BreakfastPick out a simple breakfast that you would like to eat for a couple days. I think that oats would be the cheapest way to start. You can either pick up steel cut oats or old fashioned oats. I get my in bulk if they are on sale. Grape Nuts or a simple grain cereal like Puffed Rice or Kamut Puffs could also work. These have no sugar or salt added. I found both Puffed Rice and Kamut Puffs at Vita-Cost and Amazon. You will also want to pick up a plant-based milk. I use soy milk. I usually add some type of fruit to my cereal. I think bananas are a fairly inexpensive fruit to include. I keep frozen fruit in the freezer also to increase
Lunches can be as simple as a green salad. Salads don't need to be complicated. They can be as simple as spinach , a starch (cooked brown rice, baked potato) or beans, and dressing. When I first started out I was trying to buy lots of stuff to add to my salad, but over time I realized that you don't have to get very complicated. During the winter, when veggies are more expensive, I make uncomplicated salads. If I want more than just spinach and romaine, I put in cabbage, carrots, celery and/or radishes. I like these items since they are relatively inexpensive and last for a while in my fridge.
Salad Dressing is so important and may end up being a challenge. I don't think there are any healthy bottled dressings, at least not at my stores. The Protective Diet website has some great recipes for salad dressings. Jane Esselstyn has a simple dressing I heard about in a video a while back. She calls it the 321 Salad Dressing. 3 TB balsamic vinegar, 2 TB Mustard (your choice), 1 TB maple syrup. Before I found the PD dressings and Jane's dressing I was just tossing my salad with a little bit of balsamic or rice vinegar.
I usually take fruit for a snack: apples, oranges, or bananas. Baked Potatoes are a great filling non-fruit snack to switch it up. Raw veggies are very easy to transport.
DinnerDinner is always my most expensive meal. I usually make dinner meals that have multiple servings so I can have left overs.
- Pasta - Some easy less expensive dinners would be whole wheat pasta, no oil pasta sauce w/ veggies on the side. You can always add some of your greens (spinach or kale) to your pasta sauce.
- Tacos/Burritos -Another idea might to have a taco night with no oil home made corn tortilla shells, re-fried beans and veggies on top (lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, etc.)
- Potatoes or Rice - I find potato and rice meals are usually filling and satisfying. I loved making baked potatoes and adding toppings such as salsa, green onions, cilantro, and beans. I use black beans in my favorite quick bean bowls (salsa, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, corn, etc.)