Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday's Eats + More Tips to Stretch Your Budget

Ok back to your regular programming! In keeping with the theme of this week, how to eat healthy on a budget, I promised to post about some of the things I eat throughout the week with the groceries that I buy on Sunday. Just so you guys can get a feel for how I shop/combine ingredients to make healthy meals on the cheap. I don't normally post about everything I eat (I try to keep this mostly about my training) but I do occasionally share some meals with y'all because as we all know, running and nutrition go hand in hand.

Since yesterday's post was so well received, I have also decided to spotlight a few more tips each day this week to help your budget without sacrificing your health. Tips start today at the end of this post!

Monday's Dinner on the Cheap
Last night, I made a simple chicken stir fry using two chicken breasts that I had marinated in a mixture of low sodium soy sauce, ground ginger, garlic powder, and red chili pepper flakes. I always cook stir frys in peanut oil becuase I like the flavor it adds to the dish.

So basically, I heated up some oil in a large skillet, added in one sliced onion and some minced garlic and let that cook until fragrant, then added in my diced chicken breasts as well as the rest of the marinade in the bag (I only pour in enough sauce to cover the chicken, so not too much). After the chicken was cooked through, I added in two extra chopped carrots, a bag of frozen Broccoli Stir Fry veggies and I also added some more frozen corn and okra that I had been saving from when I made gnocchi soup. I also poured on a bit more soy sauce and added some more of the same spices. I did not add any salt.

I served this along side brown rice for Matt, and a plate of baby spinach for me that I let wilt with the heat of the dish.

Very simple, and extremely affordable. This dish is also easily customizable to include your favorite ingredients or even freash seasonal veggies versus the frozen kind.

The chicken and stir fry veggies cooking up.

Use a large skillet, and cook on Medium High to High heat. Just watch the oil in the pan when you're heating it up...I definitely once started a fire in my college dorm by letting the oil get too hot unwatched while I chopped veggies.

My plate! This was fantastic over spinach, and less filling than it would have been with the rice.

This also made more than enough for the two of us, and I brought 1/2 of the leftovers to work for lunch today along with some raw carrots and grapes. That is the good thing about cooking dinner regularly, there are most usually leftovers that can double as your lunch the next day!

This morning I enjoyed my first ever breakast cookie, which I must say was extremely delicious. I could really taste the peanut butter and the strawberries...Matt even tried it and he liked it! So I think I have solved the mystery of what Matt can eat for breakfast. Tonight I will be making two of these babies for us in the morning.

After I took this pic, I smothered this baby with some 0% vanilla Chobani, some ground flax seeds (that I forgot to add to the mix) and all natural honey. Inside the cookie is quick cooking oats, 3 sliced strawberries, 1/2 mashed banana, 1/2 scoop vanilla soy protein powder, 1 large spoonfull Publix All Natural Chunky PB, and some pumpkin pie spice. I mixed all that up with a few pours of 8th Continent Light Soymilk + water until it was doughy enough to spread out on a plate. I popped it in the fridge and it was ready to enjoy this morning!

Tuesday's Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
  • Check out the "bargain bins" usually located near the front of the store. Sometimes you can find great deals on discontinued items, or things that are expiring within a day or two. I must confess I don't look here often, but I did pick up a box of Truvia Stevia packets for $2 at Publix last week in their bargain section.
  • Make your own dressings & marinades! It is so much easier to do this than purchasing dozens of bottles of dressings and marinades that clutter up your fridge. I usually dress my salads with extra virgin olive oil and some sort of vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) plus some spices and sometimes simply lemon juice and sea salt.
  • Can't pry the bottle of Ranch away from your man? Try mixing his full fat Ranch with some apple cider vineagar for a salad dressing that has 1/2 the calories and fat than the bottled version. Matt is picky, but he still really likes Ranch this way on his salads (probably not the best for dipping). Not only are you cutting calories while still allowing ranch in your diet, but you're also stretching the bottle to last twice as long!
Ok, be on the lookout for more tips and easy, cheap meals from me on this subject throughout the week! In running news, I will be dooing a speed workout tonight either at the track or on the roads. Last week before TAPER TIME!

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday and of course, GO HEELS!


  1. I'm gonna have to make one of those breakfast cookies! They look so good:)

  2. I've never seen that recipe for breakfast cookies before, it looks great. So does your stir fry. Now I'm hungry!