U Rock Girl! by U Rock Girl!

Who says that healthy eating has to be expensive? Some of the healthiest items in the market are also among the least expensive. Staples like brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils and in-season fruits and vegetables are very easy on the wallet. The foods that drive up the market receipt are typically those found in boxes, bags and jars—breads, cereal, frozen meals, salad dressings—because the packaging costs so much money. If you want to become a savvy shopper, head over to the bulk section of your local grocery store and purchase your grains, nuts, beans and seeds. You'll save a lot when you buy these items in bulk.

Here’s another great shopping tip: Study the weekly store ads and purchase extra items that you regularly use when it's on sale. When lean ground turkey is on sale, buy two packages instead of one and freeze the second one for a recipe in a few weeks. Fresh proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef and pork will freeze well up to six months if you wrap them in airtight packages.

Whether you're cooking for one or a family of four, here are four recipes that are both nutritious and delicious, and cost less than $5 per serving.


  • Buy your grains, nuts, seeds, and beans in bulk
  • Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season
  • Purchase extra chicken and turkey when it's on sale and freeze the extra for a future recipe                                                                               


Cost per serving: $.82

Cost per recipe: $3.27


  • 3 eggs + 3 egg whites, whisked together
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 10 grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 1/2 cup basil, cut thin
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a glass pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour into the pie plate. Place in oven and bake 25 minutes or until the eggs are set.
  3. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before slicing into wedges.


Cost per serving: $1.85

Cost per recipe: $7.39


  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups eggplant, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 block extra firm organic tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over high heat until hot. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, eggplant and tofu and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and cook another minute.
  2. Add the hoisin sauce and toss to coat the vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle with cilantro
  3. Slice the head of lettuce in half and separate out the individual leaves. Wash and dry lettuce. Place two lettuce leaves on each plate and fill each with approximately 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture.


Cost per serving: $2.40

Cost per recipe: $9.61


  • 1 pound rockfish (or similar firm white fish, such as cod, red snapper or halibut)
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup green salsa
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8 corn tortillas
  1. Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and lime zest in a bowl. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks and sprinkle with lime juice and seasoning mix.
  2. Coat a large nonstick pan or grill pan with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the fish and cook about 4 minutes, or until opaque. Remove from pan to a bowl to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, green salsa, avocado, mango and cilantro and mix well.
  4. Heat the corn tortillas over an open flame or in the oven or microwave. Fill each tortilla with some fish and top with the mango slaw. Serve two tacos per person. 


Cost per serving: $1.82

Cost per recipe: $7.27


  • 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (substitute quinoa for added protein)
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add the sesame oil and allow it to get hot. Add the chicken pieces and let cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip over the pieces and cook another 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  2. Coat the pan again with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots and zucchini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add the brown rice and mix into the vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add the chicken back to the pan with the vegetables and rice.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Make a well in the center of the pan and pour the soy sauce into the pan. When it starts to bubble, quickly stir the sauce into the chicken, vegetables and rice. It will thicken quickly and coat everything.
  4. Divide into four bowls and top with sesame seeds.