Affordable Nutrition for the New Year

As we all transition from the extra expense and calories of celebrating the holidays into the belt-tightening (in more ways than one) of the new year, nutritious recipes that are easy on the budget are worth their weight in gold…or coins, at any rate. This roundup is easy on the wallet and the waistline, but doesn’t skimp on flavor for a minute. Enjoy this jumpstart for a healthier new year!

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Enchilada Casserole

3 Guiding StarsThe ingredient list may look long, but don’t let it phase you: the ingredients here are not expensive, they’re available in the Mexican section of most grocery stores and they come together quickly into a filling, delicious meal that will feed your family for a couple meals. (3 Guiding Stars)

French Lentils with Chard

3 Guiding StarsYour mind might not jump straight to lentils when you’re looking for something delicious to eat, but trust us, lentils done right are awesome…and about as cheap as it comes. Not comfortable with making lentils? Check out our guide on how to cook them. (3 Guiding Stars)

Creamy Hummus

3 Guiding StarsRecipe prep doesn’t get much simpler than “open a bunch of cans and puree.” You’ll love the flavor on this, and it makes a fantastic frugal alternative to more expensive cold cuts and nut butters as a protein-packed option for sandwich filling. (3 Guiding Stars)

Roasted Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing

3 Guiding StarsVegetables can be much most cost-effective per serving than meat. Add to that the likelihood that vegetables are what you struggle to get enough of, and you’ve got a great reason to make veggies the main course and meat the side. Have extra of one veggie or another in your pantry? Toss ’em together with this sauce and enjoy! (3 Guiding Stars)

Pumpkin Irish Oatmeal

3 Guiding StarsYou’ve got leftover pumpkin (and the usual spice-spects) that probably shouldn’t be made into pie. You’ve got oatmeal in your pantry because it’s a good staple to have on hand. You’ve got most of what you need to put together a delicious, affordable gourmet-tasting oatmeal for a Saturday morning. No time to cook? Go ahead and toss the ingredients in a slow cooker, cutting the liquid by about a third, and let it go overnight. (3 Guiding Stars)

“Leftover” Pasta Salad

2 Guiding StarsThe art of taking leftovers and turning them into a new, equally appealing meal is a skill worth developing whether you’re a home cook on a budget or the head chef of a gourmet restaurant. This pasta salad is a good inspiration to get you started playing around with odds and ends that need using up to get the most out of every ingredient you purchase. (2 Guiding Stars)

Baked Oatmeal Cups

1 Guiding StarGet out the oatmeal again and whip it up to go! You’ll want to eat these hot like oatmeal, not cold like muffins, but they still make decent finger food. Made with ingredients you’ve probably got on hand, they’re a good go-to to have on hand throughout the week. (1 Guiding Star)