Summer Cooking

Budget family recipes

As the weather heats up and we cast our minds to which Spanish Island to lounge on this year, here at Spark we always try and save our users a bit of cash.

Next up in our roster of thrifty tips, we look at some cheap eats to enjoy under the baking sun.

Fish tacos with Sesame Ginger Slaw


  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
  • Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek-style low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger


Heat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium hob. Lightly coat fish in oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place fish in pan and heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning only one until it can be easily flaked with a fork.

Add the yoghurt plus lime, sesame oil, soy, ginger and honey to a small bowl, mixing with a whisk. Combine this dressing with the slaw mix.

Place some fish in each tortilla and top with the freshly made slaw mix.


Chili Stuffed Cheeseburger


  • 4 chillies
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 150grams shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds mince
  • 4 rolls
  • Lettuce leaves, sliced onion and tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup, for serving


Light the grill and rub the chilies with olive oil. Place the jalepenos and garlics onto a skewer and grill until lightly charred all over. Take the skin off the chillies and discard the stems and seeds. Chop the chiles and garlic, placing in a bowl. Add the cheese and season.

Make up four burgers and using a ¼ cup, measure a quarter of the cheese mixture and place in the centre of the patties. Flatten the centres so the burgers are even. Brush with oil and season.

Grill the burgers, turning once, about every six minutes. Toast the rolls and top with lettuce, onion and tomato. Serve as desired.


Guinness Pulled Pork

Let your slow cooker and a bottle of Guinness do the work to create the tastiest fall-apart-on-your-fork pulled pork ever.


  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 4 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder or loin
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (11.2) bottle Guinness extra-stout beer


In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper until combined. Rub the mixture all over the surface of the pork until covered.

Spread out the sliced onions over the bottom of the slow cooker. Then place the pork on top. And then pour the beer on top. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or until the pork literally falls apart on your pork. Serve on sliders, tacos, salads, or however you would like.

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