Healthy is Cheap! {lentil soup recipe}

f I had $1 for every time I heard “eating healthy is too expensive”…I would probably spend the bounty on my favorite overpriced healthy groceries (I’m a sucker for $10 raw honey and almond butter). Because it’s true, some healthy items are crazy expensive and totally unreasonable when you’re watching your pennies. However, it’s also NOT expensive to eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains. It’s because everyone is comparing the ‘healthy’ packaged food, that they are getting this unshakable notion. Which is ironic, because eating healthy means eating away from the package whether it’s organic or not.

There are many degrees and ways to scale the cost of healthy food. Just because you can’t afford the local organic broccoli doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat broccoli at all. Get the conventional non-organic or even a bag of frozen florets- its whatever you can do to get those veggies in. We make over 200 food related decisions a day so just be aware of how you can always choice healthier even if you need to be cheaper.

Below is a no-fail simple, healthy, and cheap soup recipe I always make when I’m tight on cash but want to nourish myself all week (it makes a lot). Switch up any component to give it a different flavor profile each time. You can do that with the broth, beans, veggies, and seasonings so get creative!

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 32oz box of chicken broth
1 16oz bag of lentils, rinsed & soaked over night
1 bag of arugula or baby spinach
Seasonings: sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, chili flakes, (whatever you want!!)

Directions:
In a large pot sauté onions and carrots until onions start to get translucent. Toss in the broth and lentils {that you rinsed and soaked in a large bowl filled with lots of water the night before}. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat, shake in some seasonings, and simmer for 30 min. If lentils have absorbed even more of the liquid, add in 1 cup of water as needed. At this point stir in the bag of greens handfuls at a time to wilt and incorporate. Now give it a taste! Add in any salt, pep, or other additional herbs or spices.

After the soup cools I usually portion out into single serve tupperware for meals that week. If you don’t think you’ll eat it all, put some in a larger one to freeze! This is the best for accumulating healthy frozen options when you’re pressed for time later that month. You can eat the soup alone or pour over some brown rice for a heartier meal (and complete protein!).

Sometimes simple is best. And simple doesn’t have to be a box of mac and cheese. I hope this inspires you to get creative while eating healthy on a budget!