Mar 5, 2009

Buget-Friendly Cooking

Eating healthy on a budget doesn't have to be a big challenge. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

BBQ Black Bean Quesadillas

4 whole wheat tortillas (I like La Fe or Guerrero brands)
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar or jack cheese
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into strips (or 1 cup frozen bell pepper strips)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained & chopped
1 medium sweet potato
1/4 to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (to your taste)
Light sour cream or Low-fat greek yogurt, for topping

1 -- Poke some holes in the skin of the sweet potato and microwave for 4-5 min or until soft. Peel & chop into small cubes.
2 --Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium sized skillet. When pan is hot, saute onions & bell pepper strips for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
3 -- Add frozen corn to skillet and saute another minute until corn is heated through. Add pineapple chunks & BBQ sauce and stir mixture until coated. Remove from heat and add can of black beans.
4 -- In another skillet, grill pan, or griddle, heat tortilla over medium heat until slightly warm. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese all over tortilla. Place a generous portion of the bean mixture over half of the tortilla, and when cheese has melted slightly, fold the tortilla in half to make the quesadilla. Cook for 1-2 min or until cheese is fully melted and bean mixture is hot.
5 -- Let sit for a few minutes, then cut into triangles. Serve with dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
(Note: you may have extra bean mixture. If so you can make some extra quesadillas and refrigerate them for later -- they are great reheated in a skillet or in the microwave).

Serves 4 (or more)

Baked Spinach & Eggs

2 10-oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
6 large eggs
1 can evaporated fat-free milk
1/2 cup regular milk (1% or 2% is best)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine (if you have it on hand)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere or sharp white cheddar cheese (reduced fat if possible)
pinch of nutmeg

1 -- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass pie plate or similar-sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2 -- Drain spinach well by pressing into a strainer or wrapping tightly in a paper towel.
3 -- In a medium sized skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat. Saute the onion with 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper, until onion is softened, about 7 min. Add wine and simmer until mostly evaporated.
4 -- Add spinach to the skillet and stir into the onion & wine mixture. Remove from heat.
5 -- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milks, nutmeg, and most of the cheese (reserve a small handful).
6 --Add spinach mixture into the egg mixture, sprinkle with a pinch of salt & pepper, and pour into the baking dish. Top with the remaining handful of cheese.
7 -- Bake until top is golden brown and mixture is solid when you shake the pan a little, about 40-45 minutes.
8 -- Let sit at least 5 min before serving. Serve with a small green salad for a complete meal. I recommend 1 cup of mixed greens per person, tossed with a little olive oil & lemon juice.
(Note: this dish can burn easily, so start checking it right at 40 minutes to see if it's done).

Serves 5-6 people as a main dish.

No comments: