Monday, February 16, 2009

Potato Chicken Lunch Casserole

This falls in the category of "use up some stuff". It's a holiday. I'm home alone with my toddler. It's raining. Which pretty much kills most of our "day off" plans, like the park or the zoo. The plan to meet at a friend's house for brunch was killed by both her toddler's pink-eye and my lingering cough.

So there's been a lot of coloring, stickers, puzzles, cars...

And I was realizing as my husband rearranged the freezer, that I need to continue to plan my meals based on freezer stuff. Things like roasted pumpkin and squash, or roasted anaheim peppers (all from the farm, frozen to keep fresh). A couple years worth of pesto, bread crumbs, lemon juice, homemade stock...actually, it gets easier to use this stuff up in the "odd" months (Jan, March...) because I've set that arbitrary budget of $160/month. Makes me eat what's in my pantry. On another note, milk and cheese prices are way down. I'm happy (milk at $1.79/gallon and cheddar at $2.15 a pound! That's a 33% decrease since last year.)

But today, I had three lone potatoes from that 10-lb bag I bought 3 weeks ago. Or two weeks ago. I wrapped them in foil and baked them in the toaster oven. Then I made this concoction:

Potato Chicken Bake

3 potatoes, baked and diced: $0.15
1/3 of a can of diced chicken breast: $1.00
1/4 cup salsa: 0.25
1/4 c. cream (because I still have some of it): 0.38
1/4 lb. frozen mixed vegetables, microwaved 1 min and diced: 0.25
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded: 0.27
Total: $2.30 for 4 servings, or $0.58 each

Mix everything except cheese. Spray pan with cooking spray. Add ingredients, top with cheese, bake at 350F for 15-20 min (just to heat through).

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