frugal cooking

21July

A Spanish Shepherds Pie?

A version of Picadillo Valenciana - Mincemeat with saffron and Raisins

A Spanish Shepherds Pie?

So day two back in the UK and yet to get to the shops.  
As many of you know I am a big fan of stretching mince, and putting the balance of the pack in the freezer so you always have little packs of 100g of mince.

A skoot round the kitchen today gave me

One tin of Baked Beans

A little tomato puree

One onion some garlic cloves

Some very sad looking potatoes

 

This rather frugal looking list of stuff had 'shepherds pie' written all over it once combined with 200g of frozen mince.

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20July

Habas con Jamon - or a version there of

Family tea for four for about £2.00

Habas con Jamon - or a version there of

A recent turn of events has had me concentrating more on the amount of money I spend on my shopping.  A change in my circumstances has probably been anticipated as long as I have had this website, so I suppose its probably due.

We are also just back from Spain.  A road trip around the North of Spain from Bilbao to Santiago and then back via Leon, and Hondarribia to Bilbao.  A bit of a culinary shock for my Husband who hates fish......he came home wishing for home cooking but with a Spanish twist so thats what we had for tea 

 

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06June

Harissa Roasted Aubergine for Meat Free Monday

Making a family dish from a couple of Aubergines

Harissa Roasted Aubergine for Meat Free Monday

Not quite sure what to do with and Aubergine?  
Its true they appear on our Supermarket shelves all year round, and with the exception of making a Mousakka do you know what to do with one?

They take time to cook, but their dense flesh makes for a good alternative to a meat dish, and if you combine the rather bland of the Aubergine with some punchy flavours and interesting textures then you have a fabulous family dish.

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01June

Bombay Chicken

Another Jamie Oliver Hit

Bombay Chicken

Theres no denying that Jamie Olivers book 'Every Day Superfood', is quite a hit in this house, despite the fact I can rarely complete the dishes in 'full' because of the volume of vegetables he uses which my family wont eat. The net result is that I tend to pick my way through cookery books looking for complementary flavours and ideas for dishes and Jamies 'Bombay Chicken and Cauli Poppadoms, Rice and Spinach' was utilised for tonights meal.

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18May

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Seafood Paella is nice, but not if you are the only one in your house who eats shellfish

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

So Paella?  Perhaps I was getting all excited in the up turn in the weather when I did my meal plan last week......perhaps I was looking forward to my holiday....either way we ended up with Paella on the menu this week.

I have made Paella previously, I have made Chicken Paella previously, but there was a recipe on the side of the Co-op Paella box which grabbed my interest as I have a Chorizo in the fridge this week, and with only two chicken breasts to feed four.....this looked like a prime candidate for a Frugal tea.

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15May

Lemon and Mustard Chicken Tray Bake

Sunday Dish for Days where you are busy in the garden

Lemon and Mustard Chicken Tray Bake

I had a great day in the garden today, lots of weeding and pruning and general tidying.
As I sat on the patio afterwards it was nice to look at a tidy looking garden.

You can't however do gardening if you are fixing a complicated dish for lunch or something which needs basting or constantly checking on, so you need a dish which is quick to cook when your tummy starts to rumble

You can assemble this dish and then pop it in the oven when you are tidying up, it takes about 40 minutes to cook.

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16May

Meat Free Tacos

My husband likes these more than ones made with Beef Mince

Meat Free Tacos

Its not the first time I have found a recipe which called on the requirement for a tin or two of black beans
You will recall that I made Enchiladas previously from Kidney beans, http://frugalfoods.co.uk/index.php/fayes-frugal-food-blog/item/spicy-bean-enchiladas and I have also recently subjected my husband to some black bean burgers (Its only now that I have gone looking for the blog entry I have discovered that I didnt write it up - Ill try and rectify that), so I knew I had a bag of dried beans in the storecupboard.

Aldi at the moment are selling Mexican food kits and I was able to purchase a taco kit with ease. So I utilised the spice mix in that to make life easy for myself, but heres an alternative spicing option if the kit is outside of your budget this week or you are staring in your cupboards and dont have one but are happy to have with flat breads or as a tortilla filling. 

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09May

Beef Hash and Jacket Potato

All part of my £32.37 of weekly shopping bill

Beef Hash and Jacket Potato

So the Summer came for a couple of days and now its gone away again, which is all good because today's meal on the menu plan was Jacket potato and Beef Hash.

The only time consuming thing about this dish is the time it takes to cook the jacket potatoes.  THen theres a little bit of preparation, do it all before you start as when you start cooking the hash it all happens quite quickly.

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08May

A very Frugal Chicken Pie

All part of my £32.37 of weekly shopping bill

A very Frugal Chicken Pie

A large tray of chicken drumsticks comes in at less than £2.00, and these lovely pieces of chicken are more than enough to make a wonderful family pie.

Yes you will have to give it some thought, think about roasting off the chicken drumsticks when you have the oven on anyway.  You can always cook them one day and assemble the pie the next.

As it turned out I cooked my drumsticks in the morning and they were cold by the time I had a chance to return to the dish.

Also give some thought to what you want to add to the pie to stretch the chicken.  A cheap tin of Sliced mushrooms, sweetcorn or beans would make the pie feed one or two additional people.  Theres no reason why you cant put the carrots and peas in the dish to save you having to do 'sides' later.

When you roast the chicken use a little oil, and season with black pepper and roast in a preheated oven (180C).  Consider what you have in the garden and in the fridge, streaky bacon, rosemary or Thyme, lemon, lime or onions wedges, can all add to the overall flavour of the roasted chicken, and if you are making your own chicken stock you can use these flavours again later.

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07May

A Meal plan using £32.37 of a weeks shopping and only one vegetarian dish.

Here's the savings you can achieve by making a meal plan

A Meal plan using £32.37 of a weeks shopping and only one vegetarian dish.

So as you know, I changed the website so I no longer have to issue weekly meal plans, and it's taken me a while to find the time to check how much my frugal behaviour is saving my family.

 

Earlier this evening I added up my spend this week on the meal plan I had arranged for this week and was surprised to discover I was still on track.  This week is also particularly surprised as there was a only one non meat dish....which is unusual for us, as we recently find ourselves eating considerably more dishes which are more modern vegeterian than I would have eaten in the 1980's

However due to a request here's what the menu plan on our pin board in the kitchen currently has us eating for the next week.

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15May

Chickpea Fajitas

Tasty meat free mexican

Chickpea Fajitas

We like Chickpeas in this house.  A great source of protein.  Cheap to buy and if you buy them precooked (tinned) the you can stash a couple of tins in the cupboard for days when you are at a loss as to what to have for tea.

Very low in saturated fat, 19g of Protein for every 100g eaten, and you can just open a tin, drain and combine with some lovely ingredients to make a quick tasty tea.  Who needs ready meals when you can produce this dish in under half an hour.

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02May

Oven Baked Sausages and cumin roasted carrots with delicious couscous and harissa yogurt

Something else to do with sausages

Oven Baked Sausages and cumin roasted carrots with delicious couscous and harissa yogurt

Recently my teenager said that she no longer liked sausages, and so I was half expecting that sausages were off the menu from now on.

I have however always loved Linda McCartney's sausages, and so we now buy these and keep them in the freezer so when ever we have a sausage based meal we can make her, her own version of the dish.

 

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01May

Chicken Picnic rolls - perfect for left over Chicken

Like Sausage Rolls but with Chicken

Chicken Picnic rolls - perfect for left over Chicken

I end up with left over chicken a lot.  Sometimes is the left overs from a roast, sometimes its a case of cooking up the chicken in the fridge which is getting to its use by date.  Sometimes its just because I cant resist a bargain, and those trays of chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs which are wearing a 30% off sticker, I just have to put in my basket......and only when I get home do I realise theres no room in the freezer because last week I was batch cooking.

These chicken rolls also tick a box when it comes to picnic food, make them now and when, in the summer, you throw back the curtains and say, what a wonderful day! Lets go to the beach, you wont have to worry about assembling a complicated picnic...you'll be able to take a few from the freezer and actually get to the beach before it clouds over.

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30April

Couscous and Roasted veg salad, Halloumi with a Lemon Avocado dressing

Couscous and Roasted veg salad, Halloumi with a Lemon Avocado dressing

My Husband hates veg.  Its a thing he is famous for.  He doesnt mind roasted Mediterranean veg, and he will eat peas, and wilted spinach if its 'in something', but that is it.

Thin stemmed broccoli is easily purchsed in the shops at the moment; my husband likes roasted squash and so I wondered if I could get away with roasting the broccoli and putting it in to a warm salad.

Turns out you can..............he did notice, but he did eat it!

Posted in Frugal Foods

28April

Nigel Slaters Swirly sausage and amazing cheesy roast potato mash

Nigel Slaters Swirly sausage and amazing cheesy roast potato mash

Once upon a time, in fact.......... a long time ago. Last century in fact, there was a time when on a Saturday when you would nearly always find me in the Pub on a Saturday lunchtime.

Our local at the time, which is no longer in existance, sadly (I think they knocked it down and built some appartments on the space) started doing a menu for lunch which was served on sizzlers.

Nearly everything was less than a fiver, and came with a pile of chips.......chips which were of course so salty that you had to have a pint of beer to wash it down with.

Of all the sizzlers, my favourite was the cumberland sausage (I wont tell you what its nickname was) and since those days I have not had many curly sausages.

 

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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