Simple Suppers are my jam, I simple love them. Especially when they are budget friendly! I crave those simple things in my crazy busy life. From our homeschool curriculum to the food I put on the table every night, I love finding ways to make my life easier. If you are nodding your head in agreement, then we agree!
With all the business in our lives that we can’t control like school activities and work, who wants to stress over dinner? Not this girl! I know I ‘m not alone on this as I see moms and friends in my circle always looking for simple and affordable meal ideas.
Since I choose to stay home and homeschool and my husband is self-employed we are like many families that have times when our budget is tight. So meal planning and budget friendly meals like this Chicken and Squash Dressing help us stretch that budget while enjoying healthy and tasty dinners. This meal is low carb, gluten and grain free and a THM “S”.
Chicken, dark meats like these leg quarters or drumsticks, are the most budget friendly cut for this meat. Most stores like WalMart or Kroger have ten-pound bags of these quarters for $6 or less. The drumsticks are more affordable in some cases, so check your supermarket’s weekly and monthly deals. You stock up on those deals when they come around. I do this often and plan my meals around those proteins that were on sale.
Now, I will admit that I am more of a white meat girl, so from time to time when I find a good deal on the breast I do grab those. But to keep this dinner within our financial budget and my time budget, I used the leg quarters roasted in the oven. Roasting meat is so simple and delicious if done correctly. The key factors in flavorful roasted meats are your seasoning and a hot, hot oven temperature. The higher temps like 400 or 425, helps cook the chicken evenly, ensuring a moist cooked center with a crispy skin. There is nothing better than yummy, moist roasted piece of chicken with a crispy skin. Trust me, nobody likes dry chicken or chewy skin.
The key factors in flavorful roasted meats are your seasoning and a hot, hot oven temperature. The higher temps like 400 or 425, helps cook the chicken evenly, ensuring a moist cooked center with a crispy skin. There is nothing better than yummy, moist roasted piece of chicken with a crispy skin. Trust me, nobody likes dry chicken or chewy skin.
The second part of this meal is my version of a squash dressing. I know this is not your typical idea of a squash dressing but it’s how I make it for my family. Keep in mind that this meal is lower carb and budget friendly. So keeping that in mind, that I don’t use “carby” fillers like cornbread or a cracker topping in this dressing. Don’t panic on me, you still enjoy the buttery topping on top of the casserole.
I also use spaghetti squash in my “dressing” instead of yellow summer squash. I can find it at our Kroger and WalMart for around .99 cents a pound this time of year. That is compared to the yellow summer squash that is around 1.58 per pound. So my medium 2.5 lb spaghetti squash made about 4 cups of squash (8 servings) for $2.50 versus the yellow that would have been almost $5 after taxes. Prices may vary in your area, so do what is most effective for your budget. Like I said, I know my “dressing” may vary from the typical recipes for this dish, but I can promise you this, it is a simple and delicious meal. One that is nicer to your budget and easy to prepare.
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