By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN
Smart shoppers know that eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be challenging or limiting. With today’s economy, consumers are looking for ways to cut down on the cost of their grocery bill without sacrificing health.
It is not necessary to shop at special health food stores or purchase fancy products in order to maintain a healthy diet; in fact the healthiest foods in the grocery store are also the most economical.
Consider that meat-free options such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and soy are some of the healthiest and least expensive sources of protein in the store and they’re shelf stable! At about $0.17 cents a piece, eggs are another economical source of protein. Eggs are healthy, versatile and easy to prepare.
So where do we go wrong? Processed and convenience foods. Some of the most expensive items in your cart are soda, convenience items such as individually packed snacks, chips, instant oatmeal, rice and other grains. You’ll stretch your dollar by purchasing the largest pack possible and portioning out yourself.
Check out these additional tips!
- Buy the largest frozen bag of veggies without added sauces. Frozen veggies are picked at their peak of ripeness and frozen immediately to preserve nutrients.
- Fresh fruits/veggies that are in season will cost less. Find out what’s in season on this great site: fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
- Canned fruit in its own juices is a great choice all year long – stock up when these items are on sale.
- Meats – Chuck or bottom round roast has less fat and is less expensive than sirloin; buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself instead of purchasing it cut up for you.
- Fish – tilapia & cod are leans choices that are usually priced right.
- Buy meat in large bulk packages to save money. Freeze portions you might not use right away to prevent spoiling. Use within three months.
Potato-Kale Hash with Eggs
This potato and kale hash recipe is just as fun to make as it is to eat. After the potatoes and kale are roasted, the hash is formed into 4 individual “nests” that are finished with an egg in the middle. To keep the prep work to a minimum, use pre-chopped kale, found near other prepared cooking greens. If you’d rather chop your own, start with about 1 bunch and strip the leaves off the stems before chopping.
Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 5 cups unseasoned frozen shredded hash browns (see Tip)
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese, preferably smoked
- 4 large eggs
- Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Combine hash browns, onion, garlic, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Layer kale evenly over the potato mixture. Roast for 5 minutes. Stir the kale into the potatoes until combined. Continue roasting until the kale is tender and the potatoes are starting to brown, 4 to 6 minutes more.
- Carefully push the hash into 4 “nests” and make a well in the center of each, large enough for an egg. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese into each well, then carefully break 1 egg into each. Bake, rotating the pan 180 degrees about halfway through, until the whites are barely set, 7 to 11 minutes. (The eggs will continue to cook a little more out of the oven.)
Per serving : 476 Calories; 33 g Fat; 10 g Sat; 17 g Mono; 210 mg Cholesterol; 29 g Carbohydrates; 18 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 745 mg Sodium; 889 mg Potassium
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Tips & Notes:
For this recipe, be sure to look for unseasoned frozen shredded hash browns; if you can only find seasoned hash browns, omit the salt in Step 2.