Stock Up Smartly: Single Ingredients Can Make Multiple Meals


Recently I had a conversation with an old friend about her new hobby of shopping grocery sales and using double coupons. After I listened to her describe her most  recent grocery triumphal conquest, I asked what she was able to purchase at such amazing discounts. I was excited to learn the magical secret! I was quickly dismayed to hear about the chips, fruit juices, canned fruit and cookies…

Buying foods that fit within your budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice good nutrition. Stock your kitchen with staples that are endlessly versatile and packed with nutrients, such as brown rice, dry beans, whole grain pasta, seasonal fresh fruit, frozen vegetables, and canned tuna. Many of these foods can often be found at great prices, especially when purchasing in bulk or in season.

Here are more penny-wise but flavorful foods that can help you do double duty in the kitchen with a variety of easy meals and snacks. At the end, feel free to share your experiences, comments or suggestions on the meal ideas. You are  also welcomed to message me on Facebook to learn more about other foods I suggest for a healthier, more fit lifestyle.  Let’s make a healthier you!!

WHOLE-GRAIN TORTILLAS

Nutrition perks: Fiber, folate

Breakfast wrap: Warm up a tortilla and fill it with scrambled eggs or tofu and diced veggies.

Snack roll-up: Spread a tortilla with peanut butter. Add grated carrots, raisins and a drizzle of honey.

Santa Fe burrito: Fill a tortilla with hot mashed pinto beans. Top with minced green onion, and salsa.

Chicken Salad Wrap: Fill a tortilla with chicken salad for lunch of dinner.

GROUND TURKEY

Nutrition perks: Protein, iron, zinc, niacin

Breakfast scramble: Saute ground turkey with hash browns, minced green onion, and diced sweet pepper.

Better burger: Grill patties filled with your favorite seasonings.

Crowd pleaser: Add turkey meatballs to marinara sauce. Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti or in a multi-grain hoagie bun.

LENTILS

Nutrition perks: Protein, potassium, folate, fiber

Lentil pockets: Season cooked lentils with herbs, olive oil, and red wine vinegar; stuff into a whole wheat pita pocket and top with diced cucumber, tomato and yogurt.

Hearty soup: Cook lentils with tomato, celery, onion, carrots, and curry spices.

Lentil croquettes: Mix mashed lentils with ketchup and seasonings. Form into small patties, roll in dried bread crumbs, and saute in olive oil.

FROZEN SPINACH

Nutrition perks: Magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin

Popeye’s breakfast: Set a poached egg on a nest of cooked spinach. Top with grated cheese and salsa.

Skinny dip: Add thawed, drained spinach to low-fat sour cream and seasonings. Serve with raw veggies, baked chips or whole wheat crackers.

Green pizza: Top a packaged pizza crust with tomato sauce, spinach, sliced tomatoes, black olives and low-fat mozzarella. Bake until underside of crust is brown.

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