150 easy recipes to save your time, money & sanity.

Karrie Truman of happymoneysaver.com

Blueberry Orange Smoothie Kits

Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m not a morning person. I may have to rise but I don’t exactly shine. However, there is one morning item that provides me some bliss: this smoothie! It seriously tastes like an orange Creamsicle kissed with a touch of fresh blueberries.

Makes 2 servings

1/4 cup (60 mL) plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed 1/2 banana
1 cup (250 mL) frozen blueberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, vanilla and orange juice. Pour 1 tbsp (15 mL) each into 8 cups of an ice-cube tray. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid.

2. Meanwhile, slice banana into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slides and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid.

Make It Now Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries and frozen banana pieces into a blender. Add water. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold.

Make It a Freezer Meal Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries and frozen banana pieces in a labeled quart-size (1 L) freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze.

Make the Smoothies Add contents of freezer bag and water to blender. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold.

Mascarpone Key Lime Mini Pies

These mini pies are truly my biggest addiction. e refreshing light, sweet flavor of Key limes and the creamy, airy mascarpone are the obvious stars, but the real surprise lies in the unique taste of cardamom in the graham cracker crust. It’s a magical combination! Makes about 12 mini pies.

Filling

8 oz (250 g) mascarpone cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz or 300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup (175 mL) freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice 2 cups (500 mL) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), about 6 oz/175 g

Crust

11/4 cups (310 mL) graham cracker crumbs (about 41/2 oz/130 g) 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cardamom or ground cinnamon
Garnishes

Additional frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), optional Sliced Key limes (optional)

1. Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer), beat mascarpone cheese on High for about 1 minute, until creamy. Add condensed milk and lime juice; beat on Medium for about 1 minute, until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping, until blended.

2.Place 12 silicone mu n liners in a 12-cup mu n tin. Scoop mixture into cups until three-quarters full.

3. Crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cardamom, stirring well.

4. Sprinkle crust mixture evenly over each mini pie. Press gently with the back of a spoon to atten. Freeze for about 2 hours, until rm.

Make It Now Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen.

Make It a Freezer Meal Remove from freezer. Transfer mini pies, in their silicone liners, to 2 labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bags. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze.

Serve Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites

When I need a showo -worthy hot appetizer, I bust out these tempting bites. Sometimes I make them with green beans and sometimes without, but either way they are always a huge hit.

Makes 18 bites.
8 oz (250 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/4 cup (60 mL) tamari sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced garlic
1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated fresh ginger
9 French green beans, trimmed (optional)
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise in thirds 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
18 toothpicks
Garnish
Sesame seeds (optional)

1. Slice chicken into pieces 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and about 2 inches long (you should have about 18 pieces). Place chicken pieces in a medium bowl.

2. Add tamari sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger to chicken; stir to combine. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

3. Meanwhile, if using green beans, bring about 2 cups (500 mL) water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add beans and cook for one minute, then quickly remove with a slotted spoon to an ice-water bath. When cooled, cut each bean in half crosswise; set aside.

4. Place a ne-mesh sieve over a small saucepan; pour chicken and marinade into sieve. Drain chicken so that all the liquid falls into saucepan. Set pan aside.

5. Place each piece of chicken on top of a bacon piece. Add a green bean half (if using) and wrap bacon around both. Pierce through the center with a toothpick to secure. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing apart.

6. Whisk cornstarch into marinade in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium- high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 7 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat; set aside.

Make It Now Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Bake chicken bites in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and bacon is crispy and browned. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle sauce over bites, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. (You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping.)

Make It a Freezer Meal Using kitchen shears, snip o any pieces of toothpick that are showing. Let sauce cool completely, then place in a labeled quart-size (1 L) freezer bag and seal. Place baking sheet with uncooked bites in freezer; place sauce bag separately in freezer. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours, until solid. Transfer frozen bites to a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag. Add frozen sauce bag and seal together as a kit, removing as much air as possible. Freeze.

Cook from Frozen Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place frozen bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and bacon is crispy and browned. Meanwhile, run hot water over frozen sauce bag until thawed enough to pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat sauce in microwave on High for 30 seconds or until heated through. Remove chicken from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle sauce over bites, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. (You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping.)

French Dip Sandwiches

After years of trying to gure out the perfect blend of seasonings and avors for homemade French dip sandwiches, I nally got it right. Dipping the tender beef sandwich into this delightfully avorful jus is out of this world. Even though I say all my recipes are good, this one is really amazing — seriously, try it. Makes 8 servings.

1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs (1.5 kg) boneless beef shoulder roast, trimmed
4 cups (1 L) beef broth or Homemade Beef Stock (page 350) 11/2 onions, puréed or minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) tamari sauce
1/3 cup (75 mL) Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) yellow mustard
11/2 tsp (7 mL) minced garlic
4 bay leaves

To Serve: 8 buns or rolls, Cooking spray or olive oil, 8 slices provolone cheese
1. Using your hands, rub salt and pepper generously all over the roast.
2. In a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag, combine broth, onions, tamari sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic and bay leaves. Add roast and seal, removing as much air as possible.

Make It Now Marinate beef in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour

or up to 12 hours. Pour contents of bag into a large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker. Cook on Low for 7 hours, until beef is tender. Remove roast, reserving jus left in slow cooker. Discard bay leaves. Transfer roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred. Preheat broiler. Slice buns in half, spray with a little cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for 1 minute or until golden and toasted. Remove from oven, place shredded meat on bottom half of bun and add a slice of provolone cheese. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cover with top half of bun. Skim any fat o top of jus in slow cooker and ladle liquid into small bowls. Serve sandwiches with jus on the side for dipping.

Make It a Freezer Meal Freeze roast and marinade in bag. aw and Cook Place bag in refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours to thaw. Transfer contents to a large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker. Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours, until beef is tender. Remove roast, reserving jus left in slow cooker. Discard bay leaves. Transfer roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred. Preheat broiler. Slice buns in half, spray with a little cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for 1 minute or until golden and toasted. Remove from oven, place shredded meat on bottom half of bun and add a slice of provolone cheese. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and cover with top half of bun. Skim any fat o top of jus in slow cooker and ladle liquid into small bowls. Serve sandwiches with jus on the side for dipping.

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