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Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

It’s fall and soup’s on

This month’s featured recipe, 3-Can Chili,  is one of my “Go-To” recipes. You know what I mean—the ones that you know by heart, make often, and everyone likes. Plus, you can have this one on the table in about 20 minutes. To lower the cost, I buy canned tomatoes, canned beans, and frozen corn when they are on sale. I use my price book so I know a good price and try never to buy full price.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

It’s Cold Outside, Time for Soup

Soup is a great comfort food for winter meals, and so good for you too. Our featured recipe for January is  Mexican Chicken Soup. Making this soup takes less time than getting in the car and driving through your favorite takeout place. You don’t have to cook the chicken ahead of time. Just place raw boneless chicken in the pot with the other ingredients. After cooking for about 20 minutes, take the chicken out and shred it into bite-size pieces. Serve it with tortilla chips or bread, apple/orange slices and you have a meal with something from each food group plus plenty of fiber. For extra instruction, check out the preparation video under the recipe instructions.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Meatless Meals – What about beans?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about meatless meals on our Facebook page.  Choosing to go meatless for a meal or for an entire day is one way to save a little money on your grocery bill.  This can be easy at breakfast and lunch, but tends to be a little more difficult at supper time.  Even with a husband and a son who like to have meat with their meals, our family enjoys a meatless supper together once or twice each week.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake

Our featured recipe this month is Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake.  It is a very easy recipe that costs about $.80 a serving. You can use any combination of 4 cups of meat and beans that you have.  The recipe also calls for salsa. I use medium, but if you want a little more heat you could use a spicier salsa, add a hot pepper, or add a little hot sauce. Be sure you save a little of the enchilada filling to spread on top of the enchiladas.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Mediterranean Diet

The last couple of weeks I have been studying the Mediterranean diet in Crete.  This diet, which is named for the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and higher life expectancy.  The locals brag that almost everyone in Crete has a relative that is over 100 years old  (it seems like the older I get, the more important life expectancy is to me!).

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Quick Garbanzo Bean Soup

I make lots of soup in the winter.  It’s easy to do, lasts for several meals, and I can freeze small containers of it to take to work for lunch.  Most of the soup I make is broth or vegetable-based without lots of cream or cheese so it is low in calories.

edamame

Edamame?

What is it? Have you tried it? What do you think of it?

assortment of beans

Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit

There are many benefits to eating beans. They are high in fiber, protein, iron, folate, and potassium. In addition, they are inexpensive so easy on the budget. There’s just one little problem…they can cause intestinal gas. And how embarrassing is that! The good news is there are ways to help reduce the amount of intestinal gas caused by eating beans.

glass jars of beans

Beans, Beans, Beans

This month at Spend Smart. Eat Smart., we have been talking a lot about beans. We love beans because they are packed with nutrition and they are inexpensive. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite bean recipes from our website. Try one out this week, I am sure you will enjoy it!

rinsing chickpeas

Don’t Let Dry Beans Scare You

As I wrote in my last blog on beans, they fit many of my requirements as a mom and dietitian. They are very nutritious, they’re inexpensive, and they work well in dishes my family enjoys. Most of the time I use canned beans. They are very convenient and besides draining and rinsing, require no additional cooking. You can find ‘no salt added’ canned beans, which is great since many of us get more than enough sodium in our diets. And they usually don’t cost any more than the regular kind. If you’d rather not use the ‘no salt added’ kind, rinse the beans to reduce the sodium.

Zucchini Hummus Wrap

Eat Your Beans at (Almost) Every Meal

This month is all about incorporating more plants into meals. To switch it up at my house, I try to make vegetarian meals at least twice a week. Not only does it help my family save money, but it helps add variety to our meals. 

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Beans with Miles and Justine

Over the weekend, I decided to make a couple of batches of dried beans to have on hand to make quick meals over the next couple of weeks. My son, Miles, took a break from his summer schedule of playing with his brother and sister to help me out. Miles and I used these Preparing Dried Beans instructions to make our beans. Watch our video below to see us in action.