Full disclosure: I’m not the best cook.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got the basic skills down. However, when it comes to multiple ingredients and complex recipes, I’m certainly no Nigella Lawson.
And with the new government restrictions in place, a lot of our livelihoods are currently being affected, meaning we can’t afford to spend as much as we did before on our weekly grocery shop.
That said, whether you’re working from home, still going to work as normal as an essential worker or you’ve been temporarily laid off, these cheap and easy meals will save the day while the majority of the country is in quarantine.
(And still taste absolutely amazing!)
Cheap and easy meals 101: pasta. But not just any pasta — pesto pasta with mouth-watering turkey minced meat.
(Why, turkey? Well, this is basically because I’m intolerant to every other meat. However, even so, this recipe just doesn’t seem to taste the same with anything other than poultry.)
The ingredients include:
I also like to throw other veggies in, such as peas, spinach and bell pepper, depending on what I have in my fridge.
In terms of the method, cook your pasta in one saucepan while you cook the rest of the ingredients in a big frying pan.
When your pasta is done and you’ve drained it, pour it into the big frying pan, mix everything together, season it, serve it — and then sprinkle a bit of mozzarella cheese on top.
Another option is this good ol’ casserole dish that you can prepare and simply whack in the oven, inspired by my American fiancé.
Again, I usually make this with turkey mince, but I used to have it with beef mince before I did an intolerance test! And let me tell you — it is divine.
The ingredients consist of:
All you need to do is cook the onion and brown the mince in a frying pan. Next, add the tater tots, veggies, soup, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and mix it all together.
While you pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, place the cooked mince and onion into the bottom of your casserole dish and then spread out the contents of the mixing bowl on top.
Cover the casserole dish with its lid and put it in the oven for 45 minutes — and voila!
Finally, one of my favourite cheap and easy meals that goes down well in self-isolation is prawn and sweet potato risotto.
(In fact, just thinking about it is making me drool as I type!)
The ingredients include:
To start with, boil your sweet potato in a saucepan while you throw the veggies in a big frying pan. Add your prawns and cook them before pouring in the arborio rice.
Allow the rice to soak up the liquid in the frying pan before adding in a cup of water and the vegetable stock cube.
Let the rice soak up all the water before adding another cup of water. Place the pan on a low heat and keep repeating this process until the rice is soft and edible. (FYI, it usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour.)
Once you’ve drained your sweet potato, place it in the frying pan, add seasoning and mix everything together.
Serve your masterpiece with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on top and prepare your tastebuds for lift-off!
Do you want to know a bonus about these cheap and easy meals? If you cook the whole packet of pasta, mince, tater tots, prawns, rice (etc) like I usually do, it makes a TON of food.
Ergo, you’ll have leftovers for days! Beginner cooks, rejoice.
Either way, be sure to take care of yourselves (and each other) and eat well during this difficult time — even if you’re just chilling around the house — and it’ll be over before we know it.
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