Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Recipe Served Three Ways

During the winter, I shared a recipe for Easy Chicken Jambalaya that I saw on Sandra's Money Saving Meals.  With the economy being what it is these days, I'm always looking for ways to save money, so it only made sense to sit down to watch this show when I found myself with some time alone on a lazy weekend.  (Well, not really alone.  Grace was napping and Joe was working in the garage.  That's as close to alone as it gets around here!)
    The Jambalaya recipe was a hit on many levels: 
  • It was easy to follow
  • I had most (if not all) of the ingredients on hand
  • budget-friendly
  • Oh, more importantly, it tasted great! 
Not only did Sandra Lee offer a tasty and simple recipe, she also provided tips on how to serve the leftovers!  After preparing the recipe, I took her suggestion and reserved 3 cups of the Jambalaya, divided into 2 portions (1.5 cup each) and stored them in the freezer for future meals.  During a recent freezer/pantry challenge, I discovered those 2 containers of reserved Jambalaya.  I was thrilled!  Due to some unexpected financial expenses, I challenged myself to spend as little as possible on groceries each week.  My well-stocked freezer and pantry allowed me to create several meals, saving us money on groceries for several weeks.  Finding those 2 containers of the chicken/rice mixture was going to allow for cheap and easy meals for 4 nights!  The first batch of reserved mixture was turned into Cajun Red Bean and Rice Soup.  An alternate recipe found online at FoodNetwork.com. 
Homemade broth (foil container) and reserved jambalaya (plastic container) from the freezer make a nice, hearty Cajun Red Bean and Rice Soup.  
 Just adding a few ingredients (shown above) turned that cup and a half of Jambalaya mix into a nice hearty pot of soup! 
The soup was another hit.  I followed the recipe exactly as posted on the Food Network site.  Homemade chicken broth from the freezer helped make this a very frugal meal!  Serving the soup with salad and bread allowed us to enjoy this meal for 2 nights.    For the second batch of the reserved mixture was intended to be used in another recipe from the Big Easy episode:  Cajun Quesadillas.  Instead, I decided to use the mixture as a filling for enchiladas.  Enchiladas is always my go-to meal when I am in need of a simple, hearty meal.  Especially if I have any type of rice/bean/chicken mixture already prepared in the fridge or freezer!  Adding some corn and black beans bulked up the mixture a bit and adding some taco cheese really helped to turn this Cajun-inspired mixture into an easy Mexican-inspired meal. 
Enchiladas Ingredients: 
  • 1.5 cup reserved Jambalaya
  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) enchilada sauce
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn
  • 2/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 6 large (burrito size) flour tortillas
  • Add frozen corn and 1/2 can of enchilada sauce to the reserved Jambalaya.
  • Thaw in microwave for 2-3 mintues at 30% power, stirring half way through cooking time.
  • Add the black beans and 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese. 
  • Mix well. 
  • In a baking pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, pour 1/2 can of enchilada sauce. 
  • Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the Jambalaya mixture, roll them up and place seam side down into the baking dish. 
  • Pour the remaining can of enchilada sauce over the tortillas.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. 
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Although this tray of enchiladas is much smaller than I normally make, we were still able to enjoy this for 2 nights last week! 
***Be sure to check out the Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ End of Summer Giveaway here at Under the Big Oak Tree!  There are many ways to enter, including FaceBook-exclusive bonus entries!***  This recipe will be linked to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:


    Tammy L said...

    Oh, yum! I love your meals and re-purposing leftovers... I don't think I have been quite that creative, so thanks for the ideas!! :)


    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

    I love meals like this! What a great way to cook!

    extreme personal measures said...

    This sounds good and one my whole family will like!

    Stop by and link up at http://www.extremepersonalmeasures.com/2011/08/whats-your-favorite-cookbook.html

    for What’s Cooking Wednesday!

    Jelli said...

    Great way to use leftovers. I love doing this with chilis (spaghetti, baked potato topping, enchilada filling, dip for chips, etc.)

    Candace said...

    Absolutely brilliant re-purpose of your leftovers! I am definitely making that soup when the weather turns a bit cooler here which won't be very long from now. Thanks for sharing!

    Miz Helen said...

    Hi Alison,
    What a great meal, I am ready to sit down at the table. That Chicken Jambalaya looks delicious. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come back soon,
    Miz Helen

    Amy said...

    What a clever way to prepare dishes! Love the idea to have more varieties. :)

    My blog turns 1 today and I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog as a way to say thank you for your supports in the past year. Please come over to check it out if you're interested. http://utry.it

    momstheword said...

    I love how creative you are! What a great idea to make soup with it! You rock, my friend. Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

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