Healthy Eating on a Budget

July 9, 2013

The Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps those who are eligible put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The USDA SNAP Education website has a recipe finder that is full of ideas that include fruits and vegetables.

Involving kids in the kitchen provides the opportunity for them to learn how to cook … and we know that kids are more likely to eat new foods that they’ve helped prepare. The Fish and Veggie Bake recipe featured below is easy enough that children can help in the meal preparation – an easy way for parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their kids. More Kid-Friendly Recipes

Both SNAP and the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters program offer ideas on how to eat healthfully on a budget. The Fish and Veggie Bake dish serves up 19 grams of protein with 6 veggies at only $2.00 a serving. Dining out would not only cost more, but restaurant foods are often higher in sodium and fat, which then take a toll on your health.


Fish and Veggie Bake

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Total time: 27 minutes


    • 4 cod fillets (4 ounce each, can also use tilapia, sole, hake, flounder, or other white fish)
    • ¼ red onion (or scallions)
    • 1 carrot
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 celery stalk
    • ½ zucchini (optional)
    • 2 Roma tomatoes (optional)
    • ½ fennel (½ bulb)
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
    • thyme (fresh springs, optional)
    • basil (chopped, optional)
    • ginger (minced, optional)
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
    • ⅛ teaspoon salt (to taste, optional)
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper (to taste, optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
    2. Cut 4 large rectangles of parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold in half; unfold.
    3. Put each fish fillet in a large square of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Top fish with your choice of vegetables and seasonings.
    5. Drizzle each packet with ½ teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
    6. Fold the parchment paper or foil in half and then crimp around the edges tightly in ¼-inch folds to create a half moon shape.
    7. Using a spatula, transfer the packets to a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F, about 10-12 minutes, depending the thickness of the fish.

    Note: Optional ingredients are not included in the nutrient or cost analysis.

    Per recipe: $8.13
    Per serving: $2.03
    Source: Food and Nutrition Information Center

    Lisa Bellini, M.S., R.D.
    Nutrition and Wellness Program Manager
    Safeway, Inc.

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