Five Affordable Recipes With Four Ingredients Or Less + Mini Review

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Say goodbye to endlessly searching the supermarket aisles for countless ingredients that will probably end up in the back of your cupboard, never to be used again.

These five tasty, foolproof dishes from Kim McCosker and Rachel Birmingham’s book, 4 Ingredients contain easy to follow recipes that only use four affordable ingredients or less to create successful meals that even below average cooks like myself can achieve. 

1) Pesto And Chicken Parcels- serves 4- Kelly Mauger recipes from 4 Ingredients. 

Ingredients: 
– 4 chicken thighs 
– 4 tbs. basil pesto 
– 125g camembert cheese
– 2 sheets puffed pastry 

6 easy steps: 
1) Preheat oven to 180C.
2) Rub one side of chicken thigh with pesto and season with salt and pepper. 
3) Cut camembert into thin strips and cover chicken. 
4) Start from one end of the chicken thigh and roll it up.
5) Place a sheet of the puffed pastry flat and cut diagonally, place chicken in the middle and fold to cover sealing the edges with a fork. 
6) Bake for 30 minutes. 

Final product, Image Source: Caitlin Smith
Pesto and chicken parcels ingredients, Image Source: Caitlin Smith

Review:
I began the preparation for this meal at 5:40pm which only took 12 minutes in total. The Chicken and pesto parcels were ready to be taken out of the oven at 6:40 and served with a simple salad which was made during the baking time. 

The baking time was almost double the suggested time. However, this may have been due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to cooking. The cooking steps appear to be written as though prior cooking knowledge is assumed and therefore the cooking time may have been less if i had known to flatten the chicken thighs in order to allow them to cook through faster. 

It is also important to note that everyone’s ovens are different which may contribute to the variation in baking time. 

The most difficult step was definitely wrapping the chicken thighs in the puffed pastry. It was quite a messy task and was by far the longest step to execute. 

For some, using a different type of cheese than camembert may be a better option as it was quite rich in taste and dominated the other flavours in the meal. In saying this, the chicken was very juicy when cut into and the pastry was light and crispy. 

One of the best parts about this recipe is that it only costs a total of $20.00 which is very affordable when the recipe served 4, making this a perfect meal for those on a budget. 

Star rating:   

2) Egg And Bacon Pie – Kim McCosker recipe from 4 Ingredients.

Ingredients: 
– 6 rashes of bacon
– 6 eggs
– 2 sheets puffed pastry 
– a single onion

6 easy steps: 
1) Preheat oven to 200C.
2) Line quiche dish with a single puff pastry sheet. 
3) Evenly cover the base of the pie dish with diced bacon and onion and gently season.
4) Crack eggs whole and evenly over the filling.
5) Layer second piece of puff pastry over the top of filling to create the pies lid, poke four vent holes through the lid. 
6) Bake for 25 minutes. 

Bacon and egg pie ingredients, Image Source: Caitlin Smith                                                          
Final result, Image Source: Caitlin Smith

 

 

 

 

Review: 
The bacon and egg pie was incredibly simple, yet very tasty. I began the preparation of the pie at 7:47pm, it was then ready to be put into the over at 8:00pm and was ready to be taken out within half an hour. 

The pastry was perfectly golden and flaky. I love the simplicity of the classic bacon and egg flavour, especially having the eggs cracked hole without breaking the yolk to ensure there is the lovely circle of yolk visible when you cut into the pie. 

A tip I learnt from this recipe guide is to freeze the onion for 5 minutes before dicing it to save your eyes from tearing up.

One of the benefits of the egg and bacon pie is that it is enjoyable to eat hold or cold, which mean you are able to eat it anywhere, at any time of the day. You can also freeze the pie and save it for a later occasion for the times when you can’t find the strength or energy to cook.

 Star rating:   

3) Banana And Nutella Croissants – Kim McCosker from 4 Ingredients.

Ingredients: 
– 1 banana 
– 1 egg + 1 tbs of water, lightly beaten 
– 1 sheet puffed pastry
– 3/4 cup of nutella

6 easy steps: 
1) Preheat oven to 180C. 
2) Cut a single sheet of lightly floured puff pastry into even thirds and then cut each third into two triangles by cutting between two opposite corner to make six long skinny triangles. 
3) Spread on tablespoon of Nutella onto the widest part of the triangle, and top with three thinly sliced pieces of banana. 
4) Starting at the wide end of the triangle, roll the pastry up so the tip of the pastry is underneath the croissant. 
5) Brush the tops of the croissants with egg and water mixture. 
6) bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 

Final product, Image Source: Caitlin Smith
Banana and Nutella croissant ingredients, Image Source: Caitlin Smith                                                       

Review: 
I began 
the banana and Nutella croissants at 8:00pm and they were ready to be put into the oven at 8:20pm. They were then taken out of the oven by 9:10pm. 

The banana developed a delicious caramelised taste and texture which complimented the warm Nutella that was oozing out of the croissant, just the way I like it. 

The most challenging step was rolling up the pastry tight enough to ensure the bananas stayed in place. It is worth taking your time with this step as one of my pastries were not rolled tightly enough and it was impossible to fix, therefore it had to be thrown away. 

The croissants are such a fun, delicious snack, perfect for your chocolate cravings and are best served warm. 

Star rating:  

4) Pesto Pasta- Kim McCosker and Rachael Birmingham from 4 Ingredients. 

Ingredients: 
– 2 cups penne pasta
– 1 jar basil pesto 
– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
– 1/4 cup pine nut (optional) 

3 easy steps: 
1) Boil water and cook 2 cups of penne pasta for 10-12 minutes. 
2) Drain excess water from pasta, stir 1 jar basil pesto and half a cup of shredded cheddar through. 
3) Top with pine nuts (optional) and serve. 
 

Final product, Image Source: Caitlin Smith
Pesto penne pasta ingredients, Image Source: Caitlin Smith


Review: 
This is a perfect meal to quickly whip up for lunch or dinner and is a nice change from regular tomato pasta sauce flavours. It only took me 15 minutes to prep and cook this meal, which is perfect for times when you’re in a rush. 

I chose not to add the pine nuts as I am not fond of them, and only used half a jar of the basil pesto sauce because it has quite a strong flavour which may have been too overpowering if i had used an entire jar. 

In the future, if I allow myself more time, I would add another ingredient such as chicken or tomato to the mix to improve it further and to add more texture and flavour to the dish. 

Star rating: 

5) Banana Bread – Kim McCosker from 4 Ingredients. 

Ingredients:
– 2 bananas 
– 1/2 cup caster sugar
– 2 cups of self-raising flour 

4 easy steps: 
1) Preheat oven to 180C. 
2) Mash two bananas in mixing bowl. 
3) Add half a cup of caster sugar, one cup of mayonnaise and two cups of self-raising flour to the mixture. 
4) Bake for 40 minutes. 

Final product, Image source: Caitlin Smith
Banana bread ingredients, Image Source: Caitlin Smith

Review: 
I began prepping for the banana bread at 2:12pm and it was put into the oven by 2:27pm.

The banana bread came out of the oven smelling delicious and fresh at 3:00pm. It was extremely light and fluffy on the inside and nice and golden on the outside. 

I was extremely hesitant when adding the cup of mayonnaise as I had never heard of adding mayonnaise to a banana bread mixture before. Thankfully, I couldn’t even tell mayonnaise had been added and I think it worked well in balancing out the sweetness of the banana bread. The Mayonnaise worked very well as it contains egg and oil which meant it was the perfect substitute ingredient instead of adding two extra ingredients to the list… and, saving some extra money is always a bonus! 

All four of these ingredients were already sitting in my cupboard at home as they are fairly staple items. It is always amazing to create such a delicious snack without having to run to the grocery store. 


Star rating:
 

 

 

 

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