Feed your people for $25 or much less: Calgary cooks proportion their recipes - Calgary Usher in

Do you have got a favorite inexpensive dinner concept? We need to know your meal-making hacks to save cash on this tight economic system

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Cost of living stories

As a part of our line Squeezed: Navigating Calgary’s high cost of living, now we have explored the eye-popping worth of groceries and spoken to households suffering to feed their households.

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All of us have distinctive tactics of seeking to manufacture groceries stretch. My non-public hack is creating a giant pot of Nova Scotia goulash when I will be able to in finding grassland red meat on sale (combine hamburger, macaroni noodles and cans of tomato soup).

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Figuring there have been higher concepts available in the market — there unquestionably have been! — I requested native cooks and meals bloggers to proportion their favorite recipes that might feed a people of 4 for less than $25.

We are hoping you're going to give those foods a aim and proportion your meal concepts with us within the feedback or electronic mail them to [email protected].

Chunky Pasta Sauce with Scorching Italian Sausage

Karen Anderson’s recipe of chunky pasta sauce with scorching Italian sausage will also be made for less than $25. Photograph credit score to Jeremy Fokkens. Meals styling by way of Sylvia Kong. Photograph by way of JEREMY FOKKENS /Submitted

Karen Anderson, writer of the cookbook Eat Alberta First and founder and president of Alberta Food Tours stocks this meal concept that could be a fan favorite in her house.

“Everyone who has ever eaten this chunky pasta sauce with hot Italian sausage at my home has asked me for the recipe. There’s some chopping involved but leaving things bite-size instead of dicing really cuts down on the work. And, you pay yourself forward because the recipe delivers a huge batch, leftovers freeze beautifully, and it can be used in a variety of ways. Serve it over your favourite pasta with a hunk of bread and/or salad on the side, use it as the meat portion in lasagna or you can even add a few different cans of drained and rinsed beans and some chili powder for a quick and easy chili.”

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Chunky Pasta Sauce with Scorching Italian Sausage

Makes: 6 litres

Takes: 3½ hours together with 3 hours simmering pace


  • 2½ lbs. scorching Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 massive inexperienced bell peppers, chopped into bite-sized items
  • 1 massive yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized items
  • 30 – 40 cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 2 miniature zucchinis, chopped into bite-size items
  • 2 28 ounces (796 mL) cans complete tomatoes
  • 1 13 ounces (384 mL) can tomato paste
  • 4 cups (1-litre bottle) tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dry basil
  • 1 Tbsp dry oregano
  • 3 – 4 dry bay leaves
  • 10 ounces (300 g) package deal frozen chopped spinach


  1. Take away the beef from the sausage casings and brown it in a non-stick skillet on medium warmth, breaking it as much as a superb fall apart because it chefs.
  2. Drain the big from the pan and put the beef on a plate between layers of paper towel to squeeze the too much big from the beef. I'm ready the beef apart.
  3. Warmth the oil in a massive stockpot on medium warmth and upload the onions. Cook dinner till semi-transperant and upload the garlic and cook dinner simply till it turns into aromatic — about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir within the bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, tomato paste and sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, bay leaves and spinach and produce to a sluggish secure simmer for two to a few hours. Voila! Experience scorching off the range next freeze left over to revel in some other future.

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Mediterranean Rice and Hen Bowl

Connie DeSousa and John Jackson have been up for this meals problem. At the side of working a number of prevalent eating places within the town, the duo introduced the CHAR Hospitality Investmrent as their method to aid the public with problems with meals lack of confidence.

Connie and John was at the shop and acquired all the elements for his or her Mediterranean rice bowl with marinated cucumber and carrots and zaatar chili oil. John says: “It was delicious and fed us and a few of our staff, so it would be great for a family of four.”

Mediterranean Rice and Hen Bowl with marinated cucumber and carrots, zaatar chili oil

  • 500 g $11.10 – boneless skinless hen thighs  
  • 450 g $3.99 – lengthy grain and wild rice  
  • 100 ml $2.70 – chili oil
  • 6 gather $3.49 – child cucumbers
  • 1 bunch $2.49 – carrots
  • $1.20 – spice and garnish

Overall $24.97

Thai Hen Curry with Rice and Rice Wrapper Spring Rolls

Fareen Jadavji-Jessa
Fareen Jadavji-Jessa made this Thai hen curry. Photograph by way of Fareen Jadavji-Jessa

Customery Calgary meals blogger Fareen Jadavji-Jessa, who is going by way of the identify Food Mama, stocks her dinner concept that comes to money-saving tips:

“Protein is usually the most expensive part of any meal. Using a rotisserie chicken is always the best way to save money. If you use the whole chicken, it can go a long way.

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“Using a rotisserie chicken, cut the majority of the chicken into chunks for a Thai curry. Any of the chicken that is not able to be cut into chunks, set aside for rice wrapper spring rolls. Save the carcass to make broth.

“For the curry, use a jarred curry sauce. This has everything you need from the coconut milk to the spices so you don’t have to buy everything individually. It saves a lot of time and a lot of money. A bag of frozen vegetables is usually under $4 and provides enough for one meal. Add everything together and let it simmer on the stove. To serve with this, a couple of cups of rice is perfect. I usually throw this in a rice cooker.

“To the shredded chicken that was not used in the curry, add one chopped onion and some cilantro. Using rice wrappers, cut each into half and dip into water to soften it. Add the chicken mixture and roll. This can be pan-fried and is perfect with the Thai curry.”

Sheet Pan Gnocchi

Sheet pan gnocchi by way of Maria Koutsogiannis Photograph by way of www.foodbymaria.com
Maria Koutsogiannis, proprietor and founding father of the web page FoodByMaria, suggests this sheet-pan recipe as an inexpensive and simple week-night meal. 

“This Sheet Pan Gnocchi meal is perfect for families on a budget. It’s affordable but nutritious. Great for serving a family of four, and the best part is that it only takes minutes to prep, the oven does all the hard work for you. Sometimes we panic thinking that affordable has to mean out of a processed box, which can sometimes be the case, but this FoodByMaria recipe aims to make you feel good while not breaking the bank!”

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For the sheet pan

  • 19 ounces can lentils, tired and rinsed
  • 1 pint child tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped in ½-inch items
  • 1 miniature eggplant, chopped in ½-inch items
  • 1 crimson onion, chopped in ½-inch items
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500 g store-bought potato gnocchi
  • For the Greek dressing
    ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp dry oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • of 1 lemon
  • ½ tbsp crimson wine vinegar
  • 2 miniature garlic cloves, pressed


  • 112 ½ g unadorned goat cheese
  • ½ cup chopped unutilized herbs (mixture of parsley, dill and mint)
  • olive oil
  • (non-compulsory) handful of unlit olives


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and form a massive baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the Greek dressing elements in combination and put aside.
  3. To the sheet pan upload: rinsed lentils, chopped child tomatoes, chopped pepper, chopped eggplant, chopped onion, gnocchi and chopped garlic cloves.
  4. Rainfall the Greek dressing over the elements at the pan and toss to assure the whole lot could be very smartly covered.
  5. Bake for 25 mins, tossing on the 15-minute mark. Later 25 mins fall apart the goat cheese over manage of the entire elements at the pan and bake for five extra mins.
  6. Handover right away crowned with a mixture of unutilized chopped herbs, a hail of olive oil and a handful of unutilized unlit olives if desired.

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Beet Borscht

Culinary schoolmaster and author i'm late Culinary Calgary, Erin Boukall suggests this recipe for a “cheap as borscht” dinner in your people. Boukall suggests the usage of native build this is in season to drop prices by way of reducing out the intermediary.


We all know the emerging prices of groceries, mortgages, rents and tool are impressive problems for such a lot of Calgarians seeking to lend for his or her households. In our particular line Squeezed: Navigating Calgary’s high cost of living, we snatch a deep glance into the affordability emergency in Calgary. We’ve crunched numbers, combed thru stories and talked to professionals to learn how inflation is impacting our town, and what's being accomplished to deliver costs again to earth. However, most significantly, we stated to actual households who shared their tales and struggles with us. We are hoping you're going to fasten the dialog, as those tales roll out.

This era: Scrimping and Preserve: Meals Lack of confidence in Calgary

Nonetheless to come back: 

  • Might 27 to 30 – Priced Out: The Emerging Value of Housing
  • June 3 to 4: The Value of Doing Industry

Our line thus far:

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