Feed Your Family For $5 A Meal Without Going To Taco Bell

As Oregon Trail teaches us, the easiest way to save a buck on meals for your family is by clicking “meager” every time during meals until someone dies of scurvy and there’s more freshly-killed oxen meat to go around.

But if you want to be humane about it, you may as well check out $5 Dinners, a blog run by Ohio stay-at-home mom Erin Chase,who is profiled here in the Houston Chronicle.

Here is one of Chase’s recipes, as published in the Chronicle story:

ASIAN CHICKEN WRAPS WITH STEAMED SNAP PEAS

Teriyaki sauce or marinade, to taste

1-2 tablespoons tahini

3 chicken breasts

1/2 bag baby carrots or 1 carrot

1 bag snap peas

Salt, to taste

Handful of chopped romaine lettuce

1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped

4 flour tortillas, heated

Combine teriyaki sauce/marinade with tahini.

In skillet, add sauce mixture and chicken. SautÈ chicken about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through (cooking times will vary depending on thickness of the chicken). Slice chicken into strips.

Shred carrots. Rinse and pat dry the snap peas. Place them in a saucepan with about Ω inch of water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season steamed snap peas with a pinch or two of salt.

Assemble wrap by adding chicken, shredded carrots, lettuce and peanuts in tortillas. Serve with side of steamed snap peas.?

Note: For a guilt-free version, replace the tortilla with a large piece of lettuce and make lettuce wraps.

Makes 4 servings, each 500 calories (28.8 percent calories from fat), 16 g fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 1390 mg sodium, 57 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, 30 g protein.

Cost $5.09: Teriyaki sauce, 50 cents; tahini, 5 cents; chicken, $2.21; carrots, 49 cents; snap peas, 99 cents; lettuce, 10 cents; peanuts, 25 cents; tortillas, 50 cents.

And here’s another:

ROSEMARY ORANGE CHICKEN

4 split chicken breasts

3 oranges

2-3 teaspoons rosemary, dried or fresh

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup frozen organic peas

Place 1/2 cup water in base of crockpot (or spray with no stick cooking spray or use chicken broth). Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Squeeze juice from 2 oranges over chicken. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over chicken.

Slice remaining orange into 1/8-1/4 inch slices and arrange over top of chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. Peel chicken off bone.

Serve with sides of mashed sweet potatoes (prepared by baking sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 50 minutes in foil-covered glass baking dish with 1/4 inch of water; mash with cinnamon and butter if you like) and 1 cup frozen organic peas, cooked according to package directions.

Makes 4 servings, each 320 calories (13 percent calories from fat), 4.5 g fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 31 g protein.

Cost $5.05: chicken, $2.06; oranges, $1; rosemary, 25 cents; sweet potatoes, 99 cents; peas, 75 cents.

What a scam, right? There Chase goes promising us a dinner for $5 and both of those meals costs several cents more. Fail.

Feed your family for $5 a meal [Houston Chronicle]