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Savings Challenge

Cooking Up Big Savings

Looking for a dish that is easy on the wallet? Try some of these recipes that make great leftovers.

As part of the 2010 Savings Challenge, host Jeff Yeager asked the online community to channel their savings and culinary skills and submit their favorite "big batch recipe."

Experienced cheapskates know that batch cooking is a great way to save. You can buy ingredients in larger quantities and defrosting fully cooked leftovers is more convenient and a lot less expensive than dining out.

The rules for this challenge were simple. The batch recipes needed to provide at least 8 servings and could be any type of dish: breakfast, appetizer, entree or dessert. The dish also needed to freeze or store well for future use.

Here's a sampling of some of the dishes our Savings Challenge group members submitted. You can see more of them in the Savings Challenge group.

Mimi1921's Broccoli Cornbread (Winner of the big batch recipe challenge)

Serves 8

Ingredients

· 8 oz cottage cheese

· 2 sticks butter or margarine, melted

· 8 eggs

· 2 10 oz. boxes frozen chopped broccoli or 1 reg. size bag

· 1 large onion, diced

· 2 boxes corn muffin mix

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs and onions. Mix well. Cook broccoli in microwave only long enough to thaw, then mix butter or margarine, broccoli and corn muffin mix into the cottage cheese and egg mixture. Pour mixture into a well-greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in a 400-degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until done and top springs back in the middle.

slee15's Banana Split Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients

· 9 x 13 yellow cake (either mix or from scratch)

· 2 small packages instant banana pudding mix

· 1 8 oz. package cream cheese

· 1 1/2 cups milk

· 3 ripe bananas

· 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained)

· 1 8 oz. whipped topping (thawed)

· 1 jar maraschino cherries

· 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

· 1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Directions

Bake yellow cake per instructions. Cool completely and slice off top. Whip softened cream cheese with milk until smooth, then add banana pudding mixes. Spread pudding mixture on top of cake. Thinly slice bananas on top of pudding layer. Then spread pineapple over bananas and top with the thawed whipped topping. Garnish with maraschino cherries and drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle on chopped walnuts. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

ZONIE's Montana Cilantro Beef

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

· 3 lbs. of sale beef such as London broil or round steak cut in julienne strips about 2 or 3 inches long.

· 1 large onion

· 1 Tbsp of olive oil

· 1 tsp of minced garlic (fresh or in the jar)

· 1 can of whole tomatoes

· 1/2 cup of pepperoncini or jalapeno juice (from jar)

· 1 can (or two if you love 'em) of green chilies (mild)

· 1 cup of medium salsa (your own level of "hot" is fine, too)

· 1 Tbsp of chili powder

· 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup water

· 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Brown the onion in olive oil and add cut up beef and garlic. Transfer meat and all ingredients except the cornstarch and cilantro into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 hours (or for your work shift or overnight). When ready to eat, add the cornstarch and cilantro and reheat to bubbly. Salt to taste. Serve over brown minute (or Uncle Ben's) rice or with microwave baked potatoes and your favorite veggie.

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