Budget-Friendly, Delicious Pantry Meals: Ready to Eat in 20 Minutes!

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Canned tomatoes and garbanzo beans are two staples I always stock in my pantry.  With these simple ingredients, plus a handful of fresh herbs and vegetables, I can create a delicious variety of meals that follow the seasons and fit into my budget.  Check out this recent YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen video, where I put together two nourishing and comforting recipes using canned tomatoes and garbanzos, in about 20 minutes!

Chickpeas and Bowties Recipe

Creamy Tomato Carrot Soup Recipe

Homemade meals are usually budget-friendly and nutritionally superior to prepared foods in many ways.  For example, a typical can of tomato soup contains 8 grams of added sugar (which is equivalent to two added teaspoons of sugar per cup), and 480 mg of sodium.  Low sodium varieties of tomato soup do score better, at 30 mg of sodium per 7.25 ounces, but the added sugar content is higher.  If you buy a case of Campbell’s Low Sodium Tomato Soup, the bulk discount cost averages around $1.65 for a little less than one cup.  Compare that to my homemade tomato soup and you’ll see that home-cooked is a bargain at $1.70 for a two cup serving!  My homemade tomato soup is nutritionally superior as well, with no added sugar and comparable amounts of sodium, at approximately 7 mg per ounce vs. 5 mg per ounce for a can of low sodium Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

A comforting cup of homemade tomato soup

Of course, nothing beats the taste of homemade meals, where you control the quality of your ingredients as well as the type and amount of flavorings you add.  For more ways to cook delicious, easy meals at home, remember to visit our collection of videos and recipes at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen.  All of our recipes include nutrient-packed, affordable, and local ingredients, plus easy to follow instructions.  You can also follow me on Facebook at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, to see what I am making at home, get insider tips and link to some of my favorite food and nutrition destinations on the web.