Food & Nutrition

7 Fall Dinner Recipes That Cost Less Than $10

Hands-on time: 25 min.

Total time: 45 min.

Serves 4

Total cost: $ 6.92

¾ cup uncooked quinoa

1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided

¾ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. smoked paprika

¼ tsp. garlic powder

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

2 ½ Tbsp. canola oil, divided

1 ½ tsp. sugar

1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped tomato

1 ½ tsp. minced fresh garlic

½ tsp. grated fresh lemon zest

3 green onions, thinly vertically sliced

½ cup Avocado-Ranch Dressing (see below)

2 (6-inch) pitas, cut in wedges and toasted

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook the quinoa in boiling salted water for 15 minutes; drain. Combine 1 tsp. salt and the next 3 ingredients, stirring well. Sprinkle 1 ¼ tsp. seasoning blend over both sides of the chicken. Heat a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the chicken to pan, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over; cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Place the pan in the oven. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is done. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bones; chop. Discard the bones (or reserve for stock).
  3. Stir the sugar into the remaining spice blend. Toss the sweet potato with 1 Tbsp. oil. Sprinkle the sweet potato mixture with the sugar-spice blend. Spread the sweet potato mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet; roast at 400°F for about 18 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring potatoes after 12 minutes. Toss the sweet potatoes with the beans. Toss the tomato with the garlic, zest, and remaining 1 ½ tsp. oil. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ tsp salt; toss.
  4. Divide the quinoa among 4 bowls. Arrange ¼ of the sweet potato mixture atop each serving. Spoon ¼ of the tomato mixture beside the sweet potato mixture; place ¼ of the chicken next to the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with the green onions, and serve with the dressing and pita.

Avocado-Ranch Dressing

Hands-on time: 10 min.

Total time: 10 min.

Makes 1 ¼ cups

Total cost: $ 1.75 per quart

½ medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

⅓ cup whole buttermilk

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves

2 Tbsp. Mexican crema or sour cream

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¾ tsp. minced fresh garlic

1 green onion, trimmed

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. canola oil

  1. Toss the avocado with lime juice.
  2. Place the avocado mixture in a blender with the buttermilk, parsley, crema, kosher salt, garlic, green onion, and cayenne pepper; process until smooth. Add the canola oil; process to combine.
  3. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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