My Broke Kitchen

New Year, New Dinners

January  8, 2014

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Get out of that January slump with new, inventive weeknight dinners.

January is notoriously a bummer. It's the Monday of months: It plods along, often bleak and frigid. It's the time of year when I inevitably wish that everything I own was fleece-lined, when I make playlist upon playlist filled with sad bastard music, when I mourn that it's not socially acceptable to eat cookies for breakfast anymore. After the euphoria of the holiday season and the mounting excitement of entering a brand new year, reality settles in harshly: Things aren't quite so different, it's just much colder out there.  

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One way to help mitigate the January blues is to do something new and purposeful. So here are two weeks worth of warming weeknight dinnertime mains that are as affordable as what you're used to, but just a little more flavorful and a bit time-intensive to prepare. But hey, this is exactly when you should be spending more time in your kitchen.

A Simple Homey, Coconut-y Red Lentil Dal


Chestnut and Chickpea Soup

Couscous Risotto with Tomato, Oregano + Mozzarella

Black-Eyed Pea Cassoulet

Deb Perelman's Mushroom Bourguignon

Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato

Warm Orzo Salad with Beets and Greens

(Note: Omit the pine nuts to save money.) 

French Onion Tart

Warming Winter Squash Tagine

And if all else fails...

Apple Rye Punch

Tell us: What are your favorite inventive, affordable weeknight dinners?

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