Week4-Eat for £50 a month-Final Week

By now I hope you will have mastered a few of the previous weeks recipes and even perhaps given them some of your own little twists.  I have found that it is often the simple and easy recipes which are the ones I return to again and again as they provide the best flavours.  So far on this £50 quest I have reconnected with eggs, lentils, plain pasta with simple dressings and I’m loving the gram flour flatbreads.

My sister is a tad too obsessed with the simple rice dish to the extent that I think her body will start rejecting rice soon and she doesn’t need another intolerance.  I love the potato mix pizza base and Frittata continues to be a firm favourite.  The research on shops and ingredients and seeing the differences in Supermarket prices is an eye opener and proves that it pays to shop around and we all should, also it proves that cost is not a given marker for quality, unfortunately many people think it is.

You can get value for money by making mindful choices and often ignoring the hype around brands,  who says brand is best anyway? Marketing departments and branding agencies, they earn a fortune convincing us with beautiful Add Campaigns which don’t really deal with the product but build the kudos of the brand.  I have found that you can deliver delicious food without utilising the leading brands and as a result save big.  I haven’t been on a weekly shop this week as I still have a lot of food leftover from last week and the previous weeks and I want to use up the store cupboard items I still have (pasta, rice, gram flour, tins of beans, frozen peas and fish, tins of tomatoes as well as pasta, bread and potatoes).  I have based the first 5 days on what I still have and then we can see what cash if any we have leftover for some treats or investment or whatever else to round off the month of eating for £50 !!

Week 4 Recipes

Tomato Sauce (batch to be used for Arrabiata, Pizza and Lentil soup)

  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1/2 can water
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp soya sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp balsamic (optional)
  • Basil shredded
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Fry the garlic and onion in the oil
  2. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, soya sauce, sugar, basil, balsamic and water
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15minutes
  4. Set aside in the fridge
  5. Use a third of the sauce now.
  6. The rest of the sauce can be used for pizza topping tomorrow and with added chopped
  7. chilies and garlic to create a tasty spaghetti

Day 1 – Lunch – Lentil Soup

  • 1 cup of split red lentils
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  1. Boil all of the soup ingredients in a pan and then simmer for 30 minutes (check on it and stir occasionally)
  2. skim off any white film on the top of the water and discard
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (or if using from a jar just mix into cooked lentils)
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/3 of the tomato sauce batch
  • 2tbsp Oil
  • Pepper
  1. Once the lentils are soft and broken down, fry 1/2 onion gently in the oil after 2 minutes
  2. Add in the cumin seeds and mustard and fry for a further 30 seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop
  3. Add the fried ingredients to the lentils and stir, add the tomato sauce add some pepper and chopped coriander and blend (f you have a blender) before serving in a bowl
  4. There will be dal leftover so set aside with a cover in the fridge and it can be used in a day or so as a side with the curry

Day 1 Dinner – Pasta Arrabiata

  1. Fry 2 chillies and a clove of garlic in a pan
  2. Add 1/3 tomato sauce
  3. Heat through, mix with the pasta and serve in a dish maybe with some cheese?

Day 2 Lunch – Frittata on toast

  • 1tsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 onion
  • 2 tsp of milk
  1. Fry the onion in the oil until soft
  2. Mix the egg and the milk
  3. Turn the grill on to hot
  4. Add the egg mixture to the frying pan on a medium heat and wait for 4 minutes until the centre starts to bubble slightly
  5. Place under the grill and keep an eye until it puffs up
  6. Serve straight from the grill on a buttered slice of toast or 2

Day 2 Dinner – Potato Crust Pizza

  • Any remaining potatoes (250g) inc. sweet potatoes
  • 125g self raising or gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • (herbs if you have available)
  1. Take any potatoes and peel, boil and mash with a little butter
  2. Leave to cool
  3. Mix the cooled potato the flour and salt into a dough
  4. Press the dough into a lightly greased pizza pan (10 inch circle)
  5. Push the edges up slightly to form a slight step
  6. Top with remains of the tomato sauce batch, Caramelised onion, basil, mozzarella slices
  7. Cook for 15/20 minutes at 200 degrees

Day 3 Lunch – Leftover Lentil Soup with rice

  1. Boil some rice and place in a bowl
  2. Heat some leftover lentil soup from Day 1 and pour over the rice

Day 3 Dinner – Egg Curry

img_4849

  • tsp Ginger, Garlic, coriander, cumin, tumeric
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 onion
  • chopped chilli
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes and 1/2 tin of water
  • 2 hard boiled eggs (shelled)
  1. fry the ginger,garlic with the onion until soft
  2. then mix in the coriander, tumeric, cumin a pinch of salt and pepper a chopped chilli or 2,fry all together for 2 minutes
  3. add a can of chopped tomatoes and half a can of water then add your hard boiled peeled eggs (I give each egg a jab with a tooth pick so the juice penetrates)
  4. pop a lid on and heat gently for 15 minutes
    Serve with rice

Day 4 Lunch – Rice Noodles or a baked potato & Veg

img_5525
Baked Potato and Veg

 

  • 1 nest of rice noodles or a large potato
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • frozen peas
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • teaspoon of oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Basil
  • one third of a tin of tomatoes with a splash of water (added at the end)
  1. Prepare the rice noodles as per pkt
  2. or if you’ve decided on a potato then microwave until soft
  3. Fry the dry ingredients together in the oil a pan until soft
  4. add the tomatoes and water a handful of chopped basil, simmer until cooked through
  5. serve on noodles or potato

Day 4 Dinner – Fish in Tomato Sauce

For the sauce

  • 1 chopped onion (2 spring onions)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic mashed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can chopped plum tomatoes, plus approximately half a can of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pieces of frozen fish
  • 1/2 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Basil

 

  1. Chop onions
  2. Warm the oil in a pan, add the onion, thyme, garlic and cook at a moderate heat, stirring every now and again, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes, and a can of water, season with the salt and pepper and a little sugar (if that is your taste) stir well until bubbling, add the chopped basil then
  4. Turn the heat down and simmer the sauce gently .
  5. Take the fish and lay gently on top of the sauce, season with some pepper and salt and sprinkle a little soya sauce and then place the cover back on to the sauce
  6. Let the fish simmer in the sauce for approx. 30 minutes
  7. For the rice follow the packet instructions but I always soak and rinse my rice until it runs clear as I find it makes it less sticky and plumps out the grains.

 

Day 5 – Lunch – Fish with added spice

Toast 2 slices of bread, take the leftover fish and sauce and add a little cumin and perhaps a chilli and any leftover rice and layer on to the bread, pop under a hot grill with perhaps a little cheese (if you have any, I had a thumbnail in the fridge) sprinkled on top  eat before anyone else gets a chance….
Day 5 – Dinner – Fish Curry

The best curry I have tasted always involves coriander, even though I don’t like it uncooked I find it too bitter, it transforms a curry. It’s the same with chicken curry where I spent years making curry with chicken breast and it’s only in the last 4 years that
I have realised I have missed out as it should always be on the bone.
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 chillies chopped
  • 2 or 3 pieces of fish (if you have visitors, defrost these before using)

 

Masala:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water 300 ml
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

 

1. Heat oil and fry the bay leaves for a minute
2. Add onions, ginger, garlic, chillies and stir fry till lightly brown.
3. Cut the fish into pieces and  add and mix a few times, allow to sweat for a few minutes
4. Add the ground spice masala and salt and stir gently it for 3 mins till it is all mixed in.
5. Add the water and stir. Cover and simmer for 20 mins.
6. Reserve a tablespoon of coriander leaves for the end and add the rest to the curry.
7. Add the tomatoes a pinch of sugar (again if that is your taste) and place the lid on, make sure it is all heated through.

Serve hot with rice.

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