Take a moment to walk down the organic produce aisle at your local grocer and you will quickly realize that fitting organic produce and budget into the same sentence together is not easy.
But while organic food might seem exorbitantly priced, it doesn’t mean there aren’t organic dinner recipes you can whip up on a budget.
Here are a few to get you started.
Whole Grain Tabbouleh Salad
Whole grains are not often thought of as a source of protein, but a cup of quinoa and oats (whole wheat even) is enough to deliver a good serving of protein.
Organic grains do not come with the hefty price tag that accompanies most organic produce.
For instance, a 1/4 cup serving of organic quinoa fetches for about a dollar.
For this organic dinner recipe, here is what you will need.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, millet, or barley
- 1¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ cup finely-cut cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley and tender stems
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse your quinoa and drain in a metal strainer. Pour into a saucepan, add vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer for 30 minutes then allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Take a sheet pan and spread the quinoa to cool, then transfer it to a mixing bowl.
- Add the tomato, cucumber, parsley, scallions, mint, lemon juice, oil and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir properly then cover and chill prior to serving.
Green Lentil Soup
Lentils are another organic dinner recipe that can save money substantially while doubling up as a great plant-based protein.
A pound of organic green lentils can be acquired for less than $3.
Apart from the cost, what else you will love about this recipe is it translates to a light, albeit considerable, dinner in within no time.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 med-large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 qt. vegetable or chicken broth
- Red-pepper flakes (pinch)
- Soak your lentils in hot water for 15 minutes, before draining water. Place in a separate bowl.
- Take a large pan, pour some oil then sauté your onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat until tender.
- Throw in the garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and cook for one minute as you stir.
- Add the lentils and vegetable broth then simmer the covered dish for one hour over low heat.
- Make sure the lentils are submerged in the broth.
- Take out the bay leaf prior to serving.
- Top with the red pepper flakes (and a small scoop of sour cream).
Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing
Organic meats cost a pretty penny, with organic ground beef going for $9 a pound on average.
By contrast, a can of organic black beans costs four times less that and if they are dried, it’s even cheaper.
- 2 ripe avocados, diced
- 2 ripe mangoes, cubed
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (include extras for garnish)
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lime zest
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can (15-oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- Put your avocado and 1 tablespoon of lime in a medium bowl. Add the mango and jalapeno and combine by tossing gently. Set aside.
- Take the remaining lime juice and whisk in a large bowl together with the cilantro, lime zest, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Combine in oil until you get a thick dressing.
- Add the black beans and avocado mixture and toss gently.
- Put on your plates, garnish with the extra cilantro and serve.
Organic Vegetable Lasagna
For some of us, preparing an intricate, healthy dinner every night is not realistic.
Fortunately, in the rush to cash in on the clean eating craze, supermarkets like Whole Foods now provide pre-made organic dinners as you would make at home.
They vary in prices, obviously, but there are many organic dinner recipes you can find on a budget.
A good example is the organic vegetable lasagna which is made from 100% organic ingredients and goes for less than $5 per serving.
All you need to do is heat and dig in.