Home cooking can be better than McD’s!

I want to dispel the notion that eating healthy is expensive. Today, my dinner cost $4.48, that’s less than what I would have spent at McD’s and much healthier!

The grocery cost was about $20, but $16 of it can be used again next week or for another meal or more people.   It took less than 10 min to prepare (trust me it’s a  weekday, I don’t have time to labor over meals).

What I like even more is the 263 calories for a dinner! I was craving pasta and this hit the spot. I didn’t regret it or feel that I compromised. I am also  happy with the overall  nutrient facts:

Fat – 7.6g (Saturated Fat 0.2g). I can use fat free ricotta next time.

Cholesterol 50mg.

Sodium 566mg

Carbohydrates 15g (Fiber 3 g, Sugars 8.9g)

Protein 31.9g

I will take this meal over a McDonald’s Big Mac  (which may cost the same price elsewhere for a single serving only – remember, we have $16 of grocery we can use for another meal). See stats below

Calories – 540(2259 kJ)
Calories from fat 252
% Daily Value 1
Total Fat28g43%
Sat. Fat10g50%
Trans Fat1g
Total Carbs.46g15%
Dietary Fiber4g16%

The recipe is simple. Wash the zucchini. Slice the zucchini into thin strips (set aside).  In a med sized saute pan, coat bottom lightly with extra virgin olive oil, warm up the pan. Saute garlic clove in olive oil (or omit it). Once the garlis is golden color (aromatic) toss in the  zucchini. Saute zucchini, it will turn lighter color.  Once the zucchini is sautéed, I  added about 1/4 c tomatoe sauce (or less if you like) and simmered it with the zucchini. I topped it with ricotta and warmed it up by stirring together, and sprinkled parmesan cheese over the top. This was done in the same pan.   You can add the tuna over the top  or eat it on the side. To be honest, I ate the tuna while I cooked. You can split the portion of the zucchini and make a salad on the side for a dinner for 2 or save for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner!

Here’s the breakout of items and pricing:

Zucchini $1.99 ea (PeaPod) or $2.08 each organic

Tomatoe Sauce can range from $2 to $9 (but we only used 2oz or a 1/4 c.  so you can get 12 servings from a bottle). I used a bottle that I bought locally from Stew Leonards, called “The original Jersey Italian Gravy” it is less than $5. Assuming it’s $5, each serving would be $0.41.

Ricotta cheese – $5.70 for 32oz. , we used 1 oz, each serving would be $0.18

Parmesan cheese – Bel Gioioso $5.29 for 5oz , we used 0.33oz, each serving would be $0.35

Tuna – Bumble Bee Albacore in water – $1.50 for 5oz

Give it a try yourself!


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