nutritionfitnessrecipesplan smartshealthy living

For more budget friendly meal ideas, try these recipes:

Risotto with bacon & peas


Salmon with mustard-dill sauce



Spaghetti bake





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Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. These family-friendly dishes are easy on the budget, and they require little prep time and cleanup. And did we mention they are delicious?


Super-stuffed twice-baked potatoes

(pictured above)
Makes 4 servings
Prep time, start to finish: 30 minutes (if using microwave)


4 medium russet potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cups chopped, cooked broccoli florets
2 cups chopped cauliflower
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 cup shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese



Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork. Cook in the microwave (about 10 minutes) until done, turning half way. Or you can bake 1 hour in the oven at 425°. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, cook cauliflower in a medium saucepan with a little water, covered, until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh out into the large bowl with the cauliflower, leaving a ¼” shell. Place the potato shells on a baking sheet. Mash the potato/cauliflower mixture together. Add the buttermilk and salt, mix until smooth. Fold in chives and half of the shredded cheddar cheese.

Spoon the potato/cauliflower mixture back into the shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 5-10 minutes at 400°, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. (You can also microwave it for a few minutes if you prefer not to use the oven). Top with the cooked broccoli, and if you prefer, other toppings such as cubed ham or crumbled bacon.

Nutrition information per serving (2 potato halves without additional toppings): 264 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated), 9mg cholesterol, 329mg sodium, 45g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 15g protein




Tuna noodle casserole

Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour


5 cups uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles
1 teaspoon butter
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 package frozen peas, (2-3 cups), thawed
2 pouches or cans (12-14 oz.) albacore white tuna in water, drained
⅓ cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350°. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. or 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch, milk and seasonings until smooth; gradually stir into pan.

Stir in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in ¾ cup cheese until melted; stir in peas and tuna.

Spoon tuna mixture over noodles; mix well. Sprinkle remaining cheese. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, covered, 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional
15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Nutrition information per serving: 271 calories, 8g fat (4g sat. fat), 38mg cholesterol, 601mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 22g protein




Pork carnitas tacos

Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Slow cooker time: 6-8 hours


2-3 pounds pork shoulder or Boston butt roast,
cut into 5 or 6 small pieces
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, cut into 6 or 8 chunks
3 garlic cloves, whole
1 jar of your favorite salsa (try tomatillo salsa for a spicier version)
whole-grain corn tortillas
2 avocados, sliced
fresh cilantro


Mix together oregano, pepper, salt, and cumin and rub on outside of pork pieces in bottom of slow cooker. Throw onion and garlic on top of pork. Slow cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is falling apart. When finished, discard the onion and garlic. Drain meat and shred with a fork. Serve warm with tortillas, salsa, avocados and cilantro. Or, try your own variety of toppings.

Nutrition information per serving: 357 calories, 22g fat (6g saturated), 70mg cholesterol, 441mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 22g protein



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