October 09, 2010

Perfect pasta

An average ready-meal lasagne can cost £3.99 at the supermarket, and one portion can contain up to 632 calories. Add a cheesy garlic bread and a bottle of coke, and the cost rises to £6.36. But the total cost of this convenience meal may be as bad for your waistline as your wallet, clocking up around 967 calories.
If you swap your microwave meal for a home-cooked alternative, you can save in calories and cash.
Fry 100g of lean beef mince with half an onion, one garlic clove and a grated carrot. Stir in a tin of tomatoes and 100g of cooked pasta, sprinkle 30g of cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
For just £4.28 you can buy enough ingredients to feed four people, just over £1 a person, and the calorie content per portion is just 703.
You save:
£5.29 and 264 calories

Rustichella Bucatini, 17.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) Hodgson Mill Organic Whole Wheat Penne with Milled Flaxseed, 12-Ounce Units (Pack of 8)The Pasta Bible: The Definitive Sourcebook, with over 1,000 Illustrations
Top tips
Follow these tips to make sure your diet is good for your body and your bank balance:
  • Buy only enough fresh fruit and vegetables for the next couple of days, so they won’t end up going off in the bottom of your fridge.
  • Remember when it comes to fruit and veg, dried, frozen and canned (in juice, not syrup) are just as good as fresh.
  • Grow your own ingredients: if you live in a flat, plant some herbs in a window box. They're easy to grow and a great way to add some quick and easy flavour to your meals cheaply. If you have a bigger garden, try planting low-maintenance vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots.
  • Shop at local markets. They're often cheaper than supermarkets and offer a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
  • Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season: this usually makes them cheaper. For information on what’s in season, see the Eatwell site of the Food Standards Agency (links to external site).
All calorie counts are based on products from a leading supermarket. Products from other supermarkets may vary in price and calorie count.

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