What’s the secret to eating healthy on a budget? Try storing fruits and veggies properly

Mar 31, 2022, 5:15 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 1:29 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s national nutrition month and adding more fruits and veggies to your diet can lower blood pressure, reduce heart disease, and prevent some types of cancer. With inflation rising, no one wants to waste food.

Eating tasty, nutrient-rich meals on a budget is possible, said Alex Govern, executive chef with Intermountain Healthcare.

“This spaghetti squash this morning was on sale. It was a dollar off per pound,” Govern said. He recommends first, choosing fruits and veggies that are in season, and on sale, like spaghetti squash. “That’s enough to feed three to four people as a side and it was under three bucks.”

He also recommended other seasonal fruit: “Lots of fresh berries will be more cost-effective, green beans.”

Try fresh substitutions if produce looks wilted or spoiled, Govern said. “Let’s say I go to buy green beans and they don’t look good. What else looks good? Sugar snap peas might look good, that’s a great substitution,” he said. Or, choose frozen veggies and fruit instead. “They’re picked at their peak of ripeness, they’re sweet and they’re ready to go,” he said. But be sure to check the label to make sure they have no added ingredients. “It just says, ‘Green beans.'”

As fruit or veggies decay, Govern advised discarding moldy or spoiled pieces. “This cauliflower head, if I put it in the fridge, it could hang out in there for at least a week,” Govern said. “As it starts to go bad, these dark spots will develop first and I can just trim them away. And the rest of it’s still great to eat.”

Squash can last even longer, according to Govern. “It lasts for a couple weeks on the shelf, not even in the refrigerator, room temperature,” he said.

Wash and dry berries completely, and refrigerate in airtight containers like plastic bags or mason jars to make them last much longer. When berries begin to spoil, freeze them. “We can put it in smoothies or in desserts,” Govern said.

Finally, make vegetables the main course, instead of a side, like Govern’s cauliflower tacos. He said meat is more expensive and less nutrient-rich. “This is what we lovingly refer to as a cauliflower steak,” he said. “This has garlic, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and about 18 minutes in the oven and it’s good to go.” The result is a savory, satisfying dish and you don’t miss the taco meat.

It also gets more vitamins in your belly and more change in your pocketbook.

Recipe for Cauliflower tacos, Chef Alex Govern, Intermountain Healthcare

Serves 4 people

Serving Size – 3 tacos


  • Cauliflower – 1-2 Large Heads, or 3lb bagged fresh florets
  • Taco Seasoning – 3 Tbs (any brand preferred by taste)
  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ Cup
  • Cilantro – 1 bunch– Minced or chopped very fine
  • Green Onion – 1 Bunch – Thinly sliced
  • Corn Tortillas – 12ea
  • Sour Cream – ¼ C
  • Pan Spray – As Needed


  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Trim the bottom of the cauliflower, and blemishes from the head
  • Cut the cauliflower head in half
  • Cutting from the exposed center, trim the cauliflower pieces from the center stalk, discard the center stalk
  • Roughly chop the larger cauliflower pieces into bite-size pieces or florets
  • Toss the trimmed florets with the seasoning and the oil
  • Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil and seasoning (add more if desired)
  • Place the seasoned florets onto parchment or foil-lined sheet trays; ensure there is minimal overlap
  • Bake at 425F for 18-20 min or until browned and tender
  • While the cauliflower is baking, heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat – spray with pan spray and sear the tortilla on both sides, lightly browning
  • Reserve till the cauliflower has finished cooking.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Linda Campbell showing the Breast MRI where doctors found her breast cancer....

Emma Benson

Breast MRI is helping detect cancer in high-risk patients

Intermountain Health is working on new advances in breast cancer screening by transforming early detection.

5 days ago

The ABCs of checking for melanoma....

Emma Benson

Sun safety reminders for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Utah has one of the highest rates of melanoma, about twice the national average.

11 days ago

Dr. Adam Balls out on a run with his daughter as part of his self-care routine....

Emma Benson

400 days and counting: ER doc’s exercise streak improves his mental health

A Utah doctor is encouraging everyone to join him in getting into an exercise routine to help with their mental health.

19 days ago

A family photo of the Grover family, who has three kids with autism....

Emma Benson

Utah family shares their experience with three boys who have autism

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and a Utah family wants share their personal experience of learning to adapt and grow with the disorder.

26 days ago

Marc Dunbabin, got his second chance at life with his family thanks to a bone marrow donor....

Emma Benson

Utah dad gets second chance at life thanks to bone marrow transplant

Utah dad hopes to meet the person who gave him second chance at life thanks to a bone marrow transplant.

1 month ago

Walking is one way to exercise and manage stress....

Emma Benson

Get moving: How to manage stress with exercise 

If not managed well, stress can cause serious health problems. So, how can you exercise to manage stress?

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

What’s the secret to eating healthy on a budget? Try storing fruits and veggies properly