Jack Monroe's family meals under a fiver

January can feel like the longest month in the world - especially since payday was over five weeks ago! So if you’re struggling to stretch your cash, budget cooking guru Jack Monroe’s here with three tasty but affordable meals for you and your family that will see you through to payday - and it will cost you less than £5.

Recipes taken from Jack’s book Vegan(ish), 100 simple, budget recipes that don’t cost the earth

Jack shopped at Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda - all prices correct at time of publication, 24 January 2020

Creamy salmon, pea and lemon pasta

20p per serving.

Recipe adapted from Cooking on A Bootstrap

Serves: 4

Ingredients

300g dried spaghetti

200g frozen peas

150g salmon paste

60ml milk

Lemon juice

Plenty of black pepper

Method

  • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti until al dente, approximately 8 to 10 minutes or according to packet instructions

  • Add the frozen peas to the pasta water halfway through the cooking time

  • In a small bowl beat together the salmon paste, milk and lemon juice. Season generously with black pepper.

  • When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain

  • Tip the pasta and peas back into the pan, add the salmon sauce and toss to coat the hot pasta, then serve

Fruit and veg curry

53p per serving

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil

200g onion, diced

200g carrots, diced

100g swede, diced

1 x 411g tin of peaches, drained

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained

2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

2 tbsp curry powder

200g long grain rice, to serve

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the diced onion, carrots and swede and brown

  • Next, add the tinned peaches, chickpeas, tomatoes and curry powder. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the rice and cook for 14-16 minutes or according to the packet instructions until cooked and fluffy. Continue to gently simmer the curry in this time.

  • Serve both together, immediately

Mustard chicken with winter veg

45p per serving

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp cooking oil

600g chicken thighs or drums, if using frozen defrosted according to packet instructions.

500ml chicken stock

200g carrots, diced

200g onion (approx 2 medium onions), chopped

250g swede, diced

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

200g long grain rice, to serve

2 tbsp plain flour

2 more tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp mustard

125ml milk

200g spring greens, finely sliced

Method

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick pan

  • Season the chicken portions with salt and pepper and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes, turning over to seal and brown on all sides. Add the carrots, onion and swede along with the herbs and plenty of pepper.

  • Add 500ml chicken stock to the pan, pop a lid on and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

  • Bring a separate pan of water to the boil and add the rice, cover and cook according to the packet instructions

  • In a bowl mix flour, oil, mustard and milk to make a paste. Stir into the pan slowly then bring to the boil to thicken the sauce. Reduce to a simmer.

  • One minute before serving, add the greens and allow to wilt. Serve hot over the rice - if it’s a little runny, that’s fine, as the rice will soak up any excess liquid.