Five Ingredient Fish Dinner

We are keeping up with our simple week of recipes. We had a 3 ingredient dessert, 4 ingredient bread and now a 5 ingredient fish dinner.

I figured out how to cook fish in aluminum foil when I was on a diet last year and constantly exhaused. I learned later my exhaustion was not my diet, I was pregnant. Ha ha!

Anyway, because this recipe was cheap, easy and healthy I began to make it a lot when I was pregnant. I was coming home from work late in the evening and I needed something that could be prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes.

This is very healthy, it has protien, fiber and all the minerals and nutrients associated with squash and zucchini like vitiamin C and magense. And it's so inexpensive I made mine with Tilapia and it costs about $1.90 per person or about $2.06 if you eat over rice.

What you'll need:

Four pieces of tilapia (or red fish or salmon)

Two zucchini

Two squash

Fresh or dried cilantro

Soy sauce

Aluminum foil

**I have also put onion, oranges and lemon pepper. You can use pretty much anything. That's the beauty of this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 and let's get started.

Chop your veggies and make certain your fish is fully thawed.

Tear off four peices of foil. Place a piece of fish one each piece of foil. Sprinkle the fish with soy sauce and cilantro.

Cover each peice of fish with a healthy portion of the vegetables. Beleive me, two zuchini and two squash go a long way.

Fold the foil over the veggie and fish like a little envelope. Place all four foil packs on a baking sheet and place in the oven. You will need to cook it about 25 minutes.



Mama and Baby cook: Panko Crusted Tilapia Taco


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Want to feed your entire family (4) for less than $10? Of course you do. Try this amazing Tilapia Taco. It's sweet. It's spicy. It's wonderful! presents a cooking show where I show you how to cook a meal for a family of four for less than $5 a person.

Today we make Panko Crusted Tilapia Tacos. This recipe yields 8 small tacos and costs less than $2.00 per person.

What you'll need:


Four 4 oz Tilapia filets
1 cup Panko Crumbs
1 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1/2 cup cheese

Peanut Sauce:
4 tbsp creamy Peanut Butter
4 tbs hot water
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice

Pico De Gallo:
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
heaping table spoon garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to 350.


Mix the panco, cilantro and lemon pepper. Wet your fish and press into the taco. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Pico De Gallo: Mix tomato, onion, cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeno seeded and minced, garlic. Place in fridge.

Peanut sauce: Using a jar, scoop in 4 tbsp peanut butter, add 4 tbsp hot water, brown sugar and lemon juice and shake (with the lid on of course). It will be the consistency of salad dressing so you will need to refrigerate for 20 - 30 minutes.

Place the fish on your tortilla and cover with peanut sauce and pico de gallo and a little cheese.



Cilantro, chicken rice bowl - recipe cost breakdown

Cilantro, chicken rice bowl - recipe cost breakdown

Still yawning from Sunday's time change? No energy to fix dinner? Stay away from the drive thru! This recipe is ridiculously simple and easy on both your wallet and waist line. Best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make, start to finish so dinner is ready in a snap.

I bought some boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale at Publix a couple weeks back. I devided the package and use two chicken breasts for this. But, if you want to save even more, use skinless thighs. They are no worse for you and you will save big bucks.

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Hummus a new tune

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I love hummus. It is a protein packed snack. My sister has this really cute story about my baby niece holding up a carrot and declaring she needed hummus. 

I can purchase hummus for $3.99 at Publix (I love Publix) but I convinced myself I could make it at home. That was until I realized you couldn't make it without Tahini - a delicious sesame paste that is both exotic and pricey. At $6.99 a can (ouch) I was better off just buying the Sabre Hummus. But no. I would not be deterred from my mission.

So I experimented until I came up with a cheaper and delicious alternative that costs just around $1.25 to make.

What you'll need:

1 - 19 ounce can chick peas

2 heaping tbsp minced garlic

1 1/4 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp ground red pepper flakes

3 tsp ground cumin

food processor

Drain and rinse your peas then dump them in the food processor with the lemon juice, garlic, cumin and half the red pepper flakes. Turn on the processor and wait. It will all become creamy and delicious.

Once throughly mixed place in a bowl and garnish with remaining pepper. Enjoy!


Aren't you glad I said (chocolate) banana smoothie?

What is more delicious than a chocolate shake? Two chocolate shakes? Three maybe? Ah... frozen chocolate blended with dairy and whipped to a frenzy. But my pre pregnancy pants are loose, and I prefer them to stay that way. What is a chocolate lover to do? Improvise of course.

Here I bring you a rich, delicious, light and cheap -about $.90- (don’t you just love cheap) smoothie that you and the kids will love. It is one “Smooth Operator.” What? You don’t like Sade? Okay, it’s a “Smooth Criminal.” Alright, alright. I’m not funny. I will stop now.

What you’ll need:
One medium sized banana that you pealed, cut up and froze ($.14)
6 ounces fat free yogurt (3/4 cups) - this equals one container of Yoplait ($.60)
1 tbsp baking cocoa($.13)

Place your frozen banana in your blender with your yogurt and cocoa and blend until smooth. That’s it. You’re done. I know. I can’t believe it either.

Polka Dot Blondie

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I am trying to be healthier. The cup cake I just ate whilst standing over the sink during my baby's nap time would indicate otherwise. But hey, it's a slow process.

Since I am beginning my foray into baking I decided to scour the earth for a blondie recipe that wouldn't leave my little arteries aching. Unfortunately (or unfortch as my friend Sarah Jane Jones would say) many recipes out there leave the bars too light, too dense, too dry or too gross.

But if you tweak this flour and add that flour and do this and not that you will get a delicious and somewhat healthier alternative to a regular blondie. I say somewhat because this recipe still contains butter, sugar and chocolate. Although it is dark, and that should count for something... I'm just saying. **If you are opposed to butter see the foot note below.

Also, at around $3 for the entire recipe this is great for a party, bakes ale, or to eat over the sink during nap time. No judgements here.

What you'll need:

1 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 cup oats
A pinch Kosher sale
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 cup milk (that is two tbsp)

One bag chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease up your pan. In a bowl mix together your dry ingredients. Slowly add the melted butter and milk while stirring. Add the egg and continue to stir until smooth. If your mix is clumpy add another tbsp of milk. Once everything is mixed, stir in the chocolate chips and slide in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

** If you don't want to use butter, substitute a cup of applesauce and four tablespoons of oil. But, only use 1/2 cup brown sugar. I can not attest to what this will taste like.


One pot pork roast

Last week my grocer had pork roasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. As a rule I never pay more than $2.99 a pound for meat. The roasts were HUGE so I cut them in half, and had two -2 pound roasts.

We recently moved, and in a horrible twist of fate, my crock pot has gone missing. *clutches heart, sobs uncontrollably.

Let's all have a moment of silence for Clarese the Crock Pot.

Okay *sniffle* we can get back to topic. I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven my husband gave me for Christmas (Yes, I am at the age where I get sexy gifts like Dutch ovens) and down to the business of making a sweet red pepper pork roast. A beef roast can be substituted if your family doesn't eat pork. This is an eight person roast, easy and costs around $10 to make. This is a great dish for company.

What you'll need:

1- 2 pound pork roast (or beef they both work the same for this recipe) ($4)

1 good sized onion($.99)

4 small sweet red bell peppers ($1.99)

1- 16 oz jar of salsa ($1.65)

A little smidgen of olive oil ($.09)

4 cups rice - not instant (to be served over) ($1.00)

Preheat your oven to 350 and oil the bottom of your pan. If you don't have a Dutch oven, a deep casserole dish will work.

Chop your onion and pepper into strips and line the bottom of the pan.

Place the roast over the onions and peppers and cover with salsa. Cover the dish and slide it into the oven. You will cook it on 350 for about 3 hours.

Cook the rice according to the package directions. (What? You need me to tell you how to cook rice?)

This is seriously delicious and ridiculously easy to make.

Idiot proof shrimp

Need a dinner in a hurry that is sure to please? Try idiot proof shrimp! There are only three ingredients (four if you count olive oil, which you shouldn't).

My mother makes something similar and I pulled this together one night when cooking for my husband for "date night." (When you have an infant date night usually means you just eat off the good china.)

What you'll need:

A pound of shrimp (pealed and deveined)

1 cup white wine

4 tbs (1/4 cup) minced garlic

I love the look of the oil mixed with the wine.

Warm up a little olive oil over a medium heat. Add in the shrimp. Once they have just started to turn pink pour over the wine and add the garlic. Be sure you continue to keep everything moving in the pan or else the garlic will burn and be gross.

After the shrimp are good and pink remove from heat and serve immeidatly. This is great over pasta or paired with a salad. And if you want to finish off the wine you cooked the shrimp in, have at it!

Shake, shake, shake it

Sunday night while preparing dinner I decided to force Spring in a little early with a salad that featured pears and apples. I wanted to top it with a honey mustard dressing. But, I didn't have any. So what's a girl to do when she is craving something lacking from her fridge? Make it herself!

What you'll need:

One small jar - I used one that once contained Kalamata olives. (Ah! Kalamata olives...)

2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

3 tbsp honey

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 extra virgin olive oil

Okay, here comes the tricky part. Ready? You measure all of that in to the jar and you shake it.

It was delicious. And it would probably make for a great marinade on chicken.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Spice Pancakes

I have fallen head over heals in love with.... whole wheat flour. I love the color, smell and texture. I love the sweet way things taste after I make something using my new love, whole wheat flour.

A second love of mine... pancakes. But pancakes have long been my adversary. I cannot flip a pancake to save my life. If left on my own to make pancakes I will be left with a mess of a mess that is burned on the outside and raw in the center. Don't ask. I don't know why.

So my husband has become resident pancake flipper. This weekend I decided to try my hand a whole wheat pancakes and I came up with a recipe I am sure you will love.

It's simple and $2 (not counting syrup) makes enough pancakes to feed four people.

This is what you will need:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups milk (That's equal parts whole wheat flour and milk if you want to make more or less pancakes)

1 egg

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup artificial sweetner or sugar

1 tbs cinnamon

1 tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning

Throw everything in a bowl and mix, mix, mix.

Preheat and spray an electric skillet or a pan over medium heat. Each pancake should be a 1/4 cup. This recipe yields 16 smaller pancakes. Cook until one side is bubbly and then flip.

Cover in syrup, or powdered sugar and enjoy!