Thrifty Thursday: Cheap, healthy meal ideas

We're helping you eat healthy on a budget. You might think it costs a lot to buy the right foods but that's not always true. Eating healthy foods doesn't have to be as expensive as you think. Registered dietician Julie Feldman has three quick an easy recipes that won't have to break the bank.

"Tuna avocado melts using canned tuna which is one of the cheapest things (and) least expensive ways to always have healthy protein on hand," explained Feldman. "There's tuna avocado, shallots, tomatoes. All of these recipes are under five dollars per person."

"(And in) an egg white frittata there's spinach, reduced fat cheddar cheese and I threw in some red peppers," she added.

Simple and affordable. The ingredients will only cost you a few bucks. Then after your healthy and inexpensive breakfast and lunch it's time for dinner.

"(Try) a simple chicken squash apple bake. It's really good. It's a one dish dinner," said Feldman.

It’s flavorful for only about $10 total.

Tuna Melt with Avocado


                                2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

                                2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots

                                1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

                                1/4 teaspoon black pepper

                                1/8 teaspoon salt

                                1 (6-ounce) can solid white tuna in water, drained and flaked

                                1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

                                1 avocado

                                1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

                                1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese

                                2 (6-ounce) pieces French bread, halved lengthwise and toasted


1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to coat. Place juice in a small bowl. Peel, seed, and chop avocado. Add avocado to juice; toss. Add avocado mixture and tomatoes to tuna mixture; toss well to combine. Sprinkle cheese evenly over cut sides of bread, and broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Place 1 bread slice, cheese side up, on each of 4 plates, and divide tuna mixture evenly among bread slices.

Sustainable Choice: Solid white tuna is albacore, the most sustainable choice among varieties of tuna.                       


Butternut Squash-Chicken Roast

In this super easy one-pot recipe, all you do is set chicken on top of a mix of squash, apples and sage and roast it.

      Yield: 6



                                1 (1 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice

                                3 Fuji apples, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice

                                1 tablespoon sage, chopped

                                1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


                                Freshly ground pepper

                                6 (3 pounds) whole chicken legs

                                2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large roasting pan, toss the squash, apples and sage with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Season the chicken legs and set them on top. Dot with the butter and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the squash and apples are tender and the chicken is browned and cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Place the roasting pan over a burner and boil, stirring, until the pan juices are reduced, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and serve.


Egg White Frittata

Ingredients (makes 3 servings of 2 frittatas each)

·       4 Egg Whites

·       1 whole egg

·       Salt and Pepper to taste

·       ½ cup baby spinach

·       ¼ medium size yellow Bell Pepper

·       ½ cup Reduced fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese

·       1 tbsp Olive Oil


·       Pre-heat oven to 350

·       Beat egg whites and whole egg together

·       In a skillet, add olive oil and heat for about 3 minutes on medium. Add spinach and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes)

·       Add the spinach, cheese and bell peppers to the egg mixture

·       Pour mixture into a greased glass baking dish or into muffin cooks and bake for 30 minutes