Credit crunch family meals for £5 or less

I have a cupboard full of canned vegetables. They are ideal for zizzing up pasta sauces, adding to omelettes, pouring over chicken breasts with a cup of cheese to make that breast so much more exciting.

Green Giant sweet corn is one of my favourite staples – it’s so versatile, it requires no cooking or preparation, making it the ultimate store cupboard product. I hate waste and fresh veg can often spoil when I have an anxiety attack and struggle to eat. With Green Giant sweet corn, you don’t need to compromise. Just 80g (three heaped tablespoons) counts towards one of your five a day, something we all need! Sweet corn is also a real favourite of kids too, meaning even less wastage.

Why not try these four special credit crunch recipes and feed a family of four a deliciously nutritious, warming meal this season for as little as 64p per portion or less than £2.60!!

Magnificent Macaroni Cheese

Serves 4
Under £2.55 for 4 portions
Contains 2 portions of vegetables per portion
Ready in 40 minutes

200g macaroni
350g broccoli florets
340g can Green Giant Sweetcorn, drained
40g butter
40g plain flour
600mlt semi-skimmed milk, warmed
1 tsp English mustard (optional)
175g strong cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Cook the macaroni in a large pan salted water for 5 minutes, cut the broccoli into small florets add to the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes until the macaroni and broccoli are just tender. Drain, and turn into the ovenproof dish

3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring over a medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring well after each addition. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, add the mustard if using and season with salt and pepper. Add three quarters of the cheese, stir until the cheese has melted.

4. Add the sweet corn and pour into the dish, fork the sauce through the pasta and broccoli. Scatter the remaining cheese on top, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the dish is bubbling and the top is golden.

Estimated cost for 4 portions: £2.53

Easy Peasy Vegetable Risotto

Serves 4
Under £3.00 for 4 portions
Contains 2 portions of vegetables per portion

400g broccoli
1.2 L vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g risotto rice
198g can green Giant Sweet corn, drained
8 triangles (140g) Laughing cow cheese

1. Cut the florets from the stalk of the broccoli, cut the florets into small pieces.

2. Pour the stock into a large pan and bring to simmer, leave on a low heat.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion over a medium heat until golden and softened. Add the garlic and rice and cook for a further minute.

4. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and boil until the liquid has been absorbed. Pour in half of the remaining stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed, stirring from time to time.

5. Add the raw broccoli florets to the risotto with the remaining stock, drained sweet corn and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until the liquid has almost been absorbed and the rice is tender but still has a sloppy consistency. Add a little extra stock if needed.

6. Add the soft cheese and stir over a low heat until the cheese has melted. Season if needed

Estimated cost for 4 portions: £2.95

Ham and Sweet Corn Pie with Potato Crust

Serves 6
Under £4.80 for 4 portions
Contains portions of vegetables per portion
Ready in 1 hour

450g potatoes, peeled
75g self-raising flour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed
25g butter
150g diced ham
198g can Green giant Sweet corn, drained.
2 large eggs
150ml single cream
40g mature cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Cut the potatoes into chunks and cook in lightly salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain well then return to the pan and mash. Add the flour and 2 tablespoons of the oil and mix together to form into dough. Turn into a 23cm/9” round shallow dish and press the dough evenly into the base and sides. Brush the surface with the remaining oil then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the edge begins to crisp.

3. Meanwhile prepare the filling, discard most of the dark green part of the leeks, cut in half lengthways and wash well. Cut into 3mm slices, put into a sieve and wash again, drain well.

4. Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the leeks and cook over a gentle heat, until softened. Stir in the diced ham and drained sweet corn and mix together. Tip into the potato case and spread evenly over the base and sides.

5. Beat the eggs with the cream, pour over the filling then scatter over the cheese. Return to the oven for about 25 minutes until the top is deliciously golden.

Tip : Ready diced ham is often available in most supermarkets in the chill section but ask at the Deli counter for end pieces of ham which are often sold very cheaply.
This recipe will be just as delicious using cooked chicken.

Yummy Sausage and Sweetcorn Hotpot

Serves 4
Under £5.00 for 4 portions
Contains 2 portions of vegetables per portion
Ready in 1 hour

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
400g good quality pork sausages
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium leeks, trimmed and thickly sliced
350g jar tomato pasta sauce eg Napoletana
300 ml vegetable stock
340g can Green Giant Sweetcorn, drained
450g new potatoes, thinly sliced
25g butter, melted

1. Heat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. Heat the oil in a shallow ovenproof casserole, add the onion and sausages and cook over a medium heat, turning until the sausages are lightly browned. Add the carrot and leek and cook a further 3 minutes.

3. Pour in the sauce, stock and sweetcorn, mix together and gently bring to simmer.

4. Scatter the potato slices over the top, brush with melted butter and place in the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes or until the potatoes are golden.

Estimated cost for 4 portions: £4.98



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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