5 Awesome Cheap & Healthy Recipes

Food & Lifestyle    April 29, 2015    0
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If you aren’t overly familiar with cooking or have spent the last several years relying on restaurants and take out, making the switch to cooking for yourself can seem daunting. And if you don’t know what you are looking for, a trip to the supermarket can be lengthy and expensive (and that doesn’t even take prep and cooking time into account).

If you want to work toward weight loss and better health overall, without spending a fortune on food, here are five cheap and healthy recipes that you should add to your repertoire immediately.

Vegetarian Chili

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Chili is super hearty, very filling and serves as an excellent way to warm up on a cold day. While traditional chili recipes often contain some less than healthy ingredients (ground beef, sour cream, high fat cheeses, etc.) this dish can be skewed slightly to make it healthier and less expensive.

Ingredients

2 large bell peppers diced

2 large carrots diced

1 large onion diced

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Cans diced tomatoes

1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can corn drained

1 packet low sodium chili seasoning

Heat oil in large stock pot; add in peppers, carrots and onion and cook over medium heat until onions become translucent. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with low fat Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), low fat shredded cheese and chopped scallions.

 

Vegetable Quesadillas

quesadillas

Quesadillas are a light, healthy option that makes for a perfect lunch or dinner – and if you opt to go all veggie in place of steak and chicken you can bring the price down and rack up essential nutrients.

Ingredients

1 large Sweet Pepper cut into strips

1 large onion cut into strips

1 large tomato cut into strips

1 can diced mushroom caps drained

4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 package whole wheat tortillas

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook vegetables until tender and set aside. Begin heating one tortilla in another large pan as you fill with ¼ cooked vegetables and 1 ounce shredded cheese, place another tortilla on top. Flip when bottom tortilla is lightly browned and cook until second side is lightly browned. Cut into wedges and serve with light sour cream and salsa.

 

Fish Tacos

tacos

These are absolutely delicious and quick to make – and making them yourself will save you plenty of money compared to going out to a Mexican inspired restaurant.

Ingredients

Fresh tilapia or whitefish fillets

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 avocado, pitted and diced

2 cups shredded lettuce or cabbage

1 tsp chili powder

1 package whole wheat tortillas

Season fish with chili powder and cook over medium heat until fillets are flaky. Break up fillets with a fork and pile on tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes and avocado (season with salt and lime juice if desired).

 

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

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The Mediterranean diet is well known for having a health advantage over the standard American diet – and this tasty salad features some of the best flavors and most beneficial foods from this style of eating.

1 pound boneless chicken breast

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 large cucumbers sliced

2 large tomatoes diced

¼ green olives, chopped

¼ cup black olives, chopped

1 cup feta cheese

Light vinaigrette

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until it is white all the way through (no pink remaining) and cut into strips. Combine chicken and vegetables in large serving bowl, top with feta and drizzle with light vinaigrette.

 

Margherita Pizza

pizza

Skip the expensive and unhealthy delivery pizzas and opt for this delicious and healthy (and cheap) alternative.

Ingredients

1 store bought whole wheat pizza crust

1 large tomato, sliced thinly

Low fat mozzarella, sliced thinly

Low fat parmesan cheese, shredded

1 cup fresh basil

Preheat oven according to directions on crust. Put down a thin layer of parmesan cheese, arrange sliced of tomato, mozzarella and whole basil leaves (you want to get toppings in every bite, but the entire crust does not need to be completely covered with every ingredient). Cook on pizza stone or directly on rack for 15-20 minutes or until crust has browned.

Healthy meals don’t need to be expensive, boring or complex. Add any (or all) of the above recipes to your routine to help keep your waistline slim and your wallet thick.