Feeding your family on a budget can be a daunting task. The convenience and low cost of fast food presents a siren song, but that’s off limits in these circles (unless it’s part of your indulgences, and even then I don’t recommend processed shit). It can be done organically and inexpensively if you exercise a bit of creativity. I believe I’ve designed a meal for a family worthy of taste bud satisfaction and easy on the pocketbook.
Often the most cost efficient meat is the most delicious. Take the chicken leg as evidence. It’s more flavorful, richer and juicer than its more costly cousin, the breast. The organic chicken legs come in at $3/pound, and, when paired with organic brown rice ($.13/ounce), organic Brussels sprouts ($5/pound), and some seasonings, will be a delicious and inexpensive weeknight dinner.
You know how I feel about dark meat when it comes to poultry. If you’re unfamiliar, take a peek at this and rejoin us.
I’m not a huge rice guy; in fact, I rarely eat it. I’m much keener on yams and sweet potatoes, even oats when it comes to starch, but organic brown rice is inexpensive and easy to prepare. I’m comfortable giving it a solid “B” ranking, nutritionally. It contains high quantities of manganese. From whfoods.com:
Manganese helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce sex hormones. Manganese is also a critical component of a very important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found inside the body’s mitochondria (the oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells) where it provides protection against damage from the free radicals produced during energy production.
Brussels sprouts are one of my true loves when prepared well. Crispy, delicate, buttery and crazy healthy, you need a green veggie on your plate and you’ve got a star here. whfoods.com again:
Researchers have looked at a variety of cardiovascular problems — including heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and atherosclerosis — and found preliminary evidence of an ability on the part of cruciferous vegetables to lower our risk of these health problems. Yet regardless of the specific cardiovascular problem, it is one particular type of cardiovascular benefit that has most interested researchers, and that benefit is the anti-inflammatory nature of Brussels sprouts and their fellow cruciferous vegetables.
This meal gives you plenty of protein for muscle repair and development and a dark green veggie to cover your vitamin and mineral needs. The chicken, olive oil and grass fed butter provide healthy fats to help you absorb those nutrients. Your rice supplies your brain with the fuel it needs to help you focus. Boom, you’re set for just a few bucks.
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To frugal nutrition,
- 1 lb. chicken legs
- 1 cup rice
- 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts
- Garlic Powder
- Olive oil
- In a large bowl, season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder.
- In a glass dish, pot or baking sheet, spread a light layer of olive oil. Add legs.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, re-season and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.
- Allow rice to drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, off the heat. Cover the pot and rest to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt. Mix in a tablespoon of grass fed butter.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and peel off any yellow outer leaves.
- Dress the Brussels in a bowl with 3 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Move them around in the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.
Sprinkle with a bit more salt if desired and serve while piping hot.