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.
Casserole - how to make a casserole!

A casserole is the easiest thing to cook! Just brown a chicken, put in a casserole dish with stock and loads of veg. I usually use chicken thighs and leave it in the oven on a low heat for about 3 hours. By then, the chicken is so tender, it is falling off the bone! Casseroles typically contain cooked meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and vegetables. They're usually "bound" with some kind of sauce or soup, and often topped with crumbs and/or cheese.


General Directions:
Select food(s) from each category or use your own favorites. Combine in a buttered 2- to 2 1/2- quart casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 F for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or microwave using 50% power for about 15 to 30 minutes, rotating or stirring as necessary. Heat until steaming hot (165 F) throughout.

Starch - select ONE:
* 2 cups uncooked pasta (macaroni, penne, spiral, bow tie),
* 1 cup uncooked long-grain white or brown rice,
* 4 cups uncooked noodles,

Protein - select ONE:
* 2 cups cooked ground beef
* 2 cups cooked and diced chicken, turkey, ham, beef, or pork
* 2 cups chopped hard-cooked egg
* 2 (6 to 8-oz.) cans fish or seafood, flaked
* 2 cups cooked or canned dry beans (kidney, etc.)

Vegetable - select ONE:
* 1 (10-oz.) pkg. thawed and drained frozen spinach, broccoli, green beans, green peas
* 1 (16-oz.) can green beans, peas, carrots, corn, drained
* 2 cups sliced fresh zucchini

Sauce - select ONE:
* 2 cups white sauce or 1 can sauce-type soup (mushroom, celery, cheese, tomato, etc.) mixed with milk to make 2 cups
* 1 (16-oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice

Flavor - select ONE or MORE:
* 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup sliced black olives
* 1 - 2 teaspoons mixed dried leaf herbs (basil, thyme, marjoram, tarragon)
* Salt and pepper to taste

Topping- select ONE or MORE:
If desired after heating, place on top:
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup shredded Swiss, Cheddar, or Monterey Jack cheese
* 1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup canned fried onion rings

Return casserole with topping(s), uncovered, to oven for about 10 minutes or to microwave for about 2 minutes.
Healthy family meals on a budget!