Category Archives: low fat

Stretching the pennies for a cheap weeknight dinner

I was surprised to receive a bit of backlash during the week about how much money (and time) people assumed I was spending feeding my family on this new “delicious” diet.

The thing is, from Monday through to Friday I am drawn to recipes that are quick and simple to prepare and only require a few ingredients. On the weekends, when I have a bit more time, I like to go all out and try out the more lavish recipes that require more time and more money. The weekend is also the time when I might bake something special for morning tea and try out something a bit extravagant for dessert.

Chicken dumplings in broth

Chicken dumplings in broth

Take for example last week’s Chicken Dumplings in Broth. The list of ingredients were:

250 gm chicken mince
1 garlic clove
1 tbs chopped coriander
1 eggwhite
4 tbs light soy sauce, plus extra to serve
1 L chicken stock
1 lemongrass stem
2.5cm piece ginger
2 small red chillies
2 star anise
2 tbs lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs fish sauce
1 /2 bunch garlic chives (which I didn’t use)
chilli bean sauce, to serve

Out of everything on the list, the only things I didn’t already have  in the fridge or pantry was the chicken mince and lemongrass. A quick check of Coles online and 500g chicken mince is currently $5.90 (and you only need half of that) and one bunch of lemongrass is $2.48. I also threw in a few rice noodles to bulk out the meal which are very cheap at my local Asian store. So really, in order for me to put this meal together for the four us, it cost well under $10.

What i’m trying to say is that it doesn’t cost a lot to feed your family fresh, fancy looking food, if that is your thing. Looks can be very deceiving!

Maybe I have Instagram to thank for making my food look fancier than what it really is…

X Bree

P.S You can find the full recipe here.

Whats your family’s favourite cheap, but a little bit fancy, dinner?


Filed under budget friendly, February, low fat

Monday night dinner, fast and fresh

These are the kind of dinners I like to cook. You know the ones? It’s Monday night. Fridge is near empty after the weekend. Too tired to go shopping. What to cook? Enter Minced chicken with Thai basil. And it’s low-fat!

It turns out my fridge was emptier than I first thought. The basil I had bought on the weekend had seen better days so I substituted it for some of that herb in a tube stuff. No harm done. The lettuce I bought seemed to be flood affected and was in no way going to form the perfect little cups it was supposed to (a la san choy bow style). So in the end I formed a kind of warm salad.

Minced chicken with Thai basil

Minced chicken with Thai basil

The lettuce is a crucial ingredient, don’t be tempted to replace it or leave it out. The combination of fish sauce, oyster sauce and kecap manis makes the mix really salty and the lettuce somehow cuts through that. It also benefits from the addition of the (optional) jasmine rice. I stirred it through the chicken mince mixture which helped bulk out the meal.

Of all people, B4 proclaimed dinner “yum”. I was shocked as he is always the first to complain when there is visible green things in his dinner (in this case, thinly slice kaffir lime leaves). He must have been hungry!

This is a cheap, quick, family friendly meal. Try it.

X Bree


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Filed under February, low fat, Monday night