We save money cooking all our kids’ meals from scratch using our microwave – here’s how you can too, says Frankie Bridge

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POP’S Frankie Bridge and her ex-footie star hubby may not be a couple you would expect to tuck into microwave meals.

But they have created their own series of money-saving recipes for just this kind of food.

Frankie and Wayne Bridge have created their own series of money-saving recipes

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Frankie and Wayne Bridge have created their own series of money-saving recipesCredit: Results Wellness Lifestyle App

Former The Saturdays singer Frankie and Wayne have kids Parker, nine, and Carter and reckon quick, affordable microwave cooking from scratch can help busy families beat the cost of living crisis and stay healthy.

Frankie, 33, who has appeared in I’m A Celeb and Strictly, says: “We love food but don’t love spending hours making it. It’s easy as a working mum to turn to pre-made sauces but it’s to important to cook from scratch to stay healthy. It’s never been more important to cook affordable food.”

Microwaves are the cheapest cooking appliance to run at about 8p a day, £30 a year. An electric hob is £316 a year and gas £120.

Wellness gurus say the quick cooking helps retain food’s nutritional value.

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Frankie admits Wayne, 42 — who since quitting footie in 2014 has appared on I’m A Celebrity and SAS: Who Dares Wins — is the better cook.

She says: “It will be something quick, a chili or pasta. I love tray bakes as they are easy, but I’ve been microwave-cooking satay noodles and veggie rice.”

Here are some of their recipes created for app Results Wellness Lifestyle (RWL), and Utilita Energy figures for what each costs to microwave, compared to electric or gas hob.

Fakeaway butternut curry (Serves 3)

Add 1 tbsp of mango chutney with the coconut cream if, like me, you have a sweet tooth, says Frankie

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Add 1 tbsp of mango chutney with the coconut cream if, like me, you have a sweet tooth, says FrankieCredit: Results Wellness Lifestyle App

YOU NEED:

  • 300g butternut squash
  • 100g spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • ½ tbsp Garam masala
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 200g coconut cream
  • 100g peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lime
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Rice and/or naan bread, to serve
  • Pinch of salt, to season

METHOD: Chop up the butternut squash into small chunks (approx. 1-2 cm cubes).

Pour the oil, squash and onions into a microwavable bowl.

Cover with a plate and place in microwave, on full, for 5 mins.

Remove from the microwave and add in the coconut cream, spinach, peas and spices and season with a pinch of salt.

Stir well, cover then pop back into the microwave for 5 mins.

Check the butternut squash is soft and cooked through, if it’s not, you may need to place back in the microwave for a bit longer.

Once ready, squeeze over the lime and add a handful of coriander.
Serve the curry with your choice of sides and enjoy.

FRANKIE’S TIP: Add 1 tbsp of mango chutney with the coconut cream if, like me, you have a sweet tooth.

COSTS: Microwave, 5 mins, 3p. Electric hob, 40 mins, £1.12. Gas hob, 40 mins, 44p.

Smoky chilli (serves 2)

Make up double or triple then store in the fridge in an airtight container, says Wayne

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Make up double or triple then store in the fridge in an airtight container, says WayneCredit: Results Wellness Lifestyle App

YOU NEED:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes (200g)
  • 1x 400g tin kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped (or dried/puree garlic)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 1x sachet microwave rice, to serve

METHOD: Put the chopped onion, garlic and butter into a bowl then cover this with a plate and microwave it on full for 1 min.

Add in the tomatoes, beans, stock cube and spices, stir well then cover and microwave for a further 3-4 mins.

Ensure the food is hot right the way through, and stir well. Serve with rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

WAYNE’S TIP: Make up double or triple then store in the fridge in an airtight container. It keeps for 2-3 days and is a great healthy lunch.

COSTS: Microwave, 7 mins, 4.2p. Electric hob, 40 mins, £1.12. Gas hob, 40 mins, 44p.

Smoky beans (Serves 1)

This recipe only costs 3p to make in the microwave

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This recipe only costs 3p to make in the microwaveCredit: Results Wellness Lifestyle App

YOU NEED:

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ medium red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 120g passata
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tin of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 Slice of wholemeal bread (gluten free if necessary)

METHOD: Place the olive oil, diced onion and garlic into a microwavable dish.

Cover the dish with a plate and microwave on high for 1 min.

Remove the dish from the microwave and add the smoked paprika, passata, maple syrup and beans.

Stir well until fully coated, then cover and microwave for a further 4 mins.

While this is cooking, put a piece (or two) of wholemeal bread into the toaster and toast.

Remove from the microwave and stir once more, remove toast from the toaster and put on to a plate then pour the beans on top.

Season with a pinch of salt and pepper on top.

COSTS: Microwave, 5 mins, 3p. Electric hob, 40 mins, £1.12. Gas hob, 40 mins, 44p.

Chocolate cake (Serves 1)

You can make the mix for the cake in advance and store it, says Frankie

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You can make the mix for the cake in advance and store it, says FrankieCredit: Results Wellness Lifestyle App

YOU NEED:

  • 20g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup
  • 40ml milk of choice
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp biscuit spread or your favourite spread

METHOD: Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl apart from biscuit spread if using. Spoon into a microwaveable mug or ramekin. Spoon a tbsp of biscuit spread into the middle of the batter. Microwave on full for 1 min. Allow to stand for 1 min, then serve.

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FRANKIE’S TIP: If you have friends round, the mix can be made early, kept in fridge then microwaved when needed.

COSTS: Microwave, 1 min, 0.6p. Electric hob, 20 mins, £56p Gas hob, 20 mins, 26p.

  • All recipes are on the RWL app. Sign up resultswellnesslifestyle.com from £9.99 a month.

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