Savory Oatmeal

It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any […]

The post Savory Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any time of day, and there are so many options for toppings and add-ins, so you can make it work with whatever ingredients you have on hand. This might just end up being your new favorite easy budget meal!

close up side view of a bowl of savory oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best for This Recipe?

You can technically make savory oats with any kind of oats, but the recipe below is written for old-fashioned rolled oats, which cook fairly quickly (about 5 minutes). I find that old-fashioned rolled oats are a nice balance between texture and convenience. Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook and you’ll need more liquid. Quick oats cook faster but don’t provide very much texture.

How to Flavor Savory Oatmeal

Oats on their own have a very bland flavor, and I think that’s why they often get a bad rap. Here are some tips for making sure your savory oatmeal is full of flavor:

  • Cook them in a really flavorful broth. I like to use Better Than Bouillon because it tends to have a nice vibrant flavor. Plus it comes in several flavors and options.
  • Use aromatics. A little bit of fresh garlic or ginger goes a long way! Green onion or shallots are also great.
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend. You could experiment with your favorite bottled seasonings like Everything Bagel Seasoning, jerk seasoning, steak seasoning, furikake, onion salt.
  • Top with your favorite sauce. Try adding a little chili garlic paste, sriracha, or gochujang!

Savory Oatmeal Topping Ideas

In addition to ingredients that can be added into your oatmeal, you can add all sorts of delicious toppings, too! Here are some oatmeal topping ideas:

Can I Make it Ahead?

Yes, savory oatmeal is great for making ahead! You can change the number of servings in the recipe card below and the ingredients will auto adjust for you. After cooking, divide your savory oatmeal into single-serving portions and refrigerate. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring half-way through. If the oatmeal is too thick, just add a splash of water.

Make it Vegan

You can make the savory oatmeal recipe below vegan by swapping out the butter for your favorite cooking oil. Coconut oil would be very nice here because it has a rich mouthfeel, similar to butter.

overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides
overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Savory Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a delicious, hearty, and inexpensive meal that can be customized to use ingredients you have on hand.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 4 mushrooms $0.62
  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.09
  • 1/2 cup spinach $0.19
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and slice the mushrooms.
  • Add the butter, garlic, and ginger to a small saucepot. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the mushrooms have wilted a bit.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the saucepot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.
  • When the broth reaches a boil, add the rolled oats and stir to combine. Allow it to return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • While the oats are simmering, roughly chop the spinach. Stir the spinach into the thickened oats, along with the toasted sesame oil.
  • Taste and add salt to your liking, if needed, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 995mg | Fiber: 5g
Close up of a spoonful of savory oats, the bowl in the background

How to Make Savory Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Butter, garlic, and ginger in a pot

Mince one clove of garlic, grate about ½ tsp of fresh ginger, and slice 3-4 mushrooms. Add the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon butter to a small saucepot. Sauté the garlic and ginger in the butter over medium heat for about one minute.

sautéed mushrooms in the pot

Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the mushrooms have softened.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Add one cup vegetable broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the broth up to a boil.

Oats being poured into the saucepot

When the broth reaches a boil, add ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats.

Cooked savory oatmeal in the saucepot

Allow the broth to come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Chopped spinach stirred into the oats

While the oats are simmering, roughly chop a handful of spinach. Stir the chopped spinach and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil into the oats.

Overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Give it a taste and add salt, if needed. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

A bowl of Savory Oatmeal with an egg on top

It’s also really good with an egg on top!

The post Savory Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, noodles, wraps, and more.

The post Honey Sriracha Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I haven’t made tofu in a while but I can tell you one thing, I’m going to be making this Honey Sriracha Tofu a lot from here on out. These tasty little tofu cubes are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and then drenched in a sweet and spicy sriracha glaze. It’s simple but so addictive! They’re so good that I sat there eating the tofu right out of the pan, nearly polishing off the entire batch myself. 😬 Realistically, you’ll probably want to stretch this out to about four servings as part of a full meal, and I’ve got some great ideas for that below. 😉

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice and cucumber
Serving suggestion: in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

What Kind of Tofu to Use

I suggest using either firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe so that the tofu cubes hold their shape during frying. Even with firm or extra-firm tofu, you’ll want to stir gently to prevent the cubes from crumbling.

To add even more texture in your tofu, you can freeze the tofu (right in the package) and then thaw before pressing. This makes the tofu a little more dense and texturized, rather than soft and smooth.

Can I Substitute the Sriracha?

Sriracha is the main flavor in this recipe and it provides several flavor elements to the sauce like heat, acidity, garlic, and salt. You could potentially substitute it with another chili sauce, like chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek, or maybe even gochujang. But if you’re looking for a non-spicy option, it will take several ingredients to replace all the flavors contained in the sriracha. I suggest using this recipe for Pan Fried Sesame Tofu as a non-spicy alternative.

Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Make it Vegan

To make this honey sriracha tofu vegan you only need to swap one ingredient—honey. Substitute the honey with either brown sugar or agave nectar. Brown sugar is my top choice because I love the deep flavors that the molasses in the brown sugar provides.

Use Non-Stick Cookware for Best Results

Cornstarch helps create a nice crispy coating on the tofu, but cornstarch also likes to stick to cookware. For that reason, I suggest using some type of non-stick cookware, whether that be ceramic, cast iron, or Teflon.

How to Serve Honey Sriracha Tofu

Do as I say and don’t do as I do (almost eat the entire batch straight out of the skillet). Use this honey sriracha tofu to top salads, like Crunchy Cabbage Salad or Cold Peanut Noodle Salad. Make it into a bowl meal with rice and cooling cucumbers (as pictured) and maybe some Peanut Lime Dressing. Or add it to some noodles like these Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens or Garlic Noodles. You could even stuff it into a big tortilla with Crunchy Cabbage Salad and make it a wrap!

Honey sriracha tofu in the skillet with a spatula, ingredients on the sides
Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, wraps, and more.
Total Cost $2.64 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Press Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 161kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, divided $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture. You can do this by either using a tofu press, or placing the block of tofu on a rimmed plate or tray, then topping with something flat like a cutting board and placing a heavy object on top (cast iron skillet or pot of water). After pressing for 30 minutes, pour off the extra liquid.
  • While the tofu is pressing, make the honey sriracha sauce. In a small bowl, combine the sriracha, honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and the crushed red pepper. Set the sauce aside.
  • Cut the pressed tofu into ½-inch cubes. Use a paper towel to lightly pat dry the tofu cubes.
  • Add the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the soy sauce into the oil. Add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated in oil and soy sauce.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cornstarch over the cubed tofu and gently stir. Repeat two more times, or until 3 teaspoon (1 Tablespoon) cornstarch has been added to the tofu.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium. When the skillet is hot, add the prepared tofu. The tofu will fry in the oil that is coating the cubes. Cook the tofu, stirring only occasionally, until it is brown and crispy on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Pour the honey sriracha sauce over the tofu and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the glaze is thick and sticky.
  • Top the honey sriracha tofu with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 405mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with cucumber

How to Make Honey Sriracha Tofu – Step by Step Photos

Homemade tofu press with cutting boards and cast iron skillet

Drain one 14oz. block of firm or extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu for 30 minutes using either a tofu press, or a homemade press like in the photo above. To make the homemade press, place the block of tofu on a plate or rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and a heavy object, like a cast-iron skillet or pot of water.

honey sriracha sauce

While the tofu is pressing, prepare the honey sriracha sauce. Stir together 2 Tablespoons sriracha, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper.

pressed tofu with liquid all around the dish

You can see how much more liquid came out of the block of tofu after pressing for 30 minutes. Pour off the excess liquid.

Cubed tofu on a cutting board

Cut the block of tofu into ½-inch cubes and lightly pat dry with a paper towel.

cooking oil and soy sauce in a large bowl

Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil and one teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Whisk until they are somewhat combined, then add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated.

cubed tofu in the bowl with cornstarch

Add one teaspoon cornstarch to the bowl with the tofu and gently stir again. Repeat two more times until you’ve added 3 teaspoons (or one tablespoon) cornstarch and the tofu is coated.

cooked tofu cubes in a skillet

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the tofu. The tofu is coated in oil, so there is no need to add extra oil to the skillet. Cook the tofu, stirring occasionally, until it is golden brown and crispy on all sides.

honey sriracha sauce being poured over the tofu in the skillet

Pour the prepared honey sriracha sauce over the tofu.

finished honey sriracha tofu in the skillet garnished with sliced green onions

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes more or until the sauce is thick and sticky. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds

The post Honey Sriracha Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things […]

The post Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat. But these days I’m a busy person, so when I got the craving for those tasty meat pies I just whipped up the curried ground beef filling and ate it in a bowl instead of fiddling with dough and stuffing it into hand pies. It was still totally satisfying and way easier. There are a few different ways you can serve this curried ground beef, so keep reading to see some options!

Originally posted 10-10-2012, updated 9-4-2021.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

What Kind of Beef to Use

Since the spices and aromatics are going in the skillet before the beef, you won’t want to have to drain off any fat after browning the ground beef, or else you’ll lose some of the flavor. For that reason, you’ll want to use a lower fat ground beef, maybe 10-15% max. Having some fat is good for flavor, but you don’t want it pooling in the bottom of the skillet.

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

Curry powder blends can vary a LOT from brand to brand, so it’s important to choose one that you’re familiar with and that you know you like. The kind I happen to be using today is 365 brand curry powder, but I’ve also enjoyed Sharwood’s brand in the past. You can use a mild curry powder, or spicy if you prefer. If you’d like to try making your own homemade curry powder, here is a great recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Up.

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

This dish is quite filling on its own since it contains meat, potatoes, and vegetables, but I like to add a little bread on the side. I love serving naan with this curried ground beef so I can scoop up some of the beef mixture with the piece of naan and get everything in one bite (just like those meat pies I used to eat, but open-faced!). You could also serve the curried beef over a bed of rice for a little extra inexpensive filler. 

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Yes! This mixture is so flexible. If you want to incorporate a few extra vegetables, consider adding a diced onion, sliced carrots, and maybe even broccoli. If you want to swap out the potatoes for a lower carb option, you can use small cauliflower florets.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a bowl with naan in the side

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

Meat and potatoes come together with savory curry powder in this super simple weeknight curried ground beef skillet.
Total Cost $7.91 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 293kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp turmeric $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef (15% fat or less) $5.49
  • 1 russet potato (¾ lb.) $0.63
  • 1 cup beef broth $0.13
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and cooking oil to a large deep skillet. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and crushed red pepper and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet with the spices and sauté until the beef is cooked through.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and cube the potato into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potato and beef broth to the skillet. Stir to combine with the ground beef. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to continue to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid in place (stir occasionally). After ten minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.
  • Finally, stir the frozen peas into the beef and potato mixture and heat through. Give the curry beef a taste and add salt to taste (about ½ tsp). Top with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g

close up of a scoop of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in front of the skillet

How to Make Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes – Step By Step Photos

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and grating about 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to a skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for one to two minutes.

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

Next, add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) to the skillet. Continue to sauté over medium heat for about one more minute to toast the spices.

Browned ground beef in the skillet

Add one pound of ground beef to the skillet and continue sautéing until it is cooked through.

Cubed potato on a cutting board

While the beef is browning, peel and cube one russet potato into ½-inch pieces. My potato was about ¾ lb. total, but it’s flexible so you can add a little more or less if you have it.

cubed potato in the skillet with beef, broth being poured in the side

Once the beef is browned, add the cubed potato and one cup beef broth. Stir to combine.

Spatula pulling beef and potatoes to the side to show no liquid in the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the skillet simmer for about 10 minutes, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes the potatoes should be nice and tender. Remove the lid and let it simmer a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

Add one cup of frozen peas to the skillet and stir to combine, then allow the peas to heat through.

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

Give the curried beef with peas and potatoes a taste and add salt to your liking (I added about ½ teaspoon). 

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

Side view of a bowl of curried beef with peas, naan in the side of the bowl

The post Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Oven baked chicken drumsticks are the perfect easy dinner idea that can be flavored with any of your favorite seasonings.

The post Baked Chicken Drumsticks appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You guys know how I love easy dinner staples, right? Baked chicken drumsticks are exactly that—an easy, no-brainer main dish recipe that you make with barely any planning or effort. Just coat the chicken with your favorite seasoning, toss them in the oven, and then focus on your side dishes or whatever else you have going on in your life while the drumsticks cook themselves. They’re easy, tasty, and the perfect “emergency” meal for when you just don’t want to have to think about, “what’s for dinner?”

Close up side view of oven baked chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet

Use Bone-In, Skin-On Drumsticks (or Thighs)

Dark meat chicken, like drumsticks and thighs, is very forgiving, especially when cooked with the bone-in and skin on. The skin helps hold in the moisture and the higher fat content of the meat helps it stay tender and juicy. You can swap in bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs using the same method in the recipe below.

Chicken breast needs a slightly different technique because it is a leaner cut of meat. For a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast I suggest using the method in my Herb Roasted Chicken Breast recipe. Boneless skinless chicken breast should be cooked using the method in my Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast recipe.

Other Seasoning Ideas for Baked Chicken Drumsticks

I used a very classic mix of smoked paprika, garlic, onion, and oregano for my baked chicken drumsticks, but you can literally use any seasoning blend you like for this. There is so much flexibility! Here are a few ideas for seasoning your oven-baked chicken drumsticks:

Want some sauce for dipping? Try these delicious sauces with your baked chicken:

What to Serve with Chicken Drumsticks

I made some Easy Cheesy Broccoli Rice to serve on the side of my chicken drumsticks, but it would also go great with classics like: mashed potatoes, Three Bean Salad, Oven Roasted Broccoli, Simple Sautéed Vegetables, Roasted Potatoes, or Classic Coleslaw.

Baked chicken drumsticks on a plate with easy cheesy broccoli and rice
Oven roasted chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs

Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Oven baked chicken drumsticks are the perfect easy dinner idea that can be flavored with any of your favorite seasonings.
Total Cost $3.94 recipe / $0.66 per piece
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 pieces
Calories 254kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1.75 lbs. chicken drumsticks (6 pieces) $3.42
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil* $0.32

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks in a bowl and drizzle the cooking oil over top. Sprinkle the prepared seasoning over the drumsticks, then toss until they're evenly coated in oil and spices.
  • Place the seasoned drumsticks on a baking sheet with enough space around each so they're not touching. You can line the baking sheet with foil or parchment for easier cleanup, if desired.
  • Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 175ºF, flipping the drumsticks once half-way through. Serve hot.

Notes

*You can use your favorite high-heat cooking oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1drumstick | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g
Oven roasted chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs

How to Make Baked Chicken Drumsticks – Step by Step Photos

herbs and spices in a small bowl

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Decide what herbs and spices you want to use to season your drumsticks (see the text above the recipe for some ideas). I used a simple mix of 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and ½ tsp salt.

Seasoning being sprinkled over chicken drumsticks

Place about 1.75 lbs. chicken drumsticks in a large bowl and drizzle 2 Tbsp of your preferred cooking oil over top.

Seasoned chicken drumsticks in a bowl.

Toss the drumsticks in the oil and spices until everything is evenly coated.

Raw seasoned chicken on a baking sheet

Arrange the chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet spaced out enough so they are not touching. You can line the baking sheet in parchment for easier cleanup if desired.

baked drumsticks on a baking sheet

Bake the chicken drumsticks for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 175ºF.

baked chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs, garnished with parsley

Serve hot and enjoy! (garnished with parsley for color, not needed for flavor)

The post Baked Chicken Drumsticks appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy […]

The post Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy honey Dijon dressing drenches the salad in tons of flavor. Throw a few sweet golden raisins on top for a pop of sweetness and you’ve got salad magic. And the best part? All of these ingredients hold up well to refrigeration, so this salad is perfect for your weekly meal prep. 🙌

Originally posted 7-28-2014, updated 8-16-2021.

Dressing being poured over a kale and chicken salad

If you love regular chicken salad, I think you’ll love this kale and chicken salad as well. It has all the same flavors as traditional chicken salad, but the ingredients are piled onto a bed of greens and the dressing is made slightly thinner so that it’s pourable instead of acting like a thick binder. And just as with regular chicken salad, there is a lot of room for customization here, so keep reading for some ideas.

Can I Use Different Greens?

Sure! If you’re not into kale, you can swap it out with your favorite greens. I think a crunchy green like Romaine or finely shredded cabbage would probably be best, but you could use any green that you like to use for fresh salads.

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I used plain chicken breast that I cooked quickly in a skillet and then diced, but you can take a shortcut and use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. You’ll need about 1.5 cups of chopped cooked chicken for this recipe. 

Raisin Substitutes

I love the mildly sweet golden raisins in this recipe, but you could swap them out with dried cranberries, chopped apples for more crunch, or even fresh grapes (sliced). 

Dressing Options

If you don’t want to make your own homemade dressing for this salad, a store-bought honey mustard or poppyseed dressing would be awesome with the flavors in this salad.

How to Meal Prep Kale and Chicken Salad

The sturdy, crunchy nature of the ingredients in this salad means that it holds up extremely well to refrigeration without much effort. I would store the dressing on the side just to maintain maximum crunch-factor, but other than that, all of the ingredients can be stored together in single-serving containers. The prepped salads will stay good in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

Side view of dressing being poured onto kale and chicken salad

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is full of flavor, texture, and a tangy-sweet homemade dressing. It's perfect for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $8.29 recipe / $2.07 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1.5 cups chopped cooked chicken $4.33
  • 6 cups chopped kale $1.25
  • 1 cup chopped celery $0.37
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds $0.79
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins $0.47

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.50
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey $0.27
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.09
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the cooked chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Clean the celery and chop into similar small bite-sized pieces.
  • Remove the kale from the stems, tear it into 1-2 inch pieces, rinse well in a colander, and drain well.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, and pepper.
  • To build the salad, start with a base of kale, top with the chopped chicken and celery, almonds, and raisins. Drizzle the dressing over top, toss until everything is coated, then enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 444mg | Fiber: 2g
Love kale salads? Try these other awesome kale salads:

Tossed kale and chicken salad in a bowl next to the serving platter full of kale salad

How to Make Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in the skillet

You can us any pre-cooked chicken for this recipe and you’ll need about 1.5 cups once chopped. I used one chicken breast (⅔ lb. total) that I filleted into two thinner pieces so that it would cook quickly in a skillet. Once browned on the outside and cooked through, I simply let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then chopped it into small pieces.

Salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

While my chicken was cooling, I made the dressing. This dressing is very similar to a dressing you’d use for chicken salad, but it’s a little bit thinner so it’s pourable and will easily coat all of the kale. In a bowl, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Washed kale in a colander

Next, prep the kale. I used bagged kale that comes pre-chopped because it’s super convenient and just about the same price as bunched kale. If your kale is still on the stem, simply pull it off the stem and tear it into 1-2 inch pieces. Rinse it in a colander and then let it drain well. Watery salad is never good. I used ½ of a one-pound bag, or about 6 cups of chopped leaves.

Chopped celery on a cutting board

Next, dice two ribs of celery, or about 1 cup once chopped.

chopped chicken on a cutting board

Chop the cooked chicken to similar sized pieces (about 1.5 cups chopped).

Kale salad topped with chicken and celery

Then just build your salad(s)! You can either build one large salad or build it as four smaller single-serving portions. Start with your bed of chopped kale, then add the chopped chicken and celery…

raisins and almonds added to the salad

Then add ⅓ cup almonds (sliced or slivered) and ⅓ cup golden raisins.

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Pour your dressing over top just before serving.

tossed kale salad in a bowl next to the serving platter

Toss to coat everything in dressing and enjoy! (I added a little extra cracked black pepper on top because I love pepper!)

The post Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a vibrant soup that’s great any time of year.

The post Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ll just admit it. I love salsa so much that sometimes I wish I could eat it with a spoon as if it were soup. So that’s basically what I did. I made a homemade salsa with roasted vegetables, combined it with black beans to make the soup more filling, and added some fresh cilantro and lime to freshen things up. This soup is colorful, flavorful, and is giving me all the salsa vibes. I wouldn’t even say no to crushing some tortilla chips on top of the bowl!

Originally posted 12-13-2010, updated 8-11-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of black bean and roasted salsa soup, cornbread and limes on the side

This soup is based off of my Fire Roasted Salsa recipe, which is one of my absolute favorite salsa recipes. It’s made with fresh vegetables that are oven roasted until they’re all sweet and caramelized on the edges. The flavor is absolutely amazing!

Add More to Your Soup

You know I love flexible recipes, and this black bean and roasted salsa soup is no exception. You can have tons of fun by adding ingredients or toppings to make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • For a creamier soup, stir in some cream, sour cream, plain yogurt or cream cheese
  • Add a few chipotle peppers in adobe sauce for a smokier, spicier soup
  • If you’re in a meaty mood, chorizo would be a perfect addition
  • Top the soup with a variety of garnishes:
    • Avocados
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Crushed tortilla chips
    • Green Onion
    • Cilantro
    • Pico de gallo
    • Lime wedges

What to Serve with Roasted Salsa Soup

I served my soup as a main with some Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread on the side, but this soup would also be great served as a side with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center
Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center

Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a  vibrant soup that's great any time of year.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $1.35 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 1.33 cups each
Calories 195kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma tomatoes $1.43
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 poblano peppers $1.44
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 2 15oz. cans black beans $1.60
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided $0.39
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 lime $0.67

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the Roma tomatoes in half. Cut the yellow onion into chunks. Remove the stem and seeds from the red bell pepper and jalapeño, then cut them in half. Peel the garlic. Leave the poblano peppers whole. Place the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, and poblano on a large baking sheet. Drizzle cooking oil over top, then toss until everything is coated.
  • Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they are well browned on the edges, stirring once half-way through.
  • Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the pepper. Remove the skin, then open the peppers and scrape out the seeds.
  • Add the roasted vegetables and fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender and pulse until the vegetables are about half-puréed. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Drain the canned beans and add them to the food processor with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse until the beans are puréed. Pour the puréed beans into the soup pot along with the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and cumin.
  • Stir the contents of the soup pot until everything is evenly combined. Turn the heat on to medium, and bring the soup up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and add salt to taste (about ¾ tsp). Squeeze about 1 Tbsp juice from the lime and add stir that into the soup as well. Taste and adjust the lime or salt to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cup | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 769mg | Fiber: 10g
black bean and roasted salsa soup in a Dutch oven garnished with cilantro

How to Make Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup – Step By Step Photos

prepped vegetables on a baking sheet with oil being drizzled over top

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice 6 Roma tomatoes in half. Cut one yellow onion into chunks. Cut one red bell pepper and one jalapeño in half, then scrape the seeds out. Peel four cloves of garlic. Leave 2 poblano peppers whole. Add all the vegetables to a large baking sheet, then drizzle 2 Tbsp of your favorite cooking oil over top. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil.

Roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they’re well browned on the edges, stirring once halfway through.

Peeled poblanos on a cutting board one with the seeds scraped out

Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the flesh. Peel the poblanos, then open them up and scrape out the seeds.

Roasted vegetables in a food processor

Add the roasted vegetables and about ½ cup fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender.

puréed vegetables in the food processor

Pulse the vegetables until they’re about half puréed (I like to leave it just slightly chunky so you can see all the separate colors). Pour the vegetables into a large soup pot.

puréed beans in a food processor

Drain two cans of black beans and add them to the food processor with one cup of vegetable broth. Puré until mostly smooth.

Vegetable broth being poured into the soup pot with vegetables and beans

Pour the beans into the soup pot with the vegetables and add the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and ½ tsp cumin. Stir until everything is combined.

Finished soup in the pot with salt and lime on the side

Bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and lime juice. I added ¾ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp lime juice, but start small and add according to your taste buds.

Overhead view of a bowl full of black bean and roasted salsa soup with a spoon in the center

The post Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.

The post Sweet Corn Salsa appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve never raw fresh sweet corn, let this recipe be a sign that you totally need to try it. Fresh sweet corn is one of the best parts of summer and when it’s raw it is deliciously sweet, crunchy, and *juicy*. And this Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa is the perfect way for you to dip your toes into the waters and experience the awesomeness that is raw sweet corn.

Overhead view of a bowl of sweet corn salsa with lime and salt on the side

What’s in Corn Salsa?

I like to keep things simple in life, so I made my corn salsa super simple, kind of like a pico de gallo with corn. It has fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. That’s it! It hits all my favorite flavor elements: sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy!

Do You Have to Use Fresh Corn?

You don’t have to use fresh corn for this salsa, but it’s definitely going to make the salsa top-notch. If you want to make this salsa in the off-season or just don’t have good fresh corn available, the next best choice would be frozen corn. I don’t suggest canned corn for this recipe because it will definitely throw the flavor off since it is canned in liquid that usually contains both sugar and salt.

If you want to use fresh corn but just don’t want to use raw corn, grilling the corn first will give this salsa a nice smokey flavor. You can also just do your usual boil, steam, or oven roasting.

If you need help knowing how to pick the best fresh corn, check out this short tutorial from Taste of Home about How to Pick the Best Corn.

What Else Can You Add?

If you do want to fancy it up some, here are some other great flavors that would be awesome in corn salsa:

  • Avocado (the fat will balance the heat nicely)
  • Cotija cheese
  • Green onion (a great sub for red onion, if needed)
  • Black beans
  • Red bell pepper

How to Serve Corn Salsa

Corn salsa is that great all-purpose summer condiment or side. You can serve it on things or just as a sort of side salad to your meal. I served mine this week on top of my Fish Tacos, but it would also be great with Beef Taco Skillet, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Easy Cilantro Chicken, Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Close up shot of fresh corn salsa from the side
overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.
Total Cost $2.65 recipe / $0.44 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Calories 83kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 ears sweet corn $0.90
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.93
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.07
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.17
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Remove the husks and silk from the fresh corn. Cut the stem off the bottom to create a flat, stable surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear of corn upright, stem side down, and slice downward with a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Place the sliced kernels in a large bowl.
  • Dice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice the red onion, and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro to the bowl with the corn.
  • Juice the lime then drizzle about 2 Tbsp of the juice on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over top, give everything a good stir, taste, then adjust the lime or salt to your liking. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g
side view of a bowl full of fresh sweet corn salsa

How to Make Sweet Corn Salsa – Step by Step Photos

corn kernels sliced off an ear of corn in a baking tray

Remove the husk and silk from three ears of fresh sweet corn. Slice the stem off the bottom to create a flat surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear up on its end, then use a sharp knife to slice downward to remove the kernels. I like to do this on a rimmed baking sheet to catch the kernels as they fall.

Diced roma tomatoes on a cutting board

Dice three Roma tomatoes. Try to make it a small dice, similar in size to the corn kernels.

Diced jalapeño, red onion, and chopped cilantro

Remove the seeds from one jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion and roughly chop about ¼ cup fresh cilantro.

lime juice being drizzled over the bowl of salsa ingredients

Add the corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro to a bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lime, then add about 2 Tbsp of the juice to the bowl. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt over top.

Stirred fresh corn salsa in the bowl

Stir until everything is combined and coated in juice and salt.

overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. If refrigerating, make sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the juices.

The post Sweet Corn Salsa appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which […]

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which is great when it’s 100 degrees outside. I like to keep my tacos pretty simple (in this case just fish, slaw, jalapeño, and avocado), but I’ve got some suggestions for extra toppings below if you want them! ;)

Originally posted 3-27-2015, updated 7-15-2021.

Overhead view of fish tacos on a platter, toppings on the sides

What’s in a Fish Taco?

For these fish tacos, I seasoned some white fish filets with a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, then cooked them up quickly in a skillet. I topped them with tangy Cumin Lime Coleslaw, a slice of creamy avocado, and a couple super thin slices of jalapeño. It’s the perfect mix of earthy, spicy, creamy, and tangy. 

What Kind of Fish is Best for Tacos?

I used cod fillets for my fish tacos because they have a mild flavor that can be easily paired with any seasoning or toppings. You could also use something like tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. I usually get the best prices on frozen fillets, and they usually come individually wrapped, so you can thaw as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later. 

What Else Can I Add?

Tacos are fun because you can get creative with the toppings. If you want to swap out some of the toppings I used for something else, or just want to add to what is listed in the recipe below, here are some ideas:

What Kind of Tortillas?

Corn tortillas are the traditional option for tacos, but go ahead and use whatever you like best. Cooking is about doing what works for you. So if you like flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells better or happen to have those on hand, use them. :) If you’re using corn tortillas, make sure to toast them before making your tacos so they get that deliciously toasty corn flavor (otherwise they kind of taste like nothing). And keep in mind that if you use larger tortillas you’ll get fewer tacos out of the ingredients listed below.

What to Serve with Fish Tacos

Two tacos does not a meal make, so here are some ideas for sides:

Side view of fish tacos on a platter

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

These super easy Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw are light, fresh, and the perfect quick dinner for hot summer nights, or any night!
Total Cost $9.17 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (2 Tacos each)
Calories 437kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.75
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Tacos

  • 8 small corn tortillas $0.80
  • 2 tsp chili powder $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. cod fillets* $4.96
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced $0.15

Instructions

  • Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
  • Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
  • Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
  • Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
  • Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.

Notes

*You can use just about any type of white fish for this, like tilapia, mahi mahi, or halibut.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tacos | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Fish Tacos – Step by Step Photos

corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet

If you’re using corn tortillas you’ll want to toast them before making your tacos. This gives them more flavor and helps make them a bit more sturdy. I do this in a dry skillet over fairly high heat, but if you have a gas range you can do it right over an open flame (just a second or two on each side). You can keep them warm on a plate covered with foil.

Cumin lime slaw ingredients in a bowl, dressing being poured

Next, prepare the cumin lime coleslaw so it’s ready to go when the fish finishes cooking. To make the dressing, stir together 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp slat, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ½ tsp sugar. Place ½ of a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a bowl with 2 sliced green onions. Pour the dressing over top. You can also wait to pour the dressing over until just before serving, if preferred.

finished cumin lime coleslaw in bowl

Stir to coat the vegetables in dressing, then refrigerate until ready to build your tacos. 

Seasoned fish fillets

Next, make the seasoning mix for the fish. Combine 2 tsp chili powder (this is a mild blend of chiles and other spices), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt. Cut 1 lb. fish into taco-sized pieces (in this case I had four fillets, so I cut each in half for one piece per taco). Season the fish on both sides with the prepared spice mix.

Fish cooked in the skillet

Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the fish will be opaque and easily flake when cooked). Repeat with a little more oil and the second batch of fish.

Tacos being built

To build the tacos, place one piece of fish in each tortilla, add one slice of avocado, a small scoop of cumin lime coleslaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño.

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

If you have leftover lime from making the slaw, slice it into wedges to serve with the tacos.

close up of a fish taco in a hand

Enjoy that summery goodness!

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

“Everything But the Bagel” Sandwich Rounds

These easy Sandwich Rounds are made with a simple no-knead dough and topped with a healthy dose of “everything but the bagel” seasoning!

The post “Everything But the Bagel” Sandwich Rounds appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I know these Sandwich Rounds may look kind of like bagels, but they’re not. They’re no-knead focaccia in an “Everything But The Bagel” disguise! That’s right, it’s my same no-knead focaccia dough in a convenient single-serving round shape and topped with a delicious dose of Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Perfect for building epic homemade sandwiches and WAY easier than making actual bagels!

EBTB Sandwich Rounds on a cooling rack with tongs next to a bowl of seasoning

What is Everything But the Bagel Seasoning?

“Everything but the bagel” seasoning is that same chunky mix of dried onion, garlic, salt, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds that you find on top of an “everything” flavored bagel. This seasoning is super delish and adds tons of flavor and texture wherever it’s sprinkled! It was popularized by Trader Joe’s a few years back and can now be found in just about every grocery store (I got mine at ALDI). But if you can’t find it at your local store, here’s a recipe for homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning from Two Peas & Their Pod.

What is the Texture of This Bread?

Since this is made with the same dough as my No-Knead Focaccia, it’s definitely a more “sturdy” bread. If you’re into soft white bread, this isn’t the recipe for you. This bread is for those that like bread that can stand up to their sandwich toppings without getting soggy. A bread that can handle being doused in Italian dressing. These sandwich rounds won’t bow under pressure!

Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour?

I’ve had success making my no-knead focaccia with up to ½ of the all-purpose flour replaced with whole wheat, but when you go beyond that the bread does tend to get really dense. Even with ½ whole wheat you’re probably going to need to increase the water a bit, as whole wheat flour tends to absorb more moisture.

These Sandwich Rounds Are Freezer Friendly

One of the best parts about making your own bread is that you can keep in the freezer and have fresh, homemade bread on hand all the time. To store your sandwich rounds in the freezer, make sure to let them cool to room temperature first. Then transfer them to a gallon-sized freezer bag and place them in the freezer. They’ll be good for about three months. To thaw, either let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, or microwave for about 30 seconds. Otherwise, they’ll be good in the fridge for about 3-4 days (air-tight container).

A sandwich made with the EBTB Sandwich round next to the rest of the batch on a cooling rack
EBTB Sandwich Rounds on a cooling rack with tongs

“Everything But the Bagel” Sandwich Rounds

These easy Sandwich Rounds are made with a simple no-knead dough and topped with a healthy dose of “everything but the bagel” seasoning.
Total Cost $1.54 recipe / $0.26 each
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 179kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus some for dusting) $0.30
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (or bread machine yeast) $0.45
  • 1.25 cups water $0.00
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp Everything But The Bagel Seasoning $0.60

Instructions

  • Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl and stir until very well combined.
  • Add the water and olive oil and stir until a sticky ball of dough forms. There should be no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Loosley cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size and is very fluffy and bubbly in texture.
  • Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and use your hands to scrape it down off the sides of the bowl. Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. The dough will be very loose and sticky, so use flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and work surface.
  • Divide the dough into six pieces, then shape each into a ball. Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 4 to 5-inch diameter circle. Place the flattened circles on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Brush a thin layer of water on top of each round, then sprinkle about one teaspoon of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning onto each one. Let the sandwich rounds rise for 30 minutes.
  • Toward the end of the rise time, begin preheating the oven to 400ºF. Use your fingers to press dimples down into each sandwich round (this helps them stay flat as they bake).
  • Once the oven is fully preheated, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the sandwich rounds for about 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
  • Remove them from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. The crust may seem really hard immediately after they come out of the oven, but they will soften as they cool. Once cooled serve or store in the refrigerator (3-4 days) or freezer (3 months), in an air-tight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich round | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 558mg | Fiber: 2g
Side view of a sandwich made on an EBTB Sandwich Round

How to Make EBTB Sandwich Rounds – Step by Step Photos

Dry ingredients for sandwich rounds in a bowl

Stir together 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tsp instant yeast (or bread machine yeast) and ¾ tsp salt. Make sure they’re very well combined.

Water being poured into the bowl of flour

Add 1.25 cups water and 1 Tbsp olive oil.

Sticky bread dough in the bowl

Stir until it forms a sticky ball of dough. There should be no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. Loosely cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature for two hours.

Risen dough being scraped from the sides of the bowl

After two hours the dough should have doubled in size and should be very fluffy and bubbly in texture. Sprinkle some flour on top to keep it from sticking (because it WILL be sticky), then use your hands to scrape it off the sides of the bowl.

Dough divided into six pieces

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into six pieces.

Rolled out dough rounds

Use flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Shape each piece into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a flattened circle about 4 to 5-inches in diameter.

Water being brushed on top of the sandwich rounds

Place the flattened rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush a thin layer of water on top of each one (this helps the seasoning stick).

Seasoning being sprinkled on top of sandwich rounds

Sprinkle about one teaspoon of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning on top of each round. Let the rounds rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Risen sandwich rounds

Toward the end of the rise time, begin preheating the oven to 400ºF. Once risen, use your fingers to press dimples into the sandwich rounds. This helps them stay flat as they bake.

Baked sandwich rounds

Bake the sandwich rounds in the fully preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

A stack of EBTB sandwich rounds on a cooling rack

Transfer the sandwich rounds to a cooling rack to cool until room temperature, then serve or save for later! Once cooled, I keep mine in an air-tight container either in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for up to about 3 months.

The post “Everything But the Bagel” Sandwich Rounds appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Summer Gazpacho

When the summer heat is at full blast and the last thing you want to do is cook, it’s time to make Gazpacho. It’s cold, refreshing, it only takes a few minutes to make, and you never have to turn on the stove. Plus, the leftovers are *chef’s kiss* delicious, so you can eat for […]

The post Summer Gazpacho appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When the summer heat is at full blast and the last thing you want to do is cook, it’s time to make Gazpacho. It’s cold, refreshing, it only takes a few minutes to make, and you never have to turn on the stove. Plus, the leftovers are *chef’s kiss* delicious, so you can eat for the next few days with no extra work! So hit up those summer farmers’ markets, grab some fresh produce, and let’s make some gazpacho!

Originally posted 5-3-2010, updated 7-3-2021.

side view of three bowls of summer gazpacho topped with avocado

What is Gazpacho?

Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup made with puréed vegetables and other ingredients like bread, herbs, or even fruit. It kind of reminds me of salsa, but with a different flavor profile (so if you’ve ever been tempted to eat salsa straight, gazpacho might be for you). This recipe originated in the Iberian peninsula, namely Portugal and Spain, and has since spread around the world. And like many recipes that have been around for hundreds of years, there are many interpretations of this classic summer soup. 

My interpretation of gazpacho is definitely a little non-traditional. For one, I used canned crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice (like V8) in place of fresh tomatoes. Yes, this will make some people clutch their pearls, but I like the full-bodied flavor that the crushed tomatoes bring to the party. Second, I don’t use bread in my gazpacho, which is a common ingredient in traditional gazpacho recipes. Blending a soft bread into the soup gives it an almost creamy flavor and is another way of adding body, so the soup isn’t too watery.

How Do You Serve Gazpacho?

CHILLED. While this soup is pretty tasty even at room temperature, it’s ultra-refreshing when chilled and can really take the edge off that intense summer heat. I like to serve it with some crusty bread on the side for dipping, because every meal is better with a little crusty bread on the side, IMHO. It would also be great with some garlic bread, a grilled cheese sandwich, or even some cold pasta salad on the side. And if you want to add a little protein, a few cooled cooked shrimp would be marvelous in this soup!

What Else Can I Add?

Gazpacho is wonderful because it’s very flexible, and that’s another reason there are so many interpretations of this delicious soup. Here are some other ingredients you can toss in, if you have them on hand:

  • Fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives)
  • Soft bread (as mentioned above, this makes the soup almost creamy and gives it body)
  • Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar in place of the lemon juice
  • Red bell pepper
  • Jalapeño
  • Avocado (try blending it into the soup for a creamy texture, instead of using it as a topping)
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatillos

In addition to adding ingredients into your gazpacho, you can have a lot of fun with the toppings. Here are some ideas for topping your gazpacho:

  • Steamed shrimp (cooled)
  • Croutons 
  • A drizzle of pesto
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A drizzle of chile oil
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • A spoonful of corn salsa
  • Fresh chopped herbs
  • Flakey sea salt
  • A pinch of crumbled feta

Overhead view of three bowls of summer gazpacho

Overhead view of three bowls of summer gazpacho

Summer Gazpacho

This cold, refreshing Summer Gazpacho is the easiest no-cook recipe for when the weather is hot and summer produce is at its best!
Total Cost $3.83 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 184kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.69
  • 1 cup vegetable juice (like V8) $0.35
  • 1/2 sweet onion (about 1 cup chopped) $0.40
  • 1/2 cucumber (about 2 cups chopped) $0.50
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley $0.35
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 tsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 1 avocado $0.99

Instructions

  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice to a food processor or blender.
  • Peel the cucumber, if desired. Cut the onion and cucumber into chunks. Wash the parsley and cilantro well. Mince the garlic. Add the cucumber, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to the food processor or blender.
  • Purée the ingredients, or leave them slightly chunky, if preferred. Taste the gazpacho and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon to your liking. Chill the soup for 30 minutes before serving. Give it one last taste after chilling, in case the flavors need to be adjusted.
  • Dice the avocado just befor serving and add a few chunks on top of each bowl. Add extra pepper and olive oil to each bowl, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 839mg | Fiber: 7g

three bowls of gazpacho from the side, a spoon in one

How to Make Easy Summer Gazpacho – Step by Step Photos

Crushed tomatoes and vegetable juice in food processor

Add one 15oz. can crushed tomatoes and 1 cup vegetable juice (like V8 juice) to a food processor or blender.

onion, cucumber, and herbs added to food processor

Cut ½ sweet onion (about 1 cup) and 1/2 cucumber (about 2 cups) into chunks. You can peel the cucumber or leave it unpeeled. Peeling the cucumber will allow your gazpacho to have a more vibrant red color. Wash the parsley and cilantro well. Mince the garlic. Add the onion, cucumber, ½ cup fresh parsley, ½ cup fresh cilantro, one garlic clove (minced), 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 tsp lemon juice to the food processor or blender. 

Finished gazpacho in the food processor

Purée the ingredients, or leave them slightly chunky, if you prefer. Taste the gazpacho and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon to your liking. Chill the soup for about 30 minutes before serving. It’s not a bad idea to give it one final taste after refrigeration, as the flavors will begin to melt and shift as the soup refrigerates.

Four bowls of gazpacho topped with avocado and cilantro

Dice the avocado and add chunks to each bowl. I also like to drizzle just a bit more olive oil and sprinkle a little extra pepper over each bowl, but that’s optional. The avocado really takes it to the next level, though, so I wouldn’t skip that!

a spoonful of summer gazpacho being lifted from the bowl

Enjoy that cool, refreshing tomato-cucumber flavor!

The post Summer Gazpacho appeared first on Budget Bytes.