$5 Dinners with Erin Chase

CookingLifestyle and Leisure

Author of "The $5 Dinner Mom One-Dish Dinner Cookbook", Erin Chase joined us to show how family dinners can be prepared with just five bucks!

This cookbook is filled with more than 150 one-dish recipes that don't cost an arm and a leg, are easy to prepare and even easier to clean up after. Here are just a few mouthwatering examples straight from Erin's kitchen.

(With her new book, Erin Chase shows America that it's not only possible to eat right, eat well and stay on a budget.

For more info on the author, please elog on to 5dollardinners.com and onedishdinners.com

 Recipies from today's segment are listed below:

Lentil Curry with Chickpeas, Carrots and Spinach


1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ($.05)

1 small red onion, chopped ($.40)

4 garlic cloves, crushed ($.10)

1 ½ cup green lentils ($.75)

1 cup white rice ($.20)

3 carrots, peeled and diced ($.30)

1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes ($.20)

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas ($.68)

3 Tablespoons curry powder ($.30)

8 ounces fresh spinach leaves ($1)

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper, optional ($.05)


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the olive oil and sauté the red onions and crushed garlic cloves for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 4 ½ cups of hot water and bring to a boil.

Add the lentils and the rice to the boiling water.  Stir in the diced carrots, crushed tomatoes, chickpeas and return to boiling. Stir in the curry powder. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentils are tender.

Add the fresh spinach leaves to the curry and let “melt” in with the rest of the ingredients, stirring once or twice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

If you wish to add some additional heat to this curry, add some crushed red pepper.

Serve Lentil Curry with Chickpeas, Carrots and Spinach.

Cost $4.03

Frugal Fact: Lentils and rice, when served together, form a complete protein.  Combining legumes and grains together is an inexpensive and healthy way to get complete proteins into your daily diet.


Sausage, Potato and Pepper Skillet


1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ($.05)

1 yellow onion, diced ($.20)

4 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced into ¾” pieces ($.60)

1 pound mild Italian sausage links, sliced into 1 inch pieces ($2.99)

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes ($.20)

1 teaspoon dried oregano ($.05)

1 green pepper, seeded and diced ($.59)

Garlic salt and pepper, to taste


In a large 12” skillet or sauté pan, add the olive oil, diced onions and diced potatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add about ½ cup of water and continue to sauté-steam the potatoes for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the sliced sausage pieces, the undrained can of diced tomatoes, and the oregano to the potatoes. 

Cover tightly with a lid and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sausage has cooked through.  Add the diced green pepper and then remove the skillet from the heat.  This will allow the green pepper to cook with the indirect heat from other ingredients. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste.

Serve sausage, Potato, Pepper Skillet Dinner.

Cost $4.68

Frugal Fact: Slice the sausage lengthwise to remove the casing of the sausage. Then using kitchen shears, cut the sausage into 1 inch wide slices.


Beef Stew Biscuit Bake


1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ($.05)

2 garlic cloves, crushed ($.05)

¾ pound beef stew meat ($1.49)

1 yellow onion, diced ($.20)

4 carrots, peeled and chopped ($.40)

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes ($.20)

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce ($.33)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ($.05)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ($.67)


Biscuit Topping

2 cups white flour ($.40)

1 Tablespoon sugar ($.10)

1 Tablespoon baking powder ($.15)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder ($.03)

4 Tablespoons butter, melted ($.37)

1 cup milk ($.10)


Preheat oven to 350.

In a large ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven, add the olive oil and garlic cloves and brown the stew meet. Stir in the diced onion, chopped carrots, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and garlic powder. Then whisk in the melted butter and milk. 

When the batter is ready, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the bubbling stew and then pour the biscuit batter over the top. Transfer the Dutch oven to the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the biscuit has cooked through and begins to golden on top. 

Using heavy duty oven mitts, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Serve Beef Stew Biscuit Bake.

Cost $4.59


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