Happy Culinary Arts Month! Decadent Recipes That Won’t Break the Bank

Income and Investments Baked doughnuts in pink icing, overhead

With July being National Culinary Arts Month, I thought it would be fun to share some recipes that wow without draining your wallet (and without needing to be a trained chef).

Quality Ingredients Take It Up a Notch

No matter what recipe you use, I find that starting with quality, fresh ingredients makes it pop. You don’t have to spend a ton to eat well. We have friends who can make dishes that are absolutely delicious without a lot of prep work. When I ask, they always talk about the ingredients.

I gathered a few of my favorites to help you step up your meals. They’re also easy to use, so I hope they become of your favorite go-to the next time you need to whip up dinner.

Creamy Avocado and Lime Salad Dressing

I admit, I wasn’t excited about salads growing up. They always seemed boring and I drowned them with dressing. Now that I’m older and have picked up some kitchen skills, I’ve learned that they can be made just as you like.

I’m still a fan of dressing, but now I put enough to compliment it, not cover the salad. If you’re looking for a summer dressing that is easy to make, you should try this one.

  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper

All you have to do is mix it all in a food processor and you’re done!

Grilled Peppers Stuffed with Cheese

An easy summer time favorite that is tasty and delightful.

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Anaheim or Cubanelle peppers
  • 4 baby bell peppers
  • 4 small poblano chiles
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing

To make it just takes a few steps (something I love whenever I have a busy day!) and a grill.

  • Light the grill
  • Blend the ricotta with the cream cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Cut the bell peppers and remove the stem and membrane inside
  • Stuff the peppers with your cheese mixture
  • Rub the peppers with olive oil and place the stuffed peppers on the grill (high heat) until the cheese is hot and the skin blistered
  • transfer to plate and serve

Summertime Steak Rub

Nothing says summer fun like a steak off the grill. After experimenting with different marinades and rubs, we found one that comes out great every time.

  • 4 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
Mix everything well and season your steak. We’ve left the rub on from a couple of hours to overnight and it still creates a delicious crust.

Thoughts on Good Food and Easy Recipes that Save Money

If you have a favorite summertime recipe, please share it below! I’d love to hear how you discovered it.

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