Here are some low-budget recipes, courtesy of Leah's Pantry, an organization committed to improving the lives and potential of people living in economically disadvantaged communities, through cooking and nutrition workshops and events.
Tofu Banana Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes - Yield: 2 servings
1/2 c. water
4 oz. vanilla low fat yogurt
1/2 c. (4 oz.) soft tofu, drained
1 banana, cut into chunks
4 ice cubes
1. Place the yogurt, water, tofu, berries, and banana in a blender. Cover and process until smooth.
2. While the blender is running, drop ice cubes into the blender one at a time. Process until smooth.
3. Pour and enjoy!
Recipe Benefits: Tofu is low-fat and rich in protein, and berries provide antioxidants.
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread
NOTE: This recipe has some issues. I've only left it up on this site because I blogged about trying to make it – Gayle
Prep time: 20 minutes - Cooking time: 20 minutes - Yield: 1 loaf
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Grind oatmeal in a food processor or blender. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, dissolve honey in vegetable oil; then stir in the milk. Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
This is an inexpensive alternative to buying bread! The whole grains in this bread provide fiber and nutrients.
Black Bean Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes - Yield: 12 servings
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 green onions, chopped or 1 medium onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Combine ingredients, chill, and serve.
Serve this with whole wheat tortillas or brown rice, and you have a healthy, complete, whole food meal! Add broiled chicken breast to create a heartier meal.
Kids might like this to accompany cheese quesadillas.
This recipe contains about 8g fat (monounsaturated from avocados and dressing), 5g fiber, and 5g protein.
This salad is rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and is a good source of a variety of vegetables. It can be easily modified as needed. This salad is good for several days in the fridge.
Hummus and Veggie Wraps
Prep time: 15 minutes - Yield: 4 servings
4 Whole wheat tortillas (large or burrito size) 1 green pepper, sliced
1 Tomato, sliced (1 container alfalfa sprouts - optional)
1-1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
1. Puree in blender all ingredients for hummus. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1. Spread hummus on tortilla
2. Layer sliced veggies
3. Roll up & eat!
Whole wheat wraps and hummus are high in fiber and protein, and the vegetables inside provide additional fiber and nutrients.
Prep time: 20 minutes - Cooking time: 1 hour - Yield: 6 servings
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar (optional)
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.
Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber. This soup can be prepared in large batches and frozen to have a simple, nutritious meal on hand any time.
Here's a recipe for kids, from Lisa Barnes, author of the Petit Appetit cookbook.
Cottage Noodles from The Petit Appetit Cookbook
Here’s an easy and more nutritious alternative to the standard “buttered noodles.” The cottage cheese provides protein, and the cinnamon and raisins give some sweetness. If making this for someone less than one year, you may want to choose egg-free noodles.
Makes 2, 1 cup servings
½ cup small curd cottage cheese
8 oz. wide noodles
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
Cook noodles in pot of boiling water over medium-high heat until tender, about 10 minutes or according to manufacturing instructions. Drain noodles, then toss with cottage cheese, cinnamon, and raisins, until combined.