31 Aug

Written by Kayleigh on August 31, 2016

family dinner

When you’re on a tight budget, providing healthy filling meals for your family can be tricky and can often end in the same meals being repeated throughout the week. With the cost of meat also rising, doing things such as choosing the cheaper cuts and getting creative can make all the difference.

I’ve worked out this meal plan for a family of four for seven evening meals. Each portion is just £1.40 per meal, costing just over £40 for the week’s shop.

These meals include:
• Homemade fish and chips with minty mushy peas
• Sticky sausage and potato salad
• Club sandwich pasta
• Beef and noodle stir fry
• Make your own KFC with homemade chips, corn on the cob, beans and coleslaw
• Corned beef and chorizo hash with fried eggs
• Honey and Cajun sticky pork belly with homemade chips and salad
These are all tried and tested by my family and me and they are all very tasty. Why not give them a try and see what you think.

Sticky sausage and potato salad
A deliciously warm and tasty salad with a sweet and tangy flavour. It’s easy and quick to make. It is also great to refrigerate and eat the next day too.
Serves 8
• 375g sausages
• 1tbsp of course grain mustard, plus some for the dressing
• 2tbsp clear honey
• 600g baby potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
• 2tbsp olive oil
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 75g light mayonnaise
• 2tbsp fat free Greek style yoghurt
1. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6. Put the sausages in a large roasting tin and cook for 12 minutes.
2. Mix 1tbsp of the mustard with the honey. Pour over the sausages and stir to coat them. Return to the oven for another five to seven minutes or until sausages are cooked through.
3. Remove the sausages from the oven and place the sausages on a plate. Leave to cool slightly then cut them into 1cm pieces.
4. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, drain and place in a bowl.
5. Drizzle some oil over the potatoes, season to taste with some salt and pepper and toss.
6. Add the red onion to the potatoes and leave to cool slightly.
7. Mix the mayonnaise with 1tbsp of mustard and the yoghurt. Stir into the potatoes and add the sausages.
8. Serve and enjoy.

Club sandwich pasta

This is a twist on the classic club sandwich. It’s fresh, delicious and easy to make.
Serves 4
• 300g pasta
• 4tsp sunflower oil
• 40g breadcrumbs
• 125g unsmoked gammon round, diced
• 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
• 350g cherry tomatoes, halved
• 150g cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
• 150g 50% less fat light soft cheese
1. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until soft.
2. Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs and stir over a medium heat until golden brown. Put them into a bowl. Wipe your pan with kitchen roll.
3. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan and add the gammon pieces. Cook for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Add the spring onions and tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, until just soft.
4. Add the chicken pieces and heat through. Set aside and keep warm.
5. Drain the pasta but reserve 3tbsp of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan and add the cooking water and the soft cheese and stir gently.
6. Add the gammon mixture and toss.
7. Divide between 4 bowls and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
8. Serve and enjoy.

Beef noodle stir-fry

This is tasty, cheap and quick to cook. For those evenings when time is of the essence this is perfect.
Serves 4

• 250g egg noodles
• 2tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 pack of frying steak, trimmed as cut into strips
• 250g mushrooms
• 2 red peppers, sliced
• 2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced
• 4 spring onions, sliced
• Stir-fry sauce of your choice


1. Put a pan on to boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook for a few minutes until soft. Drain, put into a large bowl and toss with a little bit of oil.
2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and fry for a few minutes on each side. Remove from pan and slice in strips. Add this to the noodles.
3. Add a little more oil to your pan and stir-fry the vegetables for about four minutes.
4. Return the beef and noodles to the pan with the vegetables, add your sauce, stir-fry over a high heat until really hot.
5. Serve and enjoy.

Make your own KFC
This is a fantastic and fun recipe to make. If you have the spices then it’s a brilliantly cheap thing to have for dinner. If you don’t have them to hand, you do have the slightly extra expense but the next time will be a lot cheaper and they will last for ages.
Serves 4
• Assorted chicken pieces (I had enough mix for 15 pieces and some mini fillets)
• Oil for frying
• 1 egg white
• 1-2 cups of plain flour
• 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon of salt
• Spice mix: 1 tablespoon of paprika,
2 teaspoons of onion salt,
1 teaspoon of chilli powder,
1 teaspoon of black pepper,
half teaspoon of celery salt, half teaspoon of dried sage, half teaspoon garlic powder, half teaspoon of ground allspice, half teaspoon of dried oregano, half teaspoon of dried basil and half teaspoon dried marjoram
1. Using a deep fat fryer or heavy pan add the oil and pre­heat
2. Mix your spices together
3. Combine the spice mix with the flour, brown sugar and salt
4. Separate the egg white into a separate bowl
5. Place the chicken pieces into the egg white lightly coating, then dip them into the spice flower mix making sure the chicken is really coated
6. Let the chicken pieces rest for five minutes so the crust has chance to dry slightly
7. Fry the chicken in batches allowing them to cook for 10 to 20 minutes per batch,
depending on the size of the chicken pieces
8. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the fryer and drain. Always check the chicken is cooked thoroughly
9. Serve with corn on the cob, coleslaw, beans and some home­made chips for the real KFC experience and enjoy.

Homemade beer battered fish and chips with minty mushy peas
This is tastier and healthier than what you would get at the chip shop and a fraction of the price. I decided to use Pollock instead of Cod as it was a fraction of the price and it ended up tasting just as nice.
Serves 4
• 4 large white potatoes
• 400g frozen peas
• 6 fresh mint leaves
• 4tbsp reduced fat creme fraiche
• 275g self raising flour
• 325ml chilled lager
• Sunflower oil for frying
• 4 pieces of Pollock fillets
• Salt
and pepper
1. Preheat oven. Peel and cut potatoes into thick chips and place in a bowl, drizzle with a little bit of oil, add salt and pepper and toss. Place on two baking trays and place into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
2. While your chips are cooking, bring the peas and fresh mint to the boil for approximately 5 minutes. Drain and place into a bowl, add the creme fraiche and blitz with a hand held blender until you have a rough texture. Add salt and pepper and place them on a warm side, keeping them warm until ready to serve.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the lager. Your batter should have the consistency of double cream.
4. Pour your sunflower oil into a large pan. You need enough that it will cover the fish (I used a large pan and one bottle of oil). Heat until a small drop of batter sizzles and turns brown when dropped in.
5. Sprinkle both sides of your fish with flour. This helps the batter to stick to the fish. Shake off any excess flour and dip into the batter, coating thickly.
6. Carefully drop the piece of fish into the hot oil and fry for 8 to 10 minutes. I turned mine over half way to ensure both sides had browned. Once cooked remove from the oil and place on a plate to rest while you repeat this process for the rest of the fish fillets.
7. Once everything is cooked it’s time to serve and enjoy.

Corned Beef and Chorizo Hash with fried egg
This recipe is simple and straightforward but it is tasty, filling and very satisfying to eat.
Serves 4
• 1 tin of corned beef
• 2 tins of new potatoes
• 1 onion
• A couple of spring onions
• 4 eggs
• Chorizo (to taste)
1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the spring onion and cook until soft.
2. Add the potatoes and crush using the back of a fork. Spread them out over so they cover the bottom of the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes until a golden crust begins to form. Turn and repeat until all sides of the potato are golden.
3. Add the corned beef, chorizo and spring onions and cook on a low heat.
4. While that’s cooking, fry the eggs in a little oil until cooked but with a runny yolk.
5. Divide the hash between four plates and place your eggs on top. Serve with a dashing of your favourite sauce and enjoy.

Honey and Cajun Sticky Belly Pork with homemade chips and salad

Honey and Cajun Sticky Belly Pork with homemade chips and salad
This tasty sticky recipe with homemade chips is quick and simple and so tasty.
Serves 4
• Belly Pork
• Honey
• Cajun seasoning
• Potatoes
• Splash of oil for the chips
• Salt and pepper
• Your choice of salad
1. Preheat the oven. In a big bowl place your pork belly slices and add some honey and cajun seasoning and leave to marinade while you prepare the chips.
2. Peel and slice the potatoes and place in a large bowl, add a splash of oil and some salt and pepper and toss gently. Place them on a baking tray and put in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Place the belly pork on a baking tray, pour over the remaining marinade and put in the oven along with the chips.
4. Once your chips and belly pork are nearly ready prepare your salad and place on the plates.
Finally, add your chips and belly pork and serve with your favourite sauce.

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