Here is a quick, easy and nutritious way to serve a family of six dinner for under $5. It's all part of "Saving Cents."

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May 4, 2009

You can serve a delicious, hearty black bean soup.

Here's what you need to pick up at the store:

1 can of chicken broth (that costs $1)

1 can of tomatoes (also costs $1)

1 package or rice (this costs $2, but you'll only use a portion of it)

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2 cans of black beans (total cost of $1)

You'll only be out $5 for all of the groceries. Since some of these items may already be in your pantry, the cost could be even less!

Here is the recipe:

Spicy Black Bean and Rice Soup

Serves 4 - 6

Recipe courtesy of Judy Toth, Simply Impressive Cooking School

2 cups of chicken broth

cup of instant rice

10 oz. Rotel

30 oz. black beans, undrained

tsp Kosher salt (optional)

tsp garlic powder (optional)

tsp (heaping) dried oregano

1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Shredded cheese to taste

Chopped cilantro to taste

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add instant rice and cook for 5 minutes for brown rice or 2 minutes for white rice. Add Rotel tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, and any seasonings. Mash the second can of black beans and add them to the soup. Cook until rice is done. Rice will take 10 minutes total for brown rice or 5 minutes for white rice.

Before serving, you can add in lemon juice to freshen the taste. Top with cheese if desired and garnish with fresh cilantro, if available.

Economy chefs say to cook up savings, you should keep items like pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned chicken, tortillas and olive oil on hand at all times.

Bean and Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 3-4

12 oz can Chicken

3 tbsp Diced chiles

1 tsp Dried onion

pinch Garlic powder

tsp Chili powder

16 oz Frijoles (we used spicy jalapeno)

15 oz Stokes green chile sauce with chicken (or more as desired)

1 cups Cheddar or Velveeta cheese

6 Flour tortillas 7-8" size

Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan.

Drain liquid from canned chicken. Place in a medium-sized bowl. Add chiles, onion, garlic powder and chili powder. Mix together. Set aside.

Place about 6 tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.

To make the enchiladas spread about 3 tablespoons of frijoles on each tortilla. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture down the center of the frijoles. Spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle on about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cheese. Roll up and place seam side down into sauce. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Spread the remaining Stokes sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sauce. If you have an extra can in the pantry, open it and use some of it to cover the enchiladas with extra sauce.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes for cheese to melt. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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