This month’s recipe redux theme “Budget Friendly Eats” is having us create a healthy low cost meal for under $3 a serving. One big misconception is that eating healthy is expensive, but the truth is it can be affordable! Meat always end up being the most expensive item in my grocery cart, not the fruits and vegetables. To cut back on our weekly grocery bill I try and make at least one meal a week using beans or lentils instead of meat. Another way I cut back on the cost of groceries is by using dried herbs and spices, instead of fresh. Not only do they add the same great flavor but they last much longer! Lastly, I have ben trying to use more dried beans rather than canned beans, not only are they less expensive ounce per ounce but they are also more echo friendly.
For my budget friendly meals this week I made this Slow Cooker Pesto Minestrone Soup is packed with a variety of vegetables, beans, whole wheat pasta and flavor from dried herbs and costs only$2.63 per serving. Cooking it in a slow cooker also makes it a great make ahead dinner or lunch.
- 1 cup carrots, diced ($0.25)
- 1 cup celery, diced ($0.50)
- 1 onion, diced ($1.29)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced ($0.25)
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium diced tomatoes ($1.50)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock ($2.50)
- 2 cups water (free)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves ( ~ $1.00 total for dried herbs)
- 1 cup whole wheat shell pasta ($1.00)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese ($1.00)
- 1 small zucchini, diced ($1.00)
- 1 .5 cups cooked kidney beans ($0.50) OR 1 15 ounce can kidney beans ($1.00)
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas ($0.50) OR 15 ounce can chickpeas ($1.00)
- ½ cup pesto sauce ( $3.50)
- salt/pepper to taste
- In a slow cooker add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, dried basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, bay leaves. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Add in zucchini, whole wheat pasta, kidney beans, chickpeas. Mix to combine and continue to cook on low for another 30 minutes, or until pasta cooked.
- Add in parmesan cheese and pesto and mix to combine.
- Add salt/pepper to taste
Cost per serving: $2.63