Budget Recipes #3: Spinach

Pesto spinach panini, spinach strawberry salad, and spinach alfredo pasta

Pesto Spinach Panini

Ingredients: tomato slices, mozzarella cheese, pesto, spinach, 2 slices bread

Make a sandwich as normal using all of the ingredients, then simply pop in a toaster oven until cheese melts slightly. You can also warm up in a skillet that’s covered with a lid. Or, of course, a panini press.

You could also add shredded chicken into the mix.

Spinach Strawberry Salad

Ingredients: spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, vinaigrette of choice

Optional toppings: slivered almonds, a bit of red onion, sunflower seeds

A bit too simple, but all you have to do is combine everything and top with a little crumbled feta cheese.

Spinach Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients (serves 2-3): 6oz (170g) pasta of choice, 2 cups (4.8dl) spinach leaves, 3tbsp (45ml) milk, 3/4 cup (1.75dl) parmesan cheese, 2tbsp (30ml) butter

Start by boiling a pot of water and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Preferably until ‘al dente’. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water when draining the pot. Set pasta aside.

In a pan over medium heat, add about 2 spoonfuls of the pasta water and cook the spinach leaves until just wilted. Set aside in a bowl.

Back to using the pot that you cooked the pasta in, add milk and parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat and stir until the mixture thickens up, like a smooth sauce.

Add the pasta to the sauce, as well as butter, salt and black pepper (to your liking). Warm until butter is melted. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can use the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Just add a little at a time.

If you want a full 5-day meal plan for next week with these recipes included, click here to upgrade to our Meal Plan newsletter starting at $5/mo. You’ll get a new meal plan every Friday, complete with a grocery list to help make shopping easy!

Learn more over at BudgetMealPlanner.com

Meal Plan #1: Thai

Budget Recipes #2: Thai

Basil chicken, easy pad Thai, and cashew chicken (vegetarian alternatives included)

Basil Chicken

Ingredients: 5oz (150g) chicken, handful basil, 2 garlic cloves, 2tbsp (30ml) soy sauce, 1tbsp (15ml) fish sauce, handful shredded cabbage, 1/4 onion, 1/2 bell pepper, 3/4 cup (1.75dl) cooked rice

Vegetarian: 7oz (200g) tofu - broken down and scrambled

Start by adding a spoonful of oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced chicken. Let this cook until about 75% done.

Add minced garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add diced onion and diced bell pepper to the skillet, stir for 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce and fish, mix, and then add cabbage. Keep mixing until chicken is cooked through and veggies have softened slightly.

Turn off the heat, add chopped basil, and mix. They should wilt from the heat, no need to cook them.

Serve with rice — or other side of choice: quinoa, salad, sweet potato, etc. You can also top this dish with a sunny side-up egg!

Pad Thai

Ingredients: 5oz (150g) chicken, 3oz (85g) rice noodles, 2tbsp (30ml) soy sauce, 1tbsp (15ml) fish sauce, 2tsp (10ml) sugar, handful shredded cabbage, handful bean sprouts, 1 garlic clove

Optional toppings: lime wedge, crushed peanuts, chili flakes

Vegetarian: 7oz (200g) tofu - cut in cubes

Start by soaking your rice noodles in warm water to soften them.

In a large skillet or wok, add a spoonful of oil and cook diced chicken until cooked through. Add in minced garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add in cabbage, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir for about 1 minute. Add in softened noodles and cook until all liquids have been absorbed.

Top with bean sprouts and any other toppings you choose.

Cashew Chicken

Ingredients: 5oz (150g) chicken, handful cashews, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bell pepper, 1tbsp (15ml) oyster sauce, 1tbsp (15ml) soy sauce, 3/4 cup (1.75dl) cooked rice

Vegetarian: 7oz (200g) tofu - cut in cubes and coated lightly in flour

In a large skillet or wok, add a spoonful of oil and cook diced chicken until almost cooked through. Add in minced garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add cashews, chopped onions, chopped bell pepper, oyster sauce, and soy sauce.

Cook until vegetables have softened to your liking.

Serve with rice (or preferred side of choice).

If you want a full 5-day meal plan with these recipes included, click here to upgrade to our Meal Plan newsletter starting at $5/mo. You’ll get a new meal plan every Friday, complete with a grocery list to help make shopping easy!

Learn more over at BudgetMealPlanner.com

Archived Meal Plans

Here's a few fan-favorites of past meal plans as a sample of what you're signing up for!

If you haven’t already, and you’re interested in upgrading your newsletter, here’s a bit of what you can expect every Friday. To upgrade, visit here.

Reminder: Future meal plans will only be based on 5-days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, feel free to follow these 7-day plans if you’re needing more!

Swedish: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1agw5YaWfyH8bL0L4Wa7yNPK5pWMLks21
Printable Shopping List: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RSqIAWAGuqExxf63Cyr2maZmQstZF9Ji

Berry: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dqYS_5kJ61hGA-rDBNj2NAg7iBbmfWrR
Printable Shopping List: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l3-feuRuM1jJogL7ZIP5riYZ37locYVZ

Japanese: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xlr4rkyxUhNXcY-YZH-6a9zUOEs51xmN
Printable Shopping List: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fZLTY1Xf9E2BdQiuKrsdvfpA_091jGVR

Lentils: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GhOS1bhTp6X13801aEjRbj0rn7JqTZsL
Printable Shopping List: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1chf6TfCtDdlq32D7nFyJEA19az_IHcHL

German: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1j6NG5iC0AP_Ro2H07V22zrzStXtyZU7U
Shopping List is included in the meal plan document!

Potato: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oHNKRL4M5nPZTEbnsWpqrO0wBh48jIr7
Printable Shopping List: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l75HhhwjRhu71ZZ80RFs5piGQ6izcmsP

Mediterranean: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TXLYlzWQnD3R9OS_T852q9xOgEcLXBR1
Shopping List is included in the meal plan document!

xo Dianna

Budget Recipes #1: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey avocado salad, Thanksgiving sandwich, turkey fajita bowls

Hey everyone! I’ve reflected on all the feedback you’ve given me from that little survey I sent out recently, and I think I’ve found a sweet-spot on how to give you exactly what you’re looking for.

Each week, I’ll be sharing 3 free budget recipes, as most of you were just looking for new ideas of what to cook.

For those who love the meal plans, I’ll also continue to share weekly meal plans when you opt-in to the monthly or annual Budget Meal Planner subscription. The first issue will send out on Friday, December 6.

If you decide to sign up later, don’t worry! Once you join a subscription, you will be able to view the previous meal plans that have been sent out.

One thing that’s changing is that I’m scaling the full meal plans down to a 5-day schedule. After reading your feedback, I’ve learned that it’s unrealistic to map out what you’ll eat every single day, all day long.

So, throwing in 2 ‘free-for-all’ days makes the most sense, as then you can have a cheat day or have a day out with your friends without messing up your meal plan.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving, and I’m sure you have a ton of leftovers. I figured sharing a few recipes on how to use up everything would come in handy. Enjoy!

Turkey Avocado Salad

Ingredients: spinach, turkey, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cucumber, 1 tomato, salad dressing of choice or olive oil and vinegar

My favorite way to use up leftover roasted turkey (or even chicken) is by throwing it on top of a salad. This is a super simple recipe, just chop the avocado, cucumber and tomato, and mix with spinach. Add a bit of dressing, and ta-da! A super quick and easy lunch.

Thanksgiving Sandwich

Ingredients: 2 slices of bread, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes

It’s a Thanksgiving plate stacked perfectly as a sandwich! Start with a slice a bread and layer turkey, some stuffing, a bit of mashed potatoes, and finish with a spread of cranberry sauce. Add the top piece of bread and you’re done!

Some people may find mashed potatoes on a sandwich is odd, feel free to omit it and eat on the side instead.

Turkey Fajita Bowls

Ingredients: turkey, 1/2 bell pepper, 1 cup cooked rice, fajita seasoning (substitute: taco seasoning or a blend of your own spices), 1/2 avocado

Simply add bell pepper slices to a pan over medium heat and allow them to cook until slightly softened. Add in turkey and fajita seasoning and cook until meat is warmed through.

Add fajita mixture to a bowl of rice and top with 1/2 an avocado!

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