Monday, December 5, 2011

Signature Dishes - Cheap, Healthy, Easy to Prepare Meals

I don't do a lot of cooking, but I do have a few dishes I make that I thought I would share with you.  These meals are healthy and easy to make, not to mention, they are very affordable.  Below you will find the ingredients, directions on how to make it, and a picture of how it looks when it's done.  

Rice with Black Beans and Mixed Vegetables

Ingredients: Instant Brown Rice (Uncle Bens), Black Beans (Bush's), Green Giant Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Broccoli and Peppers) in the box, Butter.

Directions: Preparing this is very easy.  Cook the rice according to the box.  It takes about 10 minutes.  Cook the veggies in the microwave from a couple minutes.  Warm up the beans in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Put some butter on the rice and then mix everything together on the plate.  You can decide on the amounts of each depending on your serving size.  The cost for the meal is under $2.

Pasta with Mixed Vegetables 

Ingredients: Pasta (Barilla Mezzi Rigatoni), Marinara Sauce (Rinaldi No Salt Added), Green Giant Mixed Vegetables (Carrot, Cucumber, Green Beans) in the box, Butter.

Directions: This one is similar to the previous dish except it is pasta instead of rice.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Cook the vegetables in the microwave for a couple minutes.  Put the pasta on the plate, add some butter, and put the vegetables on top, and you are ready to go!  Like the rice dish, this one cost less than $2 for the meal.

Tips: I usually get at least 2 meals out of each preparation, and 2 preparations for each box of pasta and rice, so it comes out to about 4 meals per box.  You can substitute different ingredients and brands, for example, using a different rice or pasta, or a different kind of vegetable.  For health tips, I recommend not using a lot of butter to keep the saturated fat down.  Also for the sauce, look for low sodium varieties to keep the sodium content down.

I hope you like these quick, healthy, economical recipes.  If you try them, let me know what you think!

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