Need ideas for my $5 plates

Joined Jul 10, 2015
I cater to big companies and I've been doing $5 in this rough economy. I've done pot roast served over southern mashed potatoes with veggies and a roll....
chicken terayaki w rice and grilled veggies...pulled bbq chicken with roll and veggies..chicken pesto fetchini alfredo w salad and roll
all served in Styrofoam plates w fork and napkin

I need fresh ideas recepies something to keep me motivated :)
Joined Sep 9, 2012
Money would keep you motivated and with $5 a plate, that won't happen. How can you pay yourself?
Even with the Avian Flu eggs are relatively inexpensive compared to flesh (I love that word) so with a handful of eggs and milk you can make quiche, strata, baked French toast with day old bread and in season berry compote (blueberries right now), veg forward dishes like roasted veg salad, red beans and rice, things like that.
Good luck!
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Joined Jul 5, 2013
Wow.  Kudos to you for coming up with fab dinners for 5 dollars a plate. Pasta dishes come to mind.  How about Noodle bowls with protein of choice (shrimp, chicken, beef, pork) , seasonal vegetables, and perhaps a peanut sauce.  Or a faux Pho. Mexican food - enchiladas, tacos, burritos, beans and rice.
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
Catch the pork loins on sale, cut into 1/2 in "chops" and smother...serve with the pan gravy over white rice with an okra dish (either steam with vinegar or make an okra tomato and corn dish) maybe a cornbread square on the side.

Dredge the seasoned chops in flour...shake off the extra and quickly brown in an oil/butter mix...make a weak roux in same pan and then a gravy with chicken broth....slide chops back in , lay onions and sweet bell peppers over (making sure the meat stays under the liquid)...cover with foil and bake.

Hmmm...have not made this in ages.

Altho  not sure I could do it for 5 bucks.

Just the cost of the containers would throw me thru that ceiling.

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Joined Jan 8, 2010
All kind of bean/pulses dishes come to mind, as long as you start with the dried ones and let them soak

Chili con carne

Lentil stew/curry

Bean soups

Chickpea salad or curry

Also something like Nasi goreng (or any other fried rice dish) or noodle dishes

Good luck!
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Agree with above. If you're looking for recipes or ideas I think sticking with the ethnis peasant dishes are usually affordable, Italian, Irish, Southern, Cajun, Creole etc.... Gumbo, Jambalaya,Pasta Fagioli, etc.
Joined Sep 21, 2012
Back in the day we used to do a "cheap" low end dish usually a meat pie or stew affair. There was a dish called kidneys turbigo, a sort of paprikash / goulash affair using kidneys instead of beef. Would work well with gnocchi or rice.any kind of spiced stew with a dumpling is easy and fairly cheap to produce.


Joined Jul 5, 2013
Lasagna Roll-ups is another idea. The fillings (i.e. ricotta and spinach, etc.), noodles and sauce are not expensive. Take a look online at "Caprese Lasagna Roll-ups." Nice clean fresh approach, using sliced roma tomatoes, cheeses and basil as a filling.
Joined Aug 20, 2010

Székelygulyás (pork and sauerkraut stew)

This is a traditional Hungarian dish and amazingly delicious. You'll need:

Fatty pork (traditionally a combination of shoulder and belly), onions, garlic, lard, sweet Hungarian paprika, sauerkraut, crushed caraway, soured cream, flour.

Saute about a pound of meat cut into cubes in lard, remove and reserve. Saute chopped onions (1/2 lbs). Saute a few chopped cloves of garlic. Add a tablespoon of paprika and saute for a few seconds, taking care not to burn it. Return the meat to the pan, add a pound of drained and rinsed sauerkraut with some water, a large pinch of crushed caraway, salt and pepper, cover and braise until the meat is tender. Mix a cup of soured cream with a teaspoon of flour and add to the braise. Let it braise for about five minutes more.

You can serve it with steamed dumplings as we do here in Slovakia. Mix 500 g white flour, 200 ml milk, 20 g fresh yeast, an egg, 1 tsp salt (or less), 1 tsp sugar and knead to form a dough. Let it rise for an hour in a warm place. Form into loaves about the size of a small bread and steam them in a steamer. Brush them immediately with butter or lard and serve four or five slices per portion with the stew.


Moravský vrabec (braised pork, braised sauerkraut, potato dumpling)

This is a traditional Czech dish which you can often see on the menus of many Czech pubs. The name literally means Moravian sparrow and I have no idea why sparrow.

First the meat. Marinade any fatty pork cut cut into smaller pieces in salt, pepper, crushed caraway and crushed garlic. And then braise it. You can use some dark beer instead of just water for moistening.

Now the cabbage. Chop one large onion and fry it in a liberal amount of lard. Add roughly chopped up sauerkraut, crushed caraway, salt and pepper to taste and braise it for at least an hour, but two is better.

The dumplings. Boil 500 g potatoes. Peel them and grate them (I actually use a hand mixer to great results). Add 50 g melted butter, three whole eggs, salt and 250g coarsely ground flour. Mix the dough. Fry some cubed kaiser bun (or any cheap small bread) in butter in add to the dough, mixing the whole thing well. Have a bowl filled with cold water ready. Wet your hands in the water and shape dumplings about the size of a tennis ball but oblong. Boil them for 15-20 minutes in salted water. Slice immediately. You're going to love these.

Serve serve the three together - some meat, some cabbage and a few slices of the dumpling.


Csirkepaprikás (chicken in a rich paprika sauce)

Another Hungarian classic. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are sauteed in lard, reserved, onion is added and sauteed, then paprika, the chicken goes back, moistened with water, let to braise, near the end soured cream with a bit of flour is added.

Traditionally, we would serve it with nokedli, which are essentially the same thing as spaetzle - small flour dumplings.


Pierogi z kapustą (dough filled with cabbage)

An amazing Polish classic. Very cheap, very filling, full of flavour.

Basically you braise a white cabbage and chop it finely. Then you add some chopped onion sauteed in butter, salt, pepper and either chopped dill or chopped and cooked dried porcini. Season well.

The dough can be very simple, even just flour and water will do. Roll it out, cut out circles with a glass and stuff it with the cabbage. Seal them well and boil in salted water. When ready pour some melted butter over it.

Serve with fried onion slices or fried bacon nuggets and soured cream.



Yet another Hungarian classic. It's pretty much sweet ravioli. So the dough is a simple flour-and-egg dough tenderized with some water. The filling is just thick plum jam. What really transforms it is the garnish - breadcrumbs are mixed with ground walnuts and toasted and this mixture is then mixed with melted butter and confectioner's sugar and the pasta. It's sweet but very satisfying.


Boiled beef with a sauce and dumplings

Another Czech classic. You need the beef that was used to make beef soup with noodles.

The sauce is always made with brown roux and the beef soup, with flavourings added. To make onion sauce, just saute some onion in the butter. To make dill sauce, add chopped dill, some cream and a splash of wine vinegar at the end. These are my favourites.

The dumplings. You'll need something like kaiser buns. Cut them up and soak in milk to soften, crushing well with your hands. Add an egg for each 150 grams of bread, some chopped parsley, salt and coarsely ground flour (I never measure it, just sprinkle a thin layer of flour over it). Mix well. Spread like a huge cigar over cling film, roll the cling film and tie at the end with a string. Boil in salted water for 20 minutes (depending on the thickness). Remove the cling film and brush with melted butter.
Joined Aug 2, 2015
Okononimyaki with stir-fried veggies on the side
Gado Gado on a bed of Ramen noodles
Noodle bowls with lots of veggies
pulled pork with coleslaw and fresh buns
Oyster beef Lettuce wraps
Paleek paneet with Naan
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