Tag Archives: Microwavable

Roasted Vegetable Bolognese

29 Dec

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If, like me, you are totally sick of turkey after eating nothing else for the past week, then this should be the perfect antidote. A twist on everyone’s favourite dish, spaghetti bolognese, this uses roasted vegetables to give a delicious flavour and an awesome texture, and the paprika also gives a depth of flavour that you don’t find in regular bolognese sauce. It should be very healthy, although you might want seconds!

Leftover bolognese should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Tip: I’ve kept this recipe very simple, but if you wanted to add extra vegetables then mushrooms or grated carrot, cooked with the mince, would go very well.

Serves: five people.

Cost per person: £0.82 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 400g beef mince
  • 2 peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tsps paprika
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C, and heat a pan drizzled with oil in the oven.

2) Slice the peppers into thick strips and the onion into quarters, and place in the hot oil, making sure they are coated on all sides. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, until they are starting to crispy at the edges.

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3) Chop the garlic and fry with the mince for around 5 minutes, until browned.

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4) Add the chopped tomatoes and season with paprika, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

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5) Once the onion and peppers are cooked, remove from the oven. The onion should have separated into strips, but pull it apart if it hasn’t.

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6) Add the vegetables to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

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7) Serve with pasta or spaghetti and enjoy!

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Burritos

27 Sep

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These are a delicious treat that are surprisingly cheap to make – the rice helps to keep it a budget dish. They’re great with just cheese, or even better filled with lettuce, sour cream and guacamole. I’ve written beef in the recipe but it doesn’t really matter what meat you use for these either – I used beef and pork mince because it’s so much cheaper than just beef.

Leftover mince should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen. It’s best not to reheat the rice though.

Tip: this dish can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. If you’re cooking for people with different tastes then try making a mild mince and add tabasco sauce or chilli flakes to individual portions.

Serves: six people.

Cost per person: £0.81 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 6 tortillas
  • 1 onion
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large or 2 small peppers
  • 300g rice
  • 180g grated cheddar cheese, or similar
  • 1-2 tsps chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Chop the onion and fry on a high heat with the chilli powder for around 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

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2) Add the mince and cook for another 5 minutes, until brown.

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3) Add the chopped tomatoes and season with the mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer on a high heat for around 10 minutes, until the juices have mostly boiled off.

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4) At the same time put the rice on to boil. When cooked drain, rinse well with boiling water and set aside.

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5) Add the chopped pepper to the mince and cook for around 2 minutes, to ensure it stays crunchy.

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6) Serve the rice, mince and grated cheese in a tortilla, and roll into a burrito shape.

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7) Roll into a burrito shape and tuck in!

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Beef and Bean Pot Melt

6 Sep

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This tender, melt-in-the-mouth dish is a hearty treat, great as we move into autumn. It can be made with pretty much any cut of beef, and because it cooks for a long time even a very cheap cut will be succulent and tender. I used a cut of beef called skirt, but anything such as braising steak, brisket, chuck or shin would be delicious in this recipe. You may have to look in a butchers to find some of them if your supermarket doesn’t have a meat counter, but they shouldn’t be too expensive and there is often much more flavour to be found in a cheaper cut of meat!

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Tip: small chunks of blue cheese or mature cheddar stirred through 5 minutes before cooking is done would add a lovely depth to this dish.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £1.02 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients, except for the beef).

Ingredients:

  • 400g diced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1-2 tsps chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 50ml water
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 160C.

2) Dice the beef if not already done, and coat it in a layer of flour.

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3) Fry the beef on a high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until sealed and golden brown.

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4) Chop the onion and garlic and them to the beef. Cook on a medium heat for another 10 minutes.

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5) Add the water and chilli powder to the beef and onions, and simmer for 2 minutes.

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6) Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and the chopped pepper, and stir together well.

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7) Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

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8) Serve with a jacket potato or mash, and enjoy!

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Cheese and Vegetable Spaghetti

2 Sep

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This is a very cheap and simple recipe which can be made with lots of different variations, making it perfect for when you need to use up food before it goes off.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, and the sauce should be fine for around a month if frozen.

Tip: if you wanted to you could also add some cooked, chopped bacon to the sauce at the same time as – or instead of – the vegetables. I used broccoli in mine, but some other vegetables that would go well are:

  • Peas
  • Sweetcorn
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflour
  • Leeks

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £0.34 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 100g grated mature cheddar cheese (or similar)
  • 75g broccoli
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Method

1) Melt the butter over a medium heat.

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2) Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

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3) Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk, until you get a smooth sauce.

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4) Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

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5) Put the spaghetti on the boil. At the same time, season the sauce with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

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6) Cut the broccoli into small florets and boil for two minutes. Stir the cheese into the sauce, and simmer until it melts.

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7) Drain the broccoli and stir into the sauce.

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8) Drain the spaghetti and serve.

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Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

28 Aug

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Although this isn’t the cheapest recipe I’ve made, it isn’t too expensive and is well worth a little extra cost. Strong flavours and colours give this dish a real sense of luxury despite being on a budget, and it’s one of my favourite curries.

I’ve tried not to use too many spices in order to keep costs down, as it can get very expensive if you don’t already have them. However, turmeric really does add to the flavour of this dish which is why I’ve included it alongside the chilli.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Tip: if this recipe is too spicy for your liking try only using 1 tsp of chilli powder, as the turmeric is more important to the flavour of the whole dish than the chilli is.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £0.91 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 tsps chilli powder
  • Salt, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Boil the sweet potato for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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2) Chop the onion and fry on a medium heat with the garlic and turmeric for 3 minutes.

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3) Add the chilli powder and fry for another 2 minutes.

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4) Add the coconut milk and stir in well. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the coconut milk has thickened slightly.

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5) Season with salt and stir in the sweet potato. Simmer for another 4 minutes.

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6) Add the baby spinach – don’t worry when it doesn’t all fit in the pan! Simmer for 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted.

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7) Serve with rice, naan bread or chapattis.

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Egg Fried Rice

21 Aug

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This is an extremely cheap and very easy recipe to make, and it’s great either as a dish on its own or as an accompanying dish to oriental food such as Chinese.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or this dish can also be eaten cold.

Tip: I’ve left the recipe vegetarian and very simple, but it would be great with some bacon if you wanted a more substantial meal – just chop it up and fry it with the mushrooms.

Serves: two people.

Cost per person: £0.42 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g mushrooms
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g rice
  • 3 tsps soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Cook the rice for around twelve minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.

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2) Beat the eggs and fry for around 1 minute until set, then remove from the pan and slice into strips.

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3) Chop the mushrooms and fry for around 3 minutes, until golden.

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4) Add the peas and chopped garlic to the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.

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5) Add the rice to the pan and stir through, before adding the soy sauce.

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6) Stir the chopped egg through the rice.

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7) Serve immediately, with a little more soy sauce if you wish.

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Sausage and Tomato Pasta

11 Aug

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This is a quick and simple recipe with very few ingredients – and you probably already have all, or nearly all, of them in the cupboard already. It’s a great meal to make for when you want something quick but hearty and filling, and don’t want to fill up on junk food.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £0.43 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 300g pasta
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 small or 4 large sausages
  • 2 cans (400g each) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Cook the sausages according to the instructions on the packet and set aside.

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2) Chop and fry the onion and garlic on a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes, until soft and golden.

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3) Put the pasta on to boil, and add the chopped tomatoes to the onion and garlic and season with mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for around eight minutes.

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4) Chop the sausages into pieces and add to the tomato sauce. Simmer until the pasta is ready.

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5) Drain the pasta and serve.

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