It is the second week back in routine, everyone was really tired at the end of last week. Hopefully this week will be less hectic for me and the rest of my family will settle back into routine a little more too. I'm using my slow cooker a couple of times this week, it's much easier for me on busy days to know that dinner will be ready for us when we get home with little faff required.
Breakfasts will be porridge with homemade fruit compote during the week and pancakes/crumpets on the weekend.
Lunches will be Vegetable and Lentil Soup and a wholemeal roll for my eldest with a piece of fruit and baked treat. She is enjoying using her flask and having a hot lunch. My younger two have requested their favourite Wholemeal Savoury Swirls so that is what they will be having along with crudites, a piece of fruit and a baked treat. Weekend lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Crustless Quiche.
Vegetable and Lentil Soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 swede, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tblsp ground cumin
115g red lentils
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1.25 Litres vegetable stock
Put a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat. Sauté the vegetables and garlic in a little oil until they begin to soften. Add the cumin and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. If I can be bothered I whizz up the soup a little with a stick blender. I serve this with cheese on toast or crusty bread rolls.
Spicy Rice with Chickpeas and Spinach - Meatfree Monday
1 ½ cups basmati or long grain rice
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 pepper, diced
3 carrots, roughly diced
1 leek, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp mild curry powder
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
200g spinach (fresh or frozen)
2 Tblsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 Tblsp chopped fresh mint leaves
Natural yogurt and more chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve
Put the rice in a sieve and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roughly diced carrots, pepper, leek, garlic, raisins/sultanas and spices. Cook, stirring it occasionally for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables, especially the carrots, are tender.
Once the vegetables are tender add the chickpeas, rice, stock, and water. Bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook everything with the lid on the saucepan for 12 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and put the spinach over the top of the rice. Replace the lid on the saucepan and stand for 8 minutes. Uncover the saucepan again and add the chopped fresh herbs. Stir everything together until well combined. Serve topped with some yoghurt, chopped fresh herbs.
Creamy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta - Tuesday
200g unsmoked back bacon
350g frozen chopped spinach
Handful or 2 of frozen mixed vegetables
300ml pot crème fraîche
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook following pack instructions. When the spaghetti has about 3 minutes left to cook toss in a handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables.
Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, fry the bacon until the fat starts to run and then add the garlic, fry until the bacon is lightly golden. Add the chopped spinach and 2 tablespoons of water, then cover and cook until the spinach has defrosted.
Remove the lid, stir everything together, season to taste, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Drain the spaghetti and vegetables and add to the bacon and spinach mixture with the crème fraîche. Stir to thoroughly combine and serve immediately.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew - Wednesday
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 sticks celery, finely sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 sweet potato, cut into small dice
2 tsp dried oregano
250ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock
Soften the onions, peppers 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.
Slow Cooker Meatballs - Thursday
500g beef mince
½ cup uncooked long-grain rice
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, etc) or 3 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 large onion, finely diced
1 pepper, diced
3 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced/diced
500g homemade or store bought pasta sauce
375 ml beef stock or water
Turn the slow cooker on to low to preheat whilst you chop all the vegetables.
In a bowl, mix together the mince, rice and fresh herbs with a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and set aside for a few minutes.
Put the onion, pepper, carrot and celery Into the slow cooker. Mix together the cook-homemade pasta sauce and beef stock then pour into the slow cooker. Stir to mix thoroughly with the vegetables.
Put the meatballs on top of the sauce in the slow cooker and then cover with the lid. Cook on low for 6–7 hours or on high for 3–4 hours. Serve with mash/pasta/baked potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables.
Bean Burritos - Friday
8 tortillas/flat breads
2 tins chilli beans
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced
small pot of low fat sour cream
120g grated cheese
Heat chilli beans in a pot whilst tortillas are warming in the oven. Put chilli beans onto tortillas and top with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, a little sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese. Fold up and serve.
Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole - Saturday
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
500g pumpkin, skin removed and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp paprika
1 can chopped tomatoes with 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (I use a casserole pack)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Place all ingredients, except chickpeas and frozen vegetables, in slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7 - 8 hours. Add the chickpeas and frozen mixed vegetables and cook on high for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Or if you don't have a slow cooker, put all of the ingredients into a casserole dish and cook in your oven at 180 degrees for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas and frozen vegetables, and cook for another 30 minutes.
Baked Rice with Salmon - Sunday
1 Tblsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 pepper, diced (any colour will do)
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
200g tin salmon, drained
310g tin corn, drained
1½ cups rice
Preheat your oven to 180C. Dice the onion, celery stalk and pepper.
Put the oregano, onion, rice, water, tomatoes, celery and pepper in an ovenproof baking dish. Stir everything together. Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
Use a fork to fluff up the rice then season with pepper. Stir through the salmon and sweetcorn. Leave for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.
40 items: £55.69
Packets and Cereals
1x Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg) £2.18
1x ASDA Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 80p
2x ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 80p
1x Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g) £1.28
1x ASDA Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast 65p
1x ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg) £1.28
Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x Dolmio Bolognese Sauce - Chunky Med Veg (500g) £1.00
1x Princes Wild Pink Salmon (213g) £1.25
6x ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) £2.04
2x ASDA Chosen by You Chilli Beans (290g) 96p
1x ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (326g) 35p
4x ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g) £2.40
1x ASDA Chosen by You Passata (500g) 44p
2x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £1.50
1x ASDA Chosen by You Casserole Mix (1Kg) £1.00
1x ASDA Whole Leaf Spinach (1Kg) £1.39
Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml) 90p
1x ASDA Soured Cream (150ml) 60p
4x ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £4.00
1x ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g) 45p
2x ASDA Chosen by You Mature Grated Cheese (250g) £3.00
1x ASDA Mixed Weight Free Range Eggs (6) 97p
Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (500g) £2.00
1x ASDA Butcher's Selec Unsmoked Back Bacon (300g) £2.00
1x ASDA Butcher's Selec Chicken Drumsticks (1.1Kg) £4.00
Fruit and Vegetables
2kg ASDA Bananas (Approx 170g) £1.39
1 ASDA Swede (Approx 760g) 76p
1x ASDA Salad Tomatoes (6) 75p
1 ASDA Butternut Squash (Approx 850g) 80.8p
1 ASDA Sweet Potatoes (Approx 460g) 58.9p
2x ASDA Whole Cucumber £1.00
1x ASDA British Iceberg Lettuce Loose 50p
2x ASDA Celery £1.60
1x ASDA Trimmed Leeks (500g) £1.00
2x ASDA Garlic Loose 50p
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.58
1x ASDA Smartprice Brown Onions (2Kg) 98p
2x Inspire Premium Baking Potatoes (2Kg) £3.00
2x ASDA Carrots (1.2Kg) £2.00
2x ASDA British Apples (650g) £2.00
Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 12 January 2014. Prices may vary in different in-store locations.