Tasty! Healthy! Inexpensive! 5 ingredients, 10 minutes

by richard on October 10, 2015

These recipes are more like formulas, or a method, and not really recipes. They are simple, only take 10 minutes to make, and they are inexpensive. The best thing about them is they are healthy, taste great, and are filling. And you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day.

The basics: here are the 5 ingredients.

Canned beans: Look for No salt added. If you can’t find no salt added, look for the amount of sodium to equal, or be less than, the amount of calories per serving. Salt/season the finished dish to taste without all the added, and hidden, salt that sometimes comes along with the beans.

Canned or boxed tomatoes: If you can’t find no salt added look for the amount of sodium to equal, or be less than, the amount of calories per serving. When using whole tomatoes, rough cut/chop them into smaller pieces when you put them in the pot.

Frozen vegetables: Organic is great, but not a necessity. Buy what’s inexpensive.

A Starch:  brown rice that cooks in the bag in boiling water, whole grain (preferred) pasta, or potatoes.

Spice blends: Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican, and some granulated garlic. The spices are really what makes this entire formula work.

Mexican Beans and Rice

2 cans beans: pinto and black

2 cans tomatoes: both whole or one diced and one whole.

Frozen Vegetables: 2 lbs blend with onions in it, ½ lb of frozen corn, ½ lb of frozen greens like spinach or kale.

1-2 Tbsp Mexican blend, granulated garlic (some kind of hot sauce or salsa and sometimes a little salt, too, on occasion).

Put on a pot of water and bring to a boil for the rice. When boiling, add the rice.

Open and rinse the beans, combine the beans, veggies, tomatoes, and spices in a large pot over medium heat. When the rice is finished (10 min) put it in a bowl and serve the beans, veggies, tomatoes, and spices over it.

Indian Potatoes and vegetables     

2 cans of garbanzo beans

2 cans of tomatoes

2-4 medium to large potatoes washed but not peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.

2-3 lbs frozen vegetable blend or your choice, ½ lb of greens

Indian spice blend (or equal parts curry and garam marsala), granulated garlic.

First, cut up the potatoes into 1-1/2 inch cubes and microwave. If you don’t want to microwave, put them in a pot, cover them with water and cook until fork tender. Either way it’ll be approx 10 minutes. Check them to make sure they aren’t over cooked. While the potatoes are cooking, open and rinse the beans, combine the beans, tomatoes, vegetables, and spices in a big pot and heat. When the potatoes are done add them in. Serve and Enjoy.

Pasta and vegetables

2 cans of beans, 1 kidney, 1 white beans (or your choice)

2 cans of tomatoes (one can whole tomatoes and one diced)

1 lb of whole grain pasta

2-3 pounds of frozen vegetables (your choice), ½ pound of greens

1-2 tbsp Italian spice blend, 1-1/2 tbsp granulated (powdered) garlic (spice to your taste really)

Start the pasta water boiling then put the pasta on to cook. Combine the other in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the pasta is finished drain it, put some in a bowl and spoon the vegetables on top. Enjoy!

About added salt: The problem with salt does not come from the salt you sprinkle on your food or add when you cook. The amount you add when cooking and eating only amounts to about 5% of total salt consumed by the Average American. The high salt intake that is what your doctor wants you to lower comes from salt added to packaged or canned foods and beverages. Whenever possible buy canned beans and tomatoes, etc., that have no salt added. If that is not possible, look for the amount of sodium (salt) to be equal to or less than the number of calories per serving.


Richard Maas is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Lymphatic Therapist, drummer, and gardener. He and his wife Dianne started practicing massage in 1990.

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