Create tasty meals that won’t break the bank

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FLAVORFUL DISH: Cheeseburger Pasta ‘n Vegetables Dinner is an easy and nutritious meal.
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TANGY CHICKEN: For a quick and economic way to give ordinary chicken a bit of pizazz, try 1-2-3 Chicken Cacciatore.

A recent study found that 93 percent of shoppers are worried about rising food prices. Here’s the good news: A little creativity and a few fresh ideas can make family favorites nutritious and delicious without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality.

For more tips and additional recipes, visit www.MakingLifeBetter.com.

Onion-Roasted Potatoes

1 envelope onion soup mix

4 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425°F.

Combine all ingredients in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or roasting pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Yields 4 servings.

Editor’s note: If preferred, substitute 2 sweet potatoes for 2 potatoes, or stir in 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and soy sauce for variety.


Pasta ‘n Vegetables Dinner

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

1¾ cups water

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon margarine or butter

1 package cheddar cheese pasta

   with broccoli and carrots

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, brown ground beef with onion over medium-high heat; drain. Remove beef mixture and set aside.

In the same skillet, combine tomato, water, milk and margarine; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in pasta and vegetables; continue boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 9 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Stir in beef mixture and
heat through. Yields 4 servings.

1-2-3 Chicken


2 tablespoons

   olive oil

2 pounds chicken

   legs and thighs

1 jar (26 oz.) chunky

   pasta sauce

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-­high heat; brown chicken. Stir in pasta sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Yields 6 servings.

Chicken Vegetable Rollatini

1 package cheddar rice with broccoli

   and carrots

2 large red bell peppers, chopped

5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,

   pounded ¼-inch thick (about 1½ pounds)

¼ cup Japanese-style panko bread         crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach,

   thawed and squeezed dry

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Prepare rice package according to directions, omitting butter. Stir in half the red pepper; let cool for about 10 minutes.

Top each chicken breast with ¼ cup rice mixture; reserve remaining rice mixture. Roll up chicken pieces and secure with wooden toothpicks.

In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs with cheese. Roll chicken in mixture to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken. Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, cook remaining red peppers and onion with 2 tablespoons water, covered, over medium heat, for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add spinach and reserved rice mixture; cook for 3 minutes, or until heated through, stirring frequently. Remove toothpicks; serve sliced chicken over rice mixture.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

with Parmesan Gremolata

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel

¾ pound asparagus, trimmed

2 large shallots, cut into thin wedges

   or 1/3 cup thinly sliced onion

1 tablespoon buttery substitute, melted

Freshly ground black pepper, optional

Heat oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl, combine parsley, cheese and lemon peel; set aside.

Toss asparagus, shallots and buttery spread in a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Place vegetables on a platter; top with cheese mixture. Season with pepper, if desired. Yields 2 servings.