Cooking is not difficult! – Latest article from The Source

I hear all the time about people that do not have time to cook, or do not have the ability/talent/skill to cook and I say hogwash!
Rachael Ray has nothing on me! 30 minute meals are the norm in my house and I don’t need a recipe. Think about what your family likes and try to expand a little each week, and processed food is not the answer!
Here is a quick meal for less and $3 per person, you could expand this easy with a few more ingredients and stretch your budget even more.
Tacos and Taco Salad
1 lb ground beef, or turkey, or chicken, or vegetarian
½ packet taco seasoning*
2 tbls ketchup
2 tbls water
4 oz shredded cheese
Beans – refried, black, pintos, white kidney, etc (find what works for you)
Lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado, ?
Cook meat in skillet until there is no pink, drain. Add taco seasoning, ketchup and water. Stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
At this point you could make a taco salad by spooning seasoned meat on to a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, cheese, salsa, or you could fill taco shells and layer with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese
You can have the beans as a side dish or on top of the salad heated or unheated. You have the power to eat healthy and fulfilling.
* taco seasoning is several spices mixed together, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, be daring try to make your own and leave out all the unnecessary chemicals and additives.
Eating healthy is too expensive??
Recipe cost analysis
1 lb ground beef 80% lean $3.00
1/2 packet taco seasoning  $0.50 (a package is typically $1, and this will be used for 2 meals)
2 tbls ketchup                     $0.25 
Package of taco shells        $2.00
Head of lettuce                  $1.00
Can of beans                      $1.00
1 tomato                             $1.00 (next summer grow your own)
4 oz shredded cheese         $1.50 (package of 8 oz is typically $3 on sale)
Total               ———————–
This recipe is feeding a minimum of 4 people and equals less than $2.60 per person. You could continue to cut costs by shopping smart, using coupons, discount programs, grocery liquidators, etc.
Other ideas are:
Pork chops and pasta with a spinach apple salad
Microwave chicken fajitas with easy guacamole
Oven fried pork tenders and buttered veggies with pasta
All simple recipes that take very little time to plan and make. 
Pork loin is less than $3 per pound, and it is very versatile. I have the butcher at the grocery store slice it into 1/2 chops, they are boneless, lower fat, and full of flavor. 
Pork Chops and pasta with a spinach apple salad
4 4 oz pork loin chops
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb pasta (your choice)
1 bag spinach
1 medium apple (fuji, gala, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper, place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Boil 8 cups of salted water, cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta add 2 tbls of butter and season with salt and pepper.
Clean spinach and add to a large bowl, wash and thinly slice apple and add to spinach. Serve with dressing of your choice.
Cost analysis:
1 lb pork loin               $3.00 (bought in bulk pack)
1 lb pasta                     $1.00
1 bag spinach              $2.50
1 apple                         $0.75
Salt/pepper/butter        $0.75
Total                            $8.00
$8.00 divided by 4 people is $2 per serving
Microwave chicken fajitas with easy guacamole
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 Bell Peppers (red and green)
1 large Onion
1 small lime or ½ lime
2 Tblsp Taco seasoning
6-inch Flour Tortillas
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Slice the bell peppers and the onion. Put onions and bell peppers in the bottom of the deep covered baking dish (microwaveable), sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning. Add the raw chicken on top of the peppers and onions (leave a little space between the chicken breasts), squeeze lime over the chicken and then sprinkle with the other tablespoon of taco seasoning. Cover with the lid and microwave for 15 minutes.
When the chicken is done (cut into a piece or check with a pocket thermometer to make sure it is done), cut it up in the baker using the kitchen shears. Put on tortillas and enjoy! (this recipe was adapted from the Pampered Chef)
Easy Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
Lemon juice
Mash avocados and add juice of one lemon, and about ¾ cup of salsa mix well, add salt and pepper to taste.
Oven fried pork tenders and buttered veggies with pasta
1 lb pork loin chops sliced into 1 inch strips
2 tbls honey mustard
2 tbls water
1 cup bread crumbs (I prefer panko)
1 lb pasta
1 bag frozen vegetables
Butter, salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine mustard and water set aside, season bread crumbs with salt and pepper.
Dip pork tenders in honey mustard sauce and then into bread crumbs covering completely, please on foil lined cookie sheet repeat with remaining tenders. Bake for 15 minutes
Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil cook pasta according to directions except that when the pasta water is boiling again add the frozen vegetables. When pasta is done, drain with veggies and add butter, salt, and pepper to taste.
Serve tenders with pasta and veggies and maybe a little honey mustard for dipping.
Check out my blog for more cost saving recipes or send me a note at
Go cook something!

About Trace Hillman

I am a dad, husband, and a food guy.. I love the idea of bringing people together and having real food.
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One Response to Cooking is not difficult! – Latest article from The Source

  1. Hanna says:

    Great stuff here. Happy new year to all!

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