Have you ever sacrificed your food budget to add it to your shoe budget? We’ve all been there (“they were on sale, it would’ve been rude not to…”). Well thankfully we’re here to help with these easy and affordable dinner ideas.
They make the most of filling grains and are topped up with nutritious veggies. And if you make enough for lunch that’s even more shoe money right?!
Spiced Quinoa, Chickpeas, Pumpkin
With pumpkin in season year round and always pretty affordable this dish is set to be a regular hit. Plus with quinoa a little goes a long way – being a good source of protein it’s more filling than regular rice or pasta. Not sure how to cook it? It cooks pretty much like rice and the recipe lists a few different ways you can prepare it. Although they may look it, chickpeas are also great little powerhouses. They provide protein, dietary fibre, iron, magnesium, folate, phosphorous and a number of essential vitamins, along with a rich blend of antioxidants. Click here for the recipe.
Nourish Bowls Offer Infinite Dinner Ideas
We love bowl dinners – you can chow down with a fork, leaving a hand free to scroll. If you are after more healthy meal ideas that don't take over an hour of hard labour in the kitchen, this is for you. This naturally gluten free dinner uses quinoa as a base, but rice (a gluten-free pantry staple) works equally well here. Use this recipe as more of a starting point for throwing together your own nourish bowls, making the most of seasonal (also cheaper) produce and to use up food that otherwise might go to waste! Get the recipe here.
Sorghum Mac & Cheese
Mac and cheese – what a comfort food! This version is a healthier option when compared to the ‘usual’ kind. Fortunately, it’s still an easy pasta recipe that you can whip up after work. Being vegan, the delicious cheesy taste hails from our savoury yeast flakes. The pasta is 100% sorghum, a naturally gluten free ancient grain. It provides important nutrients including protein, dietary fibre and a range of minerals and vitamins. These include B vitamins, iron and zinc. Check out the recipe right here.
Meatless Tomato Sauce
Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan this healthy and super easy pasta dish could be your new dinnertime buddy. When you need to come up with dinner ideas during a busy week, this recipe is a great one you can pre prep. When you get home just add your sauce to some pasta and boom! Dinner is served!
This sauce is still rich, hearty and delectable. With the addition of kale and broccoli: two of the best greens on the market, it ticks the healthy box too. If you haven’t used TVP (Texturised Vegetable Protein) before, this recipe is a seriously good way to use this economical plant based protein. It's dinner super fast, just 5 minutes in the blender, while you cook your pasta. Easy as! Make a double or triple batch and freeze for future dinner time dashes. Make it here.
Creamy Lentils w/ Kale
This healthy recipe idea could also double as a brunch if you wanted to mix things up. With a walk to local to collect some fresh bread and coffee – perfect weekend. Loaded with lentils this meal is a good source of dietary fibre with a low amount of calories. Lentils also contain the highest amount of protein originating from any plant. The amount of protein found in lentils is up to 35%, which is comparable to red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products: more affordable too! You can find the recipe here.
Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Bowls
Love a roast but don’t have time mid-week? Well now you do. This healthy meal pretty much just requires some chopping and tossing some vegetables in the oven for 25 minutes. Roasty carrots, crunchy chickpeas and potatoes combined with paprika, cinnamon and cumin give this meal a fragrant punch: winner winner Moroccan dinner. Check the recipe here.
Simple Pesto Pasta
There’s just something so cool about bright green pasta. You get to eat comforting pasta but it feels healthy and nourishing (probably because it is!) This simple green pasta dish utilizes peas. The humble pea is actually a very good source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and folate. Using peas helps to bulk out and cut down the cost of expensive pesto ingredients, without compromising the taste. Peas, basil and rocket are a match made in heaven. To see for yourself, click the recipe link here.
Buckwheat Salad w/ Sundried Tomato
The last of our healthy dinner ideas is a gluten free salad, the hero of which is buckwheat. It cooks very similar to rice and can you use it like you would couscous. Despite its name, buckwheat is actually not related to wheat. It is related to rhubarb, and the part that people eat is actually best classified as a fruit seed that comes from the buckwheat plant. A single cup of buckwheat has more than 20% of your daily fibre recommendation, and almost no calories – hoorah! Find the recipe here.