Healthy & Affordable Family Meals

Healthy & Affordable Family Meals

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN

Maintaining your healthy eating habits doesn’t have to give you sticker shock at the store. Some of the most economical foods in the grocery store are actually super healthy for you! Here are some tips to help you stay within budget while pursuing your health goals.

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are local and in season such as zucchini squash, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli.
  • Don’t forget about frozen or canned options which are equally as nutritious and many times on sale. Be sure to check the ingredients list to avoid items with added sugars, salt or sauces.
  • Get back to basics. The most economical protein sources continue to be plant based like beans, legumes, peas and tofu.
  • At the meat counter, consider purchasing larger quantities of meats that are on-sale such as chicken thighs and preparing enough for multiple meals.
  • Reduce waste by planning ahead: Use highly perishable items first such as fish, seafood, salads and greens.
  • Enjoy leftovers for lunch or create new meals from leftover ingredients.
  • Here is a simple tip to prevent food waste: Use a marker to jot down the eat by or freeze by date on your left-over containers.


Crispy Chicken thighs over White beans

Chicken in a pan with vegetables

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings (5 ounce chicken + ½ cup beans)


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (fat trimmed)
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) Can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto


  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, once hot add chicken thighs. Cook 5 minutes each side until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add in onions and peppers, and a pinch of salt; cook until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. If pan is dry, add in ½ cup chicken stock or water.
  4. Turn heat to low, add beans to the pan and stir to combine with onions and peppers. Stir in pesto and top with chicken thighs, pour in any juices from chicken, cover and warm through for about 2 minutes and serve.


Nutrition Information:

406 Calories; 24g carbohydrate; 16g fat, 42g protein; 537mg sodium; 8g fiber