How To Keep Eating Well If You’re On a Budget

What to Keep Up

For families who have decided to buy healthy snacks, produce and whole grain costs may seem incredibly high. However, eating healthy snack instead of snack high in sugar is a natural way to boost energy and to curb and unhealthy appetite. Though healthier foods may be more expensive, they help to keep both adults and children fuller for longer, reducing the frequency with which such snacks are purchased and ultimately saving families money and supplementary energy boosters and appetite reducers. Eating healthy snacks also helps the body to feel more active. This results in increased activity and reduces the risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases which cost a lot in bills and healthcare.

What to Add

Buying healthy food in bulk is a great idea for a large family. It’s a quick and easy way to make healthy choices, and lots of them, all at once. For those with smaller families, it is important not to over purchase quantities of food. Though it may seem smart cost wise, much of the food will be unusable before smaller families get around to preparing it. Also, families should try to add homemade recipes to menus. By involving the entire family in meal selections, children often feel more included and enthusiastic about healthy food options, thus eliminating food waste.

What to Cut Out

Though some fruits and veggies may be favorites, it’s a good idea to cut out those options that are more expensive in favor of cheaper options. For example, if a family member enjoys eating fresh cherries, but they are much more expensive than grapes, it may be a great idea to settle for the less appealing but still healthy and satisfying alternative. Also, simply by resisting the urge to buy by brand and by actually checking nutritional content and with prices, families can cut down on unnecessarily wasted money. Also, by eliminating unhealthy juices and beverages from diets, and by increasing the amount of water and fruits that are ingested, families can reduce sugar intake and save even more money.

What to Tweak

Many shudder at the thought, but leftovers are actually a great way to reduce food costs and to keep up a healthy, balanced diet. Often, families opt for fast food and other unhealthy options because of time limitations. By reducing homemade meal frequency to just a few times a week and making enough for leftovers, families can still eat healthy food without feeling rushed or pressed for time because of the need to prepare new ingredients. Reheating food also decreases the necessity for going out for lunch during work and school hours, thus leaving more room in the grocery budget for healthy options.

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Low Calorie Cooking with 360 Cookware Vapor Technology

360 9pc Cookware Set

Low Calorie Cooking Technology!

360 Cookware is a line of high performance,
stainless steel cookware that promises to handle all of your traditional recipes beautifully while also providing the opportunity of cooking with fewer calories by eliminating the need for fats, oils or extra water.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, the secret behind 360 Cookware is a vapor seal that creates a low but intense heat that permeates food evenly from all sides. The specially-designed lid can be engaged to create a floating seal, surrounding food with even, controlled heat from 360 degrees, locking in flavor, texture and nutrients, all without excess fats or water.

After steam starts to escape from food, you spin the lid and the seal is engaged. The vapor technology cooks food faster and on a lower heat setting so it uses less energy than traditional stainless steel cookware. The heat is so well distributed that you can bake a cake on the stove top! Food even tastes better and is more nutritious because the low heat doesn’t destroy vital nutrients and texture.

And you can feel good about purchasing green cookware that is “Made in the USA.” Not only does 360 Cookware use less energy, it is also manufactured at the greenest cookware manufacturing plant in the country.

360 Cookware is made of multiple layers of high-grade metals including interior layers of bonded aluminum that are carried up the sides and throughout the lip of the pan. All 360 Cookware is encased in surgical grade, non-leaching 8/10 T-304 stainless steel, so food does not come into contact with soft metals, non-stick coatings or other potentially-hazardous elements. Each model is constructed with an ergonomic, stay-cool handle, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

An added benefit of the vapor technology is the ability to cook healthy, one pot dishes. They have plenty of healthy recipes featured on their website, so we tested out the Tilapia with Fresh Salsa, Corn and Baby Spinach. The entire meal took about 20 minutes to prepare and the fish came out to light and flaky perfection!

360 Cookware – Tilapia With Fresh Salsa

Tilapia with Fresh Salsa, Corn and Baby Spinach Recipe

16 ounces best quality fresh salsa
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
10.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ears corn, shucked, kernels cut from cobs (about 1 ½ cups)
4 skinless tilapia fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Smoked paprika
1 lime, cut into wedges

  • Pour the salsa into the stainless steel 3.5 Quart Sauté Pan.
  • Sprinkle the spinach over the salsa in an even layer, and lightly season it with a little salt. Sprinkle the black beans and corn evenly over the spinach.
  • Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Lightly sprinkle the fish with smoked paprika. Arrange the fillets in a single layer over the vegetable mixture.
  • Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 5 minutes.
  • Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal then reduce the heat to low. Cook the fish for 2 minutes then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let stand off-heat for about 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. (It should flake easily with a fork.)
  • To Serve use a spatula to divide the fish, vegetables, and sauce among 4 plates. Serve with lime wedges.

It may seem odd to let partially cooked fish stand off heat to cook but trust us, the multi-layered construction and heat retention create convection oven-like heat, so the fish comes out flawlessly. Can’t wait to try baking a potato on the stovetop!


College Cookware 101: Kitchen Essentials for Every Student

College Cookware 101: Kitchen Essentials for Every Student

Leaving your parents’ home for college often means that you’ll be preparing all of your own meals for the first time. Not only will you have to go food shopping, but you’ll have to equip your kitchen with cookware and appliances. Do you find yourself wandering through the aisles of Target and Wal-mart, feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer variety of cookware pieces available?

From student chefs getting recipe ideas by watching online cooking videos and the Food channel, to college students just wanting to make a decent dinner, these cookware items are essential to maximize your college eating experience. Don’t forget to bring our list with you on your first big kitchen shopping trip!

Mainstays 3-Piece Sauté Set,  approx. $22

This set comes with pans of three different sizes. The smallest pan can be used to make a quick grilled cheese sandwich. To stir fry veggies, the medium-sized pan is perfect. If you ever wanted to host a potluck dinner with your classmates, the largest pan will do the trick. Each pan comes with a non-stick coating, and you can throw them in the dishwasher when you’re done cooking.

Black & Decker 3-in-1 Can Opener, approx. $18

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wrestled with a can of beans or corn trying to force it open with a manual can opener. Their electric counterparts make life easier, and are inexpensive too. I chose this three-in-one by Black & Decker because it’s extra tall, so big cans will fit, and it also comes with a bottle opener and knife sharpener.

Proctor Silex Nonstick 7 Piece Cookware Set, approx. $40

When I was in college, I made a lot of pasta. It’s easy to make, quick, and cheap. However, you do need two pots to do it; one for the sauce and another for the pasta. I recommend this cookware set because it comes with the three major sizes that you will need as a college student: one quart, two quart, and five quart. A bonus frying pan is thrown in, making a great backup to the Mainstays sauté set.

Farberware 14-Piece Professional Tool and Gadget Set, approx.$20

This basic tool kit has exactly what you need to make almost any type of meal. It’s got a whisk for scrambled eggs on Sunday mornings, measuring cups and spoons for a cake recipe, and a peeler for potato skins. It also comes with a slotted spoon, a slotted spatula, and a basted spoon, plus a backup manual can opener.

Vasconia 4-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker, $20

Even though beans from a can can be tasty, nothing beats the flavor of pressure-cooked beans made from scratch. Not only are they delicious, but your food expenses will drop when you incorporate beans into your diet. This pressure cooker by Vasconia is an inexpensive option to pressure cook your black beans, lentils, and whatever other type shows up in your recipe book.

Aroma 6-Cup Rice Cooker & Food Steamer , $15

Like beans, rice is another economical staple in meals around the world. Whether you’re preparing a Chinese stir fry or a Mexican dish, a rice cooker eliminates undercooked, crunchy rice and the overcooked soupy variety. This amazing design by Aroma also includes a vegetable steamer, so you can prepare a broccoli and carrot side – at the same time, with the same pot!

Jasmine Stephenson is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on ultrasound technician schools for the Guide to Health Education.

Healthy Meal Ideas For When You Don’t Have Time To Cook

Sometimes, healthy meal ideas are hard to come by and require alot of time in the kitchen  , there are several quick and simple healthy meal ideas available for those of us who are trying to lose weight . Given that we don’t have the time to cook a delightful dinner each and every day , in this article I will provide several ideas which will help you create a low fat meal in a snap .

A great meal substitute when you simply don’t have time is a smoothie made with fat-free milk, frozen fruit, and wheat germ .

A quick and nutritious meal can be simple . Try a peanut butter sandwich made with whole wheat bread . Along with that have an apple and a glass of 1% milk .

How about some eggwhites with sauteed chives and peppers and a couple slices of multi grain toast, put them together for a sandwich  .

A bag of frozen veggies topped with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and some chopped nuts.

Salad is always a quick and delicious meal . Just mix a bag of salad greens together with a can of tuna or chicken breast, maybe a tomato and some fat free dressing and you have a delicious meal in a snap  . You can even use pre cooked chicken strips (as long as they are not fried!) .

Make a quick and delicious sandwich . Make sure to have some whole wheat or multi grain bread on hand, your favorite low fat deli meat, and some fat free cheese, mustard is a great low calorie addition  .

Remember that cereal with low fat milk and fruit is a great meal no matter what time of the day it may be !

There are also many different ready to eat meal replacement alternatives on the market you can buy and have on standby. For example, yo can keep a meal replacement bar in your purse or gym bag, that’s a great healthy meal when you’re on the go and running out of time.

These are just a few healthy meal ideas for those of us who don’t always have time to cook .

Cooking Made Really Simple

Lots of people simply cannot be bothered preparing food these days. Sometimes it seems easier just to eat at cafes every night, because of so many take-away shops out there or perhaps to simply put something in the microwave since  there are plenty of ready dinners to select from.

At times, it can be very amazing to discover precisely what actual ingredients are contained in ready foods, or in the fast foods which seem so handy and which young people frequently really like! It can also be surprising to work through the amount these dishes cost you, when you add up the time as well as real money put out.

Frequently, the reasons people today do not cook meals for themselves as well as their loved ones tend to be because  (a) they feel they do not have the time and also (b) they don’t know what to prepare. But there are  many very simple, nourishing meals available that you can try out on your own family. A lot of straightforward ingredients can quickly be converted into tasty nutritious meals. And by the way – you’re saving yourself unwanted expense. And if you are  concerned about the dish washing- there is hardly any!

Why not try an easy meal together with your next fast food, just to discover just how easy it is? And if you want to inspire yourself to accomplish something, whether it’s  to prepare a meal on a regular basis or perhaps to cultivate some other good routine – go to Freedup to figure out ways of getting yourself  to do what you want to achieve.

Mashed Potatoes

This is a simple and filling dish but very pleasant and tasty. They can be served in lots  of alternatives and even the leftovers can be used up.

Ingredients: Depending on your appetite, use about 2 medium potatoes for each person. You will also need salt and pepper to taste, a knob of butter and a little milk.

Method: Thinly peel the potatoes and slice them. Put them in cold water until you are ready to use them. Drain off the cold water, put the pieces in a saucepan and cover them with boiling water. Bring the water back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potato slices are cooked. (They will be tender when tested about 5 – 10 minutes.) You can use a fork to check if the potatoes are done. There should be no resistance when it is pricked into the slices and it should come out again very easily. If the potatoes break up – they are overdone! But if the potatoes try to hold onto the fork, cook them a little longer. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Put the pan back on a low heat for a very short while, just to dry them. Add a knob of butter, a little milk and salt and  pepper and mash the potatoes up using a potato masher. Use alongside your normal meal or even eat them by themselves.

Ideal for the kitchen American Style Fridge Freezers and Stainless Steel American Fridge Freezers