What’s For Dinner?

If you are the primary “chef” in your household, you’ve probably heard that question a million times!

Each day, the daunting task of creating a budget friendly, nutritious meal can be overwhelming.

It’s surprising what you can make with items you likely have on hand.

I encourage you to view recipes as flexible guidelines! The temperature or cook time provided in a recipe might be a bit different in your kitchen. You may not have access to the same ingredients listed in the recipe, and that’s okay. You may also not like all of the ingredients listed in the recipe. 

Things to keep in mind when modifying a recipe:

  • Ratios of liquids to solids.
  • Considering what type of texture an ingredient provides, and substituting for texture when possible.
  • Adjusting the recipe as you go—add liquid to thin, thicken it with an ingredient from the recipe when appropriate, adding more spices or salt for flavor.
  • Be careful when adjusting baking recipes. Baking is a science, and often there’s a specific chemistry at play in certain recipes. Do your research before making serious modifications.

One Pot Pasta With Chicken

Super easy and versatile, this delicious dish can be put together in just a few minutes – and cleanup is a breeze with only one pot!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 Minute Meals, Chicken, Pasta
Servings: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast diced into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 ounce, drained
  • 3 cups chicken broth + ½ cup extra, if needed
  • 1 cup heavy cream milk can be substituted
  • 12 oz penne or other medium pasta
  • cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • ½ cup parmesan divided


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook chicken until no pink remains. Set aside.
  • Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until onion is translucent.
  • Add seasoning, parsley, 3 cups of broth, tomatoes and cream. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce has thickened. If necessary, add ½ cup of broth. Stir in ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.
  • Add chicken back to skillet, top with mozzarella cheese and remaining parmesan. Broil 2 – 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

Quick Sausage Bolognese

Use sausages without their skins to make a Bolognese-style ragu in minutes. You can adjust the level of spice according to how much heat you fancy in this easy meaty pasta dish.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4


  • 6 mild italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • ½ – 1 tsp dried chili flakes according to taste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 28 oz
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 oz red wine or water
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 10 oz spaghetti
  • grated Parmesan to serve
  • fresh basil leaves to serve


  • Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins into a large non-stick frying pan. Add the oil and onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Use two wooden spoons to break up the sausage meat into small pieces as it cooks. Add the chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute more, stirring.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine (or water) and oregano. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, stirring regularly.
  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 7–9 minutes (or according to the pack instructions) until tender, stirring occasionally to separate the strands.
  • Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and return to the saucepan. Tip the spicy sausage sauce into the same pan and toss well together. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and scattered with torn basil leaves.