Affordable Meals from Around the Globe
The CHP Meal Plan is back with this month’s budget friendly recipes! The recipes below provide five dinner meal ideas for an average family of four for less than $100.
Please note – where you shop will play a role in the cost of ingredients. Some of the ingredients in recipes are pantry staples, so if don’t already have an ingredient, that will increase the cost slightly. Let’s take your tastebuds on a global tour!
Total cost: $16.36
The first stop on our global tour is Vietnam with a light, fresh, and filling recipe! I used ground turkey in place of pork to cut back on saturated fat, whole wheat rice noodles to increase fiber, and did a quick pickling on the cucumber and carrots to add an extra zing.
Mediterranean Hummus Bowl
Total cost: $17.32
The next stop is the Mediterranean coast! Did you know that research has consistently shown that the Mediterranean style of eating to be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and overall mortality? This type of eating encourages the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and plant-based proteins. While this recipe does use lean ground beef, which is recommended to be consumed in moderation, the other ingredients are a perfect example of what Mediterranean-style eating is all about. Brown rice for whole grains and fiber, hummus and kalamata olives for healthy fats, and tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to pack in vegetable nutrient power. καλή όρεξη! (Bon Appétit!)
Total cost: $11.85
Next up is Cuba with a Cuban-style picadillo. This recipe isn’t overly fancy or complicated but is packed with nutrients and flavor. Garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves are common in Cuban dishes, which bring lots of flavor to this dish. To add even more nutrients, you could add shredded carrots or serve with a simple side salad. You could also serve with brown rice, riced cauliflower, beans, or plantains to round out the meal!
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Total price: $14.00
Bienvenidos a Mexico! Enchiladas are a traditional Mexican dish that has become popular at many restaurants. They are the perfect combination of creamy, cheesy, and saucy! What also makes them a favorite is how easily they can be customized. While this recipe uses chicken, you could easily use beef or ground turkey, only fill them with beans and cheese, or add a variety of additional toppings to make everyone in your household happy! Serve with a fresh green salad or fruit salad to keep the meal well-rounded.
Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu with Green Bean Almondine
Total cost: $21.94
Chicken cordon bleu is actually Swiss in origin, but its name comes from the French term “cordon bleu”, which means blue ribbon. However, you don’t need to be a prize-winning chef to prepare this easy chicken cordon bleu recipe! Purchasing thin sliced chicken breast and leaving them open faced to cook, rather than folded in half, cuts down on effort and cook time to keep it simple on busy weeknights. Look for low-sodium ham and reduced-fat Swiss cheese to keep this recipe even healthier. Pair this with fresh, light green beans and a complex carb, like brown rice, to make it a complete meal. With Green Beans Almondine
Total Amount: $81.47
As a reminder, this is an estimated cost and will vary depending on where you shop. All estimated costs demonstrated here came from Walmart. The costs of each of these meals account for a larger quantity of the ingredients which means you will likely have leftover ingredients to use towards other recipes during the week! Also, how long leftovers last will also depend on you family’s personal portion sizes at meals.