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Sunday 11 February 2018
It's Half Term holidays for my children this week, they're all tired and ready for a week at home.  Although, there's a few outings planned and some activities they're taking part in, we're looking forward to recharging and resting when we can.  My husband will be at home on Wednesday to take our girls to the cinema whilst I have fun with 3yo.  

Breakfast will be a relaxed affair this week, of course we'll have pancakes on Tuesday, but porridge/overnight oats or toast will be on offer for the rest of the week.  

Lunches need to be filling to help cut down on snacking and save money, they also need to be suitable for my husband to take as a packed lunch for work.  We will be having Spicy Roast Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup with homemade rolls on Monday and Wednesday, Root Vegetable and Red Lentil Dhal with Naan bread on Tuesday and Thursday, and Mini Frittatas on Friday. Over the weekend we'll have a rare lunch out on Saturday then Twice Baked Potatoes on Sunday.

I've supplies to make fruit scones, flapjacks, muffins/cupcakes and cookies and made sure there's popping corn too.


Baked Fish with White Beans 

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.

Roast Chicken with roast vegetables and Yorkshire puddings

Chicken and Bacon Stew with Dumplings

200g cooking bacon, finely chopped
2 onions, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
3 carrots, chopped into 1cm dice
2 parsnips, chopped into 1cm dice
1 litre chicken stock
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tblsp plain flour
300g leftover cooked chicken

250g self-raising flour
125g butter
100ml cold water

Put a large ovenproof casserole saucepan over a medium heat and add the bacon. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the diced onion, celery, parsnips, and carrots. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are transparent and the carrots have started to soften. Add the heaped tablespoon of flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Pour in the stock, add the thyme and leftover chicken. Turn the heat down to medium-low, stir the stew well then simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes whilst you make the dumplings.

Preheat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Measure the self raising flour into a mixing bowl. Grate the butter, using the coarse side of a box grater, into the flour. This makes it much easier and quicker to incorporate into the flour. Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 100ml of cold water and bring the dough together, forming it into a ball. Divide into 12 pieces and roll into small balls.

Check the stew isn't too thick, add a little water if necessary, then put the dumplings in a single layer on top of the stew. Put the lid on the casserole saucepan and bake at 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes, or until the dumplings are fluffy and cooked through. I serve ours with mashed potato and steamed peas and corn.

Quick and Easy Nachos

1 onion, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced, any colour will do
325g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 tins chilli beans
200g pack tortilla chips
150g grated mature cheddar cheese, or more if you fancy

Mix the onion, peppers, sweetcorn and chilli beans together in a bowl. Put half of the of tortilla chips, in a single layer, into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Dollop with around half the vegetable and bean mixture then top with a good handful of grated cheddar. Repeat the process until all the chips, vegetable mixture and cheese have been used up. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and bake the nachos in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and everything has heated through. I served ours with steamed mixed vegetables on the side.

Family Sized Mince Pie

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.

Slow Cooker Vegetable and Bean Chilli

2 large onions, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, finely diced
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
300ml vegetable stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g kidney beans in chilli sauce

Put everything in the slow cooker, stir well to combine then put the lid on. Cook on HIGH for 3 - 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick. Serve with cooked rice or baked potatoes, grated cheese and a dollop of yoghurt.

Shopping List

46 items: £69.40

Packets and Cereals
1x   Cypressa Popping Corn (500g)                                             £1.00
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                      64p
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 Seedless Raisins (500g)                                               £1.39
1x   ASDA Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (375g)                                   £1.00
1x   ASDA Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)                              59p
1x   ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)                                            65p
1x   ASDA Dried Red Lentils (500g)                                               75p
1x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                        99p

2x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                              £1.64
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                         £1.10
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)                     £2.75
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                               £3.00

Tins, Jars and Cooking
3x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g) 87p
4x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (290g)                                 £1.60
1x   Rajah Garam Masala (100g)                                                   67p
2x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                          66p
1x   Napolina Cannellini Beans (400g)                                            60p
1x   Petti Double Concentrated Tomato Paste (200g)                      70p

Dairy and Eggs
5x   ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                                 £5.45
1x   ASDA Best for Baking Cakes Spread (500g)                           85p
2x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                     90p
1x   ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                            £2.00
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                               £1.45
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                      £3.69

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                              £1.14
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Mince - 12% Fat (500g)           £2.4   
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Whole Chicken (1.6Kg)                   £3.4   

Fruit and Vegetables
30   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)              £3.00
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                  £1.50
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                             £1.10
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                                        60p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                      £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
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Swede                                            £1.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Extra Trimmed Leeks (550g)           £1.00
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                  £1.18
2x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                             £2.30
4x   ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)                                            £2.00
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                    99p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclems (1.2Kg)                        £1.90

Snacks and Sweets
2x   ASDA Smartprice Tortilla Chips - Lightly Salted (180g)            82p
Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 11th February 2018.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

We purchased our groceries online from Asda, had we shopped elsewhere our items would've cost:

£80.97 from Tesco 
£81.05 from Morrisons
£85.07 from Sainsbury's

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.


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