5 Easy Weeknight Meals On A Budget

Weekdays are the busiest days of the week because on these days, work are expected from adults who takes part of a rat-race to life‘s fulfillment. With the exception of the filthy rich and famous, most people knows the importance of money management and saving up. However, the working class usually forgets that they still deserve the best of life has to offer.

So, after a busy and tiring day working on a weekday, families and individuals should prepare dinner that not only satisfies hunger and nourish the bodies, but also brings back the life and soul of every household member. As help, here are some of best weeknight meals anyone can prepare that savors the mouth while being light on the budget.

Fresh and Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

• 4 medium size Zucchini (sliced thinly and halved lengthwise)
• 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms (sliced)
• 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
• 1 medium size red bell pepper (chopped)
• 1 medium size yellow bell pepper (chopped
• 1 onion (chopped)
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 1 ½ cups of ricotta cheese
• 2 cups of mozzarella cheese (shredded)
• ½ cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
• 1 large egg
• 5 cups of Marinara sauce
• 8 ounces of no-boil Lasagna noodles
• Vegetable cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Coat a jelly-roll pan with vegetable cooking spray.
3. Place the zucchini, garlic and mushrooms on the coated pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until vegetables are crisp. Stir halfway through.
4. Do the same procedure for bell pepper and onion, with an oven temperature of 350°.
5. Toss together the vegetables in a bowl and season with salt.
6. In a separate container, put together the ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cups of mozzarella and ¼ cup of Parmesan.
7. Using 1 13×9 inch baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray, pour the 1 cup of Marinara sauce and spread evenly.
8. Top the sauce with 3 lasagna noodle pieces, 1 cup of Marinara sauce 1/3 portion of ricotta mixture and 1/3 portion of vegetable mixture. Repeat layers twice starting with 2 Lasagna noodles.
9. After completing the layers, put the remaining noodles and Marinara sauce on top layer and sprinkle with ½ cup of Mozarella and ¼ cup of Parmesan.
10. Cover the baking dish and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
11. Remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is mekted and golden in color.
12. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Butter Cod

• 1 pound of Cod fish
• 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of black pepper
• 1 thinly sliced lemon
• ¼ cup of Tartar sauce
• 1 teaspoon of Primal Palate Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Wash the cod with cold water and pat dry using a paper towel.
3. Put the rinsed cod in a baking dish.
4. Season it with pepper and salt.
5. Place the unsalted butter on top of the filets.
6. Put the lemon slices on top of the filet also.
7. Bake for 30 minutes.
8. Serve the cooked filet with Tartar sauce.

Barbecue Flavored Pork Shepherd’s Pie

For the Ranch Mashed Potatoes:
• 2 pounds of red potatoes
• 2/3 cup of sour cream
• ½ pack ranch seasoning mix
For the Fillings:
• 1 pound of tender pulled pork
• 1bottle of barbecue sauce
• 1 cup of Cheddar cheese (shredded)
• 1 can of corn (discard juice)
• 1 bunch or scallions (diced)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
For the Ranch Mashed Potatoes:
1. Peel the red potatoes.
2. Slice the potatoes into 1-inch potions. Place the slices in a large saucepan covered with water.
3. Bring the water to boil and cook for 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
4. Drain and place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl.
5. Add the sour cream along with the ranch seasoning mix onto the potatoes and mash evenly and thoroughly.
For the dish:
1. Coat the pulled pork with the barbecue sauce.
2. Place the coated pulled pork in a large casserole dish and spread evenly to create a single layer.
3. Top the puller pork with corn pieces and add the mashed potatoes equally.
4. Cover it with cheddar cheese and scallions.
5. Bake the dish in the oven for 14-16 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Butternut Squash with Turmeric Soup

• 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion (chopped)
• 1 tablespoon of vegetable bouillon base
• 1 medium size butternut squash (peeled and seeds reserved, sliced into 1” portions)
• 2 medium size carrots (sliced into 1” portions)
• 2 tablespoons of coconut milk
• 2 ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
• 2 ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil over a medium temperature.
2. Add the onion and stir occasionally until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, dissolve the bouillon base in 6 cups of boiling water.
4. Add the carrots and squash slices along with 2 teaspoons of turmeric and ½ teaspoon of pepper to the Dutch oven. Let the vegetables cook thoroughly.
5. Add the bouillon broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 18-22 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender.
6. Heat the oven to 375°.
7. Coat the reserved squash seeds with the remaining oil, turmeric and pepper. Roast the seeds for 9-11 minutes, until color turns golden brown.
8. Pour the vegetables broth in a blender and puree the soup.
9. Sprinkles the pureed soup with the toasted squash seeds and drizzle the coconut milk.

Lemon and Leek Linguine

• 12 ounces of whole wheat linguine
• 2 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
• 2 medium size leeks (have the white and light green parts sliced into half-moons)
• 1 piece of lemon
• 1 cup of frozen peas
• ½ cup of fresh parsley (have the ¼ cup roughly chopped)
• ½ cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
• Kosher salt
• Pepper
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt.
2. Cook the linguine according to the package instructions. Reserve 2 cups of the used water then drain the rest.
3. In a large and deep skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium temperature.
4. Add the garlic to the heated oil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the golden brown garlic to a paper towel-lined platter.
5. Place the leeks to the heated pan and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until tender.
6. Shred 4 strips of lemon zest using a peeler. Slice the zest thinly. On the other hand, squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a bowl and set aside.
7. Combine the peas, lemon zest and parsley leaves along with the reserved water in a skillet and simmer it for 2 minutes.
8. Place the pasta, garlic, Parmesan and ½ teaspoon of pepper and combine well. After doing so, coat the pasta dish with the lemon juice.
9. Sprinkle the finely chopped parsley and serve.