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Monday 31 December 2018

I took an unintentional blogging break.  Eldest was poorly, then GCSE mocks happened for 15yo, we had a plumbing issue, house inspection, our younger two were poorly, 15yo was tripped up and badly hurt her knee, and I'm into week 7 of my cold, then Christmas happened.

The Christmas holidays were such a relief!  All our children were absolutely exhausted and in need of a good break from routine.  The last week or so of term was a real slog.  It's been a much needed restful time, with several PJ days, and intermittent hibernation.

It's back to routine this week, from midweek onwards, so that means packed lunches and dinners to fit around after school and evening events.

Breakfasts will be cereal and milk or porridge with fruit compote, depending on the morning, and I'll make wholemeal no knead fruit bread at the weekend for toast and probably a batch of pancakes.

Lunches before work and school start midweek will be Broccoli and Potato Soup, and Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup both from the freezer.  Packed lunches will be Quick Vegetable Tagine, using mixed beans instead of chickpeas, served warm in flasks accompanied by Caramelised Onion and Cheddar Swirls instead of couscous, with a baked treat and piece of fruit for afters.  Weekend lunches will be Slow Cooker French Onion Soup and Mixed Vegetable Soup with homemade wholemeal bread rolls.

Snacks will be popcorn, vegetable peeling crisps, fresh fruit and homemade yoghurt.


Chana Masala

Slow Cooker Hoppin' John

Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables and steamed greens

Chicken Noodle Bowls

Roast Vegetable Frittata

Homemade Pizzas

Hot Dogs with Sweet Potato Wedges

Shopping List

42 items: £62.28

Packets and Cereals
1x   ASDA Smartprice Wheat Bisks (24x18g)                                             74p
1x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                              69p
2x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                                 £1.38
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                                        45p
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (500g)                                                 54p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                                       £1.00
1x   ASDA Easy Cook Long Grain Brown Rice (1Kg)                                  £1.09
1x   ASDA Egg Noodles Medium (250g)                                                     59p
1x   TRS Black Eye Beans (500g)                                                              £1.19
1x   Tropical Sun Popcorn (500g)                                                               69p
1x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                                    89p

Tins, Jars and Cooking
5x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)              £1.40
2x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                                      66p
1x   ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)                                37p
2x   ASDA Mexican Style Bean Mix in Water (400g)                                   £1.30

Dairy and Eggs
2x   ASDA Semi Skimmed Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                           £2.96
1x   ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                              £1.48
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 British Spring Greens (500g)                        £1.24
20   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
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)                                             £2.40
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                                                     50p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                                  £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Ginger (125g)                                              45p
4x   ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                                                         £2.36
4x   ASDA Farm Stores Apples (500g)                                                       £2.36
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                                54p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                               £3.30
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Kiwis (6)                                                               £1.80
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                              £1.50
1x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                                         £1.25
3x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                                 £2.97
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclems (800g)                                      £2.00

1x   ASDA Smartprice Broccoli (1Kg)                                                         90p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                                                              72p
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                      95p
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)                                  £2.75

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Whole Chicken (1.6Kg)                               £3.28
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (600g)                                           67p

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website, My Supermarket, and are correct as of 30th December 2018. Prices may vary in different in-store locations. 

We purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket and the cost of our groceries was £62.28. Had we shopped elsewhere our shopping list would've cost:

£76.35 from Tesco
£77.27 from Sainsburys
£88.53 from Waitrose
£92.72 from Ocado

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.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Friday 28 December 2018
Another soup recipe using cheap and free vegetables from our local supermarket. Broccoli was discounted to 20p per head for Christmas, and we were able to get 3 bags of free potatoes from the same supermarket which they were giving away to cut food waste. I've used both the florets and stalks from the broccoli so nothing is wasted.  We also made Vegetable Peelings Crisps from the potato peelings, and the carrot and parsnip peelings from Boxing Day.  I made two delicious batches of this soup, one for lunch today, and the other has been packed up and frozen. 

Broccoli and Potato Soup 

1 Tblsp oil 
1 onion, diced 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tsp dried mixed herbs 
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced 
2 heads of broccoli, florets removed and chopped, stems finely chopped 
1 litre vegetable stock 
salt and pepper to taste 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add the onion. Cook until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. 

Add the dried mixed herbs, potatoes, diced broccoli stems, and stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes and stems are tender. 

Add broccoli florets and cook until broccoli is tender and bright green, about 10 minutes. Puree using a stick/immersion blender then season to taste and serve. 

Spiced Parsnip and Carrot Soup

Wednesday 26 December 2018
On Boxing Day we took a walk to get some fresh air. After a wander on the local common I received a text from a friend telling me that a local supermarket was giving away bags of Christmas vegetables. It was about 10 minutes walk away so we checked it out. Sure enough, huge crates and trolleys full of bags of parsnips, carrots, sprouts and potatoes with a use by date of today.

We took home 3 bags of potatoes, 3 bags of carrots, and 2 bags of parsnips. I'm sure hauling the extra weight home helped burn off some Christmas calories I baked one bag of potatoes so that we can have Twice Baked Potatoes for quick lunches or dinners once the holiday are over. The second bag was peeled, chopped and par boiled then roughed up sprayed with a little oil and cooked for 15 minutes. I then let the potatoes cool and packed them up for freezing. We've now got ready frozen roasties for the next couple of weeks. 

I made two batches of this delicious soup with the parsnips and some carrots. One batch of soup for lunch today, and one for the freezer. 

Spiced Parsnip and Carrot Soup 

2 tsp oil 
1 onion, sliced 
2 garlic cloves, sliced 
2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 
4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped 
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
½ tsp cumin seed 
½ tsp coriander seed 
1 Tblsp garam masala 
1.2L vegetable stock 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for a couple of minutes then add the parsnips, carrots, and spices. Cook for a minute or two, stirring, until the spices are fragrant. Pour over the stock and gently simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender. Using a stick/immersion blender, blitz the soup until completely smooth. Serve immediately or chill then pack into containers for freezing. This soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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