Happy Fourth of July!
I want to help you make the most out of this holiday weekend with EIGHT of my top budget-friendly recipes that are PERFECT options to cook up at any time this weekend. These cheap recipes are a perfect way to cook for the holiday weekend using what’s readily available if not already in your pantry at home.
There’s something for everyone on this list because that’s what we should be celebrating this weekend—the efforts, past and present, to make this country a safe and prosperous place for EVERYONE.
1: LEAN CHILI WITH PLANTAINS
Here in Texas, there’s nothing more American than a good bowl of chili. And in this healthy take, I balance out some of the heat with a delicious and sweet ripe plantain. I use lean bison for this recipe, but you can keep the cost low on this dish by subbing in other proteins. Just try to keep it as low-fat as possible to maintain the macros. This chili is a great option to bring to a get-together OR to prep for yourself as an easy go-to all weekend long—chili tastes better the longer it rests!
#2: SWEET, SPICY AND SALTY FRUIT SALAD
Beat the heat with this perfect summer fruit salad. This salad is a paleo-friendly recipe since I use arrowroot to thicken the salad dressing, it won’t break the bank to put together, and it’s guaranteed to impress your tastebuds! Another thing I love about this salad is that it’s incredibly HYDRATING, which is essential to remember if you’re a) spending a lot of time outside this weekend or b) enjoying a few adult beverages. BONUS: You can put any extra fruits in the freezer and save them for smoothies later, which means less waste and more bang for your buck.
#3: LOW CARB BANG BANG SHRIMP BURGER
Speaking of bangs… This recipe is a relatively recent one that BLEW UP, so I had to include it here as a health-conscious alternative to the cooking up cheeseburgers this weekend. Firstly, these burgers are a great source of protein, but they’re also very lean and low carb so that you can enjoy a hearty burger without the bloat. Secondly, the bang bang sauce is SO tasty that you won’t miss the cheese, I promise. PRO TIP: Spray your hands with a bit of olive oil before you roll them into patties to keep everything from sticking.
#4: VEGAN PULLED “PORK”
And while we’re on the subject of healthy alternatives, you do NOT want to sleep on this vegan pulled “pork.” By substituting the meat with jackfruit (which you can probably find fresh, but most grocery stores also carry a canned version that works just fine), we turn a cookout staple into a plant-based, low-calorie version that will blow friends and family away! This one’s still a slow-cooker recipe, so it’s a great lunch option if you set it up in the morning.
#5: INSTANT POT VEGAN NACHOS
Another fresh, plant-based take on a Tex-Mex favorite! This Instant Pot recipe will have you in and out of the kitchen in 15 minutes, so this is a great snack or last-minute dish to throw together before having guests over. I promise this cheez is just as good as the original, and you can pour it over chips and serve as nachos like I did here, or serve it as a delicious dip with your favorite raw veggies like broccoli or bell pepper.
#6: HONEY LIME CHICKEN & POTATOES
Here’s a simple $3 recipe that’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. And the best part? You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already! You can get away with marinating the chicken for just 20 minutes, but you’ll have much more impressive results if you can leave them in a sealed bag overnight. Air-frying the potatoes keeps them on the healthier side, but you can also get the same results if you use an oven. Also, I use a skillet to cook these chicken thighs on the stove, but feel free to head outside and fire up the grill!
#7: 300 CAL ‘NANA PUDDING JARS
To help with portion control (or if you have a lot of little mouths to feed), I put a healthy spin on a family recipe that my dad taught me to make. This recipe makes ten servings that you’re going to have a hard time NOT eating all at once 😂. Similar to the vegan pulled “pork” recipe, this is a great option to start in the morning and have ready for an afternoon get together. This recipe is BRAND NEW so head on over to my IG to get the full recipe, and make sure you leave a comment if you want us to upload this one on fitmencook.com!
#8: FIVE MINUTE SORBET
You gotta top it all off with one more delicious dessert! During quarantine, I made the discovery that happiness (aka sorbet) is only five minutes away and it doesn’t cost a fortune! Head on over to my IGTV feed if you want to watch the video, or grab the recipe right here 👇
3 cups frozen mango (or banana)
1 4oz can of coconut cream (or avocado; choose a healthy fat)
3 tbsp honey (or agave)
blend until smooth (1-2 mins)
scoop out and enjoy!