Inflation Buster – Healthy Meals under $5

By: Sheila Kun RN, BA, BSN, MS

For those of you who watch the news, inflation has been a word that makes the headline more often that we could count. Inspired by a cooking program from Hong Kong that promotes healthy menus but at the least cost, Louis and I discovered that we could provide a very decent dinner for 3 people for less than $5. Is this really possible, you might ask. The answer is yes.

Let us share our “chicken delight” menu for under $5. Now, one of the secrets is to shop for items that are on sale. We have attached some bargain items from supermarket ads. So, rule number one – always buy sales items. They are on sale probably because they are in season and there is a surplus. Rule number two: never be afraid to create a menu with whatever that you have left over in your refrigerator.

Here are the menu ideas with our 10 drumsticks which we bought for less than $4.

Chicken vegetable soup: use 4 drum sticks: peel off the skin, cleanse with salt and scrape the meat out. Dice the meat for another dish. I found that if you are not ready to use the chicken meat immediately, you can marinate it with salt, pepper and ginger. Freeze it for later use. Use the chicken bones, a few carrots, potatoes and onion for the soup. If you use the pressure cooker, it should be done in less than an hour. Let it cool down, remove the bones, then add a pinch of curry powder and some herbal mixed powder. Grind it in a blender and the final product is a pot of delicious chicken vegetable soup, European style.

The diced meat from the 4 drum sticks: you can pan fry it and make fried rice with whatever vegetable you might have. I did use the diced meat with Tofu. It is very versatile. You can stir fry almost with anything you might have at home.

Now the remaining six drum sticks: marinate them with whatever spices you have. I have spices from Sicily. So just dress it up, use minced garlic, pepper and herbal spices to your delight. We cheated by cooking them in the microwave oven for 10 minutes and then put them in the oven toaster until they are done.

The pictures below illustrate some of the ideas and please look for sale items to optimize your budget. Hope by sharing our experience with you that you can create your own healthy menu at a budget.


Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: look for healthy menu items.

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