Affordable Recipes for Food Insecure Families

Eating on a Budget can be Delicious and Nutritious

3/11/20244 min read

When facing food insecurity, it can be hard to come up with delicious recipes to feed your family. The food items that are provided by food banks can sometimes make it hard to be creative when cooking meals. We have compiled some delicious AND nutritious recipes that you can make using the most basic of ingredients without losing any of the flavour! These recipes aim to provide balanced nutrition with a focus on ingredients that are generally affordable and easily available, making them suitable for families experiencing food insecurity. Most of these recipes include items that we provide in our food bundles. Of course, you can substitute any of the ingredients listed for whatever fits your household budget and preferences.

Bean and Rice Burritos

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups of cooked rice
1/2 cup salsa
Optional: Shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes

Step 1: In a bowl, mix the black beans, cooked rice and salsa
Step 2: Spoon the mixture in the center of a tortilla. Add cheese, lettuce and tomatoes if available.
Step 3: Fold the tortilla burrito-style. Heat on a skillet until warm or serve as is.

Note: This recipe is quick to make and delicious to eat. 1/2 cup of black beans contains around 8 grams of protein. This protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to function. A perfect meal to give kids the energy they need for a full day at school!

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Rice

1 cup of uncooked rice
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen)
Soy sauce to taste
Optional: Egg, diced chicken, or tofu for protein

Step 1: Cook rice according to package instructions
Step 2: Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add vegetables and stir-fry until tender-crisp.
Step 3: Add cooked rice and soy sauce to the skillet. Stir to combine.

Note: For additional protein, add egg, chicken or tofu, cooking until properly heated or cooked through. Get the kids involved and let them choose what types of vegetables they would like to mix together for this stir-fry!

Lentil Soup

1 cup of dried lentils
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Rinse lentils under cold water

Step 2: In a large pot, combine lentils, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, brother and diced tomatoes
Step 3: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25-30 minutes
Step 4: Add cumin, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Note: These ingredients can be adjusted based on what foods are available. They are designed to be nutritious, filling and most of all, HEALTHY!

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of fresh or frozen spinach
1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Water, as needed

Step 1: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sauteing until soft
Step 2: Add the chickpeas and diced tomatoes (with their juice). If desired, add paprika for extra flavor. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the spinach and a little water if the stew seems too thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Cook until the spinach is wilted and everything is heated through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuna Pasta Salad

1 can of tuna, drained
2 cups of cooked pasta (elbows, shells, rotini)
1/2 cup of diced celery
1/4 cup of diced onion
1/2 cup of mayonnaise or plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Diced pickles or shredded carrot for extra crunch and flavor

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta, tuna, celery and onion. If using, add pickles or carrots
Step 2: Stir in the mayonnaise or yogurt until everything is well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving, This salad can be customized with any vegetables or herbs you have on hand.

Potato and Carrot Soup

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon of dried thyme or rosemary, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil

Step 1: In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
Step 2: Add the potatoes, carrots and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil.
Sept 3: Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Step 4: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth, or leave it chunky if preferred.
Step 5: Season with thyme or rosemary, salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory