Gochujang Tuna Salad

Add some extra umami heat to your lunch with this simple and tasty gochujang tuna salad.

The post Gochujang Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been having so much fun working my way through a big tub of gochujang that I bought a while back, adding it to random things I’m eating and discovering how much flavor it can bring to my meals. My latest experiment was gochujang tuna salad. It creates a uniquely savory and spicy tuna salad that is great for sandwiches, wraps, or just stuffing into crunchy vegetables!

a bowl of gochujang tuna salad on a board with vegetables

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor, and because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. You can usually find a tub or tube of gochujang in the international aisle of most major grocery stores (I used this one), or if you’re really adventurous, try making your own homemade gochujang!

Scroll down to the step by step photos section below the recipe to see images of what gochujang looks like.

How to Serve Gochujang Tuna Salad

As with most tuna salad, this tuna salad can be made into a sandwich or wrap, scooped up with crackers or vegetables, or you can even serve it in little lettuce cups (maybe topped with some shredded carrot).

Try These Other Tuna Salad Flavors

Love to jazz up your tuna salad? Try these other tuna salad variations:

gochujang tuna salad stuffed into a celery stick
A bowl of gochujang tuna salad surrounded by vegetables and a celery stick dipped in the center

Gochujang Tuna Salad

Add some extra umami heat to your lunch with this simple and tasty gochujang tuna salad.
Total Cost $2.52 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 ½ cup each
Calories 184.1kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp gochujang $0.23
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna in water $1.99
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • First, stir the mayonnaise and gochujang together until smooth.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to the gochujang mayonnaise mixture, along with the sliced green onions. Stir until the tuna is evenly mixed with the mayonnaise. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 184.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.83g | Protein: 17.28g | Fat: 11.18g | Sodium: 498.58mg | Fiber: 0.43g

How to Make Gochujang Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Front view of gochujang container

This is the type of gochujang that I used. It comes in a tub and lasts next to forever in the fridge. I got this at Kroger, which actually had 2-3 different brands available.

Close up view of gochujang paste

And this is what it looks like inside. It’s a thick, red paste. It looks (and tastes) like a spicy version of miso.

mayonnaise and gochujang mixed together in a bowl

Because gochujang is so thick, you’ll want to mix it together with the mayonnaise first. Combine ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 Tbsp gochujang and stir until smooth.

tuna and green onions added to the bowl

Drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna in water and slice two green onions. Add both to the gochujang mayonnaise.

finished gochujang tuna salad

Stir the tuna and green onions into the gochujang mayonnaise until evenly combined.

A bowl of gochujang tuna salad surrounded by vegetables and a celery stick dipped in the center

Enjoy with vegetables, crackers, as a sandwich, or a wrap!

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Honey Mustard Wings

I used to hate chicken wings. But, OMG, I think I’m officially a convert. These crispy, oven-baked honey mustard wings are so seriously delicious that I’ve craved them every day since I first made them. The simple oven baking technique delivers a surprisingly crispy skin without having to brave hot deep fryer grease, and my basic Honey Mustard Sauce makes an incredible glaze.

The post Honey Mustard Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I used to hate chicken wings. But, OMG, I think I’m officially a convert. These crispy, oven-baked honey mustard wings are so seriously delicious that I’ve craved them every day since I first made them. The simple oven baking technique delivers a surprisingly crispy skin without having to brave hot deep fryer grease, and my basic Honey Mustard Sauce makes an incredible glaze. You just have to try them.

Two trays with honey mustard wings, broccoli, and cups of sauce

Yes, Baked Wings CAN be Crispy

If you fear deep frying, like me, then you’re going to love these baked wings. The trick to getting a nice crispy skin on chicken wings in the oven is the light coating of cornstarch. The cornstarch absorbs some of the fat from the skin as it melts and bakes to an incredibly crispy crunch. It’s just SO EASY and there’s no chance of accidentally burning your face off with splashing grease. ;)

Serve Immediately for Best Results

Kind of like their fried counterpart, these baked honey mustard chicken wings are best when they’re served right after they come out of the oven. If you do need to wait a bit before serving, don’t toss them in the honey mustard sauce until just before serving. The longer the sauce sits on the chicken, the softer the skin will become. For that reason, this recipe is not a great candidate for leftovers.

What to Serve with Honey Mustard Wings

My Honey Mustard Sauce is great for dipping vegetables as well as chicken wings, so I made a little extra so I could serve some broccoli florets along with the wings. You could also do some celery and carrot sticks for more variety. A little bit of classic Creamy Coleslaw would also be a nice side.

Close up of a honey mustard wing being dipped into a cup of honey mustard sauce
Overhead view of honey mustard wings on a tray with broccoli and a cup of sauce

Honey Mustard Wings

These simple oven-baked honey mustard chicken wings are deliciously crispy and are coated in sweet and tangy homemade sauce.
Total Cost $8.04 recipe / $4.02 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 5-6 pieces each
Calories 1154.65kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Wings

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes $6.97
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch $0.09

Honey Mustard Sauce*

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard $0.04
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Honey $0.18
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp paprika $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then place two wire cooling racks over top to elevate the chicken wings.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pat the chicken wings dry, then add them to a bowl with the cornstarch mixture, and stir until the chicken wings are coated.
  • Place the cornstarch coated wings on the prepared baking sheet (on the wire racks). Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, give or take 5 minutes depending on the size of the wings, or until they are light golden brown and the skin is crispy.
  • While the wings are baking, make the honey mustard sauce. Stir together the mayonnaise, Dijon, yellow mustard, honey, vinegar, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • When the chicken wings are finished baking, place them in a clean bowl and pour the honey mustard sauce over top. Stir until the wings are coated. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This recipe makes enough honey mustard to coat the chicken wings. If you’d like enough honey mustard sauce to have extra for dipping, like in the photos, I suggest doubling the sauce ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 6wings | Calories: 1154.65kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 79.8g | Fat: 78.8g | Sodium: 1225.75mg | Fiber: 0.45g
Overhead view of honey mustard wings on a tray with broccoli and a cup of sauce

How to Make Honey Mustard Wings – Step by Step Photos

Cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then place two wire cooling racks on top (this holds the chicken above the surface of the baking sheet). In a small bowl, stir together 3 Tbsp cornstarch, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp garlic powder.

Raw chicken wings on a cutting board

Pat dry 2 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes, or both, with paper towel.

Cornstarch mixture being poured over the wings in a bowl

Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, then pour the cornstarch mixture over top. Stir the wings until they are lightly and evenly coated in cornstarch.

Chicken wings on the baking sheet ready to bake

Place the chicken wings on the prepared baking sheet, spaced out so they are not touching.

Baked chicken wings on the baking sheet

Bake the chicken wings in the preheated 400ºF oven for 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy (they will not get deeply browned). Total baking time will vary depending on the size of your wings.

Honey mustard sauce ingredients in a bowl

While the wings are baking, prepare the honey mustard sauce. In a bowl combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ Tbsp yellow mustard, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/16 tsp garlic powder, 1/16 tsp paprika, 1/16 salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. This is enough honey mustard to coat the wings. If you want extra for dipping, double the sauce.

honey mustard being poured over baked wings in a bowl

Place the baked wings in a clean bowl and pour the honey mustard sauce over top.

Finished honey mustard wings in a bowl

Toss the wings until they are coated in the honey mustard sauce and then serve immediately!

Two trays of honey mustard wings with broccoli and sauce

The post Honey Mustard Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious.

The post Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious. Like, so delicious that I could eat an entire pound by myself. And while I’ve had a tutorial about how to roast frozen broccoli for years, I realized, after getting a million questions about how I made the broccoli in my Comeback Sauce recipe photos, that I did not have a tutorial about how to roast fresh broccoli. The techniques are similar, but the results are very different. So let’s go!

roasted broccoli with comeback sauce in a red plastic basket with paper liner

Pictured with Comeback Sauce.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, you can roast frozen broccoli, although it does turn out differently. For full instructions, please see my recipe for Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli.

How to Get Crispy Roasted Broccoli

One of my favorite parts about oven roasted broccoli are the crispy edges. Here are some tips for getting the best crispy browned edges on your broccoli:

  • Make sure the broccoli is well coated in oil.
  • Space the broccoli out on the baking sheet. It should not be crowded, which can trap steam and prevent browning and crisping.
  • Avoid very large florets. The larger the florets the longer they will take to roast, and the less surface area is available for browning.
  • Roast directly on your sheet pan (no parchment lining) for even more browning.

How to Season Roasted Broccoli

The second thing I love about roasted broccoli are all the different ways you can season it. The sky is the limit here, which means I can eat it every day without ever feeling like I’m eating the same thing! Here are some of my favorite seasonings to add to roasted broccoli:

  • Steak seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Seasoning salt (like Lawry’s)
  • Everything bagel seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice and zest (sprinkle on after roasting)
  • Simple salt & pepper! (especially when planning to dip the broccoli in a flavorful sauce)
a piece of oven roasted broccoli being dipped into a cup of comeback sauce
Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

Make perfectly crispy and delicious oven roasted broccoli in just a few easy steps. This is the perfect easy side dish for any dinner.
Total Cost $3.34 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 138.5kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. broccoli $2.98
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp salt* $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper* $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
  • Spread the florets out over a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can skip the parchment if you want extra browning). Drizzle the olive oil over top, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is fully and evenly coated in oil.
  • Roast the broccoli for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved the level of browning you desire, stirring once after about 15 mintues of roasting. Total roasting time may vary depending on the size of your florets and the type of baking sheet used (darker surfaces brown faster).

Notes

*This is a basic roasted broccoli recipe seasoned simply with salt and pepper. For other seasoning ideas, check the list above the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 138.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.95g | Protein: 6.35g | Fat: 7.83g | Sodium: 281.9mg | Fiber: 5.85g
Oven roasted broccoli close up on the baking sheet

How to Make Oven Roasted Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop 2 lbs. broccoli into bite-sized florets.

Seasoned broccoli florets on a parchment lined baking sheet

Spread the florets out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment (or no parchment for extra browning). Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the broccoli, then add ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is evenly coated in oil.

roasted broccoli on the sheet pan

Roast the broccoli in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved your desired level of browning, stirring once after about 15 minutes. Roasting time will vary based on the size of the broccoli florets and the type of sheet pan used.

Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Enjoy your perfect oven roasted broccoli as a side with dinner or just as a snack with some good sauce for dipping! I suggest Comeback Sauce, Honey Mustard Sauce, or Ranch Dressing.

The post Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). So let’s ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!

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It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). I have an awesome recipe for slow simmered black eyed peas and greens that I made years ago, but it’s a long process that starts with dry peas. So I wanted to make a “quickie” version, using canned black eyed peas, that’s a little faster and easier for times when you haven’t planned ahead.

Overhead view of a pot of black eyed peas and greens on a wooden surface

How to Serve Black Eyed Peas and Greens

There are two basic ways that I like to serve a bit pot of beans or peas like this. Either in a bowl with rice, or in a bowl with a big chunk of crusty bread for dipping. Having some sort of starch to kind of balance the meal out makes it super satisfying and filling.

A little dash of hot sauce on top of your bowl or even a dollop of sour cream on top is also pretty awesome. ;)

Can I Use Dry Peas?

This recipe is specifically made for canned peas, which are already cooked. If you’d like to make something similar using dry peas, follow my recipe for Slow Simmered Black Eyed Peas and Greens.

Can I Add Meat?

The recipe below is vegetarian (vegan, actually), but it’s super easy to add meat to this meal. You have three easy options to keep this a “quick” meal: bacon, ham, or smoked sausage. Whichever one you decide to use, just sauté the meat in the pot before beginning with the onion and garlic in step one below.

Can I Freeze Black Eyed Peas?

Yes! This recipe is great for stocking your freezer. Just divide it into single portions, cool it in the fridge first, then once cool transfer it to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months or so). Any freezer-safe container will do. To reheat, either use a microwave or heat in a sauce pot over medium-low, stirring often, until heated through.

Side view of a bowl of black eyed peas with greens and rice
Side view of a ladle lifting some black eyed peas and greens from the pot

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!
Total Cost $4.43 recipe / $1.11 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 330.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 3 15oz. cans black eyed peas $2.37
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.85

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Drain the canned black eyed peas, then add them to the pot along with the oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring the pot up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the peas to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After the peas have simmered for about 15 minutes, use the back of a spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot to thicken the broth (or use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the peas).
  • Add the fresh spinach to the pot and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasoning to your liking. Serve hot with bread or rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.3g | Protein: 19.88g | Fat: 7.18g | Sodium: 1414.65mg | Fiber: 14.68g
Close up of a ladle full of black eyed peas and greens with the pot in the background

How to Make Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens – Step by Step Photos

Onions and garlic in soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Beans, seasoning, and broth added to the soup pot

Drain three 15oz. cans of black eyed peas and add them to the pot along with ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 cups of vegetable broth.

Black eyed peas before simmering

Stir the peas, broth, and seasoning together. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmered black eyed peas in the pot with a spoon

After simmering, the peas will have swelled even a little bit more and they will be even more soft. Use a large spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot, or use an immersion blender to purée a small amount of the peas.

Thickened peas in the pot

Smashing some of the peas makes the broth thick and creamy.

Spinach wilted into the peas in the pot

Add 4 oz. fresh spinach (½ of an 8oz. bag) and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

Overhead view of a bowl of black eyed peas and greens with rice in the center

Serve with crusty bread or rice and enjoy your good luck in the new year! :)

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Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

Balsamic roasted mushrooms are an easy side dish or appetizer, soaked in garlic, herbs, and tangy balsamic vinegar for maximum flavor.

The post Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I first made these Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms as part of a bowl meal with Mashed potatoes and kale, but they really are so amazing that they deserve a post of their own. Whether you’re eating these as a side dish with your dinner or just digging in with a toothpick as an appetizer, they’re so good that you’ll want to make them for every occasion.

Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a white bowl, garnished with parsley

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?

I suggest using either white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms for this recipe (I’ve made this with both and they’re equally incredible). While it may work with other mushroom varieties, the cooking time may change depending on the size and moisture content of the mushrooms, and unfortunately, I haven’t tested other varieties to know for sure.

What to Serve with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

As I mentioned in the introduction, these tasty little mushrooms make a great side dish, part of a bowl meal, or even an appetizer. They’re so good you will just want to eat them straight out of the bowl with a fork (or toothpick)! Originally I paired them with some kale mashed potatoes as a vegetarian bowl meal, but they’d also go great with Garlic Marinated Chicken, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Herb Roasted Pork Loin.

What Kind of Roasting Dish Should I Use?

I find that a ceramic or glass works best for this recipe because they transmit heat a little more slowly and evenly. Something like a thin metal baking dish may result in too much evaporation and cause the mushrooms to dry out while roasting.

Side view of balsamic roasted vegetables in a bowl
Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a white bowl

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

Balsamic roasted mushrooms are an easy side dish or appetizer, soaked in garlic, herbs, and tangy balsamic vinegar for maximum flavor.
Total Cost $4.24 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 77.5kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. mushrooms* $3.38
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.41
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean any dirt or debris from the mushrooms, then slice any large mushrooms in half (you can leave them whole if they are small).
  • Mince the garlic. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, and pepper.
  • Place the mushrooms in a ceramic or glass baking dish (choose a size that keeps the mushrooms close together, mostly in a single layer). Pour the marinade over top and stir to coat the mushrooms.
  • Roast the mushrooms for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The mushrooms should release liquid as they roast, leaving liquid in the bottom of the dish until the last 15 minutes or so. If the dish dries up before the final 15 minutes, cover the dish with foil to prevent furhter evaporation or burning.
  • After 45 minutes of roasting, give them a final stir and then serve. (I garnished with chopped parsley for color, but this is not necessary for flavor.)

Notes

*White button or baby bella mushrooms

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 77.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.85g | Protein: 2.85g | Fat: 3.93g | Sodium: 293.93mg | Fiber: 1.55g
Close up view of a balsamic roasted mushroom on a fork with the bowl in the background

Love Balsamic Vinegar? Try these other recipes featuring balsamic vinegar:

How to Make Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms – Step by Step Photos

Sliced Mushrooms in a baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean 1 lb. of mushrooms and slice any larger mushrooms in half (the mushrooms I had today were all very large, so some I even cut into quarters). Place the mushrooms in a baking dish. Choose a size that will allow the mushrooms to be close together, but mostly in a single layer.

Balsamic mushroom marinade in a bowl

Mince two cloves of garlic and combine them in a bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp dried thyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Marinade being poured over the mushrooms in the dish.

Pour the marinade over the mushrooms in the dish and give them a good stir.

Seasoned mushrooms in the dish before roasting

The mushrooms will absorb most of the marinade, leaving just a little in the bottom of the dish, but as the mushrooms roast they will release a lot of moisture. (The photo above is before roasting)

Mushrooms after 30 minutes of roasting

Roast the mushrooms in the preheated 400ºF oven, stirring every 15 minutes. The photo above is after 30 minutes of roasting. There should be a decent amount of liquid in the bottom of the dish at this point. If it is already dry, cover the dish with foil to prevent further evaporation and burning.

Mushrooms after 45 minutes of roasting

After 45 minutes of roasting, most of the liquid on the bottom of the dish will have evaporated.

Stirred roasted mushrooms in the dish

Give the mushrooms a stir to kind of distribute the reduced marinade over the surface of the mushrooms. And that’s it! They’re ready to serve!

Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a bowl garnished with chopped parsley

I garnished it with chopped parsley just for some color, but this isn’t needed to flavor the mushrooms. Enjoy!

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Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking.

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Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking, but we’ll talk more about that below. As long as you avoid that one pitfall, you’ll have a tender, juicy pork loin that makes a deeelish main dish that can be paired with tons of different sides.

Slices of brown sugar roasted pork loin on a white oval serving dish

Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is written for pork loin, sometimes called a pork loin roast, which is different than pork tenderloin. Pork loin is a large roast, usually sold in 3-4 pound cuts. Pork tenderloin is a different, smaller muscle that tends to be slightly darker and more tender. Here is a more in-depth look (with photos) at the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin. If you’re looking for a recipe for roasted pork tenderloin, try my Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

About that Brown Sugar Rub…

If you’ve made my Glazed Pork Chops, you’ll be familiar with this sweet and spicy brown sugar rub. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and spicy, and it’s just so incredibly simple. When it’s used with the direct contact heat of a skillet it turns into a glaze, but when it’s baked in the dry air of an oven it forms a delicious crust on the surface of the pork. Either way, it’s a winner!

The Key to Good Pork Loin

Don’t overcook it. That’s it! Overcooked pork is dry, tough, and resembles something like a hockey puck. So how do you not overcook it? You really need to get a meat thermometer (my favorite is linked in the recipe card below) since every pork loin is a different size and shape, and every oven cooks a little different.

How Long to Cook Pork Loin

The safe internal temperature for pork (excluding ground pork) is 145ºF. The estimated amount of time you’ll need to cook your pork loin using the method below (starting at 400ºF then reducing to 350ºF), is about 15 minutes per pound after the initial ten minutes at 400ºF. Use your trusty thermometer about ten minutes before the estimated time to see if you’re getting close, then about every 10-15 minutes after that until you reach 145ºF.

And lastly, make sure to let your pork rest for about 10 minutes after it’s removed from the oven before slicing. This gives the steam pressure time to reduce, which means more of the moisture will stay in the meat instead of evaporating out once it’s sliced.

What to Serve with Roasted Pork Loin

I love classic comfort foods with this Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin. I have it pictured with mashed potatoes and some roasted broccoli, but I think something like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, coleslaw, or potato salad would also be awesome!

Two slices of roasted pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes
Sliced brown sugar pork loin on a serving dish, viewed from the front

Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

This super simple Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin is tender and juicy with a sweet and spicy brown sugar coating!
Total Cost $9.12 recipe / $1.14 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 ½ lb. each
Calories 475.06kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. pork loin $7.92
  • ½ cup brown sugar $0.32
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.10*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.48

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the pork loin on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a large casserole dish with the fat cap facing up. Begin packing the brown sugar and spice mixture all over the surface of the pork loin (no need to get the bottom). The moisture from the pork loin should help the sugar mixture stick to the surface.
  • Transfer the pork loin to the oven. Roast at 400ºF for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue to roast for about 15 minutes per pound of roast, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Always use a meat thermometer just to be sure.
  • After roasting, let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices and serving.

Notes

*To reduce the spiciness of this dish, reduce the cayenne to ½ or even ¼ tsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 475.06kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.31g | Protein: 48.15g | Fat: 24.06g | Sodium: 465.2mg | Fiber: 0.2g
Two slices of pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes, viewed from the side

How to Make Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin – Step by Step Photos

Brown sugar rub ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 3 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Mixed brown sugar rub in a bowl

Mix the rub ingredients together until they look like damp sand.

Pork loin in the package

This is the pork loin I used, which was 4 pounds. Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pork loin, so make sure to use a meat thermometer so you can prevent over or under-cooking the pork. Pork loin usually has a “fat cap” which is a layer of fat on one side (it’s on the bottom in the photo above so you can’t see it).

Brown sugar rub on the pork loin, on a parchment lined baking sheet

Place the pork loin on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a casserole dish with the fat cap side facing up. Pack the brown sugar rub all over the surface of the pork loin.

Roasted pork loin with a meat thermometer in it

Roast the pork for 10 minutes at 400ºF, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and roast for an additional 20 minutes per pound of pork, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise slightly after it is taken out of the oven, due to carryover cooking. (Don’t worry if the brown sugar burns on the baking sheet, the rub ON the pork will not be burned. The burned sugar can be cleaned off with a quick soak in hot soapy water.)

Sliced brown sugar roasted pork loin on a cutting board

Let the pork loin rest for ten minutes before slicing into ½-inch slices and serving.

Brown sugar roasted pork loin sliced and served on an oval dish

The post Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Tomato Lentil Soup

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a pot of soup simmering away on the stove top when it’s cold and blustery outside. This tomato lentil soup is full of vegetables and herbs for a simple, flavorful, and warming winter soup.

The post Tomato Lentil Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a pot of soup simmering away on the stove top when it’s cold and wintry outside. The smell alone warms me from the inside out. This week I was craving a simple vegetable forward soup, so I whipped up this really easy Tomato Lentil Soup. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for days, sometimes with a grilled cheese on the side. :)

Tomato lentil soup in the pot with bread and vegetables on the sides
Garnished with a little fresh parsley for visual appeal.

What Does Tomato Lentil Soup Taste Like?

This soup kind of tastes like a traditional vegetable soup, but with a slightly more tomato-y broth, plus a little earthiness from the lentils. It’s super hearty and comforting, which is exactly what I love about a good bowl of soup in the winter!

What Kind of Lentils Should I Use?

Lentils can be confusing, especially since there isn’t a lot of consistency in labeling in the United States. I used a basic brown lentil, which has a drab brown-olive color and cooks with about 20 minutes of simmering. Sometimes these lentils are labeled “green lentils” sometimes just “lentils” so to be sure you have the right kind, check the cooking instructions on the package. It should say to simmer for about 20 minutes, not 45 minutes.

I do not suggest using a red, orange, or yellow lentil for this soup because they break down too easily and you’ll end up with something more along the lines of a lentil porridge than a lentil soup. :) (It would probably still taste good, though!)

How are the Leftovers?

One of the reasons I love soup is because they almost always make great leftovers, and this soup is no exception. The leftovers will stay good in the fridge for about 4-5 days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. I always suggest dividing the soup into single portions just after cooking so it cools down more quickly in the refrigerator, which will give you more longevity with the leftovers. Once cooled you can transfer some to the freezer for later!

A bowl of tomato lentil sup with bread on the side
A bowl of tomato lentil sup with bread on the side

Tomato Lentil Soup

This tomato lentil soup is full of vegetables and herbs for a simple, flavorful, and warming winter soup. Makes great leftovers!
Total Cost $4.74 recipe / $0.79 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 279.58kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 carrots $0.42
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 russet potato (about 1 lb.) $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 2 15oz. cans stewed tomatoes $1.18
  • 1 cup brown lentils $0.67
  • ½ tsp paprika $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried basil $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots (I like smaller pieces for this recipe, so I do a quarter round slice). Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the oniosn are soft. While the vegetables are cooking, peel and dice the potato into ½-inch cubes.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the cubed potato, stewed tomatoes (with juices), paprika, basil, oregano, pepper, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are super tender and have begun to break down slightly (this helps thicken the soup).
  • Add the soy sauce to the soup, then give it a taste and adjust the salt if needed (the total amount will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 279.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.58g | Protein: 12.17g | Fat: 5.65g | Sodium: 1148.67mg | Fiber: 7.48g
Close up side view of tomato lentil soup in the pot

How to Make Tomato Lentil Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onions carrots and garlic in a soup pot

Dice one onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and slice three carrots. I like to do smaller pieces of carrot for this soup, so I cut the slices into quarter rounds. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium until the onions are soft. While the carrot and onion are sautéing, peel and dice one russet potato into ½-inch cubes.

Tomato paste added to the soup pot

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste and continue to sauté for a few more minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.

Potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, seasoning, and broth added to the pot

Add the cubed potato, two 15oz. cans of stewed tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup lentils (not cooked), ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp pepper, and 4 cups vegetable broth.

Soup in the pot before simmering

Stir everything to combine. Place a lid on top and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft and have begun to break down a bit.

Finished tomato lentil soup

After simmering the soup, stir in 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Taste the soup and adjust the salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth. I did not add any in addition to the soy sauce).

front view of a bowl full of tomato lentil soup

Serve hot with some crusty bread for dipping! (I garnished with a little parsley for color, but it’s not needed to flavor this soup.)

The post Tomato Lentil Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!

The post Garlic Marinated Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I had this recipe for Garlic Marinated Chicken hidden away within an old meal prep post, but this chicken is just SO good and SO simple that I think it deserved a post on its own. This is my favorite all-purpose quick chicken recipe that I use as an addition to all sorts of meals, so I know this is one you’ll want to save and use over and over again. Keep on reading for all the ways you can use this versatile, finger-lickin’ good chicken.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork and cauliflower salad

What Does it Taste Like?

Perhaps I should call this Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, because this chicken is slightly tangy, super garlicky, and absolutely delicious. The natural sugars in the lemon juice caramelize beautifully in the skillet, giving it even more depth of flavor. And because lemon and garlic are such versatile flavors, you’ll find that you can pair this garlic chicken with just about anything.

How to Serve Garlic Marinated Chicken

In addition to just serving it as a main dish with a couple of sides, this chicken is great to add to other recipes. You can slice this garlic chicken up and use it for a sandwich, to top a salad, or even to top a big plate of pasta. Here are a few recipes that would benefit from being topped with this garlic marinated chicken:

Great for Meal Prep!

This chicken is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Cook up a couple chicken breasts worth on the weekend, then use the cooked and sliced chicken to add to your meal prep for the next few days. The cooked chicken can be refrigerated for about 3-4 days.

Can I Grill Garlic Marinated Chicken?

Absolutely! This chicken is great on the grill, whether you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

Yes, this recipe also works great with chicken thighs and they even require a little less prep! Because chicken thighs are already on the thin side and they don’t over cook quite as easily, you can skip filleting the thighs into two thinner pieces, like you need to do with a chicken breast. Simply marinate, then cook on each side until browned and the chicken is cooked through.

A fork picking up a slice of garlic marinated chicken from a plate
Garlic Marinated Chicken cooked

Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!
Total Cost $3.37 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 331.5kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts* $5.37

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a bowl or a large zip top bag. Stir the ingredients in the dish until combined.
  • Filet each chicken breast into two thinner pieces. Place the pieces in the bag or in a shallow dish, then pour the marinade over top, making sure the chicken pieces are completely covered in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning occasionally to maximize the chicken's contact with the marinade.
  • When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the hot skillet and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes each side, depending on the size of the pieces). Cook two pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can cause juices to pool and prevents browning. Discard the excess marinade.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken from the skillet to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*This marinade can also be used for chicken thighs. The amount of marinade listed in the recipe can handle about 4-6 chicken thighs, depending on their size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 331.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.28g | Protein: 38.35g | Fat: 11.3g | Sodium: 432.18mg | Fiber: 0.4g

How to Make Garlic Marinated Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Prepared garlic marinade

In a small bow, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 cloves minced garlic, ½ Tbsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Filleted chicken breasts on a cutting board

Use a sharp knife to filet two chicken breasts into two thinner pieces. If your knife skills are not strong enough to make this cut, you can cover the chicken breast with plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then cut each breast in half to make two pieces.

Marinade being poured over the chicken in a dish

Place the chicken in a shallow dish or a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken to make sure it all gets coated in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning the chicken occasionally to make sure it is all in contact with the marinade.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add two pieces of chicken at a time, and cook until browned on each side and cooked through. The chicken will already be coated in oil from the marinade, so no extra oil is needed to coat the skillet. Discard the excess marinade.

Sliced chicken on a cutting board with tongs

After cooking the chicken, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork

Enjoy that garlicky goodness!

The post Garlic Marinated Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, super easy, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, easy, filling, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

Quick Tofu Stir Fry in a skillet with sriracha and a bowl of peanuts on the side

Use any Stir Fry Sauce

This recipe is so flexible that you can literally use any type of stir fry sauce, so go with whatever you like best. The stir fry sauce for the Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, which this recipe is based upon, is a spicy and super simple 4-ingredient sauce, but I switched it up this time and used a non-spicy sauce, then just added sriracha on top for heat as needed. Feel free to use that original sauce, something a little less sweet like the sauce used in my Ground Turkey Stir Fry, a richer oyster based sauce like in my Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli, or even something a little sweeter like a bottled sweet chili sauce. It’s so flexible!

Change Up the Vegetables

I love using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in stir fry because there’s no prep involved, it’s filling, and it’s still super inexpensive. I used about ½ of a 1 lb. bag of mix here, but you could probably even add more if you want it more vegetable heavy. You can shred your own cabbage and carrots (you’ll want about 5 cups), or even use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables in place of or in addition to the shredded cabbage.

If using frozen vegetables, I suggest adding them to the skillet before the cabbage because they’ll need a little longer to cook. If you are increasing the amount of vegetables, you may wan to also increase the sauce and add half to the tofu and half after adding the vegetables.

Substitute the Peanuts

If you don’t like or can’t have peanuts, don’t worry! They’re totally optional. I love the crunchy texture they add to the dish, but you can either leave them out, substitute with another nut (maybe cashews or almonds), or add a few sesame seeds to the stir fry at the end. It’s up to you!

How are the Leftovers?

I’m going to call the leftovers of this one “subjective.” Haha! Dishes like this will seep water as they sit in the refrigerator and the cabbage (or other vegetables) will soften further, but that wouldn’t stop me from reheating and enjoying the leftovers. If you’re a bit more sensitive to texture and flavor changes, you may not enjoy the leftovers.

front view of three bowls full of quick tofu stir fry
three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

This super fast and inexpensive tofu stir fry is super filling, easy enough for busy weeknights, and endlessly customizable!
Total Cost $3.82 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 272.43kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger $0.10

Stir Fry

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.90

Toppings

  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Set the sauce aside.
  • Slice the green onion and chop the peanuts.
  • Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid from the package (no need to press the tofu as the water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry for about 5 minutes, or until there is no longer any water pooling on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the prepared stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Finally, add the slaw mix and chopped peanuts and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt. Top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 272.43kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.98g | Protein: 14.53g | Fat: 17.73g | Sodium: 815.75mg | Fiber: 3.33g
close up of quick tofu stir fry in the skillet

How to Make Quick Tofu Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

stir fry sauce in a white bowl with a fork

Make the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl, combine 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and about 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Set the sauce aside.

chopped peanuts and sliced green onion

Chop ¼ cup peanuts and slice two green onions.

tofu and coleslaw mix

These are the two main ingredients in this super simple stir fry–tofu and shredded cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix). You can switch up the vegetables or add more if you’d like. See the notes above the recipe for ideas.

crumbled tofu in a bowl

Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid (there is no need to press the tofu for this recipe because the excess water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.

sauce being added to cooked tofu in the skillet

Heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite kind) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil and skillet are hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry until there is no longer any liquid pooling in the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over top and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more.

shredded cabbage and carrots added to the skillet

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and the chopped peanuts to the skillet. I used half the bag, or about ½ lb., but you could probably add more if you’d like. Continue to cook and stir for only 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt.

Sriracha being drizzled over the skillet

Top the stir fry with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

I don’t know about you, but I need a good salad right about now. I’ve been kind of over doing the comfort foods lately and my body is like, “pleeeease, can I have some fresh vegetables??” But I’m still trying to enjoy these fall vibes, so I whipped up this Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad. It meal preps well, which means that every time I open my fridge there is a delicious salad staring at me, ready to be eaten. That helps. That helps a lot. ­čśŤ

The post Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know about you, but I need a good salad right about now. I’ve been kind of over doing the comfort foods lately and my body is like, “pleeeease, can I have some fresh vegetables??” But I’m still trying to enjoy these fall vibes, so I whipped up this Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad. It meal preps well, which means that every time I open my fridge there is a delicious salad staring at me, ready to be eaten. That helps. That helps a lot. :P

Autumn kale and sweet potato salads in glass meal prep containers

How Long Do the Salads Last?

Thanks to the heartiness of kale and the low moisture ingredients, you can prep this salad and keep it in your fridge for about five days. You can either keep the dressing separate, or toss the salad in the dressing ahead of time to help soften the kale. If you do toss the salad in the dressing before storage, you may want to make extra dressing, as some of it will be absorbed as the salad refrigerates.

Can I Use a Different Green?

Yes, if you are not a fan of the texture of kale, you can swap it out for spinach. You might also consider trying lacinato kale, which is a little bit softer than the curly kale I used. You can also make this salad over finely shredded cabbage and carrots, which would be similar to my Sweet Crunch Winter Salad.

What Other Dressings Can I Use

This slightly sweet and savory Maple Tahini Dressing is by far the best match for these flavors, but if you must swap it out for something else I would go with some sort of sweet vinaigrette, like either a honey poppyseed, apple cider or pomegranate vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing, or even a raspberry vinaigrette.

Swap Out the Sweet Potatoes

If you happen to have leftover roasted winter squash of any kind (butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin, kabocha, etc.) you can use that in place of the sweet potatoes and still have all those fall flavors! I just find sweet potatoes to be easier to source and prepare, so I chose those today.

front view of maple tahini dressing being poured over autumn kale and sweet potato salad
dressing being poured over the autumn kale and sweet potato salad in a bowl

Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

This fresh and crisp Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad is chock full of fresh produce, but still has all those cozy fall flavors!
Total Cost $6.67 recipe / $1.67 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 629.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes $2.40
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01

Maple Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini $0.85
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup $0.60
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 6 cups chopped kale (about 1/2 bunch) $0.50
  • 1 large apple* $0.70
  • 1/4 cup pepitas $0.60
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans $0.52
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and add the cooking oil, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Toss the sweet potatoes until they are coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender and browned on the edges, stirring once half way through.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. Start with the dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk together until the ingredients are emulsified and smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • Pull the kale leaves from the tough woody stems and rinse them well in a colander with cool water. Drain the kale well, then slice it into thin strips (they don't have to be perfect, so don't stress about this, just aim for smaller pieces). Divide the sliced kale between four bowls or containers.
  • Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter into thin slices. Add the apple slices to each container.
  • Add 1 Tbsp each of the pepitas, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries to each container. When the sweet potatoes are finished roasting, let them cool for about 5 minutes, then divide them between the containers. Divide the dressing between four small containers. Enjoy the salad immediately or refrigerate up to five days.

Notes

*Use a sweet or sweet-tart variety of apple. I used Honeycrisp, but Gala would be another nice option.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 629.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 85.83g | Protein: 9.48g | Fat: 31.13g | Sodium: 941.68mg | Fiber: 13.35g
dressing being poured over the autumn kale and sweet potato salad in a bowl

How to Make Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Sweet potatoes prepped for roasting on a sheet pan

Start with the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and dice 2 lbs. sweet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, and ¼ tsp salt. Toss until the sweet potatoes are coated in oil and spices.

Roasted sweet potatoes on the baking sheet

Roast the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned on the edges, stirring half way through roasting.

maple tahini dressing in a blender

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. Begin with the dressing. Add ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup water, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk until the ingredients are smooth.

Chopped kale in a bowl

Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems and give them a good rinse with cool water in a colander. Drain well, then slice the kale into thin strips (this doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress, just aim for smaller pieces).

Cored and sliced apple

Cut a large apple into quarters, then remove the core. Slice each quarter into thin slices.

kale, apple, and sweet potato in a bowl

When the sweet potatoes are finished roasting, let them cool for about five minutes. Divide the kale between four bowls or meal prep containers, followed by the apple slices, and the roasted sweet potato.

cranberries, seeds, and nuts added to the salad

Then add 1 Tbsp dried cranberries, pepitas, and chopped pecans to each bowl or container. Divide the dressing into four small containers as well.

autumn kale and sweet potato salad being eaten

Drizzle the maple tahini dressing over top, then enjoy!

meal prep containers full of autumn kale and sweet potato salad

Or refrigerate the salad up to five days and enjoy later. :)

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