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cheap family dinner recipes Lock Rss

Hi girls. Just wondering if anyone has any great cheap family recipes they could share? I would love to learn how to cook a few good meals on a budget & I thought, who better to ask than the expert mums? hehe anyways, any thoughts would be great! Thanks girls!
what sorta things you interested in??
I wouldnt mind some different recipes either, my DP mum was a meat n 3 veg cook so DP is soooo boring some times!!

I think we all want ideas for dinner that are heathly, cheap and quick to put together. I agree meat and 3 vegies does get a bit boring. I will post some ideas shortly, just need to put Gabriella to bed.


Anything really. We both pretty much eat most things. However, we do both like spicy food & seafood but, Ive had to give them up for a while coz it gives poor Hudson the runs bad. To be honest, Ive been with my partner Kurt for just over 6yrs now & in that time, I think Ive only ever really cooked about a dozen times. Bad huh? Im not a bad cook or anything, its just that Ive been out of practice for too long. Although I have learnt how to make the main dishes Kurt used to make, Im getting really bored with them. He would make things like; spaghetti bolognaise. Pork roast with roast pumpkin, potatoes & carrots. Chilli prawns with sour cream. Savoury mince. Butter chicken etc. All really nice but, not too good on the waistline!
Now that Ive got all this excess post baby fat, I really want to try & eat healthily. My sisters just sent me the CSIRO total wellbeing diet book so, I might have a look through there & see what I can find too. If I find anything good, I'll let you all know.
Here's a couple of recipes Ive tried out recently that taste pretty good & are fairly cheap to make:

Sautéed Chicken with Orange Yoghurt Sauce

1.5kg chicken breast or thigh fillets, diced
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup Chicken stock
½ cup Port wine
1 ½ tsp salt
Pinch Cayenne pepper
Rind of 1 orange, cut into fine strips
2 tbs Cornflour
1 tbs water
2 Oranges, cut into segments
½ cup plain yoghurt

Sauté or fry chicken portions in oil for 10 mins until golden brown colour. Add chicken stock, port wine, salt, cayenne pepper & orange rind. Simmer chicken gently for 30 mins. Remove chicken to a platter & keep hot. Blend the cornflour with water & slowly add to cooking liquid. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 mins. Stir in the orange segments & yoghurt. Reheat gently, don’t boil, & pour over chicken pieces.

Serve with steamed rice or Hokkien noodles

Really nice flavour but very rich. So, definately need something fairly bland like rice to calm it a little.

Chicken with Apricots
1.25 kg chicken
60g margarine
¾ cup chopped onion
2tbs cornflour
470g Apricot nectar
½ tsp salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
¾ cup dried Apricots
½ cup sliced green capsicum
½ cup plain yoghurt

Cut chicken into serving size portions & sauté in margarine until brown on both sides. Remove chicken from pan. Fry onions in remaining marg for a few minutes. Blend cornflour with apricot nectar until smooth. Gradually add to pan, stirring until sauce boils & thickens. Add salt, cayenne pepper, chicken portions & dried apricots. Cover and simmer gently for 45 mins or until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally. Add green capsicum & cook for a further 5 mins. Stir in yoghurt & reheat without boiling.

Serve with steamed rice


My all time favourite which is quick and easy and healthy is the old tuna/chicken pasta bake in the oven. Just get the jar of the sauce and then cook pasta, the chicken (or open the tuna tim) and throw in some chopped up fresh veg or tinned veggies and then just throw it all in the oven. (the sauce directions are more in detail).

The over favourite is doing a similar thing as the above but instead of using pasta, use rice then you get a stew slushy type dinner which all can eat including baby (if your little one is up to eating that sort of stuff as you).

A huge omlette with softened or grated veggies then in the oven with cheese on top also quite tasty, filling and cheap.

hope this helps and happy eating!
hey there! Thanks so much for that, they sound like awesome ideas! I especially love the omlet idea!

Come on girls! I thought this'd be something that all mums would be interested in swapping ideas about! Arent we all trying to make creative, different meal ideas for our families no matter how big or small?
I know I am!
I was thinking of another recipe that my partner taught me a while ago. Its a pasta salad that can be served hot or cold. Its really simple to make too but, it can get a little expensive with the sauces.

All you do, is boil a heap of multi coloured pasta spirals (around 500-800g) then drain & add strips of fried bacon & sliced capsicum in a big bowl. Then add a bottle of thousand Island dressing aswell as a bottle of potato salad dressing. Mix well & there ya have it! Yummy, yummy pasta salad! I tell you what, I was hooked on this stuff for ages!
Gotta be careful though coz, it aint exactly ultra healthy but, oh soooo good! hehe enjoy!
man! I just spent ages writing out recipies and the computer turned off as I was previewing!.

ok. here we go

frugal flour tortillas
2 and 1/2 cups of flour
1tsp baking powder
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
about 3/4 cup of warm water

mix dry ingredients together in bowl or food processor. slowly add oil and enough warm water to form a soft dough.
divide dough into 10-12 peices, roll out so they are round, and about 20cm across. cook in hot oiled pan for 30-60secs until they start bubbling and go a little brown.
cover with damp tea towel to keep soft. to re-warm, put in tin foil and warm in oven

these are really easy to make, and freeze well so can make extra for another day. some filling ideas are: left over curry and rice, hasbrowns-scrambled eggs-salsa, meat and salad.

BBQ spagetti and meatballs
mix together mince, finely chopped parsley and spring onions, with egg. roll into balls and bake in oven. if using cheap mince and want it to be lower fat, put baking tray on a angle when they are finished to drain excess fat away.

cook spaghetti, drain the water away, add a tin of the watties flavoured tomatoes (I use 1 tin of homestyle tomatoes and some smoky bqq sauce normally- they have a bbq tomatoes, but havent tried that).add meat balls to it and mix up. and your done. my little 19mo loves this meal to bits.
can add a little grated cheese to the top if you like too.

Sushi suprisingly enough most kids love the stuff.
you can pick up a sushi making kit from the supermarket if it's the first time you've made it, or look on the net as how to make it and buy ingredients seperately.
it is really easy and pretty cheap. great way to get littles to eat a few raw veggies. [/green]

Pancake Night
we have a pancake night once a week at our place, usually saturday. pancakes are so cheap to make and very yummy.
here is a recipie for a diffrent type- scottish pancakes. I love these.

1 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
2 tsp of baking powder
30grams melted butter
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

mix all ingredients together, sift dry ones if you can be bothered. you may need to add a little more milk to make it into a dropping consistency. cook as normal pancakes.
this one recipe makes enough for a family of three(2 adults,1 child) so adjust according to your family.

pancake topping ideas:
chopped banana mixed up with yoghurt
bacon and maple syrup (banana too if you like it)
sugar and lemon juice
maple syrup (you can make your own "maple syrup": simmer 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water together until sugar is dissolved- a bit longer to make a bit thicker. add 1 tsp vanilla essence at end. store in squeeze bottle or empty jam jar.
another idea is to cook rasins in with the oaty pancakes, thats nice too.

another cheap idea is bread scrolls. make a big batch of basic bread dough (look on the net, or most recipie books have one in).after rising the dough,knock down,roll out the dough into a big square, not too thin. I sometimes like to seperate the dough and make sweet and savoury(mains and dessert, also they freeze great for easy lunches). add the fillings, roll up, cut into slices, place on tray, rise again, I like to brush with a little milk before baking as it makes them look a bit better, and then bake in the oven. at about 200(C).
here are some filling ideas:
(sweet) chopped banana, chocolate chips, melted butter
(sweet) cinnamon, rasins, melted butter, brown sugar(cooked apple is also nice in these)
(sweet) flaked almonds, finely sliced apricots, melted butter
the sweet ones are sometimes nice with a little drizzle of chocolate or flavoured icing on the top as a special treat.

(savoury) spaghetti and cheese
(savoury) marmite, cheese and bacon
(savoury) a tomato sauce of some sort, ham/bacon, pinapple, cheese,finely sliced onions and chopped tomatoes.

Hope these are helpful. Might write some more down later.
Have a good day xx Holly
We eat alot of Tacos, Schnitzel and chips and veg, pasta and potato bake, BBQ and salad, Steak Sangas, Stir frys, Roasts n veg, Fish, Home made Burgers...

Very rarely do we have traditional mix veg or meat n 3 veg...My kids prefer salads over hot veg...and they love roasted veg. My kids also like home made chips... and sweet potato chips!

I dunno how healthy it all is cos I have never had a weight problem but my kids eat it which is good as my DS is very fussy.

Mummy to 3 little goblins

wow, thanks so much ladies! Thats exactly the sort of thing I was after! I love the idea of the sweet potato chips! What a cool idea. Not to mention the bread scrolls & Sushi! Im an absolute sucker for sushi! The worst part was, I fully craved it when I was preggers but, was told I couldnt eat it til after bubs was born. You know what I'd love to do as a treat one day? Go to that sushi train place on Jetty Rd at the Bay. I remember walking past there when I was preggers & litteraly salivating! hehehe
Anyways, thaks so much for the recipe ideas girls, they're fantastic! Keep em coming!
I'm always trying out new recipes and find that the website is great. There are different meal sections including budget and kid friendly which are really helpful. If you join up you can save any recipes you find into your cookbook and then you have them there when you want them. This website contains all the recipes from Super Food Ideas, Australian Good Taste, Delicious etc etc magazines.
One recipe we had this week that we all loved was turkish pizzas. Cook about 500g lamb mince in a frypan with one diced onion and and then add one diced tomato and a small diced red capsicum with some salt and pepper. This should all up take about 10 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup thick plain yoghurt with a tablespoon of chopped parsley, s & p in a bowl. Next cut a turkish bread (I used the woolworths bake at home kind) in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half crosswise (so you have four flat pieces) Spray both sides of bread with oil then cook on a chargrill pan (or under the griller like i did) until golden. Then just top each piece of bread with the mince mixture and a dollop of the yoghurt mixture.

Another recipe I've just found my 16 month old absolutely loves is like a chow mien stir fry using mince (chicken or beef) then just add whatever veggies you like (he loved the cabbage!) and I used soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and a bit of honey (the spc plum sauce is also nice) Then just serve it with rice.

Also, risottos can be a fairly inexpensive idea, there's plenty of recipes on the website I mentioned, and you can do a search for the ingredients you want to use (say chicken and mushrooms) and it will give you all the recipes with those items in them.

Anyway, hope this helps a bit.
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