Welcome to my blog!

Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Our Family Meal Plan For This Week 04/02/13 - £62

Our Meal Plan for this week has a comfort food theme but also needs to take into account the fact that there are a couple of evenings when I won't be home.  It's a fairly low faff Meal Plan with plenty of variety, as requested by my 3 girls.

I was fortunate to pick up some Beef Shin reduced for quick sale at the supermarket so was able to purchase 1kg for £2.50.  I was also able to purchase 250g of beef mince for 75p in the reduced section of the store.  There were vegetable bargains to be had too - I bought two 2.5kg bags of potatoes for 50p each, 1.2kg of carrots for 20p and a bag of peppers for 50p.  I have however included the normal prices for these items in the Shopping List for those who want to follow the Meal Plan but don't have the benefit of the bargains that I found.

The cost of our 44 items of groceries this week was £62.02 at Asda on 03/02/13, I compared the price of my groceries at the other main supermarkets using My Supermarket.  Had I shopped elsewhere my  groceries would've cost £69.64 from Sainsbury's and £79.06 from Tesco

Breakfasts will be cereal with a piece of fruit for afters.  Morning tea at school is usually a piece of fruit too.

Weekend Lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes to use up any leftover vegetables and perhaps a Vegetable Soup or Quiche to also use up any vegetables lingering in the vegetable draw and pastry we might have lurking in the fridge.

Packed lunches this week will be Calzone with vegetable sticks, herbed yoghurt dip and a baked treat.


Bolognese Buns (Calzone)

1 cup red lentils, uncooked
2 Tblsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g beef mince (optional)
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 Tblsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan (optional)

Dough
1 sachet yeast
1 Tblsp sugar
½ cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour, I use half brown bread flour and white flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp each dried mixed herbs (optional)

Make the dough first so it has time to rise. If you have a breadmaker this is even easier, just make the dough using the dough setting. If you're making the dough by hand, or in a stand mixer, mix the dough ingredients together well and stir with your fingers, or mixer,  until the dough mixture forms a large ball.

Knead the dough gently until it is shiny and elastic. Drizzle a little oil over the dough and throughout the bowl to stop it sticking. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and set aside in a warm place to rise for at least 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough is rising make the filling.  Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Pour in the lentils and stir them around to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Boil the lentils for 8-10 minutes or until soft.

Heat the oil in a medium pan and sauté the pepper, onion and garlic until softened. Brown the mince then add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and herbs, finally stir in the lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes until the flavours develop and the bolognese thickens.

To make the calzone, take a small piece of dough and flatten into a small circle shape with your hands. Spoon a measure of bolognese onto one side of circle, leaving an edge.  Top with a tablespoon of grated cheese.  Fold the empty side over and pinch edges together.  You should have a half moon shape. Repeat until all the dough and filling has been used.

Put the calzone on a couple of lined baking trays.  Brush the calzone with olive oil and bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.


Yoghurt Dip with Herbs

100ml natural yoghurt
3 Tblsp mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tblsp chopped fresh herbs
Pinch of salt

Put the yoghurt, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together well with a fork. Add the garlic and chopped fresh herbs. Mix together well and, if you think it needs it, add a pinch of salt.

Cover the dip with clingfilm and leave in it the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to mingle before you serve it.

Dinners

Vegetable Cobbler

2 tsp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
3 large carrots, finely sliced
100g  cauliflower florets
100g broccoli florets
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
75g red lentils
2 Tblsp cornflour
400ml vegetable stock
seasoning to taste

Cobbler
150g self raising flour
45g butter
1 free range egg
1 Tblsp milk
1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas mark 4.

Heat the oil in a large oven safe saucepan and cook the garlic, onion and pepper for 3 minutes before adding the celery, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.  Stirfry the vegetables for 3 minutes then remove from the heat.  Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock.  Mix the cornflour with 2 Tblsp of water and stir it into the stew so that it thickens slightly.  Season to taste bring to the boil then cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Whilst the stew is in the oven, make the cobbler.  Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Beat the egg and milk together before adding it to the flour mixture.  You should have a soft dough, add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Knead the dough lightly then roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2cm. Use a cutter, or glass to cut out rounds about 4cm in diameter.  Re-roll the trimmings so that all the dough is used.

Take the stew out of the oven and increase the temperature to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6.  Arrange the circles of dough on top of the stew, sprinkle over the grated cheese,  and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the cobbler topping is cooked and golden.


Roast Chicken with roast vegetables, steamed greens, Yorkshire puddings and gravy.


Chicken Soup

2 tsp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 pepper, deseeded and diced
600ml chicken stock
100g frozen mixed vegetables
100g leftover roast vegetables
300g leftover roast chicken, roughly chopped
300ml milk
2 Tblsp cornflour mixed with 2 Tblsp water
seasoning to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, onion and pepper.  Cook gently until the onion and pepper have softened.

Add the stock, frozen mixed vegetables, leftover roast vegetables and chicken.  Bring to the boil and boil until the frozen vegetables are cooked through.

Remove from the hear, stir in the milk and the cornflour dissolved in water.  Stir until the soup thickens.  Season to taste then serve.  We have ours with granary rolls.


Chicken Wraps

8 tortillas
4 Tblsp cream cheese
4 Tblsp natural yoghurt
300g leftover roast chicken, shredded
1/2 cucumber cut into thin sticks
2 carrots grated
1 lettuce shredded
sweet chilli sauce, to taste

Lay out the tortillas, mix the yoghurt and cream cheese together then spread over the tortillas.

Distribute the remaining ingredients evenly amongst the remaining tortillas, adding the sweet chilli sauce to taste.

Tightly roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling then serve.


Salmon Hash

700g baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (or use leftover mash)
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
200g tinned salmon, drained
200g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 Tblsp oil
3 tomatoes, sliced
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Drain the potatoes then return to the pan and mash.  Stir through the spring onion, salmon and sweetcorn.  Season to taste.

Preheat your oven grill to high and put a large fryingpan over a moderte heat.  Spread the potato mixture over the base of the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes until the bottom starts to brow and crisp.

Put the slices of tomato over the potato mixture and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.  Put under the grill until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbling.  We serve ours with steamed greens or other vegetables.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew – Saturday, and as pasties on Sunday

1 kg casserole beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 each red and green capsicum, chopped
2 Tblsp plain flour
2 Tblsp tomato paste
250ml beef stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 Tblsp dried oregano
400g can cannellini beans, well drained

Cut beef into 2.5cm-3cm pieces and season the beef with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in a frying pan over a high heat and transfer to a slow cooker.

Scatter in the onion, garlic and capsicums. Stir the flour, tomato paste and beef stock together to make a smooth paste and pour over the beef. Add the tomatoes, scatter in the oregano and cover.

Slow Cooker:  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-5 hours. Add the cannellini beans, stir to mix and allow to heat through before serving.

Oven Cook:  Prepare the casserole as above, adding an extra 250ml of beef stock. Cook in a lidded ovenproof dish at 180ºC for 120 minutes.

Hob Cooking:  Put the browned beef and other ingredients into a heavy-based pot. Partially cover, and keeping the heat low, simmer until the meat is very tender. Stir occasionally, adding water if needed during the cooking time to keep ingredients just covered. In the last 30 minutes of cooking time, add the tomatoes and cannellini beans.


Shopping List

44 items: £62.02

Packets and Cereals
1x     ASDA Wholegrain Scottish Porridge Oats (500g)              65p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Cornflakes (750g)                                 46p
1x     Asda Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)        80p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                   60p
1x     Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g)                                £1.28
1x     ASDA Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)                         £1.00
1x     Asda Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)                         64p
1x     ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg)            £1.28

Frozen
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                   75p

Tins, Jars and Cooking
4x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                £1.24p
1x     ASDA Cannellini Beans in Water (300g)                        64p
1x     ASDA Sweet Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                       59p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mayonnaise (500ml)                         48p
1x     ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)        48p
1x     ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (213g)                       £1.18

Dairy and Eggs
4x     ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                    £4.00
1x     ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g)                            98p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)          49p
1x     Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6)                    £1.00
2x     Cathedral City Mature Cheddar (350g)                          £4.00
1x     ASDA Lighter Plain Soft Cheese (200g)                          50p

Fruit and Vegetables
1x     ASDA Smartprice Pears                                                   90p
2x     ASDA Spring Greens (500g)                                          £1.94
1x     ASDA Salad Tomatoes (750g)                                       £1.50
20     ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g)                 £2.40
20     ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g)                                  £1.36   
2x     ASDA Lemons Loose                                                        60p       
5       ASDA Broccoli by Weight (100g)                                  £1.25   
1x     ASDA Cauliflower Loose                                               £1.00   
10     ASDA Red Onions by Weight (100g)                               90p       
2x     ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                       £3.50    2 FOR £3.50
5       ASDA Butternut Squash by Weight (100g)                      53p
2x     ASDA Whole Cucumber                                                £1.00
1x     ASDA Round Lettuce                                                        57p
1x     ASDA Celery                                                                     89p
1x     ASDA Garlic Loose                                                          30p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)                                 £1.38
2x     ASDA Spring Onions                                                     £1.40p
1x     ASDA Spinach (350g)                                                   £1.50
1x     ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg)                                                  £1.00

Bakery
1x     ASDA Chosen by You Large Tortilla Wraps (8)           £1.00    was £1.28

Meat, Fish and Poultry
12     ASDA Free Range Whole Chicken by Weight (100g)   £5.98
1x     ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (250g)  £1.40
2x     ASDA Butcher's Selection Stewing Steak (571g)         £7.00    any 2 FOR £7.00

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, as detailed on My Supermarket, and are correct as of 3 February 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

4 comments:

  1. Ohh I like the sound of the Bolognese Buns! Yum!
    Great meals planned!!
    Have a lovely week :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a good idea to budget it out, might have to do this next week, just to see what I actually spend! Love your idea of calzones for lunch, might look in to this for my lunches!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the look of the calzone too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have put calzone on my meal plan several times last minute but never got round to it. Yours sounds great though so maybe this is the inspiration I need!

    ReplyDelete