What can I cook that is healthy and cheap?

Jennifer Cohen Katz
Nutrition & Dietetics
Eating healthy without busting your budget is very doable.

Sources of protein such as dried lentils, canned beans, and canned tuna are inexpensive and can be mixed into salads or tossed into casseroles.

Fresh and frozen produce can be equally nutritious. Shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season and look for sales.

Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and barley are very reasonably priced and give you more fiber plus essential nutrients compared to their processed counterparts.

Select store brands of low fat milk, yogurt, and cheese to get your calcium and some vitamin D at the best price.
Check unit prices. Buying healthy items in larger containers often costs less than individual servings.

Here is a recipe using healthy, inexpensive ingredients for you to try:

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups low fat grated pepper jack cheese, 12 ounces, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 10 ounces frozen corn, thawed
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with pan spray.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add cumin, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup tomato paste and cook, whisking continuously, for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the vegetable broth, ½ cup water, and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 8 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in salt and pepper, cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the pepper jack cheese, beans, spinach, corn, and ½ of the green onions. 
  5. Wrap tortillas in paper towels and microwave on high for 1 minute. Place ⅓ cup filling on each tortilla and roll tightly. Position with seam side down in prepared baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup pepper jack cheese over enchiladas and cover with the sauce. Bake the enchiladas uncovered for 18 minutes minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with remaining green onions before serving.
recipe courtesy of
healthy food, healthy diet, diet, green health, grocery, vegetables, nutrition
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You can make healthy meals, even on a budget. Watch this video to learn about a healthy meal that stretches your dollar with Dr. Oz and Rachel Ray.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.