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For Our Community

Healthy Eating On a Budget

02-11-2016

It’s hard to serve healthy meals to your family when you don’t have a big budget for food, right?

NO! It’s just as easy to feed your family well using healthy and inexpensive ingredients in quickly prepared recipes as it is to go through the drive through!

Some of the best protein foods are plant-based, such as quinoa, soy, lentils, beans, and chia seeds, with many available in less-expensive dried versions. Additionally, some fresh fruits and vegetables are available at a great price during the winter, including grapefruit, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, parsnips and oranges.

To help you get started eating right on a budget, Bozeman Health is sharing three heart-healthy, lower-in-fat but fabulously tasty main dishes perfect to warm up with on a cold winter’s night. Learn more about ways to feed yourself and your family for their health without breaking the bank in a consultation with one of Bozeman Health’s nutrition specialists. They can be reached at 406-414-5331.

Winter Garden Pasta Serves 6

Go meatless: Whole grain pasta, high-fiber beans, and no-salt-added diced tomatoes make this spaghetti a heart-healthy dinner ready in just a half-hour.

8 ounces dried whole grain spaghetti

3 C broccoli florets

1 14½-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained

1 15-ounce can white kidney beans (cannellini beans), rinsed and drained

2 T no-salt-added tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 t salt

1/4 t ground black pepper

2 T snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or 1T dried parsley

¼ C grated Parmesan cheese

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions without salt. Add broccoli to pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to Dutch oven.

Stir in tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and pepper; heat through. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Tarragon Chicken Linguine Serves 4

This quick, heart-healthy recipe features just enough chicken with broccoli and pasta, all topped in a light sauce. It's a complete healthy meal in just 25 minutes.

6 ounces dried linguine or fettuccine

2 C broccoli florets

1/2 C reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 t cornstarch

1/4 t lemon-pepper seasoning or ground black pepper

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into bite-size strips

2 t olive oil or cooking oil

1 T snipped fresh tarragon or dill or 1/2 t dried tarragon or dill, crushed

Cook pasta according to directions, adding broccoli the last 4 minutes. Drain; keep warm.

Combine broth, cornstarch, and seasoning; set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in hot oil 4 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring often.

Stir cornstarch mixture; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in tarragon; cook for 2 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Italian Pork Chops Serves 6

For the meat lovers in your family, the trio of fennel, Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar lends authentic Italian flavor to these meaty chops. Surprise! They’re made in a slow cooker for simplicity and healthy eating.

1 medium onion, chopped

6 thick-cut pork rib chops on the bone (about 2-1/2 pounds)

2 t dried Italian seasoning, crushed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground black pepper

2 14½-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

2 T balsamic vinegar

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

2 T cornstarch

2 T cold water

4 ounces dried orzo, cooked according to package directions

Place onion in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place 3 pork chops on onions. Sprinkle with half the Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper. Repeat layering with remaining pork chops and seasonings. Top with undrained tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Add zucchini pieces to cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.

Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan, stir together cornstarch and cold water, and add cooking juices from cooker. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly for 2 minutes.

Put one pork chop and some vegetables on each plate, pour sauce over all. Serve with orzo on the side.