Cheap, healthy recipes are the order of the day for most families now. Cheap means less than $1 per portion. Use healthy family recipes to introduce your family to low fat, low sugar and healthy portion size.
Use home-made marinades and sauces wherever you can. They are cheaper and more healthy because you can cut out the sugar and salt that make up a large part of any commercial recipes.
Grow your own herbs to add taste, rather than using salt or stock cubes. Meanwhile, dried herbs are cheap and work well.
Use dried beans instead of tinned ones. The dried ones need a little planning ahead, to soak them, but they contain no salt or sugar.
Cheap and healthy recipes are easier if you can buy your meat at half price or less.
Find out when your local supermarket reduce the prices of short-dated meat and fish. Short dated fish does not taste ANYTHING like fresh or even frozen fish, and it is probably better to use cheap frozen fish and marinade it.
Short dated chicken and turkey should be dated 2 days ahead to avoid meat that has gone off. Short dated pork, lamb and beef will rarely give you any problems, even if bought on the sell-by date. Cook and freeze on the day you buy it for maximum safety.
Never throw away leftover meat and bones; you can probably get another meal out of that chicken carcase, you can certainly use it to make stock.
Buy fresh vegetables that are in season. Never throw away leftover vegetables, put them in the soup next day.
All recipes are for four people. To cook cheap and healthy recipes you need to keep a well-stocked store cupboard of basic ingredients like herbs, balsamic vinegar and canned tomatoes.
Any recipe from any source can be changed to suit what you like and what you have in the cupboard.
Cheap Healthy Lunch Recipes
Store Cupboard Essentials for Cheap, Healthy Lunch Recipes
Dried kidney beans
Dried butter beans
Dried brown lentils
Split red lentils
Dried chopped coriander
Make Your Own Chicken StockChicken stock is the basis of so much healthy cooking, yet lots of people do not know how to make it.
All you have to do is to boil up the chicken carcase or frame when you have cut all the meat off it. Don't use too much water if you want a good tasting stock. Do not add onions, salt or anything else.
Soups make superb lunches
Kidney Bean and Onion Soup
Soak 1 cup of kidney beans overnight. Rinse them until there is no more froth. Boil the kidney beans in 2 cups of stock or water without salt and without stock cubes until soft, about 45 minutes. Add a can of chopped tomatoes and 2 large chopped onions and a clove of garlic and cook for another 30 minutes. Add a good dash of chilli sauce.
Extra ingredients: none
Butter Bean and Zucchini Soup
Soak 1 cup of butter beans overnight. Rinse them until there is no more froth. Boil in 2 cups of unsalted water or stock for 45 minutes. Slice and cook 2 large zucchini on a griddle or health grill, without oil, until they start to go brown. Chop the sliced zucchini and add them to the butter beans. Add 1 chopped onion and boil for 20 minutes.
Extra Ingredients: 2 large zucchini
Brown lentil and mushroom soup
Rinse 1 cup of brown lentils, but there is no need to soak them. Chop the mushrooms. Chop 1 onion. Cook the lentils, onion and mushrooms in 2 cups water or unsalted stock for 30 minutes. Add fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Extra ingredients: mushrooms, fresh parsley
Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with Turmeric
Chop 1 onion and 1/2 pound carrots. Boil 1 cup of split red lentils, the onion and carrots in 3 cups water or stock with a level teaspoonful of turmeric for 1 hour. Add chopped coriander to taste.Green Pea Soup
Chop I onion and 1 potato. Put 1 cup of green split peas in 4 cups of water. Ad the chopped potato and onion and boil for 1 hour. Add bacon scraps or 1/2 can of tuna for variety.
Potato and Leek Soup
4 cups good chicken stock are essential for this soup. Chop 3 potatoes and 2 leeks, including all the green leaves. Boil for 40 minutes,
Extra ingredients: 4 cups chicken stock
Cheap Healthy Dinner Recipes
Store Cupboard Essentials for Cheap, Healthy Dinner Recipes
Green Thai curry paste
Lime jelly or marmalade
Olive oil spray
Dried garlic granules
Marinated and fried white fish
Make a marinade from 1 tablespoon of green Thai curry paste, 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon of lime jelly, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Coat 4 pieces of frozen white fish with the marinade and leave them to thaw out, about 3 hours. Spray a non-stick frying pan with olive oil and heat. Fry the thawed fish fillets, trying to keep as much of the marinade on them as possible. Turn the fish fillets once, after 3 minutes. Serve with potatoes, grilled tomatoes and broccoli.
Extra ingredients: 4 white fish fillets, 1 lime.
Marinated and grilled turkey breast
Make a marinade from 1 tablespoon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic granules, 1 tablespoon of green Thai curry and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Coat 4 turkey breast steaks with the marinade and leave for four hours in the fridge.
Either fry using olive oil spray in a non-stick pan, or cook on a health grill for about 5 minutes. Serve with new potatoes, grilled tomatoes, peas or your choice of vegetables.
Extra ingredients: 4 turkey breast steaks.
Irish Chicken Chow Mein
Boil up a chicken carcase left over from dinner in 1 cup of water. Remove the carcase and leave to cool. Strip all the meat from the carcase and put it on a plate. Put the bones on a separate plate. Boil up the bones with 2 more cups of water for 2 hours. Throw the bones away. Combine the original chicken stock with the weaker stock you just made from the bones.
Chop 1 onion, 3 sticks celery, quarter of a small cabbage and left over vegetables. Put them in the stock with the chicken meat and boil for 20 minutes. Add a good dash of soy sauce and a packet of egg noodles. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve. Add chilli sauce for variety.
Extra ingredients: 1 chicken carcase, celery, cabbage