The Food Network is a feast for the eyes, and this television channel offers a free education in the basics of cooking. Read on for the best Food Network shows for cooking on a budget.
The Food Network is a feast for the eyes, and this television channel offers a free education in the basics of cooking. TV chefs create impressive, exotic meals each day; however, some of these programs feature recipes and ingredients that are beyond the budget and expertise of the average home cook. My favorite Food Network hosts demonstrate basic, easy to master cooking techniques using simple, budget friendly ingredients. Read on for the best Food Network shows for cooking on a budget.
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian
“Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian” is a dream come true for the home cook struggling to feed a family of four on a tight budget. In these tough economic times, Food Network chef d’Arabian promises budget friendly meals for a family of four, for less than ten dollars. She keeps her pledge by offering a variety of easy recipes that are sure to please your family without devastating your wallet.
On a recent episode of “Ten Dollar Dinners,” she demonstrates how to save money on takeout meals by cooking delicious dinners at home. She prepares sesame chicken, “lemony” egg drop soup, steamed white rice, and orange ginger wontons for dessert: all for under ten dollars! Her show is loaded with tips and tricks that can really help the budget minded cook save some cash during the recession.
Sandra’s Money Saving Meals: Sandra Lee
Food Network chef Sandra Lee, host of the show “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” has developed “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals” to help viewers lower the cost of their grocery bill. All of Sandra Lee’s recipes use a combination of fresh and ready-made ingredients, like chocolate pudding mix. One recent episode of “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals” featured international meals with “global flavors at local prices.”
This show included budget friendly recipes for Spanish chicken with spicy lemon rice, salt and pepper calamari, and mocha mousse to create a meal that costs a lot less than pricey restaurant fare. She offers plenty of money saving tips, such as how to slash the cost of the mousse by substituting instant chocolate pudding mix for melted chocolate. At the end of each episode, Sandra Lee does a “Round Two Recipe” that makes clever use of leftover ingredients from her earlier meals, and then she breaks down the cost of her recipes, showing the viewer how much money can be saved with budget conscious cooking.
30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray, host of the Food Network show “30 Minute Meals,” is the master of budget friendly recipes that can be created in less than thirty minutes. Her show uses affordable, fresh ingredients and pantry items like canned tuna, rice and pasta to prepare some quick, tasty meals that won’t bust your budget. “30 Minute Meals” is ideal for students or anyone who wants to lower the cost of their grocery bill, and Ray makes ingenious use of leftovers as she whips up delicious recipes from staples in the kitchen cupboard.
She encourages the viewer to substitute ingredients, using whatever is on sale or more affordable at the grocery store (on a recent show, she explains how ground beef can be substituted for ground lamb in one of her recipes). Since the cost of meat can be so expensive these days, Rachael Ray also provides plenty of healthy, vegetarian recipes that can really help you spend less money at the supermarket. “30 Minute Meals” offers tons of tips and advice that will inspire you to learn how to cook while stretching a dollar.
The Food Network is an excellent resource for living well on a budget, and these three chefs offer simple, delicious meals that are easy to make and gentle on your wallet. For more information, free recipes from these shows, and other budget friendly recipes, visit: www.foodnetwork.com.
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