Tasty and healthy meals for entire family for under $15

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9 p.m. Extra: Meals for under $15

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A lot of people are choosing to dine in, especially in today's economy.

Patti Milligan, a registered dietician, says, "It is forcing us to return to the kitchen to do more than heat up food."

To show just how much cash a family of four can save on a week's worth of dinner meals, Milligan did a little research. She explains, "The best thing to do is shop by ads and then begin to take the ad and put together what are the best meals."

In this week's deals at Sprouts Farmers Market Milligan found corn, sweet potatoes and beans all for under $1.50.

Eggs were less than $2 a dozen, pre-made pizza was three for $10 and a whole chicken for under $6. Milligan admits, "The first thing I like to start the week out with is a roasted chicken. If you think about buying a whole chicken and roasting it, it's more economically than if you just buy a package of chicken breasts." She adds, "Sweet potatoes are so inexpensive and so nutritious and all you do is bake them and put a little bit of olive oil on in the oven and do corn, but actually buy corn on the cob. It's a good price."

Other tasty eats you can whip up with low-cost ingredients are beans, lentil soup, chicken and chili casserole with an avocado, tomato, and lime green salad.

What about a scrambled egg dish and why not round out your week with pizza." Milligan tells 3TV, "All of these meals were prepared for a family of four under 15 bucks."

That means that it was less than $4 per person for each meal. Milligan says not only are families eating for less, but the food is healthy and, "They've done great studies that families that eat together actually have less obesity and less issues in food."

The food prices at grocery stores change from week to week so make sure you're always searching for the best deal.

The following is a list of the meals Milligan prepared:

Meal #1:

Roasted Chicken

Fire Roasted Corn

Baked Sweet Potatoes Fries

Roasted Chicken Recipe

1 roasting chicken

Crushed garlic (two cloves)

Lemon pepper (to taste)

Olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 lemon or lime, sliced

Rub crushed garlic in cavity (after removing neck and giblets) under and on the skin of a roasting

chicken. Sprinkle lemon pepper and olive oil in cavity and on skin. Place slices of lemon (or lime)

and onion in cavity. Roast chicken on a rack, breast side down in a 350 degree oven until

thermometer reads 165 degrees (75 to 90 minutes). Remove chicken from oven. Wrap tightly in

foil to allow cooking to continue. After an hour, remove foil, carve and serve.

Fire Roasted Corn

1-2 Corn, on the ear, shucked

Limes cut in wedges

½tsp cumin

¼tsp kosher salt

Preheat stove burner or grill to medium high. Place corn on the grill (or burner directly), turning

often, until it is browned on all sides for about 10 minutes. Place corn on a platter, and dip the

lime wedges in the cumin/salt and rub into the corn, squeezing the lime slightly to get some of the

juice. When cooled enough to handle, take a knife to removed corn kernels from the cob.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries:

½tsp of cumin

½tsp of ground black pepper

¼tsp of kosher or sea salt

¼tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1-2 sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine spices in a bowl. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch thick

lengthwise strips and toss with olive oil. Then toss in bowl with spices. Use a nonstick baking

sheet and arrange potatoes on baking sheets. Bake potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden

brown on bottom. Turn potatoes over and bake about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown all

over. Serve.

Meal #2:

Crock Pot Bean Soup

Whole wheat Roll (found in Sprouts bakery)

Tossed Green salad with tomato wedges and sliced cucumbers (found in Sprouts

produce department) with olive oil/balsamic vinaigrette or favorite salad dressing

Crock Pot Bean Soup Recipe

2cups any type of beans or mixed beans and lentils, rinsed. (Sprouts has mixed beans both in

grocery and bulk dept.)

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth. (you may use ½ broth and ½ water)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 lg. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 Sprouts freshly made chicken sausage (cooked and diced), optional

Kosher Salt & pepper, to taste

Wash beans. Combine beans, broth/ water, garlic, bay leaf, onion and sausage in slow cooker or

crock pot. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours longer, until beans are tender. Season to taste with

salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Note: this makes a double batch for a family of 4, so you are able to freeze for a meal at a later time.

Meal #3

Roasted Chicken and Chiles Casserole

Avocado/Tomato/Cilantro Salad

Roasted Chicken and Chiles Casserole Recipe

2 Green peppers, diced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

1 tbsp olive oil

Leftover roasted chicken (from meal #1) or 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken tenders

2 limes, juice of

¼tsp kosher salt

½tsp black pepper

1 large white onion, diced

28 oz of green enchilada sauce (Sprouts carries a variety in the grocery dept)

1 tsp cumin

½cup cilantro, chopped

8 white corn tortillas, 6"

1 ½ cups part-skim mozzarella

Preheat over to 450 degrees F. Saut' chicken in olive oil, add peppers and onions. Season with

juice of one lime, salt and pepper. (As the chicken cooks in the lime juice, it will start to

caramelize on the bottom of the pan, this creates amazing flavor). When chicken is cooked,

removed from saut' pan and place on a plate to cool.

Reduce heat in pan and add enchilada sauce, scraping the pan to mix the caramelized lime into

the mixture. Allow this mixture to simmer gently for about 10 minutes, while you are shredding

chicken. Finish the sauce by adding remaining lime juice, cumin and cilantro. Take a 9 x 13 glass

baking dish.

Combine in 3 layers evenly the following:

·chicken and Chile sauce

·part skim mozzarella

·Tortillas cut in half. Line the dish with the flat sides of the tortillas lining the edge of the

pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbling. Serve with

Avocado/Tomato/Cilantro salad.

Avocado/Tomato/Cilantro Salad Recipe

2 Avocados, cubed

2 Tomatoes, cubed

¼cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, use juice

1 tbsp olive oil

A pinch of kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Meal #4

Breakfast for Dinner: Scrambled Eggs, Whole Wheat Toast, Cut up Fruit (in season)

Scrambled Egg Recipe

Use your creativity and family's favorite combinations of veggies

8 Large eggs

½cup peppers (any color), diced

½cup mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp chives, chopped

¼tsp kosher salt

½tsp black pepper

¼cup cheese (any type), shredded

Saut' the mushrooms and peppers in olive oil. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, chives, salt and

pepper. Add egg mixture to cooked peppers and onions. Use a spatula to move the eggs around

the pan. As they begin to cook, add chives and cook to desired doneness. Serve warm with whole

wheat toast and cut up fresh fruit.

Meal #5

Build Your Own Pizza

Pizza Crust (you can make your own or use ready made whole wheat crust)

¾cup pizza sauce

1 Sprouts homemade chicken sausage, cooked and chopped

½-3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella or Monterey jack, shredded

½cup favorite veggies, chopped (i.e. zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers)

1 tbsp olive oil

¼tsp Italian seasoning

Saut' favorite veggies in olive oil with Italian seasoning. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Begin pizza assembly. Add pizza sauce, layer on cheese, sausage, sauted veggies. Get the whole

family involved in this assembly. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Slice and

Serve.