Do you need to compromise on your nutrition in order to budget?

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By: Good Nelly
on 13th Aug,2015

Get to know about nutritious food items which you can buy without spending much. Check out 4 healthy recipes under $5.
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Are you trying to cut your expenses in order to stay within a limited budget? But, while doing so, Do you need to compromise on your nutrition in order to budget?you shouldn't think that you'd have to compromise with your nutrition. It is not true. First of all, you can cut down cost by opting for home-cooked food instead of eating out. Go through this article to know about some food items and recipes which are healthy and nutritious and at the same time, relatively low cost.

12 Items which you can buy with less than $2 for a pack

Here is a list of food items which are healthy and nutritious and you can purchase them for less than $2 per package.

Item Serving portion Nutritional information Price per serving
Frozen vegetables 1 cup Calories (82), fiber (6 gm), protein (4 gm), vitamin A (115% of DV), vitamin C (8% of DV), potassium (7% of DV) Around 25 cents
Old-fashioned oats ½ cup Calories (150), fiber (4 gm) and protein 5 gm) About 13 cents
Brown rice ¼ cup Calories (170), Fiber (2 gm) and protein (4 gm) About 18 cents
100% whole wheat bread 2 slices Calories (120), Protein (6 gm) and fiber (3 gm) About 18 cents
Whole wheat or multigrain pasta 2 ounces Calories (200), Protein (7 gm) and fiber (6 gm) About 24 cents
Whole wheat pita bread Whole wheat pita bread Calories (140), protein (6 gm) and fiber (4 gm) 30-55 cents
Non-fat Greek Yogurt Usually 6-8 ounce containers Calories (150), fiber (0 gm) and protein (14 gm) Usually 89 cents
Refried beans (Canned) ½ cup Calories (140), fiber (6 gm), protein (7 gm), calcium (4% of DV) and iron (10% of DV) About 34 cents
Fresh spinach (Bagged) 4 cups Calories (20), fiber (2 gm), vitamin A (160% of DV), vitamin C (40% of DV), calcium (8% of DV) and folic acid (40% of DV) About 66 cents
Frozen soybeans ½ cup shelled Calories (90), fiber (8 gm), protein (10 gm), iron (10% DV) and calcium (6% of DV) About 56 cents
Lentils (Dried) ¼ cup Calories (120), fiber (11 gm) and protein (10 gm) About 10 cents
Meatless canned marinara sauce ½ cup Calories (90), fiber (2 gm), vitamin A (15% of DV) and vitamin C (10% of DV) About 28 cents

* DV - Daily Value

4 Healthy recipes which you can prepare without spending much

Eating home-cooked food is not only cost-effective, but also a healthier alternative to eating out all the time. Also, it doesn't always take much time to cook home food. Here are 4 recipes which you can cook at home and enjoy healthy meals. Also check out the price and nutritional information of these recipes.

Baked coconut lentils

Baked coconut lentils
Image courtesy: wholefoodsmarket.com

Cost - About $0.91 per serving

Nutritional information (per serving) - Calories (280), Saturated fat (3 gm), Total fat (3.5 gm), Cholesterol (0 mg), Carbohydrate (49 gm, Dietary fiber - 9 gm and Sugar - 16 gm), Sodium (65 mg) and Protein (16 gm)

Ingredients (Serves 8):
Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
Lentils - 1 pound (About 2 ¼ cups)
Coconut - 1/ cup (Shredded)
Ground ginger - 1 teaspoon
Yellow onion - 1 (Chopped)
Pitted dates - 1 cup (Chopped)
Turmeric - ½ teaspoon
Tamari soy sauce (Gluten-free reduced sodium) - 2 teaspoons

Method of preparation:

  1. Take a large saucepan and heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add onion and cook until softened and begin to turn brown color
  3. Put ginger and turmeric and cook for about a minute
  4. Now add 6 cups of water along with dates and lentils and bring the mixture to boil
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes
  6. Now, preheat oven to 350°F
  7. Stir in tamari soy sauce to the mixture and transfer it to a 2-quart baking dish/casserole
  8. Cover and bake for 30 minutes
  9. Uncover it and top it with coconut
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or longer until the lentils are tender and the coconut turns golden

Cajun-style vegetarian gumbo

Cajun-style vegetarian gumbo
Image courtesy: bhg.com

Cost - About $1.50 per serving

Nutritional information (per serving) - Calories (153), Saturated fat (0 gm), Monosaturated fat (0 gm), Polysaturated fat (0 gm), Cholesterol (0 mg), Carbohydrate (31 gm), Sugar (7 gm), Sodium (639 mg), Fiber (10 gm) and Protein (12 gm)

Ingredients (Make 6 servings):

Frozen sweet peppers and onion stir-fry vegetables - 1 package of 16 ounce
Black beans (Rinsed and drained) - 2 Cans of 15 ounce
Tomatoes (Diced fire-roasted and undrained) - 1 package of 20 ounce
Frozen okra (Cut) - 2 Cups
Brown rice (hot cooked) - Optional
Fresh basil - Optional

Method of preparation:

  1. Take a 3-½ to 4-½ quart slow cooker, put a disposable slow cooked liner, and put tomatoes, beans, stir-fry vegetables, okra and Cajun seasoning
  2. Cover the cooker and put either on low-heat setting for 6-8 hours or high-heat setting for 3-4 hours
  3. If you wish, you can serve the cooked item over hot cooked brown rice and sprinkle snipped herb

Herbed salmon

Herbed salmon
Image courtesy: bhg.com

Cost - About $2.49 per serving

Nutritional information (per serving) - Calories (294), Fat (21 gm, Saturated fat - 7 gm, Monosaturated fat - 6 gm, Polysaturated fat - 5 gm), Cholesterol (78 mg), Carbohydrate (3 gm), Sugar (1 gm), Sodium (401 mg), Fiber (1 gm) and Protein (24 gm)

Ingredients (Make 4 servings):
Skinless salmon fillet - 1 pound (Cut into 4 portions)
Snipped fresh dillweed - 1 tablespoon
Lemon - 1
Lemon thyme - 1 tablespoon
Snipped fresh Italian parsely - 1 tablespoon
Ground black pepper - ½ teaspoon
Salt - ½ teaspoon
Butter (Softened) - 2 tablespoons
Lemon peel and fresh herbs (optional)

Method of preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry
  3. Shred 1 teaspoon of peel from lemon and set aside
  4. Cut the lemon and juice half of it
  5. Now, in a small bowl, combine snipped herbs, lemon peel, pepper, salt, butter; stir the mixture to combine
  6. Spread the mixture evenly on salmon fillets
  7. Heat a 12-inch nonstick oven-going skillet over medium heat
  8. Add salmon with the herb side down on the pan
  9. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Turn the salmon and pour lemon juice over it
  11. Place the pan in oven and bake for 3-7 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork
  12. Transfer the salmon to serving plates and drizzle with pan juices
  13. Garnish it with additional shredded lemon peel and snipped fresh herbs

Chicken, tomato and cucumber dinner salad

Chicken, tomato and cucumber dinner salad
Image courtesy: bhg.com

Cost - About $2.57 per serving

Nutritional information (per serving) - Calories (336), Fat (23 gm, Saturated fat - 7 gm, Monosaturated fat - 15 gm, Polysaturated fat - 3 gm), Cholesterol (73 mg), Carbohydrate (7 gm), Sugar (4 gm), Sodium (569 mg), Fiber (2 gm) and Protein (25 gm)

Ingredients (Make 4 servings):
Chicken breast tenders - 1 pound
Olive oil - 5 tablespoons
White wine vinegar or Cider vinegar - ¼ cup
Cucumber (Cut in ribbons) - 1 medium sized
Tomatoes (Sliced) - 1
Pitted green olives (Halved/Sliced) - ½ cup
Feta cheese - 4 ounces (optional)
Snipped fresh thyme - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Ground black pepper
Salt

Method of preparation:

Salmon preparation:

  1. Take a large skillet and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat
  2. Lightly sprinkle chicken tenders with pepper and salt
  3. Cook the chicken in hot oil for 8-10 minutes, turning once, until it becomes light brown
  4. Vinaigrette preparation:

  5. Take a screw-top jar and combine remaining oil with vinegar, sugar, thyme and ¼ teaspoon each of pepper and salt and shake to combine
  6. Serving:

  7. Take 4 dinner plates and arrange the chicken, cucumber ribbons, olives, sliced tomatoes and feta cheese
  8. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad

You can substitute chicken with fish, cucumber with zucchini and carrot, tomatoes with grape tomatoes, and olives with kalamata or ripe olives.

So, try these recipes and opt for healthy living within a budget.

Try out easy to make recipes of yummy cookies.

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