Cheap Gourmet Meals
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Sunday Supper: Healthy & Delicious Simple Roast Chicken

Sunday Supper: Healthy & Delicious Simple Roast Chicken | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Chicken is such a staple of quick weeknight dinners that it’s hard to believe there can be anything special about it, especially if you’re on the cycle, say, of “every Wednesday is boneless chicken breast night.” But a classic roast chicken with...
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Cost per serving: ~$2.50


Roasted chicken is such a classic meal. Not much else makes me drool quite the same way -- and its so very simple to make. A little salt, a little pepper, and some high heat makes a bird worth lusting after. 


A thought on substitutions:


Try stuffing an onion and a few cloves of garlic in the bird's cavity for the meat to absorb as it cooks, or separate the skin from the breast and stuff the compound butter of your dreams under there for succulent (albeit unhealthy) herb-flavored meat.

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Lunch to Go: Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Lunch to Go: Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potatoes | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
For the last month and a half, one version or another of this salad has been my workaday companion. Sometimes it's made with butternut squash, sometimes apples stand in for pears, occasionally, there are walnuts rather than hazelnuts.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Cost per serving: ~$3.00


This tasty and easily-made lunch or light dinner option is great for those looking for a super interesting meal on a super tight budget. The spices, hazelnuts, and cous cous all lend an "exotic" flare to the dish.



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Apple and Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Apple and Greek Yogurt Pancakes | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
If I ever had to describe myself in just one sentence I would probably state: A believer of the Socrates’ thought. To the same extent another phrase would work as well: Just a (another?) foodie.
Merging the two sentences: a Socratic foodie.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Cost per serving: ~$1.50


Often times, breakfast is the red-headed step child of the gourmet world. Gourmet can't be fried on a griddle, full of maple, or covered in potatoes and ketchup. 


This is a great, inexpensive way to make your breakfast haute, not just hot. 


A thought on substitutions:


Feel free to substitute any similar fruit for the apples in this recipe. Try pears, persimmons, peaches, etc. Any solid, tree-bound fruit will probably work, so leverage your local seasonal produce to save some green!

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Budget and Student Friendly Vietnamese Cold Rolls | BS' in the ...

Budget and Student Friendly Vietnamese Cold Rolls | BS' in the ... | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
When CTV Morning Live contacted us about doing another segment, this time anchored around budget and student friendly meals, Bob and I agreed to the challenge (the video of the segment is posted below – tune in to see ...
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Total cost per serving: ~$1.00


Fresh rolls are incredibly flexible and incredibly affordable; often going overlooked because of a completely false sense of "difficulty." If you can cut up veggies and dip a sheet into water, you can make a fresh roll -- and you can put anything you can put into your mouth into them.


A thought on substitutions: 


Fresh rolls are great for "leftover night." Jazz up your leftover roasted chicken with mint, chili slices, and bean sprouts for a traditional fresh roll, or go crazy and build your own fusion roll. Try turkey breast, dijon mustard, spring greens, scallions and radish sticks for a satisfying "continental" roll.

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That Gluten Free Girl: Vegan Zucchini "Fettucine" Alfredo

That Gluten Free Girl: Vegan Zucchini "Fettucine" Alfredo | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$2.75 per serving


This is an ingenious way to cut carbs out of your diet but still have the experience of pasta, plus the zucchini adds a tasty flavor element to any dish. Preparation is super easy, make long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin (if you have one). Use gentle pressure to acheive a noodle-like thickness.


A thought on substitutions:


If you are not vegan, you can make a normal alfredo or bechamel sauce to go with this. Add a little exciting pesto (arugula-walnut, mint-almond or sweet corn-pinenut would be great choices).

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Quinoa Veggie Burgers | CulinaryChat

Quinoa Veggie Burgers | CulinaryChat | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Portobello mushrooms give a very meaty flavor and texture to these Quinoa Veggie Burgers
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$3.50 per serving



Quinoa is a great source of protein and is super tasty to boot. Make these fancy meatless burgers and satisfy even the most carnivorous of people. 

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Eatsy: How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

Eatsy: How to Make Homemade Gnocchi | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Learn to make dreamy, light-as-air Italian potato dumplings with this step-by-step photo tutorial.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$ >1.00 per serving


Gnocchi is one of the cheapest and simplest gourmet meals on the market. The best gnochhies are only three things: potatoes, salt, and flour. 


Pair gnocchi with a multitude of easy sauces. Pesto is a great choice, as are pureed veggies (such as peas or corn). Great gourmet on a budget.

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Eatsy: Grilled Beet Salad

Eatsy: Grilled Beet Salad | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Balsamic vinegar, creamy goat cheese and peppery arugula pair perfectly with the earthy taste of grilled beets in this veggie-friendly meal.
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Total Cost: ~$3.00 per serving


Beets make a great, nutritious addition to most salads, but really shine on their own when paired with spicy greens like arugula and rich chevre. Serve this fabulous beet salad on a warm summer night with a glass of oaky chardonnay. 

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Eatsy: Spring Pea Soup With Fromage Blanc Cream

Eatsy: Spring Pea Soup With Fromage Blanc Cream | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
A reformed pea-hater embraces spring's tastiest legume in a silky, savory soup that will have your family asking for seconds.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$2.50 per serving


Pureed soups are a soup-er (see what I did there?!) easy way to fancy-ify a dinner, particularly when they feature a fleeting, seasonal veggie such as the pea. When in season, these delightful legumes are ridiculously inexpensive and delicious, so capitalize on these fleeting spring and early summer months!

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Laura Brown's comment, June 3, 2013 9:26 PM
I love split pea soup when it's made with a real ham bone and has that bit of salty taste. The gourmet thing is a bit formal for me. I tend to cook by adding what smells good together and thinking about how much liquid versus dry I've got to work with. I've had some pretty good flops, especially when it comes to baking where measuring really does matter. But, I've had some extra yummy hits too. The sad thing is that I have no idea how I created them because I don't write it down at the time.
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Fresh Fig Crostini With Bûcheron Cheese and Thyme

Fresh Fig Crostini With Bûcheron Cheese and Thyme | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
The contrast of the sweet figs with the pungent semi-aged goat cheese is sublime -- an addictive finger food!
theclairbyrd's insight:

Cost per serving: ~$2.00


These little canapés are a great way to use a delicious cheese and get rid of old, going-stale bread. Bucheron is an incredibly tasty, versatile cheese that makes a chic topping for these poppable party snacks.


A thought on substitutions:



During tomato season, try these on with Burrata cheese (a softer version of mozzerella) and heirloom tomato slices with a sprinkle of sea salt. You'll die.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
I first had bacon wrapped date about this time last year as an appetizer at a luncheon where I first tried a Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Cost per serving: ~$.75


Dates, when in season, are dirt cheap. Bacon is about $5.00 per package, and each strip will make 2 dates. This is all about leveraging quantities and seasonality to make delicious, eater-friendly canapes!


A though on substitutions:


If you want to go a bit more upscale, you could use pancetta in place of bacon. More expensive, but the flavor would be delicate and would just melt into the date. To add an additional layer of awesome, stuff these with Chevre, a soft goats cheese, in place of the cream cheese.


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An easy, healthy pot sticker with a sweeter side - Concord Monitor

An easy, healthy pot sticker with a sweeter side - Concord Monitor | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
An easy, healthy pot sticker with a sweeter side
Concord Monitor
Garnish with the remaining blueberries and mint and serve with the blueberry sauce on the side. Serves 4.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Cost per serving: ~$1.50


These are astonishingly affordable and versatile. Potsticker skins are essentially wheat-based wrappers which can be used for a multitude of things -- from ravioli to dessert wontons, apparently. A pack of 50 will run you $2.50 in most asian groceries. 


A thought on substitutions:


Try using frozen fruit to cut costs even further, and try OJ concentrate instead of the orange liqueur, which can be pricey.

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fourth of july Recipe Slideshow at Epicurious.com

fourth of july Recipe Slideshow  at Epicurious.com | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
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Great fourth of July recipes!

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Cauliflower Tagliatelle Alfredo {Stinky but Delicious}

Cauliflower Tagliatelle Alfredo {Stinky but Delicious} | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
I can’t stand cauliflower. What’s wrong with me? It’s not the texture, not so different from my beloved broccoli, nor the taste which is pretty neutral. It’s the smell. I can’t handle it.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$2.50 per serving



Sometimes simple is the way to go when "going gourmet." Many believe that haute cuisine is complex, difficult, and full of exotic ingredients, when in reality, the exact opposite is often true. 


This simple recipe features 5 basic ingredients readily available in all seasons all across the US. And unlike the original author, I adore cauliflower in all forms. 


A thought on substitutions: 


This recipe would be very easy to make vegan by simply substituting coconut milk for the regular milk and omitting the Parmesan cheese. I'd recommend stirring 1 teaspoon of curry powder into the cauliflower sauce before serving for a tasty Asian-fusion treat!

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The Cooking Doctor: Cajun Baked Chicken Drumlets

The Cooking Doctor: Cajun Baked Chicken Drumlets | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Cajun baked Chicken drumlets by The Cooking Doctor
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Total Cost: ~$4 per serving


Fried chicken is really terrible for you, but is a tasty way to impress your friends for dinner. Try this alternative baked version for a healthier twist on an old classic.

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Eatsy: Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto

Eatsy: Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
With a little dedication and one insider trick, you can whip up a batch of restaurant-worthy risotto.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$5 per serving


Risotto's dirty little secret: with the correct amount of attention, Risotta is not that hard to make! If you can make rice not suck, then you can make risotto not suck.


Be careful on the amount of fat/dairies you add, as this is one thing that can mess it up. Arborio rice is naturally starchy, so avoid things that could turn this starch into glue.


To keep your risotto from going gloppy, stir constantly and focus your attention solely on this dish. Finish a light salad or white bean and mint bruschetta before turning to the main attraction, this gorgeous, simple risotto.

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The five best vegetarian recipes from Observer Food Monthly

The five best vegetarian recipes from Observer Food Monthly | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
To mark 10 years of the Observer Food Monthly Awards, a selection of the best recipes from the magazine over the past decade
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5 great, cheap meals and sides to create an easy, fast and tasty gourmet meal.

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Laura Brown's comment, June 3, 2013 9:28 PM
Brussel sprouts fried (and actually burnt) in butter are really, really good. A bit of salt. They taste surprisingly like popcorn you buy at the movie theatre.
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Eatsy: Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce

Eatsy: Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce | Cheap Gourmet Meals | Scoop.it
Transform your standard salad with this bright, breezy and veggie-friendly meal.
theclairbyrd's insight:

Total cost: ~$1 per wrap


Serving suggestions: Serve with steamed jasmine rice or grilled squash.


This meal is super healthy, protein-rich, and gorgeous to boot. For a more substantial meal (or for those afraid of tofu), simply add 2 chopped, grilled chicken thighs in place (or in addition to) the tofu. Costs would stay within $.25 of the original price and provide another source of lean protein.

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