Recipe Corner. 5 Budget-Friendly Healthy Dishes.

Phew! For the first time in my life, I think I can legitimately say I am a busy woman. I shall ignore the fact that having children will absolutely make me revise this statement and, for now, just feel satisfied that housework, tutoring, DIY, cooking, shopping, workouts, writing, reading and sewing makes me busy.

Also, I am currently nibbling on a “Peaches and Cream” tart which is divine and I shall share with you tomorrow, because I’m nice like that. :p

Yum. :D

Yum. 😀

Anyhow, onto the recipes.

I used to run a blog where I would make meals for £1/portion or less. I wound up a bit too busy to plan out every meal, as £1 was a bit restrictive in terms of what I wanted to eat (kcal count, variety, volume, etc), so I eventually gave up. But budget-eating is still very much important to me If anything, that blog showed me how well I could eat for very little, so the principles have been carried-over into my current cooking. Of course, the food isn’t quite as cheap as it used to be, not all the time, but Jon and I eat heartily due to our activity levels, so it wouldn’t be. In fact, that WAS the very reason I had to leave the previous blog. Yet considering he initially wanted to give me £50-60/week (that’s $83-100) for our food and toiletries and that at the moment I’m spending £20-30/week ($33-50) and still providing us with 1800-3500kcal/day, I’d say I still have the magic touch.

So, in the spirit of my old blog, here are five budget-friendly, healthy meals, complete with the cost. The cost is for the total we make and I will include how many portions we get out of it, though someone with a small appetite may get more and a bulking bodybuilder may get less. I’ll leave it up to you to decide how many servings it makes. Besides that, the costs haven’t been translated into any other currency because:

a: My blog’s readership is too varied.

b: The cost of things is too variable even within the UK.

It’s just there to give you an idea of my expenses and how I keep them down. 🙂

These are all things that show up on our table regularly or semi-regularly, are tasty and cheap.

Recipe 1: Lamb’s Liver Curry.

currylambliver

Pros: very quick and easy.

Cons: pre-made sauce or curry mix, not much variety of veg, kids may find lamb’s liver too strong.

Ingredients:

-400-500g/14.1-17.6oz fresh lamb’s liver (Sainsbury’s, reduced: 55p)

-1 large leek (market: 12p)

-1 onion (Sainsbury’s, family bag: 5p)

-100g/3.5oz broccoli (market: 12p)

-25g/0.9oz grass-fed butter (Kerrygold: 20p)

-2tbsp curry powder (Asian store: 5p)

-1tsp smoked paprika (Sainsbury’s: 5p)

-100g/3.5oz rice (Sainsbury’s, basics: 4p)

Total: £1.18. Makes us two portions.

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: Wash and slice the vegetables. To include broccoli stalks, slice as thinly as possible.

2: Pan-fry the vegetables in a little of the butter until the onion and leek are limp and translucent, but not caramelizing. Take off the heat briefly.

3: Put the rice on to boil.

4: Slice the liver as desired. Add to the vegetables alongside the seasoning and remainder butter.

5: Return to the heat until the liver is as cooked as you like it.

6: Serve with rice.

Recipe 2: “Hellmince” bolognese.

spagbol

Pros: can make a lot of it, instant winner with all taste buds, not much washing-up, little involvement once the pot’s simmering.

Cons: not as nice if you aren’t eating pasta or rice.

Ingredients:

-8-10 medium carrots (Sainsbury’s, basics: 50p)

-200g/7oz celeriac/swede/squash/beet (variable: let’s say 25p)

-1-2 large onions (Sainsbury’s, family pack: 10p)

-2 courgettes (Sainsbury’s, basics, reduced: 50p)

-900-1000ml/around 30-35floz chopped tomato (Sainsbury’s, basics, one carton, one jar: £1)

-1kg/35oz “hellmince” (Sainsbury’s, basics, frozen: £3.15)

-5tbsp olive oil (Sainsbury’s, reduced: 25p)

-4 crushed garlic cloves (Sainsbury’s, basics: 10p)

-smoked paprika

-salt

-pepper

-mixed herbs

Total: £5.85 discounting herbs and spices. Makes us around 6-8 servings.

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot

Recipe:

1: Wash and dice all the vegetables. Keep the tuber and onion fine and the carrot and courgette chunky. Crush the garlic.

2: Mix them in a pot with the tomato, about one cup of water and the seasoning.

3: Bring to a boil and then turn down. Add the olive-oil. Leave to simmer for 40-50min.

4: Add the mince. Continue simmering for 20min.

5: Serve over pasta or rice, or just as a stew.

We served ours with spelt spaghetti, but I may thicken the sauce a little with rice flour, so it sticks better next time.

Recipe 3: Mixed vegetable chips.

chips

Pros: lots of nutrition, better than your average chip, kids should like.

Cons: not much protein, better as a side or a snack.

Ingredients:

-2 large carrots (Sainsbury’s, basics: 10p)

-1 large parsnip (Sainsbury’s, loose: 20p)

-200g/7oz celeriac (Co-op, reduced: 20p)

-200g/7oz swede (market: 10p)

-rendered lard or tallow (leftover: free)

-salt, pepper, onion powder

Total: 80p, give or take. Makes two or four servings, as it’s usually a side-dish.

Utensils:

-knife and chopping board

-small pot

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Wash and peel the vegetables.

2: Slice them into evenly sized pieces.

3: Put them in the pot, add water and boil until they’re tender, but not falling apart.

4: Drain them and leave them on paper or in a colander to dry.

5: Once they’re drier, toss them in the fat and seasonings and place them in the baking tray.

6: Set the oven to 180C/355F and cook the chips until they’re browned. This should take around 25-30min. You will need to give them a shake or stir a couple of times.

7: Serve with freshly ground salt on top.

Recipe 4: Bubble and squeak.

Pros: delicious, cheap, good way to use leftovers, kids like it, good as a side or a main.

Cons: none, it’s marvelous.

Ingredients:

-200-300g/7-10.6oz roast or boiled potatoes (leftovers: free)

-leftover cabbage, carrots, onions and any other veg, around 200g (leftovers: free)

-200g/7oz bacon (Sainsbury’s, basics: 38p)

-25g/0.9oz butter (Kerrygold: 15p)

-salt and pepper

Total: 53p extra expense on the leftovers. Two servings.

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan and spatula

Recipe:

1: Chop up the assorted vegetables and mash up the potatoes. Dice the bacon.

2: Warm the butter in the pan. Fry the bacon until the fat is rendered from it.

3: Add the vegetables and cook until the potatoes are browned.

4: Add salt and pepper before serving.

It’s normal for this dish to make squeaking, crackling and popping sounds whilst it cooks.

Recipe 5: Chicken liver curry with rice.

Pros: nutritious, quick to cook, very cheap, good staple.

Cons: it’s still liver and some may disapprove, low calories.

Ingredients:

-250g/8.8oz chicken livers (Sainsbury’s, frozen: 50p)

-1 large onion (Sainsbury’s, family bags: 5p)

-300g/10.6oz mixed veg (Sainsbury’s, basics, frozen: 22p)

-100g/3.5oz rice, cooked (Sainsbury’s, basics: 4p)

-50g/1.8oz butter (Kerrygold: 30p)

-2tbsp curry powder (Asian store: 5p)

Total: £1.16. Two servings.

We sometimes add chopped leftover chicken or bacon to it, as the kcal content is a bit on the low side.

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: Mix the butter and spices in the frying pan on a low heat.

2: Slice all the vegetables finely and fry them in butter at a high heat.

3: Finely slice the liver and add it to the mix.

4: Add the rice and some tomato puree or water.

5: Cook until everything is thoroughly curried.

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One thought on “Recipe Corner. 5 Budget-Friendly Healthy Dishes.

  1. Pingback: Recipe Corner. Musings and CHALLENGE: Stew for a Week. | Your Slaviswife Is Evolving

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