Family feasts on a budget

Keep the family happy at mealtimes without splashing the cash


When you’re feeding the whole family, it can be tricky keeping everyone happy, especially if you’re on a budget. Luckily, Tina Mc Fadzean from Little Chefs Dubai has come to our rescue, with three delicious ideas for hearty family meals, with plenty left over for the next day. Even better, they’re all super-simple, each feed a family of four, and the total bill for the entire shopping list comes to less than Dhs250, including all those store cupboard essentials to keep the costs down for next time, too.

Baked Fish
500g white fish (we used cream dory, cut in 4 portions)
3 egg whites
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold in mayo, Dijon, salt and pepper.
Spread on top of fish and bake at 220’C for 20 minutes. Fish will flake easily. Great served with broccoli.

Serve with: Quinoa Pilaf
Lots of people have heard of quinoa and would like to try it but they don’t really know how to cook it. The answer? Cook it in a rice cooker with lots of seasoning

1 cup quinoa, washed and drained (there are 2 cups in the packet)
1 tbsp butter
½ vegetable stock cube
1 shallot, diced
A handful of sultanas
1¼ cup water

Melt the butter in the rice cooker. Add stock cube, shallot, sultanas and quinoa. Stir for 1 minute then add water.
Put the lid on and when the rice cooker goes off, take the lid off and fluff with a fork. Wait a minute and fluff again.

Pasta Rescue Dinner
500g pasta shapes (farfalle or tortiglioni works well)
200g smoked salmon, chopped
1 pot readymade pesto
Fresh cream

Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted water. Save ½ cup of pasta water when you drain it.
Tip smoked salmon in hot pasta. Add a few spoons of pesto and some pasta water to get a nice consistency. Add a couple splashes of cream and serve.

Serve with: Warm Tomato Salad
Wash a tub of cherry tomatoes and put in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and some oregano. Add a pinch of caster sugar. Put in hottest oven until cherry tomatoes just burst.
This is lovely served with the pasta or on crusty bread.

Thai Chicken Skewers
500g boneless chicken thighs, washed, dried and cut into cubes
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
½ chicken stock cube
1 tbsp sugar
Salt & pepper

Season your chicken with garlic powder. Mix oyster sauce, soy, stock cube crumbled, sugar and salt and pepper. Marinate your chicken from two hours to overnight.
Thread on a skewer and grill for 5 minutes on both each side until done.

Serve with: Satay Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp mild curry powder

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until smooth and heated through. Remove from heat.
Serve with chicken skewers as a dipping sauce.

Refreshing Cucumber Salad
4 cucumbers, sliced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp hot water
½ tsp salt
1 small shallot thinly sliced
1 red chili, chopped (to serve, optional)

Arrange cucumbers on a plate.
Mix rice vinegar and sugar. Add hot water and stir to dissolve. Add salt. Mix and drizzle over cucumbers. Sprinkle with the sliced shallot.
Chill in the refrigerator.

Shopping list

White fish
Chicken thighs
Smoked salmon
Cherry tomatoes
Red chilis (optional)

Store Cupboard
Dried pasta shapes
Light mayonnaise
Peanut butter
Dijon mustard
Jar of pesto
Coconut milk
Sweet chili sauce
Oyster sauce
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Chicken stock cubes
Vegetable stock cubes
Mild curry powder
Caster sugar

Dubai’s popular Italian joint is getting a “cheesy facelift”

Don't miss last remaining places in 5,000-strong ambassador team

Entering couldn’t be easier…

Sponsored: Tickets to the five-day festival of music and culture are now on sale

FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai launches exclusive new club

A kid accidentally calls in the universe’s deadliest hunter, the world’s clumsiest spy is out to save the world again and Blake Lively has a ‘simple’ favour to ask


Follow us