Food doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious, and food that is made on the cheap doesn't have to be unhealthy. The recipes below are not only satisfying but they are healthy and cost effective and they'll blow any microwaved ready meal out the water.
Cooking is great fun and these recipes are designed so that even the most novice cook can make them and it will still taste amazing.
When you're cooking on a budget you have to be smart about what you're buying and making yourself a menu plan for the week is a great way of doing this.
For me just because i'm on a budget doesn't mean I can't enjoy good food and it doesn't mean that I have to start eating unhealthy.
A lot of my recipes are brilliant if you're cooking for a group of friends or if you want to make a big batch and freeze it for some convenient, tasty and most important quick food when you're in a rush or really just want to sit and watch some tv without the hassle.
Below is my short list for my all time favourite recipes that I can cook on a budget.
Poached eggs with avocado
For me this is the ultimate breakfast. Perfect if you've got some time on your hands or just need a hangover cure
- 2 x Eggs
- 1 x Half an avocado
- 1 x Slice of bread (my favourite is granary and is definitely the healthier option but any bread will work just fine)
- 1 x tbsp vinegar
- 2 x slices Parma ham or pancetta (This is optional but if you feel like splashing out this fried until it's crispy over the top takes this dish to a new level)
- salt & pepper
- Get a pan of water on and bring it the boil
- Add the vinegar to the water
- You want the water just under boiling so it doesnt break up the egg
- Gently crack and drop the eggs in the water gently- cook for 2 mins
- Pop your toast down
- Half your avocado and slice one half and spread evenly on your toast
- Gently lift the eggs out and place on to some kitchen towel to dry and place on top of the avocado. season to your taste
- If you have the pancetta/parma ham then heat a pan and without oil crisp it up place on paper towel to drain the excess fat then place on top
Baked eggs are perfect for sharing or just a nice big breakfast for yourself. Its a warming dish packed with flavour.
- 3 x eggs
- 1 x can tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 x Handful parmesan
- 1 x Dash of cream
- 1 x Handful of basil
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
- Put the tomatoes in a bowl
- Mix with cream & cheese
- Add salt & pepper
- Pour mixture into your ban or small baking tray
- Make 3 wells for your eggs and crack them into to them
- Put it in the oven for 15 mins
- Serve in the pan and sprinkle your basil with some crusty bread
Easy and quick but still delicious and a great start to the day. Scrambled eggs should be light and fluffy and perfectly seasoned. This is just the basic recipie but you can add all sorts if you want.
- 2-3 x Eggs
- 2 x tsp butter
- Salt & pepper
- Anything else you might want maybe some spring onion or mushrooms?
- Crack your eggs into the pan
- Whisk with a folk or a whisk if you've got one until they are mixed together don't over do it
- Add the butter
- Place on a low to mid heat and stir gently ensuring nothing is sticking to the pan
- Do this until the egg starts to scramble this is when it comes down to personal taste I like mine just cooked so with a slight runny but what do I know?
- Serve straight away onto your toast or whatever you would like so it doesn't carry on cooking
Obviously this is pretty self explanatory but some fruit on the side of one of the delicious recipes above is a great start to the day.
If you want to make a nice fruit salad add a splash of lemon juice and some sugar thats had some vanilla pod infused with it and mix it together.
Lunch & Dinner
Both very important and very easy to do on a budget. Personal taste comes into play here but i'm one to have a light lunch and hearty dinner usually once I've been to the gym so I don't feel guilty.
The dishes below can be for either lunch or dinner and the majority of them are brilliant to freeze and eat later on in the week when you cant be bothered to cook, I do this all the time I do the bulk of my cooking on a sunday so then eating is hassle free but still delicious. All of the recipes comfortably serve two people
Roasted tomato pasta
This is one of my most favourite pasta recipes and it's so simple and remarkably cheap but still tastes amazing.
- 1 x Pack of vine tomatoes
- 2 x TBSP of olive oil (less if you're being healthy)
- A pinch of salt pepper
- Chilli flakes (Personal taste but a bit of spice really works here)
- 1 x half a lemon juiced
- Drizzled balsamic vinger
- Fresh basil (Optional)
- Pasta (Any type you want but personally it would be tagliatelle
- Oven on 180 degrees C
- Put your tomatoes in a roasting tray
- Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic so that it coats all of the tomatoes equally
- Add the salt, pepper and chilli flakes
- Stick them in the oven for 20 mins until there cooked through and soft
- Whilst the tomatoes are cooking boil your pasta
- Once your satisfied with the cooking of the tomatoes snip all of the tomatoes and smash them up to make a sauce in the roasting tin and pour over your pasta
- Finally if you have any basil finely chop and sprinkle over the top
Another classic that's so easy to make and makes a great quick meal that satisfies
- 1 x pack of Lardons
- 1 x egg yolk
- 200 grams of parmesan
- Chilli flakes
- Fresh Basil
- Fry the lardons until crispy and then spoon onto kitchen roll to drain the excess fat
- Boil pasta and drain
- Add the parmesan and egg yolk along with the lardons and mix together
- season to taste including the chilli flakes
- sprinkle over the basil
Prawn cous cous
Great in the summer and it will keep in the fridge for a few days for an on the go lunch or light dinner.
- 250 grams of cous cous
- 2 x tomatoes
- 2 x Spring onion
- 1/4 diced cucumber
- Bag of prawns
- 1 x chicken stock cube
- salt & pepper
- Balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Pour 500 ml boiling water over stock cube and stir until disssolved
- cover cous cous with boiling water and then cover bowl over with cling film and leave for 5 mins
- Fry prawns in a little bit of olive oil until they turn pink and are cooked through then add to the cous cous
- Dice salad ingredients and add to the cous cous
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle some olive oil and balsamic mix together and serve
Quick and easy stir fry is my favourite lunch time dish. Fresh ingredients cooked to perfection with garlic and soy sauce it doesnt get better.
- Stir fry veg pack of your choosing
- 2x Cloves Garlic
- Fresh Ginger (personal taste play around with it)
- Five Spice
- Egg noodles
- Soy sauce
- 1 x Egg
- Protein ( Whatever you fancy prawns, beef, chicken, pork or even tofu or none at all really is up to you
- 2 x TBSP of vegetable oil
- Heat oil in the pan until the pan is starting to smoke
- Add the garlic and ginger and ensure it doesnt burn but get some golden colour to it ( Add your protein at this point to
- Add the veg and mix with the garlic and ginger
- Once the veg is starting to cook through 3-4 mins add the noodles for a further 2
- Add soy sauce and five spice to taste
- To finish pour in a beaten egg and mix quickly over everything in the pan and serve.