frugal cooking

17February

Pesto and Meatball bake

So, here is the reason you bought frozen Spinach!

Pesto and Meatball bake

In an attempt to fill my world with ever increasing amounts of 'Slimming World' friendly vegetables I am tempted to squirrel away a stock of frozen fruits and vegetables.

These things are usually on a 'buy five for a quid' sort of deal, and if I am honest, short of peas, I normal struggle to come up with five that I like the look of - so I usually buy fruit and 9 times out of 10 end up with the last bag being frozen Spinach.

I don't understand frozen spinach.  It's so easy to use fresh, and to add a freezing process to something which is pretty much 99% water makes it even more mushy and useless for anything other than a smoothie.  

I never shop in Tesco (unless I am looking for some really rare ingredient) but I do like their free magazine, and I find a reason once a month to pop in and pick one up 

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07January

Is the second rule of Frugal Cookery, Marinating?

Supplement your meal plan with this additional frugal technique

Is the second rule of Frugal Cookery, Marinating?

For many years now my family have been on a Frugal journey.  We have maintained this during various 'stages' of life.  From times of tight funds, to times of plenty. 

During 'tight times' ingenious ways of stretching ingredients combined with a more vegetarian diet has seen us through.  During times where money is a bit more available, we have tended to be a bit more generous with the 'treats' but still, keep a firm hold on the purse strings and use the savings for something else - like a travel adventure.

As time has moved on, our desire for alternative Frugal dishes hasn't diminished in any way, I still make a weekly meal plan, but I am now trying to be even more organised. Today's chicken was actually prepared yesterday and had marinated for 24 hours.

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31December

Lentil Chilli and Parsnip Bread

Vegetarian family bowl food, using up left over Parsnips

Lentil Chilli and Parsnip Bread

At this time of the year, as the year closes and a new one is on the horizon, we do find ourselves a bit sick of food.  But the weather is wet and miserable and so something warming is needed, but we also need to use up some leftover vegetables.

An oversight in the Meal plan shopping yesterday left us with no 'main meal' for lunch today so I needed an idea which was based on Store cupboard staples. 

So a Green Lentil Chilli with Parsnip and Stilton Bread, found us using up the parsnips, carrots and the Stilton, all the rest of the ingredients came out of the cupboards.

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22December

Ways to use up Smoked Salmon

Simple Ideas for a seasonal Favorite

Ways to use up Smoked Salmon

Okay so it's not a staple on a Frugal diet, but there's plenty of reasonably priced Smoked Salmon in the shops, and a little goes a long way.  Kept in its original packaging it will keep for a couple more days once opened

If you are having a family gathering it makes an easy starter and as there's plenty in a pack, and so you may well have need of some great ideas to use up those leftovers, so let me give you some of my favourites.

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03December

Ideas for a Frugal Christmas

Keeping Christmas Costs under control

Ideas for a Frugal Christmas

Even in the first week of December, we are getting all a bit Christmassy in this household.  We have three trees to put up, so far we have completed just one.  However the second tree is up and has lights on, but my teenage daughter believes its too early to decorate it - and it's her job so it's staying naked.  At least for now.

I have been desperately busy for Christmas, I have written and posted all my Christmas Cards........and then we got the 'Christmas Box' out of the attic and thats when I was reminded of my frugal behaviour from January last year and was confronted by a pile of Christmas Cards I bought in the sales in January.  So not too organised then.  I have already a 2018 calendar in the Kitchen (although my Mother says its unlucky to put up a calendar before 01.01) so I am going to have to write myself a big note in November to stop me making the same mistake next year.

I have also bought wrapped and posted my families presents....and thats where it ends.  I haven't given food a second thought yet, but there is time.

Posted in Frugal Foods

14October

Pumpkin Soup recipe

Using up those pumpkins

Pumpkin Soup recipe

If you find yourself with a mountain of Pumpkin, try this yummy recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Peel and cut into chunks 750g of Pumpkin. 

Place the pumpkin, 6 large tomatoes (Halved) and one onion (peeled and thickly sliced) in a roasting tin. 

Add in four sprigs of rosemary and drizzle with a little oil. 

Roast for 40 minutes until slightly blackened. Leave to cool.

Posted in Frugal Foods

14October

Whats the deal with all these Pumpkins?

Lots of ideas for using up Pumpkin

Whats the deal with all these Pumpkins?

Pumpkins are everywhere at the moment.  A fruit, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, A pumpkin is pumpkins are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

In Autumn Pumpkins are a popular food, but it is possible that your experience with them starts and ends with Carving them for Halloween.  The flesh, however, can be cooked and served in many ways, and even the seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack.

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14October

Pumpkin and Sausage Casserole

Pumpkin Main meal Recipe

Pumpkin and Sausage Casserole

If you are looking for ideas for a main meal to use up your pumpkin, then why not try a casserole with sausages and beans. Tasty Hearty Fare, for a Chilly Autumn Evening.

This recipe is a firm favourite in this house at this time of year.

 

Heat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based, ovenproof dish. 
Working on two sausages per person, fry the sausages for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently to allow the sausages to brown evenly. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Posted in Frugal Foods

27July

Rick Steins Sporki Macaroni

Great Pasta Casserole from Dubrovnik

It's been some time since we revisited Mr Stein's wonderful book based on his 'Venice to Istanbul' voyage.

We have quite a few favourites from the book, some of which have even made it on to this blog, (see Circassian Chicken ) but I was a bit surprised to discover that I have never shared this dish, an error which I plan to put right, right now.

The first thing worth noting is that the quantities for this dish serve 6-8.  The Beef/pasta sauce takes an hour to cook down and so it seems only sensible to cook 400g as per the recipe and then half the quantity and put half in the freezer for another day.

I also believe that at some point I am going to try making this in a slow cooker.  Rick states that it should cook through in 550-60 minutes, but I put it in a large pot and left it on the hob, on a low heat for three hours, turning the heat back up slightly for the last hour to reduce the sauce.  This way the meat literally melts in the mouth.
 

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26July

Paprika Pork with Tagliatelle

Something different to do with Pork Chops

Paprika Pork with Tagliatelle

Pork chops do make an appearance in this house from time to time.  They have also made an appearance in this blog from time to time. 

Orange Glazed Pork Chops

Pork Steak with a Sage and Lemon Sauce

Pork Chops with Honey Glazed Onions

I don't mind them, I look at them as a nice change from Chicken so I do have to wonder why we don't have them more often.

As I have done on a number of occasions recently, lack of time to indulge in my favourite pastime of reading cookery books whilst sitting on the sofa with a large mug of tea, I have resorted to putting various ingredients in to the BBC Good Food website and quickly scanning through what comes up.

Posted in Frugal Foods

11June

Summer Sunday Roast

Herb crusted Roast Pork Loin

Summer Sunday Roast

Its a thing.  Roast Chicken for Sunday Roast.  But its a winter thing.  

The troops have been making noises for some weeks now about having something else for dinner on a Sunday, and on days where we have been blessed with Sun on Sun-day then a quiche or a summer pie has been the order of the day.

However, the weather has confused the issue.  It's too warm for a full on Roast Dinner but too wet to really do quiche.

Also, I am not a massive fan of most other meat.  I detest Roast Lamb (grilled is the only way I can stomach this fattiest of meats), Beef is fine but it's really expensive and reminds me of Christmas so really that leaves a nut roast or Pork.  But I don't really like roast pork.  But not to be beaten I stuck 'Pork' into the ingredient search on the BBC Good Food site and up popped something quite interesting!

Posted in Frugal Foods

10June

Oven Baked Thai Curry

A warming dish for a miserable June Day

Oven Baked Thai Curry

It's official.  I am fed up.  I have tried to keep a brave face on it but I am going to admit it now.....I am fed up, fed up with the weather.

May delivered potential, and whilst we all know that the weather turns sour once the kids have broken up for the Summer, surely June was going to deliver more of the gorgeous weather of May?  

We are 10 days in and I have lost faith.  That said it may be because I escaped to Italy with a friend last weekend so this cold wet snap is hitting me particularly hard.

It is very hard being motivated to produce a meal plan when your heart just isn't in it, and you tend to revert to family favourites and storecupboard staples - and yes it is true that we had just Jacket potato with grated cheese and salad for tea one day last week.  I had forgotten how delicious simple fodder of this nature could be.  My husband, given the chance to get his hands on the meal plan as I was away, obviously had not! 

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

17May

Love it when we make a 'Top Ten' List

Like it even more when we make #3!

Love it when we make a 'Top Ten' List
I do so love it when we make it on to a 'list' and today's list finds us at #3!
Check out the list here
Over the next few weeks, you should see some of our posts shared and maybe even a quick Q&A,about our top budgeting tips.
Follow @Netvouchercodes and @The Parent Bible

Posted in Frugal Foods

14May

'Toad in the hole' - Good old Fashioned Frugal Food

A Frugal alternative to a full Sunday Roast

'Toad in the hole' - Good old Fashioned Frugal Food

There's been a bit of a backlash in this house to the standard Roast on a Sunday.  I think my teenager has decided she's fed up with me serving up Roast Chicken on a Sunday.  So now I am confronted with having to dream up another days meal on the meal plan, where as before Sunday was always a 'slam dunk'

So we have been toying with hot quiche, pies and then today I decided that a good old fashioned 'Toad' was the way forward.

Posted in Frugal Foods

03May

Cheese Scones

Classic British Picnic menu item

Cheese Scones

It is tempting, although I have never done it, to put a little paper flag in the top of a cheese scone.  To me they look like sandcastles, albeit with a lattice cheese sunhat, and a crowning glory of a paper flag made from a cocktail stick, glue and the loan of my daughters felt-tipped pens would just finish them off perfectly.

I guess thats it though, the success of a scone, cheese or fruit, is measured, quite literally, by its height.  

Opinions for the successful achieving of 'height' on a scone differ remarkably.  But it is just Baking Powder which is needed, I tend to add a little more to already Self Raising Flour, but also don't underestimate the power of cold butter to add pockets of 'lift' to the mix, and don't roll the mixture too thin these are scones, not biscuits!  The dough needs to be at least 2.5cm (1 inch) thick when cutting out the scone shape with the cutter.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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Welcome to the New Frugal Foods Website - We have had a make over, and have added a few things along the way. Why not also take a look at our Amazon shop with our favourite Cookery Books? Our very popular Blog will continue to give you great ideas for frugal family meals and using up your left overs but we are also working on some additional items to look out for too.

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