We want your Healthy, Light Recipes…. you could win $25

01/02/2011 2:00 pm · 37 comments

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom

With 2011 rolling in, many of us have set new goals.  On most peoples list  you will find goals that sound something like this… be  more active, loose weight, smaller portions,work out  or just trying to live a healthy life style.  So we wanted to support your efforts, and help your new goals become a new lifestyle not just a short term fad.

January’s featured post series will be called Thrifty Light Recipes.  Believe it or not light healthy recipes can, and do taste delicious.  BUT if you get the wrong one, they can also taste like cardboard with dry wall spackle on top.  The key is to find those “winning” home tested, family approved light meals and add them to your families menu and eat them regularly.

So what we are asking from our readers is…. Please share your families favorite healthy recipe or recipes.  Feel free to tell us why you love it, photos if you have them, and anything else that you would like to add.   Also try to think of recipes that are thrifty was well.  Our goal is to gather as many recipes as we can, and in-power you with the recipes and knowledge  you will need to contiue or start your healthy meal plan for 2011.

At the end of the month, one lucky entry will be selected for all the entries and will WIN A $25 GIFT CARD! Please submit your recipes on this post, or to our email with the  word Thrifty Recipe on the subject line.

***I am not a dietitian  or health food expert, so yes everyones  idea of healthy or  light may be a bit different.  But we welcome all ideas and recipes.

Disclaimer: This post may or may not contain affiliate links.
SUBSCRIBE and never miss a thing!
Disclaimer and Official Rules for Sweepstakes

Leave a Comment: 37 comments

Filed Under: Light Recipes

37 comments
Ashley Cope
Ashley Cope

Leftover spaghetti or mac and cheese tacos! These Tacos are so delicious. It's a very frugal way to use leftovers. Take left over spaghetti (with meat sauce) or mac and cheese. Stuff into a homeade fried taco shell. Top with cheese, tomatoes and ketchup. Seriously, they are so yummy. My Mom made these all the time when we were growing up. My parents were on a tight budget, so my Mom had to learn to be creative in the kitchen. Now that I have my own family, I can say that everyone loves these. My husband asks for them for dinner all the time. One dish I always have leftovers of is spaghetti, and these tacos make for another meal for the following day.

Julie
Julie

Garlic Chicken Preheat 425 1/4 c bread crumbs 1/4 c olive oil 1/4 c grated parmesean cheese (I prefer fresh, but can use the Kraft kind too) 2 garlic cloves minced/pressed 4 chicken breast Two separate shallow bowls In one shallow bowl add olive oil and garlic, and heat it in the microwave for 30sec-1min to combine the taste. In other shallow bowl, add bread crumbs and parmesean cheese. Dip chicken in the bowl with oil, then in the bowl with bread crumbs. Put in a oven proof baking dish and cook for 30-35 minutes! It is a all time favorite! We always make lots and I freeze it or use it for next day meal a big green salad and just cut chicken strips to add to it.

Cheyboy
Cheyboy

Waistline Cookies This is an Easy + Healthy treat that = YUMMY My kids will grab these on the go for breakfast, snack or even dessert. It's a huge hit at potlucks too and my weight watcher friends say they can have them too! Preheat oven to 350 degrees Mix the following together in a bowl: 1/2 cup Sugar (you can use splenda) 1/2 cup brown Sugar (again you can use the splenda version) 1 Egg (you can use eggbeaters) 1 tsp Vanilla extract 1 cup creamy Peanut Butter (you can use reduced fat) Take a tablespoon size amount roll into a ball. place on cookie sheet and use a fork to make traditional lines as you smoosh them down. Bake for 6 minutes. Cool for 5 or minutes or more to give them time to harden up... Cookies with protein and NO flour or butter!

TRACI PROCTOR
TRACI PROCTOR

HIDDIN VALLEY RANCH EASY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS!! 1 1/2 LBS OF CHICKEN 1 REGULAR SIZE SOUR CREAM 1 PACKAGE OF SHREDDED COLBY JACK CHEESE 1 RANCH PACKET 1 CAN OF CHOPPED OLIVES 1 PACKAGE OF FLOUR TORTILLIAS BOIL CHICKEN THEN SHREDD INTO A BOWL, MIX IN ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS ROLL UP IN TORTILLIAS AND BAKE AT 375 UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN, SERVE WITH SPANISH RICE AND LET YOUR FAMILY ENJOY THIS EASY TO MAKE YUMMY DINNER!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer
Jennifer

This is so good and everyone loves it! It is very pantry friendly as well. Bow Tie Pasta 1 lb. ground turkey or beef (we precook and put in the freezer so this is also a lightning fast meal) 1 bag or box of bow tie noodles (you can use any noodle) 1 box of frozen spinach (or a bundle or half a bag of fresh, you will need to add a little sooner to give a little more time to wilt.) 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes 1 8oz can tomato sauce 1 small chopped onion 1 tbs olive oil *if you like you can put a couple sprinkles of Italian seasonings *cheese (why yes of please!) Heat oil and onions in a pan. Cook meat as directed or add precooked meat. In a large pot cook noodle according to directions. After meat is cooked, return to pan if necessary and add spinach, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer. After noodles have cooked drain and add to sauce pan. Stir well simmer another few minutes. Add cheese if you please! Serves a ton! About 8. : ) Yummy!!!!

Tiffany
Tiffany

Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 3 carrots, chopped 3 large potatoes - peeled and cubed 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 parsnip, peeled and diced 1 turnip, peeled and diced 1 leek, sliced 1 cup uncooked barley 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon garlic powder or a clove of garlic 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Directions Fry the carrots, potatoes, parsnip, turnip, leek for a few minutes in the butter. Place all into a pot and fill with enough water to cover with a couple extra inches. Add barley and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. The soup will be thick. You may adjust by adding more water or less barley if desired. Remove bay leaf before serving. You can also add beans if desired.

liz
liz

Taco Soup 8 servings Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour on top of stove — 4 hours in slow cooker 1 15 oz. can whole corn 1 16 oz. can kidney beans 1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes ( I use the kind with green chilies) 1 15 oz. cans stewed tomatoes 1/2 pack low-salt taco seasoning mix 1 lbs cubed Velveeta 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (or 13 oz. canned chicken) corn tortilla chips low-fat sour cream Open and dump all cans into a soup pot or slow cooker. Add taco seasoning , cheese and chicken. Stir well. Cook on stove top on low for an hour or so or 4 hours in slow cooker. Top with crumbled chips and sour cream. Um-mm good!

Skye M
Skye M

My Husband and I LOVE Winger's sticky finger salad. It's not practical or thrifty to go to Wingers or out to eat very much, so I make this instead. The sauce tastes exactly like the Sticky Finger sauce! I don't know how "Healthy" it is, but we LOVE IT! *Lettuce (as much as desired and whatever kind you'd like). We use Romaine most but have used Iceberg. *4 Chicken Breasts OR purchased Popcorn Chicken (you can make your chicken crunchy by making your own popcorn chicken with Bread crumbs, flour and eggs OR we just buy and use popcorn chicken) **To make it "more healthy" you could grill the chicken then dip in in the sauce before putting it on the salad, would still taste great!! Sauce: -In a pan, heat on low/med until sugar is disolved 1/2 cups brown sugar 1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce *I add brown sugar and a little (only a tiny bit) of water to taste. I don't like it too hot! Toppings (pick and choose-add what you want!) -cherry tomatoes -crazins -cheese -Ranch dressing -croutons (I don't use) Happy Eating!!

Kim
Kim

This is a great winter recipe and it truly is low in fat and carbs. It sounds weird becuase it doesn't use any beans and the base is spaghetti sauce, but it is so tasty and filling. You can adjust the seasoning to match your taste and add any other vegetables that your family likes. It's very flexible and easy to make. Chili 1 jar low sugar spaghetti sauce (should have 4 g. of sugar or less) 1 pound extra lean ground beef diced onion (use as much as you like) diced celery stalks (use as much as you like) 2-4 chili peppers (to your taste) chile powder (I usually use about 1 tsp., but add what you like) water to thin out the sauce (I use about 3/4 of the spaghettie jar filled with water) Brown the meat. To reduce the fat even more, I usually rinse the ground beef in hot water after it is browned. Place the cooked brown beef in a pot, along with the spaghetti sauce and water to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Add spices, vegetables and peppers. Simmer over medium heat for at least 1/2 an hour and serve.

Tanesha E.
Tanesha E.

This is my Daniel Fast very Secretive Recipe that I am willing to share. :) OVEN FRIED HEALTHY TATORS Ingredients and supplies: Cookie Sheet Cooking Spray - OLIVE OIL! or CANOLA OIL! Newman's Oilve Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing= Twangy 6 Medium Potatoes Peeled and Diced (depends on how many you are serving this usually serves 4) If you like the peeling feel free to leave it. 1/4 tsp Salt (optional) 1/2 tsp Season All (McCormick) 1/2 tsp Black pepper 1/2 tsp Paprika 1/2 tsp Garlic 1/8 tsp chili powder Mix all ingredients into a cereal bowl. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed. Then Add: Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing 1 tsp per potato for SMALL - IMPORTANT if you have HUGE potatoes like 2 in one use a (ONE) TABLESPOON of Newman's per potato. While adding Newman's to your spices stir well. Make sure when you add Newman's to your spices that it is LUMP FREE!! You don't want 1/8 of Chili powder in one spot!!! Then Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray. After you spray the cookie sheet add your diced potatoes. When you place your potatoes on your cookie sheet sprinkle your Newman's and spice mixture over potatoes. While on the cookie sheet you can move the diced potatoes to make sure they have a enough spices and have enough Newmans. IMPORTANT! You may not think they have enough Newmans and spices but I promise when baking in the oven you'll see oil to cook out and it should be plenty. If you don't think it's enough on the safe side you could add 1 extra tsp of Newmans to your spice mixture. After you have everything mixed together and placed on the cookie sheet preheat your oven to 500 degrees. I usually cook mine for 35- 45 minutes. Cook until Golden Brown. Usually after cooking about 20min I usually pull mine out of the oven for a quick turn and place them back in for the remainder of time left on the timer. If you want you can place on a napkin and drain. I usually don't just because if I want to reheat them for leftovers I just throw them in a frying pan to heat. If however you got a little too much Newman's Olive Oil Dressing I would highly recommend the draining on the napkin. Once you make these 3 or 4 times you'll become a pro. :) I hope you can get some sense out of this recipe and Happy Healthy Oven Fried Tators. :)

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Orange Chicken Serves Two 2 Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) 2 Cups Brown rice Sauce: 1 Cup Orange juice ½ Pineapple juice ¼ Cup Low sodium soy sauce 1 Tablespoon honey 1 Tablespoon cornstarch Garlic powder and pepper to taste Put rice on to cook (I use Uncle Ben’s Boil-in-Bag brown rice.) Put the chicken breasts on the grill (I use a George Foreman to make this easy… you can also bake, steam, or broil your chicken.) Combine all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan (to avoid cornstarch lumps, put it in a coffee mug and add a couple tablespoons of hot water and stir… then mix into the rest of the ingredients.) Bring the sauce to a boil, and then turn down to medium heat for 2-3 minutes (or until desired thickness.) Stir frequently. I serve the chicken atop the rice and covered with ½ cup of sauce. Also, I typically serve with a small salad and ½ cup of steamed broccoli. This whole meal is incredibly low in fat and calories… not to mention, it’s an incredibly quick meal. The whole thing, prep to the table, takes me about 15-20 minutes.

Chelsea
Chelsea

Make it light by using low fat cheese and ham. Serve it with steam vegetables and brown rice!! Chicken Cordon Bleu 2-4lbs Chicken Breast 6-8 slices of deli ham 1 block of swiss cheese 2 eggs 1 package of Ritz Crackers Pound thaw chicken until flat. Place slice of ham and chunk of swiss cheese onto pounded chicken. Roll up and place to the side. Repeat with other pieces of chicken. Beat eggs and crumble crackers into separate bowls. Dip chicken rolls into eggs and then roll in cracker mixture. Place in a greased dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Jennifer L
Jennifer L

This is for those that need a reduced sugar to sugar free recipe: ORANGE JELL-O SALAD 1 large box sugar free orange jello (or 2 small boxes) 1 large box vanilla cook & serve pudding (haven't been able to find in sugar free) 1 small can mandarin oranges 1 tub sugar free cool whip 2 1/2 cups water Boil water and add in orange jell-o and pudding. Stir until smooth and boil for 2 minutes. Pour into glass bowl or glass mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight or until completely set up (about 4 hours). The mixture will be quite firm. I use a my kitchen aid mixer so I use a spatula to get the mixture into my mixing bowl and using the wire attachment, mix until smooth. Drain mandarin oranges and add to mixture. Mix until oranges are well blended. Add in cool whip. Mix until well blended. I scrape the sides and bottom a couple of times to ensure cool whip and jello and blended evenly. Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Even though it's reduced sugar, this is very rich and can be used as a dessert if desired.

Kelly
Kelly

My 2 faves: Greek chicken pitas: Season chicken breast with greek seasoning, a little olive oil, S&P, and broil. Stuff in pitas with a mixture of nonfat plain greek yogurt/cucumbers/dill/S&P, tomatoes, and red onions. delish!! Taco salad: Cook up extra lean ground beef or turkey, season w/taco seasoning, dump in a bowl with kidney beans or black beans, tomatoes, green onions, reduced fat cheese. Top with a little avocado, crumbled baked chips, and a mixture of nonfat plain greek yogurt/taco seasoning and/or cholula hot sauce and/or salsa. I use nonfat greek yogurt for everything that calls for sour cream or mayonnaise. I could eat this taco salad every day of the week!

Susan
Susan

I am loving these recipes. I want to try them all.

lisa
lisa

I would like the oatmeal pancake recipe, please

April
April

Big salad I get whatever type of salad happens to be on sale, grab a bag of cooked jumbo sized frozen shrimp or sometimes i use boiled eggs instead, black olives, shredded cheese, onions,cucumbers, and sunflower seeds. Of course you have to heat the shrimp up in a pot of water for about five minutes or boil your eggs for about 25 minutes but the salad is easy and fun to make. I used what ever shredded cheese happens to be on sale at the moment. I top my salad off when kraft's red wine vinegarette.

April
April

Steamed fresh brocoli 2-3 heads of brocoli remove stalls 2 tbsps of olive oil pinch of table salt 2 pinches of black pepper 1 tsp of butter 2 tsps of garlic powder mix all of the ingredients up together in a freezer bag sometimes I double bag them. place in pot of water put a lid on the pot and boil for 25-35 minutes.Cooking them will vary depending on how done you like your brocoli I like it fairly soft. I used the same recipe for brussels sprouts but I do cook them a little longer about 30-40 minutes.

Dawn
Dawn

This is an easy & awesome Strawberry vinaigrette salad, I made it for a family function & it was a hit :) 2t Strawberry jam 1T balsamic vinegar 3T extra virgin olive oil salt & pepper to taste (if desired) 1 pint strawberries sliced 4 - 5 cups chopped romaine or spinach Place jam in bowl, whisk in vinegar & extra virgin olive oil Toss greens & strawberries, add dressing, top with sliced almonds or pecan pieces if desired.

hannah
hannah

veggie pitas grill any veggies you want on the grill and stuff in a pita bread. Yum! You can do grilled chicken too.

Brecca Shaffer
Brecca Shaffer

Zucchini Pizza I love this recipe during the summer months when we have lots of Garden Fresh LARGE Zuchinni...My kiddos loved it! 1 Large Zuchinni Spaghetti or Pizza Sauce any variety of fresh vegtabels...I prefer: Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and artichoke hearts. Non-Weight loss option: Any meat you desire....My family prefers: Canadian Bacon or Pepperoni Topped with Shredded cheese Bake at 350 on Baking sheet for 20-30 min. or until the Zuchinni is Cooked but not goooshy :) I like the top crusty...so follow with 1-2 min. with Broil on High Cut into pieces and serve with salad...Enjoy!

Brecca Shaffer
Brecca Shaffer

Sorry...I submitted the Zucchini Pizza recipe and as an after thought...You cut the Zuchinni in 2 like you would french bread and top in with the rest of ingredients as you would a pizza. :) Hope it was clear enough before but just incase... Thanks.

penny
penny

Kabobs- layer on skewers: squash, onion, chicken, cherry tomatoes, peppers and/or any veggies you like. drizzle with Italian dressing and grill.

Emilee
Emilee

This is a yummy family favorite from KRAFT-its a bonus because it uses lots of coupon deals! Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake 1 1/2 cups multi grain penne pasta, uncooked (Rotini pasta often free) 1 pkg (9oz) fresh spinach leaves (or I often use frozen that I got for free) 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (1.99 lb at Albertsons) 1 tsp basil leaves 1 jar (14 1/2 oz) spaghetti sauce (Free Prego) 1 can (14 1/2 oz) dices tomatoes, drained 2 oz cream cheese (Free last week at Albertsons) 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (Free cheese from this summer) 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese (free from this summer) Heat over to 375. Cook pasta, adding spinach to boiling water for last minute (ommit if using frozen just add it to the mixture). Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet on med-high for 3 minutes. Add sauce and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese. Drain past mixture and return to pan, stiring in chicken and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Pour into 2-qt baking dish. Bake 20 minutes then sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Brecca Shaffer
Brecca Shaffer

Zucchini Pizza I love this in the summer when we have an abundance of large Zucchini in the garden...The kids loved it! 1 Large Zucchini from Garden Spaghetti or Pizza sauce variety of vegtables you like on pizza...I use: mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and my husband like Jalapenos (also from our gardern) Non-Weight loss: top with Meat of your choice...My family prefers Pepperoni Then top with shredded cheese and cook at 350 for 20 min.... If you like crusty top Broil on High for about 1-2 min following cooking. I serve with Salad...Enjoy!

Karma
Karma

Strawberry Smoothies (from the Change One Readers Digest diet) INGREDIENTS: 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries 1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free vanilla yogurt 1 cup fat-free milk 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons reduced-sugar strawberry fruit spread DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into glasses; serve immediately.

Kim
Kim

Summer Salad 3 large ripe tomatoes 1 large cucumber 1 medium onion 1/4 cup black olives 1/4 cup feta cheese 1/2 Italian dressing (fat free or light) Dice vegetables and combine in bowl with feta cheese. Pour Italian dressing over and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 2 - 4 hours before serving to allow for flavors to marinate together. Quick, easy and TASTY!

Jacque
Jacque

EGG CUPS Steam ½ head cauliflower until soft, then puree. Whisk ½ c puree with 1 egg and 3 egg whites. Make pleats in 4 6-inch whole wheat tortillas to fold them into cups, then place in muffin tin and fill with cauliflower/egg mixture. Sprinkle with 1 T cheddar cheese and ½ slice turkey bacon each. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes at 350, top with chopped tomatoes. Breakfast for 4 for less than $3: 153 calories/person. (Found this recipe recently in a magazine. I also mix in chopped spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, or whatever’s on hand for more veggies! Its delicious.)

Jacque
Jacque

SKETTI Cook one box whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions. Saute julienne’d carrots, broccoli, or zucchini (or, be lazy like me and just throw in a package of pre-cut broccoli slaw) and a few pressed garlic cloves in olive oil. Mix together spaghetti and vegetables, season with fresh parsley and chili powder, and drizzle with olive oil to taste. Dinner for 4 (and a tasty way to sneak in extra vegetables!) for less than $4: 375 calories per person.

Jacque
Jacque

TUNA PATTIES, ROASTED RED POTATOS, AND PEAS Patties: Combine 1 egg, 1 can drained tuna (chunk light in water), 1/2 t mustard, 1/4 c oatmeal. Shape into 4 patties, fry on nonstick pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Potatos: Combine 2 T olive oil, 2 t chopped garlic (or whatever seasonings on hand), 1 t salt. Toss with 2 lbs chopped red potatos, bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes or until browned. Peas: Thaw a bag of frozen peas. Healthy dinner for 4 less than $5: Total 429 calories/person

Linda
Linda

I've been buying the Bountiful Baskets each week, so I'm trying different ways to get all the veggies used. Here's one: Pancakes (with hidden squash) I make oatmeal pancakes, but you can use any pancake recipe, including Krusteaz. My family isn't big on eating squash or sweet potatoes or yams, so I bake or steam them, then puree and put in freezer bags in 1/2 cup amount. Just pull a bag out of the freezer, set it in a bowl of hot water and by the time you've mixed up the pancake batter, the squash is thawed. Snip the corner of the bag with kitchen shears and squeeze into the batter. Mix it in and enjoy. My dad even ate these and liked them. Just don't tell them what's in it until they've tried it. :) Linda Sprague P.S. If anyone wants the oatmeal pancake recipe, I can pass that on as well.

Alexis
Alexis

Fresh strawberries sour cream dark brown sugar Place EACH item in a seperate dish. Take a fresh strawberry and brush it throught the sour cream, which can be fat-free, if you'd like. Next, dip that in the brown sugar and enjoy!!! Simple. Easy. Always a hit!

Dena
Dena

My kids love what they call "pink salad". It's quick, easy, cheap to make & works well with a low carb diet. Use the following: (1) small box of your favorite sugar free jello mix, (1) 16oz tub of low fat cottage cheese & (1) 16 oz tub of fat free cool whip. Mix them all together & enjoy. Our favorite is Strawberry & we usually cut up fresh strawberries & throw them in as well. Another combo we like is Orange with mandarin oranges.

debbielynne
debbielynne

3 Bean Salad 16 ounce can green beans 16 ounce can yellow wax beans 16 ounce can kidney beans 1 small green pepper, chopped finely 1 small onion, chopped finely 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp. salt (or a little less!) 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 cup vinegar 2 Tbsp. oil Drain the 3 cans of beans. Place in a bowl and add the green pepper and onion. Combine sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil in a shakeable container. Shake to mix well. Pour over beans, mix, and refrigerate. I love this recipe. 1 cup is only 136 calories!!!!

Cheyboy
Cheyboy

This is one of my kids favorites and easy on the budget too if you pick up the hot dogs on clearance with a coupon and just freeze them until your ready to use them :) Corn Dog Muffins: 1pkg Krusteaz fat free honey cornbread 1/2c Eggbeaters (usually buy with coupons & double) 1 & 1/2c 1% or FF Milk 1pkg Johnsonville Turkey with cheddar smoked sausage Preheat oven to 400 degrees lightly spray muffin tin. In large bowl mix cornbread, eggs, milk. Evenly spread in the muffin tin. Chop sausages and press into each muffin tin. Bake for 14-18 minutes.. Enjoy

Previous post:

Next post: