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How To Create Cheap Healthy Meals?

Elvis Elvis

Some ideas for healthy cheap meals use a bit of creativity. Many pasta and rice based dishes are cheap, healthy and easy to prepare. Throw in a few lentils or other canned beans into cooked pasta and rice, sprinkle of spice mix, one or many cooked vegetables and you have a great meal.

Have on hand garlic, onion, dried chilli, a spice such as cumin, basmati or brown rice, pasta, legumes (pulses) such as lentils, and you have the basis of a tasty dish. Add a fresh, seasonal vegetable as you wish.

See the recipes for rice and pasta on the low cal recipe page.

You can do a lot with one vegetable. Let’s take a zucchini. We can slice it width- or length-wise, grate it, keep it whole and roast it. Grated or sliced finely, we can add it to a salad, to rice, to pasta, to frittata.

Sliced length-wise finely we can marinate it in a little olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. We can grill or BBQ thicker slices, add chunks to a satay stick.

You can get variety by cooking a vegetable differently or by chopping, slicing, grating in different ways.

Here’s a handy healthy cheap pizza recipe for one or double the ingredients for two. If English spinach is not available, use spinach, silver beet or chard.

How To Create Cheap Healthy Meals?

Spinach Ricotta Pizza (just for one)

  • 1 small potato or similar size sweet potato (peeled)
  • 1/2 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1/2 bunch English spinach (washed, stalks trimmed)
  • 1/4 cup low fat ricotta
  • 1 pita bread
  • 1/4 cup grated low fat mozzarella
  1. Cook potato in salted water for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool. Slice thinly.
  2. While potato is cooking, chop English spinach and blanch (dip in hot water) very briefly. I’d use the water the potato is cooking in. Cool.
  3. Mix together garlic, ricotta and spinach. Season to taste
  4. Place pita under a hot grill until crisp. Turn over and top with potato slices and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and grill for about 2 minutes or until mozzarella melts.
  5. Serve with a tomato and olive salad.

And to finish – how about an apple or pear grated served with whipped ricotta and yoghurt or with lemon juice and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon. Top with some chopped nuts or pepitas and a little honey or maple syrup.

Shopping for one can be tricky – its easy to buy too much when everything comes in bunches or packaged. If you buy spinach for example, cook all the spinach in one go, then freeze a portion for later. Think about pickling cucumbers, or cauliflower. To use all the ingredients, cook a couple of healthy cheap dishes which can be frozen for later.