Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or hunkering down and keeping warm and dry inside you need some top-quality fuel to maintain your energy levels. The good news is that there are plenty of options waiting to provide you with big-tasting meals that can be yours for a surprisingly small outlay. The one thing that they all have in common is that they can be made using surprisingly few ingredients – a big factor in keeping the cost down. All the recipe ideas serve four.
Versatile vegetable soup
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s adaptable enough to be able to use whatever veg you’ve got handy, whether it’s onions, carrots, parsnips, celery or even broccoli. You’ll need a total of about 400 grams and you start by frying the veggies, along with 600 grams of diced potato, in a little oil. Cook for about ten minutes and then add 1.4 liters of vegetable stock such as Knorr bouillon.
Simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and then liquidize them until you’ve made a lovely smooth soup. It’s ready to enjoy straight away or you can pour it into an insulated flask to take out with you on a hike. Then, just before serving, dollop in a little crème fraiche to give an extra creamy taste.
Quick chicken curry
Sure, the easy way to enjoy a curry is to get a delivery company like Deliveroo to fetch it for you but here’s a more budget option that you’ll love. First, take six spring onions and three cloves of crushed garlic and gently fry them in two tablespoons oil for two minutes. Then add 200 grams of chopped tomatoes along with two tablespoons of curry powder – hot or mild according to your taste – along with a teaspoon of ground ginger. Leave this to simmer for five minutes before adding 400 grams of skinless chicken thigh fillets cut into 2.5 cm pieces.
Add 250 ml of water and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes and until the chicken is cooked through. While it’s cooking get the rice ready to go with it by rinsing 200 grams of rice and then simmering it in a covered pan in twice the volume of water for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave it to stand for another 10 minutes still covered.
When it’s ready, just add 100 ml of Greek yoghurt to the curry and serve with the rice with an extra dollop of yoghurt on top.
Toffee Apple Crumble
Every great meal needs a perfect finale – and here it is and made with just five ingredients.
Peel and core 8 dessert apples and cook with a splash of water until soft. Add 3 tablespoons of Carnation Caramel and tip them into an oven-proof dish. Dot another two tablespoons of the caramel around the apples and cover with a mixture of 50 grams each of flour, porridge oats and butter, rubbed into a crumble. Bake for 20 minutes at 200C/180 fan/gas 6 and serve with cream, custard or ice cream – delicious!