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OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN FOR WEEK OF 17/09/18 - £42

Sunday, 16 September 2018
We're facing another couple of Mother Hubbard weeks.  A (hopefully) temporary issue with our tax credits means we have had significantly less money coming in the last couple of weeks, and it could take another couple of weeks to sort it out.  One of the few expenses we can control, that isn't a fixed amount, is our grocery spend and we'll need to really be frugal for at least a fortnight or more.

We'll be using up any provisions in the cupboards and have been foraging again.  We picked 3kg of blackberries 2.5kg of plums and 3kg of apples from our local parkland and common.  About a third of the apples will keep OK in the fruit bowl this week, the other two thirds I've made a couple of crumbles and some compote with the plums to have with yoghurt as a snack or pudding.


Our garden is still providing fresh herbs, lots of chard, and small amounts of salad greens so of course I'll be using those in our meals this week.


Breakfasts will be porridge with foraged blackberries on weekdays, weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and maybe English muffins.


Packed lunches will be Wholemeal Vegemite and Cheese Bread Swirls with crudites and homemade hummus, a piece of fruit and a baked treat for afters.  Weekend lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Basic Vegetable Soup with homemade wholemeal bread rolls.



Dinners

Roast Chicken (slow cooker) with roast vegetables and steamed greens

Roast Vegetable Frittata




Shopping List

28 items: £42.13

Packets and Cereals
1x     Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)         £2.22
1x     ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g)         20p
1x     Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)         45p
2x     ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)         90p
1x     ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)         59p
1x     Cypressa Red Split Lentils (500g)         £1.15

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         29p
5x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         £1.65

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
4x     ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)         £1.80
1x     ASDA Best for Baking (250g)         55p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)         £3.69
1x     Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Medium (12)         £1.60

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)         57p
1x     ASDA Butcher's Selection Whole Chicken (1.6Kg)         £3.28

Fruit and Vegetables
24     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
1       ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash by Weight (1.3Kg)         97.3p
3x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £1.65
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         £1.04
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)         £1.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)         £3.30
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £1.35

We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £42.13. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£46.88 from Tesco
£48.29 from Sainsburys
£59.95 from Ocado
£63.90 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

Meatfree Monday Teriyaki 'Mince' Puffs

Monday, 10 September 2018
**Sponsored Post**

These are so quick and delicious to make, perfect for a busy weeknight, easily transportable to after school clubs and would be fab in packed lunches.  I was asked by Quorn to come up with an easy and tasty recipe to celebrate Back to School and I think these scrumptious morsels are ideal.


We've been reducing our meat consumption for a while now, and have several meat-free days in our Meal Plan each week. Quorn is a protein-rich meat substitute that is healthy for both us and the planet – it’s so easy to cook with and its versatile range tastes delicious. If you lead a busy lifestyle with children to cook for, then Quorn is a great option as it is high in protein, high in fibre, low in saturated fat, with no cholesterol, and easy to switch in place of regular meat.


You can still eat all your favourite meals – whether that’s fajita wraps, burgers or sausages – just by making an easy, healthier switch.  Check out the wide range of recipes on the Quorn website for inspiration.

Meatfree Monday Teriyaki 'Mince' Puffs

300g Quorn mince
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 Tblsp teriyaki marinade
500g puff pastry
1 Tblsp sesame oil
2 Tblsp sesame seeds

Put a frying pan over a medium heat, add the Quorn mince and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it has defrosted.  Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a minute or two, then add the marinade.  Continue stirring over a medium heat for a further 5 minutes.  Turn out on to a plate so the mixture cools down quickly.  You want the mixture to be around room temperature before putting it onto the pastry.

Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.  Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.  Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and, using a 7cm cutter, cut out 24 circles of pastry.  Put 6 pastry circles on each tray, leaving room for them to puff up.  Spoon a little of the mixture into the middle of the 12 pastry circles.  Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water then place the other 12 circles of pastry on top.

Press well to seal the edges of the pastry together, I used the fat end of a chopstick to crimp the edges of the pastry together.  Brush the tops of the pastries with sesame oil then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.  Bake the pasties in your preheated oven for 12 - 15 minutes until the pastries are golden brown and crisp.

You can freeze the uncooked pastries and cook them from frozen, adding an additional 5 minutes to the baking time, or until cooked thoroughly and piping hot.


A great way to reduce meat consumption is to find meat-free alternatives for family favourites that are already enjoyed by your household.  Rachel Stevens chatted to Ben Fogle about her family food choices and how cutting down on her meat intake has helped her family feel healthier, and reduce their impact on the environment. Watch the video for a delicious family recipe using Quorn Crispy Nuggets.



**Sponsored Post **

OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN FOR WEEK OF 10/09/18 - £60

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Everyone is properly back to school and Nursery so it will be the first full week in routine.  I'm sure we'll all be completely knackered by Friday.  Back to our usual schedule means that on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at least one of our children will need an early dinner or one that can be easily reheated later on.  

The weather is cool enough now for the older ones to have a cup of soup, with homemade bread, after school as a snack.  This stops them from being quite so 'hangry' and gives them an extra potion of vegetables which is never a bad thing.  I've made Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup and Tomato Soup then frozen portions in silicone muffin cases ready to defrost and serve in a mug for each person.


Breakfasts on weekdays will be porridge with homemade compote, a good hearty start to the day which will hopefully keep them going until morning break.  Weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and scrambled eggs on toast.



Packed lunches will be Pull Apart Picnic Bread with crudites/homemade vegetable crisps, a piece of fruit, and a baked treat. 



Weekend lunches will be Versatile and Thrifty Flatbreads and 10 Minute Spicy Bean Burgers.



Dinners

Vegetable Fried Rice (using brown rice)


Sausage and Roast Vegetable Traybake with steamed greens

Spicy Slow Cooker Lentil and Chickpea Soup

1 ½ cups green lentils
1 onion, finely diced
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
3 carrots, roughly diced
2 peppers, roughly diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
1 Tblsp chilli powder, use more or less to your taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
400g tin chickpeas, drained

Put all of the ingredients, apart from the chickpeas and lemon juice, into your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.  Add the lemon juice and chickpeas, stir well and cook for a further 30 minutes until the chickpeas have heated through.  Season to taste then serve in bowls, garnish with fresh herbs if you like, and have some flatbreads on the side.



One Pot Pepper and Chorizo Spaghetti

Lentil and Vegetable Curry


Leftover Curry Pasties

Potato and Vegetable Bake



Shopping List


36 items: £60.19

Packets and Cereals
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)         45p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Green Lentils (500g)         £1.15
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)         55p
2x     ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)         £1.78
1x     ASDA Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)         £1.00

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90
1x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)         £2.75

Tins, Jars and Cooking
3x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         87p
2x     ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g)         60p
1x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         33p
1x     ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)         37p
1x     ASDA Black Beans in Water (400g)         65p

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
1x     ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)         £2.00
1x     ASDA Mature Cheddar Cheese - Light (750g)         £3.65

Fruit and Vegetables
20     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
2       ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash by Weight (1.3Kg)         £1.95
4x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £2.20
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         52p
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)         95p
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Beetroot Bunched (500g)         £1.60
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)         £1.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Apples (1.2Kg)         £3.00
4x     ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Chosen by Kids Easy Peasy Peelers (500g)         £2.30
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Broccoli (360g)         £1.16
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Swede         50p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Seedless Grapes (500g)         £2.50
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)         £1.58
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £2.70

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x     ASDA Extra Special Chorizo Casero Sausage (225g)         £1.85
1x     ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 750g)         £4.00


We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £60.19. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£65.64 from Tesco
£66.16 from Sainsburys
£73.58 from Ocado
£73.89 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

Kenwood Veggie Express Review

*Sponsored Post*


I was recently sent a Kenwood Veggie Express to try out and my family and I gave it a thorough workout. We made salads, dressings, pesto, hummus, sliced and grated fruit, vegetables, and cheese.


We found the Kenwood Veggie Express to be a really useful addition to our kitchen. One feature we particularly liked was the ‘straight to plate’ option. This means that we can prepare a salad straight on our serving plate, so useful for getting teens to eat salads and fresh vegetables. They can serve themselves delicious salads, anytime. The non-slip base makes the appliance really stable, and it’s fairly quiet too.

I found the Kenwood Veggie Express made preparing meals unbelieveably quick and easy. Impromptu BBQ during the Summer? No problem at all. Just whip up some marinades, salads, dressings and dips in no time at all.


Family dinners are a doddle too. Hidden vegetable Bolognese is so simple, just grate all the vegetables you need speedily with minimal clean-up. It’s brilliant for cutting down on food waste too.  Broccoli and rainbow chard stalks can be either grated or thinly sliced and added to stir fry, and I used the Kenwood Veggie Express to shred some cabbage that needed using up and made Okonomiyaki.


The four blades are super sharp, and the 500w motor ensures they power through chopping and blending tasks quickly and easily. I really liked the reversible slicing and grating disc, we had a large bowl of coleslaw made in minutes. There’s a very handy oil drip hole in the lid which makes creating your own mayonnaise a quick and simple process.


Features:

Brushed aluminium metal food processor with 0.5L plastic bowl
2 speeds
2mm reversible thin slice/grating disc
Quad blade chopping blades
Dishwasher safe parts
Non slip feet
Safety interlock
Spatula included
500W power

The Kenwood Veggie Express is available from a wide range of appliance retailers for rrp £100.  I was sent the appliance for review, and compensated for my time and ingredients.  All opinions are my own objective view.  Follow Kenwood UK on Facebook, Instagram, and their website for more product news, recipes, and inspiration.  

Our Family Meal Plan for week of 03/09/2018 - £60

Monday, 3 September 2018
We got through out Mother Hubbard week last week, and I took advantage of the empty fridge and freezer to thoroughly clean both and defrost the freezer.  I also cleaned our oven, because of a spillage, and it's still gleaming.  I loathe cleaning the oven, it's one of my least favourite jobs so a the suggestion of many friends I've purchased an oven liner to put on the bottom of our oven which should make spillage clean up much easier.

We're staying with the frugal theme with the Meal Plan this week as I'm bracing myself for the inevitable school trip letters the first couple of weeks back, and other unforeseen expenses that crop up once school starts.

It's back to routine for us towards the middle of this week, although 3yo doesn't start back at Nursery until next Monday.  The holidays have seemed rather long and all of my children are welcoming the prospect of getting back to routine and starting the new school and college year.

Our apple tree still has enough fruit to keep us going this week, and we've been blackberry picking again too.  We've rhubarb, fresh herbs, chard and rocket from the back garden. The weather is still fairly warn so the garden is still giving us plenty of produce, the apple tree will probably not have fruit left by next week though.

Breakfasts will be overnight oats, granola with yoghurt and fruit, or porridge and weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and bacon butties.

Packed lunches will be Quinoa and Pearl Barley Salad, cooked pearl barley and quinoa mixed with diced celery, peppers, cucumber, grated carrots, and chopped fresh herbs with a garlic yoghurt drizzle.  There'll of course be a piece of fruit and baked treat for afters.  Weekend lunches will be Bean and Rice Burritos and Homemade Pizzas.

Snacks will be popcorn, homemade biscuits, homemade toasted teacakes and English Muffins



Dinners

Chana Masala



Mejadra (Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice) with wilted greens, pita breads (homemade), and yoghurt sauce.




Macaroni Cheese

Chilli Con Carne



Salmon and Rice Bake

Spaghetti Bolognese

Bacon and Egg Pie



Shopping List


40 items: £59.91

Packets and Cereals
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)         45p
1x     Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)         69p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)         45p
1x     ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)         £1.00
1x     ASDA Easy Cook Long Grain Brown Rice (1Kg)         £1.09
1x     ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)         45p
1x     ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)         45p
1x     Allinson Easy Bake Yeast (100g)         98p
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Green Lentils (500g)         £1.15
1x     ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)         55p
1x     ASDA Quinoa (300g)         £1.19
1x     Tropical Sun Popcorn (500g)         79p
2x     ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)         £1.78
1x     ASDA Ready to Roll Puff Pastry (500g)         £1.00

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x     ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g)         £2.19
7x     ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)         £2.03
2x     ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)         66p
1x     ASDA Stock Cubes - Beef (12x10g)         43p
1x     ASDA Black Beans in Water (400g)         65p
2x     ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)         £1.30

Frozen
2x     ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)         £1.90
2x     ASDA Beef Mince (800g)         £5.00

Dairy and Eggs
3x     ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)         £4.44
4x     ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)         £1.80
1x     ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)         £3.69
1x     ASDA Condensed Milk (397g)         £1.05
1x     Wood Farm Free Range Eggs Medium (12)         £1.60
1x     ASDA Best for Baking Cakes Spread (1Kg)         £1.70

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x     ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)         £1.14

Fruit and Vegetables
25     ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £3.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)         £1.30
4x     ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber         £2.00
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Celery         £1.04
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose         20p
2x     ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)         £4.40
1x     ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)         65p
1x     ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)         £1.25
1x     ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)         £1.35

Bakery
2x     ASDA Wholemeal Tortilla Wraps (8)         £1.78


We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £59.91. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£65.04 from Tesco
£69.75 from Sainsburys
£89.67 from Ocado
£89.88 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker has a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.

Mejadra (Middle Eastern Spiced Lentils and Rice)

Friday, 31 August 2018
I was having a chat with a few friends about their favourite tasty and thrifty recipes. We’re all from different cultures and it was fascinating to hear about their family favourites, and share ours. I love experimenting with new recipes, especially those from other cultures, there’s so many delicious dishes to discover. 

My friend Gila gave me this recipe, it’s a family favourite from the Middle East, in fact she makes it at least once a week for her household. I wrote the recipe down exactly as she told it to me and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. We had ours with steamed greens, yoghurt, and pita breads but it’s also delicious as a side dish served with cooked meat, fish, or vegetables. 

Mejadra 

2 Tblsp oil 
1 tsp ground cumin 
1 ½ tsp ground coriander 
½ tsp ground turmeric 
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp black pepper 
300g/1½ cup basmati or long grain rice 
450ml/1¾ cups water 
400g tin green lentils, drained 
freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Crispy Onions 

3 large or 4 small onions, very finely sliced 
1 cup/250 ml oil 

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add about a tablespoon of the onions to test how long it will take to cook. If the oil isn’t hot enough it will take quite a while, and if the oil is too hot the onion will brown too quickly and be bitter. 

You’re aiming for it to take about 5 – 7 minutes for 1/3 of the chopped onions to become golden and crispy. It’s important to cook the onions in several batches so the pan is not overcrowded. If you put all of the chopped onion in the pan at once this will lower the temperature of the oil and you’ll end up with limp and greasy onions instead of crispy ones. 

Remove the onions from the oil using a slotted spoon and then drain well on paper towels. Repeat until all the onions are golden and crisp. These onions are fab for topping salads too so you could always make a double batch and use them on packed lunch salads or in wraps. 


Spiced Rice and Lentils 

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Pour in the rice and stir to coat in the oil and spices. Add the water and the drained lentils. Bring to the boil then turn down to the lowest heat setting. Cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. 

Take off the heat and leave to stand so that any remaining liquid can be absorbed. Stir well, taste to check for seasoning. Stir through three quarters of the crispy onions, then sprinkle the rest on top of each serving with some chopped fresh coriander or parsley. 


Chana Masala

Wednesday, 29 August 2018
This is such a quick and cheap dinner, using mostly store cupboard ingredients.  I tend to buy fresh ginger then finely chop/grate it and freeze it until I need it, the same with chilli.  There's usually some great yellow sticker bargains to be had on ginger and chilli if I'm at the supermarket at the right time or I buy them from our local ethnic supermarkets.  We're really fortunate to have several amazing shops within a two mile radius which stock a wide selection of herbs, spices, exotic vegetables and fruits, and international cooking ingredients, at prices much cheaper than our usual supermarkets.     

This is a brilliant dinner for a busy weeknight, very filling and with good strong flavours.  I blend the garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander mix then freeze it in batches because it saves time, and the mix can be used as a base for lots of different curries.

Chana Masala

2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 Tblsp vegetable oil 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1 large onion, finely chopped 
6 garlic cloves 
25g root ginger 
30g fresh coriander 
2 or more green chillies, finely chopped  
1 Tblsp ground coriander 
1-2 tsp chilli powder (to taste) 
1 tsp ground turmeric 
400g tin chopped tomatoes 
550g tin potatoes, drained 
1 tsp garam masala  
1 tbsp lemon juice 

Put the drained chickpeas in a saucepan and add enough water to just cover them.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes then drain, keeping the cooking water.  

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat.  Once the pan is up to temperature, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the onion and cook until softened and golden.  Don't rush this step, take your time cooking the onions for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly. 

Whilst the onions are cooking, either use a stick blender or food processor to make the garlic, ginger, fresh coriander and chillies into a paste. 

Once the onions are soft and golden, pour the spice paste into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the ground coriander, chilli power and turmeric and cooking for a further couple of minutes.  You may need to add a little more oil and stir the mixture constantly so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.  

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, drained tinned potatoes, chickpeas, and the chickpea cooking water, then bring to boil.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the curry has thickened. 

Remove from the heat, stir  through the garam masala and lemon juice.  Leave to cool for a few minutes then serve with a garnish of chopped fresh coriander.



OUR FAMILY MEAL PLAN FOR WEEK OF 27/08/18 - £43

Monday, 27 August 2018

This is definitely a Mother Hubbard week for us. We’ve had eye tests for all of the children and of course new glasses were needed, a couple of new bicycle tyres were needed, the last of school uniform shopping, school shoe shopping, and my husband needed new shoes too as when it belted with rain he discovered his were holey. This means that payday on Friday cannot come soon enough.


We’ll be using up what we have in the cupboards, and buying the bare minimum, to get us through the last full week of school holidays. We’ve got more blackberries, foraged from the local common, and our apple tree is still laden with fruit. Our back garden still has fresh herbs, raspberries, rhubarb, chard and rocket. Thank goodness for free foraged and homegrown food!


I walked up to the local butcher and got six chicken frames for free. They were from free range chickens, and there’s still quite a bit of meat left on them. I’ll get as much of the meat off them as I can then make stock. The meat will go into a stir fry, and the rice will be cooked in the stock. That will be one tasty and very cheap dinner. I’ll also be making chicken soup from the stock.

I'll be adding cooked pearl barley to our soups, especially the blended ones, because it bulks out the soups and adds more protein and minerals for a very low cost.  Once blended you can't tell the barley is in there, perfect for picky eaters.  I've added tinned beans in the past for this reason too, cannellini beans and haricot beans are easiest to disguise.  There's a handy guide to cooking pearl barley here.

Breakfasts will be porridge or overnight oats with apple and blackberry or apple and rhubarb compote. Weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and bacon butties.


Snacks will be popcorn, homemade rice pudding pots, homemade yoghurt with fruit compote, scone swirls and flapjacks.


Lunches will be soups as the weather has turned cooler. We’ll have homemade wholemeal bread rolls with the soups to help fill us up. We’ll be having Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, Mixed Vegetable Soup, Tomato and Basil Soup, Spicy Roast Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup, and Basic Vegetable Soup.  Weekend lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Caramelised Onion Swirls both with salad greens from the garden.



Dinners

Bean and Rice Burritos 

1 Tblsp oil 
1 onion, finely chopped 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tsp paprika 
400g tin chilli beans 
400g tin black beans, drained 
400g tin chopped tomatoes 
1 carrot, grated 
300g frozen spinach, defrosted with the water squeezed out or finely shredded fresh chard
1 tsp dried mixed herbs 
½ tsp chilli (to taste) 
3 cups cooked rice, I used brown 
10-12 tortillas 
1 cup grated cheese« 

Heat oil in a large frying pan or pot over a medium heat and cook the onion until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika and fry for a further couple of two minutes. Mix in the chilli beans and black beans, chopped tomatoes, carrots, spinach, mixed herbs, chilli powder and rice. Simmer the mixture uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To assemble the burritos, heat the tortillas according to the package instructions. Spoon a little of the bean and rice mixture in the centre of each tortilla. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Fold the edges and roll up to make the burrito.


Macaroni Cheese - I make my own cheese sauce using a roux base and add frozen mixed vegetables to the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking time. Our Macaroni Cheese usually has plenty of vegetables with the pasta in a rich cheddar cheese sauce.



Chicken Fried Rice 

2 cups long grain rice
600ml stock or water
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tblsp/30ml oil 
1 onion, finely diced
1kg mixed frozen vegetables
300g leftover cooked chicken, shredded
45ml soy sauce, salt reduced (use more or less, to taste) 

Rinse the rice under cold running water until the water is clear then put the rice and stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil with the lid on.  Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook for 20 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  

Heat a wok or large frying pan with half of the oil.  Add the beaten eggs and cook until lightly scrambled. Remove eggs and roughly chop.  Add the rest of the oil to the wok and add the onion and vegetables. Stir-fry until nearly cooked.   Add cooked rice and chicken and cook until piping hot and heated through.  Add eggs back to the wok with soy sauce and mix thoroughly, making sure every thing is piping hot, leave to cool a little then serve. 



Slow Cooker Veggie Bolognese (Vegan) served with pasta and mixed vegetables


Chicken Soup

Leftover cooked chicken
1 Tblsp oil 
2 onions, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1.5 litres chicken stock
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 Tblsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add stock and bring to the boil. Add barley the reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, skimming any foam from the surface, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add cooked chicken and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the chicken is heated through. Stir in parsley. Season to taste then serve.







Shopping List

37 items: £42.93

Frozen
3x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                          £2.85

Tins, Jars and Cooking
5x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)             £1.45
1x   ASDA Smartprice Red Kidney Beans in Water (400g)                          30p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                                      35p
2x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                                      66p
1x   ASDA Stock Cubes - Vegetable (12x10g)                                            39p
1x   ASDA Black Beans in Water (400g)                                                    65p
1x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (390g)                                            65p

Dairy and Eggs
1x   ASDA Semi Skimmed Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                           £1.48
2x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                             £2.96
1x   ASDA Free Range Large Eggs (12)                                                    £1.85
1x   ASDA Best for Baking Cakes Spread (500g)                                       85p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                                 45p
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                                           £1.49
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                                  £3.69

Packets and Cereals
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                                  65p
1x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                             69p
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                                69p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                                        45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                                       45p
1x   ASDA Easy Cook Long Grain Brown Rice (1Kg)                                  £1.09
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                            45p
2x   ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g)                                              60p
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                                    55p
1x   ASDA Dried Red Lentils (500g)                                                           £1.15
1x   Tropical Sun Popcorn (500g)                                                              79p
2x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                                    £1.78

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                                          £1.14

Fruit and Vegetables
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)                          £3.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                              £1.30
1     ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash                                        98p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                                        52p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                                               20p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Swede                                                        £1.00
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                             £1.10
2x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                         £2.30
4x     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes by Weight (Approx 663g)    £1.99

We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £42.93. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£46.91 from Tesco
£49.83 from Sainsburys
£59.34 from Ocado
£64.60 from Waitrose

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other. She also has a book out which you can order here

And Katykicker, and Naomi from The Organised Life Project have a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.


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