Thursday, June 8, 2023

Meals on a budget!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Recipe options for the frugal chef!

Growing up my mom raised myself and my brother on her own. She worked for every penny she had and refused to receive government assistance. This meant that she had to be smart about how the money was spent. The following recipes are options for the frugal chef!

Simple walnut crusted salmon

Meals on a budget!

I absolutely love salmon and one of the great things about it is that it can be such an elegant dish that costs hardly anything! Plus it is seriously packed full of nutritional goodness!


  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 pound wild-caught salmon fillets
  • 1 (15-ounce) canister whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 (4-ounce) bag chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Oil a baking sheet.
  3. Place the salmon fillets skin side down on the oiled pan.
  4. In a food processor, combine the breadcrumbs, walnuts, mustard, and honey. Process until well combined, scraping the sides as necessary.
  5. Use a spatula to spread the walnut crust in an even layer on top of the salmon. Bake until the salmon is a little golden brown on top and cooked (light pink and flaky) all the way through, 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve this awesome salmon recipe with a simple side salad, roasted Brussels sprouts or some steamed broccoli to create a deliciously balanced (yet affordable) meal!

Instant pot creamy chicken pasta

Meals on a budget!

Pasta dishes are always a hit because they can feed a lot of people, they are easy to make and cheap ingredients to buy. This recipe may seem extensive as far as the ingredients list is concerned but, don’t be overwhelmed! Most of these items are probably already in your pantry and if not then they can be bought cheap!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cut in half
  • 2 chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (to garnish)
  • basil, chiffonade (to garnish)
  • black pepper (to garnish)


  1. Set an Instant Pot or an electric multi-cooker to the sauté setting add olive oil and butter. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes, until caramelized and fragrant.
  2. Add mushrooms, and sauté until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, stock, pasta, and cream, and cancel cooking. Close and lock the Instant Pot and set to manually pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Release the pressure and remove the lid. Stir in the cream cheese.
  5. Garnish with parmesan, basil, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Biscuits and Gravy

Meals on a budget!

One of my favorite breakfasts of all time is biscuits and gravy! I have my own recipe that I honestly love but, it doesn’t use breakfast sausage and I prefer more of garlic, salt and herb flavor to my gravy than a heavy black pepper flavor. So, I included more classic biscuits and gravy recipe below. Biscuits and gravy made from scratch may take a little time but it costs only cents to make!


  • 1 pound breakfast pork sausage
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 biscuits (homemade or store-bought)


  1. In a large, deep-sided skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat, breaking into pieces as it cooks. Do not drain any fat, unless it is over 2 tablespoons.
  2. Once the sausage is fully cooked, sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir to combine.
  3. Pour in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly over medium heat, until the gravy has thickened to the desired consistency.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, adding more to taste, if necessary.
  5. Serve the gravy on top of warm biscuits.

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