7 Healthy Money-Saving Recipes

Turn what you think is trash into beneficial epicurean meals and snacks

If you're composting-or, worse, throwing away-the scraps left over from making dinner, you're tossing out both cash and the secret to some amazing, body-boosting chow. As top chefs nationwide have proved, applying nose-to-tail cookery to vegetables and fruits results in nutritious, why-didn't-I-try-this-before food. Start saving those beet greens, potato skins, and watermelon seeds-and saving more money-and discover just how good rubbish can taste.

Radish Greens


The leafy tops of the pungent bulbs are bursting with polyphenol antioxidants, compounds that mop up the free radicals associated with aging and certain diseases including cancer.

Radish Green Gazpacho

Serves: 6


1/2 cup orange juice or water

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 cup radish greens

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 scallions, sliced

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons oregano or thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) diced feta cheese, for garnish


Place all ingredients except feta in a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve sprinkled with feta.

Celery Leaves


Italian scientists found that an extract gleaned from celery leaves may have powerful anti-inflammatory potential.

Tuna Salad Pitas

Serves: 4


2 cans (5 ounces each) water-packed albacore tuna, drained

1 cup canned white navy beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup plain 1% or 2% yogurt

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red pepper

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

2 teaspoons capers, drained (optional)

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 whole-grain pitas

1/4 cup celery leaves


In a large bowl, stir together tuna, beans, yogurt, celery, roasted red pepper, green onion, walnuts, capers (if using), curry powder, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper. Slice pitas in half and stuff with tuna salad and celery leaves.

Watermelon Seeds


In addition to being good for spitting contests, these frequent cast-offs are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that's been linked to a lower risk of colon cancer and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

Watermelon Seed Trail Mix

Serves: 6


1/2 cup watermelon seeds

1/2 teaspoon canola or olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup roasted almonds

1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios

1/2 cup chopped dried mango

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


Rinse watermelon seeds, spread out on a baking pan, and let dry. Once dry, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss seeds with oil and salt and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy and darkened. Remove seeds from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, mix seeds with remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.

Beet Greens


The tops of this root veggie pack a payload of vitamin K, a major player in bone health.

Beet Green Frittata Muffins

Serves: 4


5 large eggs

3 large egg whites

1 cup chopped jarred roasted red pepper

2 cups chopped beet greens

1 shallot, chopped

1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1/3 cup reduced-fat milk

2 teaspoons thyme

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups salsa


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, gently whisk whole eggs and egg whites. Stir in remaining ingredients except salsa. Divide mixture among 10 paper-lined or greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes until eggs have set. Let cool about 5 minutes before unmolding. Serve with salsa.

Kiwi Peels


Leave the fuzzy-and very much edible-skin on this fruit to take advantage of its vitamin E and other disease-thwarting antioxidants.

Kiwi Avocado Smoothie

Serves: 2


4 ice cubes

1 1/2 cups coconut water

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 whole kiwi, quartered

Flesh of 1 ripe avocado

1 cup baby spinach

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons fresh mint


Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Add more coconut water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Potato Peels


Step away from the vegetable peeler if you want your spuds to hold you over: The skin contains about 50 percent of a tater's hunger-quelling fiber.

Potato Skin Crisps with Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Serves: 4


3 medium potatoes

1 teaspoon canola or olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, peel potato skins into long strips. Save unused flesh for making mashed potatoes or another recipe. Toss potato skins with oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp.

2. Meanwhile place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, cover with very hot water, and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain tomatoes, squeezing out excess water. Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor with sour cream, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Serve potato crisps with sun-dried tomato dip.

Broccoli Stalks


A single tender stem has more than a days' worth of vitamin C, higher intakes of which may help keep your blood pressure numbers healthy.

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fry

Serves: 4


1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

Stalks from 1 broccoli bunch, peeled and thinly sliced

3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup canned in juice pineapple chunks, drained

1/3 cup unsalted cashews

2 cups cooked brown rice


1. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable broth, rice vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.

2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and chicken; cook until chicken is not longer pink, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer chicken to a plate and add red pepper, broccoli florets, broccoli stalks, green onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Stir-fry 1 minute until peppers are tender. Add chicken, pineapple chunks, cashews, and broth mixture, and cook 1 minute more. Serve over brown rice.

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