The Cheap Healthy Recipe Page

Here are some of the best cheap healthy recipes I have found for easy healthy eating.

Healthy food is a must for green living. If you want to live well on less you may also find some of these recipes useful, especially if you grow some of your own organic vegetables.

Healthy meals are easy to make if you have access to good quality, organic ingredients. Organic vegetable dishes can often be very simple because the ingredients are so tasty.


Organic foods can be expensive but there are ways to cut down the costs by choosing cheap cuts and choosing your sources of food carefully. Please see organic food for less.

You can also save money on cooking by cooking with a pressure cooker.

I'll start this collection of cheap healthy recipes with breakfast staples and then come to light lunches and finally some simple, healthy recipes for main meals and dinners.

Cheap healthy recipes must provide good solid nutrition and for breakfast it is often good to have plenty of complex carbohydrates to get the energy system moving! What could be a finer cheap healthy recipe than a good muesli made with organic whole grains?

A Simple Muesli Recipe

Muesli mix

If you want a good quality muesli it is often cheaper to mix it yourself.

  • Take about 3 cups of organic oats (flaked or rolled).
  • Add a cup of wholewheat flakes. If you are sensitive to wheat, either omit the wheat flakes or add spelt wheat flakes instead. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat which many people find easier to digest than modern wheat strains.
  • Add a cupful of rye and/or barley flakes.
  • Whole barley or wheat berries are good if you are going to soak the muesli before eating it. It's best to keep them separate so that you have the option! They will need to be soaked overnight.
  • Add a cupful of mixed dried fruit, chopped if you are using larger things such as apricots and dates. Lexia raisins are very tasty.
  • Add a few chopped nuts such as hazelnuts, brazils or cashews. You can also experiment with a few seeds such as sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds - though not everyone likes the taste. Too many nuts and seeds can make the muesli a bit indigestible, so go easy - half a cupful will be enough for most people.

That's it!

Store your muesli mix in a cool dry place.

For best results add liquid (milk, soya milk, rice milk, fruit juice) either the night before or half and hour before you want to eat your muesli. Add plenty of cut up fresh fruit.

Muesli can also be prepared hot as porridge. Just cook it in a double boiler and treat it the same as porridge. Very nice on cold days.

For more details on preparing muesli see the muesli recipe in The Green Recipe Book.

Cheap Healthy Recipe Page:

Single vegetable organic soup

Organic vegetables tend to be full of vitamins and minerals and are often tastier than their chemically farmed cousins.

Some fresh organic vegetables lend themselves particularly well to soup making and produce a fine tasty soup with nothing added but a few herbs and seasoning - though a dollop of cream can do a lot to make them even tastier. Use up old cream or crème frais rather than throwing it away. Even if it is getting a bit sour, it still does well when cooked in soup!

There are plenty more easy cheap soup recipes on the Vegetable soup recipe page. Most vegetable soups can make a cheap healthy recipe for everyday. You can cut down on some of the more expensive ingredients. As long as you do not skimp on butter or cream most vegetable soups can taste quite magnificent.

If you prefer the vegan option or don't want to use butter or other dairy products, cooked beans such as haricot beans or borlotti beans can provide richness and flavour.

Easy Carrot Soup

Here's an cheap healthy recipe for simple carrot soup.

You need carrots, cooking oil and/or butter, and a good handful of herbs such as coriander, chervil or parsley. Garlic and onions can be added if desired.

  • Prepare your carrots and chop them into pieces about 1 inch long. Sweat the prepared carrots with oil in a closed pan on a low heat for 10 minutes or so. For a large batch of soup use a kilo of carrots and a couple of tablespoonfuls of your best oil. Olive oil is very good but there are plenty of alternatives and groundnut (or peanut) oil will do perfectly well. A good knob of fresh organic butter is also very good. The main trick is to extract as much taste from your carrots as possible.
  • Keep the carrots moving from time to time to prevent burning. Once they have begun to tenderise, add enough water to cover them entirely and some. Cook until tender.
  • Purée the cooked carrots in a blender or food processor until they become reasonably smooth. (Leave some lumps if you like! One way is to just blend about half or three quarters of the soup and leave the rest as lumps. Many people prefer a bit of texture.)
  • Alternatively if you prefer, you can simply mash the mixture with a potato masher or force the cooked vegetables through a sieve to get the effect of blending .
  • Put the soup back onto the hob and bring it back to a low simmer. Add more water if you need to. When you are satisfied that the taste and texture is good, add a good handful of chopped herbs. Coriander and parsley are both particularly good.
  • Cook for a further two or three minutes to let the flavours infuse and then add a half pint or so of cream or crème frais. Stir and serve immediately with crusty bread or croutons.

A cheap healthy recipe idea for when you are really feeling the pinch is to use vegetable peelings, scraps and stalks to prepare soups. Use anything and everything which is reasonably wholesome - after a good wash, of course. You can filter out the more fibrous stuff before puréeing or before serving.

You are in good company if you try this; it's been a health food suggestion by nutritionists for years as a way to capture vitamins and minerals. It was also standard practice among in most kitchens if you go back to Victorian times or earlier. People from the 19th century would find it hard to believe the levels of food waste we think of as normal. If you are using good quality organic ingredients in your recipes you can easily afford to use some skins or peelings in the mix. One of the problems with non-organic foods is that there is often pesticide residues left in the vegetables. The skin is the place where it is likely to be concentrated.

Another way to bulk out a cheap healthy recipe is to use some wild food.

homemade carrot soup

Additional food for free - wild food

There are many wild foods which can be a useful addition to soups and stews. The common weed "fat hen" is a useful plant which is found growing in fertile soil in most gardens in temperate regions. Use the tops for additional green vegetables - in almost any dish.

Hastate orache is another member of the same plant family which is even tastier. Beautiful fried in butter. It tends to grow near the sea and on newly cultivated soils.

Common mallow leaves make a good addition to soups or stews. They are quite glutinous, so provide a bit of bulk. Choose undamaged leaves from the growing tops.

Sweet chestnuts make a great addition to soups and stews.

There are plenty more wild ingredients you use in cheap healthy cooking. Please see Urban foraging - a family-friendly experience.

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Fresh Salads

A good mixed salad is one of the cheapest, easiest and most nutritious dishes I know. Healthy eating should always include a good spread of fresh vegetables and organic salad vegetables are a particularly good choice.

Everyone knows how to prepare salad, of course, so I will just include a few ideas for salad which are a bit more off the radar.

Choose a good selection of the usual suspects: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery etc.

Here are a few other choices to add:

  • very thinly sliced carrots
  • a few orange segments or grapefruit segments can be delicious
  • cold vegetables from the night before - lightly cooked broccoli and cauliflower work well if properly cut down to bite size
  • apple slices
  • raw sliced mushrooms (they need to in very good condition of course, to be appealing raw)
  • a few dates
  • olives, preferably marinated in herbs
  • sprouted seeds such as alfalfa or radish can add crunch and tang
  • chopped fresh herbs in season.

This last - chopped fresh herbs - is my favourite quick fix for making salads more interesting. Even in the depths of winter you can usually harvest something good from the garden to add to a mixed salad. Greek cress, chives, dandelion leaves, a small sprig of thyme, garlic chives, rocket, the list is long!

Just wash them well, remove any twiggy bits and chop them into the mix. A good handful will make almost any boring old salad come to life. And the best thing is that you can feel the benefit in your health and vitality because salads give us important trace elements, minerals and vitamins and enzymes.

For more easy salad ideas please see Salad ingredients for zappier lunches.


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