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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Tips for Creating One-Pot Meals on a Budget

by Lauren Panoff

One-pot meals are chock full of benefits. They’re budget-friendly, versatile, easy to make and can be whipped up with just a few basic ingredients. In many cases, simply toss everything into one skillet, pan or slow cooker, and dinner (breakfast or lunch) practically takes care of itself. Read on for a few tips for creating delicious one-pot meals.

Make it plant-based

Looking to go meatless? There are tons of great options within fingertip reach. Tofu and tempeh are both affordable, refrigerated choices that are great mix-ins for dishes such as chili, soups or tacos. For other options, canned beans and bagged lentils are nutritious, plant-based proteins that can be found at low prices year-round.

Use dry and canned pantry staples

Stock up on plain dry grains, like rice, lentils, quinoa, barley and pasta, as well as canned goods like assorted beans, green beans and diced tomatoes. Mix in some vegetable broth, and all of these staples make great bases for soups, stews and casseroles. They also have long shelf lives and come at a minimal cost. Take advantage of sales on raw nuts and seeds for later use as well. These can be blended and used to make soups creamier or to simply add some crunch to a one-pot meal. A little goes a long way.

Use frozen vegetables

It’s easy to find frozen vegetables like green peas, corn and chopped spinach at budget-friendly prices. A few bags of unflavored frozen vegetables can easily be combined with some broth, a protein and some seasoning to create a savory and filling one-pot meal. They’re also great for chunky vegetable soups.

Shop sales and in season

One-pot meals can be flexible, meaning you can easily substitute different ingredients based on what’s on hand. A good tip for any kind of meal is to be aware of price fluctuations on produce during different months of the year. If a one-pot meal calls for bell peppers, opt for the green variety to offset cost.

Buy in bulk

Beans, lentils and rice are often favorite ingredients for one-pot meals, so don’t pass up great deals on these bulk buys. This approach not only saves money, it also ensures base ingredients for something healthy and delicious are always on hand.

For more recipes and ideas for making simple meals on a budget, visit the office of a local ShopRite dietitian. Office locations are conveniently listed at March 2019