I don’t know how it is at your house but with the economy making its way down the toilet and Christmas right around the corner we are pinching pennies over here (when we have the pennies to pinch that is).
I am trying to cut back everywhere and this is especially true when it comes to my grocery budget. I am assuming I am not the only one in this boat so I thought I would start a “The Rent Is Too Damn High” recipe series (or TRITDH).
This is basically a budget meal series in which I post recipes that are under $2 per serving. My goal is to keep it cheap while at the same time keeping it healthy.
If you have any recipes that fit the bill I would love to hear from you. In the mean time, onto the first recipe!
(As an aside, the cost break down assumes you have a pantry stocked with basic items)
Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese Casserole:
- 1 tsp salt (for the water)
- 2 cup 1% milk
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp ground mustard
- 12 oz low fat sharp cheddar, grated
- 5 cups of uncooked macaroni
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1 lg egg
- 1 chicken breast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 (14 oz) bag of frozen broccoli
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and cayenne and place in the oven to cook. Bake for about 25 minutes. When chicken is finished baking let it rest until it is cool to the touch. Then shred or chop, depending on your preference.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil. Add in pasta and broccoli and cook the pasta to al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt two tbsp of butter.
- Whisk in the flour, mustard, and cayenne pepper, keeping it moving for about five minutes.
- Slowly mix in milk until the flour/butter mixture is lump free.
- Simmer for ten minutes.
- Add about 1/3 cup of the flour/milk mixture slowly to a beaten egg to temper it.
- Once egg is is tempered slowly pour it into the flour/butter mix, stirring constantly.
- Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the macaroni/broccoli and chicken into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- In a small skillet, over medium heat, melt the remaining one tbsp of butter.
- Add the bread crumbs and toast for 5 minutes.
- Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and rest for five to ten minutes before serving.
Source: A Life Examined
Approx. Cost Break Down:
- Chicken – 1.66
- Broccoli – 0.98
- Cheese – 4.66
- Panko – 0.95
- Pasta – 1.08
- Egg – 0.09
- Butter – 0.23
- Flour – 0.09
- Spices – 0.20
- Milk – 0.36
Total = $10.30 or $1.72 a serving