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BellaOnline's Healthy Foods Editor


3 Main Dishes Under $15

Guest Author - Christina T. Schlachter, PhD

Who does not love eating healthy and saving a little money while you do it! All these main dishes will feed a family of 4 for under $15. These recipes hit the trifecta for taste, budget and health! We have revamped our favorite recipes to keep them in the $10-$15 range to serve a family of 4 (even for some of the biggest eaters!)

Slow Cooker Spiced Chicken Breasts
This chicken recipe makes taste, budget, and health a priority. Low in sodium, easy to make, and so good!

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts (with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. stone-ground mustard or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

    1. Loosen skin from chicken breasts. Place the chicken your slow cooker. In a bowl, mix lime juice, honey, mustard, and black pepper with a whisk. Pour lime juice mixture over the chicken.
    3. Allow to bake in the slow cooker overnight or during the day. Remove when the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.
    4. Turn off the heat and keep the chicken loosely covered with foil or lid until you are ready to eat. Be sure to let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Remove and discard skin before serving. Pair with mashed potatoes and green beans.

    Nutrition Info Approx.
    Yield: 4-6 servings
    Calories: 197
    Fat: 7g
    Cholesterol: 77mg
    Sodium: 95mg
    Carbs: 8g
    Trace Fiber
    Protein: 25g

    Dinner Popovers
    This recipe makes for a great way to use up any protein left in the house – tofu, turkey, or leftover chicken. Plus, it's super easy and quick to make. Try serving these with a green salad to make a light meal. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken or turkey breast, tofu, or turkey
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls


    1. Using a small bowl, combine chicken/turkey/tofu, cheese, celery, onion, salt, and pepper.

    2. Separate crescent dough into eight triangles and top each side with protein mixture. Fold the dough over, making sure to seal the edges.

    3. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 to 17 minutes or until a golden brown. Serve warm.

    Nutritional Info:
    Yield: 8 servings
    Calories: 169
    Fat: 8g
    Cholesterol: 24mg
    Sodium: 338mg
    Carbs: 13g
    Protein: 11g

    Roasted Red Pepper Tilapia
    Tilapia is an inexpensive fish, which is often sold as a “pre seasoned” filet at the seafood counter. However, if you want to try making your own dish, it is simple easy, and often much healthier. Pair with a spinach or green salad.


  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 1/2-lb.) Tilapia fillet, skinned

    Roasted Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 (7 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) red peppers, drained
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease shallow baking dish.
    2. Prepare Roasted Pepper Sauce by combine ingredients for roasted pepper sauce in food processor or blender; process until smooth.
    3. Cover bottom of baking dish with onion and garlic. Top with fish and sauce.
    4. Bake 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Garnish as desired.

    Nutritional Info:
    Yield: 4 servings
    Calories: 229
    Fat: 4g
    Cholesterol: 54mg
    Sodium: 547mg
    Carbs: 6g
    Fiber: 2g
    Protein: 36g
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    Content copyright © 2014 by Christina T. Schlachter, PhD. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Christina T. Schlachter, PhD. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Megan Mignot for details.


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