Jodi Balis is Capital Area Food Bank’s Resident Dietitian
What makes Eating Healthy on a Budget fun? Recreating and evolving your favorite recipes!
The strategy: Start with food you know and like, and then tweak to incorporate whole grains, fruits and veggies, and protein to round out your plate.
Take pizza for example. A food favorite among adults and kids alike, pizza is a versatile recipe with a lot of “Get Your Plate in Shape” potential. In this tortilla pizza, a whole grain tortilla plays the role of the crust, herbs flavor it up, mozzarella cheese offers up protein, and a variety of veggies can be a topping.
4 whole wheat tortillas
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (or fresh tomatoes when in season, with seeds removed)
2 cups veggies (suggestions: chopped broccoli, corn, chopped spinach)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ¼ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray, canola oil, or olive oil for the pan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or oil baking pan. In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, tomatoes, and herbs. Place tortillas on a baking pan and spread tomato sauce on top. Add veggies and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Cut “pies” into 4 slices and enjoy!
Eating Healthy on a Budget Tips
Freshen it up with Herbs
Grow fresh herbs such as basil and oregano in containers and use instead of dried herbs when in season. When using fresh herbs, double the amount that is recommended in the recipe.
While pre-shredded cheeses are convenient, purchasing cheese blocks and shredding yourself can be more economical.
Stretch Your Ingredients
Stretch more expensive protein such as meat. Top your pizza with chopped chicken for added protein.