Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach- Under $3


6 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushrooms
cloves garlic, minced
4 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper

  1. Cook farfalle according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until mushrooms are nearly tender. Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted. Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Nutrition Facts (Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach)

    Per serving:

  • 219 kcal cal.,
  • 5 g fat
  • (1 g sat. fat,
  • 2 mg chol.,
  • 86 mg sodium,
  • 35 g carb.,
  • 4 g fiber,
  • 9 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Potato Frittata- Under $3


1 pound Yukon gold or russet potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
12 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped green onions (4)
1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
clove garlic, minced
Fresh snipped parsley and/or cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet cook potatoes in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add carrots; cook for 5 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, half the green onions, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, about 18 minutes or until frittata appears dry on top. Remove frittata from oven. Let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for topper, in a small bowl gently toss together remaining green onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and parsley. Set aside.
  4. With a spatula, loosen edges of frittata from skillet. Place a largeserving platter over skillet. Using two hands, invert platter and skillet to release frittata onto platter. Cut frittata in wedges. Serve with green onion topper.
Nutrition Facts (Potato Frittata)

    Per serving: 

  • 258 kcal cal., 
  • 14 g fat
  • (4 g sat. fat, 
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 7 g monounsatured fat), 
  • 372 mg chol., 
  • 267 mg sodium, 
  • 18 g carb., 
  • 3 g fiber, 
  • 2 g sugar, 
  • 15 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Herb-Garlic Beef Roast- Under $3


1 ounce refrigerated cooked beef roast au jus
1 pound small round red potatoes
3 medium carrots
1 tablespoon cooking oil
 Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
cloves garlic, minced

  1. In large skillet cook beef roast, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 5 minutes more, until juices are slightly reduced. Meanwhile, quarter potatoes. Peel and diagonally slice carrots in 3/4-inch pieces. Place vegetables in microwave-safe dish. Drizzle with cooking oil and sprinkle with pepper; toss to coat. Tightly cover with lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high (100% power) for 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. For herb-garlic mixture, in a small bowl combine parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. To serve, stir vegetables into skillet with beef and juices. Divide among serving dishes. Sprinkle with herb-garlic mixture. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts (Herb-Garlic Beef Roast)

    Per serving: 

  • 311 kcal cal., 
  • 12 g fat
  • (5 g sat. fat, 
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 1 g monounsatured fat), 
  • 64 mg chol., 
  • 465 mg sodium, 
  • 28 g carb., 
  • 4 g fiber, 
  • 6 g sugar, 
  • 25 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Chicken-Noodle Casserole- Under $3


4 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds chicken legs and/or thighs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 slice bread
1 12 ounce package jumbo or extra-large egg noodles
1 8 ounce container sour cream dip, cheddar French onion dip, or French onion dip
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a Dutch oven cook two-thirds of the celery and two-thirds of the onion in hot oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add chicken, pepper, thyme, and salt; cook for 2 minutes. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, for topping, tear bread in small pieces. Finely chop remaining celery and onion. In a small bowl toss together the bread, celery and onion; set aside.
  3. With a slotted spoon transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool slightly. Add noodles to simmering broth; boil gently for 7 to 8 minutes, just until tender, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon transfer noodles, celery, and onion to a 3-quart baking dish.
  4. For sauce, in a bowl whisk together sour cream dip and flour. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the hot broth until smooth. Add sauce to broth in Dutch oven; cook and stir until boiling.
  5. Meanwhile, discard skin and bones from chicken. Chop chicken, then add to noodles in dish. Gently stir in sauce. Sprinkle with topping, then lightly coat with cooking spray.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes until casserole is heated through and topping begins to brown. Top with parsley just before serving.
Nutrition Facts (Chicken-Noodle Casserole)

    Per serving: 

  • 400 kcal cal., 
  • 13 g fat 
  • (5 g sat. fat, 
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 3 g monounsatured fat), 
  • 147 mg chol., 
  • 417 mg sodium, 
  • 38 g carb., 
  • 2 g fiber, 
  • 3 g sugar, 
  • 30 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Maple-Bourbon Glazed Salmon- Under $3


1/3 cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey or orange juice
4 4 ounces skinless salmon fillets
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

  1. Preheat broiler. For syrup glaze, in a small saucepan combine maple syrup, orange juice, and whiskey. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat while preparing salmon.
  2. Lightly sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 5 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons glaze and brush on all sides of salmon. Turn salmon and broil 5 minutes longer or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  3. Stir pecans into remaining glaze; heat on high about 5 minutes or until glaze reaches the consistency of syrup. Serve salmon topped with pecan syrup.
Nutrition Facts (Maple-Bourbon Glazed Salmon)

    Per serving: 

  • 386 kcal cal., 
  • 20 g fat
  • (4 g sat. fat, 
  • 6 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 7 g monounsatured fat), 
  • 62 mg chol., 
  • 215 mg sodium, 
  • 21 g carb., 
  • 1 g fiber, 
  • 18 g sugar, 
  • 24 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Fall Vegetable Fajitas- Under $3


3 tablespoons chili-lime hot sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1 green sweet peppers, cut into strips
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 medium-size zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
8 ounces boneless beef chuck eye steak, cut into very thin slices
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 8-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
Sour cream, salsa and cilantro sprigs (optional)

  1. In a large shallow dish combine hot sauce, oil, and marjoram. Add beef, zucchini, sweet pepper, and red onion; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours tossing once. Drain.
  2. Preheat charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat. Add meat and vegetables to grill basket. Grill, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once until meat is browned. Remove from grill. Place tortillas on grill grates and cook 1 minute, turning once.
  3. Divide meat and vegetables among tortillas. Sprinkle with cilantro and black pepper. Top with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
From the Test Kitchen

To thinly slice the beef: Try freezing the beef for 20 minutes before slicing, or just until beef is firm but not frozen.

Nutrition Facts (Fall Vegetable Fajitas)

    Per serving: 

  • 254 kcal cal., 
  • 11 g fat
  • (3 g sat. fat, 
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 5 g monounsatured fat), 
  • 26 mg chol., 
  • 598 mg sodium, 
  • 27 g carb., 
  • 1 g fiber, 
  • 1 g sugar, 
  • 12 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Vegetable Lasagna- Under $3


8 ounces dried lasagna noodles (9 or 10 noodles)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cream-style cottage cheese
1 15 ounce carton ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and thoroughly drained
1 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
1/8 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)

  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, cottage cheesericotta cheese, and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in the flour and pepper; add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach, broccoli, carrot, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  4. To assemble, in a greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish, layer one-third of the noodles, folding or cutting to fit, if necessary. Spread with one-third of the cottage cheese mixture, then one-third of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one-third of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers twice. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Makes 12 servings
From the Test Kitchen

Quick Vegetable Lasagna:

Substitute 6 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (12) for the dried lasagna noodles. Increase milk to 2 cups and spread 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the dish before adding the first layer of noodles. Continue as directed above.

Prepare as above through Step 4. Cover the unbaked lasagna with foil and chill for up to 48 hours. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (Vegetable Lasagna)

    Per serving:

  • 322 kcal cal.,
  • 15 g fat
  • (8 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 5 g monounsatured fat),
  • 78 mg chol.,
  • 388 mg sodium,
  • 25 g carb.,
  • 3 g fiber,
  • 4 g sugar,
  • 22 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet