Nothing is more pleasurable than cooking a complete meal for the family and enjoying the meal together. It can be the single activity that holds a family unit together.
Cooking takes time, effort and money, but it is a gesture that is invaluable. Many people don’t want to take the time and effort, and end up eating out more than they should. By getting in the mindset that eating out is reserved for special occasions, and sacrificing some time and effort, you can save tons of money! You’ll also get to enjoy regular family meals, which is priceless. You can also bond over the act of cooking in itself!
By cooking at home, you can spend less than $5 per meal per person. You can create meals that will be sure to please your family’s personal preferences, too! Looking for some ideas to get started on full meals that you and your family will love? Check out these two unique, heavy and inexpensive recipes!
Apricot Glazed Pork Chops with Lime Cilantro Couscous
2 bone-in pork loin chops (each 8 to 10 oz. and 1⁄2-in. thick), fat trimmed
1/2 Tbl. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbl. olive oil
1/4 cup apricot marmalade or jam
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup couscous
1 Tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
1 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1. Pre-heat your stove to “Broil” and set the tray four to six inches from heat.
2. On a skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add ginger, cook until golden brown and add jam.
3. Line baking plate with metal aluminum foil. Place pork seasoned with pepper and salt and sweep sides with apricot glaze
4. Broil pork for about eight to 10 minutes
5. While broiling the pork chops, prepare couscous by following directions on the box. After removing couscous from heat, stir in cilantro, lime juice and zest
6. Remove pork chops carefully from the stove and sweep sides again with jam. Rest pork for five minutes before serving with couscous
Tomato Basil Eggplant Parmesan
14 1⁄2 oz. tomato-basil bisque (about 1 can)
1⁄2 large eggplant, sliced
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1⁄4-in. thick
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 Tbl. olive oil
1. Pre-heat stove on 300°F. Place eggplant on a baking plate in a single layer. Drizzle a little oil on eggplant. Bake eggplant until dried for 10 to 14 minutes.
2. Layer bottom of nine-inch loaf pan with ¼ cup tomato soup. Add layer of eggplant; repeat eggplant layers with soup until four layers.
3. Spread remaining soup at top of eggplant, top with thick layer of sliced mozzarella cheese and thin layer of Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake uncovered in stove at 350°F, for about 35 to 40 minutes. Wait until cheese turns lightly browned on top and bubbly
5. Let casserole cool and garnish with drizzle of basil pesto and serve.
Good food doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or even much of your time! You will save a lot when you cook it at home. What’s best is that you will surely know its good, because you made it yourself!
Have you prepared great recipes that cost you $5 or less? How do keep up on your meal budgets without sacrificing great tasting food? Share it with us by posting your comments.