Healthy Eating on a Budget
I like this salad because the ingredients are simple and you can use as much or as little of each as you like. Simply mix together:
- Broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Apple, cut into bite-sized chunks (Gala apples taste good in this salad)
- Cheddar cheese, cut into bite-sized chunks
- Pecans, chopped (the flavor is even better if they are toasted)
- Red onion, chopped
- After you have cut up your ingredients, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the salad and stir. Then choose your favorite vinaigrette and stir once more until all pieces are evenly coated. It's colorful, flavorful and healthy!
Toast pecans by laying them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, turning the pecans halfway through the toasting.
OK, so fast-food pizza is laden with grease and we know it's not good for us. Pizza at home can be a better experience, covering most of the major food groups. Pillsbury makes a refrigerated pizza crust that makes this quick and easy. Here's the topping:
- Preheat oven and prepare pizza dough as indicated on package.
- Brown a pound of lean ground beef in a skillet.
- In a separate skillet, saute 2 red and/or green bell peppers and half a white onion until soft. Add spices that you like - anything from red pepper flakes to oregano. Always add a dash of salt and pepper.
- Add 2 cans of tomato sauce (with or without spices or garlic, your preference). Stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
- Stir in the ground beef and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
- Prepare the pizza dough. Use canned pizza sauce or Ragu on the dough, just a few spoons full, and swirl toward the edge of the dough.
- Spoon the ground beef mixture on to the pizza.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Low-fat skim milk cheese is healthiest, of course. Mozzarella is traditional, and other pizza or Italian blends can be found at your local grocer.
- Follow the directions on the can for the pizza dough baking time.
This makes enough to top 2 or 3 pizzas. If you don't want to make that many, use the leftover beef on rice or pasta.
Carrots and Pineapple
This is a variation of a recipe my mother gave to me. It's versatile, goes with almost any meal.
- In a saucepan, bring 1 pound of baby carrots to a boil. Cook until just tender.
- In another saucepan, combine 1 20-oz. can of crushed pineapple (including juice), 5 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Bring it to a boil; cook and stir/whisk for 2 minutes.
- Drain the carrots; add the pineapple mixture. Gently stir and serve.
Packing brown sugar involves spooning a little brown sugar into a measuring cup at a time, pressing it down with the back of the spoon as you go.
A twist on fish, this is almost comfort food!
- Mix 1 pound of salmon (canned), 1 pinch of salt, 2 slices of bread (shredded), 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in a bowl.
- Form into patties and place in warm pan laced with a little extra virgin olive oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.
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