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Budget recipes in 7 ingredients or less – Tricks and Tips

Budget recipes in 7 ingredients or less

Making food taste delicious doesn’t always have to cost the earth or send you to the supermarket with a shopping list as long as your arm. In fact, all you need is seven ingredients and around 30 minutes.

As part of our Budget Bites column – where we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month – the below dishes are perfect for time poor cooks on a budget.

We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients, which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.

Shopping list

Roasted aubergine with aglio e olio butter beans

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 aubergine/eggplant

7 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves garlic

800g tinned butter beans (2 tins)

15g fresh parsley

1 lemon

75g hard Italian cheese

Method:

1. Prep the aubergine: Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, then cut each half into 3 wedges lengthways. Tip the wedges onto a large baking tray, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a generous pinch of salt. Give the wedges a good rub to fully coat them, then ensure they are positioned on the baking tray skin-side down.

2. Roast it off: Whack the tray into the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until deep golden brown and soft throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

3. Prep the garlic: Peel and thinly slice 6 cloves of garlic.

4. Fry: Tip the remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium frying pan and place it over a low heat. Add the garlic, then fry slowly for 5-6 minutes, until soft and golden in places. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Add the butter beans: Drain 2 400g tins of butter beans through a sieve over the sink and rinse under cold running water. Finely chop 15g of parsley while you wait for the garlic. Shake any excess moisture from the beans, then tip them into the frying pan with the garlic. Fry the beans, tossing them in the oil to warm them through for 1-2 minutes, then take the pan off the heat.

6: Mix it up: Finely grate over the zest from 1 lemon, squeeze in its juice and chuck in the parsley. Give everything a toss and season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Get cheesy: Once the aubergine is ready, finely grate 75g of hard cheese over the wedges.

8. Serve: Divide the beans between plates and lower 3 aubergine wedges onto each. Tuck in!

Crispy shallot fried eggs with gochujang udon

A fried egg with crispy, onion-y edges is the perfect complement to these spicy noodles

(Sorted Food)

Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

200g echalion shallots

2 heads pak choy

600g straight to wok udon noodles

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp gochujang

1 tbsp tahini

2 large eggs

Method:

1. Prep the shallots and pak choy: Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil, this will be for the noodles and pak choy later. Halve, peel and very thinly slice 200g of shallots. Shred 2 heads of pak choy.

2. Cook the noodles and pak choy:Chuck 600g of noodles into a large mixing bowl with the pak choy and a generous pinch of salt. Once the kettle has boiled, tip enough water into the bowl to cover the noodles and pak choy fully. Cover with a plate and leave to cook for 5-6 minutes while you get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps. Once ready, the noodles should be soft and pliable.

3. Fry the shallots: Tip 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a medium frying pan and place it over a high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer and loosen, tip in ¾ of the shallots and season with a pinch of salt. Fry for 6-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until light golden and nearly crisp. Dress the noodles in the next step while you wait.

4. Dress: Once the noodles and pak choy have softened, drain them through a colander over the sink and tip them back into the bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of gochujang, 1 tablespoon of tahini and a pinch of salt. Toss everything together and loosen with a splash of hot water from the kettle if necessary.

5: Fry the eggs: Once the shallots are ready, carefully crack in 2 eggs. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks still have a wobble – the shallots should become deep golden brown in this time.

6: Serve: Divide the noodles between bowls, lower an egg and some crispy shallots onto each portion, then top with the remaining raw shallots. Tuck in!

Spiced courgette frittata with parsley salad

This twist on an Italian favourite packs its own heat

(Sorted Food)

Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

2 courgettes/zucchini

200g echalion shallots

6 tbsp olive oil

4 large eggs

1 tsp ground cumin

45g fresh parsley

1 lemon

Method:

1. Prep the courgettes: Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut 2 courgettes in half lengthways, then cut each half crossways at 0.5cm intervals. Halve, peel and thinly slice 200g of shallots.

2. Fry: Tip 3 tablespoons of olive oil into an oven-proof medium frying pan and place it over a high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer and loosen, tip in the courgettes, ¾ of the shallots and a pinch of salt. Fry for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden in places and any moisture has evaporated. Get on with the next steps while you wait.

3. Beat the eggs: Beat 4 eggs in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of cumin and a generous pinch of salt. If you are still waiting for the courgettes, now would be a great time to get on with a bit of washing up.

4. Mix it up and fry: Once the courgettes are ready, tip them into the bowl with the eggs in two stages, beating well after each addition – this is to avoid the eggs from crambling too much. Add another 2 tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and place it back over a medium-high heat. Return the mix to the pan. Fry for a further 1-2 minutes, undisturbed, until light golden on the underside.

5. Bake: Whack the whole pan in the oven and bake the frittata for 4-5 minutes, until it has no wobble. Get on with the salad in the next step while you wait.

6. Make the salad: Roughly pick the leaves from 45g of parsley straight into a large mixing bowl. Finely grate over the zest from 1 lemon, squeeze in its juice and drizzle in the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Add the remaining raw shallots from earlier and toss everything together, season to taste with salt.

7. Serve: Once the frittata is ready, flip it onto your chopping board, cut into wedges and serve on plates alongside the herb salad.

Recipes from Sidekick, which publishes a wide choice of ‘Smarter Recipe Packs’, each containing three awesome recipes that work together to make sure nothing is wasted. The app then provides a full shopping list of ingredients to buy – you choose where, so you can shop local or online. These are used multiple times across the dishes, meaning users are left with zero food waste at the end of the week. Subscriptions start at £4.99 per month. Head to sortedfood.com/sidekick find out more.