The $10 Dinner Challenge

Morning crew creates dinners for four

I challenge the morning crew to create a dinner for four people for only $10.  The cost of basic staples, like salt, pepper, butter and olive oil, did not have to be part of the total cost of ingredients.  And, if items like rice, beans or spices were purchased, only the cost of the portion used in the final dish was included.

Zoraida, Rob and Andy came through with three great dishes.  Each is very different from the others.  But, all are quite tasty.  I also added a beef stroganoff recipe that my mom described to me.  She liked the challenge, too.

Rob’s Chicken Stir Fry


1 lb Chicken Chicken Tenders, cut into 1" pieces
2 tbl Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno, chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and julienned
1 Green Pepper, seeded and julienned
1/2 cu Kung Pao Sauce
2 cu Uncooked Rice
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt & Pepper


Prepare Rice according to package directions.  

Heat a work or large saucepan over high head.  Add olive oil.  Add chicken and stir-fry until pieces are opaque.  Add onions and garlic and toss together with chicken until tender.  Add green pepper and carrots and continue to stir-fry until carrots are tender.  Mix kung pao sauce with 1/2 cup of water and add to pan. Bring mixture to a boil and toss ingredients to coat with sauce.  Stir until sauce thickens.  Serve over rice.

Andy’s Broccoli & Pasta Soup


1-2 Broccoli Heads
1 lb Spaghetti
2 cans Chicken Broth
1/4 tbl Red Pepper Flakes
3 tbl Olive Oil
5 oz Container Romano Cheese
Salt & Pepper


Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. 

Separately, coarsely chop the broccoli and place it in an 8-quart pot. Slice stem thinly as you would celery.  Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the broccoli.  Add Olive oil and crushed red pepper.  Cook until broccoli is tender.

This dish can be served as a soup by just adding the already cooked spaghetti into the soup.  Serve soup sprinkled with Romano cheese.

You can also serve this as a pasta dish by adding the cooked spaghetti to the soup, then drain off the liquid and serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Serve with sliced Italian bread and butter.

Zoraida’s Adobo Chicken with Beans & Rice


1 lb Chicken Legs
Adobo Seasoning
1 lg Onion, chopped (reserve about 2 tablespoons for tomatoes below)
2 cu Uncooked Rice
1/2 lb Beans
Small Can Tomato Sauce
4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced
Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
Romaine Lettuce, torn into salad pieces
Salt & Pepper


Preheat oven to 35 degrees.  Skin chicken and season with olive oil and adobo. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Uncover and continue to bake until chicken is crispy on outside.  

Prepare rice and beans separately according to package directions.  Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan.  Saute onion and half of the garlic until tender.  Add beans, rice and tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat through and serve on individual plates topped with chicken.

For a simple side dish, combine remaining garlic, reserved onion, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.   Shake to combine and serve over tomatoes and romaine.

Wayne’s Beef Stroganoff


1lb Beef, cubed
1 tbl Olive Oil
1lg Yellow Onion, chopped
2 tbl Flour
2 tbl Worchestershire Sauce
1 can Beef Broth
8 oz Canned Mushrooms, drained
8oz Sour Cream
1lb Egg Noodles
Salt & Pepper


Prepare egg noodles according to package directions. 

Separately, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Saute beef until tender.  Add onions and continue to sauté until onions are translucent.   Add flour and stir to combine.  Add Worchestershire sauce and beef broth.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Add mushrooms and heat through.  Add sour cream and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and serve over egg noodles.

Big thanks to Zoraida, Rob and Andy for their great ideas.  If you have any questions comments, please send me an email at

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