Final Week – Some Lazy Treats

The last month tested me a little,  I have been on jury service, had family visiting, made an emergency A&E visit post a routine operation and I’ve been tracking my mindful recipes online.  Putting the challenge of £50 for the month on hold might have been an option for a moment or two, who am I kidding I did consider it… but decided that would not be very mindful!

What I have discovered about being mindful is it becomes a competition with oneself.  How can I advocate mindful living?  if I don’t test and stretch myself in the process.  Changing any mindset isn’t easy, it’s about planning, making the best choices you can make and committing to them.

I have eaten very well, entertained family and friends and nobody has been any the wiser on the challenge, however all have commented on how tasty the food has been.  When I have mentioned the challenge, guesses on how much a plate of food costs have varied from 50 to 80 % out (they have all guessed more expensive).  To the extent that I think I’ll consider a pop-up as I’d clean up 😉  I have been asked to help a few people with budgeting and I’m more than happy to do so, it is infectious.

I intend to produce the entire months shopping list in one go with prices and shops/markets so that if you haven’t already checked out the recipes you can revisit, tell your friends etc..  I also think it will be handy for students or visitors to London.  I don’t believe that being mindful is a talent, I think it’s just something that people have forgotten with all of the convenience and choice. Habits have been formed and routines are hard to break. It’s essentially going back to basics and making tweaks and reprogramming your habits, becoming more aware of your choices and not buying into all of the hype.  Seeing is believing and I do have more money in my pocket in time for Christmas.  That’s going to be another story, I’d best get planning.

Additional Purchases

  1. Chicken Wings £1.62 (Sainsburys)
  2. Mozarella 50p (Sainsburys basics)
  3. Olives  £1 (asda)
  4. Chopped Tomatoes £1 (3 tins Asda)
  5. Soy Sauce (50p Asda)
  6. Honey £2 (Rowse Squeezy, Sainsburys)


Day 6 Lunch – Leftover Fish Curry with Rice

Day 6 Dinner – Milanese Risotto

  • 1 good pinch of saffron thread
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 90g butter
  • 350g of arborio or short grained rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.25litres of miso/veg/chick/beef stock
  • 90g parmesan/pecorino grated
  1. Place the saffron in 4 tbsp of boiling water and leave to soak
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in 60g of butter until soft
  3. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes until all of the grains are coated
  4. Add the wine to the rice and simmer, stir occasionally until all is absorbed
  5. Add the boiling stock bit by bit , stirring frequently until all is absorbed
  6. Stir in the saffron, cheese and remaining butter, season as required
  7. Take off the heat and cover with the lid on for 5 minutes
  8. You will use the leftovers for tomorrow

Day 7 Lunch – Risotto Cakes

  • Leftover risotto (3 cups)
  • 1 large egg yolk or 2 tablespoons of mayo
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup of grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (rapeseed if possible)
  • Gram (chickpea or other) flour for coating
  • A few chunks of large bite-size pieces of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar etc)
  1. Combine the risotto, mayo, grated cheese and 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl, if it combines well then no need for the rest of the flour otherwise use as well
  2. To stop the rice sticking, dampen your hands slightly
  3. Decide how many cakes you would like and take a scoop the size of one cake into your hand
  4. Take a chunk of cheese and mould the mixture around it in a ball then pat down into a burger shape
  5. Coat in gram flour and allow to stand until all of the cakes are made, store in the fridge until ready to fry
  6. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the cakes until golden approx 5 minutes on either side
  7. There will be leftovers so freeze for another day next week
  8. Serve with a nice side salad or veg rice (see week 1 or week 2)


Day 7 Dinner – Sticky Chicken Wings


  • 2 to 3 squirts of honey
  • 2 to 3 squirts of ketchup or brown sauce
  • 2 to 3 glugs of Soy Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tablespoon of Chinese 5 spices
  • 1 chopped chilli or a scattering of flakes (optional)
  • Chicken Wings (can do the same with thighs, legs etc.)
  1. Place Wings in a bowl
  2. Add all of the marinade and then stir with a spoon until all of the pieces are covered, leave to stand
  3. Heat oven to 200 degrees and po p the chicken in for 30minutes (serve with a side of sweet potato chips or veg rice)

Extra Days (30 days total)

Day 8 Lunch  – Leftovers

Leftover Chicken Wings from yesterday with a side of boiled rice and a little soy dressing (but there should be enough from the wings)

Day 8 Dinner – Pasta with Olives

  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • oregano or marjoram or basil or thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Spaghetti (enough for 2)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup olives
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the garlic until  golden (5 mins)
  3. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and heat for 7-10mintes
  4. Add the olives and continue to heat for 3 minutes
  5. Add the herb chosen from above
  6. Drain the pasta, reserve a little water (2 to 3 tablespoons) and add to the sauce
  7. Add the pasta to the tomatoes sauce and heat through for 2-3 minutes
  8. Plate up and top with a little cheese if available


Day 9 Lunch – Reheated Pasta

  1. Spaghetti is always nicer the day after when the sauce has soaked in and its slightly sticky.
  2. Heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes and top with some grated cheese


Day 9 Dinner  – Fish with Olives, Tomatoes and Basil

  • Half a tin of tomatoes
  • A handful of olives
  • Fresh Basil from the garden
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade
  2. Drain the tomatoes so that there is less juice (retain the juice for further usage)
  3. Take 6 Basil leaves and chop into strips
  4. Place a doubled up piece of tinfoil in a small ovenproof dish
  5. Place the piece of fish in the centre
  6. Top with the drained tomatoes, olives and Basil
  7. Season with Salt & Pepper
  8. Fold the foil over to form a parcel
  9. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes
  10. Serve with Boiled rice



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