Delicious Summer Dinners on a Budget

By: Carolyn Malcoun  |  Monday, July 7, 2014
I love summer. There’s just so much going on. Summer concerts in the park. Hikes and bike rides. Barbecues with friends. Trips to the ice cream stand.
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What I don’t love, though, is the hit my bank account seems to take right about now. Rather than cutting back on summer fun, I put my grocery budget on a financial diet. All these recipes clock in at $3 or less per serving, so I can spend more money on those fun summer activities. Added bonus? Not a one takes more than 30 minutes to get on the table, so we can play outside to our hearts’ content.
Here's what's on my menu this week:
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Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini FrittataMonday: Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata
Serve with a tossed salad and a slice of olive oil-drizzled crusty baguette
This vegetable-studded frittata recipe is one of the quickest meals you can make. Leftovers are great for breakfast or lunch.
 
Pork & Broccoli Thai Noodle SaladTuesday: Pork & Broccoli Thai Noodle Salad
Serve with a glass of Riesling and sliced mangoes.
Crunchy broccoli slaw—available in most supermarkets near the other coleslaw mixes—is the secret to making this Thai noodle recipe super-fast. If you have the time and want to make your own broccoli slaw, shred broccoli stems through the large holes of a box grater. Making the pork patties while the water for the noodles comes to a boil ensures the pork and noodles will be done at the same time.
 
Southwestern Beef & Bean Burger WrapsWednesday: Southwestern Beef & Bean Burger Wraps
Serve with coleslaw mix tossed with lime juice, rice vinegar and canola oil and an ice-cold beer.
Kids and adults alike will love these quick, zippy burgers. The beans make the burgers a little fragile, so be careful when taking them off the broiler pan.
 
Seared Chicken with Lemon-Herb Cream SauceThursday: Seared Chicken with Lemon-Herb Cream Sauce
Serve with roasted green beans and lemony rice.
In this healthy chicken recipe, chicken breasts are quickly pan-seared and then topped with a lemon-herb cream sauce. The healthy cream sauce recipe uses yogurt and actually contains no cream at all. The cream sauce also pairs well with seasoned pan-seared cod or salmon.
 
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Greek Pasta SaladFriday: Greek Pasta Salad
Serve with pita chips and fresh berries.
This quick, healthy Greek pasta salad recipe is tossed with all the elements of a Greek salad—plus chickpeas for added protein. This pasta salad holds well in the refrigerator or a cooler and tastes even better as the pasta absorbs the tomato-infused vinaigrette.