Planning a family meal on a budget

Living East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Planning a family meal on a budget doesn’t have to be complicated! Our friend Michelle Williams from Totality Living Well joined us to talk about the cost effective food staples to have on hand that can easily be assembled.

Williams, a Healthy Living Consultant shared a list of the staples and introduced some concepts, features and benefits.

    1. Pastas and grains

    2. Root veggies and seasonal veggies

    3. Fresh fruits and greens

    4. Beans and poultry

    5. Oils and seeds

    6. Broths

    7. Dried Seasonings

Here are some healthy, cost effective Totality Living Well meatless and dairy-free creations to help you incorporate some of these concepts in your meal planning.

Autumn Oatmeal (makes 1 large or 2 small servings)

1/2 c dried oats
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t powdered cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 t coconut oil
1/2 apple, finely chopped
1 T packaged toasted pumpkin seeds
Pinch of salt
2 T almond milk

Cook dried oats according to package directions. Add maple syrup, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, oil, apple, seeds, salt and almond milk to prepared oats. Stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes or place in microwave for 45 seconds to warm efficiently. Enjoy this tasty breakfast option to start your day with energy and vitality!

Heart-Healthy Hominy Stew (makes 6 servings)

2 c red onion, chopped
4 t cumin, divided
2 t maple syrup, honey or sugar
4 T all purpose flour
2 T chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 c butternut squash (approx. 4 lbs), peeled and cubed
4 c water
2 15 oz cans yellow hominy, drained
28 oz chicken broth
2 c red pepper, chopped

Place stock pot on medium heat. Add onion, 2 teaspoons cumin, and sugar. Sauté until onion is browned. Stir in flour, chili powder and garlic, then sauté for another minute. Add squash, water, hominy and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat. Then simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer again until squash is very tender and stew seconds. Finally, stir in remaining cumin and red bell pepper. Cook for five more minutes until pepper softens. Then serve and enjoy this megadose of tasty health!

Festive Confetti Pasta (makes 6 servings)

1 pkg red lentil pasta (or any bean pasta for a rich protein source. Regular pasta may also be used.)
1 zucchini, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
3/4 c baby carrots, sliced
1/4 c kalamata olives
1/3 c raisins
1 apple, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t chili powder
Salt to taste
3 T Extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Cook pasta according to directions on package and set aside. Combine zucchini, orange pepper, baby carrots, olives, raisins, garlic an apple in a large skillet with 1 T oil and spices. Sauté until mixture is slightly tender. Add pasta and mix together over low heat with remaining 2 T olive oil for one minute until everything is mixed and flavors are infused. Serve warm.

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