A Bit Of Simple

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I mentioned in the last post that I was really going to apply my Sunday game plan over the few weeks to do meal planning for the week on a budget. For this week I decided to work with baked chicken and a variety of sides including the dish listed below. Chicken is an easy win because you can literally season it any way you’d like. If making twice or triple the amount, I would challenge you to put one half of the servings in a marinade and simply dress the other half in olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper for some variety. Since corn is technically a whole grain and not a vegetable, I figured it could count in both categories for an easy meal. It’s always great to pick one or two and grab extra veggies for an easy side salad. Check out the recipe below and certainly share your thoughts.
Oven baked chicken and tabouli corn relish

Chicken ingredients:
1 package of chicken legs (4-6)
1 tbsp. local marinade (olive oil, herbs, citrus)
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper

Tabouli and corn relish
2 husks of corn (1 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of tabouli (mom’s garden)
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt

Directions:
1. Combine all of the chicken ingredients into a ziploc bag. Close it and shake it well and rub in ingredients to make sure it is well blended.
2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, and chicken in an even line. Add to a 350 degree oven and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on size of chicken legs.
3. Remove husk corn and rinse corn well.
4. Cut off the kernels into a small bowl with the flattest end down into the bowl for stability.
5. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
6. Serve and enjoy.

A Bit Of Pork

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Cooking on a budget is always a challenge but it is a rewarding one that pays off when you have a little extra spending or saving money. I have been training to become a Food Literacy Educator and one of my biggest take aways is writing my food plan down. I’m a planner by nature, literally going to bed knowing what I will have for breakfast, but writing it down is a completely different experience. It means I actually stick to it and don’t over spend by buying the extras that were displayed beautifully in the store and end up in the trash by the end of the week because it went bad. This is a great challenge to help eliminate waste. I started with some oven-cooked spare ribs that were a main dish on Sunday with potatoes and string beans, leftovers one day, a spare rib sandwich with creole mustard and pickles another day and spare with tacos with guacamole and picked vegetables on the last day. I worked in some boudin and roasted veggies for a couple of easy meals and celebrated with my treat of one meal out on Friday. While the menu will certainly change, having a game plan is key and something that can make your food week a breeze. Check out the recipe below for the oven spare ribs that started it all. Enjoy and share your thoughts!
Oven Spare Ribs

Ingredients:
1 package of pork spare ribs
1 large white onion diced
1 small red onion diced
1 head of garlic (10-12 cloves)
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh ginger
1 juicing orange (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup bbq sauce
2 cups of water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 280 degrees.
2. Open meat and rinse well before adding to a roasting pan
3. Peel and dice white and red onion and add on top of ribs.
4. Smash cloves and remove skin before dicing and adding to pan.
5. Add seasonings atop the mixture and add water around the edges of the pan.
6. Grate in fresh ginger and squeeze in orange juice into a small bowl. Mix with a fork then add around the pan like the water.
7. Cover in foil and let it slow cook for 3 hours.
8. After 3 hours, add bbq sauce evenly and let cook for another 40 minutes to an hour.
9. Serve with preferred sides and enjoy!

A Bit Of Cinco

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With Cinco de Mayo drawing closer, if you haven’t decided whether to go out or celebrate at home, dine in and try out this quick and easy recipe. Though I found some tasty pinto bean chips for this dish, you can always turn this into tacos with a little sour cream and mixed lettuce instead of chips. At $3.48 a serving, this is an easy dish to say yes to! Keep in mind, if you already have ingredients like the olive oil, your cost per serving is even less. I also find it easier to buy certain things like shrimp in bulk and break it down into smaller packages and freeze it until needed for quick meals like this one. If you’re missing the adult beverage that often accompanies a Cinco de Mayo celebration, add the strawberry jalapeño cocktail from last week’s post to the mix for great flavors and an easy meal. Check out the recipe below and share your thoughts! Happy early Cinco de Mayo!🎉🎊🎈

Shrimp Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1 small avocado cubed
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced mango
1/2 cup diced cucumber
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. chopped lovage
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 of a small juicing orange
1 juiced lime
1 tsp. avocado or olive oil

Directions:
1. Peel and Devine shrimp. Keep in icy water until ready to use.
2. Add oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Cool shrimp on one side for two minutes, then flip and remove skillet from heat. It will continue to cook.
3. Cut a small red onion in half, peel it and cut strips about a 1/2 inch from one end and then chop thinly. Add it to a medium bowl.
4. Add shrimp to the cutting board and chop it into large pieces. Add to the bowl.
5. Peel a small cucumber, cut off ends and then cut it in half. Cut each half in half. Then cut each half into three to four long strips to make dicing easier. Dice and add to the bowl.
6. Cut the avocado in half along the longest edge and pull apart.
7. Remove pit. Score each half into four lines longwise then cube. Remove cubes with a spoon by working along the outside and scooping the cubes out into the bowl.
8. Cut mango in the center along he longest edge like with the avocado. Then peel the skin from one side, score the fruit and use a knife to slice off fruit into thin cubes in the bowl until it becomes more tough and fibrous. Repeat with other side.
9. Rinse and chop the parsley and lovage and add to bowl.
10. Squeeze fresh juice from orange and lime over the bowl add seasonings and mix well with the spoon.
11. Enjoy.