Let’s face it you guys: there are a lot of cookbooks out there. And quite honestly, there are a lot of free recipes out there, too (hello from this blog and the many others!), so IMO, a cookbook has to have a lot of value for me to consider not only buying it, but taking up space in my kitchen. Because I’m becoming more of a minimalist as I get older – but that’s another story. I want a cookbook that’s full of solid information, pretty pictures, good recipes and smart content. And today I’m sharing a great new resource that checks all those boxes with a focus on easy healthy meals on a budget.
Easy Healthy Meals on a Budget
Lisa Leake’s newest (and 3rd) book 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget may just be my favorite book of the three. And it’s not just because my kids are featured in a few of the photos, wink wink. Here’s what you’ll find within and why I love it:
- A supermarket comparison guide showing varying costs at 8 stores to help you find the most economical choices
- Ways to lower your grocery bill, including ingredient swaps
- Seasonal meal plans
- Packed lunch recipes (for kids and adults)
- Shopping lists and associated costs for each recipe
- Gorgeous photography for each of the recipes
- LOTS and lots of new (and tasty – we’ve already made 5!) recipes that are real food approved
My kids were so excited when we got this book in the mail that they immediately started looking through it and marking recipes to make. In fact, I had them pick out a week’s worth of meals for us to make for the upcoming week, which was not only a fun practice for them, but it took that task off of my list! We made Easy Chinese Chicken as one of their selections, and this will be part of a permanent rotation for us moving forward because it was oh.so.good!!!
Recipe for Easy Chinese Chicken
I kid you not, you guys – my children would not keep their hands off of this chicken while I was making it. Not to mention, my house smelled AHmazing! I love that you use chicken thighs for this because they are less expensive, and they also have a better texture in this type of dish. The chicken is nice and crispy and the sauce is simple to make and brings all of the flavor together. I used gluten free flour for this since half of my family is gluten free, and I also used gluten free soy sauce, too.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce I use gluten free
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 cup whole wheat (or gluten free) flour
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
To make chicken: In a shallow dish, combine the soy sauce and water. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 10 - 15 minutes at room temperature or up to a few hours in the refrigerator.
Place the flour on a plate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll the pieces around in the flour until all sides are coated.
In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown all over and cooked through, 6 - 8 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the flavorful bits in the pan.
To make the sauce: In the same pan over medium heat, cook the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes for 30 to 60 seconds, then whisk in the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Cook, scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, until the liquid begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, stir to coat it in the sauce, and serve warm.
Other recipes that you’ll find in 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget
Some of the other recipes that we have made and enjoyed, and also ones that are in the plans include the following:
- Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
- Apple Pie French Toast
- Creamy Kale Caesar Salad
- Baked Shells with Ricotta and Marinara
- Baked Bean Stuffed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Shredded Moo Shu Pork
- Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
I already know that if you’re reading this you value easy real food recipes. And most of us (me included!!) are all about keeping the budget in check. With that being said, I highly recommend 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget. It is a wonderful resource for helping create easy healthy meals on a budget (and is super pretty, too!). Let me know in the comments below if you check it out:).
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