Money saving healthier meals shows you just how food has changed.
To make a good meal it is no longer necessary to think of a lump of meat on a plate - surrounded by vegetables.
A serious re-think is needed here.
There are other ways to eat well, with variations that will be acceptable to the family and will not break the bank.
It's easy when you know how.
Why not start the easy way and try just one meatless day a week?
Scroll down to some of the money saving healthier meals below.
So that it will stay in your mind, how about a Meatless Monday.
With no expensive meat to buy, why not try one of the recipes below?
MONEY SAVING HEALTHIER MEALS
CHEAT'S RISOTTO Definitely one of the money saving healthier meals.
Try a portion of Cheats Risotto (last recipe on the page)with tinned sardines or tuna plus a portion of Pick and Mix Salad - same recipe page - with some beetroot. Keep a bowl of this salad in the 'fridge ready for emergency meals, and the Risotto can be stored in individual portions in the freezer. A meal put together in minutes. This is quick and nutritious and will same money and time.
Along with the Risotto recipe there are others on the same page including Pasta with Tuna, Savoury Omlettes and Tuna Bake for money saving healthier meals.
CRUNCHY LENTIL BAKE
For another one of the money saving healthier meals, fry gently together in a little oil 2 chopped onions and one crushed clove of until transparent. Add 1/2 pint water and a teaspoon Marmite or Vegemite, stir to dissolve. Remove pan from the heat and add 6 ozs. Egyption (orange) Lentils and 3 ozs. grated cheese. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle a further 1 oz. grated cheese mixed with breadcrumbs over the top. This forms a crunchy topping. Bake in a slow oven 300°F/150°C. for 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with a jacket potato which can be cooked at the same time.
If you are a red kidney bean fan, here is a Red Kidney Bean Bake dish that is very versatile and rates as one of the tastiest money saving healthier meals.
RED KIDNEY BEAN BAKE
Fry 2 large onion, chopped in oil until tender/transparent, add two tins (14 oz./400g.) red kidney
beans, one tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or a large squeeze of tomato puree. You can then either mash this mixture with a potato masher or pour it into a food processor for a quick spin. If you go for the food processor, it is easier to empty the tins of beans and tomatoes directly into the mixer along with the onion mix. When adding the tomatoes, because brands vary, reserve some of the juice as you do not want a 'slushy' mix.
You then have these choices:
First of all the 'Pie' option.
Put the mixture into a greased casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes spread neatly to cover the bean mix, top with a layer of grated cheese, if available, and then brown in a moderate over for about 30 mins. until warmed through and browned.
Secondly, use as a stuffing for pancakes or jacket potatoes
OR - stuff a marrow with it and bake in the oven.
The flavour of this mix brings a bland marrow to life and gives you another of our money saving healthier meals to consider.
Potatoes surely rate as one of the best money saving healthier meals around because of their availability and the fact that no great skill is needed to produce a meal.
Both of these dishes - the Crunchy Lentil Bake or the Red Kidney Bean Bake can either be baked in a large dish for a family meal or in smaller, individual dishes for storing away in the freezer for future use. Handy when various members of the family are coming in at different times - hungry - and need of feeding.
This is about the best way to produce another of the money saving healthier meals.
Think of time and energy as well as money when you have a quick, meat free dish to serve to the family.
Don't forget the marvellous standby
CAULIFLOWER CHEESE (CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN)
For another of our money saving healthier meals cut one large cauliflower into sprigs. Place sprigs in a large pan of boiling, lightly salted water and cook for around 10 mins. until tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain, place in a large, flat oven proof dish.
Make a simple cheese sauce by melting 2 oz. butter in a saucepan. When melted gradually stir in 3 tablespoons flow (wholemeal gives a lovely speckled effect). Gradually stir in milk to make a sauce that coats the back of the spoon. The secret is to add the milk slowly, stirring all the time and avoid any lumps forming. Bring to a rolling boil (bubbles across the surface of the sauce. Season to taste and slowly cook for a further 2 mins, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 oz. grated cheese. Don't attempt to add the cheese while the sauce is still on the heat as it may spoil the sauce. Pour this cheese sauce over the cauliflower to completely cover it, then sprinkle some more grated cheese over the surface of the sauce. Cook under a hot grill until nicely browned.
This dish is a real old standby and must be one of the original meat-free money saving healthier meal. It is good served with frozen peas and tomatoes - which for quickness sake can be cooked in the microwave - just slice the tomato in half, place in a dish and cook for around one minute. As a treat, serve the dish with a bowl of potato crisps.
COURGETTE VEGETABLE BAKE
This dish will enable you to provide four vegetables, cooked in one dish to serve with any number of different meals. Possibly taking a short cut and serving it with sliced ham, or a slice of ready cooked quiche, or sausages, in fact anything that requires a vegetable accompanement.
Lightly oil a large ceramic baking dish. Cover the base with a thick layer of thinly sliced potatoes, followed by layers of courgettes, sliced peppers and finally sliced tomatoes (skin removed). Add another thick layer of potatoes season and top with a covering of grated cheese. Cook at 200° C. for 40 minutes. Test vegetables to see that the dish is ready.
OTHER MEAT FREE OPTIONS
If you are really short of time, Tesco do very good Vegetable Spring Rolls - found in the chiller shelves.
There there are smoked mackerel fillets that are good used as another quickie. Let's face it - we all need helping hand at times. Serve either of these items with frozen peas and tomatoes as before. If you have some frozen mashed potatoes in the freezer, then your meal is ready in 10 minutes.
Take 2 onions, thinly sliced and gently fried in a minimum of oil until transparent.
Beat together one small tin evaporated milk and enough full cream milk to make up to 1/2 pint and one large egg. Add chopped parsley or chives to give extra interest if available. Put fried onion rings into the bottom of a flan case, pour the egg/milk mixture over the top and bake at Mark 6. 400°F/180°C for approximately 30 minutes
This dish can be served hot with jacket potato and a green salad, or alternatively with our Pick and Mix Salad.
According to the Institute of Food Research, onions help 'cut the risk of heart disease'.
The first contribution from a reader, and shown below, comes from Julie in Southampton, for which many thanks.
SOYA OR QUORN PASTA
For another money saving healthier meals, cook 500g./1 lb. whole wheat pasta in a saucepan following the manufacturer's instructions. Whilst the pasta is cooking, in a wok or frying pan cook some chopped onions in oil until transparent, add a packet of Soya or Quorn mince along with a can (400g./14 oz.) chopped tomatoes, a heaped teaspoon of tomato puree and a stock cube. If you like, add a spot of garlic pure (or chopped garlic clove) to give the mix extra 'zing'. Cook until the mince is ready. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary. Add this mixture to the cooked pasta. As a pleasant addition touch, sprinkle with chopped parsley or chopped chives and serve.
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