Bloggers dish out their best budget-friendly recipes

By Christian Collington

Canadian food bloggers share budget-friendly recipes for those wanting to spend less at grocery stores amid rising food costs.


(6-8 servings)

Julie Van Rosendaal offers a dumpling and potstickers recipe, and says leftovers can be thrown into a simmering broth to make wonton soup. 

Prep time 30 minutes, cook time 10 minutes


  • 1 lb ground pork or beef
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped 
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) grated fresh ginger
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) sesame oil
  • Wonton wrappers (round or square)
  • Canola oil, for cooking (optional)

Dipping sauce:

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar or honey
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes


In a medium bowl, combine the pork, green onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil and mix it all up with your hands.

To fill and shape wontons, set out a small dish of water and working with one or two at a time place a small spoonful of the filling in the middle of each wrapper; moisten the edges with the water (dip your finger in) and fold over, pressing the edge tightly to seal. Pleat them on one side if you like, giving them a curved shape, or if you’re using square wrappers, bring each point up to the middle and press to seal in an X shape. If you like, simply twist the top of the dough to seal it closed (try to push out any air bubbles as you seal them so that they don’t float if you boil them or simmer them in soup).

Place the dumplings seam side up on a baking sheet and if you’d like, cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out (Dumplings can be prepared up to this point, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 6 months (Transfer to freezer bags once frozen).

To cook them as potstickers, heat a generous drizzle of canola oil in a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Place the dumplings close together in the pan and cook for a minute or two, until they’re deep golden and crusty on the bottom.

Carefully pour about 80 ml (1/3 cup) of stock or water into the pan, cover with a lid or foil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes to let them steam. Uncover and cook until the bottoms of the dumplings are very crisp, and any excess liquid has evaporated (Alternatively, boil the dumplings in water for 3-4 minutes, or toss directly into simmering soup).

To make the dipping sauce, stir together all the ingredients and serve with the potstickers, if you used beef and boiled them, serve with a peanut sauce instead, if you’d like. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.


(4 servings)

Taylor Stinson offers a low-carb lunch or dinner recipe, made with a lemon-oregano marinade. 

Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) oregano
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) feta cheese, crumbled


Preheat the oven to 204 C (400 F). Add all ingredients except for feta to a large sheet pan and toss well to combine. Bake in the oven once preheated for 18-20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Remove from oven and divide mixture among 4 glass meal prep bowls. Top with feta cheese (optional) and serve. Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.


(4 servings)

Louisa Clements offers working parents a vegetarian taco recipe with roasted cauliflower and black beans.

Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 30 minutes


For Tacos:

  • 1 large cauliflower; cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) coriander
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) chili powder
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) cumin
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 19oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

For Cumin Lime Crema

  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) cumin

To assemble:

  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) minced cilantro


Preheat oven to 232 C (450F), and arrange cauliflower on a baking sheet.

In a measuring cup, whisk the olive oil with coriander, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Pour the olive oil mixture over cauliflower and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven and carefully add the black beans, stir to coat the black beans in mixture.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with garlic, lime zest and juice, salt and cumin.

Spoon the cauliflower mixture into tortillas, drizzle with crema and sprinkle cilantro.


(4 servings)

Stacie Vaughan offers a sheet pan dish with tender chicken.

Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts
  • 1 butternut squash: peeled seeded and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 16 oz purple potatoes, quartered
  • 12 oz broccoli florets
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) fresh thyme or dried thyme
  • 1 ml (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard 
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil, divided
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 204 C (400 F).

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, Dijon mustard and 30 ml (2 tbsp) of olive oil.

Place potatoes and butternut squash in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.

Pour the remaining 15 ml (1 tbsp) of olive oil on vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken in a single layer and brush each chicken with the syrup mixture.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and thyme.

Place pan in the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, internal temperature of 74 C (165 F). About 25-30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.

Add broccoli during the last 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


(6 servings)

Shahzadi Devje offers a hassle-free vegan recipe with black-eyed peas for those on the go.

Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 7 hours


  • 473 ml (2 cups) black-eyed peas: dry, uncooked, soaked overnight
  • 1419 ml (6 cups) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil: extra virgin
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
  • 15 ml (3 tsp) garlic; fresh, crushed
  • 1 onion; large, medium sliced
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) curry powder
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) coriander powder
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) red chilli
  • 1 black cardamom; seeds crushed
  • 236 ml (1 cup) tomato sauce; thick consistency or couli-style
  • 236 ml (1 cup) cilantro; fresh, chopped
  • 1 lemon; fresh, juiced

Special Equipment

Slow cooker


Rinse the black-eyed peas well and add to the slow cooker along with water. Turn on the slow cooker and set it on high.

To make the Tarka (curry sauce), in a medium pan, add olive oil, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Fry on medium heat until lightly brown, they should release their scent. Be careful not to burn the seeds and leaves.

Add garlic and onion and fry until golden brown. Then stir in all the dried spices and salt and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Add the tomato sauce and mix well for 1 minute.

Pour the tomato-spice mixture into the slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 7 hours. Serve by garnishing with fresh cilantro and lemon juice.