Breakfast Main dishes Tips

Budget-Friendly Cooking

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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

Poke some holes in the skin of the sweet potato and microwave for 4-5 min or until soft. Peel & chop into small cubes.

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.

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.

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.

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

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass pie plate or similar-sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Drain spinach well by pressing into a strainer or wrapping tightly in a paper towel.

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.

Add spinach to the skillet and stir into the onion & wine mixture. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milks, nutmeg, and most of the cheese (reserve a small handful).

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.

Bake until top is golden brown and mixture is solid when you shake the pan a little, about 40-45 minutes.

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.

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