I've got a busy week ahead this week. My cake decorating course starts back on Monday so for the next 5 Mondays I will need a low faff dinner because I’ll be knackered. I’m in London on Tuesday evening at an event so hubby will need something that can be reheated as he doesn’t usually cook and his skills in the kitchen are pretty minimal.
I’m also in London again on Wednesday and may or may not be home in time to cook dinner. That’s 3 nights this week where we will need low faff meals. I’ve also decided that our girls will have school dinners this week so have reduced the Shopping List accordingly to cover the cost of school dinners.
The cost of the 36 items on this weeks Shopping List was £49.92 at Asda when I ordered online today (Friday 17/03). As always I used My Supermarket to compare the cost of my shop and it would've cost £64.50 at Sainsburys and £65.55 at Tesco.
As usual I will be baking all of our bread, rolls, bagels, etc. Even though I will be out of the house 3 days in a row I can still bake what we need and freeze it for later in the week.
Slow Cooker Beef Casserole – Monday and Tuesday
This is a fab, low faff warming stew that is cooked in a slow cooker. It makes enough to serve us 5 generously for 2 nights. Great for nights when I need a dinner that is guaranteed to be eaten without fuss. This casserole is perfect for that. It tastes even better the second night. Sometimes I freeze the other portion but more often than not I just serve it the next night with different vegetables on the side. You can add other chopped root vegetables to the casseroles if you want, such as potatoes, parsnip. pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.
1kg beef braising/stewing steak cut into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 x 400g cans of kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
2 peppers, roughly diced (any colour will do)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 bay leaves
2 Tblsp brown sugar
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
If you have time, brown the meat in a non-stick pan, use a little oil if necessary.
Put the beef and everything else in the slow cooker. Stir well and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. If the casserole needs thickening, stir 2 Tbsp cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 Tbsp water into it. Serve with mash and greens or mixed vegetables.
Hotdogs and Salad – Wednesday
Cook 5 good quality pork sausages and serve each sausage in a wholemeal bun topped with homemade tomato salsa accompanied by a side salad.
Vegetable Bake - Thursday
3 cups seasonal vegetables (I used finely chopped onion, pepper and mushrooms, grated carrot and courgette)
1 handful grated tasty cheese
½ cup self raising flour or ½ cup plain flour and ½ tsp baking powder
freshly ground black pepper
If you don’t have self raising flour, use standard flour with ½ tsp of baking powder added. Cut a selection of vegetables in to small chunks or grate them. Put them in a well greased or lined 20 x 25cm baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables.
Lightly beat the eggs and milk together then sprinkle in the self raising flour. Mix well to make sure there are no lumps. Pour the beaten egg over the vegetables. Bake at 200C for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the egg has set. Serve with your favourite chutney or relish and a side salad.
Homemade Pizza - Friday
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
2 Tblsp tomato paste mixed with 4 Tblsp water
2 cups toppings (we usually use onion, pepper, courgette, mushrooms and sometimes sweetcorn)
1 handful grated cheese
Sieve flour and baking powder. Rub butter into the flour until the mixture is like coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the milk and mix until a stiff dough forms (add more flour or milk if necessary). Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly.
Roll out into a circle or rectangle transfer to a greased oven tray.
Scatter over your choice of toppings. Sprinkle over some grated cheese.
Cook at 200ºC for 20 minutes.
Sausages, Potato Wedges and Mixed Vegetables - Saturday
1kg potatoes,cut into wedges
6 pork sausages
400g frozen mixed vegetables
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ gas 6. Spread the wedge out on a non-stick baking tray, in a single layer. Drizzle the potato wedges with some olive oil and season. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until brown and crisp.
Put the sausages in a baking dish and cook in the oven for last 20 minutes of wedges cooking time. Served with cooked mixed vegetables.
Slow Cooker Vege Stew - Sunday
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 Tblsp oil
2 tsp cumin
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
500ml tomato passata
2 handfuls of sliced mushrooms
1 large carrot, peeled and finely sliced
1 small sweet potato, cut into small dice
2 tsp dried oregano
250ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock
Soften the onions, pepper and garlic in a little oil then stir in the cumin and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Put in the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. Stir well. Cook on low for 3 hours. Season to taste before serving with crusty bread.
Lunches and Treats
With no kids lunches to make this week adult lunches will be Savoury Swirls with a couple of pieces of fruit and some vege sticks. Low faff, tasty and moderately healthy too.
Versatile Savoury Scone Swirls
Hokey Pokey Biscuits
These are a kiwi classic! Great biscuit tin fillers that always go down well. Perfect for lunchbox treats, coffee mornings and when friends come around for a cuppa.
½ cup sugar
1 Tblsp golden syrup
1 Tblsp milk
1½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and milk in a saucepan stirring constantly. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is nearly boiling.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
Sift the flour and the baking soda together and add them to the cooled mixture. Stir the ingredients well to make sure they are thoroughly combined.
Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and put them on an oven tray lined with non-stick baking paper, then flatten the balls gently with a floured fork.
Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Cool on the trays and then once they have cooled completely, store in an airtight container.
Paul Hollywood’s Iced Fingers
Store Cupboard Soup - Saturday
This is a really useful recipe when your cupboards and fridge are nearly bare and money is tight. I can usually find all the ingredients to make it in my pantry or they can be bought really cheaply from the supermarket. It's a filling lunch or dinner that is really easy to prepare and can be on the table within 15 minutes.
½ Tbsp oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 tin (425g) beans, drained (e.g. mixed beans, butter beans, haricot beans or chickpeas)
1 large tin (400g) sweetcorn, drained or 2 handfuls frozen mixed vegetables
4 large mushrooms, thinly sliced (optional)
1 pepper, diced (red, orange or yellow)
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and sweat the onions until soft and transparent. Add the diced pepper and mushrooms and cook gently until softened.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, drained tin of mixed beans and sweetcorn or a couple of handfuls of frozen mixed vegetables. Cook for another 5 - 10 minutes until everything is well heated through then serve.
I usually serve this with bread rolls or baked potatoes. You could also serve this over thick wholemeal toast, cooked rice, cooked pasta or baked sweet potatoes/potatoes.
Salmon Patties - Sunday
500g baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 courgette, grated
1 carrot, grated
425g can salmon in spring water, drained
olive oil spray
salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 220 C. Put the prepared potatoes into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until soft then drain and mash.
Add the grated courgette and carrot, drained salmon and salt and pepper to the mashed potato and mix until well combined. Form into small patties, spray with oil and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with salad.
Any leftover patties can be bagged up and frozen for later use. They also taste great on sandwiches with tomato chutney.
Weekday breakfasts will be cereal with milk and chopped banana or toast with spread and a banana.
Fruit Bread – Weekend Breakfasts
2 tsp mixed spice
3 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/4 cup sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
2 cups of mixed dried fruit
1 Tblsp milk
1 Tblsp each cinnamon and sugar mixed together
Sift mixed spice and 3 cups flour into a bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Add water then mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Add remaining flour. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. I use my stand mixer to knead my bread if I'm not in the mood to knead it by hand.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I leave my dough in the stand mixer, with the plastic shield on it the dough proves quite happily. Grease a 6cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm loaf tin.
Using your fist, punch the dough down. Knead until smooth. I just knead the dough a little in my stand mixer. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in the dried fruit. Again, I just use my stand mixer. Shape then put in to the prepared loaf tin. Cover with lightly greased cling film and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the dough rises to the top of the tin.
Meanwhile, your preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Once the dough has risen, brush the top of it with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped on top. Stand in tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve with butter and jam.
Cost of 36 items = £49.92 from Asda online, ordered on 17/02.
Packets and Cereals
2x ASDA Wheat Bisks (24x18g) £1.00 was £1.24
2x ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 60p
1x ASDA Wholemeal Plain Flour (1.5Kg) £1.10
1x ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg) 52p
1x ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg) 52p
1x ASDA East Bake Yeast (42g) 64p
Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g) £1.57
5x ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) 42p
2x ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g) 18p
1x ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (326g) 37p
2x ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g) 70p
1x ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g) 48p
1x ASDA Mexican Style Bean Mix in Water (400g) 53p
1x ASDA Passata (500g) 38p
1x ASDA Freshly Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £1.18
Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Fresh Whipping Cream (300ml) £1.08
4x ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £1.18 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g) £1.19
1x The Lake District Cheese Co. Mature Cheddar (400g) £2.00 was £3.98
1x ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15) £2.00 was £2.50
Fruit and Vegetables
1x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Fruit (500g) 64p
1x ASDA Conference Pears (800g) £1.00 was £1.60
20 ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g) 6.8p
10 ASDA Carrots by Weight (100g) 8p
5 ASDA Courgettes by Weight (100g) 16p
1x ASDA Smartprice Mushrooms (750g) £1.29
7 ASDA Onions by Weight (100g) 7.6p
2 ASDA Sweet Potatoes by Weight (100g) 12.8p
1x ASDA Celery 83p
1x ASDA Cherry Tomatoes (400g) £1.00
1x ASDA Baking Potatoes (2.5Kg) £1.75
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.57
1x ASDA Great Stuff Satsumas (500g) £1.00 was £1.30
Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 454g) £2.68 any 2 FOR £4.00
2x ASDA British Beef Stewing Steak (571g) £4.00 any 2 FOR £7.00
1x La Comida Red Wine (250ml) £1.47 any 3 FOR £4.00