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Healthy recipes for a beginner cook on a budget?

I want to eat healthier, but it’s so hard because I have no money and I don’t do much cooking other than grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese! Does anyone have easy, good-for-you, cheap recipes? Thanks!

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13 Responses to “Healthy recipes for a beginner cook on a budget?”

  1. NuclearMessiah said :

    Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Don’t think that you need to go out and buy all that overpriced health food stuff. The best plan is to get more whole grains (buy good bread), eat more fruits and veggies, and cut back on meat.

    You should find a good recipe book with easy recipes and lots of stuff that you like in it, this will help you out immensely. I’m a good cook, but I have a number of cookbooks to refer to when I need info.

    So, I don’t know what kind of food you like…so recommending recipes is kind of hard…but since you like grilled cheese – try it like this sometime:

    A slice of ripe tomato
    A slice of swiss cheese
    2 slices of good whole grain bread.

    Slap the tomato slice on the cheese, cook as usual. Tastes pretty darn good.

  2. tiger_lily57 said :

    Orange Orzo Salad Recipe Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    A refreshing salad that looks as pleasing as it tastes.

    Orange Orzo Salad
    – 8 ounces orzo
    – 4 tablespoons olive oil
    – 4 tablespoons orange juice
    – 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
    – salt and pepper to taste
    – 2 oranges, peeled, cut into sections and chopped
    – 1 cup golden raisins
    – 1/3 cup chopped green onions
    – 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


    Cook orzo according to package directions, drain.
    Prepare orange vinaigrette: combine olive oil, orange juice and orange peel; mix well.
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Combine orzo, oranges, raisins, green onions, and cilantro in serving bowl.
    Add orange vinaigrette, toss to coat.
    Chill before serving.

    Pineapple Watermelon Salsa Recipe

    Pineapple Watermelon Salsa (+)
    A great summer salsa, perfect for dipping or in combination with chicken, fish, or pork.
    – 1 1/2 cups pineapple, chopped
    – 2 cups watermelon, chopped
    – 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
    – 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
    fresh cilantro, chopped, adjust amount for taste
    juice from 1 lime
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 0 minutes


    Mix all ingredients together.
    Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving to combine all of the flavors.

    Mulligan Stew Recipe
    An abundance of vegetables cooked in the juices of beef brisket and beef make this a tasty and savory stew.

    Container: large heavy skillet or dutch oven
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    – 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    – 1 pound beef brisket, cut into 1″ cubes
    – 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    – 1 onion, chopped
    – 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
    – 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
    – 6 ounces tomato paste
    – 2 cups beef broth
    – 12 ounces stout beer
    – 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
    – 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
    – 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
    THICKENING AGENT (if needed):
    – 1 tablespoon corn starch
    – 1 tablespoon cold water


    Coat cubed beef in flour.
    In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil and brown beef on all sides.
    Remove beef from skillet.
    Sauté sliced mushrooms and onions over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
    Add beef, tomato paste, beef broth, beer, potatoes and carrots.
    Simmer covered for one hour.
    If needed, thicken by mixing cold water and corn starch together and stirring corn starch mixture into the stew.
    Garnish with parsley and serve.

    Pork Chops with Dijon Dill Sauce Recipe
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes

    – 1 pound Pork Loin Chops
    – 1 teaspoon oil
    – 2 teaspoons Chicken Flavored Bouillon Granules
    – 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    – 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    – 1/4 cup plain yogurt
    – 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    – 1/4 teaspoon dried dillweed
    – 1/4 teaspoon sugar

    In skillet over medium heat, cook pork chops in oil 12-14 minutes, or until cooked through and pork reaches an internal temperature of 155°F. Remove pork to platter; season with bouillon, garlic salt and black pepper. In small bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, dillweed, and sugar. Serve sauce with pork chops.

  3. Cursed said :

    You have the internet so I am going to direct you to few websites.
    Look for chicken, beef, or vegetarian recipes on these sites. They are low in cost but can be tasty.

    Been where you were, and found that cheap doesn’t have to mean tasteless and fattening.

    Good Luck.

  4. John H said :

    Get a folding steaming basket.

    Take a bunch of plain old potatoes, scrub them clean, and steam for about an hour. Keep in the frig. They keep well unwrapped for about a week.

    They will cook up very quickly if you fry, or otherwise cook them and precooking saves a lot of time.

    Used with other veggies and with meat or poultry for protein, they make a nutritious meal. Experiment with seasonings and you can get a lot of variety for a little $$.

  5. Ms. FairyLove said :

    Broccoli cheese cassorole is wonderful, it’s also quick and easy. Just buy 2 or packages of broccoli, a small block of velveeta (or the generic equivalent) cheese and 2 packs of connbread stuffing mix. Chop the broccoli and steam or boil it for about 15-25 minutes, while it is cooking make your stuffing according to the directions on the box (I use the microwave directions) and slice your cheese. Once the broccoli is as tender as you like it drain it and put it in a cassorole dish, lay the cheese slices over top of the broccoli, then spread your stuffing over top of that. Put it in the oven at about 350-400 degrees until the stuffing is slightly crisped on top. It’s so good!

  6. starrwoode said :

    mac and cheese isnt very healthy, but you can add green peas or broccoli to it, and it adds food value, also you can add ham to it if you like , or some cooked ground beef or even cooked chicken, i also like a little dried onion and parsley in mine. for grilled cheese, stick a slice of ham in there, or grill it with brie instead of american, or even swiss. put some tomato in it, you can add things to add food value easily. those mixed dinners have so much salt in them, its really easy to cook a skinless boneless chicken breast, and the frozen veggies now that steam in the bag are great, only a dollar or so a bag and thats enough for a meal or two, you can nuke a potato for a baked potato and add cheese and ham to it and a little chopped broccoli and there is a whole meal. a good dessert thats easy and not fattening, mix up some sugar free jello, using one cup of boiling water instead of two, then toss in a cup of low fat artifically sweetened yogurt, and stir till well blended, then drop in some fruit, and let it set up, you have 4 half cup servings right there, gets you some dairy and some fruit, without too much sugar, you can top with alittle low fat whipped cream topping in the spray cans. the grilled ham and brie sandwiches i learned to love when i was in england.

  7. mightyt100 said :

    Make use of frozen vegetables – they are not as expensive as fresh – but the nutritional value is just about the same – actually better sometimes (because the vegetables are frozen quickly after they are picked – therefore retaining a lot of the nutrients).

    Canned tomatoes are actually really good for you.

    Dried beans are very inexpensive – and good for you.

    Easy Mixed-Bean Salad (made from canned beans – so no so expensive)

    Prep: 5 min – Chill: 3 hr

    1 can (15 to 16 ounces) cut green beans, drained
    1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained
    1 can (15 to 16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
    1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    3/4 cup Italian dressing

    1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

    2. Serve salad using slotted spoon.


    Make vegetable soup:

    2-4 cups of water
    2-4 chicken boullion cubes (match a cube for each cup of water)
    1 canned diced tomatoes
    1 pkg. frozen mixed vegetables – your choice of vegetable mix
    mix all together – bring to a boil – turn down heat to a medium low and allow to simmer for 30 – 45 mins.

    Bean Burritos

    1 can black beans
    1 can tomatoes with green chiles (rotel tomatoes)
    Shredded cheddar cheese

    Drain and rinse the can of black beans. Drain the can of tomatoes with green chiles and add to the beans. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cumin and oregano to the beans and heat for 10 minutes.

    Fill a tortilla with the bean mixture and add 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll up and eat! Makes four burritos.

    I hope this has helped some!

  8. Susan §@¿@§ said :

    These are a few of my favorites!!

    Crock Pot Enchiladas
    Serves 6

    1 lb Ground Beef, lean
    1 (8.5 oz) White Onion, chopped
    1 (4 oz can) Chopped Green Chilies (leave these out if you don’t want it to be spicy)
    1 (14 oz can) Enchilada Sauce
    1 (10-3/4 oz can) Golden Mushroom Soup
    1 (10-3/4 oz can) Cheddar Cheese Soup
    1 (10-3/4 oz can) Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 (10-3/4 oz can) Cream of Celery Soup

    Brown hamburger and chopped onion and pour off grease.

    Put all ingredients in crock pot. Mix and cook low 4-6 hours.
    Chicken Parmesan
    Serves 6

    1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    1/4 Tsp Italian Seasoning, crushed
    6 (4 oz) Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
    1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
    1/2 Cup White Onion, diced
    1 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
    1/2 Cup 2% Milk
    1 (1 oz packet) Ranch Flavored Salad Dressing Mix
    6 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
    1/2 (10 oz pkg.) Spinach, frozen, thawed, drained
    1 Tbsp Pimiento, chopped

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF

    In a small mixing bowl combine cheese, ranch salad dressing mix, and Italian seasoning. Roll chicken pieces in cheese mixture to coat lightly; set remaining cheese mixture aside. Arrange the pieces in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan cook onion in hot margarine until tender.

    Stir in flour; add milk all at once. Cook and stir till bubbly; stir in drained spinach and pimiento. Place a slice of cheese and spoon the spinach mixture over the chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until tender.
    Chicken Pasta Alfredo
    Serves 6

    6 Qts Water
    12 oz Fettuccine Pasta
    2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
    6 (4 oz) Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
    2 (10-3/4 oz can) Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 (20 oz bag) Frozen Broccoli Florets
    3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

    Heat a large pot of water, over high heat. When water comes to a boil add the pasta and boil for 8-10 minutes. Drain; reserving 2 cups pasta water. Cut the chicken into strips (1/4”x1”); set aside.

    In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, add the oil and chicken pieces stirring frequently until golden brown.

    In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the chicken pieces, sauce, 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, stirring frequently. Add the remaining pasta water into the saucepan and bring just to a boil, then add the broccoli. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Divide the cooked pasta evenly between serving dishes and top with chicken and broccoli mixture.
    Spanish Meatloaf
    Serves 6

    1-1/2 lb Ground Beef, lean
    1 (5.5 oz envelope) Wyler’s ”Hearty Beef Stew” Soup Starter
    1 (8 oz bag) Mexican Style Cheddar Cheese, shredded
    1 (4 oz can) Diced Green Chili Peppers
    1 (14-1/2 oz can) Diced Tomatoes, drained
    1 Cup BBQ Sauce (recommended: Kraft Carb Well)

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF

    In a large bowl add the soup starter, diced green chili peppers, and the diced tomatoes; mix until the liquid is absorbed. Add the ground beef and BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly until well combined.

    Place 1/2 of the mixture in a loaf pan, making a well in the meat, top evenly with the cheese and place the remainder of the meat mixture on top to seal.

    Bake for 45 minutes; drain any residual fat if necessary.

    Place the meatloaf on a warmed serving platter and serve immediately. Serve with mixed vegetables or a salad.
    Crab Quiche
    Serves 6

    1 (8 oz pkg.) Louis Kemp Crab Delights, flaked
    3/4 Cup Mexican Style Cheddar Cheese, shredded
    1/2 (8 oz pkg.) Cream Cheese, cut into 1/4” cubes
    1/4 Cup Green Onions, sliced
    1/2 Tsp Salt
    1/2 Tsp Basil
    1/2 Cup Heart Healthy Bisquick
    1 Cup 1% Milk ”Skim”
    1/2 Cup Eggbeaters
    3 SecondsNonstick Cooking Spray

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF

    Mix the crab delights, shredded cheese, cream cheese, onions, salt, and basil in a medium bowl.

    Coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and spread the crab mixture into the bottom.

    Beat the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour over the crab mixture and bake for about 40-45 minutes.

    Serve immediately.
    Strawberry Shake
    Serves 2

    1 Cup Frozen Strawberries, thawed
    2 Tbsp Honey
    1 Cup Cold 2%Milk
    1 Cup Plain Yogurt
    2 Tbsp Sugar Substitute (recommended: Splenda)
    2 Whole Strawberries, garnish

    Puree the strawberries and honey in a blender or food processor. Add milk, sweetener and yogurt; blend until smooth.

    Pour into glasses; garnish each with a whole strawberry

  9. Rebecca H said :

    Tuna-ala-King is good and inexpensive
    1 can tuna
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 c frozen or 1 small can sweet peas
    Cook over low-medium heat
    Serve over toast

    If you don’t like mushrooms you can make a white sauce with:
    2 Tsp butter or oleo
    2 Tsp flour
    1 cup milk
    Stir flour into melted butter until creamy then add milk
    Cook until bubbly and thick. Salt and pepper to taste

    I use this sauce to make a ham and potato casserole
    Parboil 3-4 sliced potatoes
    Butter 2 quart casserole dish
    Layer casserole dish with potatoes, ham pieces, sliced onions, white sauce, salt and pepper. Bake in 325’F oven for 35-45 minutes.

    I usually buy a nice ham and boil it on top of the stove in a little water then take it out of the pan, slice it and serve with potato salad and baked beans. There is always some left over for ham sandwiches and that is the ham I use for the ham casserole. A ham will give you several meals and can be used several different ways. You can even have ham at breakfast.

  10. Healthy recipes for a beginner cook on a budget? | Cheap Quick Recipes said :

    […] Original post by admin […]

  11. 421blast said :

    I do agree with the answer cursed gave, however I would tell you to watch for sale items on veggies, meats & if you are looking for the low fat way check and make sure that the extra’s that you use when cooking are low fat and not just lite. I would invest in a metal steamer basket or if you have a metal colander that will work with a bigger pot. Steam veggies add your spices your oddles of noddles to the veggies & you can brown your chicken breast that you cut in half to cut down on portion and brown this and add to the mix or leave whole. Cook other chicken breast and save for chicken salad next day. (Steaming keeps vitamans)

  12. livachic2005 said :

    Boil some pasta, when cooked toss through a tin of tuna (the flavoured ones u get now make this such a versatile recipe) a handfull of fresh chopped parsley (think about growing a little herb garden even if its just on ur window sill or in little pots outside) a dash of black pepper and a dash of olive oil before u eat it, u can sprinkle some cheese on if u like
    delicious, cheap, easy and quick.

  13. babyblu said :

    ABC soup with a bit of pork or chicken breast cut into small pieces and serve with rice in it. Its goods expecially on raining days. and put a bit of pepper, to get rid of wind in your stomach.


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