Healthy on a Budget Recipes

These recipes and cooking suggestions were used by Judy Radant in our latest “Healthy on a Budget” demonstration at Faith in Action. Great for fall and eating seasonally too.

QUICK PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SNACK BARS                          Pre heat oven to 350º F

3 cups rolled oats (dry oatmeal)  OR 2 cups rolled oats and 1 cup dry cereal (not flakes –  Rice Krispies, Cheerios or similar cereal)

½ cup peanut butter                                                                 ½ cup jelly or jam

¼ cup hot water                                                                      ¼ teaspoon salt

Butter a baking dish (11” x 8” x 2” works well, but larger or smaller is O.K.)

Put peanut butter, half of the jelly and water in a saucepan.  Heat and stir just until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Put oats (and cereal if using it) in a large bowl.  Stir in peanut butter mixture.

Press into buttered dish.  Spread remaining jelly on top.

Bake 25 minutes.

Let cool, then cut into 12 bars.

You can also add coconut, chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, raisins or chocolate chips if you have them.

If you have honey, you can substitute that for the jelly.  Use 2 tablespoons of honey. (Do not spread any on top before baking.)



1 box Jiffy oatmeal muffin mix                                              1 egg

½ cup canned fruit, drained and chopped                               ¼ cup juice from canned fruit

(peaches, pears, oranges)

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Butter or spray muffin pans, or put in cupcake papers.

Put juice, egg and fruit in a bowl.  Stir together.

Add  muffin mix.  Stir just until blended (better will be lumpy – that’s good!)

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake 12 to 15 muntes, or until muffin bounces back when pressed lightly with your finger.




2 cups water                                                                1 cup white rice

1 tablespoon butter

Put water in an 8 inch baking dish.  Stir in rice.  Add butter.

Cover with foil or lid.  Bake in oven. 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Remove from oven.  Fluff with a fork.  At this point it can be seasoned ( I like a little butter, salt and pepper), or cooled and refrigerated for later use.  Place in a plastic bag so it does not dry out.

This will keep4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

If you want more rice,  use 4 cups water and 2 cups rice and 2 tablespoons butter.  Bake in a 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish.


1 ½ cup brown rice                                                     2 ½ cups water

1 tablespoon butter

Use an 8” square baking dish.  Put butter and water in a saucepan  Heat to boiling.  Put it in baking dish.  Stir in rice.  Cover.

Bake  1 hour, or until rice is tender.



Chicken breasts, thawed                                             salt and pepper to taste

butter or oil

Brush a baking dish with butter or oil.    Put chicken breasts in dish.  Brush with some melted butte or oil.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake 25 to 35 minutes.  Let cool.  Cut into chunks, wrap or place in plastic bag.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cooked chicken keeps 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.  If you want to keep it longer, store it in the freezer.


Casserole mix:

2 to 3 cups cooked rice                                               1 can cream of chicken soup

½ of a soup can of water                                             2 cups chopped cooked chicken

canned or frozen vegetables of your choice*             salt and pepper to taste

If you have it, add a pinch of ground sage, thyme, parsley, or ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning.

*Drain off juice before adding.  Peas, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, mixed vegetables & spinach

work well for this dish.

Place in a casserole dish.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until hot in center.



EASY BURGER DINNER                                                    Peeheat oven to 350º F.

1 pound ground beef or turkey                                                ½ cup chopped onion

4 medium potatoes, washed and cubed                                  1 cup chopped fresh carrots*

1 can tomato soup                                                                   1/2 soup can water

Spread raw ground meat in a 2 or 3 quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add chopped onion. (use use 1 tablespoon dried onion, or ½ teaspoon onion powder)

Spread carrots then potatoes and carrots over meat and onion  Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix soup and water.  Pour over vegetables.

Cover and bake 2 to 2 ½ hours, until carrots and potatoes are tender.

*or vegetable of your choice

This dish is also good made with cream of mushroom soup in place of the tomato soup, especially if you are using ground turkey.

NOTE:  When you add salt, SPRINKLE IT ON LIGHTLY.  Too much is not good for your body.  If you have herbs on hand, try substituting them for some or all of the salt.


Money and/or time saving suggestions:

  • make your own granola bars with foods from pantry
  • add drained canned fruit to muffin mix to boost flavor and nutrition
  • use juice from the canned fruit in place of milk in the muffins
  • oven bake a quantity of rice and cook chicken ahead of time for quick after work meal
  • spinach might not get eaten alone, but was good when added to the chicken and rice
  • wash and cut fresh green beans and add to burger dish – no need to pre-cook
  • put ground beef in casserole without pre- cooking – if excess grease comes during baking, skim off with a spoon, the put casserole back in oven to brown top
  • even the worst looking potatoes can be used in the burger dish
  • leave as much skin as possible on the potatoes for added nutrition
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