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Sunday, 1 July 2018

The weather was very hot indeed last week, and it's set to continue this week.  We're trying to keep cool, stay out of the sun wherever possible, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.  I'm constantly repeating the 'Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap' message to my family. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses. How are you all coping in the heat? We're not big fans of temperatures over 25C.

I haven't included greens, salad greens, or fresh herbs in the shopping list as we've got those growing in abundance in the back garden.  We've got some grocery items left over from last week so I'll be using them up this week, such as rice and bread flour.  

Breakfasts on weekdays will be cereal and milk, with fresh fruit.  Weekend breakfasts will be pancakes and probably homemade crumpets.

Packed lunches will be Super Quick Chickpea and Couscous Salad (no nuts) with crudites and salsa, with some fruit and a baked treat.  Weekend lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Versatile and Thrifty Flatbreads.


Meatfree Monday Stir-fry Noodles

250g pack egg noodles
1 Tblsp oil
6 free rang eggs, lightly beaten«
1 onion, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 Tblsp finely grated ginger
300g frozen spinach, defrosted and the water squeezed out
200g frozen peas
200g frozen sweetcorn
3 carrots, grated
½ cup/125ml/8 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp white vinegar
2 Tblsp water

Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat.  Tip in the beaten egg and cook, stirring with a spoon, until scrambled and cooked.  Tip the scrambled eggs on to a plate and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add another tablespoon of oil and cook the onion and peppers until softened.  Add the ginger and garlic, cook for another minute or two.  Add the spinach, frozen peas and sweetcorn and grated carrots.  Stir fry until the vegetables are cooked through, approximately 5 minutes or so.  Combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and water in a cup.  Stir well then add to the stir fry with the noodles and scrambled egg.  Stir fry for a further 5 minutes then serve.

Chicken, Roast Vegetable and Lentil Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 or 3 beetroot, cut into small cubes
1 Tblsp oil
600g chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 Tblsp oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tblsp paprika
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 can lentils, drained
200g each frozen peas and corn, defrosted in boiling water then drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice

Heat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Line two baking trays with kitchen foil. Toss the sweet potato, onion and beetroot with 1 tablespoon of oil then season to taste. Spread out onto one of the lined oven trays. Combine the oil, garlic, paprika, and mixed herbs. Rub this mixture all over the chicken. Put the chicken on the second lined oven tray. 

Bake the chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven 20–30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, and the juices are running clear. Roast the vegetables until tender, they may take slightly longer than the chicken. Once cooked, take the vegetables and chicken out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly. 

In a large bowl, mix together the roasted vegetables, defrosted mixed vegetables, and drained tin of lentils. Drizzle over some balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Divide this salad mixture between serving plates and top with thinly sliced chicken.

Bean Quesadillas

1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 courgettes/zuchini, grated
200g each frozen peas and sweetcorn
2 tins kidney beans, drained
2 tins chopped tomatoes
300g frozen spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chilli powder, use more or less to taste
12 tortillas
2 cups cheese, grated

Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the onions and peppers, cook until softened.  Add the garlic and grated courgettes and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the frozen peas and corn, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper,  paprika and chilli powder.  Mix well, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat.  Simmer uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  I sometimes make up this mixture in the morning if I have time, cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge until I need it at dinner time.  Some mornings are better than others!

To make the quesadillas, heat another large frying pan over a medium heat.  Put a tortilla in the frying pan and spread the bean mixture over one half of the tortilla.  Sprinkle over some of the cheese.  Fold the other half of the tortilla over the top like a pasty.  This makes it SO much easier to flip over.  Once the bottom of the tortilla is crispy, flip it over so that the top half can cook.  

Remove it from the heat when the tortilla is crisp and the cheese has melted.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Let the tortillas cool slightly before cutting into wedges and serving with a green salad.

Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice
1 Tblsp oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp finely grated fresh ginger
1-tsp chilli flakes or powder (optional)
400g frozen mixed vegetables
4 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp fish sauce (optional)
6 free range eggs, beaten

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat.  Fry the onion and pepper until softened.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the chilli flakes and frozen mixed vegetables, cook for 5 minutes before adding the cooked rice and cooking for another few minutes until the rice is piping hot. 

Pour in the soy sauce and fish sauce, if using, and cook for another 2 minutes.  Transfer the cooked fried rice to a bowl and keep warm.  Return the frying pan to the heat and drizzle in a tablespoon of oil.  Pour the beaten eggs into
the pan.  Once they start to cook, stir them with a spoon so they scramble.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Mix the egg mixture through the fried rice until well combined.  Serve in bowls.

Meatballs with Many Veg Sauce

750g beef mince
1 can lentils, drained
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tblsp finely chopped fresh (2 tsp dried) oregano
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 free range egg, beaten
½ cup breadcrumbs or couscous
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tblsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
3 courgettes/zuchini, grated
1-2 Tblsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ cups/375ml water
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g frozen mixed vegetables
½ cup grated cheese to serve

In a large bowl mix the beef mince with the lentils, salt, pepper, dried oregano, spring onions, egg, bread crumbs (or couscous) and one tablespoon of minced garlic until completely combined.  Use your hands or a dough scoop to portion the dough into into golf ball-sized balls.

Put a large frying pan over a moderate heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.  Brown the meatballs in batches, cook for about 5 minutes on each side.  Put on a plate, set aside and keep warm.

In the same frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and cook the onion and peppers until softened.  Add the garlic, grated courgette, paprika, chilli powder, and ground cumin. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant.  Pour in the water, chopped tomatoes and then add the mixed vegetables.

Stir well then bring to the boil.  Once the sauce is boiling strongly add the meatballs.  Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook for around 15 - 20 minutes until the meatballs have cooked through.  Serve with rice or baked potatoes and steamed greens.  

Curried Rice and Lentil Salad

2 cups cooked rice, chilled
1 tin lentils, drained
2 apples, finely diced or grated
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 peppers, finely diced
2 Tblsp raisins or finely chopped dried apricots
3 Tblsp fresh herbs, finely chopped

¼ cup/4 Tblsp/60ml oil
1/3 cup/80ml white wine vinegar
2 tsp curry powder

Mix together the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Measure the oil, white wine vinegar and curry powder into a jar.  Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake to completely combine the ingredients and make the dressing.  Mix the dressing through the salad.  Serve immediately.  

Shopping List

44 items: £73.75

Packets and Cereals
2x  ASDA Smartprice Wheat Bisks (24x18g)              £1.48
1x  ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)          45p
1x  ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                        97p
1x  ASDA Easy Cook Long Grain Brown Rice (1Kg)   £1.17
1x  ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)                      59p
3x  ASDA Cous Cous (500g)                                     £1.95
1x  ASDA Good and Balanced Green Lentils (500g)    £1.15
1x  ASDA Chopped Apricots (250g)                           £1.00
1x  ASDA Corn Flakes (790g)                                    £1.34

1x  ASDA Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                             85p
1x  ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                              76p
1x  ASDA Frozen for Freshness Sweetcorn (1Kg)       85p
1x  ASDA Whole Leaf Spinach (1.3Kg)                       £1.50

Tins, Jars and Cooking
3x  ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)       87p
2x  ASDA Smartprice Kidney Beans in Water (400g)  60p
1x  Amoy Soy Sauce Reduced Salt (150ml)                £1.00
1x  ASDA Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (250ml)         59p
5x  ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                       £1.65
2x  ASDA Double Conc Tomato Puree (200g)             74p
1x  ASDA White Wine Vinegar (350ml)                       80p

Dairy and Eggs
3x  ASDA Semi Skimmed 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
2x  ASDA Grower's Selection Salad Tomatoes (750g) £2.30
25  ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas                       £3.00
30  ASDA Grower's Selection Royal Gala Apples        £6.00
2x  ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)               £1.00
4x  ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber          £2.00
2x  ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                          £1.10
2x  ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)              £2.40
1x  ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                     55p
2x  ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions              £1.10
1x  ASDA Grower's Selection Beetroot (500g)            £1.60
1x  ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)   £1.00
1x  ASDA Grower's Selection Giant Watermelon         £2.50
4x  ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                          £3.20
1x  ASDA Grower's Selection Mixed Hot Chilli (60g)   50p
1x  ASDA Farm Stores Lemons (4)                            85p
1x  ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)               55p
1x  ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)          £1.15
3x  ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                  £2.97

2x  ASDA Wholemeal Tortilla Wraps (8)                     £1.90

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x  ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Mince - 12% Fat (750g)  £3.79
1x  ASDA Butcher's Selection Boneless Chicken Thighs (750g)  £3.89
We purchased our items online from Asda via My Supermarket and the cost of our shopping this week was £73.75, had we chosen to shop elsewhere our items would've cost:

£83.61 from Sainsburys
£84.69 from Morrisons
£87.36 from Tesco
£101.39 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 coming out in April 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.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! It is far too hot for me....I am constantly nagging at my girls to drink more.
    You have some great meals planned. I love the sound of the Curried Rice and Lentil Salad x


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