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3 budget-friendly meals by Chef Nwabisa Lisa

Cooking a family meal on a tight budget doesn’t mean meals have to be boring.

By Gerry Cupido | July 27, 2021 | Recipes

If you know how to put a few simple and inexpensive ingredients together, you can create a scrumptious meal that will have everyone at the table smiling.

Nwabisa Lisa, who’s the owner of KwaLisa Soulfood, has been cooking since the age of nine. The private chef, who runs cooking classes, shares her top three budget-friendly recipes.



1 onion, finely chopped

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 tbs oil

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup fresh cream

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mint to garnish


In a saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Add frozen peas and half of the fresh cream and mix together.

Add the chicken stock and water. Season with salt and pepper and leave it simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture onto the blender and blend on low speed.

Open the small lid in the middle to allow some air pressure to escape. As you continue to blend, add the rest of the fresh cream little by little, until you everything has been added. Garnish with mint and serve with toasted bread and butter.


1 tbs oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery, chopped

750g ground beef mince

¼ cup tomato paste

½ cup water

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper

For mash:

2 tbs butter

1.2kg potatoes, peeled and cooked

¾ cup milk

¼ cup white cheddar cheese


In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook till soft.

Add the carrots and celery, and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the beef mince, and cook until browned.

Add the tomato paste, water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt and pepper. Leave it simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally, until it reduces down to a gravy consistency. Transfer it to a baking dish.

Mash potatoes

Add the butter to the cooked potatoes and mash until melted, then add milk and salt and mash till smooth

Spread onto the pie, use a fork to rough up the surface. Sprinkle the cheese and drizzle oil over. This will make it crispy.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.



1 tbs oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 cup carrots, chopped

Salt and pepper

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tbs flour

250g cooked chicken breast, shredded

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup frozen peas


Heat the oil in a large deep pan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin and flour. Continue to stir until everything is well mixed.

Add the chicken and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and let simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the peas are soft.

This originally appeared on IOL