We often here from clients that, “healthy eating is expensive.” Of course, it can cost more to eat “100% natural” or “all organic” food, but that’s not necessary. You can eat very healthy by doing some meal planning. In fact, you can feed your entire family tasty, healthy meals on a very tight budget.
Chef Michel Nischan is no stranger to high-end food. He is head chef at the trendy Dressing Room restaurant in Westport, CT. But he is also president of the non-profit Wholesome Wave, that serves up great meals at bargain basement prices.
Here are some tips that Chef Nischan uses to create great, healthy, inexpensive meals:
Buy in season. Autumn vegetables are available in grocery stores and farmers markets at very low prices. When vegetables are at peak harvest, they not only tend to cost less. They also tend to have great flavor. Shop for whatever is in season and adjust recipes as needed.
Buy in bulk. You can usually buy boxes of sweet potatoes or bags of baking potatoes for almost nothing. Likewise, at outlet stores like Costco, you can buy flats of berries or packages of spinach at very low prices. Take advantage of these prices to buy in bulk. Some foods, like blueberries or cranberries, can be frozen and used throughout the year. Others, like potatoes have a fairly long shelf life if kept in the refrigerator.
Herbs and spices add lots of “zing.” Adding fresh cilantro or basil to your favorite recipes can add new flavor. Sprinkling chives or other herbs to many foods can bring out great flavor. Also, herbs are very easy to grow, and don’t require much space at all. Try planting them in your garden.
Not every meal requires meat. In America, we are hard-wired to consume meat at almost every meal. But, our bodies don’t really need it, at least not every day. Start to cut back on meat by picking one day each week to eliminate it. On that day, fix pasta with vegetables, spinach quiche, or other meat-free dish.
Remember, healthy choices we make each day can transform our family for generations! What choices will you make today?