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TOPIC: cheap, delicious, healthy, quick, normal ingredient meals??

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March 23, 2010 10:09 AM
OK, so my goal is to find recipes that are cheap, delicious, healthy, quick to make, and have normal ingredients in them so I don't have to go to the store to buy one spice or ingredient that I won't ever use again. I'm on a healthy kick (even though the rest of my family isn't.) Any ideas anyone? It could be for a snack or a meal.
March 23, 2010 10:23 AM
We are of like minds...I am a single mother trying to set a good example for my kids...but $ is tight, time is tigher and they are not interested in "fancy" food with lots of ingredients or "strange" ingredients for that matter. We are very basic eaters right now...meat, veggies and rice or potatoes. I have at least converted them to brown rice. The change to sweet potatoes are not going as smoothly...
March 23, 2010 10:25 AM
We like to make mujudra (sp?) It's an Arabic dish. It involves basic salt, pepper, and some other normal spices, lentils, white or yellow onions and rice. It doesn't get much cheaper or good for you than that!

This is one version of the dish, I am certain you could easily find others:
March 23, 2010 10:25 AM
Go for fresh fruits and vegetables - if you can stay away from canned veges as they usually have added sodium. Also, try substituting whole wheat products (such as pasta) instead of regular. If you do gradually, the family won't notice the difference and you all will be eating healthier.

My family now can tell the difference if I don't use the whole wheat stuff.

There are a lot of recipes listed on this site - just look search topics for recipes.
March 23, 2010 10:25 AM
I have loads of them :)
One I made the other night was:
baked fish (with a lime and garlic marinade)
whole wheat organic angel hair pasta
"Stir-fried" (at most you can add 1 tbls olive oil if needed) red bell peppers, carrots, broc. garlic and basil. When the veggies are just about done add 1 cup veggy stock and 1 tablespoon cornstarch, then about 1 ladle if the starchy pasta water and simmer until the sauce is sort of thick.

Serve 1/4cup pasta with the 1/2 veggies, 4oz of fish, and lime on the side. smile

I LOVE tapioca pudding made with coconut milk and raspberries for a desert (we need a drool smiley)
March 23, 2010 10:27 AM
I use and they have a variety of recipes and you can view by health, budget and all sorts of other topics. It's nice because they use everyday products and you can usually get the store brand to make the meals even cheaper. They give you the nutritional information so it's easier to chart your food. My husband is a picky eater and he usually likes the stuff I make from the site. Good luck!
March 23, 2010 10:29 AM
I make chicken ziti parmasean. I know it does not sound all that healthy but it is really not all that bad.

1/2 box Barrilla plus penne (cooked)
spaghetti sauce
grilled chicken cut into bit size pieces
1 cup mozzerellla (skim or low fat if you have it)

In a casserole dish, cover the bottom of the dish with the sauce. In a medium bowl combine penne pasta and chicken, pour sauce ( maybe like 1 cup or cup and and half), pour into casserole dish and sprinkle with mozzerella. Bake for 20 min or until bubbley.
This is so much better for you then with burger and it tastes yummy!! Plus you get your vegetables and whole grains in. Serve with a side salad!!
March 23, 2010 10:29 AM
These are my go-to foods:

Take two regular potatoes (I read up on these and there are SO many health benefits), pierce with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes. Cut them up into bite-size pieces and topped with steamed broccoli and some melted, low-fat cheese. It's delicious.

For dessert I take a half cup of plain yogurt, mix in some cinnamon, nuts of some kind (I usually use slivered almonds), and some berries (can be fresh or frozen). I pop it into the freezer for a half hour and I have healthy frozen yogurt.
March 23, 2010 10:36 AM
Do you have a slow-cooker? It doesn't exactly fit your criteria of 'quick to make' wink but the hands on time is minimal, and it's a great way to make stuff that will please the whole family. Make a meat and veggies dish in the slow cooker, and mashed potatoes on the side -- then you can just choose to have more of the veggies and less mash, or whatever portions work for your cals that day.

Other things I eat a lot of:

-omelettes (really just scrabled eggs with stuff in them, my omelette skillz are litttttle lacking!) A couple eggs, some egg white, pre-sliced mushroom, pre-washed baby spinach, and garlic (the kind you can buy in a jar and keep in the fridge), a bit of feta or cheddar on top -- yum! And so easy!

- salad bowls (I'm not crazy about straight up salads, but if I add a cooked carb to them, I like them a lot better. So I will boil up a bag of mini potatoes and keep in the fridge, or cook up one of those Uncle Ben's Brown Rice Express thingies. I take a bunch of spinach, tomatoes, shredded carrots, whatever you like, then add the potatoes or rice, a protein source (cooked chicken if you have leftovers, canned fish like tuna or sardines or crab or shrimp, even tofu if you like it), sometimes add a little avocado or goat cheese, (or feta or olives or nuts -- something to give it some fat!) and a dressing (or just olive oil and vinegar)

Hope that helps!
March 23, 2010 10:38 AM
Food Network has a show called "$10 Dinners" - I go online a lot to look up her recipes because they are healthy, quick and cheap!
March 23, 2010 8:54 PM
A SUPER quick side I've found that my 2 1/2 year old daughter likes is brown rice (cooks in about 5-7 minutes) then microwaved mixed vegetables. Stir the vegetables and rice together, add some Season-All, and ta-da! She loves it and it gives me a well-balanced meal with grilled chicken or something.


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