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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, 17 March 2013

Our Family Meal Plan For This Week 18/03/2013 - £53

I’m a rather weary Meal Planner this week.  I compiled this Meal Plan in about an hour.  We have a house inspection on Tuesday so spent the weekend tidying and decluttering the house.  By the time I got around to sorting out our Meal Plan and online shop motivation, patience and creativity were all in very short supply.

Breakfasts will be cereal or toast with fruit for afters.  My daughters will be having school dinners this week which will make life a little easier. It is my middle daughters birthday on Thursday so I need to bake a cake for that along with some treats for a tea party with her friends.

The cost of our 38 grocery items was £52.68 from Asda delivered on 17/03/2013.  I used My Supermarket to compare the cost of our shopping at other supermarkets.  Our groceries would've cost £62.38 from Sainsbury's and £64.69 from Tesco had we shopped there.  


Dinners

Bean and Veg Burgers with Wedges – Meatfree Monday

This recipe is from the Morrisons M-Savers event that I attended in London last year.

1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, finely diced
1 pepper, finely diced
1 tsp chilli powder
100g fresh breadcrumbs
about 500g potatoes, for the wedges

Sauté the onion and pepper in a little oil for a couple of minutes until it softens then leave to cool for a bit.  Mash the kidney beans with a potato masher, leave it a little lumpy – not too smooth.  Add the cooled sautéed pepper and onion along with the breadcrumbs to the kidney beans and mix everything together thoroughly.  Shape into 5 burgers and fry in a little oil for a couple of minutes on each side, until they’re golden brown.  Then put them in the oven at 180C for about 10 minutes until completely cooked through.

Wash the potatoes and cut them into wedges, not too thick.  Put a little oil on your hands and rub the wedges so that they get lightly coated in the oil.  To cook the wedges, bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes at 180C.

Serve the burgers in buns with tomato, lettuce and mayo.  I sometimes sprinkle a little paprika and/or chilli powder over the wedges to give them a little more flavour.


Baked Fish with White Beans - Tuesday

2 tsp olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
30ml water
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 handfuls frozen mixed vegetables
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 thick white fish fillets
1 lemon, washed and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the leeks are soft. Transfer to a shallow ovenproof baking dish.

Add the tin of tomatoes, drained tin of cannellini beans, frozen corn and peas to the baking dish. Stir to combine everything.  Arrange the sprigs of thyme and fish fillets on top of the vegetables.  Put the slices of lemon on top of the fish and sprinkle over some freshly ground pepper.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.  Remove the thyme sprigs before you serve the dish.


 Vegetable Pasta Bake – Wednesday

500g pasta
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
1 courgette, diced
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 ball mozzarella cheese

Chop all the vegetables into a 1cm dice and sauté them in a little oil until they start to soften.  Add the tin of tomatoes and dried mixed herbs.  Let the sauce simmer whilst you cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Drain the pasta and mix thoroughly with the sauce before putting into an ovenproof dish.  Chop or rip the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter it all over the top of the pasta.  Bake at 180C for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Macaroni Cheese with Vegetables - Thursday (Middle Daughter's request for Birthday Dinner)

Meatloaf – Friday

This isn't one of those meatloaves that look and taste like a brick.  It's moist and flavoursome, you can serve it hot or cold with salads or cooked vegetables, and it’s fab in packed lunches the next day.  I cheat by using supermarket or butchers sausages that are already flavoured.  You can get some great ones that are around 95% meat so not full of loads of undesirable ingredients to fill them out.

2 garlic cloves, crushed
40g beef mince
450g sausage meat (I use flavoured sausages with 95% meat)
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

If you're not using flavoured sausages then add:
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 handful chopped fresh parsley

Topping
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 Tblsp light soft brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup tomato sauce/ketchup

Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan-forced.  Grease a 7cm deep, 10cm x 22cm (base) loaf tin. 

Put the garlic, mince, sausage meat, egg, onion, grated carrot and any herbs or flavourings you want to use, into a large bowl. Thoroughly combine everything using your hands to really squish it all together to that it's really well blended.  Press the mixture firmly into the loaf tin and level the top.  Combine the topping ingredients and then spread it evenly over the meatloaf.  Cover with foil then bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until juices run clear when you test it with a skewer.  I usually serve this with cooked mixed vegetables and mashed potato.


Nan’s Sausage Casserole - Saturday

450g good quality sausages
1 tsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely sliced
3 apples, peeled and diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
250 ml beef stock
1 tsp cornflour

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Slice the sausages into 1 inch/ 2.5cm chunks.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the onions, garlic and sausages.  Mix the beef stock and cornflour together.

Put the browned sausages, onion, garlic, carrots, apples, tinned tomatoes and herbs in an ovenproof dish.  Pour the stock over and mix everything together well.  Cover the dish with a lid or kitchen foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  I usually serve this with mashed potato and cooked mixed vegetables.


Family Sized Mince Pie - Sunday

450g beef mince
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 handful parsley, finely chopped
1 Tblsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tblsp mustard
2 Tblsp tomato paste
1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
300ml beef stock
2 handfuls frozen mixed vegetables
1 sheet puff pastry

Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large frying-pan that has a lid.  Fry the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the vegetables and herbs and fry until they are just starting to soften.

Add the mince and brown it whilst breaking it up.  Once the mince has  browned and no pink patches remain, add the mustard, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and a few grinds of black pepper.

Add the  beef stock and allow the mince to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Add the frozen peas and corn and simmer for a further 5 minutes.  You may need to add a little extra water. Stir the mince occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour the pie filling into an ovenproof dish and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180 °C.

Lay the pastry over the pie filling, crimp the edges, and make little cuts with a sharp knife to let steam escape during cooking.  Brush the pastry with a little milk to glaze it and then bake the pie for around 30–40 minutes until the pastry is golden.  I usually serve this with mashed potatoes.

 Treats

Sweet Tarts

For the pastry:
225g plain flour
115g butter
1 tsp white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 – 2 Tblsp cold water

Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar and then use a knife to mix in the egg yolk.  Add the water, a little at a time, stirring it together with a knife until the mixture comes together into and you can form a ball of dough with your hands.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.  This allows the pastry to rest and makes it much easier to work with and roll out.

Preheat your oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.  Dust the work surface and rolling pin with plain flour and roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin.  Using a small round cutter, cut circles of pastry big enough to line the holes of a mini muffin tin.

Re-roll any trimmings and cut out more circles of pastry until it has all been used.  Bake the mini tart cases for about 5 – 7 minutes until they are a pale golden colour.  Fill with jam or lemon curd and bake for another 5 minutes or so.

Remove from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin for a few minutes before carefully removing them from the tin to finish cooling completely on a wire rack.


Energy Boost Muffins

2 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup grated unpeeled apple
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line each hole of a 12 muffin tin with a paper case.

Stir all the ingredients together, until just combines.  Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake 15 – 20 minutes until well risen, and golden brown.  Cool the muffins in the tin for 2 – 3 minutes in the muffin tins before gently transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Sultana and Oat Biscuits

1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
125g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups rolled oats
2 ½ cups plain flour
1 cup sultanas or raisins

Preheat your oven to 180C.  Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.  Beat the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla together until creamy with a mixer or by hand.  Mix in the rolled oats and flour.  Gently mix in the sultanas or raisins.

Put teaspoonfuls of mixture on to the lined baking tray, leaving room between the biscuits for them to spread.  Flatten the biscuits a little with a floured fork.  Bake the biscuits for 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden brown.  Cool the biscuits on a wire rack and store them in an airtight container.


Apple and Sultana Swirls

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
60g chilled butter, cubed
125ml milk
1/3 cup sultanas
1 large apple, peeled and cored then grated

Preheat oven to 200°C.  Line a baking tray non-stick baking paper or grease it lightly with melted butter.

Put the flour, sugar and mixed spice into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Make a well in the centre and add the milk and sultanas.  Use a bread and butter knife mix everything together until the mixture just comes together.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead for a couple of minutes until the dough is fairly smooth.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 25cm x 30cm (10 inch x 12 inch) rectangle.  Sprinkle over the grated apple.  Starting from the long side, roll the dough up firmly to form a log.  Cut crossways into twelve 2cm thick slices.  Put the slices cut side up onto the prepared baking try. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  I sometimes ice these with some vanilla flavoured glace icing. 


Lemon Drizzle Cake or Plain Sponge Loaf

This is one of my husbands favourites and about the only cake he'll eat that isn't chocolate cake LOL  It is so quick and easy to whizz up in my mixer.  I call it my 2, 2, 2, 3 lemon cake because that's how I remember the recipe.  If you don't want to make a lemon drizzle cake, or don't have any lemons, then all is not lost!  Just leave out the zest and don't make the drizzle.  This loaf cake tastes fab plain, either dusted with icing sugar or with some buttercream icing.  Give it a whirl!

200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
3 free range eggs
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, give it a good wash first to get rid of any wax/grease

Lemon Drizzle:
Juice of the zested lemon
about 50g of sugar, add 5g more if you used a rather large lemon

Preheat your oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.  Line a loaf tin with non stick baking paper or one of the precut liners you can buy.  My loaf tin is 22cm x 11cm.

I usually have my Kenwood Mixer on minimum speed then on 1 speed at the most.  You don't want to beat the mixture too roughly. 

Cream the butter and sugar then add the lemon zest and give it a beat for another minute.  Add the eggs one at a time with about 1/3 of the flour each time, beat for a bout 1 minute or so for each egg and flour addition.

Scrape down the sides of the mixer and beat for another 30 seconds or so.  Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes.  Test the cake with a skewer inserted into the centre.  If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is cooked.  If not, I turn the oven  heat down 10C and put it back in for 5 minutes before checking again with a skewer.

Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and make the lemon drizzle.

Mix the lemon juice and sugar together until they are well combined but don't dissolve the sugar.  Prick the cake all over with the cake tester skewer and slowly spoon over the lemon drizzle.

Leave to cool in the in for about 30 minutes then cool on a wire rack, right side up of course.


Shopping List

38 items: £52.68      

Packets and Cereals
1x        ASDA Chosen by You Wholegrain Scottish Porridge Oats (500g)    65p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Cornflakes (750g)       46p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Crispy Rice Cereal (440g)     77p    
1x        ASDA Chosen by You Fusilli Twists (500g)       50p     was 95p
1x        Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)     88p    
1x        Asda Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)   80p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)      45p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)     45p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g)  30p    
1x        ASDA Chosen by You Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)         £1.00 
1x        Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)          64p    
1x        ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg) £1.28 

Frozen
2x        ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.50 
1x        ASDA Whitefish Fillets (500g)      £2.00 

Tins, Jars and Cooking
4x        ASDA Smartprice Peeled Plum Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)   £1.24 
1x        ASDA Cannellini Beans in Water (300g)            64p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g) 27p    

Dairy and Eggs
5x        ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)        £5.00 
2x        Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (250g)            £2.00  2 FOR £2.00
1x        Cathedral City Extra Mature Cheddar (350g)     £2.00 
1x        Galbani Maxi Mozzarella (250g)   £1.50  was £1.88
3x        Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6)      £3.00 

Fruit and Vegetables
1x        ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)           98p    
1x        ASDA Salad Tomatoes (750g)      £1.00 
20        ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g)       £2.36 
20        ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g)            £1.36 
4          ASDA Leeks by Weight (100g)      66.8p  was 20p
10        ASDA Red Onions by Weight (100g)       90p    
2x        ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg)       £3.50  2 FOR £3.50
1x        ASDA Round Lettuce         57p    
1x        ASDA Celery            89p    
1x        ASDA Garlic Loose 30p    
1x        ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g)            £1.77 
1x        ASDA Courgettes (3)          £1.47 
1x        ASDA Unwaxed Lemons (5)         £1.35 
1x        ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg)         £1.00 

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x        Porky Whites Surrey Pork Sausages (454g)      £4.00 
1x        ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Mince (830g)   £3.23 

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 16th March 2013.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.


Please check out other Meal Plans over on At Home With Mrs M.


5 comments:

  1. Will be trying some of these recipes, thanks for sharing, I use supermarket.com as well but this week got in a right pickle as I started with Asda but had a voucher for Sainsbury's so at check out swapped to there and it has made some rubbish substitutes for own brands - note I must carefully check shoppping list, plus I spent more than normal so not a good week!

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  2. the sausage casserole sounds delicious, lovely recipes x

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  3. Happy Birthday to your daughter! Love the sound of your week, I'll be giving some of those recipes a try! x

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  4. When you give measurements in cups, can you tell me what this is? My cup of sugar weighed 140g, so 21/2 cups of flour was 350g. is this correct as the biscuits didn't turn out as expected. thanks

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    1. Hi Mark, I use measuring cups bought from a local supermarket for £2. The capacity of 1 cup is 250ml, half cup is 125ml, quarter cup is 60ml. You can use an online converter website to change the quantities from cups to grams but make sure it is a British and not American site as the cup sizes are different in USA.

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