So a few weeks ago you would have seen me posting my budget week pics on Instagram and facebook as well as a post on ways to save on that darn food shopping bill. Well there was a bit of interest in the meals I cooked for budget week so I’m going to post the recipes.
My original plan was disrupted (saved) by a few dinner invitations that week but here are the meals I cooked:
Zucchini slice – using eggs as the main source of protein for a meal is a GREAT way to save the moolah. Especially if you have three girls out the back laying those babies for fwwweeeeee.
Jamie Oliver’s meatloaf with home made spaghetti (for obvious reasons I’m not providing the recipe here, but seriously get Save With Jamie if you are budget conscious, it’s a plethora of great information and recipes).
Meat balls and fettucini – using mince is another great way to cut down costs. It’s super cheap. Yes the budget mince isn’t as healthy but my thinking is, if you are cooking more from home you are cutting out a whole whack of nasties and the fat in the mince doesn’t outweigh that.
Enchiladas which includes my recipe for slow cooked Mexican chicken. Slow cooking a meal and re-using it throughout the week or month is super saving, especially in the case of the Mexican chicken because it is bulked up with veggies to make it go further!
Curry sausage casserole – Sausages are a no-brainer really when it comes to budgeting. They are dirt cheap. Not the healthiest, but again cook from home, avoid takeaway and the sausages wont be so bad in the whole scheme of things. I used a recipe out of homesplus magazine. Unfortunately they don’t have their recipes on their website, but you can find similar recipes on good ol’ taste.com.au
So here we go…
Zucchini Slice – one of our family favourites because it is so well frozen for lunches or quick meals and it’s also amazing cold on a hot summer’s night for dinner.
Ingredients – For 1 large and 1 medium slice (it made 1 dinner for 2 adults and 2 children, and 4 adult lunches).
5 slices short cut bacon, diced
3 zucchini grated
1 onion, diced finely
¾ cup plain flour
2 cups grated cheese
A few good lugs of olive oil
Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius.
Chuck everything in the bowl and give it a nice big mix. Seriously after chopping all the ingredients and mixing that’s ALL!!
Spray your baking dishes with oil spray and pour in. Bake in the oven until the slice is nice and brown on top. Serve with a nice big salad.
The slice will be quite gooey because of the cheese when you eat it hot but once it cools it goes much more firm.
Meatballs and fettucini – mince is amazingly cheap and our kids love meatballs.
Ingredients (for 2 adults and 2 children + lunch for the next day)
500g mince, I used veal, pork and beef but feel free to use anything you want.
1 zucchini grated
About 2 cloves finely chopped or crushed garlic
A good pinch of salt
1 large jar passata
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ packet store bought fettucini
Grate the zucchini and squeeze out most of the liquid. Put in a bowl with the mince, garlic and pinch of salt. Squeeze all of it together with your hands until mixed through and then roll into balls. Put in the fridge for as long as you have.
Boil some water and once bubbling, whack in the fettucini. Once it’s cooked, drain and serve onto the plates.
Brown your onion in a pan with olive oil until soft. Then add in the passata, tomatoes, oregano, brown sugar and salt. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
Heat some oil in a fry pan and cook your meatballs until they are browned on all sides. You can shake the fry pan to get them rolling and cooking evenly. Once they are browned, plop them into the sauce. Cook for another 15 minutes until they are cooked through.
Serve on top of the fettucini with extra sauce poured all over and grated cheese on top. If your kiddies are picky with their plating, serve the meatballs on the side “not mixed in MUMMMMM”.
Ingredients – makes 9
1 container of slow cooked Mexican chicken – see below
2 green capsicum diced
1 cup grated cheese
½ jar salsa
Mexican salsa to serve with – diced red onion (1/4), half avocado diced, 1 small cucumber diced, 2 tomatoes, squeeze lemon juice, coriander. Mix all together. Please NOTE – this is only a budget option if cucumbers and tomatoes are on sale, if not, make a simple salad of whatever is cheap that week.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
Layer a few dessert spoons of chicken down the middle of a tortilla and sprinkle a small handful of capsicum over the top. Roll up the tortilla and put in a baking dish. Repeat until you can’t fit anymore in the dish (I got to 9)
Pour the salsa over the top and sprinkle the cheese. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with a salad (Mexican salsa if its cheap).
Slow cooked Mexican chicken
4 chicken breasts
3 jars salsa
1 large tin corn drained
1 tin red kidney beans drained
Put everything in the slow cooker and stir. Turn onto low level and leave for about 6 hours, or until you can flake the chicken easily with a fork.
Once it’s done, flake the chicken off with a fork and mix into the sauce.
Freeze in portioned containers, this will keep for a few months. We did dinner sized containers and lunch sized ones.
We use this for:
- As a meal base with rice and Mexican salad on the side
- On top of lunch time salads
- Mexican chicken hot potatoes
- Lunch time wraps
- Eating plain out of a container because its just so damn awesome.
So there you go, budget beauties. If you like them I have plenty more in my arsenal that I can spout out.
What are your favourite budget meals?
The Dietitian Mummy