Freezeable healthy home made ready meals on a budget

tractorlady

New Member
I am looking for recipes that can be batch cooked on behalf of someone who wants to eat healthily and is on a low budget due to earning the minimum wage. Low sugar/keto meals would be useful to help with health issues.
Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Especially if on video and e.g. on YouTube as it is difficult to know where to start looking.
 
Last edited:

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I would not really think of myself as an experienced cook so don’t have any specific recipes to suggest. My only thoughts are that I generally cook double amounts and freeze half labelled with what it is AND the carb content. Very helpful as otherwise I would have no idea.

I have recently taken on more cooking and we do a week on and week off, so I have recently enjoyed planning my week. I choose to use one of our recipe books and take all the meals from there. It gets me to look at different meals. I also make a note in the book of the carb count per portion of that recipe

A friend used to do a mass cooking of mince, onions and tomatoes. These were frozen with two portions not each, and then when used made into bolognaise, chilli con carne, lasagne. They did have the same meals every month. I think I would get bored with this.
 

zuludog

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Here is my general purpose veg stew recipe --

Fry celery, onions, and garlic if you like it, in oil; maybe leeks as well
Add a can of chopped tomatoes; you can save a few pence by chopping up whole canned toms on your board; messy, but doable
Add the usual stew veg - carrots, swede, parsnip, turnip, beetroot, perhaps courgettes & peppers if the price is reasonable
You can get packs of chopped spinach frozen into egg sized lumps, add a couple of those if you have them
Any leftover veg & salad that is getting a bit withered, like mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbage, and even cucumber and lettuce - just dice it fine and it blends in
The dregs and ends of packets of frozen veg that have been hanging around your freezer for the past 9 years - sweetcorn, mixed veg, etc

Add beans/lentils/pulses
Dried are the cheapest, but I've never had much success cooking them from dried, so I use canned or in jars or cartons - which look like smaller versions of the cartons of fruit juice
Even though these are more expensive than dried, they're still cheap
You can also get soft pouches, Merchant Gourmet are the leading brand, and supermarkets often have their own
But they tend to be posher types, and therefore more expensive
I've seen frozen broad beans in Iceland

Search supermarkets, discount stores, and Asian or Polish & similar shops
There are chick peas, lentils, butter, canneloni, kidney, haricot, borlotti beans and probably others
Could add a can of budget baked beans. Baked beans are just haricot beans in tomato sauce

You can add dried small red lentils, and soup mix - lentils, split peas & barley. I usually soak them overnight

A squirt of brown sauce or tomato ketchup or soya sauce
I had some mixed seeded crispbread that was absolutely solid, like eating a roofing tile. I broke up half a one at a time, and put that in; it blended in
Sometimes I add a blob of peanut butter
So you get the idea - anything else that you can think of

Stock cubes; mixed herbs; salt & pepper; water to suit

Simmer for about 3 hours or all day if you're using a slow cooker

Let it cool overnight then dispense into individual servings & freeze

It's not absolutely low sugar as there will be some carb in the beans & veg, but there's none added, like spuds or pasta
There will be a bit of carb from the barley and the crispbread if you use them, but we're only talking about a small amount, not great handfuls

You can add bacon if you wish
Some supermarkets sell 1kg vac packs of bacon trimmings aka bacon ends. I've seen them in LIDL, Morrisons, and a discount store (forgotten which)
These are the ends of the sides of bacon that have become too small to slice into rashers, and are usually good value
Trim them carefully and you can usually get a couple of slices of gammon to use for one meal, then dice the rest for the stew

You could add cheaper meat like diced or minced, but fry off the fat first
Could probably add diced salami type sausage, as in the currently fashionable chorizo, but they tend to have a high saturated fat content
See if you can find a proper greengrocer or market stall, and see what's on offer
If you leave out the bacon there will just be a small amount of veg fat
Even if you add the bacon there will not be much fat if you trim it well
 
Last edited:

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
For excellent recipes, albeit not specifically low carb or low sugar, then look at Jack Monroe’s stuff. She’s the Cooking on a Bootstrap cook and she’s also a great advocate of using tinned produce. Probably half of her recipes are veggie and you can tweak the carb content by making substitutions.
 

Toucan

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello @tractorlady
Here are some things I often make big batches of, for the freezer:
Cottage pie
Basically a standard cottage pie recipe, but replace potato topping with cauliflower mash.
Cook mince beef with onion, garlic( optional!) tinned tomatoes, stock, herbs and spices to taste ( I use turmeric, coriander powder, paprika and whatever herbs are in the garden.)
Cauliflower mash: Cooked mashed cauliflower with white pepper and a little butter ( optional add mustard or garlic)
other options- Maybe a sprinkle of grated cheese over the top of the pie, or some sliced tomatoes around the edges.
Fish Pie
Similar - standard fish pie recipe replacing potato with cauli -mash.
Chicken Curry
I like to use small chicken thighs, cooked in a pan with garlic onions (optional chillies), curry powder, and other herbs and spices to taste eg turmeric, cumin, garam masala, coriander fennel seeds. Add some chicken stock, or for a creamier curry use a tin of coconut milk.
To replace rice, I like to eat this with finely chopped iceberg lettuce and a big blob of thick greek yoghurt, but an alternative is cauliflower rice.
vegetable soup
i use this for a light lunch.
Any vegetables that are left in the veggie box at the end of the week, and beginning to look sad.
Tend to use veggies that grow above the ground, as these are lower in carbs than beneath the ground ones.
Chop and soften in oil with onions and garlic, adding tin of tomatoes, and herbs and spices to taste.
When cooked, I use a hand mixer to whisk to a creamy texture but leaving a few chunky bits.
I serve with a sprinkle of grated chees, and a big spoonful of greek style yoghurt.

There are also some good recipes on the forum Food/carb queries + recipes (Recipe section at the top).

Hope this helps.
 

zuludog

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Yes, a hand held blender, often known as a stick blender, is very useful for making soups
you don't need any fancy attachments, just a plain blender

Have a play around with the Search Box on Google and YouTube for 'diabetic casseroles to freeze'; 'keto meals to freeze'; that sort of thing, and follow the links & prompts
There are lots of videos & references, but I hadn't thought about it till now, so I haven't watched any

And as Toucan says, look at the Living With Diabetes/Meals section at the top of the Home Page; there is a section on freezing food, and stews & casseroles
 
Top