Cheap, cheerful (& healthy!) recipes - eating well despite the recession!

Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:30 pm
..or eating well on a tight budget.
Even if you're not tightening your belt because of these tough financial times, like many of us.... (half your luck! )

Want to share your your favourite healthy, tasty, el cheapo recipes?

Here's a place to do it! Very Happy
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:34 pm
I made this last night. Not half bad! And quick to prepare!:

Tuna sauce on pasta


*250 300g spaghetti or fettucini (I think penne would work petty well, too)

· 1-2 tbs olive oil (I used 2)

· 1 onion, quartered & sliced finely

· 2 (or more! ) cloves garlic

· 1 green pepper, sliced.

· 400g can chopped tomatoes in juice

· 1 tbs pesto or 1 tbs dried basil (or fresh parsley, at a pinch " perhaps more. The bought pesto was good. I think dried basil is not so wonderful.)

· 125g (or sightly bigger, it doesn’t matter) can tuna (drained of oil)

· Black pepper

· 1 tbs capers (optional)

· 3 " 4 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)

· 10 " 12 green or black olives (or less, according to taste, perhaps sliced) (optional)


· Boil the pasta, according to instructions on packet

· (while the pasta cooks) heat oil in a large frypan (or wok, if you don’t have one)

· Gently cook the onions & garlic, until the onions turn clear

· Add the green pepper. Continue to cook for 1 or 2 minutes

· Add the tomatoes & juice (if using whole tomatoes, break them into bite-sized pieces)

· Add the pesto or basil (or parsley). Stir in well

· Add the drained tuna. Break up any lumps, but don’t mash.

· Simmer gently till well heated, then season to taste.

· Add the remaining ingredients & gently heat through

· Pour sauce over the pasta

· Eat! Very Happy
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:37 pm
Sound good to me!
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:41 pm
I knew I'd draw you here, osso! Wink Very Happy

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Your recipes are always good, I know!

I thought it would be good to pick up a few new recipes myself, as well as share my own "cheapies but goodies".
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Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:45 pm
did our usual saturday shopping .
we usually do most of our shopping at loblaw's (president's choice label) .
our first stop is at the meat counter .
all meat that has its expiry date coming up - usually not for another two days - is discounted by 50 % .
we picked up some filet mignon , ossobucco and a ribeye steak and a chicken for less than $20 - it's enough meat for for ten to 12 days .
we don't see any reason to bypass such a bargain - buy the best meat at 1/2 price rather than cheap hamburger .

hope you don't all get the same idea - leave some bargains for us - please !
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:50 pm
Good thinking, hamburger!

But you must have a much larger freezer (to buy in this way on a regular basis) than mine!

You'll be sorry now that you've given this hint away! I predict a rush on the butcher shops in your area! Wink
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:13 pm
OK, here's another one I've cooked:

Pumpkin & Pinenut (or slivered almonds) Lasagne:


* 1 kg pumpkin
* 2 tablespoons cream cheese
*2 eggs
* 400g egg lasagne (I've used dried/instant, soaked briefly in water)
* I cup grated tasty cheese
* I cup toasted pinenuts (slivered almonds work well, too. And considerably cheaper)
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shavings ( or cheaper variety of similar cheese)

To make:

* Peel & deseed pumpkin. Cut into pieces & boil or steam for 20 minutes, or until cooked.
* Drain well & mash
* mix in cream cheese (I sometimes add feta & combine), eggs & nutmeg. Beat well.
* Grease lasagne dish.
* Cut a sheet (or sheets) of lasagne to fit the base.
* Spread with a layer of the pumpkin.
* Sprinkle with grated tasty cheese & top with pinenuts/almonds
* repeat layers until all ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of cheese & pinenuts/almonds
* Bake in 180 C oven for 25 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Serve topped with parmesan (or other) cheese shavings.


0 Replies
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:34 pm
In college I'd put couscous in simmering water, crack an egg on top and broccoli on top of that. I'd close the lid and let the whole thing steam cook. Not the most exciting dish, but it is fast, cheap and easy.

Also, eggs, rice and beans are all cheap and have good protein. Frozen and canned vegetables are cheaper than fresh and nowadays are almost as healthful (sometimes more healthful according to some research).
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:17 pm
msolga :
i should add that we do not eat meat everyday . one or two days a week we usually eat fish - and there is a "childhood " favourite : arborio rice and raisins boiled in milk (with an egg added) and finally baked in the oven - topped with cinnamon and browned butter (i guess you may call it " hamburger's rice pudding " ) .
i'll eat it anytime !
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:29 pm
I tend to do soups and stews.

An old first-night-of-camping meal was a can of black beans with a cup or two of red wine, chopped garlic, onion, and a can of diced tomatoes simmered on campstove for 20 or 30 minutes. Cheap if you're drinking wine, anyway. Play around with leftover/incidental ingredients at home. The other night it was soup of --

well, oil heated in deep pot, throw a couple of chopped onions and a few gloves of minced garlic in, followed closely by big chunks of chicken thigh (two pounds, maybe), then covered with a couple of cups of dry sherry and enough water to make it -- enough -- then sprinkle in some dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley, paprika -- simmer until chicken starts to break up, add a couple of handfuls of wild rice, simmer for 15 minutes more, add can of chick peas, simmer 5 more minutes, then stir in some spinach leaves, grind in a fair amount of black pepper, a dash of extra virgin olive oil, a small palm full of salt. Eat with a spoon of stale bread. Good eats.
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:47 pm
" hamburger's rice pudding "

Yum! Very Happy
0 Replies
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:51 pm
I tend to do soups and stews.

Me, too. Particularly in winter.

I like your no-nonsense recipes. You've had lots of expreience at this cooking lark, obviously! Very Happy
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 11:28 pm

Great -i will be looking in with interest Smile
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 11:31 pm
G'day Endy

You'd be looking for vegetarian recipes, yes?

Hope we get a few more of those here, too!
Mr Stillwater
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 04:13 am
looking for vegetarian recipes

Free-range or caged vegetarian?
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 04:27 am
@Mr Stillwater,
For chicken & eggs I prefer free-range.

Got a recipe you'd like to share?
Vegetarian or not.
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 09:27 am
From an old post of mine..
this can be vegetarian or not, as you wish.

Eggplant and rice

This is from an old Craig Claiborne cookbook, the title of which I have long forgotten.

It's easy, and tastes good.

1 eggplant, about 1 pound (size doesn't matter so much, per osso, age does. Relatively fresh is better, as in not soft and wrinkly)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (he says 'or margerine', I'll say 'or olive oil')
1/2 half cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or a sprig of fresh from garden/osso)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more! /osso)
1/2 cup rice (arborio or cannaroli/osso)
1 cup chicken broth(unsalted per craig claiborne)(or vegetable broth/osso)

- Trim off the ends of the eggplant and peel it. Cut the eggplant into 1/2" thick slices. Stack the slices and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Cut the strips into 1/2 " cubes. There should be about 3 1/2 cups.

- Heat the butter in a saucepan (teflon frypan/osso) and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion is wilted. Add the eggplant and a generous grinding of pepper. Stir, add the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and hot red pepper.

- Cook, stirring, for about three minutes. Add the rice and broth. Cover. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.

- I add some cut up fresh hot or mild italian sausage if I have one in the freezer (thaw in microwave or in pan hot water). It's good without sausage too.

- Remove bay leaf when the rice dish is done.

Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 12:58 pm
Bay leaf! I forgot the bay leaf! Damn.
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 02:19 pm
It's all over, you'll turn into a Laurus nobilis...
0 Replies
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 02:37 pm
I love one pot dishes
0 Replies

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