'100 Days of Real Food on a Budget' Recipes

Lisa Leake on The Doctors
Lisa Leake on The Doctors

Lemon & Feta Quinoa Cakes

Cook time: 14 to 16 minutes

Makes fifteen 3-inch cakes


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Olive oil, for cooking


  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and feta. With wet hands, form the quinoa mixture into fifteen patties about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
  2. In a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add half the cakes, cover, and cook until the bottoms are browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and repeat, adding more olive oil if necessary to keep the pan from becoming dry. Repeat to make the rest of the cakes.

Savings per Serving:  $2/Per Cake



Cheesy Eggplant Bake

Makes 6 servings

Special tools: 9 x 13-inch baking dish

Cook time: 30 to 35 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant (about 2 lbs) cut into 1inch cubes
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375◦F.
  2. In your largest skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until it darkens in color, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour half the marinara sauce into a 9 x 13-inch inch baking dish. Shake it around to ensure it’s evenly spread. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes evenly over the sauce.
  4. Sprinkle all but ½ cup of the mozzarella over the eggplant, pour in the rest of the sauce, and top with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan.
  5. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If desired, serve warm over whole wheat pasta and topped with fresh basil.

Savings per Meal: $3.50 – About $14 for a Family of 4



Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars

Makes 16 bars

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 to 45 minutes

Special tools: Electric mixer and 8x8-inch baking dish


  • 1 stick (4oz) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the dish
  • 2 tablespoons of honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour


  • 4oz unsweetened chocolate baking bar (100% cacao), broken into chunks
  • ½ cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. To make the crust: In a bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth, then beat in the honey and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour until the dough comes together.
  3. Set aside ¼ cup of the dough and press the rest in an even layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Bake until the crust is darkened in color but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the topping: In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, honey, and salt and melt over very low heat. Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.
  5. Place the nuts in a small bowl. Add the reserved ¼ cup dough and 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over the hot crust and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the walnut mixture on top.
  7. Return to the oven and bake until the edges are set, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool and cut into 16 bars. Serve or store at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

Savings per Serving: $1/Bar

*Recipes courtesy of Lisa Leake