Here is an example of a really cheap meal that will feed a lot of people…there are 4 of us in my family, however this meal fed us and my parents with a little leftover 🙂 Utilizing coupons and sales…this entire meal costs us less than $4.00!!! Total cooking time from start to finish…25 minutes!
Because I come from a family of Cubans…I LOVE cuban food…however it can be very time consuming and costly to make…so on my budget I revamp things using what I have gotten on sale with coupons to make the meals that I love but without the cost and headache. So, here’s what I did…
I start with 2 large cans of black beans (Progresso & Bushs both make a great black bean that we often get coupons for). I know, I know…you’re thinking CANNED BEANS yucckkk! But the secret to not having to slave away rinsing, sorting and boiling beans is to buy canned beans and then season them up 🙂
Sooo…I start with chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil, just saute until tender. Then add the beans to the pot and stir together. Next, I season them to taste with “seasoned pepper” and “garlic salt with parsley”…then I add 2 whole bay leaves and a seasoning called “Jamon” (it’s made by Goya and found in the ethnic section) basically it is ham flavored concentrate…it is amazing and I use it in all my beans 🙂
Now…just let that cook on med. heat for about 15 minutes.
Now is when I start the yellow rice…another real time saver is to used to canned white meat chicken (I stock up when it is on the lowest sale). So I start the water boiling according to the directions on the package…as soon as it boils I add the rice and 1 can of drained sweet peas and 1 can of drained chunk white meat chicken. At this point I cover and simmer according to the package directions…about 20 minutes. Just fluff when ready to serve.
**Side Note ~ depending on what’s in my pantry sometimes the chicken is Perdue Shortcuts…sometimes it is leftover rotisserie chicken…just use what you have 😉
Something that I look for and stock up on when it is on sale is Goya fried plantains (found in the freezer section). These are pretty close to homemade and really super easy to prepare…really, all you do is remove the outer wrap and place in the oven…how simple is that?
While the plantains are baking, so is the bread…this particular night I did not have any cuban bread 😦 BUT I did have garlic bread in the freezer…free garlic bread in fact…gotta love coupons! So I improvised again and used that instead.
The only other thing I do for this meal is finely chop some onion and soak that in a little olive oil for topping the black beans. Um, Um Good!
**P.S. If you are the adventurous type and like trying new things…then try adding a little bit of italian dressing to top of your bowl of yellow rice…my family adores it that way 🙂