Nutrition made budget-friendly: Healthy food that appreciates wealth

Before getting on with the healthy but money-saving recipes, it is important that you know a thing or two about the ways to cook on a budget. Just remember that budget-friendly cooking doesn’t require you to give up on your delicacies or nutrition.

Some of the food that are affordable, yet healthy are chili beans, baked chicken, enchiladas, tuna macaroni salad or hamburger and macaroni.

Nutritious food for budget-minded people

These foods would help you to resolve your daily meal dilemma and still give your loved ones the best you can afford with present monthly income:

First, in this list is the egg. It is one of the most suitable and of course cheap sources of protein. You can use them to treat yourself with some really sumptuous sandwiches or equally delectable scrambled eggs for breakfast, or would you prefer it the sunny side up way? Its your call, after all.

Second, is the chicken, ah! the precursor to the former one. Here you have the choice of buying with bone-in, skin on. Do you know why? For obvious reason - its inexpensive (read: affordable). Then, you could even buy thighs, that’s good too. Actually, you’d get more of meat as well as flavor out of your hard-earned dollars, if you buy chicken thighs.

You can use chicken bones saved either before or after the meal to make some hot and refreshing chicken stock. If you can use the bones for preparing some stock out of it, then you’ll not only be getting a healthy dose of bone marrow shot, but without paying a dime extra.

Third, comes the stew. As far as cooking stew is concerned, then you could make liberal use of coarser cuts of meat - be it pork shoulders or beef chuck roasts. However, let the cooking process be slow so as to braise the meats on low heat. This would help in to tenderize the flesh, soak in the spices and let the flavor flourish to its actual self. Won’t that be amazing? I bet, it’ll. Moreover, you can cook roasted beef. For this you’d have to brown the rump on high heat and then put it on low flame so that it cooks for an extended amount of time. This is to add a roasted (burnt texture), crispy feel to the meat.

Fourth, would be Mexican. When Mexican foods are spoken of, would beans and corn tortillas be left out? Yes, they are budget-friendly and when served in a combo, these Mexican delicacies pack a real punch, both on your taste buds and your health. From a nutritionist’s perspective, these food items are a great alternative sources of protein, especially for the vegetarians.

In order to fit these food items into your budget meals, you may buy things like dry beans and cook them to your liking, rather than spend a whole lot of extra dollars to buy the conveniently packed canned beans. Club the beans with some portions of salsa and rice, and you are ready to hit the high road of appetizing, nutritious meal.

Fifth, are the turkey thighs and legs that would be low on your food dollars. Out of dozens of recipes, here are two that are comparatively easier to cook and they are turkey stew or braised turkey legs.

Sixth, and the final one on this list are add-ons like potatoes, pasta, rice or tortillas. Make use of them liberally and you’ll never be malnourished or burn a hole in your pocket.

But, the most important point is yet to be spoken of and that is all the above food tips will help you with food budgeting. You are always free to find out more about cooking on a budget. Now lets move on to some recipes that you can use to help resolve your daily meal planning nightmares.

Recipes to cook healthy on a budget

There is no need for you to skimp on nutrition. You’ll be grateful for having served your family some of these distinctly, innovative and delicious recipes, yet healthy ones:

A. Broccoli and beef casserole

  • 1 broccoli head (small)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (large)
  • 1 cauliflower head (small)
  • 1 lb (pound) grass fed, ground beef and,
  • Salt and pepper as taste makers.
Steps to prepare

1. The oven must be preheated to 350 degrees.

2. Steam chopped broccoli and cauliflower until it becomes easy to run the forks in between them.

3. In the meantime, use a skillet to brown up the beef portion and add to it some salt and pepper to taste.

4. Now, put the cauliflower, broccoli, the beef and the marinara sauce in a 13X9 baking dish and mix well.

5. Finally, bake the preparation for 20 minutes.

Once done, your dish is ready to be served hot.

B. Chicken Pot Pies

Ingredients - Chicken mixture
  • 1 lb bite-sized, skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (sunflower, safflower, rapeseed, etc)
  • ½ a cup of chicken broth
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (½ a cup)
  • ¼ tsp ground thyme
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of peas and carrots (frozen)
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded (4 ounces)
Ingredients - Baking mixture
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ a cup of milk
  • ½ a cup of real pancake and baking mix like Bisquick
Steps to prepare

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Get a dozen of regular-sized muffin cups and spray it with cooking spray.

2. Use a 10-inch skillet to heat the oil over medium flame. Cook chicken in the oil for at least 5-7 minutes. Stir it often until the pink color inside the chicken disappears. Put some chicken and onion broth and heat that to simmering. Next, add the frozen seasonings and vegetables. Heat the preparation until hot and keep stirring occasionally till all liquid has been absorbed. Cool it for 5 minutes and stir it with cheese.

3. Take the baking mixture in a medium-sized bowl and stir it with fork or whisk that until it has blended completely. Into each muffin cup, add a scant tablespoon of baking mixture. Top that with approximately ¼ cup of chicken mixture. Add a tablespoon of baking mixture onto the chicken mixture and also to each muffin cup.

4. Lastly, bake the food for near about 25-30 minutes or unless you see the toothpick inserted into its center coming out clean. Cool it again for 5 minutes and use a knife to loosen its sides from the pan.

Take them out of the pan and put them topsides up on a cooling rack. Cool that for 10 more minutes and serve.

C. Apple Pie Smoothie

  • 1 cup of stewed apples or applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ a cup of unsalted, raw cashews, presoaked in water for almost an hour
  • 2 dates, chopped and pitted - presoaked in water for about ½ an hour or 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of ice cubes

[A tip: When using a high speed blender, then use dates, for example Vitamix, or else use maple syrup.]

Steps to prepare

1. Put all the ingredients in the blender and puree it until smooth. Do it for 30-60 seconds.

2. Add ice cubes to the smoothie and serve chilled.

Last but not least, make sure to consult your spouse and other family members to decide on the most budget-friendly menu. This would enable you to involve them in your money-saving activities and yet, you wouldn’t put a dent either on the fun factor or the nutrition of what you eat.

Don't miss out - The gastronomic delights: Best ways to enjoy your meal on a budget
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