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Healthy Meals On A Budget

It can be tough to eat healthy on a budget. Not only do you have to worry about the cost of food, but you also have to contend with the time it takes to prepare a meal from scratch. But it’s not impossible. There are plenty of healthy, affordable meals that you can make in no time at all. Many of them can be prepared in just a little time each day. This article will give you a few recipes to help you start eating healthier while also saving a bit of money!

Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken chow mein is a traditional Chinese dish consisting of boiled noodles, stir-fried vegetables, and chicken pieces. It’s tasty and healthy; the vegetables provide your body with fiber while adding different nutrients to make the meal even more nutritious. This meal only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and is something the whole family will enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 medium green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 pound fresh Chinese noodles or lo mein noodles, cooked according to package directions

Combine soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, cornstarch, and ginger in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside. Cut chicken into thin strips. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining sesame oil, add chicken, and stir fry until cooked through approximately 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add carrots, green onions, cabbage, noodles, sauce mixture, and chicken to the skillet. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables is crisp and tender. Serve immediately while hot.

Salmon Teriyaki

Another healthy dish that has tons of flavor is salmon teriyaki. This meal has many benefits, including being high in protein but low in fat. It’s also full of omega-3 fatty acids, great for heart health. The best part about this recipe is how simple it is to put together. You can prepare it in just minutes, and you’ll have a delicious, healthy meal on the table for you and your family in next to no time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons water

Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into serving-size pieces if necessary. Combine soy sauce, sesame seeds, brown sugar, ginger, and vinegar in a small saucepan; cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside. Combine water and 2 tablespoons of your homemade teriyaki sauce in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and add the salmon, lower heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Chicken And Dumplings

This dish is a simple but filling meal you can make on a budget. It’s great for those cold days when you want to warm up with a hearty and healthy dish! This recipe for chicken and dumplings will provide you with all of the tastes you crave, as well as some additional, beneficial nutrients that your body needs. You’ll have a hearty, healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained well (squeeze out excess liquid)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Place chicken, carrots, and celery in a large saucepan. Pour broth over the top, add spinach and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Add 1 cup flour, parsley, pepper, cayenne (if desired), and butter in a saucepan; whisk together well. Cook over medium heat while constantly stirring for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir in shredded chicken, return to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/4 cup flour with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth; stir into the pan. Bring to a boil again while constantly stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve with cooked egg noodles or rice if desired.

Baked Spaghetti

Here’s an easy recipe to make spaghetti sauce without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This way you’ll have extra time free to take care of other things. This baked spaghetti is full of the classic flavors you love, and it’s made with beef so that it will fill you up. You can serve it with garlic bread and a salad to make it even healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (optional)
  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or mozzarella)

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef or turkey until browned. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in water, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and basil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine onion (if desired), the remaining chili powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Layer spaghetti noodles in the bottom of a large casserole pan or 9×13″ baking dish. Pour sauce mixture over the noodles, then sprinkle with cheese and onion mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve while hot.

Sweet Potato And Lentil Soup

This healthy soup is great for fall or winter when you want something warm and filling. It’s low in fat but high in protein, which will keep your energy levels up without weighing you down. It also has plenty of fiber to make you feel full while helping you shed the pounds, so it’s a win-win situation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Place the lentils, water or chicken broth, and sweet potatoes in a dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving 1 /2 cup cooking liquid. In a blender, puree lentil mixture and reserved cooking liquid until smooth. Return to pan; stir in 2 teaspoons ginger, 2 cloves garlic, salt (if desired), and crushed red pepper (if desired). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger and the remaining 1 clove of garlic. Garnish with fresh-cut parsley, if desired.

Conclusion

Healthy meals do not have to be very expensive and time-consuming. There are some great recipes that you can prepare while still staying within a limited budget. The five recipes listed here all take about an hour or less to prepare, and they only require the use of minimal cooking materials! You’ll get plenty of healthy nutrients from these tasty meals without having to spend a small fortune.

 

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