Delicious and Affordable: The Best Sustainable Meals on a Budget

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This article showcases our top picks for the Cheap Sustainable Meals. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice

This product was recommended by Jen Stark from Happy DIY Home

Ingredients: – 1 cup of rice – 2 cups of water – 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil – 1 onion, diced – 2 cloves of garlic, minced – 1 red bell pepper, sliced – 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced – 2 cups of broccoli florets – 1 carrot, sliced – 1 tablespoon of soy sauce – Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: 1. Rinse the rice in cold water and drain it. In a pot, add the rice and 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. 2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. 3. Add the sliced bell peppers, broccoli florets, and sliced carrots to the pan. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 4. Add the soy sauce and stir to coat the vegetables evenly. 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Serve the stir fry over the cooked rice. This meal is low-cost, vegetarian, and can be made with locally grown produce. It is also a great way to use up any leftover vegetables you may have in your fridge.

French-Style Roasted Beef Bone Marrow

This product was recommended by Sarah Mason from Fluent Foodie

Bone Marrow is a great option. It provides collagen, as well as fat, making it a dish that will easily fill you up. All you need is beef bones and and oven. Serve with bread. DIRECTIONS 1. Soak the beef bones in a large pot of salted water overnight. This will draw out any blood and impurities in the bones. 2. When you are ready to roast, remove the bones from the water and dry them thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover your baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. 3. On a baking sheet, lay the bones marrow-side up. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. 4. Bake the marrow bones for 20 minutes. The marrow should begin to bloat slightly from the bones and have no resistance when touched with a knife. 5. When finished cooking, remove from the oven and serve immediately. Serve with toast, roasted garlic and more salt and pepper.

Filipino Garlic Spam Fried Rice

This product was recommended by Sarah Mason from Fluent Foodie

Filipino Garlic Spam Fried Rice is a dish that can be thrown together. Use this meal to use up those leftover veggies in your fridge. Spam is an affordable protein and now there’s even a low salt and a turkey version! DIRECTIONS 1. Place the cubed Spam in a pan with the cooking oil. Sprinkle with the sugar. Allow the Spam to fry and get a little crispy. Once browned, transfer to a nearby bowl and set aside. 2. In the remaining oil, place the two beaten eggs into the same pan. Scramble. Once cooked, place into the same bowl with the Spam. 3. In the same pan, add the peas and carrots. Fry until cooked through. 4. Once the peas and carrots are finished cooking, add the egg, Spam and garlic rice into the pan. Toss with the soy sauce and fish sauce.

Twice Baked Potatoes

This product was recommended by Sarah Mason from Fluent Foodie

Twice Baked Potatoes are a great way to dress up the humble potato. Add in as much (or as little) cheese and you’d like and even add chicken for extra protein. DIRECTIONS 1. Prep your skins. Take your baked potatoes and cut them in half. Scoop out potato and leave about 1/4 of a border. Set the scooped potato aside. Brush the inside of skins with butter and bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 300 degrees. 2. Make the stuffing. Take the extra potato and mash with a fork. Add in the melted butter, sour cream and cream. Salt and pepper to taste. 3. Stuff. Take a spoonful of the potato mixture and add it to the potato skins. Rake the tops with a fork and sprinkle with paprika. Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. 4. Serve or Freeze. Either serve the potatoes immediately and top with more garnishes such as chives and bacon, or wrap in plastic wrap and place in a ziplock and place in a freezer for up to three months.

Mussel

This product was recommended by Leona Bass from LoanAdvisor

Mussel production is sustainable, unlike that of many other types of seafood. Although they can be taken from the wild, most mussels are raised using huge queues that are suspended in the water. As it doesn’t require any ground or feed and harvesting doesn’t cause significant by-catch or harm to environments, aquaculture has a fraction of the ecological impact of producing more conventional animal proteins. In addition, mussels actively contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases by drawing carbon dioxide from the water to develop their shells. They are a great substitution for other, less sustainable products as for their meaty texture and high level of protein.

Lentil Soup

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

I like to make this soup by boiling lentils with onions, garlic, and carrots in vegetable broth. Once everything is cooked, I blend it up and add spices like cumin and turmeric. It’s a cheap and healthy meal that has lots of protein and fiber.

Vegetarian Chili

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

I cook this by combining beans, peppers, onions, and tomatoes with chili powder, cumin, and paprika. I cook it all in a pot with some vegetable broth until the flavors mix well. It’s a tasty meal that’s high in protein and fiber, and I can eat it alone or with bread.

Baked Sweet Potato

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

I cook a sweet potato in the oven for about an hour and add some toppings like black beans, avocado, and salsa. It’s a nutritious and cheap meal that’s easy to make.

Chickpea Salad

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

I make this salad with chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, and dress it with olive oil and lemon juice. It’s a tasty and healthy meal that’s great for summer, and it has lots of protein and fiber.

Vegetable Frittata

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

I cook this by combining leftover veggies like onions, peppers, spinach, and broccoli with some beaten eggs. I cook it until the eggs are set. It’s a tasty and filling meal that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Black Bean Quesadillas

This product was recommended by Derrick Hathaway from VEM Medical

I prefer to create black bean quesadillas by re-heating canned black beans with onions, garlic, and seasonings like cumin and chili powder. Then, I roll up the mixture in a tortilla, sprinkle on some cheese, and fry it in a pan until it’s golden and crunchy. It’s a nutritious lunch that won’t break the bank and tastes great.

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