48 hours, 1000 posts consisting of FAST, CHEAP and GOOD, over here please.

(312 Posts)
HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:01:36

No smugginess, no social commentary or judginess.

I want EVERYONE'S go to, cheapest stand by meals that they use, on one cosmic, love in thread of sharing and nicety.

Lets help each other out with a bit of inspiration.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:04:01

My favourites are quesadillas

Either cheese and baked bean


Onion and pepper and cheese

Either can have other veg ends smuggled in. Basically chuck everything on a Tortilla wrap fold it over and dry fry in a pan till the cheese is melted.

Sausage linguine with rocket [or whatever you like].

Skin sausages and shape into small balls, fry for 8 minutes then bung in rocket or any veg and single cream.

Cook linguine and mix in with sausage and rocket.

Serve with garlic bread, maximum time is 20 minutes cooking.

HotCrossPun Tue 27-Aug-13 10:05:35

Anything with tinned tomatoes!

Last week I had some straggly old broadbeans left over and I used them up in a tomato pasta.

Fry garlic in olive oil and add 2 tins of tomatoes, chilli, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Roughly chop up the broad beans and add to the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes until it's reduced slightly. Finish with fresh basil and serve with any pasta.

It was delicious.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:07:02

Tin of tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
Dried/frozen basil

Gentle cook on hob

Stir through dried Spaghetti.

That and a bowl of cheese to sprinkle on top is my standby quick dinner.

Has often also fed unexpected children and adult guests for a quick lunch or dinner.

picnicbasketcase Tue 27-Aug-13 10:08:13

Chicken drumsticks, jacket potatoes, sweetcorn and peas.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:09:22

I have sausages in the freezer, will do that this week.

I also like that frozen garlic and chilli in the freezer. When I'm tired I just fry a bit of the chillie and garlic in oil, stir in cooked spaghetti and instant nice dinner in 10 minutes.

ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 10:10:20

Pasta bake,

Tin of chicken in white sauce, tin of toms, tin of sweetcorn and pasta. With anything in the fridge ie; bacon, peppers, courgette, mushrooms, chorizo etc etc fried up and added.
Mix together, added grated cheese on top and bake til it looks real good

poachedeggs Tue 27-Aug-13 10:10:52

Chicken noodle soup

Simmer roast chicken carcase for an hour. Strip meat from carcase. Reserve stock.

Soften a couple of onions in a stock pot with some finely chopped carrots and some garlic, I use about three cloves minimum, chopped finely. Add some cabbage, preferable to use pak choi but I sometimes use Savoy, greens or just white cabbage.

Add three or four heaped spoonfuls of ground ginger, loads of black pepper and a good pinch of chilli powder. Fry spice for a minute or two then add stock. Simmer until veg is tender then chuck in some dried egg noodles for the last 5 minutes.

Serve with a big dollop of sweet chilli sauce. Yum.

peppapigmustdie Tue 27-Aug-13 10:10:58

Cheese and potato pie. Not really a pie, just mash together potatoes with butter,milk (or cream) black pepper and sauteed onions add grated cheese of your choice put in an oven proof dish top with cheese and bake.
We have it with pickles.

Sausage meatballs - cut up sausages and fry till crispy and brown, chuck in a bit of garlic for the last few minutes. Deglaze the pan with a bit of wine vinegar or similar (optional), add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 mins till thick and cooked through, serve with pasta or rice, grated cheese, salad, green veg, whatever.

Bean chilli/curry - tin of mixed beans in chilli sauce and one of chopped tomatoes, cook together for 15/20 mins till thick and rich, maybe with a bit of curry paste or chilli powder added to taste. Serve with rice or tortillas, salad, maybe a bit of sour cream, grated cheese.

farrowandbawl Tue 27-Aug-13 10:11:35

HoneyDragon - That's my standby cheap meal too.

SamSeaborn Tue 27-Aug-13 10:13:25

tomato and mozzarella

Cook penne pasta according to packet (or other shaped pasta)
Meanwhile fry a clove of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes for 30 seconds, add a carton of passata and a splash of balsamic vinegar, simmer till pasta is ready.
Add pasta to sauce, place in a bowl. Slice a ball of mozzarella, cover pasta with mozzarella.
Put in oven for 15 to 20 mins (180 degrees) till mozzarella is melted and browning.

Pour 3/4th cup rice in a casserole dish, a can of Campbell's condensed chicken soup (found in Asda), 3/4th cup of water, a couple of handfuls of frozen veg scattered in.

Stir it up so it's all evenly distributed, bung four boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top, season it all with onion powder, salt, pepper. This whole process takes about 5 minutes.

Bung in oven at 200 (180 for fan) for about an hour til chicken breast is cooked, then sprinkle loads of cheese on top and blast under the grill til golden brown on top.

What you get is a cheesy, creamy chicken with rice and veg dish that the kids will love! I serve with mini jackets on the side.

Naan bread pizzas.

Naan breads, tomato ketchup, cheese and whatever you have, ham/bacon/onions/sweetcorn. Assemble and cook in the oven at 200C until cheese has melted and its all heated through. Obviously the bacon needs precooked!

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Tue 27-Aug-13 10:16:24

Feta prawns.

Defrosted bag of frozen prawns
Tin of chopped tomatoes reduced a bit with some onion and garlic
Feta cheese
Crusty bread or rice and salad to serve

Mix the prawns and sauce and pop in an oven proof tin. Pop some crumbled feta and dill over the top. Bake.

Lush and less than a fiver to serve four.

gaggiagirl Tue 27-Aug-13 10:16:31

Home made pizza, follow the Jamie Oliver basic pizza dough recipe and add whatever toppings you fancy.
Cheap,easy and lots of fun for everyone to top their own pizza.
Once the dough is made cooking the pizzas takes minutes in a hot oven.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:16:34

<<hi fives Farrow>>

I do chicken and sweet corn soup. As well as left over roast chicken, I use sand which meat if it needs using and is too dry for sarnies.

Just google whatever recipe you fancy and substitute your chicken.

Also those £1 box frozen wontons and spring rolls, are lovely to have with Chinese style soups.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:05

JustShabby my lot would love that thanks

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:13

Jacket potatoes! So easy and you can chuck literally anything into them to make them exciting. See also omelettes.

FrogsGoWhat Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:17

Rataouille with couscous.
Batch cook the rat - just 2x onions, 2 x tinned toms, garlic, 2 x courgettes, 1 x pepper and 1 x aubergine. I freeze it so there is always some in the freezer then serve with quick cook couscous.

Pasta with cheese and peas and pesto is always a cheat "fast food" for us. Pasta, throw frozen peas in at the last minute. Serve with jarred pesto and grated cheese on top.

Spanish omelette - 5 x eggs, cheese, milk and whatever needs using up thrown in! Fry then grill. smile

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 10:19:20

pasta arribiata - put pasta of choice onto boil, while it's cooking fry an onion until soft, add garlic (2 cloves or more if you like it!) and sliced veggie or meat sausages, I usually use 1 sausage per person. Add salt, pepper and a dash of mild chilli powder or dried chilli flakes to taste, we like it spicy! Then once all veg/meat is cooked, add a tin of tomatoes (two tins if making for 4 people) and simmer until pasta is cooked. Stir through cooked pasta.

TheFillyjonk Tue 27-Aug-13 10:19:37

Tinned ratatouille with jacket potatoes, or with chicken, or as a pasta sauce with spinach and soft cheese stirred through. It even be used to make a vegetable lasagne.

AmandinePoulain Tue 27-Aug-13 10:19:45

Meatball Bake - throw a pack of meatballs and a tin of tomatoes in a roasting dish, bake for 20 mins. Add some torn up mozzarella and torn up flatbread/ciabatta/focaccia and cook for another 10 minutes. Yum!

Veg and cheese macaroni - Fry some onions, garlic, peppers (all frozen grin) and macaroni in oil until the macaroni is starting to brown, add a tin of tomatoes and some veg stock. Gently cook until the macaroni is cooked through. Add cheese.

I also keep some frozen fish in the freezer to bake wrapped in foil with a bit of butter, then serve with whatever veg I've got. I generally always have peppers, onions, sweet corn, garlic cubes, mash and peas in the freezer.

The dds love pasta with cheese and creme fraiche stirred through it, with sausages if we have any. And gnocchi baked in the oven makes quick roasties smile.

Almostfifty Tue 27-Aug-13 10:20:14

Fry chopped bacon, garlic, onions and mushrooms together. Boil pasta.

Mix it all together and add cream and cheese.

Serve with a salad (and garlic bread if you have carb hungry males like I do).

lyndie Tue 27-Aug-13 10:20:32

Learn to make pizza dough, it's so easy!

225g bread flour
1 tablespoon of oil
Half teaspoon of salt
Teaspoon of dried yeast
150ml hot water

Mix dry and then wet ingredients to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. Then roll out, top with tomato sauce, cheese and any other toppings and cook in a hot oven 200-220 C for 10-12 minutes.

Tomato sauce could be a real sauce, some tomato purée or even ketchup! Cheese can be anything. If you don't like tomatoes you could use pesto or anything really!

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:20:59

Mini-fry up.
Toast, baked beans, fried egg, fried mushroom or tomatoes if you can find any.

I'm on phone - will come back later and post more.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 27-Aug-13 10:21:05

Pasta 'n Sauce.
You can add a knob of butter. Optional, but extra tasty.

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 10:21:28

Mix together in a bowl: 2 tsp each of Honey, soy, garlic, ginger, chilli

chuck some prawns in a wok and stir in above mix

Add egg noodles and fry til cooked.


ThursdayLast Tue 27-Aug-13 10:21:28

JustShabby, that sounds bloody lush!

As do the quesadillas HoneyDragon.

Making me hungry and I'm not meeting my friend for lunch until TWO!

loveulotslikejellytots Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:59

My DH has to take the credit for this one, its his invention. He calls it nearly payday pasta!

Fry off onion, garlic, peppers or any left over veg in a pan. Add a tin of toms or a carton of passata. Simmer until it thickens a bit, add chilli and herbs if you like. Boil up some spaghetti or pasta. Chop up some hot dogs and add them to the tomato mixture. Add the pasta once it's cooked and top with some grated cheese.

You could sub the hot dogs for quorn, chicken, bacon or whatever else you have.

FruOla Tue 27-Aug-13 10:23:00

Vegetable In The Hole. Lightly stir fry vegetables of choice (I tend to do red onions, peppers - red, yellow and orange - and sometimes mushrooms). So, like toad in the hole - but without sausages!

ConflictDodger Tue 27-Aug-13 10:24:06

All these brilliant, quick easy foods - and my DH won't eat anything with tomato or cheese. I don't eat fish. Any suggestions that are tomato / cheese / fish free?!

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 10:24:09

Also sausage hotpot - fry an onion, garlic and rough chopped sausages, if you have a pepper then slice that and fry too. Add a tin of beans (any kind, inc. baked!) and a couple of tins of tomatoes, salt, pepper,a teaspoon of paprika and one of dried oregano or thyme, serve with crusty bread and butter or with boiled potatoes if you can be arsed.

You can add chunks of carrots/potatoes/courgettes to the actual mix if you have leftovers already cooked.

senua Tue 27-Aug-13 10:26:23

I always have a mince/onion/tomato combo in the freezer which can be turned into bolognaise sauce, chili, lasagne, cannelloni, etc.

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 27-Aug-13 10:27:10


Pesto Magic - weigh out half the amount of pasta you would normally use for each person and make up the weight with smallish potatoes, new potatoes are perfect but you can use chopped larger ones. Put potatoes in cold water and bring to boil, after 5 mins add pasta.

When pots and pasta are nearly cooked add peas, or if you like them, M & S do a frozen mis of broad beans and peas which is delish. Simmer for 2 mins.

Drain and stir through lots of pesto.

AmandinePoulain Tue 27-Aug-13 10:27:23

Veg pancake - fry onions, mushrooms, peppers, corn - or whatever you have really - until cooked through. Cover with pancake batter and slowly heat until just about set. Top with grated cheese and pop under the grill until the cheese has melted.

Frying pan pizza is quick and easy too - mix self raising flour with warm water and a tablespoon of olive oil until it forms a dough, roll out and fry in a large frying pan. Top with tomato sauce (I just fry garlic, add passatta and simmer for 20 mins or so), cheese and whatever else you want and finish under the grill. Cheaper and faster than a frozen pizza smile

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 27-Aug-13 10:27:40

Ok, sensible answer.

Fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, chilli, pinch of brown sugar, coriander, whatever veg/meat/fish is lying around looking like it might be iffy by tomorrow, stir fry it all together. Add noodles.

HurricaneWyn Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:17

Tuna Rosti with beans & a fried egg.

Honeydragon it literally takes me 5 minutes and its a dish everyone loves.

It's uncooked rice by the way, just throw it in. It cooks as the dish cooks.

NoneOfYourBeeswax Tue 27-Aug-13 10:33:43

Has anyone got a really really quick and easy macaroni cheese recipe?

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 27-Aug-13 10:33:55

Bulk curry slop: whiz two onions, two garlic, knob of ginger and a chilli with a bit of water. Dry fry tsp of cumin, whole coriander, cardamoms, nigella, fenugreek. Fry the onion paste until colour turns. Add dry spice, turmeric and ground coriander + cumin, chuck in tin tomatoes. Simmer 30 minutes. Can then be split and frozen.

You can either fry some meat at the start, or fry separately and add to the slop later for 30 mins. St this stage you can crank the heat with chilli powder.

stressedHEmum Tue 27-Aug-13 10:37:45

Pasta and caramelised onions

chop 1kg of onions and fry gently in oil for 10 minutes or so. Season with salt, pepper and a spoonful of sugar. Fry another 10 or so minutes.

Meanwhile cook a packet of pasta acc. packet instructions. Drain

Stir onions through pasta and serve with a tiny bit of grated cheese (serves 5-6)

pasta with garlic, chilli and parsley cooked on oil and tossed through pasta

pasta with tinned anchovies, lemon juice and parsley

spiced tomato rice and beans
fry a chopped onion until soft andd a couple of teaspoons of cumin and a pinch of chili flakes. Add 2 cups of rice and stir about. Pour in 2 tins chopped tomatoes, 3 cups of boiling water and a tin of kidney beans. Stir well, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15mins until all the liquid is absorbed. Season acc. taste and serve topped with a tiny bit of grated cheese. Serves 4-5

refried bean quesadillas - mash cooked beans with a little butter and some cumin, salt and pepper until kind of pasty. Spread on a tortilla, top with grated cheese then another tortilla. Toast on each side.

pasta with cream of mushroom soup and a tin of corn.

tuna in savoury white sauce with peas mixed in poured over rice.

pasta with a tub of philly type cheese, a splash of milk, a packet of smoked salmon trimmings and peas.

Potato bake - sliced potatoes and onions, layered. Pour over white sauce and bake. Top with grated cheese near the end of cooking.

This is one of my favourites.

Cheesy pasta - Boil the pasta - we use penne, and make a basic white sauce while the pasta cooks, then add it to the drained pasta.

Chuck in some chopped ham or cooked bacon, add a handful of grated cheese and stir over a low sauce until the cheese melts.

Add plenty of black pepper and serve!

Dd calls it cheesy pasta, dh refers to it as poor mans carbonara! smile

AmandinePoulain Tue 27-Aug-13 10:39:05

For quick macaroni cheese you need to make microwave cheese sauce - I can't remember how but I read it on here so someone else must - or you could do a search

HurricaneWyn Tue 27-Aug-13 10:39:39

None - I'd just boil some penne & add a packet cheese sauce and add grated cheese on top & bung into the oven until the cheese browns.
We have ours with lumps of boiled egg mixed in for protein, but I know some people would turn green with that suggestion.

AmandinePoulain Tue 27-Aug-13 10:39:57

Or just try stirring creme fraiche and cheese through the cooked macaroni

For the dc - pitta bread pizzas. Spread pitta bread with red pesto, top with anything you want and then stick Basics Mozerella on top. Cook. Eat with salad (or carrot sticks etc in the case of leaf-hating dd2).

Carrot and lentil soup. 1 onion chopped, 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped, 1/2 bag red lentils (approx 250g) and chicken or veg stock.

Fry off the onion, add the rest and simmer until the carrots are soft and the lentils are cooked. Season with salt and pepper. I usually blend it. Sometimes I add a tsp or 2 of curry powder at the onion frying stage. Serve with crusty bread.

stressedHEmum Tue 27-Aug-13 10:41:32

quick mac and cheese - cook pasta and drain. Stir through a tub of philly type cheese, add a splash of milk and a handful of grated cheese. Stir until melted together and pasta is covered in sauce.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:43:10

One pan Macaroni cheese

Boil macoroni, cook leave to drain.

Dash of butter/ marg, mix in some plain flour. Stir in milk till white sauce is smooth. Add garlic/onion powder if wanted. Take of heat, stir in grated cheese till melted.

At this point cooked ham or frozen peas can be chucked in. Stir through pasta.

Eat at this point


Transfer to oven dish, sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs on top (you can even chuck tomatoes on too) cook till top goes crusty.

HurricaneWyn Tue 27-Aug-13 10:44:20

Pulled pork - not quick, but very easy

Basics pork shoulder from Sainsburys. Stick it in the slow cooker in the morning. Pull it apart when I get home in the evening - add most of a jar of barbecue sauce and let that heat through.

Makes loads - serve the next day with some tinned tomatoes and oregano over pasta and then the next day with cream cheese stirred through on Jacket Potato.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:44:38

I'm loving all these meals as they are fussy child friendly, but great for grown ups too smile

TrinityRhino Tue 27-Aug-13 10:45:46

tuna pasta

boil pasta
stir in tuna, cheese, mayo and sweetcorn, salt and pepper

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 10:48:26

Pea and Nutmeg risotto

First make your pea puree:

Chuck some frozen peas in a saucepan with some butter.
Cook for a few mins
Remove half the peas and set aside
Cook other peas in a little stock for couple of mins
Then put them in mini blender and whizz up with knob of butter lots of nutmeg, parmesan and black pepper

Now make the risotto itself:

Sweat off onion and garlic in oil.
Add rice (generous handful per person) and stir for a few mins
Add stock (about 1 litre) ladle by ladle stirring all the while (takes about 20 mins)
Before rice is completely done chuck in pea puree
Stir in and add then add the non pureed peas.

Voila, the most delicious bright green risotto. Cost pennies assuming that is you have rice, frozen peas, stock etc. already to hand.

Pascha Tue 27-Aug-13 10:51:07

Garlic chicken:

Score some chicken drumsticks/thighs whatever's cheap
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or squeezy garlic if you're lazy
Large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
4 glugs of olive oil
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

1. Chuck everything in a bag. Smoosh it all about.
2. Leave it in the fridge for between 2 and 8 hours.
3. Cook however you fancy - grill or pan-fry until it's cooked through.
4. Serve with whatever you like.

NoneOfYourBeeswax Tue 27-Aug-13 10:52:03

Thank you!

Sausage casserole
Onions, celery, peppers heat in a big pan, add chopped sausages (we cook on George grill while veg heating) add seasoning, tin chopped toms, chicken stock, heat for 30 mins, stir in tin of mixed beans at end.
Can be made in a big pot and freeze portions.

Rinse potatoes, roughly chop, microwave (cover bowl with clingfilm) for 10 mins, onto a hot baking tray with seasoning, cook for 30 ish mins shaking half way.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 27-Aug-13 10:52:13

Groundnut Stew. One onion, two cloves garlic, oil for frying, one scotch bonnet chilli, large tin of haricot beans or butter beans, large tin of tomatoes, peanut butter, salt and pepper.

Chop onion and crush garlic, fry till soft in oil. Chop chilli, removing seeds, and add to onion, frying gently for a minute. Add tinned tomatoes, chopped, then tip in drained beans. Add a couple of heaped tablespoons of peanut butter, and stir in so that it thickens the mixture nicely. Add salt and pepper to taste, simmer gently for 20 minutes. You can add chopped up chicken to the recipe at the onion stage for carnivores. Serve with plain boiled rice, couscous or kenkey, if you can get it.

Quick, cheap, tasty and nutritious.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:52:57

Lettuce soup

<saves throwing out wilted lettuce>>

Fry onions or leek whatever. Add chopped potatoes, pour over veg/chicken soup. Chuck in lettuce. Cook. Season, then blend then stir through some milk.

Lovely thick soup.

I also buy massive cheap bags of onions from lidl and chop, slice and grate them into portions into freezer bags. Takes an hour every three to four months but saves time and money.

Pascha Tue 27-Aug-13 10:54:56

Paprika chicken:

4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix it up and coat the chicken, leave for about half an hour
Bake for 25 minutes at 190/gas mark 5
Serve with rice and veg and lots of sour cream.

HurricaneWyn Tue 27-Aug-13 10:55:55

"Mexican" Pizza - Halve bread rolls, spread on some tinned refried beans, salsa on top & then grated cheese & put under a medium grill until everything is hot through & the cheese is melted.

We have this the day after having a chilli where the beans & salsa are leftover.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 27-Aug-13 10:56:33

I missed an ingredient off the stir fry, I knew it looked wrong. I'll try again.

Fish sauce
Lime juice
Lazy chilli
Lazy garlic
Lazy ginger
Coriander (fresh if you're posh wink )
Pinch of brown sugar
Iffy looking left over fish, meat, quorn, tofu, and/or veg

Stir fry til cooked

Add noodles, stir, eat. (If using dried noodles, boil first, if using the straight-to-wok ones just bung them in)

ParkerTheThief Tue 27-Aug-13 10:56:43

Fry an onion and some garlic, add chopped up chorizo, veg (carrots, courgettes, peppers all work well) passata and herbs.
Simmer. Add either butter beans or chick peas.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 10:57:53

Paprika chicken is one of my most favourite things. Your version is quicker and cheaper than mine envy & grin

HurricaneWyn Tue 27-Aug-13 11:00:22

Leftover chilli can be used to make "Mexican" lasagne - layer in the normal way but with chilli instead of bolognaise, and then add crushed up nachoes to the grated cheese on top.

VV trashy, but nice.

grassroots Tue 27-Aug-13 11:00:25

Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce, mashed up with some lemon and black pepper. Pile onto toast and grill for a few mins. Delicious!

This one makes a mess but is quick and easy -

Steam some butternut squash until tender.
Meanwhile, fry some onions and garlic with paprika, chilli and cumin seeds.
Drain the squash and put into a big bowl. Add the spiced onions. Add a drained tin of chickpeas and a load of chopped spinach.
Get a packet of tortilla wraps and make rolls with the squashy spiced onion chickpea stuff.
Shove them into a baking dish, all in a row like 10 in a bed.
Shove a load of grated cheese over them and bake until golden.

Tacos - buy a box of taco shells.
Fry onion, garlic, green or red pepper, paprika, chilli, cumin seeds. Add a tub of passata, a teaspoon chipotle paste and a squeeze of barbecue sauce. Cook a bit - it might need a pinch of sugar, as well as s&p.
Add a couple tins drained beans and warm through.
Put it in the tacos and eat with cheese/soured cream/salsa/whatever.

Pie - buy ready rolled puff pastry.
put pastry on baking sheet
Saute leeks and onions.
Shove said leeks and onions in a big bowl and add a mashed up packet of feta (Basics is dead cheap and fine for cooking) and a load of chopped spinach plus black pepper.
Shove the cheese mix on to half of the pastry and then fold it over to make a big slab. Pinch it around the edges and slash the top.

Baked sweet potato and beans - bake potato as normal, sprinkle with pepper, top with cheshire cheese, chopped, dried apricots and sliced tomato then add beans. I get about 10 sweet potatoes for £1.65 so it's far cheaper and tastier than using normal baking potatoes.

Vegetable crumble - put any leftover veg in a dish, add a few cooked and sliced potatoes and some onion if not in veg, pour over cheese sauce (bit of strong cheese, milk or creme fraiche, pepper and spoonful of 27p-a-jar mustard) or gravy (I use Tesco's own roast veg), top with crumble made from flour and a little butter, optionally mixed with dried or fresh herbs of choice. Takes about 10 minutes to throw together and can obviously be made with cheap frozen veg or those bags of mixed veg that get marked down to about 6p in the evening as well.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 27-Aug-13 11:05:34

Adapted from an Annabel Karmel toddlers recipe:

Serves four.

Cook some pasta (about 70g per prson).

Make an onion based cheese sauce and add some chopped mushrooms.

Add a tin of tomato soup, and a tin of drained tuna to the cheese/onion/muhroom sauce. Then add the pasta. Put it all in a pyrex bowl. Then sprinkle some cheese on top.

Grill for a few minutes.

Voila - tuna, mushroom and tomato bake.

multitask Tue 27-Aug-13 11:08:39

I always save small amounts of left over veg, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, carrots, potatoes etc anything really. When the bag is full I throw it all into a big saucepad add some boiling water, a cup of red lentils and big dollop of Pataks curry paste. It makes the most delicious veg curry, not saucy but think, serve it with pompadoms or rice smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 27-Aug-13 11:36:24

Tuna rice + stuff.

Cook rice and frozen peas then drain and dump it in a big bowl. Add 1 can of tuna. Stir together with mayo.
Optional tasty extras - boiled eggs chopped up small, chopped cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, sweetcorn.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 27-Aug-13 11:41:52

One tin of tomatoes, chopped.
One tin of mixed beans.
100g of macaroni.
1 Courgette
1 Carrot
1 Onion
1 stick of celery
5 pieces of frozen spinach.
Italian mixed herbs, smoked paprika.
Fry off onions, celery courgette.
Chuck in tinned tomatoes, fill with water, add water and herbs/spices, chuck in everything else bar macaroni.
Simmer for an hour.
Add macaroni, serve when macaroni is cooked.
Serves four.

milk Tue 27-Aug-13 12:29:12

Smoked Salmon Spaghetti

•250g Spaghetti
•1 large onion
•around 150g trimmings/cut up strips of smoked salmon (Nannie says you should use "Sainsbury's Smoked Salmon Trimmings, Basics 120g" for £1.50)
•25g chopped dill
•150ml single cream
•1 table spoon of mayonnaise
•salt, pepper, lemon juice.

1.Boil spaghetti until it is soft enough to eat.
2.While the spaghetti is cooking, chop and fry the onion.
3.When the spaghetti is ready to eat, drain the water and put it back in the pan on a low heat.
4. Add the onions, smoked salmon, dill, single cream, mayonnaise and give it a good stir.
5.Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

milk Tue 27-Aug-13 12:37:14

Mushroom, onion, and ginger Spaghetti

•Sliced mushrooms
•Chopped onion
•Fresh grated ginger

1.Boil spaghetti until it is soft enough to eat.
2.While the spaghetti is cooking, Fry the onion, mushroom, and ginger.
3.When the spaghetti is ready to eat, drain the water and add the fried vegetables.

goodasitgets Tue 27-Aug-13 12:58:20

Fry off bacon/pancetta whatever you have
Add chopped courgette/onion/sweet corn
Stir in grated cheese and creme fraiche until it makes a sauce

Serve over pasta
Cheap because it uses up odd bits and pieces (can use any meat or veg really)

LillyNotOfTheValley Tue 27-Aug-13 13:00:52

In less than 10 min (barring DC constant interventions)

- Tabouleh:
Cook 1 cup of couscous.
Chop in very small pieces 1 or 2 tomatoes, half a cucumber, 1 pepper.
Make the dressing in the salad bowl directly: salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil + paprika, turmeric, cumin, curry..(whatever you find in the cupboard).
Throw everything in there and mix. I usually add some grilled chicken dices to it for dinner and a green salad. Can be kept in the fridge for 48h and be used for packed lunches too.

- Soups: either fresh veggies or frozen bags. The secret is 1) to cook them in stock (better to go with diet/light cubes), 2) use a blender to mix (makes the soup thick and nice without using cream). I do tomatoes/peppers/onions/basil, leek and potatoes, carrots and tomatoes, broccoli and cream cheese, mushroom, lettuce (with bits of bacon sprinkled over)... No limits to the imagination, except the contents of the fridge.

Not exactly fast but can be done in advance, frozen and be used to cook 3 meals quickly: veggies in sauce.
I do a big pot of a kind of ratatouille over the week end and then use it to make: casseroles, lasagnas, pasta/rice sauce, stew base, potato cakes... or I mix it to make spread for toasts/sandwiches/wraps/ciabattas.
In a big pot set on medium/high heat: fry some sliced onions and garlic in half butter/half olive oil. Add half a glass of water.
Slice 3 peppers (I use green/yellow/red for colours). Throw them in the pot. Add some water (if it has evaporated already) and a little olive oil.
Repeat the previous step with - in this order - 3 zucchinis, 1 eggplant, 10 white mushrooms, 5 tomatoes.
Add a cup of veggie or beef stock. Season (paprika, cumin, salt, pepper). Cover and let it cook on low/medium for at least an hour.

SunshineBossaNova Tue 27-Aug-13 13:01:56

Bacon and veg stew thing

I used to make this a lot when I lived on my own; I'd make a huge pot in the winter and it would last for days.

* Bacon
* Potatoes
* Onion
* Veg e.g. carrots, leeks, swede, celery... whatever you've got hanging about
* Tinned tomatoes
* Stock cube
* Salt, pepper and any other seasonings you fancy

1. Chop onion and bacon; fry gently together until onion is soft
2. Chop potatoes and veg and add to pan
3. Add tinned tomatoes and stock cube and season
4. Simmer until veg is cooked to your taste
5. Eat smile

lellibobs Tue 27-Aug-13 13:07:37

Sausage and onion pie

I packet sausage meat sliced into rounds
As many potatoes as you need for 4 people cooked mashed with salt and white pepper
2thinly sliced white onions

Just layer in a deep baking dish start and end with mash. Dot the top with butter and bake in slow oven for a couple of hours til crispy and golden.

Serve with apple sauce or baked beans

Tournesol Tue 27-Aug-13 13:08:31


Fry pancetta or streaky bacon until crispy, add garlic, chilli flakes (to taste or omit if for kids) and spring onions.

Cook spaghetti.

Mix together one egg, two tablespoons of creme fraiche and some Parmesan. Stir into cooked pasta and pancetta.


When I'm cooking Mexican but don't fancy rice, I buy the cheapo tortilla crisps, salsa, soured cream and cheese, chuck it all in a dish and grill for 5 minutes.

Not the healthiest, but I make up for that with tonnes of pepper (frozen bags of mixed peppers) and salad in the fajitas.

Plus the soured cream and salsa get used in the main dish so no waste.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 13:12:43

Emergency cheap lunch:

any pasta
crushed garlic fried in a good amount of olive oil
chopped fresh thyme
black pepper
squeeze of lemon optional
grating of cheese, parmesan if you have it but cheddar otherwise

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 27-Aug-13 13:27:10

Leftover meat pie:

super basic and easy pastry: 4 oz flour + pinch of salt + pepper, 1 oz butter (or other fat). Breadcrumb together. Stir in 1/8th pint of milk and mould into a ball.

To fill pie:
leftover chicken - slice and chuck in oven proof dish with chopped onions, leeks, cabbage, mushroom or similar. If you have very little chicken a slice of ham, bacon or handful of lentils will bulk it up, otherwise just use veg.
For a sauce try white sauce: 1 oz butter, melt in a small saucepan, add 1 oz flour and stir in. add 1/2pt milk slowly, bring to the boil, stir in constantly and then simmer gently to thicken. Good herbs to add if you have them are tarragon, thyme etc.
Chuck the sauce over the meat and veg. Roll out the pastry and cover the pie.
Break one egg into a cup then brush over the top of the pastry (using fingers is fine) then do 3 small cuts in the top of the pastry.
Cook in the oven for around 20mins at 180dc.

leftover mince or beef, goes well with gravy (granules are fine, or you can use stock cubes) onions, mushrooms and carrots.

leftover lamb can be bulked out with potatoes, onions, carrots etc and again a gravy sauce.

Hadmeathello Tue 27-Aug-13 14:16:02

This is a macaroni cheese variant that my Gran used to make when I was wee.

Make a roux then add a tin of cream of tomato soup and some milk. When this has thickened add as much cheese as you like and add to macaroni. It's actually nice.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 27-Aug-13 14:24:54

Leftover roast pilaff: rice, peas, chopped onion,sultanas, split almonds. Big pyrex dish well buttered. Chuck in the last of the well shredded joint, the other stuff and boiling stock to cover. Bake 20 mins gas 4/ 170 C covered. Might need more liquid at the end, so back in for 5 mins. Season.

SoleSource Tue 27-Aug-13 14:43:41

Bag of chips from the chippy.

sassytheFIRST Tue 27-Aug-13 14:52:12

B o p (bacon, onion and potato hotpot)

Cut bacon with scissors into small pieces. Chop an onion finely. Slice potatoes lengthways into thin slices. Make a white sauce, add nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Layer in a casserole, lasagna stylee. Pour white sauce over the top. Bake at 130degrees for an hour or so, then 20 mins with lid off until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

Absy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:52:30

Aw, bless you HoneyDragon - excellent thread

Shakshuka (for two adults)
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 Pepper
1 Onion
Some cumin seeds/ground cumin
4/5 eggs (depending on hunger and size of eggs)

Chop and fry the pepper and onion until soft, adding in the garlic, cumin and other seasoning as desired. Add in the chopped tinned tomatoes (with a bit of water to thin the sauce). Bring to the boil, carefully crack the eggs in and reduce to a simmer. move some of the sauce on top of the eggs, and leave to poach in the sauce for about 10 minutes (less if you prefer a runnier egg).

Serve with bread or on it's own

Variations: with feta, fried aubergine (or other fried veg, e.g. courgettes), make spicy with chilli oil, some other kind of chilli sauce

wigglesrock Tue 27-Aug-13 14:59:39

I do a sausage, passata, onion thing. Just fry off and serve with pasta (I would always have dried pasta in the cupboard)

Although beans on toast with an egg is a great standby.

Creamy sausage pasta.
Skin sausages and roll into balls, put in pan with oil. Put pasta on to boil. When sausage balls are cooked add creme fraiche, dollop of mustard and some of the pasta water. Drain pasta, toss into meatballs and sauce. Same sauce is also good with pork chops and sliced apples. If I haven't got creme fraiche I've used soft cheese or double cream as substitutes.

Quick Shakshuka type thing.

Fry onion and garlic in oil, add chopped red pepper and mushrooms. Add tin of chopped tomatoes and harissa paste or whatever spice you like. Crack a couple of eggs in and leave on hob until cooked through. Serve with pittas.

Xpost with Absy about Shakshuka.

strokey Tue 27-Aug-13 15:08:12

Soup. LOADS of types, and you can always add pulses of some sort.

Omlettes. These can both be done in 20 minutes.

You said FAST. There are lots more cheap and good that take a little longer.

Somethingpink Tue 27-Aug-13 15:42:13

Potato haystack

Mash potatoes (I use instant)
Chopped cooked bacon (I buy bacon pieces)
Grated Cheese
Tomatoes or beans(we prefer peppered tomatoes)

Fry bacon with a bit of dry mixed herbs
Make mash with a bit of dry mixed herbs
Mix together
Top with cheese
Bung in the oven until cheese is melted
Serve with tomatoes or beans

You can also add mushrooms & onions and stuff grin

Quick, filling & cheap grin

AnyoneButLulu Tue 27-Aug-13 15:43:34

Spaghetti with Sardines, anchovies, fennel and sultanas. Fry up onion and garlic in oil in large frying pan for 10 mins, add sardines, anchovies and sultanas and cook for a couple of minutes more. Cook the spaghetti, and add thin slices of fennel to the pot of water for the last 4/5 minutes (trim the feathery bits off first and add then to the finished dish as garnish), drain and toss with fishy/oniony mixture in frying pan.

Fish should be tinned in oil not brine.

If money is no object then adding a pinch of saffron and some pine nuts in with the sardines/anchovies is nice, but if you're on a budget this is really cheap and healthy (a large fennel bulb, enough for a 4 person dish, should cost a quid, and tinned sardines are probably the cheapest and healthiest animal protein available).

Thumbwitch Tue 27-Aug-13 15:53:18

I'm not entirely sure how cheap my cheap quick and easy go-to meals are these days!

10 minutes meals - tuna pasta and cheesy cauliflower pasta.

Shove the pasta into a saucepan for the 10 mins it takes to boil (GF pasta here).
Tuna pasta: add peas to the pasta for the last 2 mins of boiling. Then open and drain a tin or more as necessary of tuna, mix it into the drained pasta and peas, along with a large dollop of mayonnaise. If you want to get fancy, you can add a spoonful of capers as well, or some chopped chives.

Cheesy cauliflower and/or broccoli pasta: break the cauliflower/broccoli into small florets and steam over the boiling pasta for the 10 mins it takes to cook. In another saucepan, melt a tbsp of butter, add a tsbp of plain flour (or spelt/GF flour in my case) and cook for a couple of mins, without burning. Add milk slowly to make a basic roux sauce. Then add in a cupful of grated cheese (mix of cheddar and parmesan/grana padano) and mix until it's smooth.
Combine drained pasta with cheese sauce and vegetables.

DS1 loves both of these.

For a more luxurious version, i,e, not cheap, you can do smoked salmon pasta (are you detecting a theme here?) - pretty much the same as tuna pasta, except use chopped smoked salmon instead of the tuna, use tartare sauce instead of mayonnaise and dill instead of chives. Or not, depending on your preference. grin

Great thread honey. Loads of brilliant ideas on here that I for one will be using smile

I'm sure there's prob a dahl on here already but mine is Hugh FW's quick dahl and rice:

Serves 4
250g red lentils
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

Put the lentils in a pan with 800ml cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum, then stir in the turmeric and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring or whisking vigorously every now and then, until the lentils have broken down completely and you have a puree – the consistency of a thick soup or thin porridge. You can whisk in a little hot water from a just-boiled kettle if you need to thin it a bit. Keep warm in the pan.

When the dhal is just about done, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a couple of
minutes until browned and fragrant. Add the onion and fry fairly briskly for 5–10 minutes until golden brown, even just a smidge burnt.

Tip the mixture on to the hot lentils in the pan, cover and leave for 5 minutes, then stir in the onions and cumin. Taste and adjust the seasoning. This is very good with coriander, parsley or mint sprinkled on top – but that’s not essential.

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 27-Aug-13 15:57:25

I've never heard of shakshuka - will definitely try that though! Where does it come from?

AnyoneButLulu Tue 27-Aug-13 15:57:45

And I like spaghetti with garlic and chilli - thinly slice as many cloves of garlic as humanly possible, cook very slowly in lots of olive oil in large frying pan until golden but no more, add a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, then stir in a portion of cooked and drained spaghetti and cook for a minute. Quick, cheap, store cupboard friendly and delicious, but I grant you neither healthy nor child friendly (not my DC anyway).

Sausage & gnocchi bake.

6 sausages, onion, gnocchi (just the dried stuff), tin of tomatoes, herbs.

Fry sausages until brown, slice onions & cook in the sausage juices.
Cook gnocchi for 2mins in boiling wAter.
Putt toms in oven proof dish, add herbs.
Cut sausages into chunks, add to dish.
Drain gnocchi, add to dish with onions.
Push gnocchi under sauce.
Cover and bake for 15-20 mins.

This always goes down well.

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 16:11:44

Bacon and egg fried rice. Cheap and filling with plenty of protein and veg.For 4 people, I'd cook up 200g of white rice.

Fry a large chopped up onion in veg oil with a clove or two of chopped up garlic, if you have it and about 100g or so of chopped up bacon. Add in half a pound each of chopped mushrooms and frozen peas and keep stirring until the peas are thawed and the mushrooms almost cooked. If you have a pepper shrivelling up in your fridge, that's tasty in it, too. Then stir in the rice, so that gets coated in everything else.

Scramble 4 eggs in another pan (I do it all in the same pan for a single portion) until barely cooked, then stir them in. Season with soy sauce. It's also nice if you have some 5 spice or mirin to throw in.

stressedHEmum Tue 27-Aug-13 16:12:42

spicy split pea soup

bag yellow split peas
2 onions
veg stock
curry powder

Bung peas, chopped onions, diced carrots and potatoes into a big pan. Add about 3litres veg stock and 1tblspn or so of curry powder. Season with plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer until the peas have broken down and everything is soft. serve with crusty bread.

You can make this into dahl the next day when it has thicken up by adding some chopped tomatoes and frozen spinach and serving over rice.

moodymary Tue 27-Aug-13 16:15:50

Tomato Soup -adapted from AK
Fry chopped onion and chopped carrot in a little olive oil, add tin of toms, same quantity of water or stock and some white bread cut into small pieces. Season and add whatever herbs are available, simmer for 15mins or so then blitz and serve!

Spanish rice
Fry chopped onion with some chorizo, garlic and peppers (frozen are fine for this recipe) and add 1tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes add rice (paella best but have made it with long grain when economising and it's fine) cover with chicken stock and stick in the oven at 180 for about 25 mins or so. When rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed, take out of oven, season and add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
This is great served with chicken or pork but just as nice on it's own.

Ribollita is another very cheap favourite of ours. We often make it when we have a whole bunch of random veg that we're not sure what to do with. This recipe calls for savoy cabbage and black kale, but we just use whatever cabbage we have in. Also we never have Pecorino (too expensive) so I use whatever we've got in or go without.

This recipe isn't what I'd call quick (takes more than 30 mins) but is very low maintenance in terms of time at the stove and can be made ahead of time.

Serves 6
200 ml olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped
100 g white onions, roughly chopped
300 g carrots, roughly chopped
300 g celery, roughly chopped
400 g courgettes, roughly chopped
300 g Savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
300 g black kale (Cavolo Nero), roughly chopped
200 g spinach, chopped
550 g potatoes, roughly chopped
100 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped
800 g cooked cannellini beans or 2 x 400 g cans
1 litre vegetable stock
1 white farmhouse loaf
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Pecorino cheese, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic and onions. Cook gently until the onions are soft. Add the carrots and celery, and season. Cook over a low heat for a further 15 minutes until this soffritto turns golden, stirring occasionally. Once the soffritto is ready, add the courgettes, Savoy cabbage, black kale and spinach. Leave to sweat for about 10 minutes, then add the potatoes and tomatoes. Mash half the cannellini beans and stir into the pan. Cook gently for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring regularly. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, add the remaining cannellini beans.

Cut the bread into slices and toast them in the oven at Gas Mark 3/170°C (or use the grill or a toaster). Rub each slice with the whole garlic clove and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil.

Place a layer of toast in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof lasagne dish and pour over some of the soup. Repeat until all the toast and soup have been used.

Let the soup stand for a while before serving. Alternatively, the soup can be kept warm, uncovered, in the oven for up to 15 minutes. If you put the ribollita in the oven, make sure all the toast is covered by the soup or it will burn. Serve in warm bowls, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with Pecorino.

tewi as far as I know Shakshuka is middle eastern. I have it a lot as the ingredients always seem to be in the house.

Minifingers Tue 27-Aug-13 16:40:02

3 tins toms
2tbs capers
Handful basil
4 skinned garlic cloves
And Mediterranean type veg, chopped into 2cm squares
Teaspoon sugar
6 anchovies
A dried chilli

Bung it in pan, stir through 4 tablespoons olive oil. In low oven, cook for about 2 or 3 hours. Blitz it in blender, have on pasta with plenty of parmesan. Can cook on top of stove in less time but I prefer long cooking.

My pasta bake:

Mince meat
bacon bits/lardons
1 chopped carrot (parboiled)
Cooked pasta
2x tines campbells condensed tomato soupchopped garlic.

Brown off mince, garlic and bacon bits and drain any oil/fat, in an oven proof dish mix the mince, bacon, cooked pasta, carrots and mushrooms, pour over the condensed soup, so it is also mixed in and coating everything, sprinkle soem grated cheese on top and bake in the overn for twenty minutes.
Divine served with garlic bread and a crisp salad.

Pan Tue 27-Aug-13 16:55:55

Good thread Honey-glazed Dragon smile

Pan's Sausage and pasta thing:

Olive oil
4 sausages
1/2 red onion
1/2 pepper, sliced
Black pepper (to taste)
Handy Hint
The sweetness of the onion and the slight kick of the pepper makes it uber flavoursome. Don't use yellow pepper as this is a very sweet pepper and the dish is sweet enough! Don't dry up all this glistening/shiny stuff with parmesan. For a vegetarian alternative, use veggie sausages.
1. Fry the sausages, onion and pepper until the onion is almost caramelised. Add some garlic towards the end, so it doesn't burn.
2. Stir it all into a large pan of cooked tagliatelle and season with black pepper to taste.

MrsOakenshield Tue 27-Aug-13 17:01:25

penne arrabiata:

fry up some garlic and red chilli.
add passata
salt, peper, bit of sugar
cook to desired consistency.
stir into penne, sprinkle on parsley (if you like) and parmesan and more black pepper.

I could, and have done, eat this every day.

LittleEsme Tue 27-Aug-13 17:32:54

Mushrooms on toast

Fry chopped garlic in oil gently
Add chopped mushrooms, fry til soft
Add splash of cream. Mix.
Serve on toasted bread.
Eat and enjoy.

Takes 10 mins max

I drizzle some reduced balsamic glaze over the lot - the sharpness really cuts throughg the creaminess. I buy a couple of the 99p balsamic vineger from lidl and make my own reduction. Store it in an airtight jar in fridge. Last months and goes with loads. Lush with risotto, over salad, chicken. Yum.

SarahAndFuck Tue 27-Aug-13 17:37:41

These are quick but filling snack type meals.

Pasta with melted soft cheese as a sauce. Can be done with anything (mushrooms, courgettes, soft tomatoes, leftover chicken bits, grated cheese, onions, tuna, broccoli, anything you have left over or want to use up, just throw in as much or as little as you like) or just eat the pasta and sauce on it's own.

Toast a bread roll or bagel and chop up tomato and red onion to go on top, bit of basil if you like, drizzle over balsamic glaze, pesto or just olive oil and a bit of pepper.

You can make a kind of beans on toast with a tin of haricot beans, fry up some onion and cherry tomatoes and a bit of sweet chilli sauce and mix with the beans when they are warm. Good for using up tomatoes that are a little bit soft.

Toast a bread roll, spread with soft cheese, put salmon trimmings on top (cost about 94p for them and can do several bread rolls) and a poached egg on to top of that. Bit of black pepper. Leave it as an open sandwich. You can serve it with spinach as well but it's surprisingly filling on it's own. Takes longer to toast the bread roll than anything else. You can make a fake poached egg in the microwave in 30-40 seconds. Just break it into a cup, stab the yolk and cook for 30 seconds or so, depending on your microwave.

You can make a pizza on a sandwich wrap by spreading the tomato sauce and a bit of grated cheese on it and heating under the grill for a minute or two. Add anything else you like or leave as it is. DS is not one for pizza toppings. And it's good for using up the wraps before they go out of date.

Couscous with a bit of grilled or roasted beetroot and slightly melted feta cheese is delicious.

Tournesol Tue 27-Aug-13 17:43:38

Roasted tomato sauce (for pasta)

Take a load of fresh tomatoes and if large slice in half, if cherry leave whole.

Cut an onion and garlic and thyme and put in a thin layer on the bottom of a baking tray, cover with olive oil. Cover the onions with the tomatoes then drizzle with more olive oil, some balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar. Back in oven at 200 for 45 mins or so.

Can jazz up finished sauce by adding, chili, fresh basil, pancetta, tuna etc.

lucysmam Tue 27-Aug-13 17:51:41

marking place to come and read/post properly later ....just about to Shred confused

MumnGran Tue 27-Aug-13 17:57:47

Corn chowder ......
Crisp fry a few rashers of chopped up unsmoked bacon, in a large pan
Take them out and leave to drain.
Finely chop one very large onion, and add to pan with a little vegetable oil. Cook gently until translucent.
Tip in 15 fl oz of water.
Peel 3 very large potatoes - dice into small pieces & add to saucepan
Add about 6oz frozen sweetcorn
In a food processor, whizz the remainder of the 1lb pack of sweetcorn (so about 10oz) with half pint water, until you have something which looks like sweetcorn ice-cream.
Tip into saucepan.
Season well, and then bring the whole thing to the boil and simmer very gently - stirring now and then - until the diced potatoes are cooked and starting to 'fall'
Remove from heat, and stir through about 7 fl oz single cream , and the reserved bacon bits.

Serve with loads of decent french bread batons, or boule

Silverfoxballs Tue 27-Aug-13 18:41:13

Onion soup
Knob of butter, add chopped onions, I cut up a whole small bag. Sweat down, add beef stock and salt and pepper. Simmer slowly and then if you have some add half a glass of white wine. Float a slice of cheese on toast on the top.

Surprise pie a bit of a meatloaf concoction
Mix then Chuck the following in to a loaf tin and squash down

250 ish grams of pork mincemeat
Large pack of stuffing mix made up
Two apples grated
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Dash of Worcester sauce
Any herb you like with pork

Bake in the oven for about 45 mins medium heat, I am a bit of a have a guess cook, just make sure cooked through

Served with jacket spuds and gravy and veg

Savoury rice and a tin of tuna or mackerel in tomato sauce.

DD loves it and its filling! Costs about a pound if you buy the value brand rice/fish!

Bluestocking Tue 27-Aug-13 18:47:55

Cook enough fresh pasta (pref linguine) for the number of people who are eating (caveat - I've never done this for more than four). Drain, put back in pan which will still be warm. Stir in two tbsps soured cream per person, and (with scissors) snip in little squares of smoked salmon until there's enough in there. You can use the cheapo salmon scraps or the best stuff. Stir in. Use same scissors to chop a few chives for garnish. Serve.

pongping Tue 27-Aug-13 18:50:59

Miso soup with whatever veg you have (including potatoes), then chick in an egg to poach at the end. Serve with sticky rice.

It's delicious.

pongping Tue 27-Aug-13 18:52:28

Admiral, I used to love tuna, peas and rice with a dash of vinegar as a kid. Yum!

bigkidsdidit Tue 27-Aug-13 18:55:36

Chop sausages into largish bits, fry with onion and garlic. Add in whatever veg you have, chopped, and a tin of toms. After 20 mins add a tin of curried baked beans. Serve with rice

bigkidsdidit Tue 27-Aug-13 18:58:33

Plus Nigel slater's surprisingly unponcey casserole:

Fry two onions, rough chopped, and four cloves garlic
When soft add a ring of chorizo, chopped, a big teaspoon smoked paprika, and fry 10mins
Add two tins chopped tomatoes, two tins chickpeas
Simmer an hour

Eat with crusty bread

Bearandcub Tue 27-Aug-13 19:00:37

Smoked salmon trimmings, salad onions, prawns, chili, oil, fry for 2-3 minutes
Turn off heat
Add rocket,
add to freshly cooked spaghetti/ linguine.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 27-Aug-13 19:00:47

spicy sausage with spaghetti

cut up 3 sausages, fry until slightly crispy. add lots of garlic and chilli and a pinch of thyme then a tin of tomatoes simmer for a few minutes and serve with spaghetti

cheapest is basic tomato sauce - chopped onion, tin of tomato, some garlic and oregano serve with pasta. can also add veg, chilli, mince, mince and kidney beans with some cumin and chilli, chicken with peppers, mushrooms or small cubes of emmental cheese jsut before serving it so it goes a little gooey its lovely nice with a little bacon added too

frozen spinach (which goes a long way compared to fresh spinach) with creme fraiche and grated cheese and lot of pepper is nice with pasta

Hopefully Tue 27-Aug-13 19:01:59

Tuna pasta:

Cook any pasta, drain, add a tin or two of tuna, a good dollop of mayo, sweetcorn/peas from freezer, serve. If you want to be really posh, fry an onion and throw it in with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Pan Tue 27-Aug-13 19:07:01

<uncomfortable culinary interlude>
When I was a teen, lovely lovely girlfriend wished to impress, said she'd do cauliflower cheese. I turned up to find some florets on plates with some grated cheese in a pile beside it. We ate it. Other than that she was stunning.grin

2kidsintow Tue 27-Aug-13 19:07:47

Pasta of your choice.
Stir in a spoonful of pesto of your choice (I love Sacla's Roasted Aubergine)
Add in a serving of veg - usually it's sweetcorn here.

Yummy, and contains veg too. smile
And both my kids will eat it.

blondieminx Tue 27-Aug-13 19:09:55

Aubergine bake

Put some pasta on to boil. Finely dice a large red onion and an aubergine. Fry over a medium/high heat till golden then add 2 tablespoons red pesto and a tin of tomatoes. Season and simmer till the veg cooked through. Drain pasta then add to veg pan, stir together then pop into an ovenproof dish. Scatter with whatever cheese you have handy, pop in a hot oven till bubbling and golden.

In the summer when aubergines are cheap I make giant batches of this sauce to freeze ...then it makes an easy quick meal! grin

Great idea for a thread HoneyDragon thanks will be trying out some of these recipes soon! smile

HarryandJess Tue 27-Aug-13 19:13:14

Farfalle pasta (retain a ladle of the cooking water) added to finely sliced courgette cooked in butter, finely diced streaky bacon (or pancetta), handful of raisins, Tablespoonful of toasted pine nuts (optional as can be expensive) and 2 handfuls of frozen cauliflower (cooked with the farfalle pasta). Season with pepper and chilli flakes

Carrot, sweet potato and lentil soup with chicken stock, onion and parsley from my window box.

Andro Tue 27-Aug-13 19:15:08

Pasta bolongnese - defrost a portion of sauce and heat thoroughly
Toss frozen pasta in a pan of boiling water - simmer for 5-7 minutes
Drain pasta and stir through sauce until evenly coated.

Bearandcub Tue 27-Aug-13 19:20:19

Pork chop seasoned and cooked in the oven. Add 1 tbsp apple sauce and a handful of grated cheese - grill till the cheese melts. Serve with root vegetable mash and green beans.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 27-Aug-13 19:21:08

just made a fab cheap pudding

aldi chocolate broiche loaf (can make 6 puds) break up add a little custard over and pop in microwave for 20 seconds

ok it is not home made but had to share as it is so delicious

Amibambini Tue 27-Aug-13 19:22:58

My favourite, cheap and super fast dinner is pasta with brocolli, garlic and chili. While the pasta is boiling I steam the broccoli (chopped up pretty small) in a colander above it. In a separate small frypan I heat up a few glugs of olive oil with copious quantities of chopped garlic and chili (fresh is good but dried flakes are perfectly fine too, stirring and bubbling for a minute or so, making sure NOT to brown the garlic.
Then stir it all through together, and handful of parmesan, some black pepper, super delish!
I find its best if the broccoli is a slightly overlooked, a bit smooshy so it breaks up through the pasta. Yummo.

ilovebabytv Tue 27-Aug-13 19:29:11

stovies, - tatties, onions, (we get these free from our garden at the moment), oxo cubes, dripping (always have these in my house) and corn beef (which is probably the expensive part of this at £1.50 a tin). Peel and chop everything up, put in pan with a cup of water and cook over a medium heat. Give it a mush up once tatties are cooked. Food of Gods. Plus they taste even better heated up the next day. Serve with beetroot (also from our garden). But even having to buy tatties and onions, not that expensive overall.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 27-Aug-13 20:22:29

mexican chilli bean wraps.
1 tin of mixed beans in chilli sauce.
1 mug of rice.
1 onion.
1 pepper
1 tin of tomatoes.
Mixed herbs.
50g chedder.
Fry onion/pepper/garlic, add tin of tomatoes, fill tin with water and add beans and rice, as well as herbs and a pinch of chilli flakes. When rice is cooked, fill wraps, place in oven with grated cheese over the top, when wraps are crispy and cheese is melted, serve. This does six/eight wraps comfortably and you can't move afterwards!

londone17 Tue 27-Aug-13 20:23:26

Rice and peas.

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 20:23:57

This one isn't so cheap, but makes good use of a cheap cut of meat - if you're concerned about not compromising animal welfare, you can get a decent sized pack of outdoor reared pork shoulder steaks in the 3 for a tenner offer in M&S, at the moment. It would probably work very well in a slow cooker. Both of my kids love this. The pork is tender and the veg is virtually invisible. I like to serve it with cabbage and spuds or brown rice, but I've equally enjoyed it with a pile of oven chips to dip in the sauce!

Paprika Pork

Cut an onion and 2 peppers into strips and soften in oil with some garlic and a little salt in a large casserole or saute pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cut about 500g of pork shoulder into strips or dice. Season and brown in the pan. Add 100-200g of sliced mushrooms (they pad it out quite well, so you could add more) and continue to cook. Then add a large pinch of caraway or fennel seeds (these aren't necessary but really add something to it) and 2 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika, along with a heaped teaspoon of plain flour and stir until everything is coated. Add the other veg back into the pan and stir through. Add a little chicken stock - just enough that everything is paddling but not submerged. Cover and cook on a low heat for a couple of hours.

To finish, you can add a splash of cream, but this isn't essential. Parsley makes it look pretty, too. Soured cream or creme fraiche would be nice, if you have some to use up.

HoneyDragon Tue 27-Aug-13 20:57:35

I'll be doing the brioche pud grin

These are great and so inspiring.

The reason I said fast is twofold

1. People think that not using convenience food means slow. And that cooking from scratch is slow, expensive and involves lots of pulses.

2. Tv chefs don't understand fast. We do, and this thread proves it. Everything posted is properly fast. Not tv fast with poncy equipment fast. And everything posted is properly cheap and realistically cheap and does not assume you have a store cupboard containing 3k of tv chef "essentials"

There are some great things on here, loads I am going to do that I know my family will enjoy. And they'll save me time and money thanks.

Now can everyone else contribute please? This thread ain't going to fill itself grin

LittleEsme Tue 27-Aug-13 21:40:16

Can't beat leek & potato soup in the winter.
Lob a load of leeks into a pan with melted butter. Fry til soft.
Finely shop a large potato, add to leeks.
Chicken stock. Simmer. If you want it thick and filling, less stock.
You can mash it for a chunkier texture, or blitz with a blender for a smooth finish. Eat with a crust baguette.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 27-Aug-13 21:55:37

Hope this hasn't been done and I've missed it.
Butternut squash and sweet potato soup.
1 Medium Butternut squash
2 medium sweet potatoes.
Good pinch of ground cumin.
1 Vegetable stock cube.
Chop veg, including skin, bung in oven for 20 mins, until soft.
Chuck in pan with stock and spices, simmer for ten minutes, blitz and serve with a wee bit of blue cheese or creme fraiche and a hunk of bread, another one where you can't move afterwards.

LonelyGoatherd Tue 27-Aug-13 22:12:02

Pasta, pesto, peas, parmesan, plus tuna if you have any.

MumnGran Wed 28-Aug-13 07:54:09

my daughter just reminded me of this one, and said she remembers it as one of her favourite comfort foods. So ... not the roasts, or the casseroles, or the meals which took endless hours in the kitchen ... but this! I could be quite depressed!!

Poor Man's Kedgeree

Put a pan of rice on, to cook.
Melt some butter in a large pan and very gently cook chopped onion until soft (garlic optional as an addition, but my garlic loving family don't like it in this!)
Raid the fridge & freezer for as many bits as you can find - the basic should include
frozen peas & sweetcorn,
ham or chicken or fish (chop into small pieces),
sultanas or raisins,
Nice extras if you have them in stock^: ^small prawns, chorizo ( cut small^), bacon cut small & cooked til crisp, cooked courgette

Zap the peas & sweetcorn in the microwave until cooked.
Cut any other veg into small pieces and cook.
Cook fish if using, then flake.
Take one or two eggs, whisk and cook as for omelettte. Cut into small strips.

Drain the rice, and tip into the buttery onions, stir thoroughly, then add everything else, stir again and serve into bowls ...sprinkled with grated cheese.

Time: as long as it takes to cook a pan of rice
Cost: minimal - this uses up whatever is around
Ease: well, as long as you know how to cook rice........

FourGates Wed 28-Aug-13 08:12:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Minifingers Wed 28-Aug-13 08:45:10

Tablespoon green curry paste (a decent one)

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Clove of garlic

White sugar (2 teaspoons)

Fish sauce - a large dash

Tin of coconut milk

Squeeze of lime


Salmon fillets - on a big enough piece of foil to close over them

Handful of basil.


Fry chopped garlic in oil with curry paste for a couple of minutes. Add coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, basil leaves. Stir to mix then turn off heat. Pour over salmon fillets, seal foil, in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Serve with rice.

My dc's will eat this cold from the fridge if there's any left over the next day.

ParvatiTheWitch Wed 28-Aug-13 08:55:34

I have a rival for the poor man's kedgeree:

Fry a couple of leeks in oil.

add rice (Delia's prefect rice quantity; 150ml I think)

Add boiling water (275ml)

1 large spoonful of nice curry powder (I like tescos)

bring to boil and then simmer with lid of for 15 minutes.

While this is cooking, boil two eggs and flake some smoked (peppered?) mackerel.

Add the mackerel and some frozen peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking time; just scatter it on top and lid back on.

Serves two/3 people with egg sliced on top and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

yesididthat Wed 28-Aug-13 09:00:37

Gnocci with Dolcelatte and Bacon

chopped bacon

100g young leaf spinach

4 tbsp double cream

75g dolcelatte cheese

1 x 400g pack gnocci

Fry up bacon, remove from heat and stir in spinach letting it wilt. Cook gnocci following pack instructions (boil for about 7 minutes usually).

Heat cream and cheese until cheese has melted.

Drain gnocci and then mix everything together.

Serve with garlic bread

Above ingredients should feed 2 so adapt as required. My teens love this and it is very quick!

LtEveDallas Wed 28-Aug-13 09:01:38

Chicken and Potato Thing (thats what DD calls it)

Either chicken breast, pre cooked in slices, or use the leftovers from Sunday Roast.
Potatoes, sliced thinly
Onion, sliced thinly
Grated cheese (optional)
Chicken Stock (cube, made up with 500ml water)
(could also add any left over veg/frozen veg - I quite often use peas and carrots because they cook easily)

Large pyrex dish
Layer potato slices, then onion, then chicken, repeat until you have a potato layer on top.

Pour over the chicken stock, put grated cheese on top (if using)

Cook in a pre-heated gas mark 5 oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until potato is soft.

I know you said quick, and this isn't really, but it's quick to get it together and leave it cooking whilst you do other things!

LadyMilfordHaven Wed 28-Aug-13 09:01:47

WHY? whats the 48 hours about?

liquidstate Wed 28-Aug-13 09:15:16

Roughly chopped cheap cooking bacon with leeks/spring onions (if in season) or peas and onion and touch or garlic. Fry off and add creme fraiche, some water (to make less thick) and teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Add to boiled pasta or serve on top of crushed potatoes.


LtE my gosh, that sounds good and v kid-friendly.

Meatball Sandwiches

Get a nice fresh "bloomer" loaf, cut it lengthwise down the middle so you have two flat halves.

Brown meatballs, then add chopped onion, garlic, and green pepper, cook til soft.

Add chopped tin chopped tomatoes, tablespoon of Tomato paste, 100 mls of beef stock. Black pepper.

Spoon meatballs and sauce over bread halves, sprinkle loads of cheese (mozzerella, cheddar?) over sauce, blast under grill til melted and brown.

Cut across sandwiches in slices so you have lovely, gooey open-topped sandwiches. I put chilli flakes on mine and DP's for a kick.

Serve with cucumber and carrot slices on side for kids, or make up a garden salad.

LtEveDallas Wed 28-Aug-13 09:20:59

This is quick and cheap and goes down a treat with visiting kids.

Hot Dog Sausage Pasta

Tin of hot dog sausages, each cut into 1 inch pieces
Get 4 strands of raw spaghetti (held together) and thread 3 bits of sausage onto them
Continue till all the sausage is used up
Large pan of boiling water, cook spaghetti as normal. Sausages are then 'magically' attached to the spaghetti as it curls up grin

ladymilford I am assuming it is because JO launches his new thrifty cook book on Thurs and there have been a number of threads on here about it that have got a bit unpleasant. This thread is positive and helpful amid a shower of shite.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 10:39:46

Yup. I reckon we could easily get nearly a thousand posts of actually useful meals to share. And we don't have to pay for the privilige.

It's ok Ladymilford, the thread won't explode after 48 hours.

Come on keep them coming. I'm dead chuffed with all the contributions so far thanks

Gorgeous super-quick pudding.

For one:

Get a couple of dollops of Greek yoghurt and put in a nice pot. Add a spoon of good lemon curd. Add a squeeze of lemon. Tinker with the proportions until it's right for you. Eat with a biscuit (or five) for dunking.

WorkInProgress Wed 28-Aug-13 11:08:25

I had forgotten all about hot dog pasta - had loads of it as a student. Also used to have it in a rice dish ( like the kedgeree above). Veggie burger stir fry - cook and chop up the veggie burgers ( the soya protein type) and stir fry with what ever veg you have, serve with rice and lots of soy sauce.

Chicken livers are great if your kids will eat them (sadly mine complain) about 50p a pot. Chicken liver risotto tastes really good, can also use them in pasta sauce. Veggie risotto is another good one for using up veg, lots of cheese on top.

Great thread. Lots of pasta dishes, Aldi 19p pasta is great and would make these really cheap meals.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 28-Aug-13 11:09:27

Pasta, tuna, sweetcorn, mayo. Perfect dinner!

ArtexMonkey Wed 28-Aug-13 11:15:27

Tuna pasta bake when you cba with the 'bake' aspect:

Cook pasta and sweetcorn if you fancy, drain

Add tuna and grated cheese

Put on plate.

Also, pasta and pesto, cook a green veg from the freezer like green beans, peas and/or spinach in with the pasta, stir in pesto, stir in some cheapo soft cheese.

LtEveDallas Wed 28-Aug-13 11:18:44

Oh, I've just thought of one of my mums

Get a box standard plate.
Put raw bacon (3 strips) round the edge, overlapping each other
Crack an egg in the middle
Cover in grated cheese.

Put the whole thing in the oven for about 20 mins.

Sounds revolting, but is actually quite nice. I made this once when DD and DH were away and I couldn't be bothered to cook for one, took me right back to my childhood!

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 28-Aug-13 11:41:41

I was going to say Honey - once the thread is full it'll need moving to food or wherever to stop it going poof in chat. I want to have a good look through it and write lots down!

From when we were little- old school salad plate:

Slice of buttered bread
slice of ham or a boiled egg
whatever salady stuff you have around the house - lettuce, carrot, cucumber, beetroot, tomato etc.

I made this the other day (didn't bother with the spinach balls). Used Basics parmesan-esque stuff and about half as much butter and cheese as the recipe calls for. Lovely.

TeWi - you've just reminded me of one of the things I loved best as a child.

Boiled new potatoes
A hard boiled egg
salad cream
a Dairy Lee triangle
All laid out on a plate. smile

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 12:50:08

Yes. If I can get it filled in chat for traffic I intend to as HQ nicely to move it to food x
Thought it best here as not many people hide chat grin

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 28-Aug-13 12:57:36

Cheesy pita bread.

This is really nice and easy to make cheaper. The original recipe I had used feta and sausages which is lovely but really filling and not really necessary.

Chop up a bunch of veg to roast into inch size pieces - can vary for season, eg pepper, onions, tomatoes, or squash, carrots, courgette.
Put them in the oven in a baking tray for 30mins at around 180dc, with some oil and seasoning.
Chop up feta or some cheaper cheese into half inch chunks. take tray out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top, then roast for another ten minutes.
Toast pita bread.
Open up the pitas scoop the cheese and veg inside and eat!

HurricaneWyn Wed 28-Aug-13 12:58:16

Pasta Bake
Tomato Sauce made with basics tomatoes, garlic, onion & dried oregano, mixed with frozen sweetcorn and frozen spinach. Put into a oven dish & top with cheese and bake until cheese is golden. Can add chicken/quorn pieces if there's any knocking around. Serve with cheap garlic bread.

EnjoyEverySandwich Wed 28-Aug-13 13:21:42

Marmite Pasta

Cook pasta.
Melt some butter and stir in some Marmite to taste, with a little of the pasta water to loosen it.
Stir into pasta.
Add Parmesan (or other grated cheese) to taste.

Job's a good'un.

QueenofallIsee Wed 28-Aug-13 14:10:48

Mince and potatoes

fry onions til soft
brown mince, drain it
bung in 2 oxo cubes
frozen peas
cube of carrot

leave it alone, make some mash potatoes and serve it

BKKate Wed 28-Aug-13 14:14:11

Home made beef burgers, fry an onion, add to some mince with some herbs/chilli/ whatever's in the pantry. Soak two pieces of bread in milk squeeze out the milk, chop up and add to the mince mix. Crack an egg in and mix again, form into burger shapes and cook on the George Foremam grill in about 10 minutes. Serve with bread rolls if you have them, if not we like sliced bread cut in a circle.
Chips or salad.
Lovely and moist and feel quite healthy if you use lean beef. Sounds like more effort than it is, I usually make the burgers during dc's nap time and stash them in the fridge until tea time.

BKKate Wed 28-Aug-13 14:21:15

Queenofall my MIL makes mince a bit like that, but with a side of packet macaroni and cheese, Kraft I think (she's in Australia), it's lush!

This is my easy fridge dinner: mediterranean roasted veg and sausages.

Chop up whatever sad-looking veg you have to hand - courgettes, mushrooms, sweet potato, peppers, onions and tomatoes all work well, but anything roastable is fine.

Stick in ovenproof dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Add optional rosemary, garlic and olives.

Bung some sausages on top of the veg.

Cook at about 180C for about 40 mins, turning sausages and shaking veg halfway through.

Serve with salad and either couscous or pitta bread. Or anything really.

Also works well with chicken thighs or halloumi and chorizo in place of sausages.

Oh mine is basically the same as TeWiSavesTheDay's!

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 28-Aug-13 14:27:42

Chickpea surprise. (the surprise is, there are chickpeas in it).

Onion, red pepper, tin tomatoes, spices, any other random veg that needs using up, plus chickpeas.

serve with couscous.

My boys really like sweetcorn fritters - pancake batter, add a tin of sweetcorn before frying in small blobs.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 28-Aug-13 14:29:21

grin mackerel - there's a few variations on here! Quite useful really, hadn't thought of doing it with halloumi or chicken!

Courgette fritters -

Finely dice a couple of courgettes (ditch the seedy bits). Shove in a bowl and add flour and egg to mix into a solid-ish paste. Add diced feta (Basics). Add pepper and herbs if you have them.

Fry in little patties.

This thread is brilliant, but needs moving op, otherwise it'll disappear before we get to try all the brilliant recipes! sad

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 15:15:21

Corned beef hash/stew:

Cook one large onion until soft, then add 1 tin tomatoes and 1 large tin corned beef cut into cubes. Add 1/4 tsp hot paprika and a bay leaf, cook gently for 10 mins so flavours combine. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

wheretoyougonow Wed 28-Aug-13 15:16:12

Tomoato soup and hot dog.

Cheesy mash.

Pasta and sauce.

Jacket potato with anything

I'm hungry now...

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 15:18:07

Oh, and meatloaf:

mix any minced meat you like with:
1 egg
dried herbs
small amounts of finely minced onion, garlic, celery and carrot
add 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs if desired
cook in a loaf tin in a medium oven for about 40 mins

paneer Wed 28-Aug-13 15:24:30

Eggs in purgatory

Fry grated garlic clove and some dry chilli flakes in a small frying pan
Add in a tin of chopped tomatoes and cook for 4 mins
Season with pepper
Crack in an egg and cover the egg with grated parmeasan
Cook until the egg is to you liking (I usually cover with a lid
Egg straight from frying pan to save cleaning

paneer Wed 28-Aug-13 15:26:43

Thai 'style' curry, using any veg you have left over and meat you want to chuck in.

Fry in a large pan chopped onion
Brown meat if using
Chuck in the veg and fry for a bit
Add a tin of coconut milk
Big squirt of lemon grass (the stuff from the tube)
Cook until all veg are soft/meat cooked through
Add in fish sauce and soya sauce to you liking.

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 15:30:18

A lot of stuff I do is fast because I use a pressure cooker, which I highly recommend.

I also like leek and potato soup: fry 1 onion and two large leeks until soft, add 2 medium potatoes, cubed and some chicken stock or water. Cook at gentle simmer until potato is very soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, then a cup of milk and turn heat down, cook for another 5 mins or so.

This soup really needs to be blended smooth to be really nice but you can eat it chunky.

Bananas cooked in butter and brown sugar is a good quick pudding, especially if you add a splash of rum.

Gosh you are all so inventive!

My quick dish when alone is a tin of tomatoes, a tin of tuna and some cooked pasta, with grated cheese on top.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 15:34:43

smile everyone's a little inventive, it just looks more so when all pooled together.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 16:03:30

<<coughs>> I have a TV chef to beat here

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 16:06:13

Baked eggs: defrost some frozen spinach in the microwave, put it in a dish, break some eggs carefully into it, top with grated cheddar and cook in a hot oven until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Salsa chicken

Best done in a slow cooker but can be done in normal oven on lower heat for a couple of hours:

Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (defrosted if done in normal oven)
One large jar of salsa
an onion, chopped

Throw in the slow cooker all together, leave it all day.
If in normal oven I'd cover the dish with foil.

Serve over rice, sprinkle cheese on top if you like.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 28-Aug-13 16:10:06

How many recipes do you reckon there are in his book?

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 16:18:11

That salsa chicken sounds lovely.

TiWi .... grin I have an entire nest of vipers resources to draw on. I want to rub it is as much as possible wink

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 16:19:05

Anyone got a recipe for nest of vipers? Could be tasty. Cheap source of protein, etc.

paneer Wed 28-Aug-13 16:20:13

Pot noodles

A packet of glass noodles like this - cook them by boiling the kettle and putting soaking the noodles in the boiling water for about 5 mins

Cut a pepper into thin strips

Finely slice a red onion or spring onions

Peel a carrot and then either sine strips or use the peeler to make robbins

Make up boullion (I use this) and put in all the vegetables and cover with some cling film or a plate

Strain the glass noodles and add to the boullion& vegt.

Mix it all together with a squirt of fresh lime or lemon if you have.

It's one of DD's fave meal

AndHarry Wed 28-Aug-13 16:29:27

When I was a student I had a budget of 5 Euros for food shopping for the week. My meal plan was:

Breakfast: a handful of porridge oats with one tbsp of natural yoghurt, one chopped banana and a drizzle of honey

Snack: a small orange

Lunch: whole wheat penne with grated Parmesan

Tea: whole wheat penne with a tbsp passata, frozen mixed vegetables, Parmesan and cayenne pepper

I was never hungry but beautifully slim...

Chili & Coconut Fish serves 2*
- 2 river cobbler fillets
- 3 tbsp unsweetened dessicated coconut
- tbsp sweet chili sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Dip each fish fillet in the chili sauce and then in the dessicated coconut, ensuring they're completely covered. Put on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I serve it with mango salsa (1 chopped mango, half a chopped red onion, some torn coriander leaves and some lime juice from a bottle.)

*Adapted from Ainsley Harriot's Olympic Cookbook

lermontova Wed 28-Aug-13 17:58:52

Butternut squash mash with mackerel
Dice, boil and mash a butternut squash (or roast it then just scoop out the insides), put on a plate with some beetroot and a smoked mackerel fillet.

Winter salad
Dice and roast whatever vegetables are languishing in your cupboard - parsnips, beetroot, spuds, onion, squash - and serve warm in a big bowl with some crumbled goats or feta cheese.

Leftover rice pudding
if you have rice left over from dinner, put it in a baking dish and pour milk over it, add some cinnamon, mix in some sultanas and vanilla essence if you have any, and bake in the oven until it's puddingy. Cheap rather than fast!

Fast and cheap - toast bread, scramble eggs. Eat.

Or, nuclear beans - toast bread. Heat tin of baked beans with chopped red onion, worcestershire sauce, 2 drops tabasco, grated cheddar.

samlamb Wed 28-Aug-13 18:06:33

My mum used to make this on a monday;

all left over roast veg. ( mash, cabbage, peas, swede etc etc)
fry in olive oil into a kind of frittata
Done! could add cheese or herbs / basil/ anything to make more tasty!

OP thank you very much I have just printed all of these out.

lermontova Wed 28-Aug-13 18:21:07

Also cheap and quick - chop a chorizo sausage and sweat it in a big pan til the oil runs out. Fry a thinly sliced onion in the oil. add a bag of kale (chopped up a bit) or whatever other cabbage you have around, half a glass of cider (or apple juice) and put the lid on til it cooks down for a few minutes. Put some toasted almonds, or toasted flaked almonds, over it for a bit of crunch.

Awks Wed 28-Aug-13 18:24:40

posh smoked salmon supper - 1 pack smoked salmon trimmings, 1 carton creme fraiche, 3 t/sp jiff lemon (or fresh if you have it) fresh or dried dill. Fry off the salmon till it goes lighter, stir in creme fraiche, lemon juice and dill and serve with lots of spaghetti.

EnjoyEverySandwich Wed 28-Aug-13 18:24:48

Re the scrambled eggs

If you are down to one rasher of bacon, chop it into bits, fry until crisp and then scramble the eggs around it. Makes the bacon go a lot further!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 28-Aug-13 18:32:39

Someone must have done 'pasta and bits' - using whatever 'bits' you happen to have left in fridge (but NOT all of the below!) ... cook the pasta (usually penne but whatever you have); separately fry any veg that need frying (e.g onion, pepper, garlic etc, also bacon); throw veg which need boiling in with the pasta at the appropriate time (e.g. cut up green beans, soy beans, peas, broad beans). Toss it all together with anything that doesn't need cooking (e.g. halved cherry toms or cut up larger toms, olives, herbs, rocket, ham) and top with cheese (grated or shaved parmesan or cheddar, or cubed feta or mozzarella or goat)

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 19:24:47

Chorizo is a brilliant flavouring - I often use a quarter of one sweated in oil to flavour rice dishes. Rice, onion and whatever veg is around, plus seasoning to taste.

bigkidsdidit Wed 28-Aug-13 20:08:32

Tonight I had 10 minutes to cook so did:

Macaroni with frozen sweetcorn added near the end of cooking
Drain and stir through a knob of butter, a handful of grated cheese, and flaked tuna.

My toddler ADORED it smile

LookAtTheTwain Wed 28-Aug-13 20:14:52

Lookatthetwains spaghetti bake.-

Makes enough for 4 adults.

Fry an onion, 1 large clove of garlic, 4 slices of bacon and 1 red/green/yellow pepper or a mix of. Add Salt and pepper.

Boil spaghetti (more can be added for more people)

Add tin of tomatoes and spaghetti to an oven dish and mix in contents of frying pan. Grate over cheese and oven bake/grill for melted cheese.

Serve with garlic bread and parmesan/hard italian cheese.

LookAtTheTwain Wed 28-Aug-13 20:16:47

Lookatthetwains cous cous dream.

Fry onion, mushroom, bacon, garlic and ginger.

Cook cous cous (I use a mix of plain and flavoured)

Mix together, serve with soy sauce.

Bloody lovely that!

trice Wed 28-Aug-13 20:19:34

Barley, tomato and cheese risotto in the slow cooker. Can add sausage if you have it.

Half a packet of barley, tin of tomatoes, any cheese you have left over, water. Leave for 4hrs.

needasilverlining Wed 28-Aug-13 20:19:45

Inauthentic but tasty minestrone:
Chop and fry onion, garlic, any veg that needs using up (carrot, courgette and celery are my favourites) until soft. Add pint chicken stock and tin tomatoes/passata.

Simmer for a few minutes, chuck in tin cannellini beans and a couple of handfuls of pasta, plus shredded savoy cabbage/kale/whatever. Season with black pepper and Italian ish seasoning (dried herbs all good, I also like pesto). Simmer for another 15 minutes or until pasta cooked.

Good served with parmesan and crusty bread, but also poured over jacket potatoes makes a really filling meal.

ParkerTheThief Wed 28-Aug-13 20:20:15

Polenta is an easy, cheap meal component. Not the ready made stuff but the type you buy in a health food shop. Stick it in a pan, add water, simmer and stir occasionally for 30 mins.

It's a nice alternative to pasta or mash. I know it's not as quick as pasta but if you are cooking something else it's easy enough to cook.

Polenta with roasted red peppers blitzed into sauce and sausages is lovely and takes 30 mins.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Wed 28-Aug-13 20:23:06

Sausage casserole:

Fry/grill/bake sausages (whatever your preference)
Remove and set aside.
Fry onions, garlic and chilli if you like it spicy
Add tomato purée, tin of tomatoes, can rach of kidney beans, chickpeas and butter beans.
Chuck in sausages. Add water to cover if it's a bit thick.
Simmer until needed. Mmm. Can also be done with chorizo. Or chicken drumsticks.

I add the chilli after I've taken out portions for ds. He likes it with rice too. I

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Wed 28-Aug-13 20:25:36

This is a Great Thread! How do we keep it forever?

Another one: Harissa salmon (or chicken)

Salmon fillets/steaks on foil. Smear top with Harissa paste. Parcel up. Bake for 20 mins. Serve with couscous and salad. Harissa is also fab on lamb.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 20:30:04


I am scared of Polenta. Is it really nice? Because potatoes are bloody expensive and I get fed up of pasta and rice sometimes, and my dh eats treats both Cous Cous and Gnocchi like I have presented him with boiled pubes hmm

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 20:31:04

We keep it forever by doing our best to fill it than I will pester HQ to shift it to food to preserve it smile

Polenta tastes like slime with oil and grit in it, even in good restaurants. Be very afraid.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Wed 28-Aug-13 20:32:19

Good job honey. What a fab thread!

BooMeowson Wed 28-Aug-13 20:37:58

Duck legs (£3.50 for 2), cover in dry chicken seasoning or sweet chilli sauce - cook it in the oven on medium heat for 90 minutes.

Serve with some baby spinach leaves and tomatoes.

Not super cheap but it is delicious.

FrozenYogurt Wed 28-Aug-13 20:45:15

Quick Chicken and Mushroom Pie for 4:
Cook a ready rolled sheet of puff pastry on a baking tray.
Fry onions, garlic, big handful of mushrooms and whatever veg you have to hand, and enough chicken for four in a pan, quick splash of wine or vermouth, reduce, add cream, reduce until rich.
Serve pie mix on a plate with a quarter of the cooked puff pastry on top.
Lovely with new potatoes and fresh veg.

EnjoyEverySandwich Wed 28-Aug-13 20:47:44

I'm sure there was a thread like this a few months back.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 20:50:33

Enjoy, yes there is a excellent budget thread still around. I just wanted to try and get quicker,lazier ideas all together.

EldritchCleavage Wed 28-Aug-13 20:53:20

Cauliflower curry:
Cook 1 large onion, 3 fat garlic cloves and a 2.5cm knob of ginger (all minced as finely as you can manage) gently in butter or coconut oil until very soft. Add 2 heaped teaspoons curry powder, fry for 1 minute, add a cauliflower separated into large florets and about 1 litre of stock or water. Cook at low simmer until cauliflower is soft. If you have a handful of red lentils to add with the liquid, so much the better.

For protein, hard boil and shell some eggs and add just before serving (veg or lentil curry plus hard boiled (not soft) egg is an inspired combination.

extracrunchy Wed 28-Aug-13 20:59:44

"Teriyaki" chicken (or whatever meat you have - works with salmon, beef, quorn, whatever)

Serves 2-3

450g pack boneless chicken thighs (or breasts, or equivalent cheap meat/fish)
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp peanut butter
1tbsp honey
1/4tsp chilli powder (to taste)
Whatever veg you have to hand (we use up broccoli stalks, finely chopped)
Few tbsp water (as needed)

Heat chicken, add all ingredients, bring to simmer, then turn right down and leave till meat is cooked through and sauce is sticky (add a little water if it gets too sticky)

Serve with oriental-style noodles

Cheap, easy and YUMMY. We just had it for dinner!

ethelb Wed 28-Aug-13 22:18:32

Sweetcorn fritters

100g/3½oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

salt and freshly ground black pepper

pinch smoked paprika if you have it

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 free-range eggs

75ml/2½fl oz milk

350g/12oz tinned sweetcorn kernels

6 finely chopped spring onions

125-150ml/4½-5fl oz vegetable oil, for frying

Make up batter using all ingredients except oil, and fry 1tbsp at a time. Serve with ketchup

ethelb Wed 28-Aug-13 22:21:07

Saag Paneer curry

750g/1½lb frozen spinach

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 large onion, chopped

thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into long julienne or lump of frozen

1½ tbsp chopped garlic ditto

1-2 green chillies, whole ditto

2 tsp ground coriander

salt, to taste

250g/8¾oz ready-made paneer (£1.64 in Sainsbury's at the moment)
½-1 tsp garam masala

6 tbsp milk, or 4 tbsp double cream

1-2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the cumin and fry for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add the onion and fry over a low heat for about six minutes, until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute.

Add the ground coriander and salt to taste. Cook for another 30 seconds then add the spinach and a splash of water if necessary. The mixture should be loose but not watery. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three minutes.

Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and milk or cream. Stir and cook for a few minutes or until the spinach is nice and creamy. Stir in the lemon juice to taste.

Mattar paneer -

fry cubes of paneer then set aside

fry onion, garlic, a couple of chopped fresh tomatoes (can leave these out), cumin seeds, chilli or chilli flakes, ginger, turmeric

Add frozen peas and a bit of water and cook until peas are v tender

Stir in the paneer to warm through and add s&p

ethelb Wed 28-Aug-13 22:28:44

Stuffed cabbage (Italian style) serves 4-5

1 large savoy cabbage
7-ounce (200-gram) hunk of bread (see above), crusts cut away, torn into small scraps (you’ll have about 3 loose cups of scraps)
2/3 cup (approximately 150 ml) whole milk
14 ounces (400 grams) or approximately 4 plain pork sausages casings removed
1 small sprig of sage -optional
1 small sprig of rosemary - optional
2 tablespoons grated parmesan/chedder other strong cheese - optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tins chopped tomatoes/passatta
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Make tomato sauce by frying of garlic and adding tomatoes into wide, lidded pan. Bring to a simmer.

Soak bread in milk and make filling by combining sausage meat, herbs, salt, pepper, cheese and milk soaked bread.

Peel leaves off cabbage and blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water.

Make golfball sized portions of filling and wrap leaves around them. Add to the tomato sauce. Bring to simmer and add lid for 25 mins. Turn cabbage rolls over and cook for a further 25 mintues. Take of lid and simmer of excess moisture for 15 minutes. Remov from heat and leave for 10 minutes before tucking in!

(BTW this is not quick but is a v complete, nutritious meal for very little money and can be done in bulk and frozen)

littlemisswise Wed 28-Aug-13 22:43:56

I made Macaroni and chicken the other day. It was cheap and really, really tasty. Didn't take long either.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 22:46:44

Falling short of the 1000 but said Chef has only been mentioned once and that's in connection with his shock pre-made jarred sauces.

Beans and tinned tomatoes on toast. With ketchup because that was my only store-cupboard staple when I was skint and it can be bought for 19p.

cafecito Wed 28-Aug-13 22:54:01

um. Black beans cooked + lime juice + cholula chilli sauce + squished avocado with quinoa or on some olive ciabatta
... sounds vile, tastes great

butternut squash mashed + black pepper + butter

ratatouille using any old chopped veg and some tinned tomatoes

sealed then pan cooked chicken breast pieces + coconut milk + lemongrass, lime, baby corn, thai curry paste - quick, nice

Pesto and spinach pasta

Cook pasta as per instructions

Add Spinach to a jar of pesto and blend until smooth

Add Spinach Pesto to the pasta

Add other ingredients left over in the fridge, for example cooked bacon, ham, chicken, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn ect.

Top with cheese

Even super fussy DD2 will eat this.

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 23:35:24

<<drools slightly over thread>>

Thatballwasin Thu 29-Aug-13 00:16:13

Chopped anchovies, a couple of spoonfuls of chopped olives, ditto capers, tin of tomatos, available herbs, garlic - mix. Add to pasta, lush.

CorrinaKedavra Thu 29-Aug-13 00:23:35

Baked potato cheese, beans and butter - but the cost of that has shot up recently!

HotelFromage Thu 29-Aug-13 00:58:55

Mess in the Pan
( old family recipe, invented by my Dad on our first holiday abroad and christened by us kids)
Loads of mates have nicked this and everyone calls it Mess in the Pan.

1. Sauté onion low heat 3 mins.
2. Add either chopped bacon or salami, cook till golden.
3. Add random veg. I like broccoli and courgette. If I am being particularly sneaky, I add a carrot and a red pepper which I have blitzed, so that they cannot be picked out by picky kids.
4. Add 2 tins chopped tomatoes ( it was originally 1 tin Heinz tomato soup and a bit of water/wine, which is also very nice, so take your pick).
5. Bring to simmer, add pinch sugar, some herbs if you have em. Cook till tomatoes have gone more orange in colour and sauce has thickened. While this is happening, cook some pasta.
6.Optional extra, towards the end, chuck in that ( drained) half jar of pitted black olives which is hanging around in your fridge door.
7. Serve with grated cheddar.

HotelFromage Thu 29-Aug-13 01:03:57

I love Polenta.

It suits a quick recipes thread like this as you can have it "wet" one day, then leave the rest to set on a shallow baking tray and then slice it and grill or fry the next day.

EnjoyEverySandwich Thu 29-Aug-13 02:16:12

Simple Cole Slaw - cheap and filling

Just shredded white cabbage mixed with flavoured mayonnaise. The mayo can be mixed with any kind of mustard; horseradish; red or green pesto; ketchup; chilli sauce; coriander paste .... etc. Something different every time.

Marcheline Thu 29-Aug-13 02:42:39

Pasta puttanesca -

Chop garlic and onions, fry in some olive oil
Chuck in tin of chipped tomatoes
Ass capers, anchovies and chilli
If they're knocking around, I sometimes add sliced red, yellow or orange peppers or courgettes etc to up the veg content, but essentially, I always have Tina of tomatoes and anchovies, a jar of capers and some kind of pasta lurking about so it's v quick and cheap. Can serve with salad or stir in spinach too (I always have a bag of frozen spinach for adding to dishes - much cheaper than fresh spinach an great for extra nutrition.)

Pasta and pesto -
Boil pasta, drain, add pesto, ends of yesterday's roast chicken, maybe a bit of ricotta, mascarpone, cream or cream cheese if there's ant in fridge, sometimes spinach from freezer etc - again, basically whatever is in the fridge / freezer

Big vat of bolognaise -
Fry onions and garlic
Ad mince and brown
Chuck in chopped toms
Add diced carrots, mushrooms, courgettes, peppers or whatever is in veg drawer
Chuck in some herbs and simmer for a couple of hours

Then I Separate it into tubs to stick in fridge or freezer and use as a base - sometimes have with pasta, sometimes add red kidney beans and chilli an have with rice, sometimes use to make lasagne.

Mushroom pasta -

Fry onions and garlic with chopped mushrooms
Add cream, tarragon and splash of balsamic vinegar
Serve with pasta

Last one, chorizo stew -

Fry onions and garlic
Skin and chop chorizo, add to Ian and fry for a while
Add chopped tomatoes and a tin of any kind of White beans or lentils
Add some chopped herbs - rosemary or thyme
Simmer for half an hour

I'm lucky that we have a cupboard full of herbs and spices and large bushes of thyme, rosemary, oregano and sage in the garden, which can quickly turn even the weirdest odds and ends into a really lovely meal.

TobyLerone Thu 29-Aug-13 03:35:08

Roasted veg quinoa:

Roast some veg (quartered onions, whole garlic, quartered deseeded peppers, sliced butternut squash, courgette, anything you can find...). If I have cherry tomatoes to use up, I put them in with the veg about 15 mins before it's done.
Sometimes I add smoked paprika, cumin or cinnamon to the veg before roasting. Sometimes just olive oil and a bit of salt.

Cook quinoa (or couscous/barley/rice) with a stock cube.

When veg is cooked, roughly chop it all smallish and mix through the quinoa. Serve with anything -- usually venison sausages in our house, although not particularly cheap.

evelynj Thu 29-Aug-13 06:32:30

Yum! Got to do meal planning so will try a load of these,

One of my faves is salad, fried halloumi in pitta with chilli jam, mmmmm!

Pork and apple burgers.

Pack of pork mince. 1 apple, 1 onion, half a chilli, an egg and some breadcrumbs. Grate the apple and onion and chop the chilli. Mix, shape into burgers and chill if you've for time. Fry or bake.

Eastpoint Thu 29-Aug-13 08:03:29

Scrambled eggs on toast with peas as veg.

Fried mushrooms & onions on toast.

Frozen spinach cooked then mixed with ricotta & grated cheese (whatever's left) mixed in with cooked pasta & then baked.

Tomato & mozzarella salad with bread.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 29-Aug-13 11:19:53

DHs concoction - chicken and rice.

Cook rice. Heat up a can of chicken and mushroom soup. Stir soup through cooked rice.

EldritchCleavage Thu 29-Aug-13 12:42:59

Using up leftover rice:

Heat some oil in a pan until it is v hot (but not smoking). Add the rice, stir to get it coated with oil then add chopped spring onion and beaten egg and stir furiously until it is all cooked. Serve immediately.

You can add things to make this more exciting and a meal rather than a side dish e.g. (i) a sprinkle of soy sauce; (ii) chopped chilli; (iii) prawns (or better still, brown shrimp); if available, but it's not necessary.

This only works with leftover, chilled rice. If you use freshly cooked rice you get eggy mush.

AnonYonimousBird Thu 29-Aug-13 13:08:43

Fast and cheap, delicious but not good. Five mins from packet to plate - frankfurters in rolls!! That was us today for lunch as we were in a frantic hurry.

But we usually eat better than that! Will read properly and post again....

jonbonjovismissus Thu 29-Aug-13 14:26:29

Fry up some onions, mushrooms, chorizo or ham end from the fridge and a pinch of dried red chilli & thyme, add risotto rice, some stock and a tin of tuna or white crabmeat from the cupboard. Simmer until the rice is cooked & serve with some garlic bread (love Aldi's) and loads of black pepper. Should feed 3-4 and takes about 15 mins!

smoothieooo Thu 29-Aug-13 14:33:41

Crispy fish:

Bake portions of white fish in the oven with some butter and seasoning for 20 mins, remove, sprinkle plain, crushed crisps over the top and grill for a few mins.

Quick chilli

Fry frozen, chopped onions, add mince, seasoning and chilli powder with either a tin or 2 of chopped toms or a jar of bolognaise sauce. Cook rice by bringing water to the boil, adding the rice then covering and turning off the heat for 15 mins until cooked. The pièce de résistance is to stick a plain tortilla into a metal sieve (or something oven-proof) in a bowl shape and oven cook for around 5 mins so it crisps up. The rice and chilli is served in the tortilla 'bowl'. Bit of cheese sprinkled on top completes it. This was shamelessly stolen from a previous post and my kids love it!

smoothieooo Thu 29-Aug-13 14:47:20

Keema curry

Official ingredients below:

450g lean minced lamb
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp curry paste
2 tbsp tomato purée
350ml lamb or vegetable stock
225g frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper

But I tend to cook it with just onion, garlic, minced lamb, peas, curry powder and tomato purée plus seasoning and it's still delicious. Quick, easy, great with rice or a jacket potato.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:44

How about Mumsnet publishing some of these and selling copies in aid of a MN charity-spread the benefits far and wide.

SybilRamkin Thu 29-Aug-13 15:33:00

Fish, rice and tomatoes. Boil white rice, drain, add a tin of sardines and some cherry tomatoes and soy sauce. Eat.

ouryve Thu 29-Aug-13 15:48:22

I ate loads of keema as a student, smoothie. I had a little Indian recipe book from The Works - best 50p I'd ever spent. Lots of simple spicing, rather than elaborate pastes

TallulahTwinkle Thu 29-Aug-13 16:06:59

Baked eggs

Crack eggs into a greased ramekin, top with a little milk/cream, thyme (optional) grated cheese and bake for 12-14 mins. Toast to dip in and veg sticks for vitamins.

TallulahTwinkle Thu 29-Aug-13 16:09:56

Mushroom risotto

Sauté pack of mushrooms with one diced onion, stir in risotto rice, add a slug of white wine if any knocking around then slowly stir in stock. Top with Parmesan.

Love this, favourite comfort food tea and cheap.

On such a tight budget now we have to make cheap meals - great to get new ideas smile

NoNickname Thu 29-Aug-13 16:10:15

Spicy bean bake

- Olive oil
- Whatever veg you have
- Tin of mixed beans
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Harissa paste (or chilli powder/flakes)
- Mozzarella

Cut up the veg and fry in olive oil until cooked. (Typically I use things like courgettes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, sweetcorn, red/white cabbage, carrots).

Stir in the tin of tomatoes. Add some harissa (or chilli) to taste. Drain and add the beans. Stir it all together and let it heat up for a couple of minutes.

Transfer to a Pyrex/casserole dish. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella over the top.

Bake at about 180 for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.

ZoeLC Thu 29-Aug-13 16:11:17

Love all these ideas!
Here are my two quick pasta dinners

Smoked salmon pasta
Cook pasta - half way through add thinly sliced courgettes to the water.
Once cooked drain and add packet of smoked salmon trimmings, zest of 1 lemon and lots of black pepper. Then stir in tub of creme fraiche and the juice of the lemon. Its delicious and really quick.
Nice with chilli flakes added too.

Bacon, pea and mint pasta
fry chopped bacon, add frozen peas and big spoonful of mint sauce
drain pasta and stir in half tub of cream cheese add bacon mixture and serve.

Enjoy! smile

TallulahTwinkle Thu 29-Aug-13 16:12:32

Mixed bean chilli

Tin of mixed pulses (drained), added to sautéed onion (also tend to chuck in whatever other veg is looking sorry for itself!), garlic, chopped tomatoes and chilli (fresh/frozen/dried) - serve with rice/couscous/jacket potato and sprinkle with cheese

TallulahTwinkle Thu 29-Aug-13 16:18:00

Starving now, going to prepare my day before payday tea! This week it is diced left over veg gently cooked with garlic, stirring in last bit of a jar of balti paste, chopped tomatoes, red lentils, some lime juice and stock if needed. Have a little creamed coconut in fridge so will stir that in as well as a dollop of mango chutney (also last bit in a jar)!

My poor fridge is so empty grin

Will add more as I think of them as meal planning later smile

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 16:26:03

I'd forgotten how good chorizo is for adding meaty flavour. Will do keema next week

Ginger pork -

whatever cuts of pork happen to be cheap, sliced if there's enough for one each or diced if you need it to go further. fry off with a bit of garlic and brown sugar.

Pour in a ginger beer (non alcoholic is so much cheaper) and then simmer til it's become a caramelized sticky sauce. There's a moment mid-simmering that it all foams up and you think "shiiiiit it's all gone horribly wrong" but then it calms down again.

Fab with any veg and sticky rice, and good for the non-tomato/onion eaters out there like my bastardingly fussy DP

Flossiechops Thu 29-Aug-13 16:33:17

Marking my place for lots of inspiration!

fancyanother Thu 29-Aug-13 16:57:15

pasta bake

Handful dry [pasta per person
2 tins of tomatoes or passata
2 large spoonfusl philly type cheese,
dried herbs
anything else that sounds nice (tuna and sweetcorn, chicken and bacon, leftover veggies, peppers)
chuck in the oven for 30 minutes
Take out of oven, sprinkle over some grated cheese and scrunched up packet of ready salted crisps if liked
Put back in oven until cheese melted

TobyLerone Thu 29-Aug-13 16:59:02

Tonight we're having minced beef cobbler.

Cook the mince with onion, garlic and whatever else you want. I'll be using up some celery, mushrooms and butternut squash (which I will grate because DD hates it and won't eat it if she knows it's in there!), along with a tin of tomatoes and some frozen spinach.

Make a cheese scone dough, cut it into rounds and top the mince with them. I usually make a double quantity and cook the rest as scones while the cobbler is in the oven. Sprinkle some cheese on the top if you want, and put into a hot oven until the scones are cooked (15-20 mins).

We're having blackberry and apple crumble for pudding because we foraged a load of fruit from the garden earlier.

Dawndonnaagain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:27:36

Tin of Corned beef.
half a mug of lentils.
2 medium potatoes.
Vegetable Stock cube.
Gravy granules.
Fry corned beef and onion, mushing up corned beef as you go, add 1 and a half pints of vegetable stock. Cube potatoes, chuck in, chuck lentils in. Skim of scum from lentils as you go. Allow to reduce a little and add some gravy granules to thicken.
Serves four, we serve with extra mash or rice. Again, very filling and only takes about half an hour.

Greenandcabbagelooking Thu 29-Aug-13 17:49:43

Parsnip soup.

Which is in fact parsnip and any other old veg hanging around soup. Boil veg. Drain. Add milk and veg stock until it's soupy whilst blending with stick blender. Serve with bread.

Cheat's minestrone.

Add veg stock to pasta sauce. Throw in a tin of kidney beans and some small pasta or broken up spaghetti. Cook until beans/pasta are cooked. Top with spinach and/or pesto if you happen to have any. Serve with bread, garlic bread is especially nice.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 17:49:55

Will try that pork

And the cheese scone cobbler sound heaven

TheCuntingPigeon Thu 29-Aug-13 17:55:44


Tomato Risotto

Chop an onion (can also do celery if you have any)
Soften in a pan with oil or butter.
Add risotto rice and stir for a minute or 2.
Slowly add some passata alternating with stock until its all soaked up and the rice is cooked.

You an chuck in mixed herbs/cheese at this point.

Stir and serve.

You can add bacon bits, chorizo, prawns whatever you have laying about in the fridge/freezer.

It's nice and filling and fairly cheap. There is a lot of stirring but I can stir whilst mning on my phone. :D

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 18:08:51

Thankyou for your contribution Pidge thanks smile

WallaceWindsock Thu 29-Aug-13 18:18:20

Bulked out potato salad.

Cook new pots, cool.
Fry bacon chunks or chopped.

Chop up spring onions, cold cuts, red onion, peppers etc

Bung it all in a bowl and chuck in half a jar of Hellmanns
Mix it all together and stick it in fridge for 20mins.

We like it with salad as a meal or it makes a good side for barbecues etc.

Yum, Wallace, I am trying that tomorrow. I love potato salad!

Risotto is my nemesis. I love it but it seems so hard to get right so I never bother. Might try a couple of these risotto recipes, though!

WallaceWindsock Thu 29-Aug-13 18:40:50

We've just had spicy sausage pasta thing.

Fry onion and peppers, lob in tinned toms. Stick lid on to reduce a bit. Add chopped sausages chilli powder, any other Indian spices that you have lurking. Stir in cooked pasta.

I use the spicy tomato mixture for casseroles as well. Just add stock to it, other veg and sausages and slow cook in oven.

I am known as the bread queen though which is slightly worrying grin. Whenever in a rush I'm most likely to produce "bread and something". Bacon sarnies, hot dogs (with proper sausages), pork mince burgers etc

Ooh pork mince burgers are quick actually.
Open pack of mince.
Pick up ice cream scoop or melon baller.
Scoop out ball of mince
Roll in bowl of herbs/salt and pepper/chilli
Place on oiled baking tray and flatten slightly
Bung in oven until cooked through.

Not great for a burger making competition but v handy when you need to knock something up fast and cba to faff mixing in the spices. Also handy for cooks with rings, eczema, cuts on hands which are always a nightmare when trying to mix spices into a bowl of raw mince as it gets everywhere.

WallaceWindsock Thu 29-Aug-13 18:49:02

Not sure whether to post this one. grin

Put pork or turkey mince in a bowl.
Make up a pack of paxo sage and onion stuffing mix as per packet instructions
Add to the mince.
Pick up the trusty melon baller/ice cream scoop
Dollop onto baking tray, flatten slightly.

Or before balling, scoop into pastry cases and you have tarts.

I use these when DD (2.5) is helping make dinner. Surprisingly nice with wedges and salad or roasted veg and gravy.

girliefriend Thu 29-Aug-13 18:55:29

pesto tuna pasta (with mushrooms)

Cook pasta
stir in pesto and a tin of tuna
add some fried mushrooms if you like them
Serve with grated cheese.

Have lived on this dinner for a long time grin

fatlazymummy Thu 29-Aug-13 19:11:20

Haven't read the thread, so this is probably a repeat -
Lentil.stew - red lentils, stew pack (hopefully reduced), a couple of stock cubes, a bit of marmite and ,well, anything else you fancy chucking in. It is a stew! Serve with your choice of carbs, depending on how many hungry people thre are to feed.

Fragglewump Thu 29-Aug-13 19:29:09

Eggs rancho
Chop a green chilli an onion and a pepper and fry in olive oil. Then add a tin of tomatoes, a big squeeze of Tom purée and a teaspoon or two of ground cumin and coriander. Leave to simmer for 15 mins - then add a little sugar spoon onto a tortilla wrap and top with a fried egg. Also lovely with a little grated cheese!

VanVleck Thu 29-Aug-13 19:46:18

Meatballs with pasta or rice.

Whole pack of turkey thigh mince
Heaped spoon of english mustard
Squirt of ketchup
One egg
Three slices of brown or white bread made into crumbs
Plus either curry powder and chicken stock cubes
Or tinned tomatoes and thyme, dried or fresh

Mix the ingredients together.
Shape into balls and start to gently fry as you go. If you're cooking it for rice you can add curry powder to the oil at this point.
Once they're brown all over turn the heat right down and put the pasta or rice on to boil.
Once the pasta is up to the boil, add the tinned tomatoes and a sprinkle of thyme to the balls and simmer gently.
If cooking rice, add a pint of water with a couple of chicken stock cubes dissolved into it. Simmer this down gently until it reduces to about half.
Serve the tomato meatballs over pasta, the curried one over rice smile

Exhaustipated Thu 29-Aug-13 20:08:14

Yum so many good ideas! thanks

Lemon, garlic & thyme chicken, rice & peas
Pack of chicken thighs/drumsticks. Put a knob of butter, some olive oil, half a lemon, some dried thyme and some crushed garlic in a dish in the microwave for 30 sec. Pour over drumsticks and season. Shove in hot oven for approx 40 mins.
Cook rice, add peas near the end.
Serve with carribean v. hot sauce (from bottle) on the side for grown ups.

Pasta with mashed courgettes (much much nicer than it sounds)
Fry some garlic and Italian/mixed herbs (optional) in olive oil, add thinly sliced courgettes - fry until browned then add water to cover. Cook until water absorbed. Mash courgettes with masher or similar and season. Stir into pasta.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 30-Aug-13 17:50:14

chicken provencale - pre-heat oven to 180, throw chicken legs (1-2 per person) in roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of cold water - you can add 1-2 tsp dried mixed herbs if you have them.

Bake for 30 mins. In meantime, fry an onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, and a red or yellow pepper if you have one, add dried mixed herbs OR oregano OR basil or whatever similar stuff you have. Cook for 10 mins, then add 2 cans of tomatoes/jar passata and simmer for 20 mins until thick and jammy. I add black olives at this stage, from a jar grin

When chicken is done, pour over sauce and serve with salad or green beans, it works with potatoes or crusty bread and butter too.

SunshineBossaNova Fri 30-Aug-13 19:23:02

Not necessarily authentic Huevos Rancheros

For one person:
1 egg
1/2 tinned toms
Flavouring - bit of onion (if liked), chili flakes, tabasco, pickled jalapenos to taste
Salt and pepper

Cook flavouring and tomatoes together until warm (if you have oil you can do the onion etc first). Add salt and pepper.
Crack the egg into the middle
Cook until the egg is cooked - I speed it up by putting hot tomato on it as I'm impatient!
Eat - lovely with bread or toast

HoneyDragon Fri 30-Aug-13 20:09:25

This thread makes me happy smile

CorrinaKedavra Fri 30-Aug-13 21:38:17

It's marvellous. Please remember to get it moved - would hate to lose it flowers

I shall be posting my recipes for leftover whole-salmon shortly.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Aug-13 22:51:43


HoneyDragon Fri 30-Aug-13 22:57:53

Is that grin legally binding? hmm

Otherwise I will need to print.

HoneyDragon Fri 30-Aug-13 23:09:10


I made a very silly promise to Olivia to keep the thread. I think she may have me by the short and curlies now grin

Crownjewel Fri 30-Aug-13 23:55:25

Tin of tuna (drained and mashed with a fork)
Tin of tomatoes (chopped) - cheaper and runnier the better
Pasta quills/twirls (cooked in water)
Chopped chicken/ham
Stir together in pan over warm hob, serve with grated cheese and black pepper (and salad/garlic bread)

Works a treat in our house grin

BestIsWest Sat 31-Aug-13 00:01:27

DH's 'Cassoulet'. Fry Sausages. Add 1 can baked beans, 2 cans tomatoes, pinch oregano, maybe a pinch of sugar. Put lid on pan, Cook for 20 - 30 mins.

racingheart Sat 31-Aug-13 00:05:20

Chicken thighs in a roasting tin with chunks of red onion, garlic cloves and fresh or dried herbs, with a glass of white wine thrown over them. You can also add tomatoes and olives if you want - or nay veg that cooks well in a bit of liquid. The skins go crispy and the wine bubbles down into a lovely sticky sauce. Served with rice and steamed veg. Easy, cheap and tasty.

Healthy carbonara is good too. Beat a tub of quark cheese with two eggs, 1-2 ounces of grana padano or parmesan, pinch of nutmeg and thyme and seasoning.

Fry up some strips of bacon and finely minced red onion. Cook spaghetti for 1 min less than packet says. Drain then back on the stove with quark sauce over it and stir over low heat for 2 mins to cook the egg. Add the bacon and onion. Serve with salad or steamed green veg.

SaltyandSweet Sat 31-Aug-13 07:13:59

What fabulous ideas! Copy pasting a ton so must share too ...

Quick Chicken Curry

Fry one diced onion on medium to high heat. In a mug, mix 3 heaped tbsp meat curry powder with enough water to make a medium consistency paste. Once onion is translucent, chuck paste in and stir constantly for about 2 mins, add a splash of water if the paste starts to stick to the pan. Throw in up to 10 pieces of chicken (I usually use chicken thighs) and stir to coat. Chuck in a tin of diced tomatoes, add salt and 3 tsps of sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes). Stir well, cover pan and lower heat. Take about 45 minutes to cook depending on size of chicken, need to sitr maybe once or twice in that time. Once done, remove pan from heat, taking off pan lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then add one large tub of low fat natural yogurt into the pan, stirring well. (Taking the pan off the heat for awhile ensures the yogurt doesn't curdle on hitting the hot chicken) Eat with rice and raita!

Cheat's Asian Spinach

Defrost a little frozen spinach in the microwave. Cut one large onion and 3 garlic cloves and fry until translucent. Add defrosted spinach and stir to break up. Add about a tbsp of oyster sauce, a tbsp of soy sauce and a good dash of black pepper. Stir very well for about 5 minutes. Delicious with rice.

Cucumber and Carrot Raita

Grate one large cucumber into a sieve and leave to drain (I put it in a sieve over a bowl). Takes about 20 minutes. Give the grated cucumber an occasional good squeeze to encourage more water to come out. Then, grate a large carrot and add the grated cucumber to it. Add a cup and a bit of low fat natural yogurt and stir well. Add salt and stir again before popping in the fridge till you're ready to eat.


KnittyFoxyMa Sat 31-Aug-13 10:52:34

I always have lamb mince in freezer, I fry about 250g til brown, add chopped onion, cumin powder or seeds, black pepper and salt. Then 1-2 cups rice and a tsp marigold powder. Once mixed and coated I put 1.5-3 cups water or enough to come up the the first joint on my middle finger if my fingertip is touching the top of the rice.
Cover and bring to boil, lower to simmer for 15 mins, switch off and leave for another 5 mins. You can either add some cooked peas and/or corn now or frozen when you add the rice.
I also recently discovered Sainsburys basics frozen fish pie mix. I emptied the pack into an oven safe dish, seasoned with salt pepper and freeze dried tarragon. Then I spread a pot of creme fraiche over the top and topped with sticks of frozen mash. Oh and I put a few old mushrooms in chopped up. Baked for about 45 mins, was really really delish!

cerealqueen Sat 31-Aug-13 11:04:03

I've tried the microwave cheese and it didn't work that well - far far easier to mix flour with water into paste, then keep whisking into slowly heating milk, then add cheese. I never do a roux (the butter flour thing) as always get lumps! A proper sauce whisk helps.

Tuna pasta - lots of garlic fried in olive oil, tin tuna, tin tomatoes, done.

If I have more time, I add brocolli and a spoon of low fat creme fraiche to serve.

cerealqueen Sat 31-Aug-13 11:15:27

I really rate the schwartz jerk chicken mix, rub over chicken, stick in over till cooked, grill five mins to get that crispy skin.

Rice and peas - cook rice in tin of coconut milk, 400ml chicken stock, add tin of gungo peas, some fried chilli.

Jerk chicken and rice and peas, serve with coleslaw!

cerealqueen Sat 31-Aug-13 11:20:04

another one - boil skinless chicken thighs in chicken stock, carrots, add tin potatoes towards the end, frozen peas, tarragon. Other veg can go in too. Low fat and lovely. Spoon of low far creme fraich to serve if feeling decadent. grin.

MushroomSoup Sat 31-Aug-13 12:27:46

Beany Thing

Assorted tins of beans - kidney, cannelloni etc
Passata and tins of tomatoes
Sausages - can be hot dogs, chorizo, 'proper' ones, diced

Chuck in a pan, cook through!

bigkidsdidit Sat 31-Aug-13 13:35:16

Haggis is delicious microwaved (and we live in Scotland!) - tomorrow we are having microwaved haggis, mixed with frozen peas and diced parsnip, covered with frozen mash pellets, in a pie. Bit of cheese on top and it's delicious

Thumbwitch Sat 31-Aug-13 13:39:01

Haggis IS delicious microwaved, but if you don't have a microwave (we don't) then it's pretty bloody good fried in slices as well! grin
We tend to dry fry it, or with just a smear of olive oil on the pan to prevent it sticking - and then have it with mash etc. But that takes a while of course. smile

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 13:40:26

I made myself egg fried rice when I got back drunk last night.

Put rice on to boil.

Fry any veg you have lying around (I had onion and carrot and chilli and garlic), some frozen peas if you like, chuck in some chicken if you want, or some prawns but they are not exactly budget, I had some bamboo shoots in a tin too.

When rice is cooked, drain it, crack an egg into the pan with the veg and stuff, stir it about a bit, chuck in the rice, stir everything together.

Eat with lots of soy sauce and chilli sauce.

ilovebabytv Sat 31-Aug-13 14:34:56

Right now im making fritters, perhaps not very healthy but amazing as a treat lunch. Just sliced tatties dipped in batter (flour and water) and deep fried. Served on a roll for maximum pleasure.

madmomma Sat 31-Aug-13 14:37:01

It's this kind of thread that makes me love mumsnet. Thanks Honeydragon Just off shopping to get some ingredients for these great easy recipes. Thanks everyone!

smoothieooo Mon 02-Sep-13 11:09:28

I did one yesterday that doesn't fit the fast criteria (in that it was slow-cooked) but was cheap and bloody lovely! I was going out for the day with DC and just before I went I chopped potatoes and carrots and stuck them in the slow cooker under a cheap joint of beef (was a fiver) that I'd just browned. I added chicken stock, a splash of red wine, some mustard, mixed herbs and seasoning and left for 7 hours on low. I came home to melt in the mouth, slow roast beef and veg.

I like basmati rice with smoked mackerel stir fried with red onions, boil the water while you're chopping the onions, chuck the rice in, fry the onions and drain the rice once it's boiled, leave it to go all fluffy while you tear up the mackerel and chuck it in with the onions to heat it up. You can add any veg you like - chuck peas or sweetcorn in with the rice to boil or peppers or chillies in with the onions - and wash it all down with chilled white wine, bliss.

Also like soured cream with smoked salmon on cheese and tomato flat bread, heat the bread, cut it and the salmon into bits and stick the salmon to the bread with the cream, not sure how quick that one is though.

Soditall Mon 02-Sep-13 11:23:52

cold meats,j/potatoes and salad.

Chicken supreme works well with left over chicken from a roast.
Tin of chicken soup,splash of white wine,couple of sliced mushrooms,slice of ham diced,1/2 a small onion finely chopped,sprinkling of mixed herbs,squeeze of garlic puree or one garlic clove crushed,cooked chicken,black pepper to taste,simmer for 20 minutes.Serve with boiled rice and broccoli.

Pasta and vegetable bake boil pasta and veggies,whilst they're cooking pre-heat oven(if not a fan oven)make a cheese sauce.Put some butter into a sauce pan and melt,once melted remove from the heat and add some plain flour a little at a time and mix until it makes a paste,add some milk and return to heat,whisk constantly and keep adding milk until you have a smooth thick sauce,add mature cheese and black pepper,stir until cheese is melted(adding dijon mustard gives a nice edge to the flavor of the sauce)drain vegetables and pasta mix in with sauce so all equally covered then top with grated cheese and place into a hot oven for 20 minutes.Tastes great on it's own or with some crispy bacon on the side.

Homemade soup,Bologneise,Baked omlettes,Meatballs and pasta,Tuna and pasta bake,cottage pie.

ThursdayLast Mon 02-Sep-13 13:15:00

I had the macaroni cheese suggested on this thread for my tea on sat night.

It was lush smile

So thanks!

BornToFolk Mon 02-Sep-13 13:27:07

There are some great ideas on this thread!

I'm sure I've posted this recipe a thousand times before but it is fast, cheap and good (it's also nutritious and freezes well!) so here it is again

Spinach and Chickpea curry
Chop 1 onion and fry in oil, add a tablespoon of curry paste (could probably use curry powder/garam masala/your own spice blend), then add a tin of chickpeas and a tin of chopped toms and simmer for about 20 mins. Finally add a packet of spinach and stir until wilted. You can also use frozen spinach but I think fresh tastes nicer. Serve with rice, or it's also very good with warm naan bread.

LittleEsme Mon 02-Sep-13 20:32:20

Fry some pancetta (I get mine from aldi) until golden. Add in a load of chopped mushrooms, fry.
Cook some pasta - spag, linguini or tagliatelle.
Add cream to the pancetta and mushroom, let it mix.
Dollop it into the cooked pasta.
Eat and drool.

my new favourite low carb jobby for me (as DP won't eat this much green stuff):

finely slice onion, mushrooms and a bit of bacon.
Fry in a pan, add some cinnamon (was meant to be nutmeg first time but i got the jars mixed up, and it's actually lush!)
While it's frying, wash and top/tail a courgette, half it lengthways, and then slice really thinly.
Add courgette to the pan for a few more minutes, until it's soft and floppy but not translucent.
Take off heat, stir in a spoon of philly and some pepper.

takes about 10 mins, only one pan, and pretty cheep too.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Sep-13 17:23:37

Wonderful ideas guys! We're going to move this to food now.

needasilverlining Wed 04-Sep-13 13:30:11

Quesadillas were a big hit with my 6yo and 2yo last night: I drained and cooked a tin of kidney beans in passata and a pinch of cumin, mashed them, and then layered grated cheese, bean mix, tinned sweetcorn and more cheese, and dry fried both sides.

Tasty, quick, cheap and provided veg, dairy and protein. Thank you to the genius PP who suggested them smile

needasilverlining Wed 04-Sep-13 13:30:58

Layered ON A TORTILLA and topped with another one, obviously. Duh.

CMP69 Wed 04-Sep-13 20:22:21

My stand by when dh is out and ds in bed
Fry bacon onion garlic and any veg rattling about in the fridge add cooked pasta and creme fraiche or philly. Voila -tea! grin grin

Cantdothisagain Wed 04-Sep-13 21:55:47

CMP, that's my standby too! I also sub smoked salmon for the bacon sometimes...

WilsonFrickett Wed 04-Sep-13 23:48:04

Lentil burgers - believe it or not, this comes from a Lorraine Kelly baby weaning book. I'm all class.

Sweat an onion, add lentils, salt and garam masala. Boil - keep an eye on it, you want the lentils to be well cooked but the mix not to be too wet.

When the lentils are cooked, add some breadcrumbs* and stir in. You want a stiff mix. Roll into balls, flatten out and you have burgers. Lay on an oiled baking sheet to bake.

*breacrumbs. Do not buy breadcrumbs. Toast a couple of slices of bread (stale or otherwise) then blitz.

MERLYPUSS Thu 05-Sep-13 14:27:13

Huevos rancheros and bread
Home made red ragu with manky veg and passata, add a tin of sardines in tomato sauce and 1/2 tub basic philly. Serve with pasta. I keep banging on about this but it is fab. And the kids cant pick the fish out as it breaks down.

MrsSpa Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:19

Stir fry: cook noodles in saucepan. Stir fry a pack of basics stir fry veg (ready chopped). Add any or all of the following; basics smoked mackerel, peanut butter, coconut milk (I use about a fifth of a tin and freeze the rest in similar portions), soy sauce, smoked chipotle tabasco. Either mix the noodles into the veg or just serve veg on top of noodles (easier!)

Great thread!

Solasum Fri 06-Sep-13 13:52:21

'Courgetty spaghetti'

Any pasta will do, but spaghetti is good, sorry for yet another pasta-based one ('fresh' or baked).

Grate lots of courgettes, dice an onion/leek, fry til soft. (Courgettes no longer really look like vegetables for any veg-refusers).

Meanwhile make white or cheese sauce, season with nutmeg/salt/pepper/mustard; and cook pasta.

Mix all together, pack densely into a dish and bake.

You can add ham at the bottom/chorizo/any sort of bacon etc as well.

Solasum Fri 06-Sep-13 13:58:21

Roast veg with sauce:

Whatever veg is lying around, potatoes in small chunks, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes etc, drizzle with oil, and balsamic if any to hand; roast until basically done. Add cubed cheese if wished, anything that will melt quickly (surprise discovery: wensleydale worked well). Mix a bit of creme fraiche/sour cream with red pepper paste/pesto/tomato puree, pour over the veg and stir return to oven for a bit.

Serve with couscous or rice.

HepzibahFlurge Sun 08-Sep-13 21:09:01

Bacon pasta

fry some bacon
cook some pasta
mix togther with a spoon of wholegrain mustard

Can add veg if you like but most time I can't be bothered

Sticklebug Sun 08-Sep-13 21:19:39

Thinly slice potatoes, onions and chop up a little bacon. Alternate layers of potato and then onion and bacon. Finish with a potato layer. Pour over some veggy stock. Back in oven and serve with steamed cabbage. about 70p/head.

chicken and lentil stew.

roast chicken thighs in oven until cooked. (olive oil etc)

make a base of carrot, onion and celery by chopping and frying. add tin of tomatoes. season as usual, and also balsemic or red wine vinegar, cried herbs (any) touch of sugar. cook down till unctious. (about same time as chicken. Stick in as many tins of cooked lentils (or cook some before). Add to chicken in oven. (loosen sauce if its too dry with some stock or water) roast for 15 mins. If you are feeling up to it make a bit of garlic mayo, loosened wit milk and drizzle over.

I promise you its cheap as chips, easy, and totally delicious.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 10-Sep-13 22:57:34

I had a really tasty leftovers lunch roast veg gratin today - some leftover roast aubergine/pepper/mushrooms, a few sliced baby plum toms, basil, crumbled up leftover stuffing, grated mozzarella and parmesan. Same tomorrow except no stuffing left alas - it added a certain je ne sais quoi grin.

Its always worth doing a bit more roast veg than you need, apart from this it can go in a panino with a some goat cheese or mozzaralla or form the basis of a quick pasta sauce.

mum2jakie Tue 17-Sep-13 17:39:47

Creamy chicken pasta

Cook pasta, fry chicken pieces and bacon (or cook in George Foreman.) Drain pasta and mix in half a small carton of single cream and half a Kallo stock cube (tastes nicer than other brands of stock cube and thickens the 'sauce'.) Mix everything together and serve.

goodasitgets Wed 18-Sep-13 00:29:32

Has anyone mentioned corned beef hash? Actually my version is more corned beef stew grin but its good

Fry chopped onions (you don't want them brown, just cooked). Add peeled and chopped potatoes and carrots. Boiling water and oxo cube until the veg is covered and simmer until potatoes cooked. Add chopped corned beef and some bisto if you like, stir and simmer until it looks stew like grin

Not very technical, similar to mince and tatties but great with red cabbage and some buttered bread

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