Mar 13, 2012

Favorite Healthy (and cheap) Recipes

Asian Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients Needed:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Sesame Oil                     Rice Vinegar
Salt                                 Almond Butter
Garlic                             Soy Sauce/Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Onion                             Fish Sauce
Ginger                            Boston or Bibb Lettuce
Shredded Cabbage         Shredded Carrots

- Cut chicken into small pieces 
- Heat a little sesame oil in a skillet and brown chicken; season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger (fresh is always better - so if you have fresh garlic, onion, and ginger on hand - definitely chop/grate these instead of the powdered version)
- Remove chicken from skillet and add a little Almond Butter, Rice Vinegar, Fish Sauce, and a tiny bit of Soy Sauce. Mix until well blended. If it gets a little grainy looking, add a little water. (I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos rather than soy sauce - much better for you with the same taste). Everything is "to taste", so just play around with the ingredients until you find a combination that you think is perfect!  
- Pile chicken,  cabbage, carrots, and avocado in a leaf of lettuce and enjoy!

This recipe would be a little pricey if you're having to buy all of the ingredients. Obviously you'll only be using a very small portion of the sesame oil, spices, rice vinegar, almond butter, soy sauce, and fish sauce - so the initial investment will last a long time and be worth it! And you're only going to use a small amount in the bags of shredded cabbage and carrots (bought at Trader Joe's for only $1.50/bag). Biggest expenses are going to be the chicken ($1.99/lb at my grocery store), Boston Lettuce ($2.49/head - and we'll use 1/2 the head for this meal), and avocado ($1.39). Since I have all the other ingredients on-hand, this meal will cost me $5.00. Not too bad for something so yummy and so healthy!

Ground Turkey Soup
Ingredients Needed: 
1 lb Ground Turkey
8 cups beef broth
1/4 c. pearled barley
1 bag of shredded cabbage
1 bag of shredded carrots
1-2 parsnips (chopped)
1-2 turnip roots (chopped)

This is seriously the easiest and one of the cheapest meals I make these days! Brown the ground turkey in a large soup pot and season as you like; I normally put salt, pepper, and garlic in mine. Add 8-10 cups of broth (or 8-10 cups of water and 8-10 beef bullion cubes). Add cabbage, carrots, parsnips, pearled barley, and turnip roots. Simmer for an hour and eat until your heart's content. It is seriously very yummy! I got the inspiration for this recipe from I always put in the cabbage and carrots, but the parsnips and turnips depend on what I have on hand. This easily makes enough to feed 6-8 people, or it keeps wonderfully for left-overs. Just adding it up in my head, I think this entire recipe would cost about $6-8, which comes out to a mere $1/serving!

Goat Cheese and Roasted Walnut Salad

Ingredients Needed:
1 head of lettuce (prefer hearts of Romain)
Goat Cheese
Dry Roasted or Raw Walnuts
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Super simple, and seriously good! Raw walnuts are a little healthier, but I don't like them (they're like paste in my mouth - yuck!). So we do a simple roasting: 2 cups of walnuts with 1/8 tsp of salt dissolved in 1 Tbl of water poured over the top. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Crumble a little goat cheese over a bed of lettuce, a handful of roasted walnuts, and then drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top. Salt to taste. Add some chicken to the top to make a little more substantial. Hard to estimate cost since you''ll be using such small quantities of each item - but not expensive at all!

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