Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

I'm uncertain if this is the best place to ask, so let me know if this should go elsewhere and I'll move it. I am looking for help trying to figure out how to cook a months worth of food for myself for under $150. This may sound simple, but I have specific requirements due to workouts and

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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    I'm uncertain if this is the best place to ask, so let me know if this should go elsewhere and I'll move it. I am looking

    for help trying to figure out how to cook a months worth of food for myself for under $150.

    This may sound simple, but I have specific requirements due to workouts and currently I can't use one arm since it is in a

    cast for the next couple of months. Also, I am seeing if someone has done this sort of thing or be willing to give examples

    of recipes.

    A weeks worth of ideas is enough for me to figure out what to do for a month, I'm just terrible at recipies. Crockpot

    recipes are also welcome to make bulk and eat through the week.

    Requirements for me
    • 90 grams of protein per day
      • This is due to workouts and seems to be the most expensive part.
      • I also have protein drinks to get an additional 60 grams on top of this 90.
    • Very low fat and low sugar
    • Must be VERY simple (somewhere around 3 ingredients)
      • Due to cooking with one arm, measurements are quite difficult


    The toughest parts are protein and the simpleness. If you've ever tried to cook with one arm, making measurements are not

    easy and you make a mess. Ideally I'd not do any of that, if possible. This can be broken up to 5 or 6 smaller meals a day

    to try to get more food in properly as well.

    An example of what I mean and something I've cooked is chicken and cream of broccoli soup.


    • 6 frozen chicken breasts
    • 1 can of low fat cream of broccoli soup
    • 1 cup of water
    • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.


    A serving has about 35 grams of protein and has relatively low fat. This makes about 6 servings.

    Is anyone out there that may know enough nutrition facts and shopping prices that could help me hit the $150 mark for a month with being easy?

    Thank you for your time and any help is appreciated.

    Kirk

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    Default Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    For just 1 person, it would be Quite easy to feed yourself for $150 for the month. I'd start off by going to Sams club and buying a case of boneless skinless chicken breasts. (Buying it by the case will make it about $1.68 per pound, as they give deals.) If you don't have the freezer space, I would check around with a couple of your friends or family members that live nearby and see if they'd be willing to split a case with you.

    For fairly dirt cheap protein, eggs are great, you can hard boil them and keep them on hand. As for 3 ingredient or less - the only way you're going to get flavorful dishes is to use seasonings, which at the very least require a couple shakes, if not measuring.

    For recipes that fit your criteria, I would recommend the fitness section of our site:

    Weight Loss on a Budget
    ~Enjoy!~

    FreebieQueen

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    Thumbs up Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    Thank you for your response. I seemed to have missed the fitness section, I'll take a gander.

    My main stumbling block is the meats. Once I add that to the cost, I can't make $150. I'll try to see what I can do with bulk meat from Sams/Costco and freeze it.

    I actually eat 4000 to 6000 calories per day, so I can easily eat my self in to debt. Food is one of my major expenses.

    I can add seasoning to things I suspect, just tough when I'm adding various chopped things and measuring powders and liquids out.

    Thank you again.

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    Default Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    My main stumbling block is the meats. Once I add that to the cost, I can't make $150. I'll try to see what I can do with bulk meat from Sams/Costco and freeze it.
    Most of the big box stores will sell you bulk meat at a fraction of the price- pork & chicken are the least expensive, with chicken being DIRT cheap if you buy it by the case.

    Do you have an Aldi's near you? They have ground turkey (freezer section) for $1.12 pound. It's 90% lean protein. I buy it all the time because it's cheap, convenient and easy to prepare. It's also really easy to make your own sausage with the ground turkey by adding a bit of fennel seed and seasoning. (A few shakes will do!).

    When I'm cutting, I mainly eat chicken (grilled- 20 different types of seasonings, lol) & steamed veggies, eggs- poached, hard boiled, or sliced. (Although I avoid all starches then)
    I don't know what you use for a protein powder, but I absolutely LOVE Syntrax Nectar. The flavor is amazing, it doesn't "clump" when you mix it and you can get aspartame-free flavors which makes a difference in whether you have cravings or not.

    Bodybuilding.com is an absolutely awesome site- if you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend them. If you do eat carbs, Whole Oatmeal can be made overnight in the crockpot & is relatively easy to measure 1 armed). Same for farina- another hot cereal choice that isn't too bad as long as you add some sliced fruit to it.

    If you like Tuna- you're better off buying the bulk cans at Sam's or Costco- usually they're a fraction of the price per ounce.

    Items like quiche (eggs,cheese,spinach) are fairly easy to make; if you don't mind the carbs, tortilla's are relatively cheap and great to keep on hand- you can have egg salad, tuna, leftover grilled chicken- add lettuce and onions), fast, cheap and fairly easy to make while 1 armed.

    Chicken Chili- basically chicken chunks, can diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, can of beans undrained, simmer

    Here's a site that you can use to track your caloric and protein intake (it's free, of course) Fitday.com It has options for purchasing software for your PC, but if you don't mind connecting to the internet, you can use the online version free. It's great for keeping track of how many calories you've burned and whether or not you're eating enough based on your workouts. Really hard to offer meal ideas that don't require chopping/cutting etc. . .
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    Default Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    If you keto- here's one of my fave recipes:

    Homemade alfredo sauce:
    1/4 cup butter
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
    garlic

    Melt butter, saute garlic. Add cream, cook for 5 minutes over med heat, stirring. Add cheese & stir till melted.

    Add:
    2 cups steamed broccoli
    1-2 cups sauteed artichoke hearts (or other veggie)
    grilled chicken chunks

    The alfredo sauce breaks down to around 50 calories per TABLESPOON. So, it doesn't take long to reach your calories for the day.
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    Default Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    Oh, when your arm finally heals (I know exactly how you feel right, same thing in our house!) here's a really easy recipe that's fairly cheap to make:

    Protein Powder Doughnut holes:

    1 egg
    1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter, melted
    2 tbsp Splenda or erythritol-(more heat stable!)
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
    Splenda & cinnamon for topping
    Canola oil

    Heat about 1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet until it's hot enough for frying. While the oil heats, beat the egg lightly with the melted butter, then add the Splenda, protein powder, and vanilla. Whisk together until all the lumps are nearly gone, then let it rest a minute or two and whisk a bit more (batter has a grainy appearance). Using an ice cream scoop (use whatever you want, but this Definitely works the best!) drop the batter by large tablespoonfuls into the hot oil in batches of 4. Fry until bottoms are golden-brown, (use a ladle to spoon a bit of oil over the top as they brown on the bottom to keep the centers from pouring out when you flip them, then flip. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with Splenda and cinnamon to taste and serve hot.

    Makes about 8 doughnut holes.

    (btw, I used designer whey vanilla protein powder when I made these).

    COUNTS:
    Counts are for total recipe, excluding the sprinkled Splenda/cinnamon, and may vary a little bit depending on your brand of whey.

    Calories: 586
    Fat: 52g
    Carbs: 6g
    Protein: 24g
    ~Liss~
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    Here's one that I use on Induction:

    1 can tuna in water (We have a dollar store that frequently has tuna 2/$1)
    2 tbs mayo (approximately, I don't measure, just scoop)
    1 cup steamed broccoli
    1 ounce shredded cheddar (or whatever shredded cheese you prefer)
    optional: garlic and onion powder

    Directions
    Drain can of tuna and plop into the bowl you will be eating out of - mix in 2 tbs mayo, onion and garlic powder (if you want, it makes it taste AMAZINGLY Delicious). MIX WELL. Put steamed broccoli on top of tuna, preferably piping hot off the stove.

    Make sure the broccoli is drained really well, because excess water will make the tuna runny, this is avoided if you steam it in the micro!

    Then immediately put the shredded cheese on top, which should melt it a little. If needed, nuke the whole thing for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.

    This whole meal is under a buck. When you buy broccoli, etc, buy the large bags & divide it up or just twist it shut and shove in the freezer.
    I'm a Freak!

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    Thumbs up Re: Menu Challenge - Help me cook VERY simple, cheap meals with high protein

    Thank you so much for the replies and recipe ideas. I'll try out the sites linked as well.

    Once I manage to get my meals planned out, I'll certainly post them here for others to see what I did if someone has similar issues.

 

 

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