Tuesday, April 17, 2012

12 Quick, Easy, Cheap and Healthy Meals

Many of these recipes will be semi-homemade and include products from Trader Joe's. I find TJ's to be one of the cheapest and best grocery stores around. And I'm sorry if you don't have one near. Many of these are made with a George Foreman grill (GF), toaster oven, and/or microwave. So grab one from Wal-mart and get cookin' healthy! *denotes vegan/vegan option.

  1. Chick(e)n PizzaDilla (dee-yah)*
    1. Heat a nonstick pan with 1 Tbsp Earth Balance. Place one whole wheat tortilla down. Cover with grilled chick(e)n and Daiya/light cheese. Spice up with oregano, garlic, and onion. Place second tortilla on top and press down with spatula. Once cheese is starting to melt, flip the dilla. It's done when crispy and melty. Cut into 6 pieces. Place a 1/2 cup of marinara on a plate and dip that hot thang!  Enjoy with a cup of spinach/fresh veggies on the side (cold or cooked).
  2. Chick(e)n PitaDilla*
    1. Cook up some Gardein chik'n scallopini or regular chicken on your GF grill. When that's done, heat up your Mediterranean Pita (90 calories each) until pliable. Place chick(e)n, 3 Tbsp hummus, a handful of spinach, and handful of Daiya or light cheese on one side of the pita. Fold in half and press down grill. It's done when the cheese is melting out and there are grill marks on your bread. 
        1.  I make many versions of this, using whatever I have on hand. If I don't have one thing, I switch it out for another. No chicken? Use tofu/tempeh/mushrooms. No spinach? Use romaine/kale. No hummus? Use light mayo/sauce.
  3. Veggies and Hummus*
    1.  Heat up 4 mini-whole wheat pita pockets (TJ's) in toaster oven or GF grill for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up: 1 bell pepper, 1 cucumber, & a handful of organic baby carrots. Enjoy with a 1/2 cup of organic hummus.
  4. Miso Soup and Brown Rice*
    1. Microwave a frozen rice packet (Trader Joe's has brown and wild mixed rice) for 3 minutes. Set aside. Place a cereal bowl in the microwave filled 3/4 of purified water for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop a green onion stalk into small rings. Square a half cup of tofu (preferably silken soft). Drop a tablespoon of miso paste in hot water and stir. Add in  tofu and green onions. Enjoy 1 cup of rice on the side with 1 Tbsp Earth Balance or mix it into the soup if you like it that way. 
  5. Tofu Scramble*
    1. Place chopped veggies such as bell peppers, green onions, tomatos, and mushrooms on a heated nonstick pan. Saute with a tsp of Earth Balance until soft. Spice up with garlic, onion, and paprika. Add in one box of silken soft tofu. Add one handful of Daiya cheese or light mozzarella/cheddar. Stir until cheese is melted throughout. Enjoy with a banana or chopped strawberries on the side. This meal is good anytime of the day! 
  6. Tofu Edamame Nuggets
    1. Buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Cook one serving in the toaster oven, on a small foil-lined pan for 5-8 minutes (or until cooked through). You will see them start to brown, and you'll know they're done. You could also cook these on the GF grill for less time. Enjoy with honey, ketchup, or your favorite "nugget" sauce. Have a salad on the side with a low-fat dressing. 
  7. Spicy Arrabatia Pasta*
    1. Buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Cook on stove top for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast up some fresh sourdough bread. Cover with 1 tsp organic Earth Balance, and a dash of each: garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  
  8. Chick(e)n Spinach Salad*
    1. Grill up/heat up some Gardein/grilled chicken on a George Foreman or stove top. Place 2 cups organic spinach in a bowl. Top with chopped cucumber, bell pepper, and dried cranberries. Place cooked chick(e)n on top. Drizzle with favorite low-cal dressing. I use brown rice vinegar and miso paste, plus S+P. 
  9. Wheat-Free Waffle Breakfast*
    1. Buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Toast. Cover bottom one with a layer of sliced bananas.  Cover top one with organic Earth Balance and agave/maple syrup. Have yogurt and fresh fruit on the side. 
  10. Black Bean Enchilada*
    1. Buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Microwave for 4 minutes. Have a salad on the side.
  11. Vegan Chick'n Parm*
    1. Grill/heat 3 crispy chick'n strips. (I use my George Foreman grill) After crispy, but not cooked all the way through, take out and put on a plate. Cover with a handful of Daiya/light mozzarella and some organic tomato basil marinara. Cover with paper plate and microwave for 1 minute (or until cheese is melted). 
  12. Thai Gyoza Miso Soup
    1. Microwave a bowl of purified water and 3 Veggie Thai Gyoza for 3 minutes. When done, take out carefully with rag/oven mitt and place a Tbsp of miso paste. Stir. Optional: Add chopped tofu.  

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