Quick Meals For The Family (On A Budget!)

September 11, 2018

If you’re anything like me, you might find cooking for the family is borderline impossible. I am terrible for it. Especially for me and Anthony. I think “there’s probably nothing in, so we might aswell order something”. That is why I have barely any money and a lot of excess weight to shift.

I went on the hunt for cheap family meals that would be slimming world friendly, and I started up my food instagram account to help others too. On my hunt for ideas I found a few things that worked brilliantly for us all. With a lot of requests to share how they were made, I decided to compile this blog post of four different meals so that you can all get cracking at home:

Pasta & Meatballs

This one is pretty simple, and who doesn’t love meatballs?

  • Buy fresh mince (5% fat or less to be SW friendly) and roll it up into balls in your hands. You can either fry or grill them. At the same time, boil your pasta. When they are both done, mix them together and add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some garlic cloves (or puree) and salt and pepper. Add any side vegetables you like. For little ones, remember to chop the meatballs into smaller parts so they aren’t a choking hazard!

Quorn Chicken Stir Fry

Another success for our family. I absolutely adore quorn chicken, and with it being completely free on slimming world, you are in for a treat!

  • Fry the quorn chicken for around 10-15 minutes until it feels soft (I usually chop a few pieces on half to check if it’s done). I then throw in my stir fry mix. A lot of people may disagree, but I actually find it cheaper and quicker to buy the pre-made stir fry packs as opposed to buying everything fresh, and you can pick them up almost anywhere. Aldi do great ones, as do Asda, and they’re around £1 each. After it is cooked, I either add a pre-made sauce (they are usually full of sugar, so not often) or I will make my own with soy sauce (sw friendly). Make sure you aren’t too generous though, as the soy sauce can be rather bitter if you add too much. I then add my trusty garlic puree (make sure it is 100% garlic with no hidden oil) and some seasoning. Whilst that is coming to an end, I boil my dried egg noodles and serve!

Slow Cooker Quorn Mince Chilli with Rice

A slow cooker favourite of ours, and one that the whole family enjoys. One thing I have found super helpful is having a bag of frozen chopped onion in the freezer – you can find these in Iceland. Whenever I buy a packet of onions I tend to throw at least 2 of them out so it saves on waste and means you can grab as many as you want whenever you need them.

  • Start by turning on your slow cooker to low, and throw in the whole bag of frozen quorn mince. The good thing about using the quorn mince is that it doesn’t need browning first, so it saves time and tastes just as good as normal beef. I then add a whole tin of kidney beans (drain first if they have water in) and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I then add a handful of frozen chopped onions and to top it off I usually throw in a spice packet mix. Tesco do the chilli con carne spice packets for around 50-60p, and that is simply me being lazy, I must admit. If you have all of the spices already in, you can obviously use them. I leave it for around 4 hours, and then I add in a beef stock melt to give it a bit more flavour. If you are a garlic fiend like me, remember to add some puree or garlic seasoning for that lovely taste.
  • For rice I mostly always use microwavable rice packets as they are super cheap. Again you can find these in almost any supermarket.

Chilli & Garlic Chicken with Homemade Egg Fried Rice

A bit different, but another one of our faves. I usually modify this for Oscar as I use quite a bit of chilli on the chicken, so I leave his plain to cook with the rest.

  • Get your diced fresh chicken – you can either buy diced, or chop up fillets yourself. Of course, I prefer to buy diced, because, well… there’s a bit of a theme going on here. Then, I throw it all into a mixing bowl and add some chilli puree and garlic puree (again, make sure you buy one that is 100% garlic/chilli as some have oil in which adds a LOT of calories). I then add a sprinkle of garlic & chilli salt, paprika seasoning and american bbq seasoning, and mix it all together – all of which can be found in Aldi. The seasonings and puree are all free on slimming world, so it is a good healthy way to make your chicken tasty. The puree also helps the seasoning to stick and really gives the chicken an amazing flavour. After this, I put the chicken on the grill and allow it to do it’s thing.
  • For the rice, I use a microwavable packet and microwave it first until cooked. Whilst that is cooking; mix two raw eggs in a bowl/jug thoroughly so it ends up that lovely orangey/yellow colour. Then spray your wok with fry light and first fry off the rice for a little while. Once that has had a little time, add the egg. The egg will start to go a bit like an omelette, so it is important that you remember to stir as much as possible! It might look a bit sloppy at first, but just keep going until it is all dry and cooked through. You don’t want to be eating raw egg.
  • Serve with vegetables of your choice

So there you have it, four quick easy meals that are all budget friendly and suitable for the whole family.
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