Monday, October 28, 2013

Healthy on a Budget Challenge

One of my greatest frustrations as a dietitian is when people tell that they can't eat healthy because "it costs too much."  Hogwash.  My daughter K has agreed to help me prove my point.  She is in her first apartment and now realizes that her lack of interest in mom's effort to teach her to cook has left her with a repertoire of 3 dishes.

I designed a 2 week menu for 1-2 people.  In many cases, it reflects the preferences of the menu tester more than the nutrition goals of her mother.  It does require several hours of cooking on the day that you shop, but then the rest of the time it's mostly  assembly and reheating.  They can be eaten in any order desired.  However, anything not to be eaten within the first 3 days should get moved to the freezer.

Oatmeal with Spiced Apples*
Egg Sandwich*
Eggs Benedict*

Lunches (most need to be cold/non-reheat for work)
Ranch Chicken Wrap*
Chicken Sandwich, carrot sticks
BBQ Chicken Sandwich  with lettuce & carrot slaw *
Chicken Pasta Salad *

Baked Chicken, Baked Potato, Green Beans *
Clam Chowder, Toast or Biscuits *
Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons *
White Chicken Chili, Toast *
Chicken Noodle Soup *
Bean & Rice Burritos *
Chicken Quesadilla *
Chicken a la King *
Chicken Rice Bowl *

*Recipes and Posts to follow

I assumed (and was mostly correct) that she had NOTHING to start with.  My first buy was about $110 which included $23 of staples and storage, $25 of foods of basics that would be covered by WIC vouchers for those who would qualify and the remaining being $48 Nutrition Bargain Foods, $8 special ingredients and $7 bakery outlet bread.

Our first round of cooking included:
roasted chicken
baked potatoes
clam chowder
pre-prep of cheese, ham, caramelized onions, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin  pie spice sugar
ranch flavored croutons

and once the chicken cools down: homemade chicken stock

Stay tuned for more.