3 Hearty Recipes That Won’t Break The Bank

It’s getting chilly out there! With colder weather, meals that stick to your ribs become great everyday fare. Meals that are baked, roasted or slow-cooked, with hearty cuts of meats, poultry and loads of root vegetables and grains are on the top of the list. These foods tend to be less expensive; cheaper cuts of meat such as ground beef, stew meat, whole poultry, and poultry parts as well as all types of potatoes and vegetables play leading roles. Foods cooked by these methods are packed with tons of nutrients and a natural goodness that is brought out in the cooking process. In addition, it’s more fuel/energy efficient which not only benefits the environment but also your bank account.

What I like most about baking and slow cooking is that recipes can easily be tailored to a person’s preference. You can add spices and herbs as you see fit… and best of all, you aren’t chained to the oven! Here are a few of my favorite recipes. The amounts are approximate, and the ingredients are easily substituted to fit most tastes. Use more or less of ingredients and spices/herbs for your personal needs.




2lbs ground beef

6-7 extra large eggs

1 cup of bread crumbs plus a bit extra (I prefer flavored)

¾ jar of marinara sauce (I prefer Buitoni) plus 1 jar

Salt (about 2 shakes of a canister)

Garlic powder (about 3 good shakes of canister)

Black pepper (about 1-2 good shakes of canister)

Onion powder (about 3 good shakes of canister-may add 1 med onion if preferred)


Mix all the ingredients together, except the extra jar of marinara sauce. The mixture should stay together easily, if not add more bread crumbs. Separate mixture into two 9’’ x 13’’ pans equally and form into loaves, making sure there are no cracks. Take extra jar of marinara sauce, and spoon over both meatloaves until covered (about half-jar per meatloaf) Bake at 375° F for about 1 ½ hours, or until knife stuck in center comes out clean and very hot.

Roasted Whole Chicken w/ Potatoes & Carrots


1 whole chicken, approx 3lbs, cleaned of innards

3-4 Idaho potatoes, cut into small chunks

2-3 carrots, cut into strips

1 med. onion, cut into halves then sliced, don’t separate slivers

Salt (a few pinches)

Parsley (good few shakes of canister)

Garlic powder (a shake or three)

Black pepper, as desired


Lay the potatoes down in a 9’’ x 13’’ pan, covering the bottom completely. Lay chicken on top of layer in middle of pan, and place carrot strips and onions inside chicken cavity. Season with salt, parsley, garlic powder and pepper (if desired). Bake at 375° F uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until you are able to poke the chicken thigh with a sharp knife and the juices run clear.

Chicken Soup


1 whole chicken about 3lbs or 1pk chicken bottom (leg & thigh) with skin removed

1 large onion, diced

3-4 Idaho potatoes, cubed

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots cut into half-circles

1 small parsnip, cut into small pieces

Splash of oil to sauté vegetables

Water to cover chicken and vegetables

 Salt and pepper to taste

Parsley (few firm shakes)


In a 8-10 Qt pot, add small amount of oil. Once hot, add vegetables and sauté for a minute or two. Add chicken, water and seasonings, bring to a simmer. Let cook for at least 2 hours, checking once or twice midway to stir. Soup is done when chicken is completely cooked (poke thigh with knife, no red should be seen at all), vegetables are tender and broth is a nice golden color.

These three recpies represent some of our family favorites for this time of year. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do! -Sarah K.

Blog entry & recipes courtesy of AJ Madison resident chef Sarah Klinkowitz.