale mashed potatoes to each bowl, then top with 1/4 of the balsamic roasted mushrooms. Drizzle a spoonful or two of the juices from the bottom of the casserole dish over the mushrooms and mashed potatoes. 

Drizzle balsamic pan sauce over mushrooms and mashed potatoes

Meal prepped Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

Step by Step Photos

Balsamic Marinade for Mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF. In a small dish, stir together 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and 1/4 tsp dried thyme.¬†

Ad Marinade to Mushrooms

Wash 1 lb. mushrooms and slice any large mushrooms in half. Place the mushrooms in a casserole dish that is large enough for them to be in a single layer. Pour the prepared marinade over top and stir to coat.

Stir Mushrooms to Coat in Marinade

Transfer the mushrooms to the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (the photo above is what they look like BEFORE roasting).

Finished Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

After roasting the mushrooms should be tender and there should be a nice sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Peel Dice and Rinse Potatoes

While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare the herby kale mashed potatoes. Peel and dice 2 lbs. potatoes into one-inch cubes. Rinse the potatoes well, then transfer them to a large pot, add 1/2 tsp salt, and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, bring it up to a boil, then boil the potatoes until they are very tender (7-10 minutes). Drain the cooked potatoes in the colander and give them a quick rinse with hot water. Let the potatoes sit in the colander as you quickly sauté the kale.

Sauté kale

Add 6oz. chopped kale to the pot used to boil the potatoes, along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 Tbsp of water. Sauté the kale over medium heat until it is wilted (about 3-5 minutes), then remove it from the pot to a clean bowl.

Add Cooked Potatoes Back to Pot

Add the drained potatoes back to the pot along with 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then taste and add more salt if needed.

Stir Sautéed Kale into Mashed Potatoes

And finally, stir the sautéed kale back into the mashed potatoes.

Close up of a bowl of Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

And then to build your bowls simply add 1/4 of the herby kale mashed potatoes and 1/4 of the balsamic roasted mushrooms to each bowl, and drizzle a little bit of the sauce from the roasting pan over top of each. Then dig in!

The post Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/balsamic-roasted-mushrooms-with-herby-kale-mashed-potatoes/feed/ 27
Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet https://www.budgetbytes.com/sun-dried-tomato-kale-and-white-bean-skillet/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/sun-dried-tomato-kale-and-white-bean-skillet/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:35:52 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40786 Sun dried tomatoes are a fairly expensive ingredient, but I think this recipe perfectly demonstrates how higher priced ingredients, when properly combined with less expensive ingredients, can still be used to make affordable recipes. This warm Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet is a super fast dish that is almost like a warm […]

The post Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
Sun dried tomatoes are a fairly expensive ingredient, but I think this recipe perfectly demonstrates how higher priced ingredients, when properly combined with less expensive ingredients, can still be used to make affordable recipes. This warm Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet is a super fast dish that is almost like a warm salad. It’s great served with a piece (or two) of crusty garlic bread, or even a fluffy piece of naan.

But be warned, this recipe is a fiber¬†powerhouse, so if you have a stomach that is sensitive to fiber, you may need to skip this one. ūüėÖ

Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet

Close up of a plate full of Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and white Bean Skillet with Garlic Bread

Additions and Substitutions

There are a lot of fun places you could take this skillet. I’m trying to cut back on cheese a bit, but if I wasn’t, I’d probably sprinkle a little Parmesan, feta, or even goat cheese into this skillet. MMmmm. If you’re not into kale, you can definitely use spinach, but I’d stir it in right at the end because it wilts quickly. I wanted my dish to be vegetarian, but if that’s not an issue for you, I would suggest adding bacon or crumbled Italian Sausage!

Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet

This quick Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet is a fast, flavorful, and fiber-licious meal that is ready for perfect for weekly meal prepping. 

  • 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans, drained ($1.38)
  • 1/2 7oz. jar sun dried tomatoes in oil ($2.14)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.03)
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • to taste freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • pinch red pepper flakes ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 6 oz. fresh kale, chopped* ($1.60)
  1. Drain and rinse the white beans. Roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes with the apple cider vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Set the dressing aside.

  2. Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for one minute, or just until it begins to soften and becomes fragrant.

  3. Add the chopped kale and 2 Tbsp water to the skillet. Stir and cook over medium heat until the kale has wilted. 

  4. Add the drained beans and chopped sun dried tomatoes to the skillet with the kale. Continue to stir and cook until the beans are heated through. Lastly, drizzle the dressing over the skillet and stir to combine, and add salt to taste. Serve warm.

*I used half of a 12oz. bag of pre-chopped kale. You can use up to 8oz. if that’s the package size that you have available.

A skillet full of Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Beans, with a wooden spatula.

Step by Step Photos

Sun Dried Tomatoes Packed in Oil

For this recipe, I used half of this 7 oz. jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, including some of the oil. I’ll probably use the rest next week either in a pasta salad or on a pizza. :) Begin by removing half of the tomatoes and roughly chopping them.

Sun Dried Tomato Oil Vinaigrette

Then use 2 Tbsp of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes to make a vinaigrette. Combine 2 Tbsp of the oil with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Also rinse and drain two 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans. 

Saute Kale and Garlic

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it starts to get soft and fragrant. Add 6 oz. fresh chopped kale and 2 Tbsp water to the skillet, and continue to sauté until the kale is wilted (only about 3-5 minutes). The water helps steam and wilt the kale.

Add Cannellini Beans and Sun Dried Tomatoes to Skillet

Once the kale has wilted, add the drained white beans and chopped sun dried tomatoes. Stir to combine and continue to cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through (only a few more minutes).

Add Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette to Skillet

Finally, drizzle the vinaigrette over the skillet, stir to combine, add salt to taste, and serve.

Finished Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet with wooden spatula

This dish is particularly delicious served with garlic bread or a piece of naan. :) 

The post Sun Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/sun-dried-tomato-kale-and-white-bean-skillet/feed/ 20
Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-2-recap/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-2-recap/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:00:40 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40732 Week 2 of the Vegetarian Challenge is complete! I can’t believe we’re already half way done! I had a completely different experience in week 2 than week one, so let’s jump right into that week 2 recap! Summary:¬†I had a couple anomalies this week, like an orthodontic adjustment that made my teeth sore for a […]

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
Week 2 of the Vegetarian Challenge is complete! I can’t believe we’re already half way done! I had a completely different experience in week 2 than week one, so let’s jump right into that week 2 recap!

Summary:¬†I had a couple anomalies this week, like an orthodontic adjustment that made my teeth sore for a good four days, but overall the week went very well. I was never hungry and all of those cheese and bread cravings that plagued me non-stop in week 1¬†completely disappeared. I still have NO meat cravings (except maybe when I see a gorgeous food photo) and I’m feeling like a million bucks!

Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap

What I Bought

I was surprised again this week to find Aldi’s shelves even¬†more empty than they were the week before! That means that my Kroger to Aldi grocery ratio was essentially flipped, and I do feel like this probably added a good $5 to my total weekly grocery bill. But that’s life, and that’s meal planning. You’ll always get hit with the unexpected and you just have to be flexible and make do! Because of these added expenses, I decided to cut one of my planned recipes that I didn’t really need anyway, the Freezer Garlic Bread.

Here is my grocery list and receipts from the two stores I visited this week:

Week 2 Grocery List and Receipts

Total Weekly Expense: $38.29

Week 2 Aldi Haul

Week 2 Aldi Haul $16.77

 

Week 2 Kroger Haul

Week 2 Kroger Haul $21.52

What I Cooked

Here are the recipes that I cooked this week:

What I planned to cook but didn’t:

  • I bought the ingredients to make another batch of Homemade Hummus and carrots for dipping, but I never got around to it. I can use this in week 3.
  • Freezer Garlic Bread¬†to go with the baked ziti – While I was at the store and realizing my budget was going overboard, I decided to nix this one from the menu because I didn’t really need it anyway.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes in Glass Meal Prep Containers

What I Ate

The first half of the week I didn’t eat nearly as many vegetables as in week 1, but this was due to a very painful orthodontic adjustment that left me sore for FOUR DAYS. Whew. That is a lot longer than usual and by the end of that time I was actually craving vegetables!! I’m happy about that.

Here’s the day by day food log and price breakdown!

Tuesday 1-8-19 Daily Total: $4.47

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 large tortilla: $0.24
  • 1 large egg: $0.25
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter: $0.03
  • 1 cups fresh spinach: $0.15
  • 1/4 cup¬†Homemade Hummus: $0.37

Lunch:

Soft Snacks (ortho adjustment pain begins):

  • Thick Cut Oven Fries¬†(different seasoning and toppings): 1 russet potato ($0.27), 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16), 1/4 cup shredded cheddar ($0.22), 2 tsp onion salt seasoning ($0.20), 1 Tbsp ranch dressing ($0.08): $0.93
  • 1 cup Yogurt: $0.57
  • 1/2 banana $0.09
  • Smoothie: 1/2 cup milk ($0.17), 1/2 banana ($0.09), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp flaxseed ($0.03), 1/2 tsp honey ($0.04): $0.49

Thick Cut Oven Fries

Wednesday 1-9-19 Daily Total: $4.81

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snacks:

  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter: $0.16

Thursday 1-10-19 Daily Total: $2.94

*This day was an anomaly because I had to fast for my blood work the first half of the day, then I received some really bad news later in the afternoon that caused me to lose my appetite. :(

Breakfast/lunch:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 cup Yogurt: $0.57
  • 1/2 banana $0.09
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed: $0.03

Dinner:

Friday 1-11-19 Daily Total: $5.66

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 large tortilla: $0.24
  • 2 large eggs: $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter: $0.03
  • 2 cups fresh spinach: $0.30
  • 6 grape tomatoes: $0.47
  • 1/4 bell pepper: $0.13

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snack: 1 cup milk: $0.33

Oat Bran with Toppings

Saturday 1-12-19 Daily Total: $5.62

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1/2 banana: $0.09

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snacks:

Sunday 1-13-19 Daily Total: $2.77

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1 banana: $0.18

Lunch:

Dinner: DATE NIGHT! We went to Slim & Husky’s and I had a vegetable pizza. :)

Monday 1-14-19 Daily Total: $4.65

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22

Lunch:

Dinner:

Total Weekly Meal Cost: $30.92 (not including one restaurant meal)

Leftovers

I have a LOT of food leftover this week, but fortunately a lot of it can be carried over into week 3 and 4.

Leftovers that can still be used:

  • 2 Rosemary Pepper Drop Biscuits (freezer)
  • 2 servings Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad (freezer)
  • 4 servings Vegan Winter Lentil Stew (freezer)
  • 4 servings Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti (freezer)
  • russet potatoes (week 1)
  • oranges (week 1)
  • sour cream
  • carrots
  • chickpeas
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • ricotta
  • limes (will be put in the freezer)
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • spinach
  • grape tomatoes

The cilantro, parsley, spinach, and grape tomatoes probably only have a few days left, so I’ll concentrate on using those up first thing in week 3.

Compost: NOTHING! ūüėĪA few of these items might end up in the compost mid-week 3, but for now they’re still usable! I ate or froze all the servings of the recipes I cooked this week, so nothing got wasted. WIN!

How Do I Feel?

AWESOME! Last week it was hard to concentrate on anything other than my cravings for bread and cheese, and I was pretty much planning where we would go for date night from day 1. This week I had ZERO cravings for bread and cheese, and I wasn’t even excited about going out to eat for date night. I attribute this to the couple of servings of Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti that I worked into the plan. That kept be satisfied enough to end the cravings, but didn’t make me go overboard.

I still haven’t had any significant cravings for meat since day one. Sometimes if I see a photo in my Instagram feed or something I’ll get a little drooly, but no unprovoked meat cravings¬†at all.

My vegetable intake was definitely a bit lower for the first half of the week due to my sore teeth, but I was craving vegetables by the time my teeth felt better. Craving vegetables is a great feeling to have!

I can’t believe how much leftover food I have after only two weeks. I’m glad that I have a few different options to choose from in the freezer, but it can’t hold much more, so I’m going to slow down on the freezer recipes going forward.

Goals for Week 3

  • Use up leftover ingredients from weeks 1 and 2
  • Eat down the supply of freezer meals to make room for more
  • Work more seeds into my week to increase fiber, plant fats, and protein.

So that’s week 2! I learned so much in week 1 and the changes I made in response really made a difference. I am¬†really excited about how quickly my body is adapting, and hope to keep many aspects of this challenge going past the end of January. :) If you are also doing a Vegetarian Challenge, how did week 2 go for you? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-2-recap/feed/ 31
5 Easy Sources of Plant-Based Protein https://www.budgetbytes.com/5-easy-sources-of-plant-based-protein/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/5-easy-sources-of-plant-based-protein/#comments Sun, 13 Jan 2019 21:10:14 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40723 One of the biggest hurdles most people encounter when contemplating a vegetarian lifestyle, or even just practicing a “meatless Monday” is the question, “Where would I get my protein?” So I wanted to write this quick, non-definitive guide to plant based proteins to show that it’s a lot easier than you think. I’ve rounded up […]

The post 5 Easy Sources of Plant-Based Protein appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
One of the biggest hurdles most people encounter when contemplating a vegetarian lifestyle, or even just practicing a “meatless Monday” is the question, “Where would I get my protein?” So I wanted to write this quick, non-definitive guide to plant based proteins to show that it’s a lot easier than you think. I’ve rounded up these five food groups, which can provide a good source of plant-based proteins and, when used in a balanced and varied diet, can provide all the protein you need.

We tend to box food into groups like “carb” “fat” or “protein,” but the truth is that most foods contain a mixture of these nutrients. So I’m hoping you’ll find some surprise protein sources in the list below, which will in turn give you more options and flexibility when creating your budget-friendly meals. Replacing some or all animal proteins with plant proteins can be very cost effective, and has been a valuable strategy for keeping my budget in check over the years.

The nutrient values listed in the examples below are estimates and have been sourced from the USDA Food Composition Databases.

A big pot of colorful beans with title overlay

5 Easy Sources of Plant-Based Protein

Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are probably the most commonly known source of plant-based protein, and my favorite way to increase the protein content of my food while keeping costs low. Beans and lentils are extremely inexpensive, provide a ton of nutrients like fiber and minerals, and are very shelf stable.

How to Use Beans and Lentils

One of my favorite cost-cutting tricks is to replace half of the ground meat in recipes with either lentils or black beans (see: Sloppy Joe’s Plus, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, Snap Challenge One Pot Chili Pasta). Beans and lentils also make the most hearty and satisfying soups and stews. Some of the least expensive and most loved recipes on this website are bean or lentil based soups. Plus, they also tend to be very easy to make (see: Winter Lentil Vegetable Stew, Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetarian Chili, Smoky Potato and Chickpea Stew). But beans aren’t just for soups and stews. Browse my entire collection of Bean Recipes and Lentil Recipes for more ideas.

Examples of Bean Protein Contents (per 1/2 cup cooked):

  • Chickpeas – 7 grams
  • Kidney Beans – 7.5 grams
  • Brown Lentils – 9 grams
  • Black Beans – 7.5 grams

Soy

While technically a bean, there are so many different soy based products available on the market that I decided it needed a mention of its own. In addition to the fresh whole bean form (often called edamame), soy beans can be made into tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and more. Soy products are generally less expensive than meat and because their popularity has been booming over the past few decades, they can be found in most major grocery stores. This wide range of products makes it easy to work a little more soy into your meal plan.

How to Use Soy Products

Frozen, shelled Edamame makes an easy protein filled snack, or they can be added to salads or bowl meals (see: Sesame Slaw, Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowls). Tofu has a very unique texture that can take some getting used to, but once you do it’s quite versatile. I use it in stir fries, dips, sandwiches, and more (see: Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli, Curried Tofu Salad, BBQ Tofu Sliders). If you’re not a fan of tofu’s texture, definitely check out tempeh, which is a fermented soy bean product. It’s a great addition to stir fries, sandwiches, and more (see: Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls, Buffalo Tempeh Sandwiches). Soy milk can be used in many recipes in place of dairy milk, although it can be a little less creamy, so the results may be subjective. I think soy milk works great in recipes like overnight oats, baked oatmeal, and smoothies (see: Golden Milk Overnight Oats, Pumpkin Smoothie, Oatmeal Cookie Baked Oatmeal).

Examples of Soy Product Protein Contents:

  • Shelled Edamame (1/2 cup) – 9 grams
  • Extra Firm Tofu (3 oz.) – 9 grams
  • Tempeh (3 oz.) – 16 grams
  • Soy Milk (1 cup) – 7 grams

Whole Grains

Most people think of grains as a “carb” but when you consume them in whole form, they can provide a significant amount of protein as well. Like beans and lentils, whole grains are very inexpensive and shelf stable, making them a budget powerhouse ingredient. Build your meals on a base of whole grains and you’ll have a very filling meal that costs just pennies. Brown rice is a common whole grain, but you should also consider branching out to other grains like quinoa¬†(technically a seed, but cooked and used like a grain), farro, and bulgur (cracked wheat). And of course there is the always versatile oat!

How to Use Whole Grains

Cooked and cooled grains make an excellent addition to salads, taking them from a “side” to a “main dish” (see: Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad,¬† Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots, Mediterranean Farro Salad with Spiced Chickpeas). I also love switching up the base for my bowl meals to include a variety of grains (see: Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls, Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce). Grains make a great breakfast, too! In addition to the million ways to use oats, I’ve enjoyed both quinoa and farro for breakfast (see: Apple Nut Quinoa, Banana Nut Breakfast Farro).

Examples of Whole Grain Protein Contents:

  • Quick Oats (1 cup cooked) – 6 grams
  • Oat Bran (1 cup cooked) – 7 grams
  • Bulgur (1 cup cooked) – 5.5 grams
  • Brown Rice (1 cup cooked) – 5.5 grams
  • Quinoa (1 cup cooked) – 8 grams

 

Thawed Bacon for Crustless Quiche

Vegetables

Vegetables are usually the last place people expect to find significant amounts of protein, but some vegetables contain a surprising amount! Add fresh or frozen vegetables to your pastas, salads, soups, casseroles, and more. I keep frozen vegetables on hand at all times to add to whatever I might be cooking for a quick nutrient boost. Here are some vegetables that you can add to your plate to help to your daily protein intake:

  • Russet Potatoes (large, 3-4.25″, baked) – 8 grams
  • Broccoli (1 cup cooked) – 4 grams
  • Sweet Peas (1 cup cooked) – 5 grams
  • Kale (1 cup cooked) – 3.5 grams
  • White Mushrooms (1 cup raw) – 3 grams
  • Brussels Sprouts (1 cup cooked) – 4 grams
  • Spinach (1 cup cooked) – 5 grams

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a concentrated source of plant-based protein, but they are also one of the most expensive. Luckily they’re fairly shelf stable, and can often be kept in the freezer for even longer periods. In addition to protein, nuts and seeds provide plenty of fiber, healthy fats, and minerals. Whether you’re using nut butters or whole nuts and seeds, adding just a tablespoon or two to your meals each day can go a long way.

How to Use Nuts and Seeds

I like to stir chia, hemp, or flaxseeds into my morning oats or smoothies (see: Make Ahead Seeded Oats, No Sugar Added Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats, Pumpkin Smoothie). I’ve also been successful in adding seeds to a variety of baked goods, like my Seeded No-Knead Bread or Apple Flax Muffins. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great for adding to salads and bowl meals for extra crunch. And of course there are nut butters, which are great for much more than toast! I use peanut butter in sauces, stews, and baked goods (see: Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry, African Peanut Stew, Peanut Butter Brownie Baked Oatmeal).

Examples of Nut and Seed Protein Contents:

  • Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp) – 7 grams
  • Almond Butter (2 Tbsp) – 7 grams
  • Chia Seeds (1 oz.) – 4.5 grams
  • Flaxseed (2 Tbsp ground) – 2.5 grams
  • Hempseed (2 Tbsp, hulled) – 6.5 grams
  • Pumpkin Seeds (2 Tbsp) – 5 grams

And that’s it! With all of these choices you can switch up your protein sources often and find a mix that fits your budget, taste buds, and dietary needs.

If you’re a veteran of the vegetarian lifestyle, share your favorite plant-based protein sources in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!¬†

The post 5 Easy Sources of Plant-Based Protein appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/5-easy-sources-of-plant-based-protein/feed/ 28
Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema https://www.budgetbytes.com/loaded-sweet-potatoes-with-chipotle-lime-crema/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/loaded-sweet-potatoes-with-chipotle-lime-crema/#comments Sat, 12 Jan 2019 18:19:20 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40706 These Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema are the perfect meal prep item, since they’re already pre-portioned and ready to go. There are a lot of options for toppings and seasonings with this recipe, so get creative, use up whatever you have hanging out in the fridge, and make it new each time!¬† This […]

The post Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
These Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema are the perfect meal prep item, since they’re already pre-portioned and ready to go. There are a lot of options for toppings and seasonings with this recipe, so get creative, use up whatever you have hanging out in the fridge, and make it new each time!¬†

This recipe pairs well with Cilantro Lime Rice!

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crema on parchment paper with a yellow background

Portions

The portion size for this dish changes quite a bit with the size of your sweet potato, and also whether or not you choose to use a whole or a half potato per serving. I used one half potato per serving, but if you wish to have a whole sweet potato per serving, you can roast them whole, making sure to add to the cook time so they are soft all the way through. The seasoning can be added after roasting, once the potatoes are cut open and mashed.

Add-ons and Substitutions

As you can probably imagine, this recipe is SUPER customizable. You can add anything to these sweet potatoes that you might like. Think about taco or nacho toppings for inspiration. Add corn to the bean and pepper mix, avocados as a topper, cilantro, or maybe even some crispy crumbled tortilla chips! There are lots of options. :)

If you don’t want a spicy chipotle lime crema, you can make my classic Lime Crema instead. And if you can’t find jerk seasoning, any number of seasoning salts would work in its place. You could use something like Taj√≠n, Lowry’s, or even something like Tony Chachere’s.

 

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crema

Loaded Sweet Potatoes are the perfect pre-portioned item for your weekly meal prep. They reheat well and can be customized to fit your needs. 

  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb. each) ($1.93)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided ($0.26)
  • 2 tsp jerk seasoning (or seasoning salt of choice) ($0.20)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained ($0.59)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided ($0.04)
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced ($o.22)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.45)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1 jalape√Īo (optional), sliced thin ($0.10)
  • 1 green onion, sliced ($0.10)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF. To make the Chipotle Lime crema, zest and juice the lime. Combine the sour cream with 1 Tbsp lime juice, about 1/2 tsp lime zest, the chipotle powder, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir the ingredients together, then refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Wash then dry the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to prick the skins several times all over. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then use 1 Tbsp olive oil to coat the surface of all four pieces.

  3. Season the cut sides of the sweet potatoes with Jerk Seasoning, or whatever seasoning salt you prefer. Coat the surface of a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil, then place the sweet potatoes cut side down. Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are soft, you can see the juices oozing out from underneath, and the skins look a little wrinkly.

  4. While the sweet potatoes are baking, Mince a clove of garlic, dice the red bell pepper, slice the jalape√Īo and green onion.

  5. Add the minced garlic to a skillet with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Saut√© over medium heat for one minute, then add the diced bell pepper. Saut√© the pepper for 2-3 minutes, or just until it begins to soften, then add the black beans, cumin, salt, and green onion. Stir and cook until the beans are heated through. 

  6. When the sweet potatoes come out of the oven, use a spatula to flip them over. Mash the flesh of the sweet potatoes with a fork, then pile the bean and pepper mixture over top. Add the sliced jalape√Īo and a dollop (or drizzle) of the chipotle lime crema to each, then serve.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes in Glass Meal Prep Containers

Step by Step Photos

Make Chipotle Lime Crema

Begin preheating the oven to 400¬ļF. Next, make the Chipotle Lime Crema, so the flavors have a bit of time to blend. Zest and juice one lime, then stir together 1/2 cup sour cream with 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp zest, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Refrigerate the crema until it’s time for it to be used.

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes and Season with Jerk Seasoning

Wash and dry two sweet potatoes. Use a fork to prick the skins several times. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then use about 1 Tbsp oil to coat all surfaces of all four pieces. Season the cut sides of the sweet potatoes with jerk seasoning (or any other seasoning salt, Tajín would be great). Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil to prevent the sweet potatoes from sticking, then place the potatoes on the sheet cut sides facing down. 

Jerk Seasoning Bottle

This is the jerk seasoning I used, and I’m pretty sure I got it at Kroger. Any salted seasoning blend will work well. I like that this one also has a little sugar for a touch of sweetness.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Bake the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they’re soft all the way through, the juices are starting to ooze out from underneath, and the skins look a little wrinkly. The total baking time will vary with the size of your sweet potatoes.

Heat Black Beans and Red Bell Pepper

While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the toppings. Drain a 15oz. can of black beans, mince one clove of garlic, dice a red bell pepper, slice a green onion, and thinly slice a jalapeŇĄo. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium, then add the minced garlic and saut√® for about one minute. Add the diced bell pepper and saut√© for another 2-3 minutes, or just until they begin to soften. Finally, add in the drained black beans, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and the sliced green onion. Stir and cook until heated through.

Mash Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Use a spatula to flip the baked sweet potatoes over, then use a fork to mash the flesh.

Top Sweet Potatoes

Top the sweet potatoes with the bean and pepper mixture, a few slices of jalape√Īo and a drizzle or dollop of the chipotle lime crema, then they’re ready to serve!

One Loaded Sweet Potato being eaten with a fork.

Dig in! :)

The post Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Crema appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/loaded-sweet-potatoes-with-chipotle-lime-crema/feed/ 8
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad https://www.budgetbytes.com/roasted-cauliflower-and-quinoa-salad/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/roasted-cauliflower-and-quinoa-salad/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2019 21:24:57 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40685 For week 2 of my Vegetarian Challenge, I knew that I wanted a “refrigerator salad.” By that I mean a salad that I can prepare in the beginning of the week and will hold up well in the refrigerator for several days. Building the salad on a base of cooked grains, using sturdy vegetables, and […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
For week 2 of my Vegetarian Challenge, I knew that I wanted a “refrigerator salad.” By that I mean a salad that I can prepare in the beginning of the week and will hold up well in the refrigerator for several days. Building the salad on a base of cooked grains, using sturdy vegetables, and roasting the vegetables to remove some of their moisture helps this Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad stay fresh like the day you made it, well into the week. I’ve also tested freezing this salad and it freezes SO WELL! Almost unnoticeable changes once reheated.

This recipe was inspired by two of my favorite recipes, Yellow Jasmine Rice and my classic Roasted Cauliflower Salad, so if you’re a fan of either of those, you’re going to¬†love this one as well. I didn’t make a dressing for this salad, because there was already¬†so much¬†flavor going and it was moist enough for my liking, but if you want to try a dressing, I would suggest either the Lemon Turmeric Dressing from my Autumn Quinoa Salad, or the Lemon Tahini Dressing from my other Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

A bowl full of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.

Substitutions

You have several options with this salad. If you want to cut costs even more, you can substitute couscous for the quinoa. Just make sure to use proper amount of liquid, as suggested by the cooking instructions on the package of couscous. Raisins make a great substitution for the dried cranberries, and you can probably use a handful or two of kale, chopped very fine, in place of the parsley. I sometimes have success with spinach holding up in salads like this, so long as the other ingredients are significantly cooled before combining with the spinach.

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad holds up well in the refrigerator for days, making it perfect for meal prep or brown bagging your lunch. 

  • 1 head cauliflower ($3.49)
  • 1 small red onion ($0.28)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.12)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp turmeric ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon ($0.02)
  • 2 cups quinoa ($2.39)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries ($0.29)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth* ($0.39)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds ($0.44)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley ($0.45)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF. Chop the cauliflower into florets and slice the red onion into 1/4-inch strips. Place the cauliflower florets and sliced red onion into a large bowl, along with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onion until they are well coated in oil.

  2. Spread the cauliflower and onion out onto a large baking sheet, then transfer them to the oven. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, give them a good stir, then roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized and the cauliflower is browned.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa well in a wire mesh sieve. Add the butter, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon, to a medium sauce pot. Place the pot over medium heat. Stir and cook the spices for one minute.

  4. Add the drained quinoa to the pot with the butter and spices. Also add the dried cranberries and vegetable broth. Stir to combine, then place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid in place.

  5. After simmering over low for 20 minutes, the quinoa should have absorbed all of the broth. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa. Add the sliced almonds and stir to combine. Allow the quinoa to cool slightly.

  6. Transfer the cooked quinoa and roasted cauliflower and red onion to a large bowl. Add the chopped parsley and stir until everything is combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat (can be eaten warm or cold). 

*I use Better Than Bouillon base to make my broth.

Front view of the bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

Step by Step Photos

Raw Cauliflower and Red Onion

Begin by preheating the oven to 400¬ļF. Chop one head of cauliflower into florets and slice one small onion into 1/4-inch strips. Place both of them in a bowl and add 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onion until they are well coated in oil.

Cauliflower and Red Onion Ready to Roast

Spread the cauliflower and onion out onto a large baking sheet. Transfer them to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then stir, and return them to the oven.

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Onion

Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized and the cauliflower florets are browned.

Butter and Spices in Pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the quinoa. Rinse 2 cups of quinoa in a wire mesh sieve. Add 2 Tbsp butter, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon to a medium sauce pot. Stir and cook the spices in the butter over medium heat for about one minute.

Rinsed Quinoa and Dried Cranberries in Pot

Add the rinsed quinoa to the pot, along with 1/3 cup dried cranberries. We’ll cook the cranberries with the quinoa so they can plump up in the hot liquid.

Add Vegetable Broth to Quinoa

Finally, add 3 cups vegetable broth to the pot and give everything a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes (with the lid on).

Cooked Quinoa and Cranberries Add Almonds

After 20 minutes, all of the broth should have been absorbed. Fluff the quinoa, add 1/4 cup sliced almonds, and stir to combine. Let the quinoa cool slightly.

Combine Quinoa Cauliflower and Parsley

Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl along with the roasted cauliflower and red onion, and 1 cup chopped parsley.

Mixed Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

Stir everything to combine, then it’s ready to serve! You can serve this salad warm, or refrigerate it for later and serve cold.

A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.

Crunchy, earthy, and a little sweet, this Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad will fill you up and keep you full!

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/roasted-cauliflower-and-quinoa-salad/feed/ 26
Vegetarian Challenge Week 1 Recap https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-1-recap/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-1-recap/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:00:08 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40578 Welcome to the first Vegetarian Challenge Weekly Recap! Buckle up because it’s going to be a looooong post! TL;DR: This week was full of the unexpected, but I rolled with the punches and made adjustments where necessary. I really enjoyed the benefits of planning ahead, like only grocery shopping once, reducing my food waste, and […]

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 1 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
Welcome to the first Vegetarian Challenge Weekly Recap! Buckle up because it’s going to be a looooong post!

TL;DR: This week was full of the unexpected, but I rolled with the punches and made adjustments where necessary. I really enjoyed the benefits of planning ahead, like only grocery shopping once, reducing my food waste, and only having to “cook” a couple of times. I got a little too ambitious with my attempt to reduce my dependency on cheese and carbs, and will probably scale it back a bit next week. This week’s main lesson: It’s all about baby steps!!

Vegetarian Challenge Week 1 Recap

Jump to:¬†What I Bought¬†¬†–¬†What I Cooked¬†–¬†What I Ate¬†–¬†Leftovers¬†–¬†How I Feel

 

What I Bought

After picking a few recipes to make for the week, I wrote down all the ingredients I needed and doubled check that list against what was in my pantry. To my delight, I already had at least half of those ingredients on hand, which meant my grocery list was pretty short this week. Here is my grocery list and the two receipts from the stores where I shopped:

Grocery List and Receipts

Total Expense: $32.76 – Not bad!

Aldi Haul Week 1

Aldi Haul Week 1 – $16.67

 

Kroger Haul Week 1

Kroger Haul Week 1 – $16.09

Here is what I already had in my kitchen that I used this week: butter, frozen blueberries, sliced almonds, cheddar, mozzarella cheese stick, eggs, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, sriracha, carrots, cornmeal, brown sugar, flour, onion, vegetable broth (Better Than Bouillon), and several herbs and spices.

As I move through the challenge I’ll need to replenish some of these pantry items, so you’ll see how they add a little to the expense of each week.

The Unexpected

When I got to Aldi I was surprised to see the shelves nearly empty. They didn’t have a few of the items that I was planning to purchase, so I had to pivot and get them at Kroger for a higher price. But I did score a big bag of oranges for $1.99, which wasn’t on my plan but made an excellent snack throughout the week, and even into week 2.

What I Cooked

The recipes I had planned for the week were:

Meal prepped Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls in round glass bowls

What I Ate

Since I work from home and my meal times aren’t restricted by a work schedule, I tend to be an intuitive eater. This means that I eat when I get hungry, not when I have a scheduled meal time. Because of this, I tend to eat two larger meals per day (a late breakfast and late lunch) and then just have a couple light snacks later in the evening. So you won’t see a distinct breakfast-lunch-dinner pattern in my meal log.

Okay, here it is. The detailed day-by-day food diary, with price breakdown!

Tuesday 1-1-19 Daily Total: $4.79

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.03
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds $0.11
  • 1 large tortilla $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread¬†$0.20
  • Spinach, bell pepper, carrot, grape tomatoes $1.07
  • 1 serving Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls $1.48
  • ¬†1 orange $0.25
  • 1 mozzarella cheese stick $0.19

Wednesday 1-2-19 Daily Total: $4.44

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 large tortilla: $0.24
  • 1 large egg: $0.25
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter: $0.03
  • 2 cups fresh spinach: $0.50
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Hummus: $0.37
  • 1 tsp sriracha: $0.03
  • 1 serving Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls $1.48
  • 1 orange $0.25
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Hummus: $0.37
  • 3 celery sticks $0.06
  • 5 carrot sticks $0.06
  • 2 Tbsp peanut Butter $0.16

Thursday 1-3-19 Daily Total: $4.61

Friday 1-4-19 Daily Total: $4.37

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 2 larg eggs $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.03
  • 6 grape tomatoes $0.34
  • 2 cups spinach $0.50
  • 1/2 bell pepper (green) $0.25
  • 1/4 avocado $0.13
  • 1 serving Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls $1.48
  • 1 Rosemary Pepper Drop Biscuit $0.21
  • 1/2 tsp honey $0.04
  • 1 orange $0.25

Saturday 1-5-19 Daily Total: $4.99

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1 Sriracha Chickpea Salad Wrap $1.69
  • 1 orange $0.25
  • 1 large flour tortilla $0.24
  • 1 large egg: $0.25
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Hummus: $0.37
  • 1 cup fresh spinach: $0.25
  • 6 grape tomatoes: $0.34

Sunday 1-6-19 Daily Total: $2.67

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Hummus: $0.37
  • 3 celery sticks $0.06
  • 5 carrot sticks $0.06
  • 1/4 bell pepper (yellow) $0.38
  • 2 Tbsp Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread $0.20
  • DATE NIGHT!¬†We ate a late lunch at The Southern V and I was so full afterward that I didn’t want dinner.

Monday 1-7-19 Daily Total: $3.57

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 2 larg eggs $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.03
  • 6 grape tomatoes $0.34
  • 2 cups spinach $0.50
  • 1/2 bell pepper (green) $0.25
  • 1/4 avocado $0.13
  • 1 serving Vegan Winter Lentil Stew $0.64
  • 1 Rosemary Pepper Drop Biscuit $0.21
  • 1 cup milk $0.33

Total weekly meal total: $29.44 (not including one meal eaten out)

A large bowl of Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles about to be eaten with a fork.

Leftovers

As unfortunate as it is, not everything I bought or cooked got eaten this week. Despite having a few things that didn’t get eaten, my compost bin is a lot less full than normal, which means that planning ahead and sticking to that plan still helped reduce my food waste.

Here’s what is going into the compost bin:

  • 1 serving Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls:¬†I was a little disappointed that I didn’t eat all the portions of this, but the week went by quickly and some days I simply didn’t eat three full meals per day, so I had more food prepared than my appetite supported.
  • 1 serving Sriracha Chickpea Salad: Same reason as above. Too much food prepared, not enough appetite to eat it all. To avoid this in the future, I should lean more on freezer-friendly recipes.
  • 1/4 cup hummus: I ate almost all of the hummus! Hummus is so versatile that I found myself adding it to just about everything throughout the week. One little serving went uneaten, though.
  • 5 servings Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread: ouch, this one hurts. In a normal week, when I’m¬†not trying to mitigate my cheese consumption, I could have killed that whole batch in two sittings. But I didn’t think this one through and there is no way I could have finished that whole thing in one week while trying to be conservative with cheese (or without the bread, bagels, or crackers to put it on). :( Poor planning, but I took note and won’t make that mistake again!
  • A few vegetable sticks: I was able to eat all my spinach and tomatoes, but not all the celery, carrots, and bell pepper. I ate about 3/4 of them, so I’m still happy with that. Especially since those carrots were leftover from a couple of weeks ago, so I was glad to use them at all. :)
  • Parsley, Cilantro, Green Onion:¬†About half of each bunch will be going into the compost. Unfortunately they were in pretty sad shape when they were purchased, or else I would try to stretch their use into week 2.
  • 1/4 of an Avocado:¬†Avocados were on sale for $0.50 last week so I couldn’t help buying two instead of the one planned. I ate most of the second one, so I feel pretty good about that extra purchase.

Here’s what is leftover, but can still be used in week 2 or beyond:

  • 4 servings Vegan Winter Lentil Stew (frozen)
  • 3 Rosemary Pepper Drop Biscuits (frozen)
  • Tortillas: These have a long refrigerator life and I KNOW I’ll eat them.
  • Potatoes:¬†These have a pretty good shelf life, but I’ll try to use them in week 2 just so they don’t start to get soft. I’m thinking about indulging in oven fries one night!
  • Ranch Dressing:¬†Super long refrigerator life, can be used on many different things
  • Oranges:¬†These will be great snacks in week 2
  • Oat Bran:¬†Indefinite shelf life

Oat Bran with Blueberries Almonds and Peanut Butter

How Do I Feel??

How was it eating no meat, trying to eat as many vegetables as possible, and trying to loosen my death grip on cheese and bread? I feel like that was too much to change all at once, and my body definitely let me know. The first three days I was hungry and all I could think about was bread and cheese (but no cravings for meat, LOL). The second half of the week I added a couple more eggs, ate some of those frozen biscuits, and even just melted some cheese in a tortilla one night. Adding back just a little more comfort food really made a difference in the way I felt, and by the end of the week I felt great. I reminded myself that I need to take baby steps. It can take a really long time for your body to adjust to a new way of eating, and going all-in at once isn’t always the best option (or at least not the best option for me). My Main goal is to eat more vegetables and I need to focus on that.

Calorie Full vs. Stomach Full

I experienced a new kind of “full” with this super vegetable heavy diet. Sometimes my stomach felt so full that I didn’t want to put anything else in it, but I could tell that I was still hungry for calories. When I felt this way I reached for calorie dense snacks, like a spoonful of peanut butter or a cheese stick, so my stomach wouldn’t feel any more full, but I could get a good dose of calories. I may need to incorporate more calorie dense ingredients in my meals during the upcoming weeks.

Eat Like Nobody is Watching… Yeah Right!

It’s a well known fact that you eat differently when you keep a food journal because it forces you to be more mindful. Well, when hundreds of thousands of people are also reading that food journal (Hi guys! ūüĎč), the effect is even more dramatic. So how “real” is this challenge? I’m sure it’s really skewed, so take it all with a grain of salt. Don’t compare yourself to me or what I’m eating. The thought of a bazillion people watching is a HUGE motivator to stay on track. Who knows what would have happened by now if I wasn’t broadcasting it to the world. I don’t think I would have broken plan and eaten meat, but I sure as hell would have eaten more cheese, and probably some pasta. So my goal for next week is to try to eat more like nobody is watching. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’m going to try.

Goals for Week 2:

  • Eat like nobody’s watching
  • Keep eating those vegetable heavy snacks!
  • Continue to use up pantry items
  • Try to eat all prepared portions of recipes
  • Aim for a sensible amount of comfort foods. Don’t be too restrictive, don’t go overboard.

So that’s how week one went! Not too bad, but I definitely learned a thing or two about myself and how I need to adjust my meal planning for my current lifestyle. What did you learn in your first week? Share you experiences in the comments below so we can all learn from each other! :)

The post Vegetarian Challenge Week 1 Recap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-challenge-week-1-recap/feed/ 38
Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-breakfast-scrambles/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-breakfast-scrambles/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2019 22:39:48 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=40659 Many of my day to day meals are just a hodgepodge of random ingredients that I find in my fridge all thrown into a bowl or a wrap. While I don’t really consider these “recipes,” they might spark some inspiration for some of you, so it can’t hurt to post them, right? These Vegetable Breakfast […]

The post Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
Many of my day to day meals are just a hodgepodge of random ingredients that I find in my fridge all thrown into a bowl or a wrap. While I don’t really consider these “recipes,” they might spark some inspiration for some of you, so it can’t hurt to post them, right? These Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles are one of my favorite quick breakfast bowls (they take less than 10 minutes), and a lot of people have been asking about them since I showed them in my Instagram stories for the Vegetarian Challenge. I’ve shown my current combo below, but I’ll also list some other ingredients that I sometimes throw into the mix!

Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles

A big bowl of Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles with fork.

Other Bowl Options:

You can really add anything you like to these bowls, but here are some other things I’ve added in the past:

  • mixed baby greens
  • radishes
  • broccoli (chopped fine)
  • cheese (shredded cheddar or feta are nice)
  • sriracha
  • chipotle ranch
  • roasted vegetables
  • green onion
  • cilantro
  • black beans

Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles

These Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles are a savory breakfast lover’s dream. Fast, flavorful, full of healthy vegetables, and fully customizable. 

  • 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.03)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced ($0.25)
  • 2 cups spinach ($0.50)
  • 2 large eggs ($0.50)
  • seasoning of choice* ($0.05)
  • 6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half ($0.34)
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup hummus ($0.37)
  • pinch salt and pepper ($0.02)
  1. Add the butter to a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium. Once melted, add the diced bell pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté just until wilted (about one minute).

  2. Push the vegetable to the sides and crack the eggs in the center. Add the seasoning of your choice. Keeping the skillet over medium heat, begin to scramble the eggs, mixing them with the vegetables. When the eggs are mostly set, remove the skillet from the heat.

  3. Add the cooked eggs and vegetables to a bowl and top with sliced tomatoes, avocado, hummus, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

*I used Trader Joe’s Onion Salt seasoning this time, but I’ve used several others in the past, like Cajun seasoning, Jerk seasoning, “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning, or just all-purpose seasoning salt.

A forkful of Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles close up

Step by Step Photos

Sautéed Bell Pepper and Spinach

Start by adding 1/2 Tbsp butter to a large non-stick skillet (I’m using a ceramic Greenpan brand skillet here) and placing over medium heat. Once melted, add 1/2 of a bell pepper (diced) and saut√© for just a minute or two. Next, add two cups (about two handfuls) of fresh spinach and saut√© just until wilted (about one more minute).¬†

Add Eggs and Seasoning to the skillet

Push the vegetables to the sides and crack the eggs in the center. Season the eggs and vegetables with a seasoning blend of your choice (I used Onion Salt today, but there are more ideas for seasoning blends in the recipe notes above). 

Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables

Continue to cook over medium heat as you begin to scramble the eggs and mix them with the vegetables. Scramble just until the eggs are set, then remove from the heat.

Finished Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles

Transfer the vegetable egg scramble to a bowl and top with 6 sliced grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup hummus, 1/4 of an avocado (sliced), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Done! And sooooo tasty!

The post Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

]]>
https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-breakfast-scrambles/feed/ 3