Robin’s Healthy Take: Fast, Fiery and Under $5

by in Uncategorized, February 17, 2011
Robin Miller Spicy Recipes Today Show Make this whole quick, spicy meal for less than $15.

Robin cooked up these healthy, budget-friendly recipes this morning on the Today Show!

When I was deciding what recipes to cook for my Today Show appearance, the producer suggested something “fast and fiery.” Since fast dishes are my mantra (Quick Fix Meals, anyone?) and making spicy dishes is simple, I challenged myself by making each dish for $5 or less. Not $5 per person, but five smackers each for a fabulous, four-serving main dish, side dish and dessert.

Even better, the ingredient lists are super-short and each dish comes together in a flash.  Here’s how you make this meal for dinner tonight.

Spicy Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 4

1 pound fettuccine
2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons extra-spicy seasoning blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, egg yolk and seasoning blend in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in drained fettuccine and Parmesan cheese. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.  Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Garlic Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes
Serves 4

4 beefsteak or other vine-ripened tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat broiler. Halve tomatoes crosswise (through the equator) and place flesh-side up on a baking sheet. Brush tops with olive oil and season with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Combine Parmesan cheese and garlic powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the mixture on each tomato half.  Broil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the tomatoes soften. Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Coconut Macaroons
Makes 24 cookies

2/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 14-ounce bag shredded sweetened coconut (about 3 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla and salt. Fold in the coconut until well-incorporated.  Drop by tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

TELL US: What are your favorite quick, spicy meals?

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at

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Comments (648)

  1. You are my intake, I possess few blogs and rarely run out from post :). “Actions lie louder than words.” by Carolyn Wells.

  2. mskinue says:

    I wonder where she found 4 beef steak tomatoes for less than $5, I need to shop at that store :)

  3. Beth says:

    I think the point is that they are all cheap, quick to prepare, and made with every day ingredients that anyone can find no matter where they live. These recipes are meant to appeal to the everyday person who wants to get a home made meal on the table quickly and without breaking the bank.

  4. Jillian says:

    The fettuccine recipe looks so easy, but best of all, I have the ingredients all right in my cupboard. Add some frozen veggies on the side, and it's a meal — no need to go to the store!


    I love the quick and easy suggestions and love to watch your shows and i do alot of your cooking hints at home now thanks and we continue to watch and read your blog.THANKS

  6. Gail says:

    I would like to try this. What is extra spicy seasoning blend & what could I substitute because I don't eat spicy? Thanks.

    • Robin says:

      I used Mrs. Dash but if you don't like spicy, just use a regular all-purpose seasoning blend, like Mrs. Dash Original, or Onion and Herb or Garlic and Herb. They'll all be awesome. I like to use salt-free to control the salt (you can always add salt at the end if you need it).

  7. Althea says:

    I love coconut macaroons now i will be able to make them.

  8. Judy says:

    How do I save these recipes? I have a recipe box, have been up & down this page, and I can't figure it out? Pleez help!

  9. Joan Wiley says:

    I have always loved Robins recipes and I shall add these to my stash and I do mean "stash". I have collected all that I could of hers and I really want to say thank you for all of them JoAn

  10. Kathy says:

    To make Alfredo sauce without curdling, try using a bowl over the water rather than putting the ingredients directly in the pan. Cook as directed. You are using too high of heat. You also do not walk away from it. I worked in an Italian restaurant for a while. This does work.

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