Healthy Recipes on a Budget

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Sure, fresh fruits and vegetables are typically more expensive than healthier options, but healthy choices can be made by strategically choosing vegetables and fruits that are in season and on sale. Combining food choices with healthy fillers can help people stretch the budget and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a couple of examples:

Chicken Piccata
This recipe contains essential ingredients for a healthy diet but is still flavorful. When served over whole wheat pasta in a lemon-caper sauce, the recipe meets the requirements for the daily dose of grains and partial requirements for vitamin C. Chicken is a healthier source of protein for meat-eaters. Fish may be substituted for those who prefer a dose of Omega-3s with their diet. A synopsis of the recipe is included:



Ingredients:



• Two cups of low-sodium chicken broth


• One-third cup all-purpose flour


• One-half of teaspoon salt


• One-quarter teaspoon of freshly ground pepper


• Six ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta


• Four chicken cutlets


• Three teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil


• One 10-ounce package of mushrooms


• Three large cloves of minced garlic


• One-half cup of white wine


• Two tablespoons of lemon juice


• One-quarter cup of chopped fresh parsley


• Two tablespoons of capers


• Two teaspoons of butter

Preparation:



1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse.


2. Combine five teaspoons of flour and broth and blend until smooth. In a shallow dish, place the remaining flour.


3. Season the cutlets with one-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper and cover both sides in flour. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until browned. Transfer to a plate and keep the cutlets warm. 


4. In one teaspoon of oil, add mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm


5. Add garlic and wine to the pan. Cook the mixture until reduced by half.


6. Add the lemon juice, broth and flour mixture, lemon juice and one-quarter teaspoon of salt. Simmer the mixture until the sauce is thickened. 


7. Add parsley, butter, capers and the reserved mushrooms.


8. Remove one-half cup of mushroom sauce. Cover the pasta with the remaining sauce.


9. Place the chicken atop the pasta and serve with sauce.

Eat Healthy and Be Well
This entire meal can be prepared for under $5 if the staple spices are already present in the pantry. The recipe is healthy and delicious. A green vegetable, such as asparagus or brussel sprouts, may be added for additional nutritional benefits.