IT is not always easy finding food for fussy kids that is filling, healthy and economical.
But here are some recipes that could work for lunch or dinner – and each comes in at less than 85p per person.
Plus, they are easy to make and tasty to eat as well. Enjoy . . .
Pasta with cheese and cauliflower
(Serves four – £2.92 per portion)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 30g butter, plus 10g for greasing
- 50g plain flour
- 700ml milk
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 200g mature cheddar
- Ground white pepper
- 1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 125g pasta (any shape you like)
- 100g extra-mature cheddar
METHOD: Make the sauce by melting the butter in a pan then stir in the flour. While stirring, cook for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan then, very gradually, whisk in the milk to the flour mixture – about 100ml at a time.
Make sure each batch of milk is fully incorporated before you add the next batch of milk to give a smooth sauce. Add the garlic, simmer for 4 minutes, then remove. Add the mustard and the mature cheddar and stir until melted. Season with white pepper. Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
Cook the cauliflower in a large pan of boiling salted water until just tender – about 3-4 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly. Cook the pasta in the same water following the pack instructions. Drain, then rinse under cold water and again thoroughly drain. Carefully mix the pasta and cauliflower with the sauce.
Use the extra 10g of butter to spread around a 20cm x 30cm ovenproof dish. Pour the cheesy pasta mix into the ovenproof dish and scatter with the 100g of extra-mature cheddar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
(Serves four – £3.28 per portion)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
- 8 pork sausages
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 swede, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2tsp dried rosemary
- 500ml chicken stock, hot
METHOD: Heat 1 tbsp oil over a medium heat in a flameproof casserole dish, then brown the sausages. Remove from the pan and add the onions over a low heat for about 10 minutes until they soften.
Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove the onion mix then set aside with the browned sausages. Using the same pan, add another tbsp of oil and fry the root vegetables for 5 minutes until they start to colour, then set aside with the earlier ingredients.
Pour the stock into the casserole dish and bubble until reduced by a third. Return the other ingredients to the casserole dish, then add the tomatoes and rosemary.
Season well, then bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bubble for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Jacket potatoes with refried beans
(Serves four – £2.40 per portion)
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 4 baking potatoes
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 x 400g beans
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp of paprika or cayenne
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Wash and prick the spuds a few times with a fork. Place on an oven rack for an hour, until the skin is crispy. Remove from the oven – but don’t cut them until you are ready to eat, as they will dry out.
For the beans: In a pan over medium heat, add oil and saute the onion, red pepper and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, then drain and rinse the beans. Turn down to a low heat and add the puree, sugar, cumin and paprika/cayenne.
Cover for 10 minutes and check regularly. Turn off the heat. Cut the potatoes and add a dollop of beans to each.
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