Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. If you’ve never tried baked oatmeal, let me fill you in. Instead of cooking oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave, you bake the oatmeal in the oven. The oats are soft, creamy, and che…

Baked oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. If you’ve never tried baked oatmeal, let me fill you in. Instead of cooking oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave, you bake the oatmeal in the oven. The oats are soft, creamy, and chewy. The texture reminds me of bread pudding that isn’t overly…

The post Baked Oatmeal appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry and orange are a match made in heaven, especially during the holiday season. I love making cranberry orange bread, muffins, and Cranberry Orange Scones. These bakery style Cranberry Orange Scones are such a treat! The scones are soft, tender,…

Cranberry and orange are a match made in heaven, especially during the holiday season. I love making cranberry orange bread, muffins, and Cranberry Orange Scones. These bakery style Cranberry Orange Scones are such a treat! The scones are soft, tender, and dotted with juicy dried cranberries. There is a hint of orange zest in the…

The post Cranberry Orange Scones appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad

I love roasted butternut squash, it is one of my favorite fall vegetables. I could eat it plain all day long, but I also love it in this Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad. My easy orzo salad is one of the most popular salad recipes on our blog and I …

I love roasted butternut squash, it is one of my favorite fall vegetables. I could eat it plain all day long, but I also love it in this Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad. My easy orzo salad is one of the most popular salad recipes on our blog and I think you will love the…

The post Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Sweet Potato Lentil Salad

I love a salad that is full of goodies and this Sweet Potato Lentil Salad has all of my favorites in one big bowl! This hearty and healthy salad is made with roasted sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, red onion, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. The sala…

I love a salad that is full of goodies and this Sweet Potato Lentil Salad has all of my favorites in one big bowl! This hearty and healthy salad is made with roasted sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, red onion, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. The salad gets tossed in a simple balsamic maple mustard dressing…

The post Sweet Potato Lentil Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It’s the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.

The post Wild Rice Pilaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Last Thanksgiving I made the most amazing Wild Rice Pilaf that I then stuffed inside roasted acorn squash as a sort of vegetarian main dish recipe idea. It was beautiful and delicious, but I can’t lie, I kind of just wanted to devour that wild rice pilaf by itself! It was so tasty on its own, had so much color, so much texture, that I knew I had to post it as a stand-alone recipe. This pilaf is really delicious and I know I’m going to be making it on repeat every fall and winter from here on out!

Overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl

What’s in Wild Rice Pilaf

This delicious pilaf starts with rice cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor. While the rice cooks, aromatics like onion, celery, and apples are sautéed in butter until tender. Next comes the cozy mix of seasonings including sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Once the cooked rice is combined with the aromatics and herbs, it’s finished off with a little extra flavor and texture from walnuts, dried cranberries, and parsley. So much fall flavor in every bite!

What is “Wild Rice Blend”?

I used a bagged “wild rice blend” as the base for this recipe. It’s a colorful blend of different varieties of rice, including wild rice. I used Lundberg brand, which you can find in many major grocery stores, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see ALDI had its own version this year (check the step by step photos below the recipe to see a photo). You can use any brand rice blend for this recipe, just follow the cooking instructions on the package and replace the water with vegetable broth.

What to Serve with Wild Rice Pilaf

This pilaf is the perfect side dish to any roasted meat. I especially like this in the fall and winter months, since it highlights flavors of the season like apples, walnuts, and cranberries. Try serving it alongside Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Cider Roasted Turkey Breast, Apple Spice Pork Chops, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. Or, of course, you could serve it as I originally did inside a roasted acorn squash!

Close up side view of wild rice pilaf in the skillet
Overhead view of a bowl of wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It's the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.
Total Cost $2.73 recipe / $0.68 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend* $0.07
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 1 apple $0.41
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.44
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Add the wild rice blend and vegetable broth to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to medium-high. Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, or for the amount of time directed on the package.*
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice the onion, celery, and apple.
  • Add the onion to a large skillet with the butter and sauté over medium heat until softened.
  • Add the apples, celery, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté for about five minutes more, or just until the apples and celery begin to soften (they should still have some bite).
  • When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the apples, celery, and onion. Also add the chopped walnuts, cranberries, and chopped parsley. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Taste the pilaf and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot.

Notes

* You can use any brand wild rice blend. Cook according to the package directions, substituting vegetable broth for the water recommended in the instructions. Cooking time may vary depending on the brand.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 457mg | Fiber: 5g
Wild rice pilaf in a skillet with a spoon

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf – Step by Step Photos

two packages of wild rice blend

I used the Lundberg wild rice blend on the left since I actually still had some leftover from last year, but I bought some of the ALDI wild rice blend on the right just to show you another option. Whatever brand you use, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the back but substitute vegetable broth for the water it recommends. Cooking time can vary depending on the brand.

wild rice in the pot next to a measuring cup with vegetable broth

Add ½ cup of the wild rice blend to a small sauce pot with 1 cup vegetable broth. Place a lid on the pot and heat over medium-high. Allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Chopped apple and celery on a cutting board

While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice one yellow onion, 3 ribs of celery, and one apple.

onion and butter in a skillet

Add the diced onion to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onion has softened.

apples, celery, and seasoning added to the skillet

Add the chopped apples and celery to the skillet along with ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Continue to sauté over medium until the apples and celery just begin to soften.

Cooked rice, walnuts, cranberries, and parsley added to the skillet

When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup dried cranberries, and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

finished wild rice pilaf in the skillet

Fold the ingredients together until everything is combined. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

side view of a serving bowl full of wild rice pilaf

The post Wild Rice Pilaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been one of my favorite budget ingredients since day one. It’s super inexpensive, shelf-stable, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention, a warm bowl of oatmeal is just the epitome of cozy. 🥰 This Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal is one of the first flavored oatmeal I […]

The post Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Oatmeal has been one of my favorite budget ingredients since day one. It’s super inexpensive, shelf-stable, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention, a warm bowl of oatmeal is just the epitome of cozy. 🥰 This Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal is one of the first flavored oatmeal I made back in the day when I was flat broke but knew I still needed to put something good in my belly. You can make one serving at a time, or make a batch of two as listed below and just microwave the second half for your breakfast the next morning (or share with someone you love). Enjoy!

Originally posted 10-29-2010, updated 10-7-2021.

Overhead view of two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best?

My favorite kind of oats to use for a classic bowl of oatmeal are old-fashioned rolled oats. These oats have plenty of texture so you don’t end up with a bowl of mush, and they still cook relatively quickly (about 5 minutes). You can use quick oats if you have to, but you’ll want to adjust the cooking time according to what is suggested on the package and keep in mind that the texture won’t be as great. You could definitely do something similar with steel-cut oats, although they require a much longer cooking time and more liquid, so adjust as needed. 

Sweeten to Your Liking

I used a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten my Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal because that maple flavor adds to the whole autumn vibe. But real maple syrup can be expensive, so if you want to cut the costs on this bowl a bit, try using brown sugar instead. Brown sugar still goes great with all the flavors in this bowl and is much less expensive. Feel free to swap out with any sweetener of your choice, keeping in mind the flavor differences from maple syrup. 

How to Store Leftovers of Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

The batch below makes two servings, so if you want to save the second serving for the next day, I would refrigerate it before adding the second half of the apples and the walnuts. Add those after reheating the next day. To reheat, simply microwave for 1-2 minutes, adding a splash of water to help loosen the oatmeal as you stir. Once reheated, top with the apples and walnuts, then enjoy.

Can I Use a Microwave?

Yes, you can definitely make this in a microwave. I suggest making one serving at a time (half of the recipe below). Simply add the butter, apples, cinnamon, cloves, oats, salt, water, and cranberries to a bowl. Microwave on high for one minute, stir, then microwave again in 30-second intervals until thickened. Sweeten with maple syrup, then top with the walnuts and remaining apples.

side view of a bowl of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

Two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal surrounded by apples, leaves, and pinecones

Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

Get all of the delicious flavors of fall in one bowl with this Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal. Sweet, crunchy, warm, and cozy!
Total Cost $1.83 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 1.5 cups each
Calories 417kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 apple $0.41
  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1 pinch cloves (optional) $0.01
  • 2 cups water $0.00
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.18
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries $0.22
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup $0.60

Instructions

  • Chop the apple into ½-inch pieces. Add about ¾ of the apple pieces to a small saucepot with the butter, cinnamon, and cloves. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, or just until the apples begin to soften.
  • Add the water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the water to come up to a boil.
  • Once the water reaches a boil, stir in the oats, dried cranberries, and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer the oats for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • When the oats have thickened, stir in the chopped walnuts and maple syrup. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Top with the remaining chopped apples. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 182mg | Fiber: 9g

 

A spoonful of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal held above the bowl

How to Make Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Chopped apple on a cutting board

Chop one apple into ½-inch sized pieces. 

apple in the pot with butter

Add about ¾ of the apple pieces to a sauce pot with 1 tsp butter, ½ tsp cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of cloves (optional). Sauté over medium just until they begin to soften (just a few minutes). 

water being poured into the saucepot

Next, add 2 cups of water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the water to a boil.

oats being poured into the pot

Once the water is boiling, add 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, and 1/4 tsp salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer the oats for about five minutes, or until thickened.

maple syrup being drizzled over the thickened oats in the pot

Once the oats have thickened, add ¼ cup chopped walnuts and 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweeten to your liking with your favorite sweetener).

Two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal surrounded by apples, leaves, and pinecones

Divide into two bowls and top with the remaining chopped apples. Enjoy!

Side view of two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

The post Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Nut Free Granola Bars

I love making homemade granola bars because they are easy to make and taste so much better than store bought. Most granola bar recipes have nuts or nut butter, including my favorite recipe. The only problem? A lot of schools, day cares, and camps don&#…

I love making homemade granola bars because they are easy to make and taste so much better than store bought. Most granola bar recipes have nuts or nut butter, including my favorite recipe. The only problem? A lot of schools, day cares, and camps don’t allow nuts because of nut allergies so I created a…

The post Nut Free Granola Bars appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Chicken Salad with Apples

I’m kind of obsessed with chicken salad lately. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal during these hot summer months. I especially love this chicken salad with apples because it’s full of sweet and crunchy apples, sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a simple homemade dressing that has a bright fresh flavor thanks […]

The post Chicken Salad with Apples appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m kind of obsessed with chicken salad lately. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal during these hot summer months. I especially love this chicken salad with apples because it’s full of sweet and crunchy apples, sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a simple homemade dressing that has a bright fresh flavor thanks to the addition of yogurt. And as usual, there are plenty of ways you can add to or swap out ingredients in this chicken salad, so keep reading for ideas! 

Originally posted 10-10-2011, updated 8-5-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken salad with ingredients on the sides

What Kind of Cooked Chicken to Use

I cooked up some fresh chicken breasts just before making my chicken salad (see the step by step photos below the recipe), but rotisserie chicken is a really convenient option. If using rotisserie chicken, simply pull the meat from the bone, remove the skin, and give the meat a rough chop. You’ll need about 3 cups of chopped chicken for this recipe. You can also use canned chicken breast, if needed, although that option will have the least desirable texture and flavor of the three options.

What Else Can I Add to My Chicken Salad?

Chicken salad is so flexible. Nuts pair really well with the flavors of this salad, so you can try adding some almonds or chopped pecans. Finely diced celery is also nice for some extra crunch. And if you don’t have dried cranberries, golden raisins or fresh grapes also work really well in this recipe.

How Long Does This Chicken Salad Last?

Chicken salad is usually good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but it can vary depending on the freshness of your chicken and the conditions inside your refrigerator. This salad should not be frozen.

How to Serve Chicken Salad with Apples

You can eat chicken salad several different ways. The most common is as a chicken salad sandwich and you can do this on your favorite bread, on a croissant (like in the photos), or in a wrap. Chicken salad is also a great topper for a green salad, or you can serve it with crackers and a delicious dip (you might want to chop the chicken and apples a little smaller in that case).

Overhead view of chicken salad sandwiches with croissants

Love chicken salad? You might also like Curry Chicken Salad or Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad.

Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background

Chicken Salad with Apples

This chicken salad is packed with sweet and crunchy apples, tart dried cranberries, and a light and creamy homemade dressing.
Total Cost $10.35 recipe / $2.59 serving
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 367kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken $7.97
  • 1 apple (1.5 cups chopped) $0.76
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.20
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.22
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise $0.53
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt $0.35
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the cooked chicken and the apple into small pieces. Finely dice the red onion.
  • Place the chicken, apple, onion, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl and stir until everything is coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 395mg | Fiber: 2g

Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background

How to Make Chicken Salad with Apples – Step By Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet

You’ll need about 3 cups chopped cooked chicken for this recipe, so if you’re not using rotisserie chicken, you’ll want to cook some chicken first. I used two chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total). I filleted each breast in half to make two thinner pieces, which helps them cook more quickly and evenly. Then I just cooked them in a skillet with a little oil over medium heat until they were golden brown on each side and cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

Allow the chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes before chopping it into small pieces.

Chopped apple on a cutting board

Chop one apple into small pieces (about 1.5 cups). You’ll probably want to use a variety of apple that is sweet or sweet-tart, like a Fuji or Gala. Also finely dice about ¼ cup red onion.

Chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped chicken, diced apple, diced red onion, and ¼ cup dried cranberries to a bowl.

chicken salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

To make the salad dressing, combine ⅓ cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Stir until evenly combined and smooth.

Dressing being poured over the chicken salad ingredients

Pour the prepared dressing over top of the salad ingredients.

Finished chicken salad with apples in a bowl

Stir until the salad ingredients are combined and coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Chicken salad sandwiches made with croissants on a wooden cutting board

The post Chicken Salad with Apples appeared first on Budget Bytes.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I am an absolute cookie fanatic (which is totally evident if you’ve ever checked out the cookie section here on the blog!). I have LOTS of cookies to choose from and can never pick a favorite, but during the holiday months, these White Chocolate …

I am an absolute cookie fanatic (which is totally evident if you’ve ever checked out the cookie section here on the blog!). I have LOTS of cookies to choose from and can never pick a favorite, but during the holiday months, these White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are up there. I used a classic cookie base…

The post White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Fall Chickpea Salad

My Chickpea Avocado Feta Salad is one of my all-time favorite salads. It’s so good, I even put the recipe in our cookbook. It was one of the few from the blog that made it into the book:) Well, if you are a fan of that salad like me, you are goin…

My Chickpea Avocado Feta Salad is one of my all-time favorite salads. It’s so good, I even put the recipe in our cookbook. It was one of the few from the blog that made it into the book:) Well, if you are a fan of that salad like me, you are going to LOVE my…

The post Fall Chickpea Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.