3 Recipe Ideas for the Thrifty Food Plan

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Now that we've talked a little bit about the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), it's time to take a closer look at how your clients can use it to their advantage.

Remember, "The cost of the Thrifty Food Plan, 2021 Market Baskets for the reference family of four—at June 2021 prices—is $835.57 per month."

Here are three great recipes that fit roughly within the guidelines of the TFP.

Paella 3 Recipe Ideas for the Thrifty Food PlanWeekday Paella:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 12-ounce package Valencia rice
  • 4 cups water
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 8 ounces diced chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Heat oil in large shallow pan or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until nutty, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the rice, water, seasonings, and chicken breast.
  4. Cover and cook until most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the parsley and lemon. Stir and serve hot.

Chef's Tips:

  • The garnishes are optional -- feel free to use other fresh herbs if you've got them around. Other citrus fruits also add a great zest to the finished dish.
  • Use a pinch of amarillo powder to get the signature paella color.

Potato Cabbage 3 Recipe Ideas for the Thrifty Food PlanPotato Cabbage Casserole:


  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 2 cups cubed cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper


  1. Toss all of the ingredients together and then place in an oven-proof casserole dish.
  2. Cover the dish.
  3. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees or until the potatoes are very soft.
  4. Serve hot.

Chef's Tips:

  • You can also chill this casserole and serve it as a cold salad.
  • It's great if you can bake a whole chicken or other protein item to serve with this dish (see below).

Chicken 3 Recipe Ideas for the Thrifty Food PlanMaple Roasted Chicken:


  • ¼ cup pancake syrup
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade or juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large roasting chicken, remove the gizzards and other items from inside, make sure it is defrosted


  1. Place the chicken in a roasting pan on a rack. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix the syrup, jelly, soy sauce, paprika, and oil in a bowl. Set to the side.
  3. Roast the chicken for 10 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the oven to 350 degrees. Baste the chicken with a light coat of glaze and continue basting every 15 minutes until the chicken is finished. This can take about 45-90 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.

Chef's Tips:

  1. Roast until the internal temperature of the chicken at the deepest part of the thigh is 165 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature or roast until the juices run clear and there is no more pink meat in the drumsticks.
  2. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes and then carve it for dinner.
  3. You can use the carcass to make a broth for soups.
  4. This generally makes enough food for multiple meals. Try using the leftovers in sandwiches, tacos, or casseroles the next day.

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