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

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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.

Elle Martinez
Elle Martinez

Written by Elle Martinez

Elle helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second. More from Elle Martinez

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