7 unique and complete recipes that you can save without losing your health
vegetable paella

7 unique and complete recipes that you can save without losing your health

Given the current economic challenges (and those to come), more and more households are betting on making simpler meals: single meals are gaining ground as a means to spend less money.

“Inflation has had some impact on consumer behavior,” they tell consulting firm Kantar, such as “simplifying menus” for households, “increasing the number of one-dish meals”. According to one study, 52% of meals are already one plate.

Doesn’t always mean savings

One meal is fine as long as it contains all the ingredients we need, “but it doesn’t have to be cheaper to make a single meal,” explains nutritionist Rosa Maria Espinosa of the Menja Sa centre. “There is a habit of consuming too much protein and we are making the menu more expensive.”

As Espinosa said, the ratio of protein we need is the amount in the palm of our hand. Since we normally exceed this amount, his advice is to spread the protein dose over several meals to avoid overdoing it and cut expenses.

7 unique food suggestions

To put it into practice, the chef, trainer and director of the culinary school patentKeeping in mind that legumes not only provide us with protein (cheaper and more sustainable than animal-sourced), but also a good nutrient, Angels Puntas offers seven suggestions for a complete single meal with options to stay on budget. It is a source of fiber and carbohydrates.

Puntas recommends having 3/4 vegetables, vegetables, fruits or vegetables on a plate and the remaining quarter protein and carbohydrates. It can be cut and cooked in different ways or eaten directly raw so that it is not monotonous. This is how we change textures and flavors.

A unique meal for every day


Lentils with brown rice. If we combine legumes and grains, we better absorb the nutrients that legumes will provide us with. If the grain does not separate, the better. Lentils with rice can be stewed with some fried vegetables (onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, etc.).


Carving of cooked and/or sautéed vegetables. Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc., to which potatoes, sweet potatoes or cassava can be added. All those belonging to the cruciferous family are included. Here we would already have a carving base to which legumes, bacon pieces, scrambled eggs or another protein source can be added.


Vegetable cream. It is a lighter dish, but you can add cooked vegetables and it will give it more consistency. For example, carrots or pumpkin cream cooked with red lentils. It’s quick to make, it helps us to add density to the creams and can be topped off with some seeds, nuts or a few cubes of ham and some torreznos as a topping.


paved. Based on white beans, here we can add a wide variety of ingredients such as minced cod, olives, tomatoes, green peppers, paprika, onions and a good vinaigrette.
You can make the version with cod and hard-boiled eggs, or with tuna, which is cheaper. And even without any of those three elements, because beans already provide us with protein.


Ham peas. We cook them in 10 minutes. We can add some potatoes if we want. After sautéing in paella with some garlic and pepper, we add a few cubes of ham and even a scrambled egg.
There would already be animal and vegetable protein here. “We remember that anything that goes into a pod is a legume,” adds Puntas.


Vegetable casserole. One of these hot spoon dishes that is very good for us in autumn and winter. Carrots, pumpkins, turnips, beets, artichokes, etc. Any seasonal vegetable will be fine with it. You can add shredded chicken or vegetable protein in the form of tofu, seitan, vegan meat or classic legumes.


Stew noodles that go great with peas, chickpeas, all kinds of vegetables, and even pieces of ribs or chicken.
They can also be made in a wok with pieces of meat, fish or shrimp or vegetable protein, ginger, coconut milk… An exotic spot for the menu.


EXTRA: Eggs, great allies. It is one of the most versatile foods with quality, cheap and satiating protein. It can be whipped, fried, in an omelet, boiled… It can be put into cereal or legumes salad.

What if I open it?

All these meals can be complemented with a quick starter such as consomme, salad or gazpacho followed by some fruit desserts or, to a lesser extent, a dairy product. And if everything is accompanied by a good non-transgenic rye bread, it will fill us up even more.

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