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BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/8/13 4:30 P

raw onions -

yeah theres no option for sauteed onions.

I had really sauteed the onions, the poured whisked eggs over it and cooked it like an egg pancaked. then sprinkled salt on tip, and some lemon juice on top. its YUMMY!

EMELYN21 SparkPoints: (1,676)
Fitness Minutes: (1,067)
Posts: 15
2/8/13 9:35 A

I think my strategy for eating healthy on a budget has more to do with the budgeting process, rather than trying to have "budget meals" per se.

I do menu planning every week and try to stick to recipes that feature the main ingredient that's on sale that week at the grocery store. I stock up when things like beans and canned tomatoes are on sale, since I know I'll use them within the month. I load up on frozen vegetables when they're on sale because I know I'll add them to my recipes to fill them out. And I use meat sparingly, adding lots of those frozen vegetables or fresh vegetables that I've purchased.

For a pot of chili for example, I'll only use half a pound of meat, and add 4 cans of diced tomatoes, 2-2 diced zucchini, 2-3 diced yellow squash, a diced onion, and 1-2 diced green peppers. It's a lot cheaper than using 2 lbs. of meat and it's still really hearty. The key is in the spicing.

I also double up on recipes when ingredients are on sale, and freeze some for later. And when you cook for the whole week (or whole month as some people do), you can pack extras for lunch without having the same thing from dinner to next day's lunch in a row.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (243,907)
Fitness Minutes: (41,124)
Posts: 26,620
2/7/13 3:20 P

I decided to have a wee peek at your Nutrition Tracker, and noticed that a few days you had raw onion. Without getting too graphic, if I have eaten raw onion, OR a wee bit too much cooked onion, if my son or daughter have been in the house a couple days later it hasn't been uncommon for them to ask if I am cooking onions! I can also get a lot of abdominal pain with it.

For years I used to blame various things, but for some reason milk wasn't one of them. I discovered I had a milk intolerance (I can eat cheese and yoghurt without problems.) Even a little in a cup of tea was enough to cause bloating and severe abdo pain. When a Specialist and I twigged (because I decided to keep a diary for something unrelated) it had a huge difference. I now have Soy Milk. Onions are the only problem now emoticon emoticon


SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
2/7/13 1:28 P

Thanks, YOJULEZ, for the blog link.

As for beans and the body: lentils as well as, I think, chickpeas and soy beans, have fewer long-chain sugars (the type that give you intestinal problems) than regular beans. Also: do the full soak before cooking and drain the bean-water (you lose some water-soluble vitamins along the way, but keep a lot, as well as the protein, etc.). And our bodies tend to slowly adjust to eating more bean-like things over time, at least somewhat and in most cases.

As for budget-ish things that often use beans: because of the SO we eat mostly-vegetarian (she eats almost vegan; I'm more lacto-ovo pescatarian ... so many ... terms). Anyway, we like the My Plate way of thinking of it ... about half fruits/veggies, 1/4 grain/starch, and 1/4 'protein'. So rice and beans make up the grain + protein half of a plate, for example. But it doesn't have to be rice and beans ... it can be barley or bulgur or wheat berries or couscous instead of rice; it can be lentils or tempeh or tofu or something else intead of beans. Tempeh tends not to be 'budget' in most markets, but at a bunch of places a pound of extrafirm tofu -- 4-5 servings -- runs $2.50, which is better than most meats. On the bean side, there's chili, rice & beans, baked beans ... but also bean dips, bean soups, and bean fritters (see also: falafel!)

On the budget side of protein, I also like: eggs, sardines, and cottage cheese. I love Greek yogurt, though it can get expensive. Making your own yogurt is inexpensive, though.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
2/7/13 11:44 A

I'm not a big fan of chili either, unless it has tons of meat in it, which then makes it not so healthy.

I would still try to find different recipes that are still cheap to make. My favorite site for this is She doesn't provide nutritional information but I've made a lot from her site and I'd say 85% of it has turned out to have very good stats after I build it in the recipe builder, especially if you stick to the portions she has written.

GOODWITCH333 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (19,035)
Posts: 137
2/7/13 9:59 A

When I went from a meat based diet to a vegetarian diet, I has issues with gas also.
Your body is not used to dealing with the enzymes in beans and legumes. There are products such as "Beano" that can help with this until your body makes that adjustment.(and it will if you give it time)
Other things you can do. If you are making beans from scratch, change the water at least three times during the cooking process. If canned. Rinse them by putting them in a huge bowl of cold water, drain and repeat.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/7/13 9:11 A

I'm confused. Why do you need anything besides the chili, except for maybe a salad, or other appetizer?

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (243,907)
Fitness Minutes: (41,124)
Posts: 26,620
2/7/13 2:01 A

have you thought about swapping the low fat sour cream and replacing it with natural yoghurt? The yoghurt actually HELPS the stomach and it is a lot healthier with protein, even :-) There is no reason why you can't have your brown rice - just don't have a lot of it. Increase the lower calorie chopped veges in it. Have your salsa and green onion, but maybe decrease the onion? If you aren't used to a lot of fibre I suggest that you gradually increase it rather than suddenly. That is one of the main causes of sudden bouts of gas with a change in diet.

I make HEAPS of budget recipes - I am an expert on living on the smell of an oily rag - LOL!

I cook up some skinless chicken drumsticks in chicken stock and then when it is cooked remove it and add finely chopped veges - onion, celery (including the leaves), green and red capsicum and also a heap of red lentils. When that is nearly cooked I sometimes put in some chopped up dried baking apricots and a few dried dessert apricots and let them cook into it. The dessert ones keep their shape. When that is virtually done I shred the drums and add the meat back in. 3 large Chicken Drum Sticks can do 6-7 meals - the lentils make most of the rest of the protein. Once again, if you aren't used to the fibre, just start off light with the lentils! I containerize them into individual serves and then freeze them.

Tonight we had a cheap (but not nasty) brand of bacon that I had chopped up and added onion, cabbage, mushrooms and lentils. The lentils are the thickening agent and add to the fibre and protein. I saute the veges and bacon while the lentils are cooking, then add them in when the lentils are almost done.

I make my take on "Mexican Mince" (our mince is your ground beef.) I use lean but not very lean beef. I use a variety of chopped veges in that, too, but also add a can of tomatoes and tomato paste. The "Mexican" is the very slight bit of ground chilli powder. Swap the chilli powder and add dried sweet basil and there is the "Italian" take.

You will find that if you experiment you will find loads of great ways with various foods, that are very healthy and very economical. The beauty of doing these individual serves and freezing them is that they are on hand in an emergency and when you are tired. They are great on toast, or with other veges.

Good luck,

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/7/13 1:06 A

I am having a DIFFICULT time making budget recipes that work out

chili IS one of them. I thought it would be great, but of course I can't eat it w/o brown rice or a baked potato plus low fat sour cream and salsa and green onion.s It gives me gas like OMG, hurts my stomach and thers not enough animal protein in it to "keep" my stomach.

oh boy.

has anyone else had this problem? its drivin me crazy!

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