Healthy family meals on a budget!
New Zealand's Easiest Family Recipes
Serving healthy food to your family is challenging, especially when you are on a low budget. We have low cost meals for people on a budget with cost saving ideas and budget recipes. They are all healthy eating ideas and are cheap to prepare. Change the recipes to suit your family's tastes and the ingredients you have. Cutting costs on food doesn't mean you have to cut on quality. It's still possible to prepare meals that not only taste great, but are also good for you.
Bread Recipe - How to bake your own bread!

This recipe makes 2 biggish loaves, or 1 loaf and 12 rolls, or 24 rolls.
Time to make:50 minutes plus rising


* 7 cups plain white or high grade flour (use what you have)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 4 teaspoons salt
* 2 sachets instant yeast
* 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine to make warm liquid, not hot:
* 1 1/4 cups hot water
* 1 1/4 cups cold milk

Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.

Stir in the liquid, using more or less liquid as required to make a soft dough. If you add too much liquid, you can knead in extra flour.

Turn the dough onto a floured bench and knead well, stretching and turning the dough for 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth, elastic and satiny. Add flour as required during kneading to prevent the dough sticking. Less and less will be needed as the dough is worked.

Place the dough into a clean greased bowl, flip it over once to grease the top surface of the dough, cover and leave it to rise. I usually place the bowl in a plastic bag, which acts like a greenhouse by trapping warm moist air around the dough, keeping it at the optimum temperature to promote rising. If you have a microwave you can speed the process along by giving the dough 1 minute on low power (10-20%) then allowing it to rest for 10 minutes before repeating with 1 minute on low power. If you don’t have a microwave, set the dough aside in a warm place until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen to double its bulk, knead it lightly and shape as required.

For loaves, divide the dough in 2, roll or press the dough into rectangles slightly longer than the tin. Roll up tightly from the long edge (like a Swiss roll), tuck the ends under and place, with the seam side down, into a well-greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with a clean cloth (or return to its plastic bag).

When it has risen for about 10 or 15 minutes, cut diagonal slashes in the top with a serrated knife.

Leave until doubled then bake at 200°C for around 30 minutes, until golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.


Kaiser rolls
Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece on the bench so it resembles a frankfurter or cigar. Tie into a granny knot and tuck the end underneath. Place on a greased tray. When doubled in size brush gently with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for around 20 minutes.

Wholemeal bread
Substitute up to 1/2 the flour with wholemeal flour and continue as for white bread.

Mixed seed bread
Use 3 cups white flour, 2 cups wholemeal flour and make up 2 cups of mixed seeds. I use a combination of pumpkin, sunflower, linseed, cracked wheat, sesame and poppy seeds. Increase the yeast to 2 1/2 sachets. The dough is much denser than for 'all flour' bread and will not rise as much. The bread is delicious with cheese and lovely toasted if you like dense, seedy breads.

Spicy fruit bread
Use 2 1/2 sachets yeast. Replace sugar with 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup currants, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup mixed peel and 1/2 cup sultanas. Mix into the dry ingredients 3 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice, 3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons all spice and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Use 1/2 cup of oil and add 2 eggs. Reduce liquid to 1/2 cup each water and milk.

Healthy family meals on a budget!