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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Rice and Vegetable Bake

I have made various versions of this recipe for a weeknight dinner, packed lunches and as a hearty picnic lunch. It is such a versatile recipe and uses up vegetables and a pot of yoghurt from the fridge as well as eggs and rice from your pantry.  Quick and easy to make, you can also freeze leftovers for later.

Rice and Vegetable Bake

200g cooked white or brown rice, we used wholegrain rice
4 spring onions, white and green parts, finely sliced
2 courgettes, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeed and finely diced
1 chilli, deseeded and finely diced (optional)
large handful baby spinach, shredded
200g strong mature cheddar cheese, grated
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
5 free range eggs, lightly beaten
200g palin natural yoghurt
lots of freshly ground black pepper or a pinch or two of cayenne

Grease and line 23cm square cake tin.  Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan.

Put the rice cooked rice in a large bowl with all the vegetables and mix well. Mix together the eggs, 3/4 of the cheese and yoghurt, pour over the vegetables and rice in the bowl then thoroughly mix until combined.  Season well with lots of black pepper.  Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin, sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, then bake for 40 minutes until the top is lightly golden and there is no wobble of the bake if you gently jiggle the tin.

Serve slices with sweet chilli sauce and a fresh green salad or with spicy tomato salsa and cooked mixed vegetables for dinner.

Sainsburys are the leading retailer of cage-free fresh eggs and the first major retailer to use cage-free eggs as ingredients in all their own brand products. It would be brilliant if only free range eggs were used but exclusive use of cage free eggs is a great start down that road.  

Here are some other delicious recipes from my blogging friends for you to try:

** Disclosure: I was compensated for my time, expertise, and ingredients used when developing this recipe **

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Seven Vegetable and Sausage Hotpot - Celebrating Organic September

Image used with permission from Soil Association.

I was asked by the lovelies at Sainsburys to help them celebrate Organic September and use some delicious produce to come up with a recipe to tempt you to try some of their wide range of organic products.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are always at the forefront of my mind when I think about organic produce, however Sainsburys have over 250 products in their our own label range alone, this means there's much more to choose from than just fruit and vegetables.  

Image used with permission from Sainsburys
I used So Organic Pork Sausages in this recipe, along with organic pantry staples such as tinned tomatoes, pulses and vegetables.  So Organic fresh fruit and vegetables are currently on a 3 for 2 offer and there's also 25% off So Organic meat and pantry items, this means that you can try organic produce for less than it would usually cost.  I'm all for saving pennies where we can!

This recipe is a quick, warming and filling meal which fed us all generously with leftovers for two lunches the next day.  Great for the slightly cooler Autumn evenings.  You could leave out the sausages, or use vegetarian sausages, and it would be a delicious vegetarian dinner.

Seven Vegetable and Sausage Hotpot

6 organic pork sausages
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chili, deseeded and finely diced (optional)
2 peppers, deseeded and diced, any colour will do
2 leeks, finely sliced
3 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
400g packs chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
400g pack butterbeans, drained and rinsed
400g pack chickpeas, drained and rinsed

In a large casserole or saucepan, thoroughly brown the sausages then remove and set aside.  Using the fat rendered from the sausages, saute the onions, garlic, chili, peppers, leeks and celery until starting to soften.  Slice the sausages into bite sized chunks.

Add the sausages back to the pan along with the squash, sweet potato, chopped tomatoes, stock and herbs.  Simmer until the squash and sweet potato are cooked through and soft.  Add the drained and rinsed pulses then simmer for a further 5 minutes or so until they are heated through.  Serve.

** Disclosure: I was compensated for my time, expertise, and ingredients used when developing this recipe **