Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pork Egg Rolls

My husband and I live out in the country and it's hard to find good Chinese food.  James loves egg rolls so I thought I would suprise him with egg rolls for dinner.   You can make these as a side dish, but we enjoy them as a main dish with rice. 


2 lb ground pork                                 5.96
1 yellow onion                                       .30
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 Tbsp red sodium soy sauce             .25
1 tsp salt
1 tsp blk pepper
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp white sugar
1 16 oz bag of cole slaw mix               1.58
      (or one head of cabbage sliced thinly)
1 16 oz pkg of egg roll wrappers       2.58


In a large frying pan cook the ground pork until no longer pink.  Chop the onion and add to the pork along with 2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper,
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. 

Simmer for a few minutes until sauce is slightly reduced and onions get tender.  Move pork and onions to a bowl and set aside to cool.

In the same large frying pan cook add the bag of coleslaw mix along with 3 tsp sugar, 2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar.  Stir well and cook the cabbage mixture for about 5 minutes.  You want the cabbage to be slightly tender, yet still have a little crunch when you taste it.  Move the cabbage mixture to the same bowl with the ground pork and stir well.   Let cool to room temperature.

Open the egg roll wrappers.  Put a few tsp of cold water into a small bowl and set aside.  Put one egg roll wrapper down on your work surface.

Using a slotted spoon place two heaping spoonfuls of filling onto the bottom half of the egg roll wrapper.

Fold the bottom corner up over the filling.

Fold the sides in to form a small envelope.

Dip your finger in the cold water and rub along the two upper edges of your egg roll envelope. 

Carefully roll the bottom of the egg roll up and onto the top corner of the egg roll. 

Place competed egg roll on a paper towel or kitchen towel to rest while you continue rolling the rest of the filling.  I had enough filling for 15 egg rolls.  If I were to make this recipe again I would add another pound of ground pork to try to fill all 20 egg roll wrappers that come in a 16 oz package.

For best results place the egg rolls on a cookie sheet lined with paper towel.  Place the cookie sheet into the freezer for one hour.  Now you can put all the egg rolls into a gallon zippered bag and they wont stick to each other.  Label and freeze.  When ready to use frozen egg rolls do not thaw.  Bake or fry from frozen until golden brown.    

Now you have two choices.  You can fry your egg rolls on the stove top or you can bake them.  I chose to bake them.  For best results bake the egg rolls on parchment paper on a cookie sheet to prevent sticking.  I sprayed each one with a little cooking spray and then baked them for 25 minutes a side in a 400 degree oven turning them over once halfway through the baking time. 

These are awesome served with vegetable fried rice and sweet and sour dipping sauce.  Yum yum!  Who needs take out when you have scratch made egg rolls in your freezer!  I made 19 egg rolls for 56 cents a piece.  Enjoy!

Christie aka Keeza

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Meatballs

Hello Blog Friends!  I recently saw a recipe in a Rachel Ray magazine that featured Chipotle Chicken Meatballs.  So I researched Chicken Burgers and Meatballs and I compiled this recipe.  I cooked up a few meatballs in a pan while I was adjusting the seasoning and I like how these turned out.  I know that ground chicken doesn't have much flavor, so this recipe has a lot of seasoning to make sure they aren't bland. 


2lbs ground chicken                      5.98
1/2 cup finely chopped onion          .30
1/2 cup cilantro-chopped                 .35
4 Chipotle peppers in adobo           1.50
6 oz finely shredded Mozzarella    2.10
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp season salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 cans enchilada sauce (optional) 2.00


In a medium mixing bowl place the ground chicken.  Sprinkle all the powdered dry spices over top of the chicken.  Use a chopper or food processor to chop the onion.  If you don't have one just keep chopping until you have a nice dice on your onion.  Add to the bowl.  Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.  Sprinkle in the shredded Mozzarella.  (this will add moisture to the meatballs.  Chicken can be dry because it is so lean)  Lastly open one can of Chipotle in adobo.  Use a spoon to take out 2-4 peppers.  2 pepper will give you a hint of spice.  4 peppers will give the meatballs a spicy taste.  Use the amount you think your family will enjoy.  Place the peppers in a chopper, food processor or blender.  Process until finely chopped.  Try not to handle the peppers too much with your hands as these can be spicy! 

Scrape the chopped chipotle peppers into the bowl.  Mix the chicken with the peppers, cheese, onions, cilantro and spices by hand.

 Once well blended form 1 1/2 inch meatballs with the chicken mixture and place in 3 8x8" pans.  I was able to get 11 meatballs in each of three pans for a total of 33 meatballs.  Wash your hands well. 

If you prefer you can pour two cans of enchilada sauce over top of the pans.  I divided two cans between three pans of meatballs.  It did not add much flavor to the recipe so feel free to omit this step.  You can pour a jar of your favorite salsa over top, or a jar of your favorite taco sauce. 

Cover each pan with foil.  Label and freeze two.  Bake one pan for dinner at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  When you are ready to eat the frozen pans, put one or both in the fridge to thaw for two days.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. 

The first time we ate ours with rice and sugar snap peas.  The next time was much better over pasta with mixed with 3 Tbsp of queso sauce from a jar.  My husband loved the meatballs this way!

To have even more variety you can make one pan or meatballs and one pan of chicken patties.  Then once you bake them you can eat them on burger buns with tomato and avacado for some killer chicken burgers.  Yum!  I made three pans of meatballs for $4.08 a pan.  Next time I would omit the enchilada sauce and it would be even more affordable.  I hope you give these a try.  They are pretty tasty and out of the ordinary weeknight meal plan. 


Christie aka Keeza

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pepper Steak

This is an awesome stir fry to make ahead and freeze.  The key to keeping a little crunch in your peppers is to add them last, just before freezing.  Then when you reheat they wont turn to mush.


2 lbs sizzler steak        6.00
1 Lg sweet onion            .75
1 green pepper               .85
1 orange pepper            2.o0 (ouch!)
1 red pepper                  2.00  (yikes!)
1 bag stir fry veggies    1.98
2 cloves garlic                 .15
2 1/2 C beef broth        1.50
8oz tomato sauce           .40  (I only used part of what is pictured, I froze the rest for another day)
1/4 C reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp steak seasoning
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp of brown sugar (not pictured)


In a large pan warm the canola oil to medium high heat.  Slice the sizzler steak across the grain into thin strips.  Try to get them to about 1/4" thickness.   Add the sliced steak to the pan and sprinkle with the 2 tsp of steak seasoning.  When no longer pink remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place the steak on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Slice the onion and put into the same pan you used to cook the steak.  Saute them in the pan until just starting to get a little tender.  Then add the bag of frozen veggies and stir well.  Do not add the bell peppers! 
Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, ground ginger, brown sugar and crushed red pepper flake.  Stir well.  In a small bowl stir the 3 Tbsp cornstarch and the 2 1/2 cups beef broth with a fork until well blended.  When the starch is completely dissolved and there are no lumps stir it into the pan with the onions and veggies.  Bring the veggies and sauce to a simmer and stir.  When the sauce is smooth and thickened then turn off the heat.
Now add the sliced steak and pepper to the pan.  Stir well. 
Divide the pepper steak mixture into three quart size containers and freeze.
When you are ready to eat the pepper steak please thaw in the fridge for two days.  Then warm on the stove.  Try not to cook it longer than necessary so the peppers don't loose all their crunch.  Serve over rice. 

I was able to make three dinners for $5.21 each plus the cost of rice.  My husband likes more salt in his stir fries, so I have him add more soy sauce to his bowl just before eating.  If your whole family likes salty food, then increase the amount of soy sauce in this recipe from 1/4 cup to 1/2 a cup. 

Christie aka Keeza

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sausage and Peppers

This is a very quick and easy meal.  The only trick is that you cannot freeze raw potatoes!  They will turn black and ruin your dinner.  So this recipe requires you to boil the potatoes before you freeze them, but the rest of the prep can be done in ten minutes or less.  This is a great meal to leave for your husband if you are going out of town.  It's easy to make and tasty to eat.  You can use any peppers that you like so make it mild or super spicy! 


1 pkg Eckrich Smoked Turkey Sausage     2.00
1 onion                                                                .40
1 bell pepper                                                      .48
8 small red or gold potatoes                        1.00
1 cup Italian dressing                                      .75
salt and pepper to taste


Fill a medium saucepan with water and place on the stove.  Scrub the potatoes and place them in the pan.  You do not need to remove the skins.  Turn burner on to medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Boil potatoes 15-20 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.

Meanwhile slice the turkey sausage, peppers and onions.  Set aside. 

When the potatoes are cooked move them to a towel with a slotted spoon.  Let cool about 5 minutes.  Place half of the potatoes in two 8x8" pans.  Divide the onions, peppers and sausage between the two pans.  Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.  Pour 1/2 C of Italian dressing over each pan. 

Cover with foil, label and freeze.

Once thawed bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake 10 minutes more.  I was able to make two pans of sausage and peppers for $2.32.  These are great to have on hand for a last minute supper.  You can even open up a thawed pan, skewer the veggies and sausage and warm them on the grill.  The potatoes and sausage are fully cooked and you just need to heat the meal through.  Once baked you can scoop the potatoes out with a spoon and put the sausage and peppers on a bun and eat it as a hot sandwich.  Lots of options for this quick meal! 

Here it is after baking.  The potatoes are nice and soft.  The green peppers still have a crunch.  And the dressing turns tangy and zesty in the oven.  Yum!  My husband loved this one.  It's a nice change from the creamy sauces of other baked dishes.  Here's my dinner!

Christie aka Keeza

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chicken and Stuffing

This recipe is my own version of Swiss Chicken.  In the original recipe there are no veggies and it calls for a layer of Swiss cheese between the chicken and the stuffing.  It also directed you to drizzle melted butter on top of the stuffing before baking.  Yikes!  Although that all sounds pretty good it also sounds very fattening.  This is a slightly better version with less fat.  I prefer sharp cheddar cheese to Swiss, but please use Swiss cheese if you like that flavor.  I have also made this recipe with pepper jack cheese and it came out great.  Pick a cheese with a little zing! 


8 oz frozen mixed vegetables                       .98
7 oz frozen broccoli florets                           .94
             (not pictured)
1 onion--chopped                                            .40
2 cans reduced fat crm of chicken soup   2.44
     I have three cans in the picture, but you only need two
3 cups chicken --cubed                                3.48
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar                     2. 33
     (half of what is pictured)
8 oz dry stuffing (not prepared)                 1.68


In a medium mixing bowl combine the frozen mixed vegetables, broccoli florets, chopped onion and two cans of cream of chicken soup. 
Divide the mixture into three 8x8" pans. 
Top each pan with 1 cup of cubed chicken.
Shred 8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese and put one third of the cheese in each pan.
Top each pan with one third of the dry stuffing mixture.  Do not prepare the stuffing according to package directions.  This will be a crunchy topping.
Cover each pan with foil and label.  Freeze, then thaw in the fridge for two days when you are ready to eat.  Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

This is always a hit at our house.  My husband brings leftovers to work and always gets compliments on how good this smells!  I was able to make three pans for $4.08 each.  This is a good one to bring to a friend because it is so comforting and filling.  Try different cheeses and veggies to see what your family likes best.  This works great with green beans  and Lima beans.  Yum! 

Christie aka Keeza

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chicken a la King

This is a tasty meal that looks fancy and can be made ahead of  time and frozen.  The puff pastry comes frozen right from the grocery store!  You only bake as many shells as you need and put the rest back in the freezer in a plastic storage bag.  The filling is made ahead of time and frozen.  Just thaw the filling in the fridge and warm it on the stove top when ready to eat!  Easy Peasy! 

3 cups cooked and cubed chicken       3.48
4 cups chicken broth                           free
4 heaping Tbsp of flour
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 onion--chopped                                  .40
1 green pepper--chopped                      .85
1 red pepper--chopped                        2.00 (ouch!)
1 8oz can of sliced water chestnuts     1.85
3 tsp chicken base                                 .25
salt pepper and all purpose seasoning
2 boxes of puff pastry shells               6.78


In a large saucepan melt the margarine and add the olive oil to warm over medium heat.  Add the onion and peppers.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add the three tsp of chicken base and stir well. 
Sprinkle in the 4 heaping Tbsp of flour.  Stir well. 
Then slowly stir in 4 cups of chicken broth.  Drain the water chestnusts and add to your sauce.  Stir in the cubed chicken.  Turn the heat up to high and stir well until sauce thickens.  If sauce seems too thin take a separate small bowl, stir 2 Tbsp flour into cold water and slowly add to sauce until you get a nice smooth sauce.  You want it to be thinner than gravy, but thicker than soup.  Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning to your preference.
Turn off heat.  Divide into two quart size containers and freeze. 

Thaw the chicken mixture two days in the fridge and heat in a sauce pan on the stove top to serve.  Leave the puff pastry frozen until 20 minutes before you are ready to eat.  Preheat your oven and bake off one to two puff pastries per person according to package directions. 


Serve the chicken and pepper sauce over top of the puff pastry.  If you have a little parsley in your garden that would make a great garnish.  Very fancy...and tasty!

 I was able to make two meals (one quart of chicken mixture and 6 puff pastries) for $7.81 each.  If you'd like to cut the cost down you can use chopped roasted red peppers from a jar and have the same flavor without the crunch.  I have heard that sliced mushrooms go well in this dish too, but I have a mushroom aversion. 

Christie aka Keeza