What are the best affordable, healthy meal ideas for fast cooking?
Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash
Buying food is one of the most expensive parts of life, so many families literally eat through the majority of their income. But you can eat well on a limited budget without sacrificing taste and flavor.
There are plenty of cheap and cheerful homemade meals you can make that have very few ingredients and don’t take too long. Try out this collection of familiar, comforting meals that are healthy, tasty, wholesome, and relatively inexpensive to make.
You won’t need anything too extravagant to make some awesome chicken fajitas, which should only take about 20-30 minutes to make. Simply throw some onions, peppers, mushrooms, and chicken into a pan with some fiery spices, while heating up some corn tortillas in the oven. If you’re really hungry you can add some beans with rice on the side, and then top it all off with some in-season avocado. Serve up to 3 people with this dish, or you can save the leftovers as meal prep for the rest of the week.
Related: 4 Easy Cooking Recipes to Make with Young Children
Homemade stovetop mac n’ cheese
Like a warm hug that’s all wrapped up in a cozy sweater, mac n’ cheese is unmatched in its ability to provide comfort and satisfy, especially on those chilly winter nights. While frozen and boxed varieties make it impossibly simple to prepare, the homemade stovetop version is certainly well worth the extra effort.
While you’re boiling some past, whisk some milk and flour together in a separate pot, adding some pepper and sugar to taste, with about a teaspoon of salt. Add and mix some shredded cheese until it’s melted, pour it all over the pasta, and it’s ready to plate up! If you and your kids love eating mac n’ cheese, you’re sure to love this one.
Related: 13 Plant-Based Recipes for Your Family to Enjoy
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
An inexpensive yet delicious meal that’s also ridiculously easy to prepare is grilled cheese toasties with creamy tomato soup. Not only is it comforting on a cold and rainy day, but you can change ingredients to suit your mood or your diet with different slices of bread, your favorite cheese, and additional bacon or tomato slices if you like. After grilling your toastie on the frying pan until golden brown with melted cheese, making the soup is just as easy. Plus, this meal can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.
Chuck some fresh eggs into a frying pan and scramble them up with some cheddar cheese and vegetables like onions, peppers, and mushrooms. The veggies make the eggs taste a whole lot better and keep you feeling fuller for longer, while also providing some much-needed carbs for a little extra boost of energy. So not only is it cheap and super nutritious, but it’ll also get you fuelled up and ready to go in no time at all.
You can take this principle of adding vegetables into the mix to make your meal stretch further for your pets too. Go homemade, consider ingredients rather than brands, and fill them up with healthy vegetables that are in season and a fair price. There’s a great article that explains this further on Tail and Fur.
One of the most authentic Asian dishes you can make, rice is a diverse meal that almost pairs with anything, from rice and beans to chicken over rice. The always iconic stir fry is one of those easy meals that are cheap and is suitable for families and singles alike. If you and your family usually eat white rice, it’s worth making the switch to brown after a study found that eating 50 grams of brown rice per day instead of white lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 16 percent.
And not only are there more nutritious health benefits, but it also costs around about the same. You can also try using cauliflower rice, which you can either buy frozen from the supermarket or make it yourself by roughly chopping up the head of cauliflower and throwing it in a blender. Whichever rice you choose to combine with vegetables or spices, this is one delicious meal you can enjoy at any time, even when you can’t afford to spend much on other costly ingredients.
Something completely different
Don’t want to have to figure out what’s for dinner every day? There is one other option! For something really different, consider booking a private chef to your home using Gathar, who can add a little spice to these simple recipes. It saves you time and energy, and you’ll enjoy delicious, professionally cooked meals! What more could you ask for?