Here are some good and healthy! budget-friendly meals I make all the time (this makes me realize we eat a lot of beans!):
Carnitas soft tacos – carnitas (slow-cook a pork shoulder roast with garlic, onions, oregano, juice and zest of one lime until it falls apart), black beans, fresh cilantro, tomatillo salsa (tomatillos – super cheap! – blended with garlic, lime juice, cumin, a bit of cilantro, a dash of cayenne), and diced red onion.
Grilled chicken and bean salad – grill chicken thighs (marinate in lemon juice, oil, red wine vinegar, and herbs/spices you like), serve with chickpea, chopped parsley, and feta salad (dress with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of salt and pepper).
Spaghetti al limon with spinach salad – cook spaghetti and remove from pot, reserving a bit of cooking water. Whisk together cooking water, olive oil, and a little milk. Simmer until slightly thickened, then add zest and juice of one lemon, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, put pasta back in, stir, and then cover and let sit about 5 minutes (to absorb sauce). Serve with a simple spinach salad.
Bean soup – render fat from 4-5 pieces of bacon or a piece of ham, add chopped onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and saute about 5 minutes, add pre-soaked beans (I like any kind of white beans the best) and cover with cold water. Bring to a hard boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook “slow and low” until beans are tender (about 2 hours). Add whatever other vegetables you want (spinach, kale, tomatoes are favorites in my house) until just cooked, and serve with good bread or a simple salad.
Homemade pizza with a variety of toppings – Friday favorite in my house! I love the pre-made 99 cents pizza dough from Trader Joe’s – or PM me if you want an excellent make-at-home, super easy pizza dough recipe.