Author Topic: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals  (Read 38728 times)

lifejoy

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Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« on: July 29, 2014, 07:11:08 PM »
I know there are a lot of awesome recipe threads on here, but how about for those of us who don't like to cook? Or clean? :) I know we should just suck it up and make a big batch of chilli, but baby steps are important. List as many cheap, easy, and healthyish meals you can think of!


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lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 07:12:33 PM »
Overnight Oatmeal
1:1 milk and oatmeal
Put in a bowl with frozen berries. Leave in the fridge overnight. Wake up, and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Snacks:
Mixed nuts
Mandarin orange
Apple and peanut butter


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theincurableapprentice

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 07:16:04 PM »
I will be following this thread with great interest!

we are a super busy family and I don't love cooking so simple and easy is best.  I like to make steamed or roasted veggies (as the healthy part) and pair it with mac and cheese, pigs in a blanket, fish nuggets from trader joes. 

I know they are not perfect - but they are easy and you can just increase the veggie to other stuff ratio when you feel like it. 

lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 07:35:44 PM »

I will be following this thread with great interest!

we are a super busy family and I don't love cooking so simple and easy is best.  I like to make steamed or roasted veggies (as the healthy part) and pair it with mac and cheese, pigs in a blanket, fish nuggets from trader joes. 

I know they are not perfect - but they are easy and you can just increase the veggie to other stuff ratio when you feel like it.

Roasted veges! Good call. Do you put some oil and salt and pepper on them? Or...? I wonder if I could buy small ones to reduce the necessary cutting... I am seriously lazy.

Roasted garlic + crackers.
Cut the top off of a garlic bulb. Wrap bulb in tin foil after putting olive oil and salt and pepper on it. Roast at 350 for 45 min (I think?). Voila! Roasted garlic, squish it out onto your crackers.


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G-dog

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 07:55:46 PM »
Chicken and rice

Chicken parts
Water to cover all
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Onion
Put in pot, cover, bring to boil/simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken to cool
To stock add grain (basmati rice cooks really fast, but you can use other grains)
Chopped carrots (adjust size of chop and when you add depending on how long it will take the grain to cook)
Frozen peas, added in the last 10 min.
Optionally other veggies
Again, bring to a boil/simmer and cover and cook until grain ad carrots are done.
In the meantime, remove the skin, bones, gristle from the cooked chicken and chop or shred. You may have more than needed for this, use extra for chicken enchiladas, tacos, salad, chicken salad,.....
Once the rice/grain is cooked, add frozen peas and chicken, stir, co paver, cook until peas are ready.
Eat --- yum. Great for work lunches.

lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 08:00:16 PM »

Chicken and rice

Chicken parts
Water to cover all
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Onion
Put in pot, cover, bring to boil/simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken to cool
To stock add grain (basmati rice cooks really fast, but you can use other grains)
Chopped carrots (adjust size of chop and when you add depending on how long it will take the grain to cook)
Frozen peas, added in the last 10 min.
Optionally other veggies
Again, bring to a boil/simmer and cover and cook until grain ad carrots are done.
In the meantime, remove the skin, bones, gristle from the cooked chicken and chop or shred. You may have more than needed for this, use extra for chicken enchiladas, tacos, salad, chicken salad,.....
Once the rice/grain is cooked, add frozen peas and chicken, stir, co paver, cook until peas are ready.
Eat --- yum. Great for work lunches.

I love it!!! Can I use any kind of raw chicken? Like chicken breast, whatever?


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MrsPotts

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 08:08:16 PM »
Chicken piccata.  Use "quick chicken piccata" recipe on All Recipes.  I use a two pack of costco chicken breasts.  I have made it without the butter and its fine.  Tonight I made it in 26 minutes.   You definitely get spouse points for this one.

G-dog

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »

Chicken and rice

Chicken parts
Water to cover all
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Onion
Put in pot, cover, bring to boil/simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken to cool
To stock add grain (basmati rice cooks really fast, but you can use other grains)
Chopped carrots (adjust size of chop and when you add depending on how long it will take the grain to cook)
Frozen peas, added in the last 10 min.
Optionally other veggies
Again, bring to a boil/simmer and cover and cook until grain ad carrots are done.
In the meantime, remove the skin, bones, gristle from the cooked chicken and chop or shred. You may have more than needed for this, use extra for chicken enchiladas, tacos, salad, chicken salad,.....
Once the rice/grain is cooked, add frozen peas and chicken, stir, co paver, cook until peas are ready.
Eat --- yum. Great for work lunches.

I love it!!! Can I use any kind of raw chicken? Like chicken breast, whatever?


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I typically use chicken breast. If you score a good deal on boneless skinless it is a lot easier to process, but the bone-in is usually cheaper, and it think has a bit more flavor.  I just ran out of basmati rice (from a giant bag I scored at sam's club years ago), so will use quinoa or kashi. If you want to use couscous, throw the carrots etc in early, cook, then add the couscous, turn off the heat, cover and then fluff.  You can change the flavor profile with various spices, but salt and pepper are the basics.
You could probably use pasta to - though here I am counting on the grain to absorb all of the stock.
I don't really measure when I make this, but general ratios should work. Too much liquid left, let to sit or cook without the cover a bit longer.

lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 08:19:10 PM »
These are great! Thanks!!


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Fatmouse

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 08:22:21 PM »
"Quinoa casserole, Tex Mex variation". - cook one cup quinoa.  Combine cooked quinoa with a can of black beans, a cup or so of salsa, and an egg.  Transfer to a casserole dish or large cast iron pan.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Can be modified with different beans, cheeses and veggies for variety.

lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 08:28:24 PM »

"Quinoa casserole, Tex Mex variation". - cook one cup quinoa.  Combine cooked quinoa with a can of black beans, a cup or so of salsa, and an egg.  Transfer to a casserole dish or large cast iron pan.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Can be modified with different beans, cheeses and veggies for variety.

Raw egg?

Damn that sounds good!


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G-dog

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 08:34:24 PM »
Chicken piccata.  Use "quick chicken piccata" recipe on All Recipes.  I use a two pack of costco chicken breasts.  I have made it without the butter and its fine.  Tonight I made it in 26 minutes.   You definitely get spouse points for this one.

This too. Really easy, just cut or pound the chicken into thin cutlets (I use chicken breast), lightly coat with seasoned flour (flour, salt pepper). Sauté on low heat, these are not suppose to brown. To the pan add garlic, lemon juice, capers. Scrape up the fond (delicious brown bits in the pan). Add in butter to make a sauce. Pour over chicken.
Usually served with pasta on the side.
It is a really quick dish!

sheepstache

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 08:45:41 PM »
I feel like cooking is made to be too complicated.  Not everything has to be a "recipe."

Porkchops and escarole.

Put porkchops in pan.
While cooking, chop escarole.
Flip porkchops.  Place escarole in pan.  Cover.
Done when the escarole is wilted.  (If porkchops are thin, remove them before then to avoid overcooking.)
Salt and pepper to taste.


Chicken and I Don't Know Whatever Veggies You Have in the Freezer or Some Shit

Place chicken thighs or whatever piece you want in a pan.  Splash some soy sauce and garlic powder on top.  Or olive oil and basil. 
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat up some frozen or canned veggies.
Put some butter or parmesan on the veggies or something.
Bam.


As my mother used to say, "If you don't like it then maybe you're not really hungry."

Noodle

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 09:03:05 PM »
Ahhh, a question I am actually qualified to answer!

Exhausted but I can wait to eat:

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes topped with things. Chili is good. Depending on your dietary standards, it can be the el cheapo canned chili, or the fancy organic low fat canned chili, or chili you have lovingly made and frozen yourself. Or shredded cheese and steamed vegetables. Or frozen veggies with cheese sauce (not that I am admitting to anything...). Or tuna salad. Or chopped meat w. barbeque sauce and cheese. Etc.

Exhausted and I want to eat now:

Scrambled eggs, toast, a piece of fruit (or applesauce)

Oats, yogurt, fruit (chopped fresh or dried), nuts--let it sit so the oats soften. You may need to add a little milk if it's Greek yogurt.

If you have a waffle iron, waffles for dinner--from a box mix or scratch, depending on your standards, with fruit and low-fat sausage or bacon on the side. I think this is less fussy than pancakes myself. Or batter for a Dutch baby (oven-baked pancake) is quick to mix in the blender. (This is not so healthy, though, there's a lot of butter involved.)

Defrost frozen rice or quinoa (or again, if you have more time, rice in the rice cooker) or make couscous. Top according to a "theme"--beans, cheese, salsa and sour cream for Mexican, spaghetti sauce, cheese and whatever meat you have around for Italian, feta, lemon juice, yogurt, plus protein for "greek," etc.

Quesadillas to be filled with whatever's around.

Mix a can of tuna, can of rinsed black beans, chopped onion, salt and pepper, and lots of balsamic vinegar. If you have any salad friendly veggies around (like bell peppers) you can chop them up to go in there too.

Soup from a box or the freezer, depending, plus cheese melted on toast (a little mustard spread on the bread is tasty) and then fruit or cut up veggies on the side.

You can either throw veggies into these, or do super simple sides, which could include

--sliced cucumber in vinegar, or tossed in sour cream and dill
--cut up tomatoes w. balsamic vinegar
--sauteed greens (amount of prep work you do vs. buying bagged up to you)
--roasted veggies. I like asparagus this way when it's in season
etc.

Three cookbook suggestions--

The Make It Fast, Cook it Slow cookbooks (there are two, the first is better)--slow cooker recipes that hit a nice balance between not too many prepared products and not too much prep required)

The Express Lane Cookbooks by Sarah Fritschner from the 1990s (warning, at least the vegetarian version is heavy on the carbs)

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express cookbook. Very few measurements and the recipes (no more than a paragraph long each) don't take a lot of time, although sometimes they require "pantry" items that only a foodie would consider staples.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 09:04:51 PM by Noodle »

chouchouu

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2014, 09:35:39 PM »
I precooked batches of sauce up and freeze in portions. So when I'm lazy I just cook pasta and microwave the sauce. Another recipe is cous cous topped with fried egg, onion and sweet chilli sauce.

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2014, 09:51:11 PM »
I do a lot of easy quinoa and bean meals.

southwest variation:
cook a cup of quinoa (so, one cup uncooked)
can black beans
can chopped tomatoes
can corn
package trader joe's soy chorizo
cilantro
stir, and you have five meals. microwave before eating. top with cheese if you want to get fancy. And only one bowl to wash!

greek variation:
cook a cup of quinoa
can chopped tomatoes
can chick peas
crumbled feta
chopped red onion
chopped cucumber
parsley/dill/mint/cilantro or whatever other herb you have fresh.
toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

I eat one of these things most days. Easy/cheap/filling and healthy, so they pass my tests :)

somecobwebs

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2014, 09:54:49 PM »
Great idea for a topic!

I love pasta. One of my favorites:

Spinach (or Supergreens) Pasta

Cook pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat pan with some olive oil. Turn it to simmer and add garlic cloves to taste. (I like 3-4.) Don't burn them!

Wash, dry, and add greens, like spinach, kale, etc. to the frying pan. Note that it starts really big and then shrinks, so you might have to add a couple of batches!

When the greens look wilted, turn off the stove. Marvel at how ALL THOSE GREENS ended up being TEENY TINY.

Drain pasta, and pour pasta in the frying pan!! Add spices to taste. I like basil, rosemary, and pepper. Mmm. Some people also add a little lemon. Sometimes I add chile powder for a kick. Use your preferences!

Stir/toss it all together. Eat with pecorino romano or grana padano cheese - much cheaper than parmesan, but for a similar flavor profile!

....

Actually, I think that's what I will make for dinner tonight ;)


MBot

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2014, 09:55:01 PM »
Rice in rice cooker, chicken parts in oven + garlic or paprika or bottled salad dressing on top

Brown up ground beef, maybe onions, add tomatoes or sauce, serve over pasta. (Can throw in spices to make it more exciting of course)

As above but the veggie Bolognese version:
Boil water for pasta, but don't salt it yet.
Chop up some onions, brown them in oil. You can also add chopped mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.  Deglaze the pan with some cheap red wine and set aside.

Meanwhile mix (in a Pyrex measuring cup) one cup texturized veggie protein, one teaspoon veggie boullion, one teaspoon Italian seasoning, one teaspoon garlic powder. Now add some boiling water to cover (about 2 cups)  stir it up, and then stir in some vegetarian worchestershire sauce and/or soy saice till it's nice and "meaty" tasting.

Salt the boiling pasta water and start cooking your pasta.

While it boils, keep making sauce: Add the TVP mix to the onions in the pan, then add a half-can of crushed tomatoes or spaghetti sauce. On medium-ish heat,  let it soak/simmer while the pasta cooks. Maybe add a slight bit of sugar or lemon juice to taste

The red wine and flavourings all make the TVP taste good in a short time. If you're not vegan, adding a little old cheddar or mozzarella on top is nice

lhamo

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 10:12:59 PM »
Scrambled eggs on toast with sriracha sauce.

MrsPotts

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 11:05:18 PM »
Ok here's another one.   Curry.     I saute 1 onion, 2 sweet peppers, 1 potato, 2 apples, add 2 tbl curry, 1 tsp @ coriander and curry, one can light coconut milk, and either chickpeas or cooked chicken.   Om nom nom.   You can eat it on couscous or rice but we skip that carby part.

lifejoy

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:15:48 PM »
Hey people! I'm feeling inspired - I'm going to create a word doc that has these recipes on them, so that we can seem them all in one place :) If you make your posted meal and would like to send a photo, please do! I'll add it to the master doc :)

eccdogg

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2014, 07:12:37 AM »
I do  a lot of legume+ grain/potato + veg with fruit for desert.  I generally do one cup of each per person (a little more for me a little less for the kids)

The beans take a long time if dry but it is almost all passive time (soaking + ~1 hour simmering).  Or you could use canned.

So Kale+ Canellini Beans + Pasta

Boil water for pasta and cook ~ I/2 cup dry per person

Saute garlic in olive oil ~  (tablespoon per person), chop Kale  1 dense cup per person (or Rapini, or spinach) and saute till wilted add beans  and pasta and quickly mix until combined and coated with oil.  You can add a bit of pasta water if you like to add some moisture.

Top with parmesan, salt, red and black pepper to taste.

Vegan brunswick stew

Canned or dried or frozen lima beans (or edemame) + canned tomatos + canned corn + diced redskiin potatos in roughly equal portions

Saute celery + onions + garlic in pot till soft in oil/butter.  Add tomatoes to let them cook down a bit, then add the rest of the veg + veg stock  to cover (you can buy bullion cubes).  Add spashes of Worcestershire sauce + bay leaf + thyme + salt + pepper cayenne pepper if you like heat.

Nachos are also very quick and everybody can have them the way they like them.

Corn Chips + Pinto beans cooked with oil and mashed to make re-fried+ cheese + salsa+ lettuce/cilantro + avocado.

The possibilities are limitless. for legume+ starch +veg fruit for dessert and green salad to start.

Oh and one more, not a legume one.  Potato salad dinner. This is my granny's recipie

Throw an egg + two quartered red skin potatoes per person in pot with water and boil till potatoes done.  Put potatoes in a bowl and run some cool water over the eggs.  Chop pickles celery and onions if you like and mix with potatoes.  The peel and chop eggs.  Mix in DUKE'S Mayonnaise (it absolutely must be Duke's) to cover and mash the potatoes eggs a bit then squirt a bit of yellow mustard into the mix and mix in until it is all the same color (a light yellow).  Add salt and pepper and eat right then or put in fridge.  Eat with sliced tomato+cukes with salt and vinegar and cantaloupe.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 07:26:11 AM by eccdogg »

Franklin

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2014, 07:37:39 AM »
For a side:  Grill and char any veggies.  Puree them in a food processor.  Add chickpeas and olive oil, and puree some more to make hummus.  Slather on anything.

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2014, 07:39:25 AM »
My go to quick meals are:

-homemade Mac and cheese (8 oz pasta, 5 oz good cheddar, 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup milk). Cook and drain pasta, return to pan on medium heat, add remaining ingredients and stir until melted.

-pancakes or waffles

-a messy omelette. (Cook whatever veggies or shrooms you want, then pour scrambled eggs over top, cook like scrambled eggs.)

-stir fry. I know you don't like chopping, so mushrooms and something that chops easily like zucchini. Zucchini cooks fast, so only add it when the mushrooms are almost done.

-curry rice and ? (Prepare rice with a bit more liquid than normal, flavored with curry powder. Add veggies when the water comes to boil. Certain veggies may overcook, but it's still tasty.

-my pizza is actually pretty damn quick, about 45 minutes start to finish, but all of that time is hands-on.

apfroggy0408

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2014, 07:49:22 AM »
As a power lifter I eat A LOT of protein, naturally I try to reduce my grocery bill as much as I can and still get in a stupid amount of protein in. (Been at around 240g every day for 9+ months)

So the following can be adjusted to fit your needs.

My key is buying in bulk and cooking in bulk, I cook meat for 3 days at a time to minimize cooking and cleaning. I also cut up the chicken after cooking and throw in tupperware. Then whatever veggies I eat for that dinner I cook daily. My cheapest way to get my calories in is raw chicken breast from Sams for $1.89 a lb and I go through about 13 lbs a week. I also eat 1 10 oz bag of spinach everyday, onions, can of diced tomatoes, and sweet potato for dinner.

That is my cheapest style of eating so everyday for dinner...

Microwave my chicken, 1.5 lbs for me, can change for you.

In a pot I throw in ~ 2 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and  ~ 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette and  1 cup chopped up onions. I season with a lot of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, let this heat up. Throw in a can of diced tomatoes mix everything together, throw half  of 10 oz bag of spinach and cover. When you see steam come out open up and mix everything together and throw the rest of the spinach on top and repeat. I let some of the bottom stuff collect and burn for some extra flavor, pour on top of chicken and mushed sweet potato and demolish food.

http://instagram.com/p/nojEapo5Pj/?modal=true

With the PB and milk I eat with that it comes out to 1500 calories 180g/97g/49g protein/carbs/fat. So based off your goals you can make this go a long way pretty cheaply.

My other go to is ezekiel bread pb sandwhich and some fage non fat greek yogurt for easy lunch meals at work.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 08:11:25 AM by apfroggy0408 »

econberkeley

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2014, 08:25:23 AM »
Put red onions, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar on butter beans, mix it and eat as an appetizer/snack.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2014, 08:57:07 AM »
I tend to eat "primalish",  I do love to cook and batch cook meals at the weekend but many evenings I come home and do the following:

Fry meat (or fish) in a pan with some olive oil - lamb chop, steak, pork chop, chicken leg/breast - usually 5-10 minutes.
While the meat is frying microwave a single serving pack of mixed vegetables for 3 minutes.
Put the veg on the plate, add butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, add the meat, eat.  The only clean up is a plate, cutlery and a frying pan.


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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2014, 10:55:55 AM »
I love to cook but no one can be on all the time so when I'm tired I do a couple of things. First of all I do a tofu stirfry. Just cut the tofu however you like, put it in the wok for a couple of minutes first then add some chopped veggies, whatever you have on hand. Then do soy sauce, ponzu sauce, grated ginger, lemon, crushed red pepper, garlic. I've used all kinds of variation on the flavors, sometimes only one and sometimes all of them if I have them on hand. For veggies I've used all kinds of things, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, onion, mushrooms. The list goes on. Serve with rice or quinoa.

The other easy thing I do is fish. I usually have a flaky white fish like Swai or Tilapia and I'll either bread it or pan fry it or bake it in the oven in packets of either aluminum foil or parchment paper. The packets are super easy, just salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like that are on hand and maybe some lemon slices on top then fold them up and bake them on a sheet pan and get a side dish ready while they bake.

These are both very cheap, too.

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »
I wouldn't say these are meals, but for cheap, lazy, healthyish eating, I end up eating a lot of the following:

hard boiled eggs
fruit
nuts
cheese
raw veggies

(3/4 of my family are vegetarian)

Sometimes the veggies take a bit of prep (just cutting), but I'll grab a cucumber or carrot right out of the fridge, give it a scrub, or bite right in.  A lot of the kids' lunches these days are what I call "snack attack."  We have these divided plate/tray vessels, with maybe 5-6 compartments, and I just fill them with some assortment of the above.  I'll usually cut the veggies up for them, but they've been known to walk around with whole cucumbers, just eating them like a banana.  It doesn't get any simpler than that.

We are also a fan of overnight oats, but we mix them with yogurt and milk for a bit of tang and a different texture.  We throw in raisins and sunflower seeds, sometimes a bit of honey.  The kids love it.  Chocolate chips are also excellent in this if you feel like "treating" yourself or the kids.

Also, smoothies are an easy "meal."  I know it doesn't seem very dinner like, but they are an obvious breakfast, and you can get away with them for lunch.  I like to put greens in (spinach, kale, etc.)  I blur lines between what foods are for what meals often.  DH likes breakfast for dinner a lot.

Splendid

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2014, 11:19:00 AM »
My go-to meal when I'm tired but have some time is bratwurst. I open a pack of 5, slap them on a pan with sides, and stick it in the oven at 350 for an hour. Sometimes I chop up potatoes, toss them with oil and spices, and stick them on the same pan for the same amount of time. Other times I just cook the meat and scrounge sides from the fridge or panty. Prep time: like 3 minutes?

My go-to meal when I'm tired and want to be in bed within 20 minutes is scrambled eggs with cream cheese. Scramble up the eggs in a bowl, and add little pieces of cream cheese that you cut off the brick. Not a lot, maybe 5 pieces about 1/2 inch-1 inch big. Stir a little bit, then pour the whole thing in the pan and cook as usual. Adds a wonderful bit of creaminess to the eggs. Eat with toast, or not.

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Catbert

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2014, 11:59:34 AM »
Lentils.  The red ones (look orange) cook in about 15-20 minutes.  1 cup of lentils to 3 cups of liquid.  Cook and stir occasionally.  I vary the spices although my favorite are "the Cs": cumin, cardamom, cilantro, cloves, coriander, coconut, coconut milk.  Not all at once!  Onion and garlic is always a good addition. 

Leftovers can become a grain salad the next day or reheated.

LennStar

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2014, 12:10:03 PM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat

Not the most delicious or varied dish, but (especially with a rice cooker) needs nearly no work, the shortest-lasting ingredient is eggs and you can fill yourself up for a very low price. Students all-time emergency hot dish.

You can also make some kind of veggie sauce, freeze it in portions and use it to make a delicious "curry rice" whenever you want.


For the not so big hunger: Toast Hawai (or whatever its called in the US):
- toast
- Ananas ring from the can
- cheese
- use microwave or oven to heat until the cheese runs

Watch your tongue while eating this delicious thing, hot cheese can burn badly! Not only with lasagne.


ananas curry: For the rest of your can (here the canned is really better then fresh)
- tofu, hacked small (most work here), preferably soaked a bit in vegetables stock
- ananas with all the sweet water from the can
- corn
- the big kidney beans
- chilli con carne mix of spices (bought or do-them-yourself ;) )
- optional: whatever you want, like peas, mushrooms, zucchini...

Takes a bit more of work then the first option, but you can make as much as has place in your pot and eat it 3 times. Really delicious! And doesn't even burn in if you dont stir ^^ Bonus: vegan

Eric

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2014, 12:19:57 PM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat


Don't scramble those eggs man!  You need the yolks to cover the rice!  Or stir in a can of black beans with the rice.  Then you have rice and beans w/ eggs (with lots of yolk to go around).

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2014, 12:38:49 PM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat


Don't scramble those eggs man!  You need the yolks to cover the rice!  Or stir in a can of black beans with the rice.  Then you have rice and beans w/ eggs (with lots of yolk to go around).

OMG yum. with my love of beans and rice AND runny egg yolk (not to mention egg scrambles that involve black beans) I am stunned that this has never occurred to me.

just found this thread, super excited to read through it but don't have time right now BUT just wanted to say that one of my fave cheap/fast/not terribly unhealthy meals is super simple burrito bowls... rice (I usually do brown), black beans (used to use canned but now I batch cook 2 lbs in the crockpot and freeze them in can-sized baggies), Rotel (or, you know, store brand diced tomatoes and green chiles), pepper jack cheese. om nom nom. if I'm trying to convince my boyfriend it's a meal, add shredded taco meat from the freezer. maybe add some greens too, for health purposes. :)

SisterX

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2014, 12:47:24 PM »
In either crockpot or dutch oven: cut up root vegetables rather large, 2-inch chunks (or so).  Place whole chicken on top, then salt, pepper, and poultry season if you wish (not necessary, though).  Cook or bake for a ridiculously long amount of time.  Enjoy the smells while it's cooking.  Then at dinner time, pull it out and cut off chicken you want to eat, spoon out vegetables, and enjoy.

Processing the chicken after to get all the meat off can take a little bit of work, but then you've got cooked chicken that it's really, really easy to add to other recipes.  And if you really want to get fancy, after you pull the rest of the veggies out of the juices at the bottom you can save those juices or add the bones back, add water, turn the crockpot back on or put it back in the oven, and you can make a really quick and easy stock for later.  (I realize this might sound like too much work for some of you.  I find it worthwhile though.)

Also: Chicken soup.  Cut chicken, cut vegetables.  I always go with: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and potatoes.  Cook chicken in olive oil with salt and pepper, then add the onions and garlic.  When those are soft, add the carrots and celery.  When those are slightly softened (a couple of minutes) add water to cover, some chicken stock, and the potatoes.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.  The hands-on time is maybe 20 minutes, tops, and the whole recipe takes about 45 minutes max.  It's easy enough that I've made it when all 3 of us were sick, while holding the baby who didn't want to let go of me.

Finally, these:
Braised cabbage - http://nomnompaleo.com/post/1356598429/worlds-best-braised-green-cabbage
Chili mac (having tonight!) - http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/15/one-pot-chili-mac-cheese/
Rainbow chicken salad - http://pinchofyum.com/rainbow-chicken-salad-almond-honey-mustard-dressing
Cheesy sausage and pasta - http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/spicy-sausage-pasta.html#_a5y_p=983880
Asiago chicken pasta - http://asmallsnippet.com/2010/09/gift-from-me-to-you.html (Can be a bit pricey due to the cheese, but worth it)
White chicken chili - http://www2.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/recipe.nsf/55e548eeef8c89b9852568d4004c5ffe/0B892409C3C3728D85257930004D9898 (I don't use canned chicken, because cutting up and browning a chicken breast or two only takes minutes)
"Lazy Sunday casserole" - http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/lazy-sunday-casserole (we change up the veggies we use; the important part seems to be the oil/herb mixture over root veggies and sausages)

lhamo

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2014, 02:01:48 PM »
Another very fast favorite:  channa masala

1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
Healthy dose of curry powder
Some salt

Heat together in a saucepan until bubbling.

Serve over rice, or eat by itself.

Fatmouse

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2014, 06:20:49 PM »

"Quinoa casserole, Tex Mex variation". - cook one cup quinoa.  Combine cooked quinoa with a can of black beans, a cup or so of salsa, and an egg.  Transfer to a casserole dish or large cast iron pan.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Can be modified with different beans, cheeses and veggies for variety.

Raw egg?

Damn that sounds good!


Raw egg.  Stir it all in.  It makes the quinoa kind of hold together more when you serve the casserole.  (Otherwise it would not keep shape, and would just be a pile of quinoa on your plate.).  The egg gets cooked when you bake the casserole of course, so no issues there.  Just like baking a cake!  Sometimes I even use two eggs.

milesdividendmd

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2014, 12:16:10 AM »

In either crockpot or dutch oven: cut up root vegetables rather large, 2-inch chunks (or so).  Place whole chicken on top, then salt, pepper, and poultry season if you wish (not necessary, though).  Cook or bake for a ridiculously long amount of time.  Enjoy the smells while it's cooking.  Then at dinner time, pull it out and cut off chicken you want to eat, spoon out vegetables, and enjoy.

Processing the chicken after to get all the meat off can take a little bit of work, but then you've got cooked chicken that it's really, really easy to add to other recipes.  And if you really want to get fancy, after you pull the rest of the veggies out of the juices at the bottom you can save those juices or add the bones back, add water, turn the crockpot back on or put it back in the oven, and you can make a really quick and easy stock for later.  (I realize this might sound like too much work for some of you.  I find it worthwhile though.)

Also: Chicken soup.  Cut chicken, cut vegetables.  I always go with: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and potatoes.  Cook chicken in olive oil with salt and pepper, then add the onions and garlic.  When those are soft, add the carrots and celery.  When those are slightly softened (a couple of minutes) add water to cover, some chicken stock, and the potatoes.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.  The hands-on time is maybe 20 minutes, tops, and the whole recipe takes about 45 minutes max.  It's easy enough that I've made it when all 3 of us were sick, while holding the baby who didn't want to let go of me.

Finally, these:
Braised cabbage - http://nomnompaleo.com/post/1356598429/worlds-best-braised-green-cabbage
Chili mac (having tonight!) - http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/15/one-pot-chili-mac-cheese/
Rainbow chicken salad - http://pinchofyum.com/rainbow-chicken-salad-almond-honey-mustard-dressing
Cheesy sausage and pasta - http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/spicy-sausage-pasta.html#_a5y_p=983880
Asiago chicken pasta - http://asmallsnippet.com/2010/09/gift-from-me-to-you.html (Can be a bit pricey due to the cheese, but worth it)
White chicken chili - http://www2.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/recipe.nsf/55e548eeef8c89b9852568d4004c5ffe/0B892409C3C3728D85257930004D9898 (I don't use canned chicken, because cutting up and browning a chicken breast or two only takes minutes)
"Lazy Sunday casserole" - http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/lazy-sunday-casserole (we change up the veggies we use; the important part seems to be the oil/herb mixture over root veggies and sausages)

That braised cabbage looks awesome. Though I would probably just use olive oil as opposed to all of that bacon fat. Maybe just add one piece of bacon to it for flavor?

James81

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2014, 02:27:35 AM »
Fajitas are cheap and easy to make as well. Use the chicken from a roaster chicken, cut up an onion and a pepper and put it in a bowl. Get some organic salsa. Keep the materials in your fridge. When you want one get them out and throw chicken, onion and pepers, and cheese, throw in microwave for 25 seconds to melt cheese, then pull it out and put salsa on it and wrap it up.

I'm also a fan of the even easier to make chicken spinach wraps. Throw some raw spinach leaves in a tortilla with some chicken from your roasted chicken. Put some buffalo sauce on it and wrap it up.

Lentils are also ridiculously easy to make. Throw pack of lentils in a crockpot with 8 cups of water. Add a teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a half teaspoon of chili powder. Throw in a bouillon cube (beef). Turn crockpot on high and 3 hours later you have the best tasting lentils ever.

It's actually pretty easy (and cheap) to eat healthy if you're willing to spend one or two days a week doing some prep work. At any given moment I have a bowl of roasted chicken, a bowl of cut up broccoli and cauliflower, a bag of raw spinach, and a bowl of cut up watermelon and pineapple in my fridge. Takes a couple of hours on a Sunday night and it lasts three or four solid days (sometimes even up to five days). And at any moment I can have fajitas, wraps, salads, or a bowl of fresh fruit in a matter of minutes.

Rural

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2014, 02:34:31 AM »
Thai peanut stir fry: stir fry a bag of chopped frozen veggies and a can of chikpeas, drained (or use a can of chicken if you find a sale). Add generous doses of soy sauce as it cooks, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a dash of fish sauce if you have it. Once the veggies are cooked, turn down to low, push them aside from a small area so that the liquid pools up and drop about 4 tbs of crunchy peanut butter in the liquid. Stir it around unit other PB melts into a yummy peanut sauce with the soy. Takes about a minute and a half.


Serve over rice if y have it, or just eat.

Juju

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2014, 04:37:29 AM »
Hmm, all of these sound really good :)

This one takes a bit more time but can be pretty lazy. 
Roast vegetable salad:

- All sorts of root veges (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnip, onion etc)
- Fresh spinich
- Bacon
- balsamic vinegar
- other flavours - salt, pepper, garlic, herbs (as you like)

Optional for the fancy version - feta, nuts/seeds such as pine nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

I roast the veges in a ceramic dish with a good two inch lip.  This generally takes about 45mins.  Add salt/pepper/garlic/herbs depending on mood before putting them in or as they cook.  I tend to burn the garlic unless I add it close to the end.

When the veges are done, pull the dish out, add in sliced bacon (cut into small pieces) and toss.  It will generally cook really quickly just with the heat of the dish, but if you are worried, just chuck it back in the oven for a couple of extra minutes.

Rinse and cut the spinich.  Add to the dish once it's out of the oven and the bacon is cooked.  This will wilt rapidly with the heat of the dish as you toss everything together.

Add balsamic vinegar as a dressing.  Optional - add feta for a bit of extra bite.

I like this for family get togethers as you can make alot and then still eat any leftovers cold the next day :)

For a not so healthy but 20/30min dinner:
Chicken and rice with mustard.

Boneless chicken (breast or thighs are good)
1 Leek (you can use cabbage as an alterative but I like leek the best).
Rice
Mustard (either powder or other form.  I like to use dijon or anything that isn't too sweet).
Sour cream.  Probably about 1/4C for 2people.  You can go pretty light on this.
A small amount of sour - use either lemon juice, vinegar, white wine etc depending on what you have on hand.  It cuts the rich taste of the sour cream.
Cooking liquid of some sort.  Either plain water, chicken stock, white wine or whatever you have on hand.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Start some rice cooking in a pot.
 
Chop your chicken into small pieces (either cubes about 1/2 inch square or 1/4 inch slices works). 
Fry in a pan until just cooked through.  I like to put a lid on the frying pan when cooking chicken as otherwise I run the risk of it drying out.  You can use a touch of oil etc if you aren't using non stick.
Cut the leek into 1/8 or 1/4 inch rings and put in with the chicken.  Add a bit of cooking liquid to the pan (mabye 1/2 cup - i'm not exact) so it will start to steam.  Put the lid on again and let it cook through.  Keep an eye on it as you may need to add more cooking liquid if it's getting dry. 
When your leek is tender, add the sour cream, mustard, sour flavour and salt/pepper to taste.  I generally do them in that order and taste as I go.  Stir well. 
Serve beside or on the rice.




citrine

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2014, 06:15:49 AM »
My go to chicken recipe is Brown Sugar/Garlic Chicken....put two breasts in an oven pan, sprinkle some olive oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Put in oven at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes...done!  You get a nice bbq like crust on the chicken and the flavor is amazing.  I also put in green beans sprinkled with feta cheese with the chicken and it is a great side. 

I also do a lot of crockpot meals...Baked potato soup (Bear Creek Mix) with quinoa and chopped spinach, Lentils and Sausage, Pea soup with Ham, Lasagna in the crock pot and you don't even have to cook the pasta! 

LennStar

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2014, 06:56:00 AM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat


Don't scramble those eggs man!  You need the yolks to cover the rice!  Or stir in a can of black beans with the rice.  Then you have rice and beans w/ eggs (with lots of yolk to go around).
As much as I like a lot of japanese things, TKG (Tamago Kake Gohan) is not one for me ;) Also unheatet egg can be risky.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2014, 07:38:38 AM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat


Don't scramble those eggs man!  You need the yolks to cover the rice!  Or stir in a can of black beans with the rice.  Then you have rice and beans w/ eggs (with lots of yolk to go around).
As much as I like a lot of japanese things, TKG (Tamago Kake Gohan) is not one for me ;) Also unheatet egg can be risky.

oh I was picturing the egg being over-easy, not totally raw. raw isn't really my thing either!

milesdividendmd

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2014, 09:03:12 AM »
One of the most easiest recipes:
- cook rice
- make scrambled eggs
- put the eggs on the rice (bonus: mix) and eat


Don't scramble those eggs man!  You need the yolks to cover the rice!  Or stir in a can of black beans with the rice.  Then you have rice and beans w/ eggs (with lots of yolk to go around).
As much as I like a lot of japanese things, TKG (Tamago Kake Gohan) is not one for me ;) Also unheatet egg can be risky.

TKG is the best. The rice cooks the egg. My kids especially love it.

We buy pasteurized eggs in America. But in Japan we just use raw farm eggs.

sunnyca

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2014, 11:06:55 AM »
When I'm feeling especially lazy, I make one pot meals in the rice cooker.  Throw in rice, protein (chopped sausage, lentils, etc.), and some sort of veg and press cook.  Easy, yummy, and balanced. :)

thefrugalnudists

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2014, 12:02:14 PM »
Chickpea stew.
Take an onion, celery stalk, carrot and a couple of garlic cloves. Throw them into a food processor and beat them to a pulp. Literally. Then put some chickpeas that were soaked for a few hours (at least) into a crockpot and cover with water. Add the pulp, a smoked pork chop and a couple of bay leaves plus salt and pepper to taste.
Set it on high and let it go while you are at work. Takes less than 5 minutes of effort and tastes like you slaved over it all day.

apfroggy0408

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2014, 12:13:29 PM »
Forgot to share this lovely gem.

http://instagram.com/p/q9U2usI5Ho

Ezekiel french toast.

Srambled up some eggs and cinnamon, dipped 3 slices of ezekiel bread in em and threw em on a pan. Topped with non fat greek yogurt, peanut butter, kashi cinnamon crunch, blueberries, and walden farms calorie free pancake syrup.

This comes out to about 1240 cals at about 130 87g/129g/47g p/c/f.

Winter's Tale

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Re: Challenge: Cheap, Lazy, Healthyish Meals
« Reply #49 on: July 31, 2014, 12:32:54 PM »
Refried Bean Burritos

Whole wheat tortillas, a can of refried beans, some shredded cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 400 or whatever (doesn't need to be exact).  Spread some refried beans on each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and fold in half.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 3-5 minutes, flip over, bake for 3-5 more minutes.  They are done when warmed through and tortilla is a bit crispy.  Done! We eat this about once a week in our house - fast, tasty, cheap, and not terrible for you.  Another bonus is that the ingredients are always on hand and don't go bad quickly.