13th January 2022 | 6 minute read

ilumoni partners with The Slimming Foodie

It’s January and, for many of us, that means tightening the purse strings and loosening those belt buckles after the indulgent month of December.

Our recent research report highlighted that over one in five (22%) UK borrowers buy on credit and then worry about how to pay for it later, and that nearly three in five (58%) borrowers are not happy with how they manage their borrowing so maybe January is the perfect time to reassess not only our physical health but also the health of our finances.

When we asked our following how they planned to ‘get debt fit’ this January, spending less on takeaways and less impulse buying were frontrunners, alongside stopping buying on credit, getting on top of their debt, budgeting and saving more. That's why we've teamed up with Pip Payne (aka The Slimming Foodie) to serve up some delicious guilt-free 'fakeaway' recipes this January.

Ordering takeaways can be an indulgent treat or a frazzled parent’s family dinner, but when money is tight or you’re trying to be healthy, a fakeaway can be a great alternative to help you save both your wallet and your waistline, without compromising on flavour.

Tuck into one of the three recipes below (or all of them) and make sure you tag us in your photos too!

Crispy honey soy chicken

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes (including marinating time)

Cook time: 30 minutes

Cost*: We found these ingredients for £2.15 per person when using Aldi, and that's if you need to buy all the storecupboard items new! So if you don't need to, this meal could be even cheaper.


8 chicken thigh fillets, excess fat trimmed away and cut into quarters

For the marinade:

3 garlic cloves, crushed

5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For baking the chicken:

4 tablespoons cornflour

Low-calorie cooking spray

For the sauce:

⅓ cup dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2cm piece ginger, peeled and grated

1 red chilli, deseeded and diced

2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes

1 teaspoon cornflour

¼ cup cold water

To garnish (optional):

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced

Small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

½ red chilli, deseeded and finely diced


  1. Make up the marinade for the chicken by mixing up all of the marinade ingredients. Stir in the chicken pieces and mix well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to marinade (this is a great opportunity to prepare the sauce ingredients).

  2. Heat the oven to 190°C (Fan)

  3. Spray a large baking tray with low calorie cooking spray, and then dip each piece of chicken into the cornflour to coat it, then place onto the baking tray making sure there is a little space between each piece of chicken.

  4. Spray the chicken thoroughly with low calorie cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes, until crispy on the outside.

  5. For the sauce, add the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, red chilli, spring onions and crushed chilli into a pan and bring up to a fast simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes stirring regularly.

  6. Stir the 1 teaspoon of cornflour into the ¼ cup cold water until dissolved, and then pour into the saucepan. Simmer for another minute until the sauce thickens up.

  7. Add in the crispy chicken, stir it thoroughly into the sauce.

  8. Serve immediately garnished with sesame seeds, spring onion, coriander and chilli, and with the sides of your choice. 

I like to serve this with basmati rice, and very finely chopped raw red cabbage, carrot and red peppers, mixed with fresh coriander for a fresh and crunchy addition.

Easy butter prawn curry

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Cost*: This curry came in at £4.65 per person, again buying all ingredients so each time you make it, it'll be cheaper still given you won't need to rebuy spices straight away.


300g cooked and peeled king prawns

For the prawn marinade:

300g fat-free Greek yoghurt

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ lemon, juiced

For the curry:

1 teaspoon butter

1 large onion, peeled and finely diced

500g butternut squash, diced into 1cm pieces

3 garlic cloves, crushed

5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon fenugreek

300ml hot chicken stock

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 teaspoon mango chutney

3 tablespoons single cream

To serve:

Lightly toasted flaked almonds

Fresh coriander 


  1. Make up the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients into a large bowl, then add in the king prawns and set them aside to marinade for at least 20 minutes.

  2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan, and add in the onion and butternut squash cubes. Fry these gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

  3. After 10 minutes, add in the garlic, ginger and green chilli, as well as the garam masala and fenugreek, and stir fry for 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in the chicken stock, and stir through the tomato purée. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Add in the prawns as well as all of the marinade, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the butternut squash is tender. Keep stirring regularly.

  6. Stir through the mango chutney.

  7. Add in the single cream, and stir through the curry.

  8. Serve immediately scattered with toasted flaked almonds and fresh coriander.

This is best served with basmati rice, white or brown.

Mexican-style loaded wedges with halloumi (vegetarian)

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Cost*: We made this dish at a very reasonable £3.45 per person buying everything new. Already got the spices in your cupboard? You're in luck - it'll be cheap as...wedges?


1.2 kg maris piper potatoes, cut into wedges

Low calorie cooking spray

2 onions, halved, then thinly sliced

3 sweet peppers (red, yellow and orange), deseeded and cut into strips

300g closed-cup mushrooms, sliced

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

400g can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

225g halloumi, diced into cubes

120g cheddar cheese, grated

3 tablespoons pickled jalapenos

2 spring onions, finely sliced

Small handful fresh coriander

1 lime, cut into quarters

Salt and pepper

For the spice mix:

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon onion granules

1 tablespoon garlic granules

1 tablespoon oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (Fan)

  2. Put the potato wedges onto a large baking tray, spray generously with low calorie cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Into another deep baking tray, add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

  4. Mix up the spice mix in a small bowl, and sprinkle all over the chopped up vegetables. Mix together very thoroughly, and then spray generously with low calorie cooking spray.

  5. Place the potato wedges onto the top shelf of the oven, and the tray of spiced vegetables onto the middle shelf. Bake for 20 minutes.

  6. After 20 minutes, remove both trays from the oven, shuffle the potato wedges around the tray to allow them to brown more evenly.

  7. Add the drained pinto beans to the vegetables, mix together, and then scatter the halloumi cubes on top. Put the potato wedges and the tray of vegetables with halloumi back into the oven for ten minutes.

  8. Serve on a large platter, or in individual bowls. Put the potato wedges on the bottom, spoon over the vegetables and halloumi, scatter over the grated cheddar (you can grill this to melt and brown it a little if you wish), then scatter over the jalapenos, spring onions and coriander. Finally, garnish with the lime wedges and serve.

Share your snaps

We'd love to see your take on the recipes above so snap a pic and tag us on social media! You can follow us on the links below:

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Get Debt Fit

See if you could save even more money this January by paying off debt more efficiently. Download the ilumoni app today.

*Ingredients costs correct as of 13th January 2021 when shopping at Aldi online.

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*As referenced in the FCA's financial lives report and/or the credit card market report.