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Healthiest Budget Foods May 31, 2011

Eating Well on a Budget: This whole-wheat seafood pasta combines a can of diced tomatoes, whole-wheat pasta, broiled sardines, olive oil, green onion, capers, spinach, garlic, and herbs all for only about $2/serving.

Looking for the healthiest, easy-to-make, inexpensive foods to find at your local store? Here are some highlights from The Food Project, an independent study I worked on during my last semester undergrad at Tufts University. I will feature recipes using many of the ingredients below throughout the summer. These are great picks for college students, busy parents, or anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet without paying more. The focus is on real food. You may get a bigger bag of “Food Snacks” for the same price as a bag of frozen veggies, but if you really look at the ingredients in the “food snacks” what exactly are you paying for? Most of the time it isn’t really food. Save your cash by not wasting it on lots of processed fillers, additives, and preservatives so you can spend more on the food that will actually do something for you (and taste great!).

Splurges for Busy Budget Shoppers
My favorite “splurge” item if your busy is a nice bottle of salsa. Not only are most salsas low in sodium and low or fat-free, they are packed with flavor and wonderful natural ingredients that give you a great nutritional boost. If you have the time and knowledge of how to make salsa from scratch go for it, but if not, this is one item that great  to buy pre-made  in a jar.  Another worth while splurge: Low-Sodium Vegetable Juice or (Fruit/Veggie Fusion Juice). If you are struggling to get in the rest of your daily vitamin needs and extra veggie servings a little bit of low-sodium veggie juice can go a long way. V8 also makes some good tasting fruit/veggie fusion juices. Look for varieties that do not contain corn syrup or added sugar.Walnuts & almonds: Although nuts tend to be expensive, numerous studies tell us that these are an extremely healthy part of a balanced diet in small servings when eaten regularly. Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids and almonds are rich in vitamin E. Both of these nuts provide the body with heart-healthy fats and protein as well as vitamins and minerals.

Click “more” or click HERE to see the healthy budget foods grocery list you are on the main blog page or can’t see the list below!



Avocado Endive Salad May 16, 2011

Filed under: From the Kitchen — thegreatplate @ 1:58 pm
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I love avocados and I love endives, so when I saw Ina Garten make her avocado endive salad on an episode of Barefood Contessa, I could not wait to try it! I followed her recipe which can be found here using fresh endives and ripe Hass avocados.


3 Ripe Hass Avocados
3 Endives
Lemon Juice
Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Ground pepper


The Food Project May 11, 2011

How much do you spend on food in a day? In a week? A month? Think about the check last time you ate out at a restaurant. How often do you go out? How much do you think you spend on groceries for a typical week?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2009 survey of Consumer Expenditures, the average U.S. consumer spends about 12.4% of salary on food. For those with a large income, this can be quite a generous allowance. For others on a tight budget, food spending can be stressful and challenging.

My Challenge: Create a food plan that meets the U.S. Dietary Guideline standards using only $155/month (roughly 12.4% of minimum wage salary of $8/hour for one month working in Massachusetts 40 hours/week).

So far, I have managed to meet this budget, achieving nearly all of the daily values (DV) for vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) using a 3-day diet average analysis. Two minerals (potassium and iron) were less than 100% but above 90%.

The project continues. You can help if you are interested by taking a 5 minute survey to help me learn more about people’s food buying habits! You can find the survey here: WHAT DO YOU EAT?

Stay tuned for more info about the project!


Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie May 9, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

Take advantage of rhubarb, a red-stalked relative of celery that serves as a delicious contrast to sweet and citrus flavors, this spring while fresh stalks are out in farmer’s markets and supermarket produce stands. Low in calories and sugar and high in nutrients, rhubarb is a great addition to a healthy spring diet.

I prefer the pure tangy taste that you get without adding sugar but if you like your smoothies a bit sweeter try adding a teaspoon of honey or some very ripe melon (like cantaloupe or honeydew).


1 ripe banana
1 stalk fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened non-fat yogurt

Extras (If you have them, these would also be great in this smoothie.)
melon (honeydew or cantaloupe)


World Famous Chefs Visit Tufts May 1, 2011

This Tuesday, May 3rd, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, and Dan Barber will be stepping onto Tufts’ campus for a panel discussion and brunch! Tickets for the brunch sold out within an hour of going on sale (clearly these chefs have a lot of fans on campus) but the panel discussion is open to all of Tufts community and does not require a ticket.

Photo courtesy of Yuri Chang. Pictured: a few members of TCS e-board (Yuri, Andrea, Alix, Lai Hau, and Jon) with Daniel Boulud.

Come listen and meet the chefs:
The panel discussion will start promptly at 11am in Barnum 008. Get there early to get a seat!

More details about the event, presented by Tufts Culinary Society, can be found here: Click here for the facebook event.
Sponsored by Tufts Culinary Society, Tufts Dining, The Experimental College and Tufts Programming Board.

Thank you to Alix Boulud for working so hard to make this event happen!