Cheap but healthy meal ideas

Discussion in 'Aphrodite's Kitchen' started by Lanata29, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Lanata29

    Lanata29 New Member

    Cooking can be a challenge for someone who doesn't really like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and with the can be too easy to get hooked on fast, unhealthy foods...

    Does anyone have any good meal ideas/recipes that make enough for 2 or 3 meals, is not overly expensive (tight budget) and is simple to make? I love to cook but my SO (who does not live near me or else I'd gladly do the cooking) doesn't quite share my passion. I'm trying to help him come up with some healthy meal ideas that he might find appealing.

    Any ideas would be much appreciated!

  2. Slvrtide

    Slvrtide New Member

    My absolute favorite cheap, healthy, lasts forever meal is chili. I use canned beans, corn, tomatoes. I use fake beef crumbles (which with the spices I've never had anyone complain, even my meat-lover friends)so it's even healthier but meat would still be pretty good. Last time I made it (I can give you my recipe if you're interested) I think I spent about $30 on ingredients and we got 7 meals out of it. And it's so easy because you just throw everything in a pot and let it simmer for a while!

  3. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    A few quickies that are pretty healthy!


    Buy a pork roast that will fit in your crook pot. Put it in at about 9 am cook it on slow until about 5! Yes, it will fall apart and shred! Then just take some out of the crook and put it in a skillet and mix in a taco seasoning packet(bought anywhere for like 50 cents)..Make your tortillas, fixings, and bam dinner!

    Chicken fingers

    Easy as pie and the kids love them!

    Just buy boneless skinless breast, cut them up dip them in egg and crushed up corn flakes and deep-fry them! I usually make these with a veggie (like broccoli and Velveeta) makes a good quick dinner!

  4. BJ99

    BJ99 New Member

    I buy a few cans (family of 5) chunky beef stew/sirloin burger(generic brand) and cook up white rice (you can get box for ease if necessary) and voila instant meal with all your veggies and meat very filling, quick, and cheap! And depending on how much you make depends on how far it goes...etc.

    Have a few others but have to think about em...

  5. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Along the same lines as a couple already mentioned - Rice & Beans! Sometimes we use black beans, sometimes pinto or "chili" beans (in a sauce)... Sometimes we use plain brown rice (never white, brown is healthier), sometimes we use a seasoned rice mix like Mexican, Spanish, or even Chicken Veggie (not so healthy, b/c these mixes have sodium!). Sometimes we throw in a can of corn or other veggies, always add a little cheese and hot sauce. So easy and fast and pretty healthy!

    Juls, thank you for the reminder that we do not use our crock pot nearly as much as we should!!

  6. Lanata29

    Lanata29 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the ideas! They definitely sound like things he would eat!

  7. Bent Into Shape

    Bent Into Shape New Member

    For chili, if you're into cost reduction over convenience dry beans are the way to go with chili. They cost next to nothing and are so much healthier than canned, healthier nutritionally and no additive or BPA (which is present in all US can linings but one natural brand, can't remember which). Just set them to soak overnight and fry beef up in the morning in a big pot. Add a bunch of stuff (chili in my house basically mean clean out the crisper bin} add the bean, add water to about 1ish inch above the stuff, bring to a boil the simmer for the rest of the day. Or at least two hours. You have to think about it the night before, but it really only takes about 15 minutes prep in the morning and then it's ready whenever you are at dinner.

  8. BethG

    BethG New Member

    This reminded me that I had a pork roast in the freezer that I really needed to use. So this morning I browned it in the oven and right before I walked out the door (about 8:40am) I put it in the crock pot on Low. I swear I am the only person who can not use a crock pot! But reading the little instruction booklet again, I was feeling confident when I read that it's practically impossible to overcook. Yay!

    So I get home at 5:30pm and immediately turned off the crock pot. That damn roast was overdone! I had even added some liquid and BBQ sauce to keep it moist! I shredded it into dry wisps of meat. We added some more sauce and it was edible for the most part, although hubby kept teasing me about it. He knows my luck with a crock pot!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  9. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    Uh Oh...Bethy...

    Did I forget to add that when I use the crock pot, I usually put at least two to three inches of water in the bottom. Sometimes a little more depending on the size of meat. It keeps this from happening...

  10. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Pulled Pork on Buns is AWESOME.... You can Not go wrong with this recipe.


    * 1 pork tenderloin
    * 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer or more if you want
    * 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
    * 8 buns, split and lightly toasted or not toasted


    1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well and shred. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns. Really good with Cheese..

  11. Penguin-Goon

    Penguin-Goon New Member

    OMG leeaman, that sounds soooo good!!! lol

  12. BethG

    BethG New Member

    Juls, I don't know, I'm just a crock pot failure! It was a small roast (under 2.5lbs) and I have a small crock pot (the 2.5 quart one, I think, although I have a slightly larger one as well). I added maybe 1/2" of water? And poured some sauce over the top so it ran down the sides. What's the point of a slow cooker if I have to be home? Ugh. Me and the crock pot have become such a joke in my house.....

    Leeaman, how big would that pork tenderloin be?

  13. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    It is awesome Goon..

    Beth, you could use what ever size you would like hun, as long as it fits in your crock.. I have done anything from 2 lbs up to 5 or 6 lbs.

  14. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    Bethy from what I have learned over the years with crock pots is "less is more". Put the meat in there with a quarter to half water, some spices and let it cook. I have never tried putting sauce over anything till it was done. When I do it this way, my meat just shreds apart and is really tender...

    Try more water and no sauce next time....

  15. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    Making this tonight!!! Sounds sooo good!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  16. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Oh you will love it hun.... If ya have any questions shout at me on FB, I should be around.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  17. enough_already

    enough_already New Member

    What I made last night:

    Three slices bacon;
    Half head of cabbage, sliced thin;
    One large onion sliced thin;
    1/3 c chicken stock;
    2 cloves garlic;
    1 tspn herbs de Provence;
    1 tbsn dill;
    salt and pepper to taste.

    Fry the bacon in a large skillet until it is soft, but not crispy, remove from pan and dry on paper towels. Reserve grease and while still hot, stir in herbs de Provence and garlic and cook for thirty seconds; add cabbage, onion and chicken stock, lower heat and cover with tight fitting lid until done, probably fifteen minutes. The steam from the stock will flavor the cabbage and also cook it faster and more evenly than frying alone. Add more chicken stock if it cooks off. Just before serving, crush drill and sprinkle, add salt and pepper to taste.

    Cut up bacon, add it to the cabbage and onions and mix all well.

    So it's not quite vegetarian with the bacon, but it makes it taste so good. You can use butter instead, or olive oil if you want to go vegan, and use vinegar instead of chicken stock which will make the result more tart (haven't tried it that way, yet, but I might as well--would probably taste like a warm cole slaw kind of thing) but for me, the best tasting way is with the bacon.

    I live to serve this with a good Scotch or Irish whiskey. Eat two-thirds for dinner and save 1/3 to warm up the next morning and add an egg or two for breakfast, or make it into an omelette filling.

    Costs about a dollar, if even.

  18. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mmmmmm!!!! Came out AMAZING!!! Hubby loved it as well!! I do have 1 question though, what does the root beer do for it? I added it but was just curious as to what it did to it?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  19. leeaman7777

    leeaman7777 Active Member

    Oh awesome I am so glad you's liked it so much.. The Rootbeer acts mostly as a marinade for the meat to make it nice and moist really... And adds a little more flavor to it as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  20. Anthony01

    Anthony01 New Member

    Awesome and fantastic content here to share.I will suggest for some of the Pasta,chicken meal as per savings and great taste as well.Pasta is wonderful , my family like it and I repeat more 4 times in a week with some veggies and fruit salad n Chinese style.


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