Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stretching Your Hard-Earned Dollar for Healthy Eats

{fresh vegetables from our garden!}

I found this interesting article (link here) on healthy eating on a budget. At our place, we try and incorporate these ideas regularly, and, personally, I think there are some good ones here. The only exception might be the canned goods as it has been found that many cans are lined with BPA. This is not a great thing because I make marinara sauce regularly from scratch most weeks and use canned whole tomatoes.

Here, I've listed the suggestions in the above-mentioned article:
  • Join a CSA or go to farmers markets regularly (a great way to support local businesses) 
  • Plan ahead, don't impulse buy
  • Eat dried beans
  • Buy frozen vegetables
  • Buy eggs
  • Buy "generic" versions (I do this all the time at Stop and Shop with their Nature's Promise products, but Shop Rite also has many organic store-brand items)
  • Don't buy pre-cut fruits and veggies
  • Eat less meat
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat
  • Eat foods that fill you up
  • Buy in bulk
Also, during the summer months, another budget/environmentally friendly idea is to start your own garden (even better, using compost that you've collected all year long). You will know exactly where your food has come from and you can't eat more indigenous to your area than that!

For those who are interested, here's my quick marinara/spaghetti sauce recipe. So easy!

Jenny's Quick Marinara

1-2 cans crushed tomatoes (use 10 whole tomatoes if making from true "scratch", without puree)
1 can pureed tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning
1 tsp sugar

Pour 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add crushed tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and stir well. Shake enough Italian seasoning over the mixture, enough to cover the surface area of the sauce in an even layer. Mix. Simmer for as little as a few minutes until it is hot or for a few hours to develop into a rich, hearty sauce. Mix throughout the time it is simmering. Add Italian sausage to maximize flavor or meatballs. (Or nothing!) Freeze, divided into1-cup servings in storage containers.

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