- Welcome To My Kitchen -

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), U.S. author. The Web and the Rock, ch. 28 (1939).

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Budget and Health Friendly Foods

This week, RecipeMatcher would like to provide readers with some ideas on food choices that are both budget friendly and health friendly:

1. Oats
High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats have also been shown to lower cholesterol. And they sure are cheap—a dollar will buy you more than a week’s worth of hearty breakfasts.

Suggestions: Sprinkle with nuts and fruit in the morning, make oatmeal cookies for dessert.

2. Eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, easy to prepare and you can eat them anytime of the day. And the nice thing about eggs is that you can get about a half dozen of eggs for a dollar and change!

Serving suggestions: scrambled for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches for lunch, and frittatas for dinner.

3. Potatoes
Although we often see potatoes at their unhealthiest, in the form of French fries or potato chips, potatoes are actually nutritious. If you opt for sweet potatoes or yams, you’ll also get a good amount of beta carotene. Plus, they’re dirt cheap and have almost endless culinary possibilities.

Serving suggestions: In the a.m., try breakfast potatoes; for lunch, make potato salad; for dinner, have them baked with sour cream and chives or make baked sweet potato fries as a side dish!

4. Apples
They are a good source of pectin—a fiber that may help reduce cholesterol—and they have the antioxidant Vitamin C, which keeps your blood vessels healthy.

Serving suggestions: sliced; baked for dessert or in muffins or pies.

5. Nuts
Though nuts have a high fat content, they’re packed with the good-for-you fats—unsaturated and monounsaturated. They’re also good sources of essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, and protein. And because they’re so nutrient-dense, you only need to eat a little to get the nutritional benefits. Although some nuts, like pecans and macadamias, can be costly, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds, especially when bought in the shell, are low in cost.

Serving suggestions: Raw; roasted and salted; sprinkled in salads.

6. Bananas
A dollar gets you a banana a day for the workweek. High in potassium and fiber, bananas are a no-brainer when it comes to eating your five a day quotient of fruits and veggies.

Serving suggestions: In smoothies, by themselves, in cereal and yogurt.

7. Whole Grain Pasta
In the days of Atkins, pasta was wrongly convicted, for there is nothing harmful about a complex carbohydrate source that is high in protein and B vitamins. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest staples you can buy.

Serving suggestions: Mix clams and white wine with linguine; eat cold pasta salad for lunch at work.

8. Spinach
Spinach is perhaps one of the best green leafies out there—it has lots of Vitamin C, iron, and trace minerals. Plus, you can usually find it year round.

Serving suggestions: Sautéed with eggs, as a salad, or a Spinach Frittata.

9. Tofu
Not just for vegetarians anymore, tofu is an inexpensive protein source that can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. It’s high in B vitamins and iron, but low in fat and sodium, making it a healthful addition to many dishes.

Serving suggestions: Use silken varieties in Tofu Cheesecake; add to smoothies for a protein boost; cube and marinate for barbecue kebobs.

10. Lowfat Milk
Yes, the price of a gallon of milk is rising, but per serving, it’s still under a dollar; single serving milk products, like yogurt, are usually less than a dollar, too. Plus, you’ll get a lot of benefit for a small investment. Milk is rich in protein, vitamins A and D, potassium, and niacin, and is one of the easiest ways to get bone-strengthening calcium.

Serving suggestions: In smoothies, hot chocolate, or coffee; milk products like low fat cottage cheese and yogurt.

Source: AOL Health

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One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), British novelist. A Room of One’s Own, ch. 1 (1929).