Category: Simple Healthy Cheap Recipes

Super Simple Butter Chicken

Super Simple Butter Chicken - Have you tried Butter Chicken before? It is one of the best and easiest to make Indian Recipes. Try it now!

Have you heard of this Indian dish called Butter Chicken?

Well, we have slightly Americanized it, but it still has an amazing flavor! It just is not quite as a spicy base as the more traditional dish – but if you want you CAN add some heat to it.




I tend to make my recipes flexible so people can make some choices with how they want the end product to turn out, but still keep it simple for those who just want to follow the recipe as is, the first time or two. And surprisingly, although many Indian dishes are complex, this one is pretty simple. The biggest lesson I have learned in making it (I first tried it nearly 9 years ago) is to not try so hard to get it perfect.

This is one of our family’s Top 10 Favorite Meals!

Super Simple Butter Chicken - Try this nummy Indian classic made easy today!

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. 

Cookware For Butter Chicken

The cookware for this recipe is simple (which means only a few dishes to wash):

Ingredients For Butter Chicken

This recipe serves a family of 6 to 8 or a smaller family with leftovers.

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  • RiceBasmati Rice is the preferred, but feel free to use what you have on hand. The photos in this post the rice was Jasmine Rice. Read your packaging to cook up 8 servings of rice or more (I love to have leftover rice around the house).
  • 3 lbs chicken – we usually use breast meat but I have tried thigh / dark meat before.
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or one small can of tomato paste with 3/4 cup of water. In the photos for this post, I only had a can of stewed tomatoes when I got the craving to make this, so I used that and it worked fine.
  • 1 stick of butter. There are some recipes out there w/o butter. But its called Butter Chicken, so we use butter!
  • 1 cup of plain or honey yogurt or 1 cup heavy cream. This is such a preference thing. I suggest you make the recipe twice, and decide which you like better!
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp – Fresh squeezed is best, but I want simple, so I get bottled lemon juice .
  • Garam Masala – 2 heaping tbsp – Used to be harder to find, but recently I have even found Garam Masala at Walmart!
  • Curry Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – I just love the flavor of curry powder, but we do not want it to overwhelm the garam masala.
  • Chili Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – If you want more heat, substitute some of your chili powder for cayenne powder or diced red hot peppers.
  • Ginger Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – Fresh ginger paste is even better and you can get it from the produce section of most stores. But ginger powder works fine.
  • Minced Garlic – 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • Minced Onion (dried) – 2 tbsp Minced Onion
  • Salt and pepper

Directions For Butter Chicken

  1. Cut up your chicken into cubes (more like chunks for me). Blend the Garam Masala, Curry Powder, Chili Powder, and Ginger Powder and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl or jar. Use half of the blend to coat the meat and marinade for at least 15 minutes. You can marinade it all day for a stronger flavor (in the fridge, of course) if you have time!
  2. Start your rice in your smaller pot. Basmati and Jasmine rice take about 20 minutes to cook (but check your package directions to be sure).
  3. Melt the butter on Medium heat and add the rest of the spices in the larger pot. Stir for one minute, then add the chicken. This technique fries the spices a bit and “wakes them up” and makes them more fragrant and flavorful. I know there is an actual name for this, but I forget what it is!
  4. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the chicken. Takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato sauce or paste and water and the lemon juice, then add your minced garlic and minced onion. Stir. You will then want to take the heat down to medium or slightly below medium.
  6. Add a little salt and pepper to your taste. We tend to like 1 tsp added of salt and just a dash or two of pepper. Stir.
  7. Simmer on medium low or slightly above so there is slight bubbling but not popping / splattering for 20 minutes. Food with tomatoes seems to splatter and spit more. Ouch!
  8. Turn off the heat and then stir in the yogurt or cream.
  9. The secret is to have a little left-over or even make this the day before serving. The flavors are so much more intense after sitting in the fridge all night!
  10. Server over the cooked rice. Traditional Indian is to serve it with a bread called Naan. Wow!

Super Simple Butter Chicken

Super Simple Butter Chicken

This is a Butter Chicken recipe. There is a hiccup with Ymmly that says it is vegetarian. However, you could substitute tofu if you did want to make this vegetarian!

Ingredients

  • Rice - Basmati Rice is the preferred
  • Chicken - 3lbs
  • Tomato sauce - 1 cup OR one small can of tomato paste with 3/4 cup of water
  • Butter - 1 stick
  • Plain or honey yogurt - 1 cup OR 1 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala - 2 heaping tbsp
  • Curry Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Chili Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Ginger Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Minced Garlic - 2 tbsp
  • Minced Onion (dried) - 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut up your chicken into cubes (more like chunks for me). Blend the Garam Masala, Curry Powder, Chili Powder, and Ginger Powder and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl or jar. Use half of the blend to coat the meat and marinade for at least 15 minutes. You can marinade it all day for a stronger flavor (in the fridge, of course) if you have time!
  2. Start your rice in your smaller pot. Basmati rice takes about 20 minutes to cook (but check your package directions to be sure).
  3. Melt the butter on Medium heat and add the rest of the spices in the larger pot. Stir for one minute, then add the chicken. This technique fries the spices a bit and "wakes them up" and makes them more fragrant and flavorful. I know there is an actual name for this, but I forget what it is!
  4. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the chicken. Takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato sauce or paste and water and the lemon juice, then add your minced garlic and minced onion. Stir. You will then want to take the heat down to medium or slightly below medium.
  6. Add a little salt and pepper to your taste. We tend to like 1 tsp added of salt and just a dash or two of pepper. Stir.
  7. Simmer on medium low or slightly above so there is slight bubbling but not popping / splattering for 20 minutes. Food with tomatoes seems to splatter and spit more. Ouch!
  8. Turn off the heat and then stir in the yogurt or cream.
  9. The secret is to have a little left-over or even make this the day before serving. The flavors are so much more intense after sitting in the fridge all night!
  10. Server over the cooked rice. Traditional Indian is to serve it with a bread called Naan.
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Super Simple Strawberry Chicken Salad

Want to get healthier this summer? Try this Super Simple Strawberry Chicken Salad and have dinner ready in 20 minutes!I remember the first time I tried a Strawberry Chicken Salad. I was at a Red Robin Restaurant of all places.

Since then, variations of the Strawberry Chicken salad have popped up at many restaurants and all over Pinterest. I picked and choose what I really liked (and did not) and came up with a simple recipe that I can put together in 20 minutes or so, is super healthy, and the total ingredients are reasonably priced.

Now, I do things a little differently here at ASimpleLifeToo. I like things short, sweet and simple… so I am going to get right into the recipe!




Strawberry Chicken Salad Ingredients:

1 lb of chicken

4 – 6 cups of baby spinach

2 small avocados

21/2 cups of strawberries

1 cup frozen corn off of the cob

1 cup of your favorite nuts

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

pinch of salt and pepper

Strawberry Chicken Salad Instructions:

Step 1 – Chop up chicken and saute for about 10 minutes (with a sprinkle of salt and pepper). Place on a platter.

Step 2 – Chop up the strawberries and the avocados and place on the platter with the chicken.

Step 3 – Thaw corn or cook for a minute and place on platter.

Step 4 – Place 1 cup of nuts on the platter or you can saute them for a couple of minutes in oil or butter.

Step 5 – Blend 1/2 cup of the strawberries with the oil, vinegar, and pinch of salt and pepper.

See how easy that is. And it tastes wonderful!

My goal this Spring and Summer is to help my family get healthier and loose some weight. I plan on making salads a minimum of 5 times per week.

Here are a couple of hot cookbooks that focus on making healthy and flavorful salads:

 

Super Simple Strawberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 4 - 6 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 small avocados
  • 21/2 cups of strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen corn off of the cob
  • 1 cup of your favorite nuts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop up chicken and saute for about 10 minutes (with a sprinkle of salt and pepper). Place on a platter.
  2. Chop up the strawberries and the avocados and place on the platter with the chicken.
  3. Thaw corn or cook for a minute and place on platter.
  4. Place 1 cup of nuts on the platter or you can saute them for a couple of minutes in oil or butter.
  5. Blend 1/2 cup of the strawberries with the oil, vinegar, and pinch of salt and pepper.
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Teach Your Children To Cook: Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Teach Children To Cook Pumpkin CookiesThere are SO MANY amazing recipes available on the web today, but how many help and encourage you to make meals and memories with your children?

I mean, what are the holidays for? Are they not to make spend time with your family? To create Traditions? To pass down your favorite crafts, recipes, techniques, stories and more to your children?

This year we decided to try a few traditional holiday recipes from Better Homes and Gardens, modify them to suit our family, and teach the girls how to make them.

This recipe from BHG, the Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies, was so easy for the girls to make. Your children will enjoy making and eating them!

We added cream cheese frosting, halved the recipe, increased the pumpkin, and used whole wheat flour (but you don’t have to). The BHG site includes a video if you want some extra help.

Teach Children To Cook Pumpkin Cookies

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Equipment Used

I teach the children to gather all of the needed equipment at the beginning of making a recipe. For this cookie recipe, we used:

Ingredients

I like to make recipes flexible. I comment here and there with a few modifications and suggestions.

Cookies: 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, soften butter (in the microwave for 30 seconds for ease, or have left the butter out overnight).
  3. Add organic cane sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. We also added 1/2 tsp of cardamom for a unique taste, but you can leave it out if you don’t have that on hand.
  4. Stir until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
  5. Add egg and vanilla; stir until combined.
  6. Stir in pumpkin.
  7. Stir in flour.
  8. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons, 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. For the frosting, soften butter and the cream cheese (again, in the microwave for 30 seconds or have the butter left out overnight. Cream cheese is usually soft enough to mix w/o softening).
  11. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin.
  12. Stir in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Keep adding sugar until the frosting is thick, not runny.
  13. Wait until cookies are cooled before frosting. Use about one heaping teaspoon of frosting per cookie.

I would love to hear about your favorite cookie recipes to make with your children!

Want to start with the basics and teach your children to cook? Check out: Teach Your Children To Cook – The Simple, Healthy, Cheap Way: For Ages 7+ With Parent Supervision and follow the 16 incremental lessons to give your children a good cooking foundation and give them a beginning repertoire of recipes that they can use to contribute to the family meals.

Better Homes and Gardens is one of my favorite magazines. Click here to subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens.

 

How To Eat For $4 Per Day

How To Eat For $4 Per Day

Raise your hand if you are on a tight food budget?

Yea, that is a LOT of hands.

Keep your hands raised if you are on Foodstamps?

Yea, still a lot of hands.

Have you tried to eat healthy on a tight budget and find yourself continually going back to cheap carbs / fillers?

I sure do and I am so frustrated with myself.

Then a friend posts a link and voila, this great, FREE, cookbook emerges!




About The Free Cook Book

It is called “Good and Cheap: Eat Well On $4 Per Day,” By Leanne Brown. And best of all, it is free! Click here for the link: Good and Cheap Free Cookbook.

Leann moved to America from Canada to study nutrition. She was shocked at how many people were on Food Stamps and how few resources there were available to teach folks to eat healthy and well within a Food Stamp budget. So she decided to create a great cookbook full of healthy recipes, nutritious food, meals that aren’t too complicated to make, and most of all, stick to the $4 per day budget.

Leann’s philosophy: “The best health advice is simple: eat fruits and vegetables. Many American cookbooks rely on meat as the central feature of a meal. My recipes celebrate the vegetables rather than the meat. My intent was to create satisfying food that doesn’t require you to supplement your meals with cheap carbohydrates to stave off hunger. I strove to create recipes that use money carefully, without being purely slavish to the bottom line. For example, many recipes use butter rather than oil. Butter is not cheap, but it creates flavor, crunch, and richness in a way that cheap oils never can. ”

She really created this out of a desire to help.

Follow Up

I will be testing out these recipes over the next few months and I hope to share some of my successes and failures on my blog. I also will be revamping my current recipe series, Simple, Healthy, Cheap, to have better photos, include more recipes using Leann’s philosophy and budget, and to include more variety.

 

Cleansing, Iron Increasing Beet Soup Recipe

English: A bundle of organic beets from a loca...

I was recently asked for my beet soup recipe.

This recipe was given to me by my (step) mom and we enjoy this soup whenever we just want to feel lighter and cleansed or when I need a boost in iron. My children really like this soup too!

Ingredients:

2 – 3 medium beets, keep some of the beet greens if you have them

2 TBL butter or good oil (coconut, olive, grape-seed)

½ tsp salt

1 – 2 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning or similar

4 – 6 cups water

Optional: substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth for some of the water

Instructions:

1 – Wash and dice beets into small chunks or julienne if you want to be fancy. Chop up a couple tablespoons of greens.

2 – Melt butter or heat up oil on medium heat in a medium size pot.

3 – Carefully put beets (but not greens yet) in pot and sauté 8 to 10 minutes.

4 – Add seasonings (salt and Mrs. Dash).

5 – Add water and optional broth.

6 – Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Add greens for the last 5 minutes.

 

I have a similar recipe in my Simple, Healthy, Cheap! A Simple Life’s Guide to Home Economics: Beginning Cooking eBook, but uses Asian seasonings and adds rice noodles to make a more complete meal.