Author Topic: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes  (Read 3044 times)

El Gringo

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Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« on: November 04, 2013, 03:34:40 PM »
So when it comes to preparing my meals, I pretty hold equal value on price, health, convenience. I love finding food and recipes that score high in all three. I love making my food because it's cheaper and healthier, but I hate the actual process of cooking because it's so time consuming. How do other mustachians eat? What are your favorite recipes or food to eat that is healthy and cheap but also really easy to throw together?

For breakfast, I always have low-sugar cereal, unsweetened almond milk, and berries. On the weekends I love making scrambled eggs with garlic, onion, tomato, and a bunch of spices.

For lunch everyday I eat a homemade spinach and kale salad with frozen grapes, almonds, olive oil, and some squeezed lemon, as well as regular Greek yogurt for protein, and some fruit. I love buying a slice of watermelon: it's huge, it's healthy, and it's cheap for the amount of fruit you're getting!

For dinner, these are some of my favorite recipes. They're all really simple, really healthy, and pretty cheap:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-sweet-potatoes/detail.aspx
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-salmon-ii/detail.aspx
http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/roasted-brussels-sprouts-balsamic-vinegar/
http://www.onemedical.com/blog/eat-well/brussels-sprouts-kale-salad/

I also eat a lot of Amy's Organic Spicy Chili. It's awesome: http://www.amys.com/products/product-detail/beans-and-chili/000512

ichangedmyname

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 03:53:02 PM »
Right now I'm challenging myself to use whatever we already have at home. So far I've made two winner recipes from budgetbytes.com

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/05/italian-wonderpot/ - one pot dish, put whatever you feel/think will taste good together. I added a kielbasa sausage.
http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/10/slow-cooker-chicken-dumplings/ - made this a couple of hours ago. So delicious and comforting.

footenote

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 04:11:06 PM »
You can save a ton of money replacing the tinned chili with homemade. To minimize your cooking time, make an enormous batch, portion and freeze. There are zillions of recipes on the web; let us know if you would like suggestions. (And tell us what kitchen equipment you own so we don't suggest recipes that require hardware you don't own.)

El Gringo

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 05:10:26 PM »
hotforbacon - that website looks awesome!

footenote - I'll always take any particular suggestions! The chili in the can is one of those "I don't really feel like preparing at all" and I have a grocery store right across the street, so it's easy to grab if I come home late. And for $3, it's pretty cheap - and healthy - for an instant meal. But I'm sure that making a huge batch is even more economical. I don't have too much hardware...just your typical bachelor pots and pans, and nothing too big.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 05:37:55 PM »
Get a rice/slow cooker! I got this at Costco for $19.99 and I love it.

*sorry it's too big I forgot how to resize images

dadof4

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 05:46:59 PM »
Twice a week I make my own lunch:
Pasta. Spaghetti sauce.
Chicken thigh or drumsticks. Skin the chicken parts (important if you want to keep this healthy). Add spices and shove in the oven.

Total  prep time - ~5 minutes.
Cost per serving - under $1.

Empire Business

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Re: Frugal, healthy and convenient dishes
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 09:55:34 PM »
A thing I like to do is slow cook stuff which I can freeze for later.  The freezer that came with my fridge is always running anyway, and it's more efficient the more it is filled with useful stuff.

Stews, chilis and soups are all awesome and you can find a ton of slow cooker recipes, but also it's very easy to just cook up a bag of beans overnight and use them for whatever.  I cook a bag of garbanzo beans, process it into hummus the next day, and freeze it all in small containers.  It thaws fine, if it separates a little during the thawing process just stir it.  Be careful slow cooking certain beans like kidney.  These release a toxin if they are never heated above a certain temperature, so it's suggested to boil them for ten minutes before slow cooking.  But that's not with all beans, garbanzos for example are fine and IMO come out way tastier than canned.

The slow cooker is generally considerably lower electricity use than what it would take to make the same dish on the stovetop or heating the whole oven.  The whole slow cooker to freezer thing can also be freeing from purchasing frozen and canned meals.  Just pull something you already made out of the freezer and heat it up.