31 Days of Frugal Meals // Day 2

October 2, 2012

It's time for another frugal recipe, we are still eating leftovers from the Chowder. That is probably one of my biggest tips for eating frugal...embrace the leftovers. At the last minute I made a whole wheat version of Pioneer Woman's Focaccia just to stretch it out a little farther. How much more did the bread cost me? About 45 cents, I already had the flour and it takes so long to go through a bag I count it as almost pennies. 

Today's recipe happens to be a Jeremy favorite that I've never shared on the blog. So let's get to it...

Going semi-homemade is a great way to save money...and so is cutting the amount of meat in your meal. Now I can't exactly cut out all the meat, but I can skimp on it and bulk up on other things to trick Jeremy's carnivore tummy. 

My favorite way to cut meat is in all of my pasta dishes. I can easily cut the meat in half by adding more sauce and pasta, my Mom did it when we were kids and broke as a joke. In this particular recipe I cut our normal chicken consumption per meal by 2 breasts (we normally have 3 - 2 for him and one for me) by simply making an awesome sauce and having really filling pasta. 

This particular tomato sauce came about in my undergrad college days and I put it over just chicken and served it with focaccia. Somewhere with Jeremy in the picture I realized this boy needed more food and so gnocchi was added to the mix. 

Somehow I managed to never take a picture of this one either, so with that said I will show you a picture of your one and only seasoning for this, because words just aren't enough.
Yup, Grill Mates meat seasoning...in pasta. Trust me, this is so good and makes the meal. 

Gnocchi with Tomato, Garlic, & Basil Sauce
Serves 4
What you need:
1 packet of Grill Mates Tomato, Garlic, & Basil marinade
1 chicken breast cut into small pieces
1 package of gnocchi (whole wheat is what I prefer, but I rarely find it)
1 14.5 ounce can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Hunts is what I use)

What to do:
Cook gnocchi according to package directions. While the water is boiling saute your chicken in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and season with half of the marinade packet. When chicken is cooked though add in the canned tomatoes with its juice and simmer until the sauce is thick. When the sauce and gnocchi are both done mix gnocchi into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan or mozzarella (optional). 

This dish is seriously easy and super cheap with only 4 ingredients. Serve it with a salad and homemade focaccia for a super filling meal. Our fatty selves usually forgo the salad and just gorge on the pasta. It is rare that Jeremy love loves something I cook because he is so anti-health junkie and is constantly fed health junkie foods but he raved about this, even with whole wheat gnocchi. This would also be really good with 2 Italian sausage links in place of the chicken.