View Full Version : Healthy And Cheap

01-28-2010, 05:43 AM
So lately I've had more interested in improving my ability to cook!

I cook very basic dishes right now, and would like to eventually graduate to moderately difficult ones. But at the same time, I can't spend much money. I already have enough financial troubles and I'd like to start saving my money for surgery.

So here are my criteria:
-no seafood, please
-I'm trying to cut down on beef because of the natural testosterone
-I'm iterested in trying soy because of the natural estrogen
-must be cheap
-must use common ingredients so that I can keep using things without them going to waste
-must only serve one person at a time


01-28-2010, 06:16 AM
-Get some jasmine rice
-Get some Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, like Squid Brand
-Get some Sriracha sauce – the American Huy Fong "cock sauce" and the real Thai stuff are both good
–Get some tempeh
-Make sure you have eggs and oil

-Cook the rice
-Crumble the tempeh and fry up the crumbles with a little bit of oil
-Fry an egg
-Put tempeh on rice
-Put egg on tempeh
-Drizzle with fish sauce and Sriracha sauce
-Stir to blend

Awesome Indochinese-style street breakfast, and pretty much none of that stuff will go bad within a few weeks. You could argue that fish sauce, Sriracha sauce, and tempeh are not common ingredients, but they are all extremely versatile, so they should be common in your kitchen. You could also argue that this isn't particularly healthy, but these ingredients are all minimally processed, so that stands for something.

Actually, I think this might be my breakfast this morning. I've gotten myself all excited.

01-28-2010, 06:55 AM
mannn I need to get some fish sauce. that stuff is concentrated culinary gold.

in a kind of similar vein, one of my favorite things to do is sautee some green beans in peanut sauce, dump in a beaten egg and some sriracha, and stir it all up until it becomes a delicious mound of slop. works well with non-green-bean type vegetables too! I need to try it with snow peas sometime, I'm nuts for snow peas.

01-28-2010, 07:49 AM
You should be able to get tempeh at your local megamart. I've been able to find it for years now.

Couscous is my favorite cheap, protein-rich dish. I usually cook 2-3 servings at once but it stays good in the fridge for awhile, and I suppose you could freeze it? I love eating it with hummus, for even more protein but it can also be good with just a bit of margarine and salt. Some spicy hummus and peppers can be added if you swing that way. Lastly, I don't eat meat but I'd imagine chicken would go pretty well with it.

01-28-2010, 07:53 AM
No. No margarine. The proper butter-like substance to pair with couscous is ghee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee).

01-28-2010, 07:56 AM
No. No margarine. The proper butter-like substance to pair with couscous is ghee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee).

Probably, yes, but I like to avoid dairy, so when I say "margarine" I am using stuff like Earth Balance. It does sound really good, though.

01-28-2010, 12:25 PM
Quinoa. You don't even need to put anything on it. It's $10 at Costco for a 4lb bag and the servings are a lot smaller than rice.

01-28-2010, 03:59 PM
To go along with the Quinoa recommendation:

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe

I used a red quinoa here, but you can use whatever kind you like, white/buff colored seems to be the most common. Also, a few notes and tips from the book: low-fat soy milk may replace the low fat milk, blueberries may replace the blackberries, dark honey may replace the agave nectar, and walnuts may replace the pecans.

1 cup organic 1% low fat milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (hs note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar, such as Madhava brand

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

01-28-2010, 07:35 PM
-must only serve one person at a timeSo as long as that can be refrigerated.

Keep in mind that CHEAP is more important than HEALTHY here. I'm basically doing this because I'm trying to save up for surgery.

Fed up with wating my ingredients today I made the ultimate little old lady move.
I bought one mushroom.
In bulk.
It cost five cents.

01-28-2010, 07:46 PM
Two oranges, two bananas and an apple for the cooking fun club cost me a dollar. Fruit is quite inexpensive.

Unbuttered or lightly buttered microwave popcorn is also rather cheap. I find it filling for the amount of calories you're consuming. I'll often eat some on a lazy weekend or when I don't want to make anything for lunch. My receipt says that I paid $1.60 for three bags of the store brand.

Re: single mushrooms, I buy single heads of garlic all the time, all wrapped up in their own plastic bag and everything. They last forever and it takes me like two weeks to go through one.

01-28-2010, 07:51 PM
That cinnamon quinoa looks AMAZING.

01-29-2010, 04:47 AM
No. No margarine. The proper butter-like substance to pair with couscous is ghee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee).

Ghee? Good Lord man! That makes butter look like Benecol!