How I Make 20 Healthy Meals for $30

These cheap, healthy meals were born from experience. This is exactly how Lorn and I used to eat (and still do sometimes) & I think these budget meals are so useful and delicious that I had to share.



4 bone-in chicken legs
2lb/1kg bag of dried black beans (sub 4 cans)
dozen eggs
2 onions
1 avocado
12oz/350g Carrots
Head of cabbage
Kale (2lb/1kg bag)
Head of garlic
Poblano pepper
Button mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes
Frozen peas
Bag rice
8oz/220g can tomato sauce
can tomato paste
Tostada shells


Cooking oil
Hot sauce
Better than bouillon
Ground cumin
Chili powder
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Dried oregano
Pickled jalapenos
Oyster sauce
Soy sauce
Sesame oil

RECIPES (feeds 2):

NIGHT 1: Beans, greens, and rice


1lb/.5kg dry black beans
Olive oil
1T cumin
1T chili powder
1T onion powder
1T garlic powder
1T vinegar or lime


Soak beans overnight. pressure cook, high 45 min.

Add 2-3T oil to a saucepan over med heat. Add cumin, chilli pow, onion pow, garlic pow. Cook 30-45 sec. Add half of cooked beans & 1c of bean cooking liquid. Mash beans as they simmer for 3min. Add remaining beans into pan with pinch of salt & 1T vinegar

Sofrito Rice:

1 onion
1 poblano pepper
4 cloves garlic
Handful of cilantro
400g (2c) rice, rinsed
Olive oil
12g (2 1/2t) salt
5g (2t) cumin
30g (2T) tomato paste
650g (2 3/4c) water
8oz/220g can tomato sauce

Finely chop onion, poblano, garlic, & cilantro together

Add a 2-3T oil into a large pot (with lid) over med heat followed by rice. Stir & fry 3-4 min until toasted. Add chopped aromatics & salt. Fry until onions are softened, 5min. Add cumin, tomato paste. Cook until mix turns to a rust color. Add water, bring to simmer, cover, & cook in a 350F/175C oven for 20 min. Remove and allow to sit, covered, for 10 min.


4 cloves garlic, minced
2lb/1kg bag chopped kale

Add oil to large saute pan over med heat. add garlic, saute until fragrant. add kale & splash of water. cover pan & steam 4-5min. Stir. Add large pinch salt & saute another 5min until the stems are tender.

Other ingredients:

Egg (1 per portion)
Hot Sauce

Top with soft-cooked egg and hot sauce.

NIGHT 2: Chicken Dinner

4 chicken legs

Season chicken with salt & pepper. Bake 450F/230C, 45 min on parchment lined sheet pan. Serve with reheated rice & kale from night 1.

NIGHT 3: Chicken soup

400g (2c) rice, rinsed
1 onion, medium diced
2 cloves garlic
250g/8oz ½ bag of carrot sticks
350g (½ head) sliced cabbage
1g (1/2t) dried oregano
2g (1t) black pepper
1g (1/4t) turmeric
75g (4T) better than bouillon chicken (sub 2 bouillon cubes)
100g (1c) frozen peas
Chicken from 2 legs, chopped (from Night 2)

Cook rice, 550g water, & 8g salt in rice cooker (or stovetop). Reserve 2c. Store the rest in fridge for night 5.

Add olive oil to dutch oven over med heat with onion, garlic, carrot, cabbage, & lrg pinch salt. Sweat veg for 10min until softened. Add bouillon & 8c/1600g water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cook til veggies are tender. Add chicken meat & peas.

Add half cup cooked rice to bowl, a pinch of the garlic kale, & soup. Use remaining cup of rice for the next day’s lunch.

NIGHT 4: Tostadas

4 Tostada shells
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Avocado, cubed
Refried beans (night 1)
Pickled jalapenos
Hot sauce

Toast tostada shells in 350F/175C oven til warm. Add reheated beans, toms, avocado, jalapenos, feta, cilantro, hot sauce

NIGHT 5: Fried rice

8oz/225g mushrooms, sliced
½ head cabbage, chopped
4oz/110g carrots, chopped
4 eggs
500g/1lb stale rice
100g (1c) frozen peas
Stir fry sauce (75g/.25c oyster sauce, 50g/3T soy sauce, 15g/1T sesame oil)
Sriracha mayo (2 part mayo/1 part sriracha)

Heat large nonstick over med-high, add oil, mushrooms, salt. Cook til browned. Transfer to bowl. Add oil, carrots, cabbage, salt to pan. Stir & cover with lid to steam, 5 min. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms. Add oil & eggs to pan, scramble. Transfer to bowl. Add oil & rice to pan. cook 3-4 min until heated. Add peas, stir fry sauce, & cooked veg/eggs. stir to combine. Cook 3 min. Serve and top with sriracha mayo.

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