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Affordable Winter Recipes

Affordable Winter Recipes

Winter is a time when we look for warmth and comfort in every aspect of our lives, including the meals we prepare. Delicious and nourishing winter recipes can be created without breaking the bank, using simple and affordable ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a hearty soup, a comforting stew, or a satisfying pasta bake, there are plenty of options to explore. 

Here are three affordable winter recipes that are not only budget-friendly but also easy to prepare. These recipes prioritise simplicity, exclude unaffordable ingredients, and provide measurements for your convenience.

Let’s dive into these mouthwatering dishes and discover the joys of affordable winter cooking.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is a classic winter dish that is both nourishing and comforting. It’s also a flexible recipe that allows for variations based on personal preferences and available ingredients. 

Chicken soup is not only a comforting and delicious winter dish, but it also offers several health benefits. This timeless remedy has been known for its healing properties for centuries. 

Chicken soup is packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which can support overall health and well-being. The broth of chicken soup is rich in collagen, which can promote joint health and improve skin elasticity. The ingredients, such as onions, carrots, and garlic, provide antioxidants that help boost the immune system and fight inflammation. Additionally, the warm and steamy nature of chicken soup can help soothe a sore throat and clear congested sinuses. 

The combination of these healthful components makes chicken soup a go-to choice for not only warming the body but also supporting immune function and promoting overall wellness.

Here’s a simple and affordable chicken soup recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 liter chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot and add the bay leaf, dried thyme, and chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred the meat. Discard the bones and skin. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
  6. Serve the chicken soup hot and enjoy.

Lentil Stew

Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are budget-friendly. 

Lentil stew is not only a hearty and flavourful winter dish, they also offer numerous health benefits. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The high fibre content in lentils aids in digestion, promotes a healthy gut, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. 

Lentils are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them an ideal choice for vegetarian or vegan diets. They provide essential amino acids and support muscle growth and repair. Additionally, lentils are rich in folate, iron, and potassium, which are important for maintaining energy levels, supporting red blood cell production, and regulating blood pressure. The combination of these health-promoting properties makes lentil stew a nutritious and satisfying meal that can contribute to overall well-being.

They are also versatile and can be used in various recipes. Here’s a simple and affordable lentil stew recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Add the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes (including the liquid), vegetable broth, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve the lentil stew hot and enjoy.

Tuna Pasta Bake with Veggies

A tuna pasta bake is a hearty and satisfying winter dish that can be made with affordable pantry staples. Adding vegetables to the recipe boosts its nutritional value.

Tuna is not only a versatile and delicious ingredient, but it also offers several health benefits. Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, promoting heart health, and supporting brain function.

Tuna is also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and potassium. These nutrients play important roles in maintaining immune function, supporting nerve health, and regulating blood pressure. Incorporating tuna into your diet can provide these healthful components and contribute to a well-rounded and nutritious eating plan. However, it’s important to note that you must be mindful of the mercury levels found in tuna.  Ensure they align with your dietary recommendations and guidelines.

Here’s a simple and affordable tuna pasta bake recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 250g pasta (such as penne or macaroni)
  • 1 can tuna in water, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (such as cheddar or mozzarella)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  4. Add the drained tuna and diced tomatoes (including the liquid) to the pan. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix well, ensuring all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

These affordable winter recipes provide delicious and nutritious options for warming meals during the colder months. They can be easily customised based on personal preferences and are friendly to your budget. Enjoy these comforting dishes while staying cosy during winter.

 

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