Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Chicken Wraps

Chicken Wraps is a quick, easy meal that is great for those days when you've got so many assignments due you don't really have time to cook anything.


  • 500g chicken, diced
  • Mexican Chilli Powder
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Cajun Seasoning 
(all spices from Masterfoods)

Ingredients for serving:

  • Mission Wraps - I use Wholemeal but there's about 6 different varieties. 
  • Lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Grated Cheese
  • Tomato 
  • Sour Cream 
  • Anything else you think would work in a wrap, go with what you love!


  1. Heat some oil in a frypan and add the chicken, and generous amounts of the three spices.  I don't weight out certain amounts and just pour until my hearts content, until you can really smell the spices.  You want enough to cover the chicken and add flavour.
  2. Cook the chicken until it is cooked through, then remove from heat and add to a serving bowl.
  3. Heat the wraps up for 30 seconds or so (depending on your microwave), then add the chicken and your selected ingredients, that's it!

See more images on Flickr here

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Italian Meatballs

I realise that this is my third recipe, and not only that, it is the third recipe that has included pasta. Feeling that I'm almost going to have to rename my blog to 'Pasta Lover', because I realise we do eat a lot of pasta. However, I have this week's meals planned and pasta is only occurring once, other meals coming up include Chicken Wraps and a stir fry.

This recipe is for Italian Meatballs, and once again uses a Dolmio meal base because they are quick, easy and as my fiancé said 'why does this sauce taste so good?'.


  • 1 Dolmio Italian Meatballs meal base
  • 350g mince
  • 1 egg
  • Approx half a cup of breadcrumbs, or as many as it takes for the meatballs to form together properly.
  • 125g pasta
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or whichever oil you prefer)


  1. Put the mince, breadcrumbs and egg into a large bowl and mix with your hands, until it has blended together well. Also, put a pot on for pasta, and follow pasta packet instructions for cooking.
  2. Using your hands, roll the mince into balls, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Add more breadcrumbs if the mince is not holding together well.
  3. Add the oil and meatballs into a fry pan, and cook until the mince is browning, making sure you turn them over to prevent burning on one side.
  4. Once browned, add the Dolmio mix and the diced tomatoes, stirring.
  5. Leave to simmer for a few minutes, stir again, then remove from heat.
  6. Place cooked pasta in a dish then add meatballs mix onto the pasta.
  7. Top with cheese, I prefer grated tasty cheese, but other cheeses like parmesan would also work.

Note: When I made this meal I added a bit over the required amount of pasta and we were both able to have a decent sized amount for lunch the next day, so this is a great meal for leftovers and would be good for taking to work or uni and re-heating.

IngredientsPrepared meatballsCooking meatballsSimmering sauceServed upServed up
Italian Meatballs, a set on Flickr.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese is a great student food as a tray of Macaroni Cheese makes for some great leftovers. This is also a great food for kids, and easy to cook as well!


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or butter
  • 8 rashers of bacon, rindless is best 
  • 1 brown onion 
  • 3 tablespoons flour 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 1.5 cups grated cheese
  • 125g pasta (weight before cooked)


  1. Dice the bacon and onion, onion pieces should be small so as not to overwhelm the overall taste, put on pot of water for pasta and add pasta once it is boiling, and pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius. 
  2. Heat oil/butter in the pan and then add the onion and bacon, stirring until onion is transparent and bacon is mostly cooked 
  3. Into the pan, add the 3 tablespoons of flour, and mustard, stirring. 
  4. Add the milk as soon as the flour and mustard and stirred in, continuing to stir as you go 
  5. When the sauce starts bubbling turn the heat down low and continue stirring until it returns to bubbling again, then remove from heat. 
  6. With the pasta done, remove it from the water using a strainer, then add the pasta to a good sized oven proof dish. 
  7. Pour the sauce mix into the pasta, mixing it around to make sure it is spread evenly throughout. Then, evenly disperse the grated cheese on top of the pasta mix. 
  8. Stick it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 
  9. Ready to serve!

Required ingredientsCooking the onion and baconFinalising the sauceOut of the ovenPlated up

Macaroni Cheese, a set on Flickr.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fettuccine Carbonara

Fettucine Carbonara, a delicious Italian meal, is a great dish that is filling, and quick to make.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or butter (for the pan)
  • 1 pack Dolmio Italian Meal Bases: Carbonara (This stuff is delicious, and it's one of the few instances where I haven't felt ill eating Carbonara, think it's something to do with the eggs that usually makes me ill)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 cup cheese (guess a cup size, don't try stuffing it into a cup, no one cares if you grate too much)
  • 125g pasta (fettuccine is good, but any kind of pasta works, except maybe Lasagne)
  • 8 rashers of bacon (best tip is to go to the deli at your supermarket and buy rindless short-cut, the price will look expensive but you're not paying for the extra weight of the useless rinds)
  • 300-500g of chicken, depending on how much you like chicken.
  • Note: Chicken is optional, but as I have a carnivorous fiancé, it always gets added.


  1. Dice the chicken and bacon, cutting it into small bite-size pieces. Also, put a large pot of water on the stove-top for the pasta.
  2. Put your oil/butter into a large pan and fry the bacon and chicken until the chicken is cooked through and starting to brown. (Can't tell if chicken is cooked? Pick a bit that's larger than the rest and cut it open with your wooden spoon/whatever you're stirring with, check that it is white)
  3. Is your water boiling yet? Or close to it? Put your pasta on as directed by the instructions on the packet.
  4. With the chicken now cooked, tip in the Domio packet, and the cream, stirring so that it is spread consistently throughout the pan.
  5. Stir in the grated cheese, making sure it melts throughout the sauce.
  6. Continue to stir the sauce and chicken mix until it is bubbling, then turn down the heat and stir for a couple more minutes.
  7. Once those minutes have passed, remove the pan from the heat and set down on the bench.
  8. Once the pasta is ready, remove the water from the pasta, using a strainer, then stir the pasta into the sauce mix. It is easiest to do this with only a portion of the pasta at a time, rather than all of it at once.
  9. Voilà! You are ready to serve!

Ingredients Needed for Fettuccine CarbonaraChopped chickenPot of water for pastaCooking pastaCooking chickenAfter cream, recipe mix and cheese has been added
Plated up

Fettuccine Carbonara, a set on Flickr.

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Welcome to Meals Below $10! 

This blog is designed to provide recipes and tips to students who are after delicious, nutritious food without having to spend a huge amount of money.  Eating out is expensive, however, I have heard many young people say that takeaway meals are cheaper than eating at home. I have a feeling these people have never been to a supermarket or looked at the breakdown of food.  Often it costs around $10 for small chinese takeaway meals, and even McDonalds meals these days are hitting the $10 mark.  I want to let students know that they can make food quickly, and easily at home, and save money in the process. 

As part of my background, I a student currently studying university from home via Open Universities Australia, and am studying Librarianship and Corporate Information Management.  This is no different to studying on campus, I still have lectures, tutorial activities, and assignments. The only difference is that I don't have to get up in the freezing cold at 6am for that 8am lecture.  I also live with my wonderful fiancé, so please understand that the meal amounts that I cook are servings enough for us, and often contain leftovers for at least one of us (usually him).  

I also want it to be understood that by under $10, I mean that it will be under $10 per serve, you may live alone and therefore only need half the ingredients in a recipe, and it should come out to under $10 per serve for you, sometimes it will only be $5 or less per serve, which is about the cost of a cheese burger meal at McDonalds, however you will be much better off for choosing to cook at home (and you will develop an essential life skill!).  

I will also be providing some information on what core ingredients you should have in your pantry/fridge, and what basic cooking utensils you will need if you are looking to move out of home.  I know it looks like your parents have a lot of weird looking utensils in their cupboards, but you don't need all of that!  

Thank you for reading and I will be posting up recipes over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!