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Meal Planning: 6 Dinners on a Budget

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#2 Designer Nachos continued...

1/2 to 1 avocado, pitted and diced ($1.50)

2 whole tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 cup fresh salsa ($0.75)

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream ($0.75)

Fresh, in-season fruit ($4)

Combine the refried beans with the taco seasoning in a saucepan over low heat. On a microwave-safe plate, top 2 ounces of the chips with 1/3 cup shredded cheese and a fourth of the bean mixture. Microwave on high for 1-minute. Top with avocado, tomatoes, sour cream, or salsa as desired. Repeat with three other servings. Serve with fresh, in-season fruit.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains: 645 calories, 24 g protein, 81 g carbohydrate, 24 g fat, 7 g saturated, 10 g monounsaturated fat, 7 g polyunsaturated fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 14 g fiber, 1,400 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.4 grams. Omega-6 fatty acids = 6 grams.

#3 BBQ Chicken Pizza

This budget dinner cost $15.69. 

Ingredients:

10-ounce package 100% Whole Wheat Boboli Pizza Crust (or similar) ($4.89)

1/3 cup barbecue sauce (or any other leftover sauce like pesto or marinara) ($0.50)

1 1/2 cups shredded or diced skinless chicken breast, roasted or grilled (or any other leftover cooked lean meat) ($4 if you buy two grilled chicken breasts from the grocery deli)

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ($2)

3 green onions, chopped ($0.30)

Fresh, in-season fruit ($4)

Spread barbecue sauce over the crust. Add on top: shredded chicken, cheese, and chopped green onions. Bake on baking sheet in 450-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with fresh, in-season fruit.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains: 513 calories, 38 g protein, 57 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat, 7 g saturated, 3.5 g monounsaturated fat, 3.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 900 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.4 grams. Omega-6 fatty acids = 2 grams.

#4 Quick Sausage Fajita Wraps

This budget dinner cost $13.66.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 sweet or yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced ($0.75)

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