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How to cook on a budget: Five cheap and delicious meals in under 45 minutes

You can’t live off pot noodles forever

We are all guilty of getting into the vicious cycle of having a pot noodle for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But cooking really doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. Here are five quick and easy recipes you can make after a long day that are both nutritious and delicious.

So time to dust off those kitchen tongs and try something new, and with calorie and cost per serving with each recipe you won't have to worry about breaking the bank.

The chicken noodle stir fry that's perfect for meal prep

(1 serving)

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• 2 cloves of garlic

• A thumb sized piece of ginger

• 1 red pepper

• A handful of mushrooms

• 1 tbsp of oil (i used rice bran)

• 1 chicken breast

• 200g egg noodles

• Handful of kale

To top (optional):

• Chilli flakes

• Cashews

• Sesame seeds


1. Peel and dice your finger and garlic into small pieces

2. Cut the chicken into strips

3. On a separate board cut the pepper and mushrooms into strips

4. Boil the noodles in a saucepan for 4 mins and then drain and leave a side

5. Heat a pan very hot with a tablespoon of oil and add the ginger and garlic

6. Add the chicken and soy sauce quickly after and cook for 6 mins

7. Add the vegetables and cook until soft

8. Finally add the noodles and make sure they're coated in soy sauce

9. Serve with cashews and sesame seeds

Calories per serving : 570

Price per serving: £5.50

The cheap and healthy version of your Friday fix of fish and chips

(1 Serving)


• 10g flour

• 1 cod Loin

• 30g butter

• 1 sweet potato

• 1 tbsp of olive oil

• Pinch of salt and pepper

• 2 handfuls of Frozen peas

• Fresh basil

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1. Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius

2. Cut your sweet potatoes into wedges- peel beforehand if you prefer without skin

3. Place the wedges on baking tray and pour over about 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, then season with salt and pepper- cook in the oven for 25 mins

4. Take out a plate, and spread some plain flour out on the plate, then coat your cod loin in flour.

5. Heat up a knob of butter in a frying pan and place your cod in, leave it for 3 mins on each side

6. For your peas, boil some water in a sauce pan, and put in your frozen peas. Boil them for 5 mins at most

7. Drain the peas and add some salt, pepper and some chopped basil

8. Mash the peas to the consistency you like with either a hand whisk or a potato masher

Calories per serving: 506

Price per serving: £3.24 per serving

Veganuary might be over but you have to try this creamy vegan tomato pasta

(4 servings)

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• 3 medium tomatos

• 1/2 of a large onion or 1 small one

• 3 cloves of garlic

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• Salt and pepper

• A small handful of cashews or half a cup

• 400g of a pasta of your choice

• Fresh basil


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius

2. Quarter the tomatoes, roughly chop the onions and peel the garlic, and then put them all on a baking tray with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

3. Cook for 20 mins

4. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil, then add the pasta, cook for 8-9 mins depending on how soft you like it

5. Get your veggies out of the oven and remove the skin from the tomatoes, then carry on roasting for a further 10 mins

6. Boil your cashews for 10 mins in a saucepan

7. Remove your veggies from the oven and put them in a blender with your boiled cashews

8. Add the sauce to the pasta and top with fresh basil and black pepper

Calories per serving: 333

Price per serving: £1.16

The real comfort food contender to your trusty pot noodle – sweet potato fritters with poached egg and smashed avocado

(Serves 4)


• 1 sweet potatoes (peeled and grated)

• 2 eggs

• 2 tsp olive oil

• 1/2 ripe avocado

• Salt and pepper to season

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1. Beat one egg in a bowl and then add the grated sweet potato, one tsp of olive oil and season

2. Make two balls out of the mixture with your hands

3. Heat a frying pan with a tsp of olive oil so that it’s very hot and add the fritters. Cook until golden on both sides

4. Boil some water in a sauce pan, and then turn the heat down. Break an egg into the water and leave for around 3 mins. Then remove with a slotted spoon

5. Cut up the avocado and mash in a bowl using a fork with some salt and pepper.

6. Place the avocado on top of the fritter and then add the egg.

Calories per serving: 514

Price per serving: £1.30

And last but not least, calling out to those of you with a sweet tooth, these protein packed fudge Oreo brownies

(8 Servings)


• 200g mashed bananas

• 200g smooth peanut butter

• 2 scoops of either vanilla or chocolate protein powder

• 3 tbsp cocoa powder

• 8 oreos

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1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius

2. In a large mixing bowl mix your banana, peanut butter, protein and cocoa powder making sure there aren’t any lumps

3. Break up all your oreos and add half into the mixture

4. Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray and add the rest of the oreos to the top

5. Bake for 20mins and then leave to cool before slicing

Calories per serving: 231

Price per batch: £3.73

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