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Our Family Meal Plan For Week of 08/10 - £62

Monday, 8 October 2012
Please note: This Meal Plan, along with most of the other Meal Plans on my blog, does not include drinks, condiments or the cost of some herbs and spices. I make our jams, chutneys and pasta sauces, and we grow our own fresh herbs and salad greens. I’m also not a nutritionist or dietician so you will need to consult a professional if you have specific dietary or calorie controlled dietary needs.

I am feeling rather poorly and sorry for myself this week. My 3 girls have passed on their cold and along with the usual sore throat and congested sinuses I've had fevers, aches, body shakes, the whole works.  My children have shaken off the cold very quickly and are back to their usuall energetic selves.  Me, not so much!  I am therefore going for a  low faff and comfort food driven meal plan this week.  I am craving loads of vegetables and nourishing meals, luckily with Autumn weather starting in earnest it is just the thing the rest of my family are craving too.

The cost of the Meal Plan this week was £62.47 when purchsed online from Asda via My Supermarket.  As usual I compared the price of my groceries with other supermarkets and they would've cost £72.11 from Tesco and £73.56 from Sainsbury's.

Breakfasts will be porridge with added dried fruit and a banana for afters, if necessary.  Now that the mornings are rather chilly it is great to have a warming and filling breakfast to start the day.

My daughters will be having Calzone, or as my 3 girls call them Bolognese Buns, for lunch filled with red lentil and mince bolognese, along with a piece of fruit, some yoghurt and a small baked treat.  I will still be baking all of our own bread, etc probably using my trusty stand mixer to do the kneading if I feel too lazy crook to do so myself.

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)

1 sachet yeast
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour, I use 1/2 cups each of 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.


Mixed Bean and Kale Soup

400g tin kidney beans
400g tin cannelini beans
200g chorizo sausage, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 large carrots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
1 bunch kale, finely shredded
leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary sprig
leaves from 1 sprig of oregano
salt and black pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock
Put a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the chorizo.  cook until the fat starts to run then add the leek, onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook for 6–8 minutes or until the onion has softened and the leek has wilted.  The chorizo should have started to crispen up slightly.

Add the kale and beans then stir well to combine.  Add the rosemary, oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper, the tinned tomatoes, and enough vegetable stock to cover the contents of the soup.

Bring the soup to a very slow simmer and cook, covered, until the beans start to soften and the celery and carrots are tender.  I usually serve this with homemade wholemeal rolls.

Pumpkin and Bacon Risotto

2 cups arborio rice
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped pumpkin (cut in 1cm cubes)
6 thick rashers of bacon or 4 sausages can be substituted
2 litres vegetable stock
parmesan or other cheese, grated
coriander or parsley, chopped (to garnish)

Heat stock in a saucepan and set aside on the stove at a gentle simmer.
In another pan, sauté onion and garlic in oil, add bacon and sauté (keep moving around the pan) until the fat runs.

Stir in the chopped pumpkin and arborio rice. Mix well until rice is coated in the oils and the pan is drying out. Add a couple of ladles full of hot stock and stir occasionally while the stock is absorbed.

Repeat the process until the rice is soft and creamy and the pumpkin tender. Don't be tempted to pour in all the stock in at one go because the rice needs the heat and stirring to release the starch that makes your risotto lovely and creamy. Stir regularly but you don't have to stand there dilligently stirring constantly.

When the risotto is soft and creamy, check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if required. Finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese.  Serve in bowls with some chopped fresh herbs.

Potato and Mixed Bean Chilli Bake

4 large potatoes, scrubbed, cut in 1cm slices
1 tsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
420g tin chilli beans in sauce
420g tin mixed beans
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put the potato slices in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Make sure the slices are not stuck together. Boil gently for 4-5 minutes so that the potato slices are just beginning to cook but still hold their shape. Gently drain the potato slices and set them aside.

Whilst the potatoes are cooking, prepare chilli bean filling. In a large pan, heat oil and fry the onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Add both tins of beans and the chopped tomatoes. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Spoon a quarter of the bean mixture in the bottom of a 1.5-litre ovenproof dish. Arrange a third of potato slices in a layer over the bean mixture. Continue to layer, alternating bean mixture with potato and finishing with a bean layer. Top with grated cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove dish from the oven and prick the surface deeply all over with a knife. This allows the heat and sauce to circulate through dish. Return to the oven for the remaining 15 minutes cooking time. Serve with steamed greens.

Chop Suey

400g lean chicken, cooked
250g vermicelli
2 Tblsp water
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 sticks celery, sliced thinly
2 Tblsp soy sauce

Remove any skin or fat from the cooked chicken and break into bite-sized pieces.

Put the vermicelli into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 20 to 30 minutes until softened. Drain and cut into short lengths.

Heat the water in a large frying pan or wok. Add garlic, ginger, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot and celery.

Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Keep the pan moist by adding a little more water if needed.

Add the prepared noodles, cooked chicken and soy sauce to the pan. Mix well.

Heat gently until all warmed through

Pumpkin and Bacon Pasta Bake

1 tsp oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
200g lean bacon, diced
2 peppers, diced (any colour will do)
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
500g diced pumpkin
500ml vegetable stock
1 sprig rosemary
400g can evaporated milk
300g pasta
100g grated cheese
salt and pepper
1 or 2 handfuls of fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
a little extra cheese, for topping

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, bacon, pepper and chilli flakes. Gently fry until the vegetables and bacon are soft.
Add the pumpkin and half the chicken stock, cover and simmer gently until the pumpkin begins to soften. Crush it a little with a fork and then add the remaining stock, the dried pasta and evaporated milk.

Stir well then add the rosemary. Simmer gently until the pasta is tender and the liquid absorbed. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, cover the pan with a lid. When the pasta and pumpkin are tender, remove the rosemary sprig and stir in the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste then transfer to an ovenproof dish and smooth over the top. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and a little extra grated cheese and brown under a heated grill until golden and bubbling. Serve with steamed greens.

Slow Cooker Spicy Root Vegetable Soup

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 Tblsp oil
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
300g pumpkin, cut into chunks
300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tblsp plain flour
1 tsp salt and a few good grinds of pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 pinch chilli pwder
1 Tblsp paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
750ml vegetable stock
250ml water
fresh mint a handful, chopped

In a large pan heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened. Add the prepared vegetables and the flour and mix as well as you can, allowing the flour to absorb the oil.

Put the whole lot into the slow cooker. Add the spices, salt, pepper, stock and water and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. 

When the vegetables are tender, purée or process the soup until smooth and return to the slow cooker to keep warm.

Adjust the consistency to suit your taste. I like it thick with a little chopped fresh mint sprinkled on top. It’s also good thinned out, if you have unexpected visitors, with come coconut milk and sprinled with coriander.

Red Lentil Dhal

1 Tblsp oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp chilli powder (use more or less to taste)
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cups water
a couple of handfuls of greens (spinach, chard, finely shredded kale)
1-2 Tblsp chopped fresh coriander
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and is becoming transparent. Add the bay leaf, chilli, spices and mustard. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.

Add the lentils and water. Stir to combine everything well then bring the mixture to the boil.  As soon as the mixture boils reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the lentils for about 20-25 minutes until they are tender.  Add the greens and simmer for about 5 minutes until they have wilted.

Stir in the coriander and serve accompanied with your choice of steamed rice or naan bread.

Weekend Lunches

Macaroni Cheese

Chuck It All In Minestrone - using whatever vegetables we have left from our weeks groceries with some pasta.

Shopping List

42 items: £62.47

Packets and Cereals
1x ASDA Smartprice Porridge Oats (1Kg) 75p
2x Asda Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) £1.20
1x ASDA Arborio Risotto Rice (500g) £1.12
2x ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g) 60p
1x Great Scot Red Split Lentils (500g) £1.28
1x Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g) 64p
2x ASDA Wholefoods Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg) £2.56
1x Ankara Makaroni Vermicelli (500g) 78p

Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Chosen by You French Set Yogurts Assorted (6x125g) £1.00
5x ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £5.00
1x Nestle Carnation Topping Light Evaporated Milk (410g) 63p
1x ASDA Chosen by You Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt (6x125g) £1.00
2x ASDA Chosen by You English Mature Cheddar (400g) £4.00 any 2 FOR £4.00
1x ASDA Chosen by You Smooth Fruit Yogurts Low Fat (6x125g) £1.00

1x ASDA Chosen by You Mixed Vegetables (1kg) £1.10

Tins, Jars and Cooking
6x ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) £1.86
1x ASDA Cannellini Beans in Water (300g) 64p
2x ASDA Chosen by You Chilli Beans (290g) £1.36
1x ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g) 27p
1x Amoy Soy Sauce Reduced Salt (150ml) £1.00 was £1.39
1x Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Cubes (6x11g) 84p
1x ASDA Mexican Style Bean Mix in Water (400g) 53p

Fruit and Vegetables
1x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Fruit (500g) 64p
1x ASDA Conference Pears (Approx 800g) £1.00
20 ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g) £2.00
20 ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g) £1.36
20 ASDA Carrots by Weight (100g) £1.80
1x ASDA Cauliflower Loose 50p
15 ASDA Red Onions by Weight (100g) £1.35
2x ASDA Baking Potatoes (4) £1.70
20 ASDA Butternut Squash by Weight (100g) £1.80 was 10.7p
10 ASDA Sweet Potatoes by Weight (100g) £1.00 was 12.8p
2x ASDA Celery £1.00
2x ASDA Trimmed Leeks (500g) £2.00
2x ASDA Garlic Loose 60p
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.37
1x ASDA Spinach (350g) £1.50
1x ASDA Broccoli (335g) 50p

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x ASDA Butcher's Selection Back Bacon Thick Cut 300g £4.00
4 ASDA Butcher's Selection Free Range Chicken Breast Fillets £5.91
1x ASDA Butcher's Selection British Beef Mince (250g) £1.40
1x ASDA Chorizo Cooking Sausage (200g) £1.85

Prices and special offers reflect those of the Asda supermarket online grocery section of the My Supermatket website and were correct as of 7 October 2012.


  1. Everything sounds delicious. I'll definitely be giving the risotto a go. Get well soon.

  2. Yummy! The calzone sounds gorgeous! x

  3. Wow what gorgeous sounding meals, i love how you total the costs too.

  4. I've saved that Pumpkin and Bacon Risotto recipe to try. It sounds gorgeous.


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