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Inexpensive healthy meals

Lia Kurylo of the Atco Blue Flame Kitchen in Edmonton has some great ideas for creating healthy and inexpensive meals for the family:

  • Peanut Butter Wraps
  • Quick Ravioli and Beans
  • Tuna, Tomato and White Bean Salad
  • Penne with Lentil Sauce
  • Really Lazy Cabbage Rolls
  • Spicy Sausage and Bean Soup

Recipes

Courtesy of ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

 

PEANUT BUTTER WRAPS

1/2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter

4 flour tortillas (8 inch/20 cm)

1/4 cup (50 mL) strawberry jam or fruit spread

2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced bananas

1/4 cup (50 mL) granola

Spread peanut butter evenly over tortillas, leaving a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) border. Spread jam over peanut butter and top with bananas. Sprinkle with granola. Tightly roll up each tortilla jelly-roll fashion. Serve immediately or wrap individually and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Serves 4.

QUICK RAVIOLI AND BEANS

1 tbsp (15 mL) oil

3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 pkg (300 g) fresh cheese ravioli

2 cups (500 mL) diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz / 398 mL) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 tsp (2 mL) thyme, crumbled

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook ravioli according to package directions; drain. Add ravioli, tomatoes, beans, thyme, salt and pepper to frypan. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

TUNA, TOMATO AND WHITE BEAN SALAD

2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon peel

1/4 tsp (1 mL) basil, crumbled

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

2 cups (500 mL) halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced green onion

3 tbsp (40 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (170 g) chunk light tuna, drained

Lettuce leaves

To prepare dressing, whisk together first 7 ingredients (lemon juice through pepper) until blended.

Combine tomatoes, green onion, parsley, beans and tuna in a bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Place lettuce leaves on individual serving plates. Top with salad. Serves 3 - 4.

PENNE WITH LENTIL SAUCE

2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onion

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped celery

1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped carrot

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp (10 mL) cumin

1 can (28 oz / 796 mL) diced tomatoes

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) lentils, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

3 cups (750 mL) penne pasta, cooked and drained

1 cup (250 mL) shredded feta cheese

To prepare lentil sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin; saute for 1 minute. Add next 6 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Toss lentil sauce with hot cooked penne. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4.

REALLY LAZY CABBAGE ROLLS

1 tbsp (15 mL) oil

1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground beef

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (14 oz / 398 mL) tomato sauce

1 3/4 cups (425 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) long grain rice

1 tsp (5 mL) chicken or beef bouillon mix

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg

6 cups (1.5 L) coleslaw mix

Light sour cream

Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add beef, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring to break up beef, until browned, about 7 - 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Stir in next 8 ingredients (tomato sauce through nutmeg). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is thickened. Sprinkle half of coleslaw mix over bottom of a greased 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking dish. Spoon half of beef mixture over coleslaw mix and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining coleslaw mix. Spread remaining beef mixture over top. Bake, covered, at 350ºF (180ºC) for 1 hour or until bubbly and heated through. Serve with sour cream. Serves 6.

Cook's Note: If desired, 2 cans (10 oz/284 mL each) tomato soup may be substituted for the tomato sauce in this recipe. If using tomato soup, reduce water to 1 cup (250 mL).

SPICY SAUSAGE AND BEAN SOUP

2 cans (19 oz / 540 mL each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups (500 mL) water

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 lb (0.5 kg) hot Italian sausages, casings removed

1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup (50 mL) tomato paste

5 cups (1.25 L) canned chicken broth

1 tsp (5 mL) rosemary, crumbled

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes

2 cups (500 mL) small shell pasta

1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine 1 can of chickpeas and water in a blender. Puree until smooth; set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, stirring to break up sausages, until browned, about 7 - 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Add onion and garlic to pan; saute for 2 minutes. Stir in pureed chickpeas and tomato paste. Add remaining chickpeas, broth, rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Reheat soup before proceeding. Add pasta and simmer, uncovered, for 10 - 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese and parsley. Ladle soup into bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 - 8.

Cook's Note: Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.

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