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Monday 26 February 2018

Apologies for the posting our Meal Plan a day late, it was one of 'those' weekends which are rather challenging and you breathe a sigh of relief when it's over.

The weather is meant to be a very cold this week with subzero temperatures most nights and a bitterly cold wind during the day, and there's also a couple of weather warnings in place for snow.  It was lovely and almost Spring-like a week ago but clearly Winter isn't finished with us quite yet.

Despite the weather we've a busy week with after school and evening activities so dinners need to be easy and filling, as well as able to be eaten at different times depending who is home when.  We're having a vegetarian week this week as I do from time to time.  Our dinners this week feature recipes from my two favourite Jacks.  Jac from Tinned Tomatoes, who is a lovely blogging friend with an brilliant Vegetarian and Vegan blog, and Jack Monroe who blogs at Cooking on a Bootstrap and creates delicious recipes that are fabulously frugal.

Breakfasts will be porridge with homemade fruit compote, on the weekend we'll have pancakes one day and probably crumpets the next day.  I think we'll need a good warm porridge breakfast to warm us up. I'll be adding some blitzed up mixed seeds to our porridge for more nutritional value.

Packed lunches will be flask based this week due to the cold weather.  Quick Vegetable Tagine with Couscous will be alternated with Sweetcorn and Cannellini Bean Soup which will be accompanied by a homemade wholemeal bread roll.  As usual packed lunches will also contain a piece or two of fruit and a baked treat.  .  

Sweetcorn and Cannellini Bean Soup

oil spray
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 pepper, finely chopped
1 small potato, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chilli powder
1 Tblsp cornflour
1.25 litres/5 cups vegetable stock
750g/4 cups corn, I used frozen but you could use drained tinned sweetcorn
2 tins Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

Put a large pot over a medium heat. Add a few sprays of oil, the chopped onion, celery, pepper, and potato, then stir. Cover the pot and let everything sweat for about 5 minutes. Check and stir every couple of minutes to prevent the vegetables from sticking.

Add the garlic, chili powder and cornflour, stir well then cook for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, corn and cannellini beans, turn the heat to medium/low then cover and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes. The soup will thicken and all of the vegetables will be very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread.

Quick and Easy Aubergine and Tomato Pasta

500g wholewheat pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggplant/aubergines, cut into 1.5cm cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tblsp fresh oregano
100g Parmesan or hard cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper

Put a pot of water on high heat and add a good pinch or two of salt then cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.

Whilst the pasta is cooking put a frying pan over a moderate heat and add the oil. Add the prepared aubergine and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add a little of the pasta water to the aubergine if it looks too dry. 

Once the cubes are a lightly browned on all sides, add the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, add the oregano, and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Again, if it looks too dry add a bit of the pasta cooking water. The aubergine cubes should collapse and you should be left with a loose, thick sauce. Add half of the Parmesan cheese and stir through the sauce.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add your sauce to the pasta. Stir everything together, then turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with more Parmesan.  I serve this with steamed mixed vegetables.

Veggie Mince and Lentil Baked Potatoes

1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
400g can brown lentils, rinsed, drained
500g veggie mince
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tblsp tomato paste

To serve:
one large baked potato per person
200g grated cheese
wilted greens

Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion and spring onion for around 5 minutes until golden and softened. Add the garlic, cumin and oregano. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the pepper, carrot, lentils, chopped tomatoes and veggie mince. Stir well then simmer uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the mixture has thickened. I serve this over halved baked potatoes then sprinkle grated cheese on top and with wilted greens on the side.

Ultimate Moussaka - Cooking on a Bootstrap

Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat - Tinned Tomatoes

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake - Tinned Tomatoes

Shopping List

Our shopping list is a little more expensive this week as I've purchased baking supplies and spices that we had run out of.  I tend to buy spices from the Ethnic Food aisle as they are much cheaper.

50 items: £70.80

Tins, Jars and Cooking
12x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                       £3.48 
1x    ASDA Ground Coriander (34g)                                            79p    
1x    Rajah Jeera Ground Cumin (100g)                                       85p    
6x    ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                      £1.98
1x    ASDA Stock Cubes - Vegetable (12x10g)                            39p
1x    TRS Chilli Powder (100g)                                                    65p
1x    Rajah Ground Ginger (100g)                                               75p
2x    Petti Double Concentrated Tomato Paste (200g)                  £1.40
2x    ASDA Cannellini Beans in Water (400g)                               80p
1x    ASDA Red Kidney Beans in Water (210g)                            30p

1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                          82p
1x    ASDA Meat Free Mince (454g)                                            £1.50
1x    ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                     £1.10
1x    ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)                  £2.75

Dairy and Eggs
4x    ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                              £5.92
1x    ASDA Free Range Large Eggs (6)                                       £1.00
1x    ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (385g)                  £1.89
1x    ASDA Smartprice Hard Cheese Wedge (170g)                     £1.60

Packets and Cereals
1x    Allinson Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                           75p
1x    Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                  64p
1x    ASDA Strong White 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 Cous Cous (500g)                                                     65p
1x    ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)                                         65p
1x    Cypressa Green Lentils (500g)                                            £1.49
1x    Cypressa Bulgur Wheat (500g)                                           £1.00
2x    ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                    £1.98
2x    ASDA Four Seed Mix (150g)                                               £1.80

Fruit and Vegetables
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Baby Potatoes (1Kg)                    £1.60
30    ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)           £3.00
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                              £1.00
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Cauliflower Loose                        £1.00
1      ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash (1.2Kg)             90p
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                         55p
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)                             £2.40
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                                     60p
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                  £2.00
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Ginger (125g)                              50p
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Oranges Extra Juicy (2Kg)          £2.00
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Apples (1.2Kg)                            £3.00
3x    ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                                         £2.10
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                65p
1x    ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                              59p
1x    ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                         £1.15
3x    ASDA Aubergine                                                                 £2.10
2x    ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                 £1.98
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection British Spring Greens (500g)        69p

1x    ASDA Cocoa (250g)                                                            £1.49
1x    Sutter Home Fre Merlot (750ml)                                          £2.98
Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 25th February 2018.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

We shopped online with Asda via My Supermarket.  Had we purchased our items elsewhere our shopping would've cost:

£73.71 from Morrisons
£86.72 from Sainsbury's
£86.95 from Tesco
£92.72 from Ocado
£97.32 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.

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.


  1. Think I will have to try that ultimate moussaka myself

    1. I'm really looking forward to it. We'll definitely need comfort food by the end of the week, and a bonus is I can take leftovers for my work dinner on Saturday night to keep me going.

  2. Wow, you a trying a lot of my recipes this week. I hope you like them all! I never ever get this organised. I am slightly ashamed to say. *sigh*

  3. I like us to have a vegetarian week every so often, as well as a Meatfree Monday each week. I'm gradually converting my omnivores to a more plant based way of eating :) Your recipes are delicious, easy to make, and always go down well with my lot. It's going to be a very tasty week.

  4. Thanks so much :) I can't deal with going to loads of different stores so try and keep things simple but tasty. Posting the shopping list makes it easy for others to follow, and also shows exactly how much our Meal Plan costs.

  5. Some great ideas! My husband recently opted to be vegetarian so I am in desperate need of ideas - it isn't something I've found easy to adapt to if I'm honest. This is really helpful, thanks! Found you via the meal planning linky :)

  6. Your Sweetcorn and Cannellini Bean Soup sounds delicious! I'm going to make some nice warm porridge breakfasts for Daisy this week. Thanks for linking up! x


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