Budget Friendly Recipes Archives

Guacamole Picante

guacamole pinterest


Start by picking out some good avocados. Haas avocados are the best, they have a creamier base.  The avocado should give slightly  when you press on the ends. Hard avocados = not ready; super soft avocados = TOO ready.


guacamole ingredients


The best way is to get 3 or 4 large avocados that have varying degrees of ripeness from JUST ready, to ALMOST too much. This will give more texture and flavor to your end product. These avocados below were all about the same degree of ripeness. That’s fine too.


avocado closeup


Slice your avocados in half lengthwise and then twist both halves to separate. Chop your knife into the pit and twist the knife to remove the pit from the fruit. Slice into your avocado cutting the flesh into long strips lengthwise, but not cutting through the skin. Now cut slices crosswise using the same method. You’ll basically be cubing the flesh. Use a fork or a spoon to scoop it out into a bowl.


 avocado halves


Mash up your cubed avocado and mix in about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp Tapatio hot sauce, 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tbsp of your favorite salsa, a squeeze of lime juice, and about 3 tbsp of chopped up cilantro. You can also toss in some finely chopped onion, tomato, and jalapeno if that is how you like it!


guacamole 4



guacamole with chips





  • 3-4 large avocados
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Tapatio (Salsa Picante – Hot Sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice

Cooking Directions


  1. Mash up avocados in a bowl with all ingredients. Serve with chips and salsa.


guacamole closeup


Avocados are one of nature’s super foods.  One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals making it a nutrient dense food choice.  The avocado also contains all 18 amino acids plus omega 3 and 6  in a more digestible form than meats or seafood.

Avocado Nutrients

Corn Crepes

 corn crepes pinterest

When I first started making homemade enchiladas I used to use the store-bought corn tortillas. I would briefly fry them in oil, and proceed to make my enchiladas like I do now. It was okay, but there is something about the store-bought tortillas that just didn’t really compliment the rest of the dish. They ended up greasy, full of oil, and they fell apart after baking when I was serving the enchiladas. Not my favorite thing.


A friend turned me onto these, and I’ve never looked back. They are easy to make, stay together very well during baking, and perfectly compliment my homemade enchiladas.


Mix all the ingredients together besides the cooking oil for frying.


corn crepes-1


Preheat a small non-stick pan with a teaspoon or two of cooking oil. Pour in 1/4ish cup of batter (enough to coat the bottom of your pan, or make the desired size of crepe), and tilt the pan around to distribute the batter evenly.


corn crepes-2


Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the batter has set up. Carefully flip over and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove and place on a paper towel.


corn crepes-3


Add additional oil as necessary. If your non-stick is in really good shape, you may not need much. Use for enchiladas or tacos!


corn crepes-4

Corn Crepes



  • 2 Lg eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 3-4 tbsp cooking oil, for frying



  1. Combine all ingredients except the cooking oil and mix well.
  2. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat with a couple of tsp of oil in it. When it is well heated, pour approximately 1/4-1/3 cup of the crepe batter into the pan and tilt to distribute. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the top looks solid. Flip over and cook 30 seconds on other side.
  3. Remove from pan onto a paper towel and repeat with the rest of the batter, adding additional oil when necessary.
  4. Use immediately for enchiladas, or your favorite Mexican filling.

 corn crepes-6

Spicy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Quick and delicious, this recipe for chicken enchiladas boasts a spicy homemade enchilada sauce.  The dish makes enough for a large dinner group or it’s great to share at  potluck gatherings.  Serves 12-15



enchilada casserole

 For this chicken enchilada recipe, start by throwing two good sized chicken breasts into a pot with 2 dried California Chili Pods, 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp Tapatio Hot Sauce, and 1 can of El Pato Salsa de Jalapeno, the green can.  You may need a bit more water depending on the depth and size of your pan.  You want the chicken to be covered.  Simmer this mixture until the chicken is fully cooked.  After it’s cooked, remove the chicken and let cool.

 enchilada casserole 1


In the same pot, with the leftover simmering sauce still in it, add in a can of El Pato Red, or tomato sauce with jalapeno, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp basil, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 can tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cups water.  Let simmer over medium low heat stirring frequently until thick, about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, shred the cooled chicken with two forks.  Place 4oz of cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften.  Mix in 1/2 small can of green chili.  Mix this into the chicken.


To layer the casserole, cover the bottom of a 9×13 with a thick layer of enchilada sauce.  (Discard the California chili pods after cooking.)enchilada casserole 2

Then layer corn tortillas on top of the sauce.

enchilada casserole 3


Follow with the chicken, spread evenly over the entire area.

enchilada casserole 4

Sprinkle with a Mexican cheese blend or your favorite cheddar.

enchilada casserole 5


Cover chicken/cream cheese with another layer of tortillas. Cover tortillas generously with enchilada sauce, but make sure to leave enough to cover the final layer or tortillas. Add another layer of cheese followed by a layer of tortillas. Cover final layer of tortillas with enchilada sauce and then cheese. You can add sliced or whole black olives to the top layer for a festive look. (optional) Bake at 350 until hot and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.


In case you got lost in the layering instructions…here is the layering set-up from beginning to end…

Start with a 9”x13” pan
Cover the bottom with enchilada sauce
Add a layer of tortillas
Cover tortillas with enchilada sauce
Spread Chicken mixture evenly over tortillas
Sprinkle your favorite cheese on top
Add another layer of tortillas
Cover with more enchilada sauce
Sprinkle with Cheese
Last layer of tortillas
Enchilada Sauce
Black Olives on top for decoration (optional)

   enchilada casserole 6


Chicken Enchilada Casserole


2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1 small can El Pato Salsa Jalapeno – Green Can
2 large California Chili Pod, rehydrated
1/2 cup Salsa; your favorite
1 cup Water
1 tsp Tapatio Hot Sauce
4 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 – 1 small can Mild Green Chilies
1/4 cup Onion, diced
1/2 cup Salsa
1 small can El Pato tomato sauce with jalapenos – Red can
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Basil
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 – 1 1/2 cup Water
4-6 cups Mexican blend cheese, Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese
18 small Corn tortillas
Black Olives sliced for decoration (optional)
Sour Cream (optional) Served atop each serving



1. Place chicken breasts, El Pato jalapeno salsa – green can, California chili pods, 1/2 cup your favorite salsa, 1 – 1 1/2 cups water, and Tapatio hot sauce in a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook until chicken is done.  Remove chicken to a separate bowl to cool and reserve left over simmering liquid in pan.


2. Add to simmering liquid 1/4 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup salsa, 1 can El Pato tomato with jalapeno salsa – Red can, cumin, salt, oregano, basil, chili powder, and 1 – 1 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a simmer and let cook until the sauce is reduced by 1/3, or until thickened, about 30 minutes.


3. Place cream cheese and green chilies into a small bowl and microwave on high 30 seconds to soften cream cheese.  Shred chicken and mix cream cheese and chilies into it well.


4. Thinly cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 pan with enchilada sauce. Add 6 tortillas on top. Cover layer well with 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Top sauce with chicken mixture, and spread out evenly. Cover with a 1 1/2 – 2 cup layer of cheese. Place 6 more corn tortillas on top of cheese. Place 1/2 of remaining enchilada sauce on top of tortillas and spread out well. Top with cheese layer. Top cheese layer with another tortilla layer, then the rest of the enchilada sauce, and one last cheese layer.  You can also add black olives (sliced or whole) to the top for a festive look.


5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

(Optional) When you’re ready to serve put a dollop of Sour Cream on each serving.



Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Yield: 12-15 servings




Spanish Rice

Budget Friendly Spanish Rice

Flavorful, easy, delicious Spanish rice that is better than any San Francisco Treat.


Spanish Rice Ingredients

1/4 cup Oil, hot

2 cups Long Grain White Rice

1 clove garlic, pressed

1/2 cup Yellow Onion, diced

1 cup, chopped Red & Green Pepper

1 – 7 3/4 oz can El Pato Tomato Sauce, Yellow Can (Mexican Hot Style)

1/2 Tbsp Chili powder  (Optional)

2 tsp Salt

3 cups Hot Water

1 – 14.5 oz can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes (I like to chop into small pieces so they blend better)



Budget Friendly Spanish Rice1


Heat the oil in the skillet.  Burner should be set on high, unless the oil starts to smoke a lot, then just set on medium to medium high.  Add garlic, onion, peppers and rice.  Stir frequently.


Budget Friendly Spanish Rice 3

Sauté until the veggies are soft and the rice is opaque white (light browning of the rice is okay).


Budget Friendly Spanish Rice Final

Next add to the skillet your tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, hot water, and stewed tomatoes.  Cover and cook until rice is tender.  Check near the end of the cooking time to see if you need to add a bit more water.



Spanish Rice Cooking Instructions

 1. Preheat oil to hot.  Add rice, garlic, peppers and onion.  Stir frequently.  Sauté until vegetables are soft and rice is opaque white (light browning of the rice is okay)


2. Add water, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, and stewed tomatoes.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook another 30-45 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Watch for doneness and moisture level.  You may need to add 1/4 cup more water near the end.



Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Yield: 8 servings


You can use a cup of mixed vegetables or peas instead of peppers.  If you are using canned vegetables add right before you cover and reduce heat.  You can also leave the rice plain for those who prefer no added vegetables.


This is a wonderful side dish that is easy to make and very versatile.  Just change out your vegetables for a different look and taste.

Whole Roasted Chicken

 Roasted Chicken


Roasted Chicken is an incredibly versatile recipe that can be used for a variety of different meals. Eat as is, served with mashed potatoes and a simple chicken pan gravy made from the drippings. Use it in Chicken Soup.   Chill and use the meat in Chicken Salad, Chicken Alfredo, or any number of other chicken dishes.


First gather together your ingredients. One whole roasting chicken. Medium sized roasting pan. A whole onion. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, paprika, sage, garlic, and olive oil.

Roasted Chicken Ingredients


Wash your chicken in the sink and remove the bag of giblets and any other odds and end left in the cavity. Throw these away or if you like throw them in the pan to cook along with your chicken.  Dry the outside of the chicken well with paper towels and place into your roaster.


Combine ⅓ – ½ cup of oil with all of your seasonings. Massage all over chicken, including under the skin on the breasts. Peel the whole onion and place in the cavity.

   Roasted Chicken Seasoning


Place the uncovered roaster into a preheated 450 degree oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes turn the oven down to 325, and let cook for approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Exact cooking time will depend of the size of your bird. Make sure if you are eating this chicken roasted that you check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, not touching a bone, and it is at 165 degrees. Also check the temperature inside of the middle of the onion which has been stuffed into the body cavity. 165 is the ‘safe’ temperature for cooking poultry.


Time to Enjoy! Yum…

Roasted Chicken Cooking

Whole Roasted Chicken




  • 1  roasting chicken, whole
  • 1 lg onion, peeled
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt, Lawry’s
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper




1. Wash chicken and remove giblets. Dry with paper towels and place into medium-sized roaster. Mix together olive oil and all seasonings. Rub bird with oil/seasoning mixture, taking care to get inside the skin between the breast meat and skin.


2. Place whole peeled onion into cavity and place into a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Turn down temperature to 325 degrees and finish roasting, approximately 1 ½ – 2 hours, until reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees.



Sometimes I add celery and garlic along with the onion to the inside of my bird.  You can change up your seasonings and vegetables to whatever flavors strike your fancy at the time.  Roasted Chicken is a definite staple in our house.


Buy Fruits and Vegetables In Season



Buying fruits and vegetables in season is one of the easiest ways to save money on your grocery bill.  Not only will the produce be fresher, healthier and more abundant it will be a lot cheaper.  Many times you can save even more by shopping your local farmer’s market or roadside stands.


Most vegetables and fruits are listed below for easy reference.  In addition, certain areas of the country will have different seasons for some items.  For instance strawberries are in season in Mar-Apr in the south, May-Aug in other parts of the country.


When planning your meals try to be mindful of fruits and vegetables that are in season in your area.  Here’s a guide to help you identify the best produce deals month-by-month:



Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Kale, Leeks, Lemons, Oranges, Parsnips, Rutabagas, Tangelos, Tangerines, Turnips



Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Kale, Leeks, Lemons, Oranges, Parsnips, Rutabagas, Tangelos, Tangerines, Turnips



Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Pineapples, Radishes, Rutabagas, Turnips



Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Pineapples, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spring Peas



Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Cherries, Lettuce, Mangoes, Okra, Pineapples, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spring Peas, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, Zucchini



Apricots, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Corn, Kiwi, Lettuce, Mangoes, Peaches, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, Watermelon, Zucchini



Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Corn, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Kiwi, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mangoes, Okra, Peaches, Peppers, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Zucchini



Acorn Squash, Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Figs, Green Beans, Kiwi, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mangoes, Okra, Peaches, Peppers, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Winter Squash, Zucchini



Acorn Squash, Apples, Beets, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe,  Cauliflower, Eggplant, Figs,  grapes, Green Beans, Lettuce, Mangoes, Mushrooms, Okra, Peppers, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes



Acorn Squash, Apples, Beets, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cranberries, Grapes, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Rutabagas, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Winter Squash



Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cranberries, Leeks, Mushrooms, Oranges, Parsnips, Pears, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Rutabagas, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Turnips, Winter Squash



Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Oranges, Papayas, Parsnips, Pears, Pomegranates, Rutabagas, Sweet Potatoes, Tangelos, Tangerines, Turnips


Usually A Good Deal

Bananas, Celery, Potatoes


Fruits and Vegetables