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Friday, 16 March 2012

Our Family Meal Plan This Week 19/03 - £54

Our Meal Plan this week is another hastily cobbled together plan.  There are once again no photos.  Yes, I know I am slacking in a BIG way but I'm feeling poorly and exhausted so something has to give.  This week went from relatively uneventful to hectic in the blink of an eye.  Why does that always seem to happen to me?! *rolls eyes*  Anyway, it is my 8yo's 9th birthday this week and she gets to pick what she wants for dinner.  Oh yes, we will be having a dinner of fish fingers, homemade wedges and mixed vegetables one night this week.  Proper haute cuisine. LOL

I will still be baking all our own bread, cakes, biscuits, etc but lunches for the kids will be school dinners as I am out and about in the wide world most of this week.  Truthfully, I can't be bothered sorting packed lunches for them when school dinners are a treat, and much more convenient for me.  I am working within my energy limitations this week rather than running about like a headless chook trying to please everyone.  A rarity I know but my Mum said it was OK, so I'm listening to her for a change, and I know she reads my blog. LOL  Hi Mum, love you and miss you LOTS!

The 39 items for the Meal Plan this week cost exactly £54 from Asda online, purchased on 16/03/12.  Using MySupermarket.com to compare prices, the same basket of equivalent items would've cost £66.25 at Tesco and £70.75 at Sainsbury's. 

Don't forget to take a look over on the At Home With Mrs M blog, she has a fab Meal Plan Monday linky with loads of great posts and other Meal Plans to explore!

Breakfasts

We'll either have porridge, fruitbread or wholemeal toast with spread or homemade breakfast bars all with a banana, depending on our needs that morning.  Weekend breakfasts are likely to be the same as weekdays this week because of birthday party preparations.  We might be able to make time for pancakes, we'll see how things go.

Breakfast Bars

100g butter
200g runny honey or golden syrup
300g rolled oats
100g mixed seeds
200g sultanas

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Put the butter and honey into  a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and press into a 22cm square baking tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before marking out bars with a knife, then leave to cool completely in the tin.  Once cold, remove from the tin and cut into bars.  Store in an airtight container.

Lunches and Treats

My lovely children will be having school dinners.  My husband and I (who are not at all regal!) will be having sandwiches or bagels with either cheese and chutney or salami and salad  – with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and celery sticks and either a pear or a couple of mandarins.  Weekend lunches will be baked beans on toast or Whatever You've Got Fritters.

The “Whatever You've Got” Fritter Recipe

This is one of my favourite basic recipes for lunch, after school snacks or a super quick dinner served with salad. You can make the fritters either sweet or savoury using "whatever" is available.

1 cup “whatever” filling you like (banana, diced apple, sweetcorn, grated vegetables, leftover ham - not all together!)

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
about 200ml milk

Sift the dry ingredients in to a bowl then add egg and enough milk to make a smooth batter. Stir in 'whatever' filling you like.

Brown in a pan with sizzling butter. Banana or apple fritters are great for a breakfast treat. Savoury fritters can be served with a salad for lunch or dinner.


Spicy Apple or Pear Cake

1 cup sugar
1 large free range egg
2 large apples or pears
100g butter, melted and cooled
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 20cm round or square cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Beat the egg and sugar together until well combined. Gradually add the melted butter and ensure it is mixed in thoroughly. Peel and chop the apples or pears in to small chunks and stir through the mixture. Sift the flour, spices and baking soda over the top and fold in until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the size of your tin. Test the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out crumb free then the cake is cooked. The cake should also spring back when lightly pressed in the middle.

Leave the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. This is fab with a little cream on the side, or served warm for pudding with custard.


Dinners

Spicy Rice with Chickpeas and Spinach - Meatfree Monday

This is a quick, healthy and delicious family dinner for a busy Meatfree Monday. My daughters like it with some poppadoms on the side and mango chutney. Give it a go, it works well as a side dish too.

1 ½ cups basmati or long grain rice
1 Tblsp olive oil
3 carrots, roughly diced
1 pepper, roughly diced
1 leek, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Handful of raisins or sultanas
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp mild curry powder
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
300ml water
200g spinach (fresh or frozen)
2 Tblsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 Tblsp chopped fresh mint leaves
Natural yogurt and more chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve

Put the rice in a sieve and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roughly diced carrots, pepper, leek, garlic, raisins/sultanas and spices. Cook, stirring it occasionally for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables, especially the carrots, are tender.

Once the vegetables are tender add the chickpeas, rice, stock, and water. Bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook everything with the lid on the saucepan for 12 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and put the spinach over the top of the rice. Replace the lid on the saucepan and stand for 8 minutes. Uncover the saucepan again and add the chopped fresh herbs. Stir everything together until well combined. Serve topped with some yoghurt and chopped fresh herbs.


Creamy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta - Tuesday

500g spaghetti
300g unsmoked back bacon
Handful or 2 of frozen mixed vegetables
300ml pot crème fraîche

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook following pack instructions. When the spaghetti has about 3 minutes left to cook toss in a handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables.

Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, fry the bacon until the fat starts to run and then add the garlic, fry until the bacon is lightly golden. Add the chopped spinach and 2 tablespoons of water, then cover and cook until the spinach has defrosted.

Remove the lid, stir everything together, season to taste, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Drain the spaghetti and vegetables and add to the bacon with the crème fraîche. Stir to thoroughly combine and serve immediately.


Fish Fingers, Potato Wedges and Mixed Vegetables - Wednesday

This is my middle daughters choice of birthday dinner.  Pretty self explanatory but we do make our own homemade potato wedges, we could make our own fish fingers, but sometimes life is too short and we'd rather spend more time on birthday fun than foodie faff.


Vegetable Lasagne - Thursday

200g spinach
300g mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or a handful of fresh oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
200ml milk
100g cheddar cheese
2 tsp plain flour
6-8 sheets dried lasagne
1 tsp olive oil

Turn the oven on to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Put the oil into a saucepan on a moderate heat, add the crushed garlic, chopped onion and sliced mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, a good grind of pepper and either fresh or dried herbs. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the frozen spinach and cook for another 5 minutes until well heated through.

Whilst the tomato and vegetable sauce is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Grate the cheese. Put the flour into a saucepan and stir in a little milk, about 1 Tblsp, until you have a smooth paste. Pour in the rest of the milk and stir well.

Put the saucepan onto the hob on a moderate heat, stirring constantly so the sauce will thicken without going lumpy. When the sauce is thick and smooth, take it off the heat and stir in the grated cheese until it melts.

When the tomato and vegetable sauce and the cheese sauce are both ready, layer up the lasagne into a rectangular ovenproof dish. First, put a thin layer of tomato and vegetable sauce in the bottom of the dish, then a layer of lasagne sheets and repeat until all the tomato and vegetable sauce has been used up. Finish with a sheet of lasagne and top with the cheese sauce. Grate a little extra cheese over the top if you want to.

Bake the lasagne in the oven for 45 minutes until the cheese sauce has started to brown a little. Serve with a side salad or cooked mixed vegetables.


Spicy Sausage Hotpot - Friday and Saturday

I'm going to cook a double quantity of this as I will be sorting out my middle daughters 9th birthday party and will be properly knackered on Saturday night, completely unable and unwilling to slave over dinner.  We'll have this with rice on the Friday night, then with baked potatoes on the Saturday night - which my husband will cook for me.

450g pack good quality sausages
1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, diced
1 leek, sliced
1 pepper, diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chilli beans
2 cups/handfuls frozen mixed vegetables

Grill or bake the sausages until they are cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then slice into pieces around 2cm thick. Set aside.

Add oil, onion and garlic to a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for a few minutes then add the carrots, leek and pepper. Sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and chilli beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the sausages to the saucepan with the frozen mixed vegetables. Cook for a final 5 minutes. Serve with cooked rice or mashed potato/sweet potato.


Bacon and Vegetable Bake – Sunday

350g (6 slices) thickly sliced bread, crusts removed
4 bacon rashers, chopped
120g grated cheddar cheese
2 peppers, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
6 large free range eggs
500ml milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or dried mixed herbs

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Cut the bread into cubes. Put the bread in a 1.5-litre/6-cup capacity oven-proof dish.

Add the bacon and onion to a non-stick frying pan and cook, stirring it around, until the onion has softened and the bacon has browned. Drain the bacon on absorbent paper. Sprinkle the cheese, bacon and pepper over the bread in the ovenproof dish.

Whisk the eggs in a large jug with a fork until well combined. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce or dried mixed herbs, then season with salt and pepper before whisking everything again until well combined. Pour over bread mixture in the dish.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the egg looks set. Serve with a salad or cooked mixed vegetables.


Shopping List

39 items: £54.00 via Asda online, purchased on 16/03/12.

Packets and Cereals
1x ASDA Smartprice Porridge Oats (1Kg) 75p
1x ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g) 35p
1x ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 60p
1x ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg) 52p
1x ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 40p
1x ASDA Smartprice Lasagne Sheets (250g) 39p
1x ASDA East Bake Yeast (42g) 64p
1x ASDA Wholefoods Bread Brown Flour (1.5Kg) £1.10

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x ASDA Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (4x410g) £1.28
5x ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g) £1.65
2x ASDA Chilli Beans (290g) £1.08
1x ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g) 70p

Frozen
2x ASDA Chosen by You Freshly Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £2.36
2x Young's 100% Fillet Fish Fingers (10 per pack - 250g) £2.00

Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml) £1.00
6x ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £6.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x ASDA Smartprice Salted Butter (250g) £1.19
2x The Happy Egg Co. Free Range Large Eggs (6) £2.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x ASDA English Medium Cheddar (400g) £2.00 any 2 FOR £4.00
1x ASDA Chosen by You English Mature Cheddar (400g) £2.00 any 2 FOR £4.00

Fruit and Vegetables
1x ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g) 84p
2x ASDA Smartprice Pears £1.46
3 ASDA Mushrooms by Weight (100g) 86.7p
2x ASDA Baby Spinach (180g) £2.00
20 ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g) £1.36
10 ASDA Carrots by Weight (100g) 78p
7 ASDA Leeks by Weight (100g) £1.05
10 ASDA Onions by Weight (100g) 76p
2x ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg) £2.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x ASDA Whole Cucumber 90p
1x ASDA Celery 50p
1x ASDA Cherry Tomatoes (400g) £1.00
1x ASDA Garlic Loose 30p
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.50
1x ASDA Wholefoods Seed Mix (100g) 67p
2x ASDA Mandarins (700g) £2.00 2 FOR £2.00

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 454g) £4.00 any 2 FOR £4.00
2x ASDA Smartprice Smoked Back Bacon (312g) £3.00
1x ASDA German Salami (125g) £1.00

8 comments:

  1. The “Whatever You've Got” Fritter Recipe sounds lovely! Can't wait to try that out myself!

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    1. That recipe has saved the day many times when I don't have much in the cupboards but hungry hordes to feed :o) I've made loads of sweet or savoury versions and it always works well. Let me know how you get on.

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  2. I love your meal plans. They always sound so yummy. Going to 'borrow' your recipe for the Bacon and Vegetable Bake, that sounds right up my street. Thanks for the inspiration

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, glad to be of help, let me know how you like the recipe :o)

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  3. I have emailed myself this post so I don't lose it! It's fab. Complete with shopping list! I've never compared shops I just stick to tescos never realised there was so much difference. Thank you def be trying some of these recipes.

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    1. Thanks heaps for trying out the recipes. I must confess, I didn't realise there was such a big difference in price until I made a conscious effort to compare the prices. It is amazing the amount of money you can save by being savvy :o) Let me know what you think of the recipes.

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  4. It all sounds very nice in spite of your hectic week.

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