We know the feeling all too well: when 5pm hits and you still don’t know what to have for dinner. Of course, opening up the all too familiar UberEats or Deliveroo is an option – but you’re on a budget and you’re really trying to make healthier choices.
This is why stocking your cupboards with a host of versatile foods can be a game-changer if you often find yourself in this predicament scrolling through UberEats.
We’ve listed below 7 different nutritious foods that make it easy to throw together a budget-friendly and balanced meal.
Baked, black or pinto – what’s your favourite? Tinned beans are a cupboard staple and not only inexpensive, but also incredibly versatile and nutritious. Did you know half a tin of baked beans packs an impressive 10g of protein? You can chuck them on some wholemeal toasted bread with a poached egg for a comforting meal, or throw them into a soup or chilli.
Oats are a great source of whole grains that contain a type of fibre called beta-glucan which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and makes you feel full, helping you to snack less between meals. You can make a batch of overnight oats on a Sunday for easy breakfasts through the week, or perhaps try your hand at ‘savoury porridge’ – your usual bowl of oats, however topped with savoury ingredients like a fried egg, wilted greens and a spoonful of pesto.
Both salmon and tuna are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and buying them tinned works out to be considerably cheaper than fresh. You can make your own tuna or salmon pasta, or take a trip back to your childhood and make a tasty tuna melt.
Speaking of tuna mayo pasta (an Everyone Health favourite!), pasta is another cupboard staple. It is one of the most long-lasting and affordable ingredients around and there a whole host of pasta dishes you can make for a yummy and balanced meal. Some of our favourite pasta dishes are a ‘better for you’ macaroni cheese with wholegrain pasta and low-fat cheese or this Mediterranean pasta dish found here.
Okay, technically these are more of a fridge staple – but nevertheless, you want to make sure you have them on hand. However you like your eggs in the morning, there’s no denying that they’re the ultimate superfood packed full of different vitamins like Vitamin A, B3, B5. B12, phosphorus and selenium. In fact, we’re such a big fan of eggs here at Everyone Health that we gave them their very own article. Click here to see all the different ways you can use these little things.
Easily the most cheap, versatile and most importantly – delicious, vegetable on the shelves. They are also an underrated superfood containing 4 of the most important nutrients required for the body – fibre, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Whether you mash, bake or roast them – potatoes can make a wonderful balanced dish on their own or the perfect addition to a meal. Click here to find out what else you can do with a potato.
Frozen fruit and veg
A freezer stash of fruit and veg is the best way to squeeze some nutrients in to a quick meal. Did you know frozen fruit and vegetables can be even richer in vitamins and minerals as they’re frozen at their peak, whereas fresh items can start to lose nutrients as they make the journey to their local food shop? You can use any frozen veg as an accompaniment to any meal to make it just that little bit more balanced. As for fruits, we like using them to make this smoothie here.