My cheapest meal yet… but not cheap on flavor! I held off going grocery shopping for one more day. I even resorted to using the frozen peas. The last lone vegetable in the house. The no-purpose peas were paired with a simple marinated chicken breast and parmesan ranch potatoes.
Aldi sells frozen CHICKEN BREASTS in a three-pound bag. Just last week they lowered the price to $5.50 a bag! The breasts are tender, juicy, and SO good for you. One serving only has 2.5 grams of fat and 22 grams of protein. I can make 3 meals for my family from one bag of chicken breasts. That is less than $2 on a really healthy, yummy meat for one meal!
Let’s make dinner. Take 3 or 4 breasts out of the freezer. Three is plenty for my fam. Thaw. Once thaw put in a plastic container or a sealable plastic bag and cover with Aldi’s Fit and Active (low fat) ITALIAN DRESSING. Seal and put in fridge. This can marinate for as little as an hour or as long as overnight. It will be delightful no matter how much time the chicken gets to chill out. ***Note: Feel free to pound on the meat a little before you incarcerate it. This is a very healthy way to let out any built up aggression from your day. However, completely not necessary from the chicken’s point of view. The chicken will not be hurt in any way, but just wants it to be known that she will be tender no matter what you do to her!
Wash and cut up about 10 or so small POTATOES. I am still using the golden ones that I used the other night. This is about 1/3 of the bag again. Cut the spuds in approximately 1/2 inch cubes. By approximately, I mean APPROXIMATELY. Do NOT waste your precious time measuring potatoes. Dice up about 1/2 of an ONION. Put a small round of olive oil in the electric skillet and add potatoes and most of the onions. Set the skillet at 350 degrees, cover, and stir every 5 minutes or so.
Place some FROZEN PEAS in a saucepan. As many peas, as your family can choke down is great. Add a few rounds of olive oil, a couple splashes of water, the rest of the onions, two cloves of minced garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let it sit while you cook everything else.
When the potatoes are tender, begin cooking the chicken. Heat a skillet on the stove on medium high-heat. Spray the pan with Aldi’s CANOLA OIL COOKING SPRAY. This stuff is great! It doesn’t leave your food having extra fat and everything slides off smooth like buttah. Put the chicken breast on the skillet. Cook about 8 minutes on the first side, flip, and cook about 5 minutes on the other side. Make sure to check for doneness.
After flipping the chicken, work on the potatoes a little. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic (or garlic powder). Sprinkle a thin later of grated PARMESAN CHEESE over the potatoes. Toss and sprinkle another thin layer of parmesan. Sprinkle with cayenne PEPPER (I don’t think Aldi sell’s this, so use black pepper if you must…However, I previously saved the red pepper flakes from pizza places just for this dish. The only reason I didn’t have those tonight is because my new pantry has not been stocked with left over trash… yet.) Finish the chicken! Stir the peas! Before you serve the meal, lightly squeeze Fit and Active RANCH DRESSING on top of the potatoes. Heat. When you heat this the ranch will change color. This is because it is melting. Do NOT be alarmed. I promise the tangy, spicy, cheesey, creamy, taste will amaze you!
Cost Breakdown: Chicken Breasts- $2.00, Potatoes- $1.00, Peas- 50cents (and that is pushing it) Total—a record breaking $3.50 to feed a family of four a totally gorgeous Aldi dinner!
In case you want to read more and can’t stop wondering about the No-Purpose Peas… I come from a family of peas. I guess you could say we were six peas in a pod. Mama Pea loved feeding frozen peas to her baby peas. A bag of frozen peas could cure any ailment. When pea soup snuck into the winter meal routine, the baby pea would spit some in her napkin and stick it in her pocket, feed a small portion to the pea-sized puppy, and put the rest in her mouth as she sneaked away to place it in the toilet. Among the plethora of pea stories, comes the No-Purpose Pea. No matter how it was served, sister number two insisted that peas had no purpose. So I challenge her, and YOU, today… try these peas. Simmer them in olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Those five gorgeous ingredients will bring more purpose to peas than you ever thought possible!