Healthy meals on a budget

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Are you looking for a healthy meal plan which you won’t feel in your pocket? Here are a few healthy and cheap meal ideas for you to try:

 

Taco salad:

Instead of ground beef, use ground turkey. It's leaner than ground beef, but you'll still get the protein. If you simply must have ground beef, go for the "95 percent lean" type. Use your favorite taco seasoning on the meat. Swap out full-fat sour cream for reduced fat sour cream. Add tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and reduced-fat cheese. You can also dump in corn, black beans, or kidney beans. For crunch, use baked tortilla chips crumbled into the salad. Go crazy with your favorite spices and hot sauces.

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Pizza:

Start off with some whole wheat pizza dough. Or, to save time, just buy some from the grocery store. Try out this yummy black bean and corn pizza for something different:

Dice up a tomato and combine it with corn and black beans in a bowl. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet and press your dough into the shape of the baking sheet. Spread the dough with barbeque sauce. Spoon on the corn, bean, and tomato mixture, sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and dough is crusty. Be creative with veggies and other healthy toppings!

Soup:

Tortellini and spinach soup is easy to make. Just sauté some onion, red bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil. Sprinkle in some basil, oregano and crushed red pepper to taste. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Then, add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and spinach. Bring to a boil and add a package of frozen cheese tortellini. Continue boiling for a few minutes and you're done!

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Shepherd’s pie:

To make a healthy shepherd's pie, just find any traditional recipe, and then use our substitutions below:

Meat: Go for ground turkey or ultra-lean beef

Veggies: Frozen vegetables are easiest. Think peas, carrots and corn.

In place of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower combined with low-fat milk

Look for low-fat, low-sodium versions of gravy.

Chicken wraps:

Most chicken lettuce wrap recipes call for sautéing finely chopped veggies, like celery, pepper, onion, ginger and garlic, in a pan, then adding ground chicken to be browned. Ingredients like water chestnuts, vinegar, cilantro and soy sauce also add to its signature taste

For the wrap, buy some Boston lettuce and fill each lettuce cup with some of the chicken and vegetable mixture.

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Pumpkin soup:

To make pumpkin soup, you only need a few ingredients: pureed pumpkin, chopped onion or leek, vegetable or chicken broth, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, low fat or skim milk, pepper, and a chopped green onion top. Sautee the onion in some broth until tender. Add broth, pumpkin and the two spices, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Add milk until heated through.

Stuffed peppers:

Start off with four medium green or red bell peppers. Brown ground turkey along with a chopped onion in a skillet. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and garlic and herb seasoning. Bring this mixture to a boil, then add a cup of instant brown rice. Stir, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for a few minutes.

In the meantime, you should have the oven preheated. Prepare the peppers by rinsing them, cutting off the tops, removing the seeds, and rinsing the insides. Place the peppers in the dish, spoon in the meat mixture, and cover the entire thing in aluminum foil. Pop in the oven, bake until tender.

You need to swop the unhealthy ingredients for more cost effective and healthy ingredients and add them to your recipes to enjoy some of the health benefits they contain.

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