Dinner Recipes

Confetti Chicken Salad Recipe

This delightful chicken salad recipe uses millet; a gluten-free grain packed with protein. It's best to marinate the chicken for at least two to three hours before serving. Add the millet and avocados when serving so they don't get watered-down and soggy. 

Confetti chicken salad is great for brown bag lunches, summer celebrations, picnics and cook-outs. Since it contains no mayonnaise, it makes for perfect pitch-in food!


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Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.


1/4 cup Lime juice, fresh
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 cups Chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 cup Celery, diced
2 tablespoons Parsley, fresh, chopped
3 cups Millet, cooked
2 Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into chunks


1. Blend lime juice, oil, garlic and salt in large bowl.
2. Add chicken, celery and parsley and stir well to incorporate ingredients.
3. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
4. Add millet and avocado chunks; toss lightly, and serve.

You might also like Napa Valley Chicken Salad made with Poppyseed Dressing!

The Diva Diet The Diva Diet, by Kathy Browning

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Sinfully Delicious Baked Salmon Recipe

The following Sinfully Delicious Baked Salmon recipe is packed with heart-healthy essential fatty acids and offers a light flavor that pairs well with the Green with Envy Tossed Salad and a side dish of potatoes. Feel free to grill the salmon, if desired. Just be certain to use a grill basket to avoid sticking or wrap in aluminum foil before placing on a hot grill.


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Serves 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Ready in: 60 minutes


2 cloves Garlic, minced
6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Basil, dried
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Parsley, freshly chopped
2 Salmon fillets (6 ounces each)


1. In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
2. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Tired of the same ole' potato recipes? Check out Cooking with Potatoes 101 for exciting new ideas!



The Diva Diet The Diva Diet, by Kathy Browning

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Baked Mahi Mahi Dinner for Two for Less Than $12

Baked Mahi Mahi is one of my favorite fish. I could eat mahi every day and never get tired of it. There are hundreds of ways to prepare it – baked, broiled, grilled, blackened, pan fried. Mahi mahi is also great for making fish tacos. I always pick up extra so I can have leftovers for mahi mahi tacos.

Baked mahi mahi is a great holiday meal. I plan to serve a mahi dinner for friends later next week and wanted to develop a festive salsa. While mahi tastes great on its own, fruit or veggie salsas compliment and accentuate the flavor.

The experimental dinner turned out so well that I had to share it with readers of The Cheap Gourmet blog. The salsa was a huge hit with my husband. Considering he is primarily a meat-and-potato kind of guy, it's not always easy to get overly creative in the kitchen. If he loves something, I know it is really, really good.

Living in Florida gives me year-round access to mahi mahi. If you are unable to find Mahi Mahi in your area, substitute with Wahoo, Tilapia, Amberjack or Chilean Sea Bass. The recommended serving of fish is 4 to 6 ounces. One pound will serve four people.

The following recipes will provide a baked mahi mahi dinner for two for less than $12. As much as I hate to admit it, I cheated and used canned green beans. Although I prefer fresh green beans, the selection at the store was pretty sad looking and I opted for the canned variety.


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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 30 minutes


½ Cucumber, finely diced
1 medium Tomato, seeds removed and finely diced
1/8 cup Red Onion, finely diced
2 cloves Garlic, finely diced
½ small Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
5-6 sprigs fresh Cilantro, stems removed and loosely chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.


Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes


2 medium white Potatoes, sliced
¼ White Onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash Seasoning, to taste


These potatoes are baked in a foil pocket. Prepare two 18-inch sheets of foil and place ingredients on top of one another. Pull sides together and create a flap that can be sealed by folding excess foil. Fold ends to create a seal.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash potatoes and dry. Slice into ¼-inch slices. Place potato slices in the center of each foil.
3. Thinly slice onions and garlic and place on top of potatoes.
4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each mound of potatoes, onions and garlic.
5. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash seasoning.
6. Wrap foil and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and carefully unwrap. Potato pockets will be steamy when opened, so keep fingers away from direct heat.
8. Transfer potatoes to serving bowl or place on individual plates.
Potato pockets



Serves 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes


2 4 to 6-ounce Mahi Mahi fish fillets
¼ cup Dale's Seasoning Reduced Sodium


1. Wash mahi fillets under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Add Dale's Seasoning to baking dish.
3. Place mahi mahi fillets, meat side down into baking dish and let marinate for 20 minutes. If the skin has been removed, flip mahi fillets after 10 minutes so each side soaks up marinade.
4. Place mahi mahi fillets in oven (skin side down) during the last 10 to 12 minutes of baking potato pockets.
5. Mahi fillets are ready when the meat is flakey and internal temperature is 145 degrees. Fish should not be cooked beyond 160 degrees, as it will become dry and chewy.
6. Remove mahi fillets from oven and transfer to individual plates.
7. Serve with festive holiday salsa on the side or placed on top of the mahi fillet.


Getting the Timing Right

The reason I am sharing this is because I did NOT get the timing right and was scrambling to make the salsa at the last minute. The festive holiday salsa can be made a day ahead if desired. The longer ingredients have to marinate, the more flavor you will achieve. At minimum, the salsa should marinate for 30 minutes.

1. Prepare festive holiday salsa.
2. Prepare mahi mahi fillets and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than one hour.
3. Prepare potato pockets.
4. Prepare green beans. If using fresh green beans, allow ample time to clean, snap and cook. Fresh green beans can be steamed or grilled. Steaming takes between 15 and 18 minutes, while grilling takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Canned green beans only require 5 minutes to cook.
Other Mahi Mahi Recipes You Might Like

Gourmet Spicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

Baked Mahi Mahi Fish Recipe

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Homemade Corn Chip Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

The following homemade corn chip meatballs with spaghetti recipe occurred as a fluke. It wasn't until after I assembled my regular meatball ingredients that I realized I had no bread crumbs in the cupboard. As I searched for a substitute, I noticed a container of corn chips stashed at the back of the pantry.

I thought, what the heck… why not grind the corn chips in a food processor and improvise? The corn chips I used were pretty stale, which may or may not be the key to the recipe. I've yet to try these meatballs using fresh corn chips.

The meatballs were quite tasty, with just a hint of corn chip flavor. I imagine kids would really like these meatballs. You could easily substitute ground beef with ground turkey, chicken or pork, or use half pork and half ground beef. Feel free to experiment and create your own version of corn chip meatballs!

Homemade Corn Chip Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

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Serves: 4 (16 meatballs)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

1 pound lean Ground Beef
¼ cup Red Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Green Pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
½ cup Corn Chips, finely ground
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 ounces shredded Mozzarella Cheese, optional



1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, expect olive oil and mix with hands to incorporate all ingredients.
2. Using a cookie dough scoop, or hands, make 16 one-ounce meatballs.
3. Add olive oil to 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium and gently place meatballs in skillet and cover with a lid.
5. Cook meatballs for 2-3 minutes per side.
6. Cook each side of meatballs for 1 minute.
7. Line a plate with paper towels and transfer meatballs to plate to absorb excess oil.
8. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti and add your favorite sauce.
9. Top with mozzarella cheese, if desired.


Side Note: Cook spaghetti according to package directions. I used regular spaghetti, which takes 10-12 minutes to cook. Start water prior to cooking meatballs. Once it comes to a rapid boil, add spaghetti and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain in a colander and serve immediately.

This recipe pairs well with garlic bread or garlic toast and a fresh salad.

Looking for homemade pasta sauce recipes? Check out my Yahoo! Contributor Network article ~ Homemade Sauces: Three Easy-to-Prepare Pasta Sauces


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Baked Spicy Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Beef and Bacon Casserole

Baked spicy macaroni and cheese with ground beef and bacon casserole is one of our family favorite recipes. This one-dish meal is a cheap gourmet version of America's all-time favorite comfort food. It pairs well with a fresh salad and piping hot dinner rolls.

Baked spicy macaroni and cheese with ground beef and bacon casserole is a great dish to take to pitch-in parties and cook-outs. It can be served for lunch or dinner, as an entrée or side dish, and makes a great leftover meal that can be taken to work and reheated in the microwave.

This Mac' and Cheese casserole can be transformed into a healthier version by using whole wheat pasta, substituting ground beef with ground chicken or turkey, and using turkey bacon instead of pork. I have used low-fat cheddar cheese in the past, but found it to be a bit too rubbery in this particular recipe. I hope you, your family and friends enjoy this macaroni and cheese recipe as much as we do!


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Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 – 12 minutes

1 to 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound lean Ground Beef, Chicken or Turkey
6 slices Bacon, (Pork or Turkey)
1 16-ounce box Corkscrew Pasta (or Elbow Macaroni, Penne or Bowtie)
1 or 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed and diced
2 medium cloves Garlic, minced
1 16-ounce jar Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
Salt and pepper, as desired


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place bacon strips in large skillet and cook over medium heat approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side. Bacon should be crisp on both sides for ease in breaking into smaller pieces.
3. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up grease.
4. Crumble ground beef into skillet, allowing it to cook in the remaining bacon grease. Stir frequently and break up any large pieces using a spatula. 

Spicy hamburger bacon mixture

5. Using a 3-quart pot, add 2 quarts of water, pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Bring to a boil, add pasta and cook as per package instructions.

Spicy hamburger bacon mixture and cooked pasta

6. While ground beef and pasta are cooking, wash jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and dice. If you prefer super spicy, chop entire pepper including the seeds.
7. Remove skin from garlic cloves and mince.
8. Break bacon into bite-size pieces and add along with jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves to ground beef during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking.
9. Lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish with olive oil.
10. Drain pasta using a colander and transfer to baking dish.

Corkscrew macaroni

11. Drain hamburger mixture in colander and rinse with water to remove excess grease.
12. Add hamburger mixture and Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce to pasta. Gently stir to incorporate ingredients.

Mac and cheese casserole

13. Top casserole with shredded Cheddar Cheese. Evenly sprinkle with dried Oregano and Basil.

Spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese

14. Place Mac' and Cheese in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese melts and begins to turn brown on top. 

Baked spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese

15. Using oven mitts, remove casserole from oven. Allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to dinner plates and serve immediately.

Baked spicy hamburger bacon mac and cheese on plate



Gourmet Spicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos Recipe

The first time someone mentioned mahi mahi fish tacos to me, I turned up my nose and thought they had lost their mind. Seriously, fish tacos? Yuck! But, was I ever wrong and I'm certainly glad I was "brave" enough to give them a try.

My first experience with Spicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos was at the Ale House over in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was about 3 weeks into recovery from having extensive dental work done and my diet was still limited to soft foods. The only thing that concerned me about the dish was it was served with a red cabbage slaw, but I figured I could scrape if off if my healing gums weren't ready for that much chomping.

It was in love at first bite. I vividly remember the experience because I consumed the entire meal. It was the first "real" food I had eaten in 21 days. I savored every bite and attempted to figure out what spices the Ale House used to create this masterpiece of a taco.

Although the following recipe isn't exactly the same, it has a fabulous kick from marinade which is offset by the mildness of the Iceberg lettuce. My husband doesn't like red cabbage, so we opted for green lettuce instead. Feel free to use either because they both taste great!


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Yield: 8 tacos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes


1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce or Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or 1-2 teaspoons table salt)
1 Lime, juice only
1/4 wedge Iceberg Lettuce or Red Cabbage, shredded
1 medium Tomato, diced
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded (optional)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound skinless Mahi Mahi fillet, cut into two 8-ounce fillets
8 small Flour Tortillas (or 4 large if you prefer to make these into burritos)


1. For marinade, combine cilantro, hot sauce, salt and lime juice in a medium bowl.
2. Add mahi mahi fillets to marinade and gently toss to cover.
3. Cover bowl  with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for one hour.
4. After fish has marinated, preheat oven to 300-degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven.
6. Add oil to 12-inch skillet and heat on medium setting until oil begins to slightly ripple.
7. Carefully add mahi mahi fillets and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side. 
8. Transfer mahi mahi to a plate and separate fillets into bite-size pieces using a fork.


9. Remove tortilla shells from oven and unwrap.


10. Fill center of tortilla with mahi and top with lettuce, tomato and cheese.



11. Fold into a taco or wrap into a burrito and serve immediately.



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You might also like The Cheap Gourmet's Baked Mahi Mahi Fish Recipe.

Rock Shrimp Stuffed with Asiago Cheese and Jalapenos

Rock shrimp stuffed with asiago cheese and jalapenos is the perfect summertime food. This delightful seafood dish can be cooked on the grill, under the broiler, on a flat top griddle or in a skillet. Talk about versatile!

Rock shrimp stuffed with asiago cheese and jalapenos makes a great appetizer and is perfect for entertaining. It also makes a great entree and can be paired with red potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, green beans, seasoned rice or anything else you enjoy combining with shrimp.

Rock shrimp are deep water crustaceans, harvested in 120 to 240 feet of water. They have a hard exoskelton and taste similar to lobster. When preparing this recipe, you will need to remove the shell by using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors to snip the back of the shell away from the body and tail. Rock shrimp have a sand vein which can be removed by rinsing under cold running water.

NOTE: Prior to preparing the rock shrimp recipe, place 12 toothpicks in a small container filled with water. Soaking the toothpicks prevents them from burning and makes them easier to remove when the shrimp is cooked.You can also use wooden or metal skewers if desired. Place 3 to 4 shrimp per skewer and cook as directed below.


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Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

24 Rock Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces Asiago Cheese, shredded
1 medium Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and minced
12 slices Bacon


1. Place 12 toothpicks or wooden skewers in a container filled halfway with water.
2. Wash shrimp in cold running water. Remove shell and butterfly shrimp by cutting lengthwise along the back, leaving tail section intact. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Finely grate asiago cheese.
4. Mince jalapeno pepper and mix with cheese.


5. Cut bacon slices in half.
6. Stuff each shrimp with 1 teaspoon of cheese mixture.


7. Wrap each shrimp with 1/2 slice of bacon and secure with toothpick or place on skewer.


8. Place shrimp on a broiler pan or grill and cook until bacon begins to crisp; about 4 minutes.
9. Turn shrimp and cook until bacon is done; about 4 minutes.
10. Transfer to plate and serve immediately.


Balsamic Glazed Chicken over a Bed of Long Grain and Wild Rice

The following Balsamic Glazed Chicken over a Bed of Long Grain and Wild Rice is a quick and easy recipe that bursts with flavor and leaves you feeling full and satisfied. It is light enough for a summer dinner, yet hardy enough for a cold winter night.

The balsamic glazed chicken over a bed of long grain and wild rice recipe was developed during our "clean out the pantry" week. I really enjoy engaging in clean out the pantry week because it forces me to be creative and helps reduce our food inventory.

I'm dangerous when it comes to grocery shopping. I'm worse than a shopaholic at the mall. I take advantage of buy one get one free specials and proudly present my fistful of coupons. But, I have a tendency to go overboard in my attempt to save a buck. My spending sprees eventually end up in excessive inventory that gets shoved to the back of the pantry.

Chicken is perhaps one of the easiest meats to cook with because it is so versatile. Did you ever watch, Forrest Gump? If so, you will remember the long list of shrimp ideas that Bubba rattled off. I'm the Bubba of chicken. I can come up with a thousand ways to prepare it.

I hope you enjoy the following recipe and encourage you to take part in your own clean out the pantry week. You might be surprised by the wonderful concoctions you can come up with! If nothing else, you can save yourself some big bucks by not grocery shopping for a week. And, if your meal sucks, you can afford to go out to dinner ;-)

Balsamic Chicken on a Bed of Long Grain Rice


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Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice
2 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 Vidalia Onion, chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend
1/2 teaspoon Goya Adobo seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare Uncle Ben's rice as per package directions.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Rinse and dry vegetables. Using a clean cutting board and knife, chop vegetables into bite-size pieces.
  4. Mix Mrs. Dash, Adobo, and black pepper and sprinkle over chicken.
  5. Add olive oil to a 12-inch skillet. Heat oil over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Carefully add chicken to skillet; making sure pieces do not overlap. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and turn.
  7. Add chopped vegetables to chicken.
  8. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until chicken is done and vegetables are crisp-tender.
  9. Reduce heat to low. Pour in balsamic vinegar and gently mix until chicken and veggies are coated.
  10. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
  11. Place rice on plates and top with chicken and vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.

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Gourmet Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Tired of the same old red beans and rice recipe? Looking for a way to spice up this protein-packed, high carbohydrate meal? If so, you're going to love today's gourmet red beans and rice recipe. Best, of all, it's easy to prepare and is super affordable.

My husband was raised on red beans and rice. When I suggest making it for dinner, he gives me that "I'll eat it if I have to, but I'd rather not" look. Personally, I could eat red beans and rice at least three times a week. I love it!

Did you know that eating a high carbohydrate meal before bedtime can help you sleep better? I'm an insomniac. Or, maybe I'm a night owl. I've always been one who prefers to stay up 'till the wee hours of the morning and sleep in. That's why I love being self-employed as a writer. I can make my own hours and don't have to crawl out of bed at the crack of dawn. But, I digress...

I haven't been sleeping well lately and really needed a good night of rest. I knew red beans and rice would do the trick, but also knew my husband would prefer something else. So, I decided to get a little creative and see how I could jazz the recipe up to suit both of our tastes.

We were blown away by the results and think you will be too! I used Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice New Orleans Style box mix. Personally, I think their brand is the best. It doesn't leave an aftertaste in your mouth like some of the other packaged red beans and rice mixes. For those reducing their salt intake, Zatarain's has three new reduced sodium products, one of which is red beans and rice.

In case your wondering, I had a wonderful night of sleep after consuming this meal. If you have trouble sleeping, I hope this recipe can help you get your zzzzz's.


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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


1 box Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice New Orleans Style
1/2 package Johnsonville New Orleans Brand Smoked Sausage (3 sausages, sliced 1-inch thick, then quartered)
2 Toufayan Bakeries Whole Wheat Flatbreads
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded


  1. Slice Johnsonville New Orleans Smoke Sausage into 1-inch thick rounds, then slice rounds into halves or quarters, depending on your preference.
  2. In a 2-quart pot, add sausage and cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Place a paper towel on a small plate and place sausage on top to drain.
  3. Add sausage to Zatarain's Red Beans as Rice and cook per package instructions.
  4. Place one Toufayan Whole Wheat Flatbread on a plate.
  5. Top with red beans and rice and spread mixture to the edges.
  6. Top with 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese and serve immediately.
Red Beans and Rice topped with cheddar cheese

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Super Simple Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Bread with Melted Brie Cheese

Today, I'd like to share a super simple summer salad with grilled chicken and a side of bread with melted brie cheese. This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and is packed with protein, calcium, fiber and flavor!

You can make this super simple summer salad using a prepackaged salad mix. However, I prefer to use fresh ingredients. It is actually cheaper to buy the vegetables and chop them your self. The salad will be much fresher and crisp and tends to last longer than the bagged salad mixes.

Perdue Chicken offers prepackaged chicken breasts, which are perfect for adding to salads. They are the perfect portion size and come in a variety of flavors. The Italian marinated chicken works great with this particular recipe. You can also use packaged chicken strips or plain chicken breasts. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Super Simple Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Bread with Melted Brie Cheese

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Serves: Two
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

2 6-ounce skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
1/2 bunch Romaine lettuce, stems removed and chopped
1/4 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 Carrot, diced
1 stalk Celery, diced
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 medium Tomato, chopped
Salad Dressing
Salt and Pepper, if desired

Bread Ingredients:
1/4 loaf Artisan Bread (found in the bakery of most supermarkets)
1/4 round Alouette Baby Brie, thinly sliced


  1. If using regular chicken breasts, add salt and pepper or other seasonings of choice. I like Mrs. Dash because it adds a nice flavor. You could also use McCormick's Roasted Garlic seasoning or marinate the chicken in 1/4 cup of Dale's Seasoning for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook chicken in the broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side or until center is no longer pink.
  3. While chicken is cooking, prepare salad mix.
  4. Wash and dry vegetables. If using packaged salad mix, empty bag into colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Loosely chop romaine and head lettuce. Cut spine out of romaine leaves.
  6. Dice celery and carrots.
  7. Remove the root from green onions and slice thin rounds.
  8. Quarter tomato, remove seeds (if desired) and cut into chunks.
  9. Toss ingredients together and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  10. Slice four 1/2-inch thick bread slices from Artisan Bread.
  11. Cut four 1/4-inch slices of Baby Brie and place on top of bread.
  12. Remove chicken from broiler or grill and place on plate. Allow to set for 5 minutes.
  13. Place bread on baking sheet and place in 350-degree oven. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven.
  14. Slice chicken into strips or cut into 1/2-inch chunks.
  15. Transfer salad to serving plates.
  16. Top with grilled chicken and add salad dressing, if desired.
  17. Serve with two slices of baked bread with melted brie cheese.

Super Simple Summer Salad

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe - The Cheap Gourmet Original

I am excited to share this Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla recipe with you. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for a local restaurant offering two new cheese steak sandwiches; one of which was a quesadilla. What was ironic about it was my husband and I had been discussing the concept a few nights before.

To us, a philly cheese steak quesadilla seemed like a perfect fit. It also seemed less messy. I LOVE philly cheese steaks, but always end up wearing half of it. Do you have that problem too?

A few nights ago, my husband was attending an event and I had to fend for myself come dinner time. We had all the makings for cheese steaks sandwiches except for bread.

The light bulb went on and I decided to give the quesadilla concept a try. I am happy to report it was an incredible success. Even better, this recipe is super simple to make. The icing on top is you can make personal quesadillas to accomodate everyone's taste buds.

I love mushrooms on my philly cheesesteaks. My husband isn't too fond of those. I added fresh diced tomoatoes in the quesadilla and it added a nice flavor contrast. We've had cheese steak quesadillas three times in four days -- that's how addicting these things are!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe

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Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 medium flour Tortilla wraps
4 slices frozen Philly Cheese Steaks
1/2 green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh Tomatoes, diced (optional)
4 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.
  3. Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove frozen Philly Cheesesteak meat from package. Break into bite-size pieces and add to skillet.
  5. Add pepper and onion, stirring frequently.
  6. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Cover each quesadilla with 2 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Spread cheese evenly and all the way to the edges.
  8. Place half the meat mixture on one half of each quesadilla.
  9. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
  10. Fold the other half over meat mixture and seal edges using the cheese sauce.
  11. Place on baking stone or baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tortillas begins to turn light brown.
  13. Remove from oven, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla

Gourmet Sweet and Tart BBQ Country-style Spare Ribs Recipe

I'm excited to share this gourmet BBQ Country Spare Ribs recipe with you. What began as an experiment turned out to be the best barbeque sauce I've ever tasted. The leftovers yield tastebud-exploding pulled pork BBQ that will leave you begging for more!

Country-style ribs aren't actually ribs. They are pork chops cut from the front of the loin near the shoulder. The attached bone is usually the shoulder blade. Country style ribs are meatier, yet less fatty than other rib cuts.

Packaged country-style ribs typically contain various sizes and thicknesses, making it difficult to cook to an even level of doneness. For this reason it is best to cook spare ribs in the slow cooker. Doing so will yield fall-off-the-bone meat infused with flavor.

The Sweet and Tart BBQ County Spare Ribs were served with homemade garlic, green onion, parmesan mashed potatoes; green beans with Canadian bacon; and Jalapeno corn muffins.

Keep an eye out at the grocery store and stock up on country-style spare ribs. These ribs generally sell for $3 to $4 per pound. Our grocer recently had them on sale for $1.99 pound. We purchased a 5-pound package and divided it in half. The entire meal cost less than $10 for two.

Gourmet Sweet and Tart BBQ Country-style Spare Ribs Recipe

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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours


2-1/2 to 3 pounds Country-style Spare Ribs
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 onion, quartered and sliced into 1/4-inch strips


1/3 cup Tamari Sauce (can substitute with Soy Sauce)
1/2 cup bottled Ketchup
1 Tablespoon prepared Mustard
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Celery Seed
Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Trim excess fat from ribs.
  2. In a 12-inch round skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it begins to evaporate from the pan.
  3. Carefully add ribs and sear for 3 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer to slow cooker Crockpot.
  5. Place onion slices on top of ribs.
  6. Mix sauce ingredient together and pour over onions and ribs.
  7. Cover and cook over high heat for one hour.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour.
  9. Reduce heat to low and cook for four hours.
  10. Transfer to serving dish or individual plates and serve immediately.


Gourmet "Souped-Up" Rice-a-Roni

I've been a fan of Rice-a-Roni since I was a kid. It was a staple in our household because it was a cheap food nearly everyone liked. With a husband and four kids to feed, my mom was not only the Cooking Queen, she was also the Queen of Frugality. Who knew her frugality would lead me to my destiny of becoming The Cheap Gourmet ;-).

Last week, our grocer was selling Rice-a-Roni as buy one, get one free. I love BOGO sales, don't you? Considering Rice-a-Roni is still one of my favorite "San Francisco treats", I stocked up. After all, this is probably one of the most versatile and easy-to-prepare dishes on the planet.

Today, Rice-a-Roni is owned by the Quaker Oats Company and offers 18 varieties. Although I haven't tried all of them (Yet!) my favorites include: Chicken, Beef, Red Beans and Rice, Rice Pilaf, Long Grain and Wild Rice, and Fried Rice.

Since I had purchased a total of 20 boxes of Rice-a-Roni, I decided to experiment a bit. I figured if my experiment failed, I would only be out a couple of bucks. But, I had a feeling my idea would work and I'm happy to report that it did!

I added one of my other favorite products, Campbell's French Onion Soup, to a box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni. The package called for 2-1/2 cups of water. I replaced the the water with one can of French Onion Soup and about 1 cup of water. It really "souped-up" the flavor and the onion chunks added a new layer of texture.

This dish is "souper" easy to prepare ;-). Did you like my pun, LOL! All that is required is one box of Beef flavored Rice-a-Roni, one can of Campbell's French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Food prep doesn't get much easier than that does it?

Follow the package directions for preparation of the Rice-a-Roni. Instead of using the full 2-1/2 cups water, replace with the French Onion Soup and one cup of water. Within 25 minutes, you will have a yummy side dish bursting with flavor.

Soup up Rice-a-Roni

What's for Dinner? ~ Seven Cheap Gourmet Dinner Suggestions

Are you wondering what's for dinner? If so, here are 7 super simple cheap gourmet dinner suggestions:

Monday: Balsamic and Olive Oil Marinated Pork Shoulder Steaks. This entree is perfect with sides of macaroni and cheese and green beans. Add a slice of bread with butter or dipping oil or a hot dinner roll.

Tuesday: Baked Mahi Mahi Fish. Mahi is a delightful white fish with mild flavor. If Mahi Mahi isn't available, substitute with Talipia or Cod. Serve with a baked potato and peas or green beans.

Wednesday: Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast. This entree pairs well with roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or baked potato and a side of corn.

Thursday: Gourmet Meatloaf. Pair with a fresh garden salad, mashed potatoes and green beans, corn or peas, and a hot dinner roll.

Friday: Gourmet Flatbread Pizzas. By the end of the week most people are too tired to cook. Try these indiviual personalized pizzas for a quick, easy meal.

Saturday: Gourmet Crab Legs. This super simple recipe yields scrumptious tasty crab legs so delicious you don't even need melted butter! Serve with a side salad, baked fries and corn-on-the-cob.

Sunday: Herb Crusted Chicken Breast. This is the perfect Sunday meal! Serve with baked sweet potato fries and steamed aspargus or mashed potatoes and green beans.

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Brie Cheese & Wrapped in Bacon

Last night, I whipped up an amazing chicken breast stuffed with brie cheese and wrapped in bacon. Unfortunately, my digital camera broke and I was unable to photograph my creation. However, it was so amazing I HAD to share the recipe with you. Once I purchase a new camera, I'll make the recipe again and add some photos to this post. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this delicious entree as much as we did!

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Brie Cheese and Wrapped in Bacon

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2 6-ounce Chicken Breasts
3 strips Bacon
4 slices Brie Cheese


  • Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel.

  • Place chicken inside a quart-size plastic bag.

  • Using a hammer, gently pound chicken until it's about 1/2-inch thick. Or, use a meat mallet.

  • Place two 1/4-inch slices of Brie cheese in the center of the breast.

  • Fold chicken breast twice, making sure cheese stays tucked inside.

  • Wrap each breast with 1-1/2 slices of bacon. Secure with toothpicks.

  • Place on broiler pan, then place in broiler.

  • Broil for 7 minutes, then turn chicken breast and broil for another 7 minutes.

  • Remove from broiler and let sit for 3-4 minutes.

  • Remove toothpicks.

  • Transfer to serving plate and enjoy!

Super Simple "Leftover" Chicken Pasta Recipe

The following Super Simple Chicken Pasta Recipe was created using leftover chicken and a variety of pastas. Do you ever have boxes with just a little bit of pasta left in them? If so, this recipe is the perfect solution!


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Here's what you need to make this tasty dish. Feel free to add or delete spices and veggies to create your own unique pasta dish.

8 ounces Dried Pasta - I used penne, shells and bowtie pasta

1 or 2 Chicken breasts, diced (You could use dark or white meat or a combination)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 White or Yellow onion, chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and minced

1 Tomato, seeded and chopped

1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Using a 6-quart pot, fill about 2/3rd's of the way with water to boil the pasta.

Place the pot on a stove burner and turn on High. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt, if desired and a teaspoon of olive oil (helps to keep the pasta from sticking).

Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Add 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil to 12-inch skillet. Place on stovetop burner and turn heat to Medium.

Add garlic and onion. Saute until onion becomes translucent; about 4 minutes.

Add green bell and jalapeno peppers and cook for 3 minutes.

Add diced chicken.

When pasta is thoroughly cooked, drain water and add to veggie mixture in the skillet.

Reduce heat to Low.

Add tomatoes and gently toss. Cook all ingredients for 4-5 minutes.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Feel free to add in additional spices such as Mrs. Dash, basil, oregano or parsley.

Transfer to serving bowl and enjoy!

Add a yummy salad and freshly baked bread (Pillsbury has a fabulous French bread loaf!) for a satisfying meal.

The Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe

'Tis the season for breaking out the Crock-Pot Slow Cooker! There's nothing better than the aromas that fill your house as your fork-tender meal is cooking. Today I'd like to share the Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe which I created for my family last weekend.

Before I share the Ultimate Beef Crockpot Recipe, allow me to explain how it came about. On October 22, I underwent oral surgery for complete dental restoration. I had been living off nutrition shakes and soup. My dentist told me I would need to stay on a liquid and soft food diet for several weeks while my gums healed.

After a week, I could barely stand the thought of downing one more drink or bowl of soup or plate of mashed potatoes. Then it hit me... Bring out the Crock-Pot!! I had been craving beef, which is odd since I don't eat much red meat. I'm assuming my body needed the protein to help me through the healing process.

I gathered my favorite ingredients and began adding items to the Crock-Pot I inherited from my mom, the Cooking Queen. She cooked up some seriously good food and I was in need of something with substance. I'm certain she would have loved this recipe and it has offically been added to my family's list of all-time favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


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Serves 6 Cook Time: 4 to 6 hours


1-1/2 pounds Sirloin Tip Side Steak, cut in strips
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Black Pepper, coarsely ground
1 Onion (yellow or white), sliced into rings
2 medium Carrots, sliced diagonally
4 medium Potatoes
1 green Bell Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
2 Tablespoons Dale's Seasoning (or Worcestershire Sauce)
1 Tablespoon Stubb's Moppin' Sauce (or BBQ Sauce)
1 14.5-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
1 10-1/2-ounce can Campbell's French Onion Soup, plus 2 soup cans Water


  1. Slice sirloin tip side steak into 2-inch strips
  2. Add olive oil to 10-inch skillet and heat to medium.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of meat with coarsely ground black pepper and press pepper into meat with the palm of your hand.
  4. Carefully add meat to skillet and lightly brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and place on plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  5. Slice onion into 1-inch thick rings. Separate rings and place on bottom of Crock-Pot.
  6. Slice carrots diagonally into 1-inch chunks and add to Crock-Pot.
  7. Cut potatoes into large chunks. I prefer to leave the skin on, but you can remove it if desired.
  8. Cut green bell peppers into rings or large chunks.
  9. Chop garlic and toss in with the rest of the veggies.
  10. Slice jalapeno peppers in half and remove seeds. Mince and add to the Crockpot.
  11. Mix the Dale's Seasoning (or Worcestershire Sauce) and Stubb's Moppin' Sauce (or BBQ) together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the sirloin steak with the sauce.
  12. Place seasoned meat on top of veggies.
  13. Drain diced tomatoes and place on top of the meat.
  14. Pour French Onion Soup and 2 soup cans of water over the meat and vegetables.
  15. Turn the Crock-Pot on high for 30 minutes, then lower setting to medium or medium-low.
  16. Cook for 4 to 6 hours.
  17. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with a French Baguette or warm bread with butter or dipping oil.



Sweet and Sassy Crockpot Chicken

Crockpot Caramel Apples

Crockpot Beef Roast with Burgundy Wine Gravy

Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

In light of the recent massive beef recall, many people are seriously considering becoming a Vegetarian. I'm one of them. In fact, I was a Vegetarian for several years. It wasn't until I met my husband that I converted back to a meat and potatoes kind of girl. But, the more I hear and learn about tainted meat, the less I desire to eat it.

As you may recall, several years ago I worked as a chef for a health food store. One of our most popular dishes was known as a Nut Burger. Made from a variety of nuts and shaped into patties, these burgers are packed with protein, essential fatty acids and they taste amazingly delicious.

My favorite way to serve them is on a lightly toasted whole wheat sesame seed bun with Dijon mustard and pickle slices. Just as with a regular hamburger, you can top Nut Burgers with your favorite condiments including mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pickles and even cheese.

While I no longer have the recipe for the Original Nut Burgers, I have created one that is similar and tastes nearly identical to the ones we sold at the health food store. These are made using chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans. For best results, these burgers should be cooked on the grill or under a broiler. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


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Serves 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10-14 minutes


2 small Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon Sunflower or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 medium Green Onions (or Scallions), white and green parts cut into 1-inch strips
1 15-ounce can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Sunflower seeds, toasted and ground into a coarse powder in spice grinder or blender
1-1/2 cups plain Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt (to taste)


  1. Add 3 to 4 inches of water to a large saucepan. Add potatoes to a steamer basket, cover and bring water to a boil. Cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes and transfer to a small bowl. Mash with a fork.
  3. Transfer 1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes to the workbowl of a food processor.
  4. Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until limp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add scallions, chickpeas, ketchup, and ground sunflower seeds to food processor. Pulse on and off several times until ingredients are well blended.
  6. Transfer mixture from food processor to large bowl. Add bread crumbs. Mix by hand using a large spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  7. Season with salt to taste. Mixture will be moist, but should hold together well.
  8. Divide and shape mixture into eight patties approximately 3-inches across and 1/2-inch thick. Add extra bread crumbs if patties don't hold their shape.
  9. Prepare grill or preheat broiler.
  10. If using a grill, place patties on vegetable grid to avoid sticking. If using the broiler, place patties on a broiler pan or large cookie sheet lined with lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil.
  11. Grill over medium-hot coals or broil 3 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, approximately 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  12. Check often to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Transfer to serving platter and serve with favorite toppings and condiments.


Penne Pasta with Spicy Peppers Recipe

I'm a huge fan of penne pasta. I love the flavor and texture and find it to be one of the most versatile pastas on the market. Below is one of my all-time favorite Penne Pasta recipes. If desired, you can add grilled shrimp or chicken to this dish. I've also added thinly sliced strips of London Broil and chunks of Italian sausage. No matter what you add, it all tastes good!

Penne Pasta with Spicy Peppers can be served as an entree for either lunch or dinner. My family enjoys this dish along with a tasty crisp salad and homemade garlic bread or breadsticks. I hope your family enjoys it too!


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Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Red Bell Peppers, cut into 3/4-inch strips, seeds removed
2 large Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 cup frozen Peas
1 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce or Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup heavy Cream or Half-and-Half
16 ounces Penne Pasta, cooked according to package directions
3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add red peppers, onion, garlic, and salt; cook and stir 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.
Add chicken broth, peas and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.
Spoon half of red pepper mixture into container of food processor or blender; process until smooth and return to skillet over low heat.
Stir in cream and heat through.
Remove from heat and stir in pasta; tossing well.
Spoon into individual pasta bowls and top with cheese.

Sweet and Sassy Crockpot Chicken Recipe

The following Sweet and Sassy Crockpot Chicken recipe is the most amazing dish I have ever tasted. The flavors are a cross between Bourbon Chicken and Sweet and Sour Chicken. This recipe is super easy to adapt. While it calls for a whole cut-up chicken, you can also use either bone-in or boneless chicken breasts, but will need to adjust the cooking time.

Before you start cooking Sweet and Sassy Crockpot Chicken, allow me to share a few tips with you.

  • If you use chicken breasts, reduce the amount of brown sugar to between 1/2 and 3/4 cup.
  • Reduce the cooking time by 75 percent by using breast meat cut into chunks. This method only requires a 2 hour cooking time over low heat.
  • Last, but not least, you can also cook this recipe on the stovetop by using boneless chicken breasts cut into strips or chunks.


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Serves 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours crockpot; 45 minutes stovetop


1 whole Chicken, cut-up
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Lemon-Lime soda
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
2-3 Green Onions, sliced, optional


  1. Wash and pat dry chicken. Place in Crockpot.
  2. In small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
  3. Turn heat to low and cook chicken for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Carefully remove from Crockpot using large tongs.
  5. Transfer pieces to serving bowl. Top with fresh green onions if desired and serve immediately.

This chicken tastes heavenly when served over rice or noodles. Add a fresh salad and hot dinner rolls for a satisfying meal on a cold winter night.

Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Burgundy Wine Gravy Recipe

During the holidays, I went home to visit my family in Indiana. Pretty much everything I know about cooking was taught to me by my mom. She is the Queen of putting together a scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth meal with her ever-present Crockpot.

When I arrived, the aromatics of mom's Beef Pot Roast filled the air. I could smell it the instant I opened my car door. The moment I crossed the threshold, my salivary glands went into overdrive and I was instantly drawn to the Crockpot sitting on the counter.

As I approached the Crockpot, it took every ounce of energy to not stick a fork in and grab a morsel. Mom informed me I would have to wait one more hour before diving into her famous concoction of beef, onion soup, burgundy wine and mushrooms. The wait was excruciating!

It wasn't easy prying this recipe from mom. But, she's a passionate foodie and with a little persuasion from her favorite daughter (sorry Sis!) she agreed to share her divine recipe with The Cheap Gourmet readers. I am honored to pass along this tried-and-true Crockpot recipe to you and hope that you and your family enjoy it for years to come!

Shop Crock Pot the original slow cooker!


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1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-1/2 to 3 pound Eye-of-Round or Beef Rump Roast
1 packet of dry Onion Soup mix
1/2 cup Water
1 can Mushroom soup mix (my favorite is Campbell's Golden Mushroom)
1/3 cup Burgundy Wine (Merlot or Cabernet are excellent choices)
4 teaspoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water
1 (4 ounce) jar sliced Mushrooms, optional


  1. Place roast in a shallow pan and allow to come to room temperature; about 2 hours.
  2. Rub roast with garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to heavy skillet, turn heat level to high.
  4. Carefully place roast in heated oil and sear* on all sides.
  5. Remove beef from skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and transfer beef roast to crockpot.
  6. Add dry onion soup mix and 1/2 cup water to skillet used for searing and mix well.
  7. Cook soup mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add mushroom soup and wine to soup mixture, stir well.
  9. Remove from heat and pour mixture over beef roast in slow cooker. If necessary, add water so liquid covers three-quarters of the roast. Cover.
  10. Cook 6 to 8 hours or until roast is fork tender.**
  11. Remove roast from crockpot, place on plate and cover loosely with foil.
  12. Add cornstarch to 1/4 cup cold water and stir.
  13. Add mixture to liquid in crockpot and cook until thickened; then cook one additional minute.
  14. Add water if necessary for desired consistency.
  15. Add sliced mushrooms, if desired and heat thoroughly.
  16. Transfer mixture to gravy pitcher and serve with beef roast.
  17. Slice beef roast and transfer to serving platter.

*Sear means to brown beef on all sides to lock in juices and create a crisp outer layer.
**Fork tender means the beef will easily fall apart when a fork is inserted, pulling the meat away from the roast.

If desired, add quartered onion chunks, red potatoes and baby carrots. Place in crockpot after adding the soup-wine mixture. Or serve with mashed potatoes and vegetable side dishes.

Taste the most popular wines

More Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwich Recipes

I am a huge fan of grilled gourmet lunch meat sandwiches. My favorite brand of lunchmeat is Boar's Head, but I also like Hormel's Natural Choice and Hillshire Farms Deli Select. Making grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches is super simple and only requires a few minutes of time. With a few basic ingredients, you can have a mouth-watering delicacy that will tantalize your taste buds and make your stomach smile!

Grilled gourmet lunch meat sandwiches can be served on just about any kind of bread you like. If you're counting calories, consider using a tortilla wrap. Tortilla wraps are available in multiple flavors including whole wheat, spinach, and sundried tomato (my personal fav!).

Thomas' Bagelbread Squares are perfect for creating grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches. Available in Plain, Whole Wheat and Everything (to die for!), Bagelbread Squares are cholesterol free and low fat with zero trans fat.

I used the Everything Bagelbread Squares to create the following grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches. However, you can use any type of bread you prefer.

Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwiches Recipe
Serves 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-7 minutes


2 Thomas' "Everything" Bagelbread Squares (cut in half)
6 slices Brown Sugar Ham
6 slices Mesquite Turkey
6 slices Pastrami
2 slices Bleu Cheese (slices should be about 1/4-inch thick)
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted


  1. Preheat skillet or griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush melted butter on inside of each bagel.
  3. Arrange meat slices in skillet or on the griddle.
  4. Heat meat slices until they start to curl on the edges.
  5. Once meat slices are heated, stack 2 slices of each meat on top of one another and move to the side of skillet or griddle.
  6. Place bagel slices with butter side down onto skillet or griddle.
  7. Once bagel slices turn light brown in color, flip them over and add meat slices on top of two bagel halves.
  8. Top meat slices with bleu cheese.
  9. Place the bagel top onto the meat and cheese.
  10. Heat for about 30 seconds on each side.
  11. Remove from heat, transfer to plate and serve immediately.

Below is a photo of how I arranged the meat slices. My husband says I am anal retentive, but I think the meat slices look pretty - don't you??


Below is a photo of the end result:


Click here for more grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwich recipes.

Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Recipe

Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches are the perfect Hurricane Party food; particularly, if children are present. Everybody loves PB&J and it definitely ranks at the top of comfort foods. Additionally, sandwiches can be prepared a day or two ahead of time, which can come in handy if the power goes out. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap to retain freshness.

Gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be served on just about any type of bread. Most people prefer using pre-sliced bread, but there's no reason you can't cut your own. Some people like to grill them, while others like them plain. If you decide to grill them, you'll need to have melted butter on hand.

Feel free to substitute items and create your own unique version of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When serving at a party, offer a variety of breads, both chunky and smooth peanut butters, and a selection of jellies and jams. Set up a buffet and include bowls of "toppings" such as raisins, chocolate chips, chili peppers, marshmallow creme, sunflower seeds, etc.

Sliced fruits are excellent to add to the toppings buffet. Bananas, strawberries, kiwis, mandarin oranges, grapes and mangoes are popular selections.

A fun way to keep guests occupied during the storm is to engage in a gourmet peanut bully and jelly sandwich creation competition. Guests create their own concoction and people vote for their favorite. Prizes are award to the top competitors. Kids are particularly fond of this game, but be forewarned -- things can get messy!


Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Recipe

Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes or less


2 slices Sourdough bread
1-2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter by Peanut Butter & Co.
1-2 Tablespoons Raspberry Preserves
1 Tablespoon Macadamia nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon shredded Coconut, toasted*

*To toast coconut, melt 1/4-teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add coconut and mix with butter. Stir constantly until lightly browned.


Spread peanut butter on one piece of bread and raspberry preserves on the other. Top with macadamia nuts and shredded coconut; put bread slices together and Enjoy!

Caribbean Caesar Chicken Salad

Caribbean Caesar Chicken Salad is one of my all-time favorite summer salad recipes. It's super easy to throw together and low in calories. You can have it for lunch or dinner and can serve the chicken hot or cold. Whenever I bake chicken breasts for dinner, I like to bake a few extra so I can add them to salads. Preparing the chicken ahead of time greatly reduces the prep time!

Caribbean Caesar Chicken Salad
Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1 head Romaine lettuce
2 cups fresh Pineapple, cut into chunks
1 cup Mango, peeled and cut into chunks
2 4-ounce boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons Salad Dressing (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse chicken in cool water and pat dry. Place chicken in glass baking dish and bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  3. Wash and dry romaine lettuce. Cut off bottom, trim leaves, and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Place lettuce in medium bowl and add pineapple and mango chunks. Toss well.
  5. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Slice chicken breast and place on salad.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of your choice of salad dressing, if desired

This recipe and many more are available in my cookbook, "The Diva Diet". This spiral-bound cookbook provides more than 100 healthy, yet delicious recipes and can be purchased for just $23.49 at Lulu.com.

Balsamic and Olive Oil Marinated Pork Shoulder Steak Recipe

Here is a quick and easy way to turn ordinary pork shoulder steaks into mouth-watering delicacies. Serve with your favorite sides such as green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, cucumber and tomato salad, roasted potatoes,  or try something new like bacon wrapped new potatoes.

Balsamic-olive-oil-pork-shoulder-steak-the-cheap-gourmetBALSAMIC AND OLIVE OIL MARINATED PORK SHOULDER STEAK RECIPE
Serves 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Marinade Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes


2 6-ounce Pork Shoulder Steaks, sliced approximately 1/2-inch thick
1/3-cup Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced


  1. Combine Balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate ingredients.
  2. Place Pork Shoulder Steaks in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over each steak. Use a pastry brush to evenly distribute marinade.
  3. Place pork steaks into refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat broiler.
  5. Place steaks on broiler pan and insert into oven.
  6. Broil pork steaks for 5-6 minutes, then turn and broil for another 5-6 minutes.
  7. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.


Find great deals on oils, dressings, and more at Mouth.com. Click on the graphic below and enter 'INDIE15' to receive 15% off your order! 

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Spicy Garlic Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe

What you are about to read is my highly regarded, and up until this moment, highly secret spicy garlic grilled chicken wings recipe. I have decided to share it with you today because that's what good cooks do ;-). 

Spicy-garlic-grilled-chicken-wings-the-cheap-gourmetSPICY GARLIC GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS RECIPE
Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes




12 Chicken Wings, tips removed and divided into sections
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 stick Butter, unsalted
1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Goya Adobo seasoning


  1. Preheat gas grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash chicken wings and pat dry with paper towel. Remove tips and cut wings into sections.
  3. Lightly sprinkle cayenne pepper over wings.
  4. Place wings on hot grill. Turn after wings have cooked for about 7 minutes.
  5. Place butter, hot sauce, garlic and Adobo seasoning into a 1-quart pan.
  6. Heat over medium-low heat. When butter begins to melt; whisk lightly to incorporate all ingredients.
  7. When wings are finished, remove from heat and place in a container with a lid.
  8. Pour melted sauce over wings and shake well to evenly distribute.
  9. Transfer to serving platter and serve immediately.
  10. Serve with chunky bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks if desired


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Gourmet Crab Legs Recipe

Gourmet Crab Legs Recipe
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 pounds frozen King Crab Legs (you can use Snow Crab if desired)
1 whole Onion, chopped (yellow or white onion)
6 whole Garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup Dales Seasoning or Soy Sauce
1 cup Water

This recipe is best prepared using an electric roaster. If you don't have one, these can be prepared in a large stock pot. We start with frozen crab legs, so if using fresh you'll need to reduce your cooking time by about 10 minutes.


  1. Preheat roaster to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse crab legs in warm water to remove ice crystals.
  3. Arrange crab in a single layer and place on roasting rack in the roaster.
  4. Cut onion in half, than cut each half into thirds.
  5. Place onion chunks around the crab legs.
  6. Chop garlic and distribute evenly on top of crab legs.
  7. Mix Dales Seasoning or Soy sauce and water together. Whisk to combine. Pour over crab legs.
  8. Place lid on roaster and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from roaster. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.

The onion is included for flavoring purposes only. However, if you want to eat them, feel free to do so. They have an amazing flavor!



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Gourmet Meatloaf Recipe

I have many fond memories of meatloaf. It smells so yummy when it's baking. It's super easy to make and best of all, it's relatively inexpensive. Below is one of my favorite versions of meatloaf. You can use different types of meat if you like. You can also add in additional spices such as parsley and basil, cayenne pepper or garlic salt. Feel free to get creative and experiment with the recipe to find the flavors that suit your taste buds.


Gourmet Meatloaf Recipe 

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes





2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 pound Extra Lean Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 pound Ground Pork or Italian Sausage
2 large Eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup plain Bread Crumbs
1 14-ounce can Italian Tomatoes, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large heavy skillet saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes; stir occassionally.
  3. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, bread crumbs, and sauteed vegetables.
  5. Form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased rectangular baking pan.
  6. Bake meatloaf in oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Drain juice from tomatoes and pour over the top of the meatloaf.
  8. Return to oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer to serving platter and voila - you have a delicious Gourmet Meatloaf!




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