Frugal Gourmet: One Chicken, Three Meals

All of my meals are budget conscious, but when whole chickens went on sale for 99c this week, I knew I could really stretch it and make it truly frugal. I spent $8.40 and got an 8 1/2 lb stuffer roaster, and I knew I could make 3 meals of 4 servings each with just that one chicken.

IMG_3120Meal 1: Roast Chicken, Cumin Roasted Carrots & Tossed Salad

You don’t need anything but kosher salt to make a delicious roast chicken, and if you spatchcock it, it’s an easy weeknight dinner. We ate the legs and thighs from the roast chicken with a huge tossed salad with lite ranch dressing and carrots roasted in olive oil, salt and cumin. Simple and delicious!

IMG_3133Meal 2: Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

I used 16 oz. of the cooked chicken breast to make this delicious and refreshing Thai Peanut Chicken Salad, adapted from this recipe.

IMG_3148Meal 3: Chicken, Kale & Acorn Squash Soup

I hope you didn’t throw that carcass away! I used mine to make a delicious chicken stock for a Chicken, Kale & Acorn Squash Soup by using my Instant Pot to cook the bones with some water and some vegetable stock. Then I sauteed onions, celery, two acorn squash and a bunch of kale before adding the stock and simmering for 30-40 minutes. Then right before serving I added the leftover chicken breast. I topped it with some grated Parmesan cheese. So yummy!

I made 3 meals for the week, 4 servings apiece, for about $20 in chicken, vegetables and stock. That’s TWELVE servings for $20! Not bad, right? You can do it too, the possibilities are endless! What are your ideas for stretching a chicken (or any other large cut of meat)? Let me know in the comments!

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Adventures in Cloud Bread

I’ve seen the name Cloud Bread thrown about all over Pinterest for years now, and I pinned it ages ago, but never actually made it. I was skeptical: how can you make a good tasting bread out of just eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar?

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Excuse my terrible cell phone photo, I was making 4 recipes at once this day and didn’t document anything very well. 

Cloud Bread was originally devised as a bread substitute for those on low carb diets, specifically Atkins, but has recently had a resurgence from those trying to avoid gluten as well. If you have the right equipment, it’s ridiculously simple to make, and also very budget friendly. You only need 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons of cream cheese (I used Neufchatel) and a pinch of cream of tartar. Many recipes call for a sweetener, but it isn’t necessary to the chemistry of the recipe so it’s easily skippable. I made mine without.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer for the egg whites, and a hand mixer for the yolks and cream cheese, then folded them together in a large bowl before scooping the fluffy batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment. The bread bakes in the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees until golden brown on top and dried out. I allowed them to cool thoroughly before using. In less than an hour, my double batch of cloud bread made 16 pieces of golden brown goodness, ready for my chickpea burgers.

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Cloud Bread buns for Smoky Barbecue Chickpea Burgers.

So what do they taste like? I was really worried that these adorable fluffy golden clouds were going to taste like cardboard or sadness,  but they didn’t! They don’t taste like bread either, but they may taste familiar to you anyway: they reminded me of a savory pate choux dough, the pastry filled with sweet cream to make cream puffs or eclairs. (Note, I saw a recipe somewhere for cloud bread cheese DANISH *Homer Simpson drool sounds*)

When used to sandwich a spicy chickpea burger slathered in barbecue sauce these buns were PERFECT. The slight egginess faded into the background and they held up to the moisture of the barbecue sauce well. They even reheated well, in the microwave no less, the next day for lunch!

PROS

  • Holds up well to moisture
  • Reheats Well
  • Easy to Make
  • Super Cheap
  • VERY low carb
  • Low Calorie
  • Vegetarian

CONS

  • NOT bread
  • Need electric mixer to make efficiently
  • NOT for Vegans
  • Short shelf life

All in all, I thought it was awesome and I WILL be making it again! I love a positive outcome from a culinary adventure, don’t you?

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Recipe: Tomato Soup with Parmesan Popcorn – Blazing Caribou Studios

Andrea talks Popcorn and Politics with a Tomato Soup recipe at Blazing Caribou Studios.

Hey everyone! Did you know I also blog for a really awesome podcasting company called Blazing Caribou Studios?! Check out my latest post about Food & Politics:

http://www.blazingcariboustudios.com/tomato-soup/

While you’re at it, please check out some of the super rad podcasts over there!