Favorite, quick, cheap, semi-healthy dishes

Avatar for cfk_3
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Registered: 05-14-1999
Favorite, quick, cheap, semi-healthy dishes
10
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 1:22pm

Okay, Florida and Free's suggestions in Mel's thread made me hongray.  I thought I'd share a few ideas, too!  I hope you guys chime in because I loved the other suggestions : )

At most stores, in the "ethnic isle" you can usually find jerk seasoning.  This stuff is so good.  I like to marinate my chicken for 30 mins, then grill or bake it.  Heat up a can of black beans, chop up a red onion, throw in some lettuce, cherry tomatoes and sour cream if you want and dinner is done.  I usually cheat and add a handful of crushed Sun Chips for crunch.  

Another fav is fish with Cajun seasoning such as Old Bay.  You can stick it in the fridge before work with a dash or two of olive oil, coat with the seasoning, come home, fry it up in a hot pan with just a pat of butter - 2 to 4 mins each side.  Yum.  I like mine served alongside brown rice which, you can buy in the five-minute version.  

I also lurv turkey burgers.  All I add is a little garlic salt.  You can cut them in half, wrap them up with lettuce, adding all of your other favorite burger toppings/condiments and never miss the bread.

One of my fav things to make for lunch is sliced bell peppers, onions sauteed down w/ a tiny bit of olive oil, salt & pepper.  Use the oil residue from the peppers to brown up a whole wheat tortilla, top with the peppers, a little cheese, place another tortilla on top, flip, brown and lunch is served.  I use the smaller six inch tortillas and it's very filling.

Avatar for floridagirl52
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Registered: 10-16-2006
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 5:14pm

Thos all sound good--I'll have to try! Is the jerk seasoning dry or is it in a jar?

This is a really easy recipe I got from Everyday Food. Take a 6 oz. salmon filet (OK, they aren't always cheap), mix about a tablespoon of fresh ginger with enough honey and soy sauce to make a paste. Spread it on top of the fish and bake in a 450 oven for about 12-15 minutes. Have a salad with it, and microwave two little red potatoes with rosemary (I grow my own) add a sliver of butter and some salt when cooked. Yum! Note: buy a chunk of fresh ginger and process the whole chunk in a little food processor. Get out your favorite plastic ice cube tray and spoon the ginger into the compartments. Freeze. When frozen, pop them out and store them in a bag in the freezer. Voila--you have fresh ginger anytime you want! You can also freeze salmon, or any fish.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 5:36pm

I've bought two different brands of the jerk and both have been jarred.  The salmon recipe sounds good.  I can't do salmon all by itself so I will definitely be trying this . . . I usually smother it with dill.  This will be a welcome alternative.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 6:10pm

I make turkey burgers sometimes but I never get the premade ones.  I buy the ground turkey, throw in an egg and some breadcrumbs and make them myself.  When I make meatballs I also use ground turkey instead of ground beef--the secret to my meatballs is to put in 1/2 cup of milk--it makes them more moist.  I also use Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

I also like to make a taco salad.  I don't know if the taco seasoning is that healthy--I should get a recipe & make my own, but at least there is salad and I'll put in some crushed tortilla chips (the whole grain kind are very tasty) and put some fresh salsa on top, which tastes much better than the jarred kind.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 6:38pm
My easy dinners usually involve a turkey burger and baked potato. I put a potato in the oven (regular or sweet) before I head to the basement to run and it's done by the time I get out of the shower. I buy the frozen turkey burgers so I don't have to mess with weighing the meat and it takes less than ten minutes to cook. I throw on some pepper jack and it's pretty good. Tonight I'm making quesadillas on corn tortillas. A little more effort, but they're yummy.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Sun, 03-17-2013 - 8:45pm

My go-to quick dinners:

1. On the weekend, I'll often roast a big pan of vegetables in the oven.  In the summer, I put them in the grill basket. Whatever is in season, on sale, etc.  Then, I'll use the veggies throughout the week to toss with pasta, or eat with a burger, etc.

2. Scrambled eggs, or if I have some vegetables on hand (see above) a quick frittata.

3. Pizza - I buy 1lb. of whole wheat dough, and then split it into 4 oz. portions in the freezer.  I can defrost one in the morning, and make a pizza that night, topped with cheese, vegetables, or whatever I have on hand.

4. Stir Fry - I keep bags of frozen stir fry vegetables in the freezer, and cook them with chicken, beef, or tofu, and then make instant brown rice.

During the fall and winter, I almost alway make a pot of soup, stew, or chili on the weekends, and freeze half in individual portions to either take for lunch, or to use for dinner.  The trick here is labeing them - I currently have a few container of "mystery soup" in my freezer. :)

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Mon, 03-18-2013 - 8:10am

Oh, and for the salmon: be sure to squeeze on plenty of lemon juice 

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Mon, 03-18-2013 - 10:53am

I have yet to taste a store-bought salsa that I can eat.  

Next time you make your meatballs, try adding a 1/4 cup of grated romano cheese.  I found it in a recipe years ago and now I never make them w/o it.  

If my (healthy-ish) food doesn't pack a punch of flavor, I feel cheated so thanks for all the great ideas, guys ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Mon, 03-18-2013 - 6:23pm

CFK - I agree on the spices!  I am lucky to live near a Penzey' spice store - http://www.penzeys.com/

If there happens to be one close to you, I recommend checking it out.  They have multiple kinds of paprika (I love smoked) and lots of other great spice and blends.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Mon, 03-18-2013 - 8:03pm

I couldn't find a store locator on their site and have never heard the name before, guess we don't have them here.  That's a brilliant concept though.  Especially if their prices are good.  Spices can be $$$ (just found one in Memphis, maybe they will slowly make their way east, LOL)

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Registered: 03-23-2013
Sat, 03-23-2013 - 8:32pm

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