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Meals-On-The-Go Series: Cilantro Chicken Spring Rolls

I got this idea while eating at a Vietnamese take out restaurant.  They had these delicious spring rolls with just rice and a sprig of cilantro in them.  They were so yummy I decided to do a version for my family.  I know that they are good ont-the-go because they were actually at a take out restaurant. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups rice $.52

1 1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken (I find that it shreds best when you boil it to cook it) $.53

1/3 cup chicken stock $.03 (click here for my homemade chicken stock recipe)

3 TBS finely chopped cilantro (I used mostly just the leaves) $.10

1/2 package of spring roll sheets $.75

dash of pepper, just for flavor

optional: my husband dipped his in soy sauce to give a little extra flavor

Total for meal which yields around 19 spring rolls = $1.93  (I would recommend serving alongside a nice spinach salad with fruit)

Directions:

Cook 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker or whatever method you have (I would highly recommend investing in a rice cooker, I picked mine up at the thrift store for $6 and it works great! Rice cookers make the perfect sticky rice.  It has really revolutionized my rice cooking.  I also head over to the local asian market and pick up a bag of rice for around $26 for a 50lb. bag.  This lasts me almost a year.

Cook and shred chicken

Mix together rice, chicken, stock, cilantro, and pepper.  I just did it right in my rice cooker, but you could use a bowl if you don’t have one.

Take one spring roll and fill with about 3 TBS of mixture and fold both sides in and roll.

Repeat process until you have no more mixture.

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Teriyaki Pineapple Pork Chops

I love it when I am experimenting with dinner and it actually turns out delicious!

Ingredients:

Pork Chops (enough for your family, I used 3 since my kids split one) $3.00 (Click here to see how I buy inexpensive pork chops)

3 TBS Yoshida’s Teriyaki sauce (or any brand that you like) $.21

1 can pineapple $.25

1 cup cooked rice $.50

1 bag of Steamfresh corn $1.00

Total Cost of Meal for family of 4 = $4.96

Directions:

In a shallow dish place the thawed out pork chops and 3 TBS Yoshida Teriyaki sauce and let marinade for 20 min.

You can either barbeque them or broil them in a broiling pan.  It’s hot in California so I tend to BBQ my meat.

Once the meat is cooked through, place a few pieces of pineapple on it and let it cook a little longer, so that the pineapple gets a little cooked too

I cook my rice in my rice cooker while the meat is on the BBQ and the steam fresh corn cooks in a bag in the microwave.

Super simple and super yummy dinner!

Meals-On-The-Go Series: Pulled Pork Burgers

As I said last week, the meals-on-the-go series is for the busy family on the go, with no time to prepare dinner.  We are going to be featuring meal options that you can make ahead of time and take with you, so that you do not have to stop off somewhere to eat.

Items needed for Meals-on-the-go Kit:
Small cooler (small enough to fit in your fridge, but large enough to fit your families food)
A reusable bag to store dry goods in
Paper plates or plastic if you want to wash and reuse
Tupperware container with utensils (either plastic or flatware, again depending if you want to wash it)
Water bottle for each family member
Tupperware containers for food items
ice pack for cooler
Napkins
Moist towelettes or hand sanitizer

Pulled Pork is something that I usually have in the freezer pre-cooked.  I buy it on sale, cook it and defrost it when I need it.

Click here to find my easy crockpot recipe for pulled pork.

Ingredients:

Pulled pork (enough for your family) $.83 (for 1 serving)

Hamburger Buns $.12

2 TBS Barbeque Sauce per serving of pork $.02

Corn on the cob $.25 each (on sale at Safeway)

Lettuce or shredded carrot (optional)

Total for 1 serving: $1.22 / Total for family of 4: $4.88

Directions:

Defrost pulled pork and heat it to desired temp (or can be served cold as well)

Mix in desired amount of Barbeque sauce to moisten the meat

Put desired amount of meat on hamburger bun (with lettuce and shredded carrot, if you so desire)

Serve alongside some fresh corn on the cob

Bon Appetite!

Celery Root Experiment

I love it when my mom comes to town because she has a green thumb and is teaching me how to garden for this year.  She told me of something she heard about in replanting celery stalks and they regrow into new celery.

We placed the 3 inches or so of the bottom of the celery stalk, that I cut off the bottom of the bunch, into a shallow bowl of warm water and placed it in a sunny window.  We did this 1 day ago and it already is showing new roots and has grown taller.

Today I plan to plant this little piece in my garden.

I will:

  • Fill a small hole (about an inch deep) with water and place the piece in
  • Cover it with an inch of dirt and water it thoroughly
  • Keep it well watered and in a couple more days the new growth will begin to show

I will continue to do this recycling of my celery, which my family loves!!!

Meals-On-The-Go Series: Turkey Wraps 2 Ways

We are going to be starting a new series for all of the busy families out there, who feel like the only thing they have time for is to stop by fast-food for dinner.  I understand this because I have been there many nights!  While there are many healthier options out there for families, it still doesn’t beat having something that you made ahead and planned to take with you.  With a busy sports season in the spring, many of my friends have told me that they would love to have the option of a quick meal that they could bring with them to games, practices, etc.

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Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

While there are many chicken stock recipes out there, this one is my favorite.  It was one I came up with a few years ago after trying several batches and not being satisfied with how they came out.

Keep in mind that I have an enormous stock pot that I purchased at the thrift store for $3.00. Score!  I would highly recommend finding something like this, or you can just reduce the amount that you put in the recipe.

Ingredients:

6-8 Frozen leftover chicken breast carcasses from deboning chicken, click here for video tutorial (free, since leftover from chicken that I used)

3-4 large peeled carrots, cut into thirds ($.50 for all at asian market)

4 celery stalks, cut into thirds ($.30 for all at asian market)

1 whole onion, peeled and cut into chunks ($.25 at asian market)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole ($.10 at asian market)

26 cups of water (for my huge stock pot)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the stock pot together and boil for about 1 hour, stirring a few times.

Reduce heat and simmer for another 3 hours.

Place a large fine mesh caulunder over a very large bowl and drain all ingredients over it, separating the ingredients from the stock.

Let the stock cool and then place the bowl into the fridge until it’s fully cool.

If there is any film at the top then scrape that off.

You can measure out your stock into whatever increments you think you will use the most.  I have found that I tend to use the larger increments for soups and other recipes, so I put 2 cup increments into freezer bags and freeze them flat in trays so that they stack neatly once frozen.  You could also freeze some in ice cube trays for recipes that only call for a couple of TBS of stock.  Then you put the cubes into a freezer bag and label accordingly.

Total for 18 cups of chicken stock was $1.15, which makes it $.06 per cup!  Much better than even getting it couponing and there is no salt added at all!

Happy cooking!

Personal Goals

I read Moneysavingmom.com and she is always very encouraging about setting personal goals. The last month or so I have really been contemplating what I want to accomplish and how I want to get there. I have decided I want to be healthier, I am a busy homeschool Mom and while I don’t pig out on junk food I was definately living on coffee and not eating as healthy as I could.

As of Monday, I have been caffeine free!! This was a very hard thing for me since I was addicted enough to my coffee that I have had a constant caffeine headache since Monday. I realized that with all the sugared up coffee I had been drinking that I definately couldn’t cut my sugar intake and get healthier without first dropping the coffee habit.

I have also started the habit of working out on Mon, Wed and Fri mornings. I think that this will really help me feel less tired and more energetic.

The last thing I am really working hard at is loading up on fruits and veggies and not snacking on less healthy options. So far I have been doing great on all my goals and hope to continue healthy eating and excersise.

Next month my plan is to significantly cut my sugar intake, but like I said I could only break one bad habit at a time.