Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie

I hope you all had a great holiday!  This is my mom's famous chicken pot pie recipe and I am using it with my turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving.  It is a great meal to bring to someone who's had a baby or surgery.  It's a great one dish meal. 

2 boxes of ready made pie crusts           3.96
1 stick margarine                                     .16
1/2 onion chopped                                  .15
2 ribs celery chopped                              .10
2/3 cup flour                                          
2 1/2 C chicken broth                             1.00
2 C skim milk                                           .50
4 C cooked and cubed chicken or turkey  3.88
3 C veggies of choice                                .98
  (for convenience I use frozen mixed veggies)


Saute onion and celery in the stick of margarine in a large pan on medium heat.  Once tender whisk in the 2/3 C flour.  Once mixed slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk.   Let mixture thicken stirring occasionally.  Add salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning to taste.  Turn off heat and stir in veggies and cooked poultry.

Unroll two of the ready made pie crusts and line two 9 inch pie crusts.  (even 10 inch works well if you can find them)  Cut off the excess dough from the edges.

Fill each crust with about 4-5 cups of filling.

Top with second crust and cut off excess around edge of pie pan.  Press edges with the tines of a fork to seal and cut 4 slits in the top of the crust to vent.

At this point you have two pies.  I cover one with foil and label with directions.  Place this one in the freezer or give away to a friend.  Cover the edges of the other pie and bake 425 degrees for 30 min. 

Once baked it came out like this.

When ready to cook the frozen pie defrost in the fridge for two days.   Next cover the edges with foil.  Bake 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  It takes longer to bake the pie when it is cold from the fridge, but it tastes just as good.

I made two pot pies for $5.37 each.  I had left over filling which I put into a container and froze.
One day I'll warm this on the stove top and pour over biscuits.  Or if you'd like this just needs to be thawed and poured into a pie crust for an instant pot pie later. 

I hope you like my mom's recipe as much as I do.  I get lots of compliments on this one.

Christie aka Keeza

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

On Saturdays I love to have something home made, but easy for lunch.  Now that the weather is getting colder this would be awesome after you shovel the driveway!  It's easy enough that once assembled my husband can heat one of these sandwiches for lunch on the weekends that I work.  They are best in the oven, but can be microwaved if you want to take one to work.  Just make sure to take it out of the foil before nuking!


6 Ciabatta rolls                                   2.50
3/4 lb sliced deli roast beef                 5.62
1/2 onion sliced                                   .15
1/4 cup sliced pickled banana peppers   .50
6 slices provolone cheese                  1.18
8 oz sun dried tomato pesto                 1.98
  (I found mine in the pasta aisle by the Alfredo sauce)


Slice the Ciabatta rolls on a large cutting board.  Spread 2 Tablespoons of sun dried tomato pesto on the top of each roll.  On the bottom bun place 3 slices of roast beef and one slice of provolone.

Next put sliced onion and banana pepper on the sandwich. 
Carefully assemble the sandwiches and wrap each one in foil. 

Now it is ready to bake if you are eating them for lunch or dinner.   Put the remaining sandwiches into gallon size freezer bags and freeze. 
When you're getting close to the weekend, put desired number of sandwiches in the fridge to thaw.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  If you'd like to microwave them be sure to remove foil and place sandwich on a microwave safe plate.   Here is the finished sandwich.  Yummy!

The sun dried tomato pesto gives this sandwich a lot of flavor.  You wont need any mayo or mustard.  Other toppings that freeze well are olives, jalapenos and roasted red peppers.  I made six sandwiches for $11.93 or $1.99 per sandwich. 

Christie aka Keeza

Sunday, November 14, 2010

White Chicken Lasagna

So White Chicken Chili has just passed Greek Chicken as the most popular recipe on my blog to date.  So to honor White Chicken Chili I have tried a new recipe.  White Chicken Lasagna!  I am not big on Alfredo sauce, but I have tried to up the flavor and decrease the fat in this recipe.  I'll let you know how it tastes after we bake it. =)  


3 large chicken breasts                   4.19
1 onion                                            .40
3 celery ribs                                     .30
1 bay leaf
3 carrots                                          .30
30 oz reduced fat ricotta                 2.26
     (or cottage cheese)
1 egg                                                .13
1 box chopped frozen spinach         1.42
   (thaw and squeeze out any liquid)
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper     .40
2 jars Alfredo sauce                         3.56
  (I used roasted garlic Alfredo)
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese       2.42
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese     1.20
6 slices provolone cheese              1.19
salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg


Trim the skin off the chicken and poach chicken on the stove with roughly chopped 1/2 onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot and bay leaf.  Cook over low heat for 30 min. 
In another large pot boil water and cook lasagna noodles until barely done.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Slice 1/2 onion, celery and two remaining carrots and saute for 3 min on stove top.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, diced roasted red pepper, spinach and sauteed onion, carrot and celery.  Add a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Set aside.   It looks wonderfully colorful! 

Once chicken is poached drain off the broth (I save it for future recipes) and chop the chicken.

In a medium to large mixing bowl combine the two jars of Alfredo and chopped chicken.

  Now it's time to start layering.  I lay out 3 glass bread pans and pour a little Alfredo sauce in the bottom to keep the noodles from sticking.  Cut 6 lasagna noodles to fit the length of the bread pans and put two noodles in each pan.

Now add two to three scoops of veggie ricotta filling in each pan. 

Then top with two to three spoonfuls of chicken Alfredo sauce.

Then sprinkle a few Tablespoons of Mozzarella and one Tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese in each pan.

Now repeat two more times.  Noodles, veggie ricotta, chicken Alfredo and cheese.  Top with two slices of provolone each.

Now I cover each pan with foil and label them. 

When baking make sure you loosen the foil a little so it doesn't stick to the provolone.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 min.   Freeze the remaining lasagnas and make sure to thaw in the fridge for two days before baking.  These are very thick lasagnas and feed 4-6 people.   I was able to make 3 lasagnas and 6 cups of chicken broth for $6.08 a meal.

If you do not like the hassle of lasagna here are some short cuts for you!  Forget the onion, celery, carrot and roasted red pepper.  Buy a rotisserie chicken already cooked and shred it up.  Buy the no boil lasagna noodles and add about 6-8 oz of milk to the Alfredo sauce so the noodles have some liquid to absorb.  This should save you a lot of time.

Also...I think this would be great without the chicken and you can add more veggies.  Zucchini would be awesome in this, and maybe mushrooms if you like to eat fungus.  (I don't particularly like fungus, but to each their own.)  We loved our chicken lasagna.  I hope you give it a try.  Here it is baked! 

Christie aka Keeza

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crock Pot Roast

This is an easy way to make Sunday dinner any day of the week.   I put this together in the crock pot on a weekday morning before work and it took me 16 minutes to assemble everything.  Then I cook it on low for 8-13 hours and it's ready to go for dinner.   If you put it together in the morning and want it for Sunday lunch, then cook it on high for 4 hours.  If you let it cook for 8 hours or more you can start with a frozen beef roast. 


3lb beef chuck roast                                         9.00
3 carrots--peeled and sliced                             .30
4 celery ribs-sliced                                             .40
2 lbs red skinned potatoes-quartered           2.00
1 large onion-sliced                                             .50
1 envelope onion soup mix                                 .52
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup  .92
S&P and all purpose seasoning


Put sliced veggies into the bottom of a large crock pot.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning.

Lay the roast on top of the veggies and top with onion soup mix and the cream of mushroom soup--strait from the can.  Set the crock pot on low.  Mine has a timer, so it flips to keep warm after 8 hours. 

This is how it looked when I got home from work 14 hours later.

And when you serve it up on your plate it smells fantastic. 

The meat just falls apart and the vegetables have a ton of flavor.  This made dinner for me and my husband, two leftover lunches and one meal to freeze.  Put the remaining meat and vegetables in a 8x8" pan and freeze.  When you're ready to eat, thaw in the fridge for two days, then warm in the oven for 30-40 min for 350 degrees. 

This is the one I put into the freezer.  Now we can have Sunday supper any day of the week!  I made two meals for $6.82.

Christie aka Keeza

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Swedish Meatballs

I love the Lean Cuisine and Smart One Swedish Meatball meals.  They are awesome!  I have been looking for a recipe to mimic those lunches and I combined about 4 different recipes to find one I like.  Please give this a try.   It has a lot of flavor.  Warning!  There are no vegetables in this recipe, so please serve with a large salad or a steamed vegetable. 


1 lb of ground pork                       1.80
1 lb of lean ground beef                3.18
1/2 tsp all spice                               .10
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce          .10
1 tsp garlic powder                          .02
1 envelope onion soup mix             .52
1 egg                                                  .10
1/2-1 C Italian bread crumbs        .25
2 bags egg noodles                           2.84

2 cans 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup   1.84
2 cans 98% fat free cream of chicken soup         1.84
1 12 oz can fat free evaporated milk                      .78
S&P and all purpose seasoning to taste
1 tsp garlic powder                                                   .02


Start with the meatballs.  In a large mixing bowl put the ground beef, ground pork, all spice, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, egg and 1/2 C bread crumbs.  With clean hands mix the meat until all the spices look incorporated.  If it feels a little wet, add the other 1/2 C bread crumbs. 

Form the meat into 1 to 1/2 inch meatballs and divide into three 8x8" pans.  I got 63 meatballs out of my 2lbs of meat mixture.  In a separate bowl mix the cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups with the evaporated milk.  Add salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning to taste.  Pour 1/3 of the sauce over all three pans of meatballs.  Here are two of the three pans I made.

I put these two pans into the freezer.  I covered them with foil and labeled them.  One pan I put into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 min.  When thawing a frozen meal, please thaw in the fridge for two days.  Then you may need to bake for 60 min if they are still cold.  When the meatballs are almost done baking boil 2/3 of a package of egg noodles.  Strain well. 

Then put noodles in a bowl and spoon the meatballs and sauce over the noodles.  Top with parsley or all purpose seasoning. 

Yum!  It smells like Ikea!  =)  I hope you give this a try.  I was able to make 3 dinners for $4.46 each.  My husband thought it was delicious.

Christie aka Keeza 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Peach Chicken

This is an easy recipe for marinated chicken.  You can cook the chicken in a pan over medium heat on the stove top, or you can bake the chicken in the oven for 45 min.   Alone this dish does not have any veggies, so make sure you serve with a starch and a good quality vegetable.  I like asparagus and rice to accompany this meal.

6 large or 9 small chicken breasts          7.28
18 oz jar of peach preserves                    1.98
1 bunch green onions--sliced                    .58
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar                            .25
1 Tbsp vegetable oil                                   .05
1/2 tsp pepper

There wasn't a sale on chicken at the store I bought in bulk.  I used 6 large chicken breasts and put two in the freezer for another day.  In this package they cost $1.21 per breast.  These were so large I cut each one in half and put 4 halves in each meal.  I put 4 halves in a 8x8" pan for tonight's dinner and 4 halves into two separate gallon zip lock bags.


Mix all of the peach preserves in a medium sized bowl with the pepper, sliced onions and balsamic vinegar.  It turns a wonderful caramel color.

Then pour 1/3 of this gooey marinade over each meal of 4 chicken breast halves. 

The pan on the left is for dinner tonight and the other two bags have been labeled with marker on the outside and go into the freezer.  When you're ready for the frozen ones thaw two days in the fridge, then pour into a frying pan on the stove top.  Heat over medium high heat for 5 min on each side and serve.  Or you can thaw the chicken and pour into a pan and bake.  Tonight I'm going to bake our chicken so it's going into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 min.  The chicken with marinade costs $3.38 each.  I'm going to serve ours with mixed steamed veggies and rice for an approximate cost of $6.50.  This will feed my husband and I for dinner, plus two left over lunches for work tomorrow. Yum!

I like to put some of the extra sauce from the baking pan onto the rice. 

Christie aka Keeza