Rising food prices have forced consumers to become creative when it comes to making meals. But increased food costs don't mean you have to compromise on healthy meals.
Chef Sara Moulton has five truly creative ways to save on your food budget, and the right recipes to make it happen.
Recipe: Skirt Steak Fajitas With Lime and Black Pepper
2 large onions, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges, leaving root ends intact
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 lb. skirt steak, halved crosswise
2 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
18 flour tortillas
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 red bell pepper, sliced into ½" strips
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into ½" strips
2 small zucchinis, sliced into ¼" rounds
Prepare grill for cooking.
Thread onions onto skewers (or put in grill basket), then brush with 1/2 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. When fire is medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds), grill onions, turning occasionally, until tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When just cool enough to handle, cut onions into 1-inch pieces and toss with vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
While onions are grilling, stir together lime juice and remaining teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a shallow dish, then add steak and marinate at room temperature, turning once, 10 minutes.
Pat steak dry, then rub with pepper. Grill steak on lightly oiled grill rack, turning once, 6 to 10 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board, then let stand 5 minutes before cutting diagonally into thin slices.
While steak is standing, toast tortillas directly on grill rack, turning once, until puffed slightly and browned in spots, about 1 minute total. Serve steak, onions, cilantro, and salsa all wrapped in tortillas.
Cooks' notes: If you aren't able to grill, onions (no need to skewer) and steak can be cooked in a lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat and tortillas can be toasted over gas (hold with tongs) or directly on top of electric burners. Cut skirt steak into pieces to fit in grill pan and grill in batches without crowding.
Accompaniment: Tomato salsa; lime wedges; sour cream.
Recipe courtesy of Melissa Roberts, "The Gourmet Cookbook"; Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
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Recipe: Sara's Killer Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 Servings
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
This is a quick "from the pantry" meal. Canned salmon has come a long way in terms of quality, and when combined with chiles, crushed tortilla chips, and cumin, moistened with mayonnaise, and topped with corn salsa, you almost wouldn't know that it was canned.