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Category Archives: Quick Meals
Last week our dinner plans were cancelled on us last minute. Being a planner and trying to stick to a budget, I usually have all of our meals planned out to a T and that is all the food I buy for the week. Rather than grabbing a quick bite out I knew I had plenty of leftovers and pantry staples to pull together a quick meal. We had leftover grilled chicken in the freezer, but any protein would do. I had just stocked up on Birdseye frozen vegetables. Even though I use fresh vegetables as much as possible I always keep a few different varieties of frozen (without sauces, just plain frozen veggies) in the freezer. I always have a few varieties of rice in the pantry and I still had a ton of yum yum sauce leftover from the hibachi chicken and veggies.
This quick and easy stir fry took 20 minutes from inception to table. With school starting back up I know everyone is looking for quick and healthy meals while they get back into routine. This rice bowl promises to be just that.
Asian Chicken and Rice Bowl
- 2 cups rice, uncooked
- 1 cup chicken, cooked
- 1 pkg Birdseye frozen broccoli stir fry vegetables
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, optional for garnish
- Yum yum sauce
1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet stir fry frozen vegetables with sesame oil over medium high heat. When vegetables are almost finished add chicken to warm. Stir in soy sauce and allow all to heat up.
3. In each bowl give a scoop of rice and a scoop of chicken and veggies. Top with sesame seeds and yum yum sauce.
Grilled cheese with bacon is a classic for me. The best childhood memories I have involve these sandwiches. I know you are thinking how hard can this be, but really there is a science to the perfect grilled cheese and bacon. You need to start with perfectly crisp bacon, I find that the thin cut bacon works best. Then you need the right cheese. As much as it pains me to say this American cheese is the best option for these sandwiches. If pasteurized processed cheese food product is not your thing, ask your deli to slice up some Publix or Boars Head brand Yellow American cheese. When creating the perfect grilled cheese my philosophy is the more the merrier, more cheese, more bacon, more butter!
Grilled Cheese with Bacon
- 8 slices of bread
- 8 slices of American cheese
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked crispy
1. Heat a skillet over medium.
2. Assemble your sandwich, bread, 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of bacon, bread. Generously butter both outside pieces of bread.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, only flipping once.
My favorite way to use up leftover crockpot meat is in burritos. They are easy and fun for the whole family to make. For taco and burrito night growing up, my mom would set out all the toppings and we would go around and assemble our burritos ourselves. The sky is the limit on toppings, but my favorite are shredded cheese, sour cream salsa, avocado, and cilantro. Store your leftover shredded beef and rice in microwave safe containers and zap them in the microwave to warm through. For tortillas you can use any size you have on hand. I only had 10” so our burritos were a little on the packed full of toppings, hard to close side. Microwaves the tortillas for 10-20 seconds to make them more pliable and start loading on the toppings. In minutes you have an easy dinner that didn’t require the stove in this summer heat.
On my birthday I was sitting around the house surveying what I could make for lunch. I discovered we didn’t have anything so I checked a few of my favorite local places menus. The Broadway Café was featuring a Cajun Turkey Club with Honey Mayo. Murphy and I hopped in the car and picked it up then took our lunch down to the water to eat. It was one of the best sandwiches ever! I knew I could recreate a grilled chicken version at home.
This is an easy to throw together sandwich. The honey mayo really makes it. I have said before that I am not a mayo fan. I don’t like globs of it on my sandwiches or anything, but a light coating on each piece of bread really steps the sandwich up a notch.
If just a sandwich for dinner isn’t your thing look for this afternoon’s recipe of Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Have a Panera You Pick Two night at home for half the cost.
Cajun Chicken Club
- 4 pieces your favorite bread
- Tomato, sliced
- 4 pieces of bacon
- 1 chicken breast, cut lengthwise (butterfly) all the way through and pounded thin
- Cajun seasoning
- 4 tbsp mayo
- 1 tsp honey
1. In a small bowl mix together the mayo and honey, set aside.
2. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast generously with Cajun seasoning. In a skillet (or on a George Foreman) over medium-high heat cook the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes per side until they reach and internal temperature of 160 degrees. Set aside to cool.
3. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy. Meanwhile toast bread.
4. Once chicken is cool enough to handle slice into strips.
5. Spread the honey mayo on both slices of bread and assemble lettuce, tomato, bacon and chicken.
I’ll have to admit I have only had PF Changs lettuce wraps once and it was a long time ago. I don’t really remember what they taste like, so I can’t really say if these are similar. What I can say is these are tasty and easy to make. I like that I am eating my vegetables, while pretending they are a taco shell. It makes them taste better.
This is a very versatile recipe. You can add more or less of any ingredient you would like. Love mushrooms? Chop them all up and sauté them. I happen to be a huge water chestnut fan, the 1 cup was probably more like 3 cups for me.
I like the presentation of these too. Serve the meat in a big bowl and everyone gathers around the table to fill their wrap. Just like PF Changs you could serve this as an appetizer to an Asian themed night or make a meal out of it.
Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- 1lb ground turkey
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup water chestnuts, chopped
- ½ cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 tsp butter
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- Sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
1. In a skillet cook and crumble the ground turkey. Drain and set aside.
2. Add mushrooms to skillet. Sauté with butter.
3. Add back in turkey, water chestnuts, soy sauce, and sriracha. Combine and heat through.
4. Transfer to bowl, top with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds
5. Pull individual leaves off of lettuce head, rinse, and pat dry.