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Monday, 20 August 2018

Apologies for the lack of Meal Plan on the blog last week, I totally ran out of weekend, and by the time I'd written it up it was Wednesday and I thought it would be too far into the week to publish it.

It's the fifth week of the school holidays, only a couple of weeks left. We've been on outings locally, taking our own lunch and snacks to save money.  My middle two daughters had a two hour pottery class recently and thoroughly enjoyed it so we'll try and sort some more sessions later in the year, they've also been to some cheap sessions at the movies - taking their own snacks of course.  We've also visited some of the local museums for free and low cost workshops.

Our back garden is still going strong supplying us with salad greens, fresh herbs, raspberries, and loads of apples.  We went foraging on the local common last weekend and picked 4.5kg of blackberries, making sure we left plenty behind for other foragers to pick.  I've frozen 2kg, made jam with 1.5kg, and made batches of muffins and crumble with the rest, combined with apples from our tree.  We ate some and some are stashed in the freezer for this week and next.

Breakfasts will be cereal and milk or toast and spread, both with a piece of fruit for afters.  On the weekend we'll probably have pancakes and bacon sandwiches.

Lunches will be pasta salad, twice baked potatoes, mini frittatas, quesadillas, baked beans on toast, noodle bowls, and a fridge clear out crustless quiche.


Speedy Vegetable Curry

300g quinoa
140g curry paste
3 peppers, diced
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml tin coconut milk
500g frozen mixed vegetables

Cook quinoa according to packet instructions.  Put a large saute pan over a medium heat.  Add the curry paste and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the peppers and sweet potatoes, stirring to coat them in the curry paste.  Pour in the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  

Uncover the pan, stir through the mixed vegetables, and simmer uncovered for around 10 - 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.  

Spring Rolls

12 sheets filo pastry
sesame oil, for brushing
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
3 carrots, grated or very thinly sliced
2 peppers, very thinly sliced
300g spring greens, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 or 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 Tblsp soy sauce, or more to taste

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.  Unwrap the filo and cover with a damp tea towel to stop them drying out.  Take two of the sheets, brush them with sesame oil and lay one on top of the other.  

Put 1/6 of the filling in a line down the centre of the pastry.  Bring the bottom edges up over the filling then roll the rest of the pasty over the filling, a bit like making a burrito.  Put the spring roll on your prepared tray.  Repeat the process with the rest of the pasty and filling.  

Bake in the oven for around 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.  Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving, and take care as the filling will be rather hot.

Creamy Bacon and Butterbean Bake

2 x 400g cans butterbeans, drained
300g bacon, diced and cooked
2 cloves garlic, minced
180ml whipping cream
100g hard cheese, finely grated
2 tsp dried mixed herbs

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5.

Reserve a handful of cheese for topping.  Combine all the other ingredients in an ovenproof dish.  Sprinkle over the reserved cheese and then bake for 25 minutes.  Cool a little before serving.  We'll be having ours with steamed greens and mixed vegetables.

Crispy Curry Chicken

1 cup wholemeal flour
3 Tbsp curry powder
2 free range eggs
¼ cup milk
10 - 12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with foil or baking paper.  On a large plate, mix together the flour and curry powder.  On a plate or in a shallow bowl, beat together the egg and milk. 

Coat the chicken in the flour mixture, then dip the chicken into the egg mixture allowing the excess to drip off.  Dip the chicken in the flour mixture for a second time and gently shake off the excess.

Place the chicken on the prepared tray, cover and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Take the chicken out of the fridge and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  We'll be serving ours with homemade coleslaw and oven baked sweet potato wedges.

Mini Meatloaves

500g sausage meat
500g lean mince
1 onion, diced
3 Tblsp tomato sauce/ketchup, or sweet chilli sauce
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 Tblsp low-salt soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
1/2 cup frozen peas
250ml/1 cup tomato-based pasta sauce

Preheat your oven to 180C.  With slightly wet hands mix together all of the ingredients except the pasta sauce.  If the mixture seems too wet, add some more rolled oats to help hold it together.

Spray muffin tins with a little cooking oil.  Spoon the mixture into greased muffin tins. Once the mixture has all been used, gently press down the tops of the meatloaves with the back of a spoon.  This helps press them into the tins, and also ensures even cooking.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.  As soon as the meatloaves are out of the oven, top each of them with a spoonful of pasta sauce.  Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

200g chorizo, diced
2 onions, diced
2 peppers, diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 x 400g chickpeas, drained
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
2 tsp paprika

Put the chorizo into a large saute pan over a medium heat.  Cook, stirring until the chorizo starts to get crispy and the delicious oil runs from it.  Add the onions, peppers, celery, and carrot to the pan with a little extra oil if necessary.  Stir frequently until the vegetables start to soften.  Add the chickpeas, tomato and paprika stirring to combine everything.  Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender.  Add a little water if necessary, and keep an eye on the pan and stir every so often.  I'll serve this with cooked rice and steamed greens.

Homemade Fish and Chips

Shopping List

48 items: £72.77

Packets & Cereals
2x   ASDA Smartprice Wheat Bisks (24x18g)                                 £1.48
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                    69p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                45p
1x   ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)                                         59p
1x   ASDA Wholewheat Penne (500g)                                            45p
1x   Oz-Yufka Flat Type Filo Pastry (500g)                                    £1.95
1x   ASDA Quinoa (300g)                                                              £1.19
1x   ASDA Corn Flakes (790g)                                                       £1.34

Tins, Jars & Cooking
1x   ASDA Smartprice Bolognese Sauce (440g)                             39p
1x   ASDA Baked Beans, Reduced Sugar & Salt (4x410g)              98p
3x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                          87p
2x   ASDA Butter Beans in Water (400g)                                        78p
2x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                          66p
1x   Caribbean Choice Coconut Milk (400ml)                                  50p
1x   ASDA Curry Paste - Balti (200g)                                             £1.19

1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                              99p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                         94p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                                                 85p
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                               £3.00

Dairy & Eggs
1x   ASDA British Single Cream (300ml)                                        99p
3x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                 £4.44
1x   ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                            £2.00
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                      £3.69
1x   ASDA Smartprice Hard Cheese Wedge (170g)                        £1.60

Fruit & Vegetables
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Salad Tomatoes (750g)                   £2.30
27   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)              £3.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Watermelon                                    £2.50
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                  £1.30
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                             £1.50
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                             52p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions                                 £1.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Apricots (320g)                               £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclem (600g)                           £1.39
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                                            £2.00
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (2)                          £1.95
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                  55p
2x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                             £2.30
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)                                            £1.58
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Cooking Peppers (700g)                  £2.70
1     ASDA Grower's Selection Red Cabbage by Weight                  72p
1     ASDA Grower's Selection White Cabbage                               78p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Nectarines (6)                                 £2.18

Meat, Fish & Poultry
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                              £1.14
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Mince - 12% Fat (500g)           £2.16
1x   ASDA Extra Special Chorizo Casero Sausage (225g)              £1.85
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Chicken Drumsticks (1.1Kg)           £2.20
1x   ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 400g)          £2.25

1x   ASDA Wholemeal Tortilla Wraps (8)                                        89p

We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £72.77.  Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£73.52 from Tesco
£81.63 from Sainsburys
£101.44 from Ocado
£101.98 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.


  1. Gosh - I really shouldn't read this while hungry!! I would love some crispy curry chicken IN spring rolls! I'm a fiend!
    Thanks for linking up - another delicious week for your family x

  2. It sounds like you have been having a great time during the holidays. It's very sensible to take your own lunch on days out...We do the same & it really saves money.
    It sounds like you have a great week of meals planned x


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