Cheap, but interesting meals.

(28 Posts)
NettoSpookerstar Wed 07-Nov-12 14:18:13

So, having a tight couple of weeks because I spent too much on crap and need some meal ideas.
I know how to cook cheap food, but I'm struggling with interesting.
I love to cook, and am not inspired by tomato pasta or jacket potatoes and beans.
We eat anything except for celery, jam, rice pudding and peppers, not big fans of fruit with meat either.
I'm a SAHM so have loads of time, and a well stocked cupboard with spices, oils, vinegars, soy, chilli sauces etc.
Anyone have any ideas?

NettoSpookerstar Fri 09-Nov-12 19:02:06

Don't like butter beans, would sub another type though.
Do you have a recipe?
Love the idea of garlic roasties too.

multitaskmama Fri 09-Nov-12 23:55:23

eeky point taken, apologies blush

eeky Sat 17-Nov-12 09:14:35

no problem, gracious of you to come back and apologise.

And thanks, Netto! Blimey, we are all being very polite aren't we? Must be Christmas cheer....smile

I get in exactly the same kind of rut. I can cook pretty much anything and dh is a good cook with a more - ahem -limited range. But every so often you find because of work/particularly skint periods/sheer tiredness that the same half dozen keep appearing.

We are less skint than we have been over last few years, but still loving cheap and cheerful food. I find it helpful to have several variations on a theme -

home-made macaroni cheese with bacon/ham, fried chorizo bits, fried mushrooms, stealth veg of broccoli and cauliflower for veg phobic ds. Dd's fave is tuna and/or small amt prawns stirred in.

Home-made chilli - usually do meat but am very tempted by Remus' veggie version on another thread. Always heavy on beans either way, and if can be arsed to soak, cook and freeze a few packets of beans it's so cheap. The frozen beans are handy to make a salad too.

Jacket spuds with beans/cheese/chilli etc. Posh it up with lots of salady bits in bowls for dc's.

Dd (4y)watched Nigella with me the other day - starting her early on food appreciation! She begged me to let her make the sausage meatballs and spaghetti, which was cheap as chips. I couldn't run to poncy italian sausages, so just used bog-standard bangers. Got dd to squeeze them out of skins and roll into teeny-tiny meatballs, fried them briefly in a little olive oil with a bit of chopped spring onion. Tip in a tin of chopped toms, some dried oregano and a squirt of ketchup. Simmered slowly for 20 mins and served up with cheap spag and some parmesan. Dd now thinks she is a cooking goddess and both the dcs and dh thought this was the best meal ever. An astounding amount of kiddie meatballs can be made from 6 sausages!

Now, my preference would be for "proper" meatballs made from scratch with decent quality meat, fresh breadcrumbs, egg and some stealth veg, ina more exciting sauce. Not as cheap but still makes a small amt of meat go a long way. See Nigella "How to Eat" for several versions. I also like a goulash-style meatball with pork mince, paprika and red peppers in sauce, but am thinking the sausage version of this would be great too.

More soups - cheap and nutritious, and nicer for work lunches than sandwiches.

Risotto? again stretches a small amt nice ingredients and feels like a treat. Even better with home-made chicken stock from carcasses - I make a huge vat and reduce down to v concentrated to freeze in ice cube trays.

Dd loves anything in a wrap since discovering these at school dinners - small amt leftovers and some salad and sour cream.

Keep meaning to make more bread or try making wraps - is the no-knead bread as good as it looks, Netto?

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