Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes & Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week

Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes & Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week

by Melissa d'Arabian, Raquel Pelzel


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Melissa d’Arabian, host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners and season 5 winner of The Next Food Network Star, makes good on the $10 promise of dinner for four in her debut cookbook.

For home cooks who care about what they feed their families and want to stretch their dollars, Melissa is the best guide for putting delicious meals on the table. She focuses on savvy budgeting, efficient shopping, and full-flavored cooking. Ten Dollar Dinners has 140 recipes and more than 100 creative, practical tips on great money-savers (“Clear-Your-Pantry Week”); inventive takes on old standby dinners (try her Moroccan Meatloaf); and how to get ingredients to last longer (keep your green onions in a glass of water and they will regrow several times over!). And with a coding system to help you create your own $10 menu, Ten Dollar Dinners celebrates spending with purpose, cooking with love, minimizing time spent in front of the stove, and savoring your homemade meal.

Melissa is a pro at creating satisfying meals that adults and kids alike will enjoy, using everyday ingredients and transforming them into delicious dinners. Her Potato-Bacon Torte (which, at 50 cents a serving, was one of her winning recipes on The Next Food Network Star) shows how basic and inexpensive supermarket ingredients can be turned into an amazingly satisfying dish. Her Roasted Vegetable Tian is a great way to take advantage of deals in the produce aisle. The Four-Step Chicken Piccata offers a plan for getting food on the table in just minutes, using almost anything in the pantry.

Anyone can use this book—especially those who want to save money—and feel great about cooking sensibly for elevated, simple meals that are healthy family-pleasers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307985149
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 08/14/2012
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 298,048
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

MELISSA D’ARABIAN was the host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners and Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping. Melissa is the season 5 winner of The Next Food Network Star and has also appeared on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Food Network Challenge. Melissa has a BA from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Georgetown University. She lives with her husband and their four young daughters in San Diego.

Read an Excerpt

Salmon Cakes
Serves 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1 large russet potato
2 bacon strips
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
14-ounce can wild salmon
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potato and cook until a paring knife easily slips into the center of the potato, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and, once the potato is cool enough to handle, peel it and place it in a bowl. Use a fork to break up and fluff the potato. Set aside.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon on both sides until browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate (save the fat in a small bowl), cool, and then crumble. Place the bacon in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat in a small skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the onion cool, then add to the bacon along with the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, and lemon zest, stirring to combine. Add the salmon and then the potato, mixing gently after each addition. Then form into 12 small patties.
4. In a small, shallow baking dish, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and pepper. Press both sides of the salmon patties firmly into the bread-crumb mixture to evenly coat both sides.
5. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the salmon cakes in 2 batches until they’re golden on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total, adding more oil when necessary. Serve warm.

Table of Contents

introduction 8

making ten dollar dinners work for you 15

how to use ten dollar dinners 16

strategies for saving 18

the ten dollar dinner pantry 25

1 appetizers & snacks small bites to start things off 29

2 soups a meal in a bowl 63

3 salads fresh, healthy, and budget-friendly 87

4 fish & seafood strategies for pricey proteins 113

5 chicken the irreplaceable chicken dinner 137

6 pork & beef here's to meat on a budget! 169

7 vegetables as a main or a side 201

8 starchy sides opportunities to save your budget 237

9 pasta a budget staple 263

10 dessert a sweet last impression 281

11 breakfast bonus chapter! 317

acknowledgments 352

recipe cost index 355

index 359

Customer Reviews

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Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes & Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
JRSinVA More than 1 year ago
I have tried a few of the recipes in this cook book and had wonderful reviews from my family. Ingredients are "simple" - meaning you often have most items in your pantry or they are items you can easily find/use. The author provides a rating system for each recipe's "cost" which is interesting and helpful if cooking on a tight budget. Read the introduction to the book and you will enjoy the recipes more. Definately try the Soupe au Pistou... wonderful flavor and don't skimp on the fresh basil. My friends and family consider me an accomplished cook and they rate the few recipes made from this cook book as excellent. The first time I make a recipe, I rarely make changes so I can assess the original format. I'm not making personal changes to the few recipes tried; they are delicious, easy, and true to the book's, title inexpensive. Additionally, I prefer recipes that exclude rarely used items - and these recipes are made using very basic ingredients to make low cost AND tastey meals. Don't think this means bland or boring, because I've used this cookbook to make some impressive meals complete with appetizers and dessert. There are many pictures which I also appreciate to guide me in presentation or style of how the author intended an entree to look. I'm ordering several copies of this cook book and sending it to relatives because I am enjoying it so much. I highly recommend it no matter what your level of cooking and what your budget may be!
Pat_L_K1 More than 1 year ago
I just finished eating the Mustard Chicken. Easy to make, my husband and kids think that it tastes wonderful. I served it over pastina. (Local grocery had buy one get one) It was tasty, filling and cheap and only cost 6$ to make. At 1.50 per serving for the entree' I will recoup the cost of the book in no time!
heartofmyhome More than 1 year ago
This gem of a book is worth buying because it's full of useful information, practical information and wonderful photos. Her whole family is in the book (so sweet) and so much detail is given to help you succeed. You will save money and your family will be thrilled with the variety of delicious meals. Thanks Melissa for being such a class act!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great weeknight meal options. Great for someone trying to organize their weekly meal planning & shopping.
toadessa More than 1 year ago
I like her Food Network show and it is lovely to have her recipes, which are very delicious, under one cover. I am enjoying making her dinners.
lulu56DS More than 1 year ago
Love this book.  All the recipes are user friendly and full of flavor.  She uses spices and herbs to perfection.  Her money saving tips are very useful.  The book has a lot of pictures and easy to understand recipes.  I could eat her Pot Roast Carbonnade once a week.  I highly recommend this book to any cook, beginner or advanced.  
Diana-reads More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best cookbooks and the first Nook cookbook I have bought. I have already made a few recipes, I've only had the book for week, and can't wait to make more. The only downside to having it on my nook is the hints at some of the end of the recipes don't show up on my nook, but I can see them on my nook app on my computer. Maybe someone at BN can see what's wrong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can reduce for two and have two tv dinners froze or two and desserts dont know about e book formate but will give a try
Penmouse More than 1 year ago
Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals by Melissa d'Arabian offers a fresh spin on frugal cooking. I like how d'Arabian used frugal ingredients in novel ways to create gourmet meals from humble ingredients. Some of the recipes I plan to try include: Smoked Tuna Spread Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Parisian Cafe Salad with Classic Dijon Vinaigrette Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese and Apples French-Cut Steak with Caramelized Onions Chicken Meatballs Double Chocolate Pound Cake Earl Grey Pots de Creme I also loved the lush, color photos used to illustrate her recipes. Recommend.
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So wuts 4 dinner? Skai :) xx
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey dont bworry bout it...it had to be omportant