Having the most frugal grocery budget in the world isn’t going to help you any if you can’t put together at least a few healthy, tasty, and cheap eats! Every few weeks, The Outlier Model features a cheap recipe idea, along with the cost breakdown.
Fish is a great protein option for people looking to cut down on their red meat intake. One fish I’ve been cooking lately is the Pacific Rockfish. Rockfish is found native to the Pacific Ocean and is (usually) a type of striped bass. It’s a healthy and affordable fish, containing lots of protein, vitamin A, potassium, and smaller amounts of iron and calcium. You can get it fresh but frozen fish are usually much, much cheaper. I purchased a bag of several small frozen fish recently for only $5.
Depending on how you purchased your fish, it may be whole, partially cleaned or completely cleaned. If it is completely cleaned, skip to the next step! Otherwise, continue reading.
Cleaning a fish
Pat the fish dry and place it in a glass baking dish or casserole dish. If you’re using multiple fish, just lay them side by side. Chop the garlic and sprinkle it over the fish. Then, take the butter and place it in rough chunks over the fish. Finally, sprinkle on a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cover the dish with tin foil (or the lid, if oven safe) and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour.
Goes great with lightly cooked kale or asparagus and rice!
Cost per serving: $1.40 plus the cost of sides. With starch and veggies, you would have a total cost of $2 to $2.50.
Feeling adventurous? This recipe is easy to turn into a layered casserole. Instead of using whole fish, cut (or buy) skinless fillets of fish. You’ll need about another 2 tablespoons of butter. Then, in your baking dish, layer scalloped potatoes, butter, fish, garlic, more butter, mushrooms, and yes, more butter. Finish off the recipe as above and bake. It’s a meal in a dish! **It’s important to use fillets rather than whole fish if you choose this method because otherwise, it will turn out very, very fishy smelling!!!**
Frugal hack: This is a very simple recipe that would go well with most types of meaty white fish. Think halibut, trout and other types of bass. Buy whatever is on sale, whatever is cheap in the frozen section, and experiment!