Eating cheap means $.10 ramen and $.99 mac and cheese, right? Often times cooking healthy meals can get expensive. When you need to buy sixteen different spices and four kinds of cheeses for your recipe the cost really adds up. This week I’m showing you that cooking healthy and delicious doesn’t have to break the bank. A lot of times meals labeled “budget friendly” skimp on the meat and produce and load up on the carbs which do make the meals cheaper but definitely not as delicious or healthy. I’ve got some healthy, delicious AND budget friendly recipes to share with you.
Strawberry Shortcake Muffins
These strawberry shortcake muffins are a staple in our house and they freeze so well. My kids love those Saturday mornings when I pull out the blender and we go to town making muffins to last the whole month. I really like the idea of a muffin but unfortunately most don’t pack many nutrients. These however are a completely different story with oats, fruit, and Greek yogurt. I feed my family these knowing they will be fueled for the day.
Budget tip: I only buy strawberries when they’re on sale, and they aren’t always on sale so I’ve learned to be flexible. If I want to make muffins and strawberries aren’t on sale I use bananas (substitute 2 mashed bananas for the strawberries). I’ve also substituted frozen fruit in the dead of winter when berries are expensive.
Baked Lemon Chicken
Part of cooking budget friendly is staying simple. This chicken only has a few ingredients but its so good. I made this a couple days ago, and I am still using the leftovers in a salad for lunch. Learn from my mistakes and make sure you use thin chicken breasts or filet them in half. I served this chicken with garlic butter roasted carrots (see next recipe), wild rice, and a salad.
Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
I absolutely hate cooked carrots and always have. Growing up I would try to gag them down in chicken noodle soup or a stir fry but seriously I couldn’t stand them. Now that I’m an adult I get to choose what we eat so I just don’t cook them. My husband loves cooked carrots and has been asking me to make some. I found this recipe and decided to give carrots one last chance. I thought I made a ton so he could have leftovers later in the week. Guess what, these are amazing! We loved this recipe and there weren’t any leftovers. You can serve these with the lemon chicken (see above) or grab a rotisserie chicken at the store. These carrots are the perfect side dish for any dinner, especially a holiday dinner. Bring these to Grandma’s house and your relatives will be talking about your side dish instead of asking you all kinds of awkward personal questions.
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
This is one of those recipes that comes out of the oven looking like you put way more effort into making it than you really did. It smells delicious and looks fancy but in reality its really quick to prep and throw in the oven. The chicken is really flavorful and unlike other fajitas recipes the vegetables also get a lot of the spice and flavor.
Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli
Easy and simple is the name of the game this week. You do need to marinate the shrimp ahead of time but once you are ready to cook, this recipe is so quick with not many ingredients. I love Asian shrimp and broccoli dishes. All the Asian flavors paired with shrimp and broccoli create a light and healthy alternative to heavy and greasy takeout. If you are like me and always seem to want more veggies, the one cup of broccoli this recipe calls for wont be nearly enough. I like to serve this with brown rice.
Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Caramelized apple oatmeal cookies are THE perfect fall dessert using mostly ingredients from the pantry. If you are the type that like more crust than apple in an apple pie this recipe is perfect for you. It has fresh apple pieces to give it the apple pie texture and taste but because the pieces are diced small it isn’t overwhelming. It is a well known fact at our house that I’m a horrible baker. I don’t have the time or patience to wait for things to rise or melt or be room temperature. Even I could make these which means anyone can!