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Meals That Make $ense

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Fruity Splash Smoothie
Hot Pizza Dip
Turkey Tetrazzini With Cheddar and Parmesan

(Family Features) - Saving money doesn't have to mean sacrificing good nutrition. Yet that's what many people feeling the economic pinch have been thinking.

According to an April 2009 Omnibus survey released by the Midwest Dairy Council, the majority of shoppers say saving money at the grocery store, not shopping for fresh, healthy foods, is now the most important factor.

  • 52 percent say selecting lower-priced foods is the most important factor.

  • Only 33 percent say buying fresh, healthy foods is most important.

  • It's possible to make smart food choices that save money and bring nutrition to the table. Here are some tips to help you make meals that make sense - and save dollars:

  • Avoid empty-calorie foods that provide little nutrition. Many designer drinks and sodas don't help your wallet or your waistline. Drinkable yogurts and flavored milks have nine essential nutrients that help fuel the body.

  • Skip the expensive snack aisles and focus on convenient snacks that pay you back, such as yogurt and string cheeses. Yogurt can deliver nearly a third of your daily calcium needs in just one eight-ounce serving.

  • At 25 cents per serving, milk is one of the most economical sources of high-quality protein and calcium, making it one of the best beverage bargains in the supermarket. Buy it by the gallon to stretch your dollar.

  • Cheese has eight grams of protein per ounce, and is most cost-effective when you buy it in block form and shred it over veggies or use it in casseroles.

For more about how to get the most out of your meals, visit www.dairymakessense.com.

Fruity Splash Smoothie

  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 5 to 7 large unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 1 medium banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Combine all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth and creamy.
    2. Pour in glasses.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Calories: 180g     Total Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5mg     Protein: 6g
Carbohydrates: 43g     Sodium: 65mg

Servings 2
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Substitution Idea: For frozen fruit pops, pour leftover smoothie into small plastic cups. Cover cups with plastic wrap; insert stick and freeze.

Cost/recipe: $1.80
Cost/serving: $0.90

Hot Pizza Dip

  • 6 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Whole-wheat bread sticks or crackers

    1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and oregano in bowl. Stir until smooth.
    2. Spread evenly into a small pie plate or quiche pan.
    3. Top with pizza sauce, cheeses, peppers and onions.
    4. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with whole-wheat breadsticks or crackers.

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
15 minutes

Calories: 110g     Total Fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 20mg     Protein: 7g
Carbohydrates: 5g     Sodium: 300mg

Servings 10
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Cost/recipe: $4.25
Cost/serving: $0.42

Turkey Tetrazzini With Cheddar and Parmesan

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 package (12 ounces) whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional chicken broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey breast
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
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    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a shallow two to three-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions.
    2. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Stirring constantly, cook about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, chicken broth, wine and pepper; bring mixture to a boil. Stir in mushrooms, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mixture thickens and mushrooms are softened.
    3. Stir Parmesan cheese, pasta, turkey and peas into milk mixture; spoon into prepared baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese and cover loosely with foil. Bake about 45 minutes or until bubbling at edges and heated through.
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Preparation Time
25 minutes

Cook Time
60 to 65 minutes

Calories: 490g     Total Fat: 9g
Cholesterol: 90mg     Protein: 44g
Carbohydrates: 57g     Sodium: 370mg

Servings 6

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Substitution Idea: This recipe works well for leftover turkey or substitute chicken for turkey.

Cost/recipe: $6.67
Cost/serving: $1.11

SOURCE: Midwest Dairy Association

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