These easy weeknight meals are a delicious way to save.
The other day I heard my mother-in-law, who was visiting, yell at some corporate bigwig on the evening news to “Give us our
money back!” Like many of us, she’s thinking about her finances these days. Eating at home more often is one easy way to cut
costs. But by how much? We started calculating the price tag for recipes in EatingWell a couple of months ago. It turns out
that eating healthfully at home can be pretty affordable compared with going out. And we’re not talking about converting to a
strict beans-and-rice diet every night of the week. We’ve even included New York steak
and wild Alaskan salmon
in this lineup
of weeknight meals and they all come in at $4.50 or less a serving—a fraction of what they would cost in a restaurant.
These meals are so affordable, in part, for the same reason that they’re so good for you: we don’t overdo it on meat. Eating
less meat or even vegetarian meals occasionally is healthy. When we include meat or fish in our recipes, we recommend a
reasonable-size portion of 3 to 4 ounces per serving. That may seem small if you’re used to plate-size porterhouse steaks,
but we promise that these recipes won’t leave you hungry. We make sure they also include plenty of whole grains, veggies,
fruit and flavor. Besides the New York steak (on kebabs with potatoes and peppers) and the salmon (with a spicy red pepper
sauce and grilled zucchini) we’ve also got a pizza
topped with arugula and fresh tomatoes
rancheros with green salsa
and oven-fried fish-and
. I definitely can’t fix the stock market for my mother-in-law. But I can offer these five recipes as a personal
financial stimulus plan that’s both tasty and healthful.
Huevos Rancheros Verdes
—Huevos rancheros or
“ranch eggs” is a classic Mexican dish that is great for a quick dinner. Traditionally, it’s made with a red tomato-based
sauce. Here we use tart and tangy green salsa instead. Serve with: brown rice and slices of avocado.
Steak & Potato Kebabs with
Creamy Cilantro Sauce
—Steak kebabs get a Southwestern spin with poblano peppers and a creamy sauce spiked with cilantro,
chile powder, cumin and vinegar. The potatoes are partially cooked in the microwave before putting them on the grill so
they’re done at the same time as faster-cooking steak, peppers and onions. Serve with: Green salad and Spanish rice.
Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with
Red Pepper Sauce
—Jazz up simply grilled salmon and summer vegetables with a zesty sauce based on the classic Spanish
romesco. Made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and almonds, this sauce is a great match for any seafood, poultry or
vegetables. Using smoked paprika brings out the flavors from the grill. Serve with: Grilled baguette.
Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza
prosciutto and fontina cheese flavor this white pizza. Topping the hot-out-of-the-oven pizza with fresh greens and diced
tomatoes gives it a delicious, summery twist. We use store-bought pizza dough to keep it quick. Serve with: Crunchy
vegetables and your favorite dip.
Oven-Fried Fish & ChipsSee More Healthy
Budget-Friendly Recipes and Menus.
—Fish and chips are
traditionally sold wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease—not a good sign. To cut the calories in half and reduce the
fat, we coat the delicate fish in a crispy cornflake crust and then bake it along with sliced potatoes. Serve with: Coleslaw
and malt vinegar or lemon wedges.