10 Delicious, Cheap-and-Easy Meals That Are Actually Healthy

By
Yara Mersi
July 26, 2020

10 Delicious, Cheap-and-Easy Healthy Meals


1. Egg and Black Bean Burritos

These vegetarian burritos only require a handful of ingredients, yet have a whole lot of flavor and protein. This recipe comes together in under 5 minutes, so no excuses!


Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 6 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa 

Instructions:

Step 1: Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook, stirring, until egg mixture starts to form soft curds, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2: Using potato masher, mash beans with lime juice. Arrange tortillas on clean surface; spread mashed beans down along centre of each tortilla. Top evenly with salsa, scrambled eggs, cilantro and crumbled cheese. 

Step 3: Fold up bottom of tortillas first, then fold in sides and roll up tightly. 

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 24g

2. Classic Banana Oatmeal

This one’s a keeper. It’s so creamy (the egg white is the secret to this) and keeps me full for hours! Simple ingredients, comforting, and customizable. Always my go-to because you can never get sick of it when you change up the flavor and toppings every time!

Ingredients: 

Serves 1

  • 2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey, agave, or other sweetener
  • Toppings of choice (such as chopped almonds, dates, peanut butter, or fresh fruit)
  • Chopped banana
  • ½ cup egg whites

Instructions:

Step 1: Combine oatmeal, 1 1/3 cup water, banana and salt in a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Slowly stir in the egg whites, continually stirring until the oats look creamy.

Step 3: Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the oats are cooked through.
Step 4: Serve topped with preferred toppings. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

*not including toppings

Serving: 1 | Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g

3. Red Lentil Soup

This is a Middle Eastern favorite; It is nutritious, light, and flavorful. I also love serving a crowd this dish because it’s easy, vegan and rich in protein!


Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1.5 cups red lentil
  • 5 cups water or as required to get the desired consistency
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic-crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon adjust as per your taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash the lentil and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and saute for a few seconds 
  3. Add chopped onion, bay leaf and saute till the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add the carrot and saute for about 2 minutes before adding the spices, vegetable bouillon, and salt. Then add the water. 
  5. Add lentil and let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes or until the lentil is nicely cooked.
  6. Once the lentil is cooked, remove the bay leaf and blend the soup in a blender or food processor until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  7. Let the soup simmer for around 5 minutes and then switch off the gas. 
  8. Add some fresh lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley/ coriander leaves, olive oil, and chili flakes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g

4. Beef Stuffed Sweet Potato

This one’s a perfect fit for those who find it hard to get their veggies in or for the kids! We chop them so small and mix it with the stuffing that it almost goes unnoticed! They also remind me of tacos, so I promise you, you and your body will love them!


Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 4 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
  • 4 medium carrots, 2 roughly chopped and 2 shredded
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (can substitute for soya mince for a more plant based option)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Step 1: Brown ground beef, chopped onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat in the oil. Drain grease and add the taco seasoning and salsa.
Step 2: Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 5 more minutes until mixture has thickened and is heated through. Add up to 1/2 cup of water to achieve desired consistency.
Step 3: While the meat is cooking, poke holes all over the sweet potatoes and cook in the microwave for 8-10 minutes on high, turning sweet potatoes over once halfway through. If potatoes aren't soft enough, continue cooking 1-3 minutes more. Depending on the size of your microwave, you can either cook two at a time or fit them all in.

Step 4:  Allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly, then slice them lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork.
Step 5: Spoon the cooked taco meat over the sweet potatoes and add desired toppings such as shredded cheese, diced tomato, avocado, guacamole, or sour cream. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 15g

5. Roast Chicken and Vegetables

This one’s perfect to feed a crowd as it literally has everything in one dish and takes very little time to prepare. It also makes a well balanced meal–with quality protein from the chicken, healthy fats from the olive oil and chicken, carbohydrates from the potatoes and tons of micronutrients from the seasoned veggies!


Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1.5 lb baby potatoes trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 roma tomato cored and quartered
  • 2.5 to 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 whole chicken (2lb)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine the potatoes, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Transfer vegetables to the baking pan.

Step 3: Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan. If you place it breast down, the meat will be more tender, but the skin won’t get crisp. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat, about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Step 4: Roast the chicken and vegetables for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Remove the chicken to a cutting board for carving. Serve the chicken with the vegetables.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 17g

6. Breakfast Egg Muffins

These ones are perfect for meal prepping because they are great for freezing and reheating on-the-go. They’re also rich in protein and super easy to make!


Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 1 none-stick cooking spray
  • 6 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 medium bell pepper, red
  • 3/4 cup spinach
  • 1 ounce cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Step 1 : Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Dice the bell pepper into small pieces. Stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and slice them thin. (This method is called chiffonade.)

Step 4: Add the peppers, spinach, and shredded cheddar to the egg mixture.

Step 5: Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centers are set and no longer runny.

Step 6: Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g

7. Mediterranean Tuna Salad

If you’re looking for a light, low carb and nutrient rich lunch idea, then this one’s for you! This is without mayo, but it is still loaded with so much flavor and protein. 


Ingredients:

Serves 10

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise & sliced
  • 15 oz albacore tuna fish (drained)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 cup black olives, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:

Step 1: Add red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, albacore tuna fish, garlic, chickpeas, black olives and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and mix.

Step 2: Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 3: Garnish with fresh parsley and serve cold. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g

8. Cheese and Tomato Pasta Bake

A pasta bake is the perfect lunch or dinner idea for those days where you want something delicious, comforting and hearty, but don’t want to break the bank or spend hours in the kitchen. Personally, every time I make this for my family, I know everybody will love it!


Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced or crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika and chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • Pinch of salt and  pepper 
  • 500 g (1lb) short pasta of your choice (I used penne)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • fresh basil to serve

Instructions:

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF.

Step 2 : Fry the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and translucent.

Step 3: Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices, balsamic, sugar and stock/wine and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes while the pasta cooks. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta's cooking water.

Step 4: When the pasta is cooked and the sauce is reduced, combine and mix well. Add some of the cooking water saved from the pasta to loosen the pasta and sauce a bit.

Step 5: Transfer half the pasta mix to a baking dish, add half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining pasta and cheese.

Step 6: Place the pasta in the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Step 7: Remove and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving with fresh basil.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g

9. Black Bean Bowl

Who doesn’t love a goodness bowl of herbed rice, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, spicy black beans , and roasted peppers and veggies? A chipotle style bowl that everyone loves. This one’s vegan too, and if you’d like, the black beans can always be swapped out for tofu, beef, or protein of choice. 


Ingredients:

Serves 2

For the Spicy Black Beans

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or a tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of black pepper, salt and cayenne
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 15 oz (425.24 g) can of black beans drained or 1.5 cups cooked black beans

For the roasted veggies

  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion sliced

For the guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional
  • Pinch of garlic, black pepper and salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the pico de gallo

  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red or white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno or hot chili finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Other:

  • Cooked rice of choice
  • Chopped lettuce 

Instructions:

Step 1: For the beans, add all the ingredients to a pan over medium heat. Mix well. Add about a tablespoon of water and mix it in. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the beans are hot. 

Step 2: Roast the veggies. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Spray oil on the pan and place the veggies on the pan. Cook both sides until most have brown edges or marks. 

Step 3: Make the guacamole. Mash the avocado well, add the rest of the ingredient mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Step 3: Prepare the pico de gallo. Mix everything, taste and adjust and keep aside.

Step 4: Assemble the bowl. You can assemble it up to you, I like to have the cooked rice, beans, guacamole, and veggies separately, others like to have them stacked up or mixed up. You can serve immediately, before the beans get cold.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g


10. Traditional Peanut Butter & Jelly

And the best for last...a classic PB&J! You can never go wrong with the classic. 

Ingredients:

Serves 1

  • Two slices of bread
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Jelly or jam

Instructions

Step 1: Spread the peanut butter onto 1 slice of bread.

Step 2:  Spread the jelly onto another slice of bread.

Step 3: Place the bread with jelly on top of peanut butter. Enjoy cold or grilled!

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g

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Yara Mersi
Blogger at Anabolic Aliens

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