No matter if you are trying to feed just yourself or your entire family, chances are that at one time or another you have wracked your brain for some ideas for cheap healthy meals. While the combination of meals that are both cheap and healthy for you may seem unlikely, with a little creativity and brain power you can pull some delicious dishes together.
1. Tuna Salad Sandwiches on Whole Wheat Bread
A good old tuna salad sandwich is one of the best lunch ideas that you can have. Tuna is not only low in calories, but it contains unsaturated fat. Unlike saturated fat, which research has found to be linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, unsaturated fat has actually been found to be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke and some types of cancer. For best results, pair your tuna salad with whole wheat bread. Whole wheat bread is not only relatively inexpensive, but also contains high amounts of dietary fiber, which is essential if you're interested in controlling your weight. In addition, as with unsaturated fats, fiber can be effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
2. Grilled Chicken Wrap on a Tortilla
A grilled chicken wrap on a tortilla is another healthy meal that not only tastes great, but is relatively inexpensive to prepare. Chicken is low in calories and contains primarily unsaturated fat, making it a great choice for you if you are concerned about controlling your weight or preventing chronic disease. Ditch the bread that grilled chicken is traditionally served on, and instead wrap it in a tortilla. Tortillas are also relatively low in calories, though they can contain significant amounts of saturated fat. For best results, choose corn instead of flour tortillas. These typically have a reduced fat content, making them much healthier for your entire family.
3. Vegetable Pasta
Vegetable pasta is a great, inexpensive idea for lunch. No matter if you're a vegetarian or are simply looking for a tasty cheap meal, this will be just up your alley. To make this meal, choose whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta contains high amounts of fiber, which as discussed earlier is important for weight management and in the treatment and prevention of certain chronic conditions. Pair the pasta with olive oil, which contains unsaturated fats, garlic, which helps to keep your heart functioning properly, and plenty of vegetables of your choice. Good options for vegetable pasta include things like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and asparagus, but feel free to experiment with your favorites. Try to find vegetables that are in their most natural form. This means free from added salt, seasonings or other additives that could potentially increase the fat and calorie content of this cheap, healthy meal.