Homecooked, Healthy Meals that Don’t Break the Bank

Lately, I have been LOVING to cook. I love to find new recipes and find something that is both budget friendly, on the healthier side and hits the taste buds juuuuuust right. These meals don’t range any more over $10-$15 and maybe even less than that! And even better, you will get four or meals out of each recipe! SCORE! These don’t take long and are ohhhh so yummy.

 

  1. Chicken & Spinach Skillet

(This one is SUPER easy)

 

In this recipe you need:

  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts cut into strips

  • 1 medium onion diced

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • One -14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

 

  1. Place the oil in a saute pan on medium to high heat. Add the chicken strips, cook and stir until browned. (about 10 minutes) Add the diced onion to the pan, cook until onion is soft.

  2. Add the undrained tomatoes, water and seasonings to the pan, bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, cook and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Serve over long grain rice that was cooked in chicken broth.

With this recipe, I paired it with wild rice and I then sauteed zucchini and asparagus and ate it with that as well. Super yummy and super easy! 

 

Next one is a shrimp recipe, if you know me I LOVEEEE shrimp!

 

2) Tomato Spinach Shrimp Pasta (Similar to the first, but still very different)

 

You will need for this recipe:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 8oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or more, to taste

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

  • 6oz fresh spinach

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8oz penne or spaghetti

  • 2 Tablespoons high-quality olive oil (optional)

 

1. To make this tomato spinach shrimp pasta recipe: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt in the skillet and cook on medium heat until shrimp is cooked through – about 5 minutes. Remove grilled shrimp from skillet and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic. Cook on medium heat for about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little and tomatoes release some of their juice. Remove from heat and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Cover with a lid and keep off heat. 

3. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the tomatoes and spinach. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

4. Once pasta and veggies are off heat, add grilled shrimp back and drizzle with good quality olive oil just before serving, for an extra taste. Serve the shrimp pasta immediately, enjoy!

With this, I served with a veggie on the side! Enjoy!

Next up, another shrimp recipe - Honey Garlic Shrimp!

 

  1. Honey Garlic Shrimp

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic

  • optional: 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 lb medium tail-on shrimp , peeled & deveined

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

  • optional: chopped green onion for garnish

 

  1. Whisk the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in a medium bowl.

  2. Place shrimp in a large zipped-top bag or tupperware. Pour 1/2 of the marinade mixture on top, give it all a shake or stir, then allow shrimp to marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or for up to 8-12 hours. Cover and refrigerate the rest of the marinade for step 3. (Time-saving tip: while the shrimp is marinating, I steamed broccoli and microwaved some quick brown rice.)

  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in the skillet. (Discard used marinade.) Cooking shrimp on one side until no longer pink-- about 45 seconds-- then flip shrimp over. Pour in remaining marinade and cook it all until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute more.

  4. Serve shrimp with cooked marinade sauce and a garnish of green onion. The sauce is excellent on brown rice and steamed veggies on the side.

 

I served this one with a quinoa on the side and typically broccoli or asparagus!

 

Next up is a carb loaded pasta and protein recipe that is SO good...

 

4) One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo

    You will need:

 

  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound of chicken cut into bite sized pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 14 oz smoked sausage sliced on the diagonal

  • 4 cloves of garlic minced

  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream

  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning plus more for topping

  • 4 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley minced

*Note: I typically use Wheat Penne Pasta and I do add a cup of spinach to the recipe. Also, not to mention this makes a LOT of food, so typically I half this recipe and I still have plenty for leftovers. :)

 

Instructions:

  1. Start with a large covered cooking pot.

  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil over medium high heat.

  3. Add sausage and continue to cook until lightly browned.

  4. Stir in garlic and cook for for about two minutes.

  5. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.

  6. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

  7. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

  • This is typically when I put in the spinach.

  1. Remove pot from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

  2. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional cajun seasoning to taste.

Serves super well with a veggie of choice!

 

These are some of my top four favorite recipes to make, I hope you enjoy them as much as I always do!