Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce-the best enchilada sauce and it’s incredibly easy to make, plus, it freezes beautifully! You will never buy store bought enchilada sauce again! Enchiladas are one of my all-time favorite meals…and I am glad my boys love t…

Homemade Enchilada Sauce-the best enchilada sauce and it’s incredibly easy to make, plus, it freezes beautifully! You will never buy store bought enchilada sauce again! Enchiladas are one of my all-time favorite meals…and I am glad my boys love them too! They are a regular at our dinner table. Enchilada night is always a good…

The post Enchilada Sauce appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet […]

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

 
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 547.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 bell pepper $0.89
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 547.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.8g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 1328.93mg | Fiber: 4.15g

Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Blackened Salmon with Zucchini

Are you ready for a dinner that is seriously easy and is so good that it will make you go weak in the knees? Just wait until you try this Blackened Salmon with Zucchini. The preparation couldn’t be more simple, yet the results are absolutely stunning. It’s the perfect example of how food doesn’t have […]

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Are you ready for a dinner that is seriously easy and is so good that it will make you go weak in the knees? Just wait until you try this Blackened Salmon with Zucchini. The preparation couldn’t be more simple, yet the results are absolutely stunning. It’s the perfect example of how food doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. 

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a white plate with a black fork

Blackened Doesn’t Mean Burned

“Blackening” is a cooking technique popularized by Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s. It involves coating the fish in spices and cooking at a high temperature in butter until the paprika in the spice mix and butter solids form a very dark and delicious “blackened” crust. While the exterior of the fish may appear very dark brown or almost black, there shouldn’t be a burnt flavor.

What Spices Do You Use for Blackening?

I used my Homemade Cajun Seasoning for this blackened salmon, but you can take a short cut and use a store-bought blackened seasoning blend, if you prefer. Just keep in mind that store-bought seasoning mixes may contain a different amount of salt, so you may need to add more or less to compensate.

What Kind of Skillet is Best?

The blackening technique is traditionally done with a cast iron skillet, which is great at providing the high even heat needed to form that butter-infused spice crust. I used a non-stick skillet, which I know will make some people clutch their pearls, but I was still able to get a really nice crust on my blackened salmon so I was okay with it. I’m going to just go ahead and tell you to use whatever type of cookware is easiest for you and gives you the least amount of anxiety about the fish sticking because there is nothing more devastating than losing an expensive piece of salmon stuck to a piece of cookware (although there should be plenty of oil and butter to keep that from happening here). ;) 

What to Serve with Blackened Salmon and Zucchini

I ate this as a meal on its own, but if you want to round out your plate with some carb action, I think this would be great on a bed of seasoned rice. A side of Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta would also be a nice compliment.

A fork flaking a piece of blackened salmon on the plate with zucchini

 

 

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a plate with a black fork on the side

Blackened Salmon with Zucchini

Blackened salmon coated in Cajun spices, cooked to perfection in butter, and paired with simple sautéed zucchini makes a simple but delicious dinner!
Total Cost $13.30 recipe / $3.33 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 323.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Salmon and Zucchini

  • 1.3 lbs. salmon $10.65
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1.3 lbs. zucchini $1.79

Instructions

  • Combine the spices for the Cajun seasoning in a bowl (smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper).
  • Remove the skin from the salmon, then cut it into four equal-sized portions (if not already cut). Generously coat all sides of the fish in the prepared Cajun seasoning.
  • Slice the zucchini into half-rounds and set aside.
  • Add the butter and cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high. When the skillet is hot and the butter is melted and foaming, add the salmon pieces. Cook the salmon for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until a dark brown crust forms and the salmon is cooked through*.
  • Remove the cooked fish to a clean plate. Add the sliced zucchini to the skillet in its place. Quickly sauté the zucchini in the residual butter and spices until it is tender. Serve the salmon and zucchini immediately.

Notes

*The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145ºF for fish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 323.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.35g | Protein: 31.48g | Fat: 19.3g | Sodium: 405.18mg | Fiber: 2.3g

How to Make Blackened Salmon with Zucchini – Step by Step Photos

Cajun spice mix in a wooden bowl

Make the Cajun spice mix first. Combine 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir the spices together.

Season salmon filets

Remove the skin from one salmon filet (1.3 lbs.), then cut it into four equal-sized pieces, keeping in mind that one end is usually thicker than the other. Generously coat all sides of the salmon filets with the Cajun seasoning. 

Butter and oil in the skillet

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.

Blackened salmon being turned with tongs in the skillet

When the skillet is hot, the butter melted and foaming, add the seasoned salmon pieces. Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes on the first side, or until a dark brown crust has formed, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through. The total cooking time may vary with the thickness of your salmon pieces.

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board

While the salmon is cooking, slice the zucchini into half-rounds.

finished blackened salmon in the skillet

Once the blackened salmon is finished cooking, remove it from a skillet to a clean plate. There should be a ton of spice-infused butter still in the skillet, so we’re going to take advantage of that for the zucchini!

Cooked zucchini in the skillet

Add the zucchini to the skillet (still over medium-high) and sauté the zucchini for just a few minutes or until it softens just a bit. The zucchini will pick up all the leftover herbs and spices in the skillet.

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a plate with a black fork on the side

Serve immediately or pack it up into meal prep containers and enjoy for the next few days (I did!).

The post Blackened Salmon with Zucchini appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Canned green enchilada sauce is just kind of sad. It’s watery and usually not very flavorful. Authentic green enchilada sauce is a little bit of a project, involving roasting fresh tomatillos, onions, garlic, and peppers—not something I necessarily want to be doing in addition to making the rest of dinner on a busy weeknight. I […]

The post Green Chile Enchilada Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Canned green enchilada sauce is just kind of sad. It’s watery and usually not very flavorful. Authentic green enchilada sauce is a little bit of a project, involving roasting fresh tomatillos, onions, garlic, and peppers—not something I necessarily want to be doing in addition to making the rest of dinner on a busy weeknight. I needed something in between. A rich and flavorful green enchilada sauce that was still super fast and easy. So I crafted this super easy Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, based on my Easy Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce, but with a green chile base and a slightly different mix of spices. If you love my red enchilada sauce, I think you’re going to enjoy this one just as much!

A bowl of green chile enchilada sauce with a wooden spoon next to a can of green chiles

What is in Green Enchilada Sauce?

Green enchilada sauce is a mix of roasted peppers, onions, garlic, tomatillos, and spices. If you want to try an authentic recipe, give this Green Enchilada Sauce from Isabel Eats a shot. But as I mentioned in the intro, I was looking for convenience without sacrificing a lot of flavor. So I swapped out the fresh roasted peppers, onions, and garlic for canned green chiles and dried spices. I also add a little oil and flour for thickening power. On days when I have time to cook for fun, I’ll probably make my enchilada sauce the real way, but this quick version will be my go-to most of the time!

Is This Sauce Spicy?

It can be. Canned green chiles can vary in heat level. The canned diced green chiles I purchased from Kroger were completely mild, but depending on the brand, they may have a little heat. If you want to make your green enchilada sauce spicy, you can always add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

How Do You Use Green Chile Enchilada Sauce?

Enchilada is great for so much more than just enchiladas! It’s also great for:

  • Combining with eggs, tortilla chips, and cheese for chilaquiles or migas 
  • Drizzled over tacos
  • Stirred into sour cream for a creamy-tangy chip dip
  • Smothering burritos
  • Mixed into mayo to use as a green chile coleslaw dressing

Can I Skip the Flour?

Yes, if you need to make this sauce gluten-free, you can skip the flour. The flour-oil combo does help thicken the sauce, but you’ll still have a wonderfully flavorful sauce without it, just slightly less viscous.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce being poured from a jar onto a pan of rolled enchiladas

 
A wooden spoon in a bowl of green chile enchilada sauce with cilantro and diced green chiles on the side

Easy Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

A rich and flavorful green chile enchilada sauce that only takes minutes to make. The perfect compromise between flavor and convenience for busy weeknights.
Total Cost $1.87 recipe / $0.31 serving
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 ¼ cup each
Calories 67.35kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 4oz. cans diced green chiles $1.58
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the canned green chiles (with any liquid in the can) to a blender and purée until smooth. Set the puréed chiles aside.
  • Add the cooking oil, flour, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder to a small sauce pot. Stir and cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer and bubble up. Continue cooking and stirring for about 1 minute to toast the flour and spices.
  • Carefully add the water and puréed green chiles to the oil, flour, and spices in the sauce pot. Whisk the mixture until everything is evenly combined.
  • Allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer, then add 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste.
  • Use the green chile enchilada sauce immediately, or refrigerate up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 67.35kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.47g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 4.78g | Sodium: 404.52mg | Fiber: 1.67g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A spoon drizzling some green chile enchilada sauce into a jar of the sauce

How to Make Green Chile Enchilada Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Canned green chiles in the can and in a bowl

These are the canned green chiles that I used as the base for this sauce. Some brands are spicy, some are mild (the kind I used are mild). 

Pureed green chiles in the blender

Add two 4oz. cans of green chiles to a blender (with all the liquid in the can) and purée them until smooth.

Oil, flour, and spices in a sauce pot

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil, 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp onion powder to a small sauce pot.

Oil, flour, and spices being cooked in the sauce pot

Cook and stir the oil, flour, and spices over medium heat until they begin to simmer and bubble. Continue to cook and stir for about one minute to toast the flour and spices.

Water being poured into the sauce pot

Carefully add 1 cup water…

pureed green chiles being poured into the sauce pot

Also add the puréed green chiles.

A spoon dipping into the finished green enchilada sauce in the sauce pot

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth, then allow it to come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. This should only take a few minutes. Finally, season the finished sauce with 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce being poured from a jar onto a pan of rolled enchiladas from above

Use the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce immediately on your favorite enchiladas, or refrigerate the sauce up to four days.

Finished green chile enchilada sauce in a bowl with a wooden spoon on the side

The post Green Chile Enchilada Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Taco Seasoning

This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more. Getting ready to make a recipe that calls for taco seasoning, but don’t have a jar on hand? No worries — just mix […]

This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Getting ready to make a recipe that calls for taco seasoning, but don’t have a jar on hand?

No worries — just mix up a quick batch of this homemade taco seasoning! ♡

All you need is a handful of spices that you likely already have in your pantry.  Simply whisk them all together, store in a sealed spice jar, and use whenever you are ready!

This homemade taco seasoning is — of course — fantastic when used to season the meat, seafood, veggies or beans in your favorite taco recipe.  But don’t forget that it can also be used a million other ways as well!  I’m especially partial to using taco seasoning to flavor Mexican rice or a side of black beans.  It works great as a rub for steak, chicken, fish or shrimp, especially during summertime grilling season.  I also often sprinkle it in soups or add it to a vinaigrette when I’m craving a zesty salad.  And if you’re feeling adventurous — trust me on this one — it’s actually surprisingly delicious when sprinkled on popcorn too!

However you use it, this homemade taco seasoning recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket.  So go raid your spice drawer, and let’s make a quick batch together!

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Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Sauce

We’re kind of coming full circle here, with Budget Bytes. I started this blog as a log of what I was cooking up in my kitchen with my limited budget and over the years it has grown into a massive recipe development project. But now, with limited grocery access, I’m returning to just showcasing the […]

The post Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re kind of coming full circle here, with Budget Bytes. I started this blog as a log of what I was cooking up in my kitchen with my limited budget and over the years it has grown into a massive recipe development project. But now, with limited grocery access, I’m returning to just showcasing the things I’m cooking up in my kitchen with what I have. These Vegetable Fritters are one of the things I’ve made while isolating at home. It’s just a mish-mash of the vegetables I had on hand in my fridge and freezer, fried up with a simple batter, and served with a sour cream based Garlic Herb sauce. It’s simple, delish, and a great way to use up your leftover vegetables so they don’t go to waste!

Easy Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Dip

Overhead of vegetable fritters on a paper towel lined white tray, with a bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce on the side

What Vegetables Can I Add to the Fritters?

Some other vegetables that would be excellent in these fritters include: cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper. For really soft, high water content vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, and frozen spinach, you probably want to sauté them first to eliminate some of the excess moisture before adding to your fritters. 

No matter what vegetables you plan to add to your fritters, make sure to shred them (using a large-holed cheese grater or food processor), or chop them finely so the fritters hold together better. 

Other Add-ins

If you want to make these cheesy fritters, you can add some grated Parmesan (about ¼ cup) or some shredded cheddar (½ cup) to the batter. Another option is to change up the seasoning. I made my vegetable fritters super simple because I actually enjoy being able to taste the individual vegetables, but you can also experiment with adding different seasonings like ranch powder, Cajun seasoning, or a basic seasoning salt like Lawry’s. Just make sure that if you’re adding a seasoning that already contains salt that you also reduce the salt added to the batter.

How to Serve Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable fritters make a great appetizer or side dish to just about any main. I’d serve them next to something like meatloaf, Glazed Chicken Thighs, Sloppy Joes, Portobello Burgers, or just serve them right on top of a pile of creamy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes (in place of the dipping sauce)

Can I Bake the Fritters?

No, these will not turn out well if baked. They definitely need to be fried in oil to create the correct texture.

How Are the Leftovers?

As with any fried food the fritters do not stay crispy on the edges, but I still find the leftovers to be quite flavorful and delicious! As long as you’re not expecting a crispy fritter, I think they’re quite enjoyable as leftovers. I reheated mine using a microwave, but you could also heat them in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through.

Front view of vegetable fritters on a tray with a small bowl of garlic herb sauce

 
Overhead view of a white tray lined with paper towel, with vegetable fritters and a small bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce
Print

Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce

Use up your leftover frozen and fresh vegetables in this easy and flavorful vegetable fritters recipe, with a side of homemade garlic herb dipping sauce!
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 3 fritters each
Calories 406.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.22
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02

Vegetable Fritters

  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets $1.30
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 carrot $0.07
  • 3 green onions $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour $0.08
  • 2 large eggs $0.47
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil $0.12

Instructions

  • Make the garlic herb dipping sauce first, so the flavors have some time to blend. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate the dip until ready to eat.
  • Allow the broccoli and corn to thaw, or use the defrost function on a microwave thaw to them. Finely chop the broccoli. Peel and grate the carrot using a large-holed cheese grater. Slice the green onions.
  • Add the broccoli, corn, carrots, and green onion to a large bowl. Also add the flour, eggs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet (cast iron, ceramic, or teflon) over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the vegetable fritter batter to the skillet in ¼ cup dollops, pressing the mixture down to a flat pancake once it's in the skillet. Cook the fritters for about 3 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown on both sides. Cook 3 or 4 fritters in the skillet at a time, adding another tablespoon of oil between batches. Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Once all the fritters are cooked, serve while still warm, with the garlic herb sauce for dipping.

Notes

If using other vegetables, use a total of about 3.5 cups finely chopped or shredded vegetables.

Nutrition

Serving: 3fritters | Calories: 406.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.77g | Protein: 11.5g | Fat: 25.53g | Sodium: 992.73mg | Fiber: 5.93g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a vegetable fritter that has been dipped in the garlic herb sauce.

How to Make Vegetable Fritters – Step by Step Photos

A small bowl with garlic herb dipping sauce and a small spatula

Make the garlic herb dipping sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend. This is basically just sour cream plus my All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning (a half batch). It also makes a great chip dip! Stir together ½ cup sour cream, ½ tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp dried basil, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Refrigerate the dip until ready to serve.

Chopped thawed frozen broccoli florets

Thaw ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets and 1 cup frozen corn. Finely chop the broccoli florets.

Shredded carrot with cheese grater

Peel and shred one carrot (about 1 cup once shredded). Slice 3 green onions.

Prepared vegetables in a large bowl

Add the broccoli, carrot, corn, and green onion to a large bowl.

Vegetables in the bowl with flour, eggs, and seasoning.

Also add 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. 

Vegetable fritter batter in the bowl

Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in batter.

Cooked fritters in a skillet

Cook the fritters in batches of 3 to 4 at a time, in a non-stick skillet (any type of non-stick, like cast iron, ceramic, or teflon). Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet before each batch and heat over medium until the skillet is hot and the oil shimmering. Once hot, add the batter, ¼ cup at a time, pressing it down into a pancake once it’s in the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until deeply golden brown.

Cooked vegetable fritters on a paper towel lined plate

Transfer the cooked vegetable fritters to a paper towel lined plate before cooking the next batch.

Overhead view of a white tray lined with paper towel, with vegetable fritters and a small bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce

Once they’re all cooked, serve warm with the garlic herb sauce for dipping!

The post Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice

Ahhh, red beans and rice. This classic dish has been filling hungry bellies on a dime for centuries. It’s rich, flavorful, has a TON of fiber and protein, makes a ton of freezer-friendly leftovers, and is basically a budget cook’s dream. But these classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice do take a little time to […]

The post Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ahhh, red beans and rice. This classic dish has been filling hungry bellies on a dime for centuries. It’s rich, flavorful, has a TON of fiber and protein, makes a ton of freezer-friendly leftovers, and is basically a budget cook’s dream. But these classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice do take a little time to cook, so plan this one for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you’ll be chillin’ at home. Your house will smell amazing and you’ll have food for the whole week!

Originally posted 3-14-2010, updated 2-16-2020. If you prefer the old version, download it here.

Classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

A serving of red beans and rice next to the pot full of red beans.

Are Red Beans and Kidney Beans the Same Thing?

Nope! They’re both red, but they are two different beans. Red beans and rice is traditionally made with “small red beans” but you can use kidney beans if small red beans are not available in your area. Scroll down to my step by step photos after the recipe to see a photo of red beans and kidney beans side by side.

Do I Have to Soak the Red Beans Overnight?

No, there are other options. There are two other “quick soak” methods, but both still take an hour or more. To read more about other methods of soaking your beans, read How to Soak Your Beans from Camellia Beans. 

What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?

Traditionally, red beans and rice is made with Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage originating from France, but also popular in Louisiana. If you can’t find Andouille sausage, you can use any type of smoked pork or beef sausage that is available to you.

Is Red Beans and Rice Spicy?

It can be. The heat level in this recipe will depend on the type of sausage you use and how much cayenne pepper you add. The Andouille sausage I used had a “medium” spice level, and I used 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, so my red beans were moderately spicy. Use a mild sausage and no cayenne pepper to make your red beans mild.

Close up of a spoon scooping some red beans and andouille sausage out of the pot

Is Red Beans and Rice Healthy?

“Healthy” is a very subjective term, but I will say that this classic dish is packed with fiber, protein, and vegetables, which to me makes a quality meal. It is a little high on sodium, but the amount of salt you add at the end of the recipe is totally within your control. If you want to reduce the saturated fat, simply drain the fat from the andouille sausage before adding the vegetables to the pot. And lastly, you can always swap out the white rice for brown rice for even more fiber and nutrients!

Can I Make it Vegetarian?

have successfully made a very delicious pot of red beans and rice without the smoked sausage. To see how it’s done, make sure to visit my recipe for Vegan Red Beans and Rice. (It’s automatically vegan because the only animal product in the recipe is the sausage.)

How to Freeze Red Beans and Rice

As with any food, you want to chill your cooked red beans and rice as quickly as possible after cooking to avoid food safety issues. I recommend dividing the red beans and rice into single portions before refrigerating. This will make it cool down faster, and you’ll already have single portions that can be reheated quickly in the microwave straight from the refrigerator, or freezer. Once the red beans and rice are completely chilled, you can transfer them to the freezer for long term storage (about 3 months).

Overhead view of a pot full of Louisiana Red Beans

 

Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Classic Louisiana style red beans and rice are a naturally budget friendly meal that will give you leftovers for days! Freezer friendly!

  • 1 lb. dry red beans ($1.49)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage ($3.79)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 green bell pepper ($0.69)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.46)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 bay leaves ($0.60)
  • 6 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp salt, or to taste ($0.10)
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice (uncooked) ($0.93)
  • 3 green onions ($0.22)
  1. The night before, add the dry beans to a large bowl with double their volume in water. Allow the beans to soak in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. When you're ready to start cooking, slice the sausage into rounds. Add the cooking oil and sliced sausage to a large pot and cook over medium until the sausage pieces are browned. Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl. Place the cooked sausage in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  3. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Mince the garlic.

  4. After removing the cooked sausage, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot. Sauté over medium heat, allowing the moisture from the vegetables to help dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pot as you stir.

  5. Add the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir and cook for one minute more.

  6. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Add them to the pot along with 6 cups water and give the pot a brief stir to combine the ingredients.

  7. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the pot boil for one hour, stirring occasionally. Replace the lid every time you stir.

  8. After boiling for one hour, the beans should be tender. Begin to smash the beans with the back of a spoon against the side of the pot. Continue smashing the beans and letting the pot simmer without a lid for 30 minutes to thicken the pot.

  9. While the beans are simmering for their final 30 minutes, cook the rice. Add the rice and 3 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without removing the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

  10. Once the red beans have thickened, add the cooked sausage back to the pot along with 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine. Taste the red beans and add salt to your liking. Start with 1 tsp and add more as needed. I used 1 Tbsp total (3 tsp).

  11. Serve the red beans in a bowl topped with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of sliced green onions.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of red beans topped with a scoop of rice, parsley, and green onion.

 

How to Make Red Beans and Rice – Step By Step Photos

Red beans and kidney beans side by side

Red beans and rice is traditionally made with small red beans, but if you can’t find them in your area, you can use red kidney beans (dark or light). You’ll need one pound of dry beans for this recipe.

Soaked Beans in a bowl with water

Soak the beans in water (make sure to use twice as much water as beans) overnight. If you forgot to soak your beans, use one of the other methods described in this article. (this photo is after the beans have been soaking overnight)

Package of andouille sausage

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. This happens to be a 14oz. package, but if yours comes in any size between 12 and 16oz. that will also work. If you can not source Andouille sausage, you can use any other smoked pork or beef sausage.

Browned sausage in pot

Slice the sausage into rounds and add them to a large pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe. If you want to reduce the fat in your red beans, you can drain off most of the fat left behind by the sausage. I left the fat in, though, because it’s super flavorful!

Chopped trinity and garlic

While the sausage is cooking, dice one onion, one green bell pepper, and about three ribs of celery. This trio of flavors (onion, bell pepper, celery) is called “holy trinity.” But I also like to add four cloves of garlic, so mince those up as well.

Onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic in the pot

Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot after removing the sausage. Sauté the vegetables over medium until the onions are soft. Use the moisture from the vegetables to dissolve the browned bits of meat off the bottom of the pot as you stir.

Cajun seasoning added to pot

Once the vegetables have softened, add the Cajun seasoning (2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and about 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper) and two bay leaves. Cook and stir for about a minute more.

Drained red beans and water added to the pot

Drain and rinse the soaked red beans, then add them to the pot with 6 cups of fresh water.

Stir red beans and spices before boiling

Give the pot a brief stir to distribute the spices and other ingredients. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the beans simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Boiled red beans in the pot

After boiling the beans for one hour, the beans should be tender but the pot as a whole will still look pretty watery. To thicken the pot, begin smashing the red beans against the side of the pot with your spoon. Smash the red beans and let it continue to simmer without a lid for an extra 30 minutes. I stood and smashed my beans for about 10 minutes, and let it keep simmering for an extra 20 (30 min total).

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the red beans are in their final 30 minute simmer, cook your rice. Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice to a sauce pot with 3 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot rest for an additional 5 minutes without removing the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.

Thickened pot of red beans

After smashing and simmering for a bit longer, the red beans will have thickened quite a bit. They’ll continue to thicken even more as they cool a bit.

Andouille and parsley added to red beans

Finally, add the cooked Andouille sausage back to the pot along with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine. Taste the red beans and add salt to your liking. You will need at least SOME salt to make the flavors come out in this dish. I added 1 Tbsp for the whole pot, but I suggest starting with 1 tsp and adding more to your liking.

A bowl with Louisiana red beans and rice next to the pot full of cooked red beans

Serve the red beans with a coop of cooked rice on top, and sliced green onion sprinkled over top!

The post Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)
  1. Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.

  3. Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

  4. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

  6. Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).

  7. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  8. Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.

  9. To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 

Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

I’m continuing my new love affair with cottage cheese and experimenting with all the fun things you can do with this inexpensive source of protein. I know a lot of people just can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese, so I wanted to play around with whipping it up into a smooth sauce or dip […]

The post Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m continuing my new love affair with cottage cheese and experimenting with all the fun things you can do with this inexpensive source of protein. I know a lot of people just can’t stand the texture of cottage cheese, so I wanted to play around with whipping it up into a smooth sauce or dip to get rid of the “curds” that turn so many people off. My first experiment was this Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip (using my all-purpose garlic herb seasoning), which turned out amazing and tastes a lot like ranch dip, but with way better nutrition stats. Pair this creamy dip with some vegetables and crackers for dipping and you’ve got a pretty meal-worthy “snack.”

Smooth & Creamy Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip

A platter full of crackers and vegetables with a bowl of garlic herb cottage cheese dip in the center

How to Use Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip (or spread!)

As I was crunching down on my cottage cheese dipped vegetables and crackers, I was thinking of all the delicious ways you could use this dip! In addition to dipping vegetables and crackers, this dip would make an awesome spread for a veggie sandwich or wrap sandwich. And I’d totally spread this all over a toasted bagel if I didn’t have any cream cheese on hand. And while I haven’t tried it, I suspect this would be good stirred into mashed potatoes! 😱

How Long Does it Keep?

You probably don’t want to keep this in your fridge any longer than about 5 days. Dried herbs and spices contain natural yeasts and molds that become activated when hydrated, and they can grow at colder refrigerator temperatures. But hey, this is a small 1 cup batch, so I think you’ll be able to eat it up within that time!

What Kind of Blender do I Need?

I just used my super inexpensive Hamilton Beach single serving blender (the type usually marketed for smoothies), so you definitely don’t need anything super powerful to make this dip. If you have a small food processor, that would also work well. 

What Brand Cottage Cheese Do you Recommend?

Okay, so here’s the thing with cottage cheese: they can vary a LOT from brand to brand. I find that a lot of brands add a lot of extra ingredients in attempt to make the texture and color better, but IMHO those ingredients just end up making it taste a little off. So, I look for brands with the least amount of Ingredients. Daisy is the best I’ve found, but it’s also more expensive. The worst, IMHO, is Kroger brand. This week I used Aldi’s Friendly Farms brand and it fell somewhere in the middle. It’s okay and the price is great, so I rolled with it. Feel free to leave your favorite brand in the comments below! I’d love to hear your fav’s.

4%, Low-fat, or No-fat Cottage Cheese?

I definitely recommend 4% fat cottage cheese for this recipe. The little bit of fat really helps the flavor and mouthfeel of the dip and even though it’s the “highest fat” version available, it’s still far less than sour cream or mayonnaise based dips.

A cracker being dipped into the whipped cottage cheese dip, the platter of vegetables and crackers in the background

Shown in a small Splatterware Collection enamelware bowl.

 

Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

Say goodbye to curds because this Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese Dip is whipped until smooth and creamy for a high protein vegetable and chip dip!

  • 1 tsp dried parsley ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese ($0.53)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($0.01)
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth. You may need to add about 1 Tbsp water if the mixture is too thick to blend, but avoid adding excess water as this will make your dip too thin.

  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

How to Make Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese – Step by Step Photos

all-purpose garlic herb seasoning in a small wooden bowl

Make the All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning by combining 1 Tbsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill).

Add cottage cheese and seasoning to a blender

Add 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 tsp lemon juice, and your garlic herb seasoning to a blender. Purée until smooth, adding a tablespoon of water, if needed, if the mixture is too thick to blend.

A spoon lifting some whipped cottage cheese dip out of the blender

Avoid adding too much water so the dip doesn’t get too watery. It will firm up a bit after being chilled in the refrigerator, too.

A platter full of crackers and vegetables with a bowl of Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip in the center

Serve your whipped cottage cheese dip immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 days! This would be another great dip to include in your meal prep Veggie Snack Packs!

The post Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Making sure I get vegetables into my diet takes daily effort. But one thing I know for sure is that if I have them prepped, I am 1000x more likely to eat them. So this week I made these Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes to hopefully remove one more barrier between me and my […]

The post Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Making sure I get vegetables into my diet takes daily effort. But one thing I know for sure is that if I have them prepped, I am 1000x more likely to eat them. So this week I made these Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes to hopefully remove one more barrier between me and my vegetables.😜

Four glass rectangle meal prep containers with Roasted Vegetable Salads and three small dressing containers

How to Eat Your Roasted Vegetable Salads

This salad is meant to be eaten cold, but you could certainly warm it if you prefer. Warming the salad will cause the spinach to wilt, so it will be more like a sautéed spinach in the dish, which would still be quite delish! You’ll still want to add the dressing after reheating.

Dressing Options

I used my Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing for this salad because I’m still obsessed with it, but I think there are some other suitable options if this one is not your favorite. A green goddess dressing would be amazing, as would a yogurt based Greek salad dressing. 

Vegetable Options

What I love about this meal prep is that you can always change up the vegetables to give it a new flavor. It’s still the tail end of summer, so I am using mostly summer vegetables here. Other great summer vegetable options are eggplant, asparagus, and bell peppers.

When we head into fall and winter I’ll probably start using harder winter vegetables, like sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. Just keep in mind that the hard winter vegetables may take slightly longer to roast.

Other Topping Ideas

I’m all about keeping things simple, but if you have some of these items laying around waiting to be used up, here are some other ingredients that would make great toppings for this roasted vegetable salad: pita bread (cut into wedges), kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, or fresh parsley.

Dressing being poured onto a Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep container

Where can I get those containers??

The glass containers are the 3-cup rectangular Pyrex containers and the dressing cups are 2.5 oz. metal dipping cups. Both were purchased from Amazon, and can be found in the “meal prep” category of my Amazon Shop

 

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

These Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes are an easy, no-reheat, plan-ahead lunch option that will help you get your daily vegetables!

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 cup tahini ($0.75)
  • 1/4 cup warm water ($0.00)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.09)

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa ($1.20)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.99)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 1 zucchini ($0.95)
  • 1 yellow squash ($0.56)
  • 1 red onion ($0.44)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Other

  • 4 cups fresh spinach ($2.15)
  • 1/2 cup hummus ($1.15)
  1. Make the dressing first. In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, onion powder, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, tahini, water, and lemon juice. Stir or whisk until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing as you prepare the rest of the salad.

  2. Begin cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa well in a fine wire mesh sieve. Place the rinsed quinoa in a small sauce pot and add 1.75 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. After letting the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for five minutes. Empty the cooked quinoa out into a casserole dish, spreading it out to increase the surface area. Refrigerate the dish with the quinoa until you're ready to assemble the meal preps.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the grape tomatoes onto a large baking sheet. Slice the onion into 1/4-inch strips. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4-inch wide half-rounds. Cut the mushrooms in half. Mix the vegetables together on the baking sheet. If there are too many to fit in a single layer on the baking sheet, divide them between two baking sheets.

  5. Add the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt to the vegetables. Use your hands to mix the vegetables and seasoning, until the vegetables are well coated in oil.

  6. Roast the vegetables in the preheated 400ºF oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are browned on the edges. Allow the vegetables to cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

  7. To build the meal prep bowls, place one heaping cup of spinach in each dish. Add 1/2 cup of the cooked and cooled quinoa on top of the spinach. Divide the roasted vegetables between the four containers, then add 2 Tbsp hummus to each dish.

  8. Divide the dressing between four small dressing containers. Refrigerate the salads and dressing for up to 4 days.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Four glass containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad and three dressing containers

Step by Step Photos

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl.

Make the Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/4 tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup warm water, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir or whisk until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready to make your salads.

Cooked Quinoa in the pot

Next, begin the quinoa. Rinse 1 cup quinoa well in a fine wire mesh sieve. Place the rinsed quinoa in a small sauce pot, add 1.75 cups water, and place a lid on top. Place the pot over high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Spread out quinoa in a dish to cool

After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the quinoa rest, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Then empty out the quinoa into a shallow dish and spread it out to increase the surface area, so it will cool faster. Refrigerate the quinoa until you’re ready to build your salads.

Whole vegetables for Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Begin preheating the oven to 400ºF. You can use any mix of vegetables for this meal prep (see notes above the recipe for more ideas). I used 8 oz. mushrooms, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 zucchini, and 1 yellow squash.

Chopped vegetables ready to roast on a sheet pan.

Slice the onion into 1/4-inch strips, slice the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/4-inch half-rounds, and cut the mushrooms in half. Leave the tomatoes whole. Combine the vegetables and spread them out onto a large baking sheet so they are in a single layer. Use two sheets if needed to make sure they’re not piled on top of one another. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil and spices.

Roasted vegetables on the sheet pan

Roast the vegetables, stirring every 15 minutes, until they are browned on the edges (about 40 minutes). Let the vegetables cool on the sheet pan for about 10 minutes.

Add spinach and quinoa to meal prep containers

To build the meal prep salads, add a heaping cup of spinach to each container. Then add 1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa to each container.

roasted vegetables and hummus added to containers

Once the vegetables are cool enough that they won’t wilt the spinach, divide the roasted vegetables between the four containers. Add 2 Tbsp hummus to each container.

Divide dressing into containers

Lastly, divide your dressing into four small containers. Refrigerate your roasted vegetable salad up to four days.

Glass meal prep containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad in a row.

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