Cheesy Tuna Turnovers

Not the healthiest but a good use for canned tuna, super cheap, and kid-friendly!

Cheesy Tuna Turnovers

Makes 16

  • 2 cans of crescent rolls (16 rolls total)
  • 2 cans of chunk light tuna, drained*
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped*
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped*
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated*
  • 2 oz of cream cheese, softened

Combine all ingredients except for rolls in a large bowl. Mix well. Divide the filling evenly among the 16 crescent rolls and roll them up.

Bake the stuffed crescent rolls according to package directions. Mine was 11-13 minutes at 375.



Chipotle Black Bean Tostadas

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and tomato paste are both wonderful flavor enhancers that cost pennies. I rarely use an entire can of either, so I simply freeze the leftovers in a small plastic bag or a small plastic container. They thaw quickly and taste just the same as fresh out of the can.

The chipotle peppers are rather spicy but the amount used in this dish is so small that it’s not overpowering at all. My 4 year old and 2 year old ate these tostadas without complaint.

Chipotle Black Bean Tostadas

Serves 4

  • 10 corn tortillas*
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 of red onion, finely diced*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 of one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 cans of black beans, lightly drained*
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 of a fresh lime*
  • Monterrey or pepper jack cheese, grated*
  • Avocado, mashed up*
  • Plain Greek yogurt*

Heat the oil over medium-high in a heavy skillet. Fry one tortilla at a time. Place it face down and flip when the edges start to brown on top. Fry the other side for 30-45 seconds, depending on desired level of brownness. Transfer each fried tortilla to a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool.

After you finish the tortillas, carefully drain any excess oil but leave about one tablespoon in the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium-low and briefly saute the onion and garlic. Add in the tomato paste and chipotle pepper and stir to combine, cooking for two to three minutes. Add in the black beans (with some of their liquid), chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir well and mash with a potato masher until desired texture is reached. I like mine about half whole bean/half mashed. Stir again and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. The beans will thicken as they simmer.

Squeeze fresh lime juice over the finished beans and stir. Build the tostadas by spooning a layer of beans on each tortilla. Divide the cheese evenly among them and then top each with avocado and yogurt.


Fajita Bowls

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs this time but often substitute two cans of black beans on weeks when money is tight. Just make the peppers and onions as is, and while they are cooking, simmer the black beans (in their liquid, do not drain) in a saucepan with some salt and a teaspoon of dried oregano for seasoning. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the black beans. And the beans and lime are both WIC foods so that version is even more affordable if you get WIC.

I also threw a piece of grilled corn on the side of my bowl because we had it in the fridge and it needed to be used up. It’s another affordable (and WIC-approved) ingredient that shows the versatility of this bowl. Whatever you like with fajitas, you’ll like in this meal!

Fajita Bowls

Serves 4-5

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced (omit if making the black bean version!)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (homemade version here)
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced*
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced*
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced*
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced*
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of brown rice, cooked according to package directions*
  • Plain Greek yogurt (an excellent, high protein substitute for sour cream)*
  • 1 avocado, sliced*

Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and the taco seasoning. Let it sit and marinate while you prepare the rice.

When the rice is about 20 minutes from being done, heat the remaining oil over medium-high in a large pot. Add the chicken and cook through. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and add in the onions and peppers. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over them and saute for 5 minutes or so. Stir the chicken back in and remove from heat.

Build the bowls with rice on the bottom and the chicken (or black beans) and veggies layered on top. Add a dollop of yogurt and garnish with some of the avocado.


Veggie-filled Breakfast Casserole

A great breakfast to make the night before and reheat in the morning.

Veggie-filled Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6

  • 1/2 lb of breakfast sausage
  • 4 small red potatoes, diced*
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced*
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced*
  • 1/2 of an orange bell pepper, diced*
  • 6 eggs*
  • 1/2 cup of milk*
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, optional
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a casserole dish.

Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook the sausage in a pan over medium-high heat, along with the onion and peppers. Crumble it as it cooks. Once sausage is cooked and veggies are soft, add the potatoes and 1/2 of the cheese. Stir well and remove from heat. Spread evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the sausage and veggies. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until eggs are firm.




Hearty Pizza Sauce

A traditional pizza sauce that can be made in large batches (just double or triple the ingredients) and frozen for quick use on homemade pizzas, tortilla pizzas and calzones.

Hearty Pizza Sauce

Makes enough for 2 medium-sized pizzas

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pan. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until tomato paste turns a dark burgundy red. Add in the next five ingredients and stir until well combined. Cook for a minute or two longer. Pour in the tomato sauce and whisk together until completely mixed. Let simmer for a minute or two and then remove from heat.


Spinach & Peppers Crustless Quiche

This is a great dish to make the night before for busy mornings. Just reheat it and go!

Spinach & Peppers Crustless Quiche

Serves 4

  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced*
  • 1/4 of a green bell pepper, diced*
  • 6 eggs*
  • 1 cup of milk*
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella*

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a pie dish or 8×8 baking dish.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the spinach and garlic in a pan until it is wilted. Spread the spinach along the bottom of the baking dish. Saute the peppers in the remaining oil for about five minutes and then spread them on top of the spinach.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Pour over the top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of the dish and bake for 45 minutes.

Allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.



Anything Goes Stir Fry

A super versatile recipe that is great for using up veggies about to go bad. It comes together very quickly so it’s great for weeknights.

Anything Goes Stir Fry

  • 8 cups of chopped/sliced/shredded vegetables*
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Brown rice, cooked according to package directions*

Heat the oil in a big pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and stir quickly. Cook them for three to five minutes, stirring often, until they’re cooked but still have a slight crunch.

While the vegetables cook, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch. When vegetables are done cooking, pour sauce over them and stir until well combined. Sauce should thicken up almost immediately. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Optional: Add meat if you’d like. You can thinly slice one pound of boneless chicken, beef or pork and fry it in the oil before you cook the vegetables. Remove them from the pot when done, cook the vegetables, and then add it back in when you add the sauce.

This particular time, I velveted chicken like this and added it back in with the sauce. I sliced two small yellow onions, one green bell pepper, one yellow pepper, half of an orange pepper, and shredded some leftover purple cabbage and also regular green cabbage that was starting to go bad. The picture doesn’t look pretty, but I can assure you it tasted just like takeout!