Meal Plan 29/12/13 - 04/01/14

We've only got 6 meals planned this week as we will not be eating at home on new years eve. We may also end up eating on another day, so may take one of the below meals over to the following week as well.

There's a few additional items in there this week as I'm trying to build the store cupboards up a bit, I thought that this might help with creating recipes. One thing on my to do list is to organise my cupboards better. Some of the food bought this week is specifically for the other half as these are things that he likes ( like the super noodles, which is something I personally don't eat).

Meal Plan 29/12/13 - 04/01/13

Stuffing Crusted Pork with Tenderstem Broccoli, Carrots & Beans
Garlic & Herb Spaghetti
Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry Pie
Cheese and Ham/Bacon Quiche with Baked Beans
Blue Cheese Burgers and Wedges
Turkey Mince & Polenta Lasagne

Breakfast: Cereal, Porridge, Fruit
Lunch: Ham or Tuna Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Fruit
Leftovers:  Frozen Beans, Red Lentils, Flour, Pork, Turkey Mince

Shopping List:

Milk £1.00
Bananas * 5 (0.785 kg) £0.53
Mango * 2 £1.50
Red Grapes (Reduced) £0.50
Cereal £2.68
Muller Vitality Drinks (6) £1.00
GF Ciabatta £2.00
Southern Fried Wedges £1.00
Tenderstem Broccoli £1.20
Free From Flour £1.65
Free From Stuffing £2.00
Cranberry Sauce £0.82
Smoked Bacon £1.68
Honey £2.00
Eggs £1.41
Baking Powder £1.29
Cathedral City Cheese 2 *350 g £4.00
Mackerel £1.00
Garlic & Herb Cheese £1.10
Potatoes £1.00
Hendersons Relish £1.57
Onions ( 4 - 0.610 kg) £0.46
Tomato Puree £0.48
Baked Beans * 4 £1.24
Mushy Peas £1.00
Super Noodles * 4 £2.00
Ravioli £0.64
Anchovies £0.79
Chopped Tomatoes £0.31
Total £37.85

I'm really looking forward to trying the Turkey Mince and Polenta Lasagne and hoping that it turns out to be nice, to give us a different option to the regular lasagne sheets which can be quite expensive when buying them gluten free.

Home Made 5 Spice Powder

I don't know about you, but after the rush of finishing off the Christmas presents and eating way too much over the festive period, for a couple of days I quite like to stay at home and not do much! It was on one of these days that we were due to make Chinese food. We quite like to make a "takeaway" type meal, in the hope that it will stop us from buying a take away.

We realised quite quickly that for the Salty Crispy Chicken recipe that I cook, we need 5 spice which we were out of. Neither of us wanted to go to the shop, preferring just to have a relaxing day instead. A quick scout on the internet later and I came across a home made 5 spice recipe.

I must admit that I've never used the grinder function on my food processor, but I will most definitely be using it again as this was so easy! 

The 5 spice powder was really aromatic and it tasted really good in the recipe, so I don't think I'll be buying the small jars on pre-made stuff from the supermarket from now on. You can find the recipe on the food.com website here.

I used whole black peppercorns in my recipe, as this is what I had in the house. I would love to taste it with with szechuan peppercorns.

Do you make your own spice mixes?


Meal Plan 15/12/13 - 21/12/13

The beef joints at Asda are still on offer at £4 per kilo, so I've bought another one of these and frozen it in 2 halves. They're really good for leaving plenty of leftovers, which is really good made when made into a pie. If we have enough leftovers, we're also going to make either a hot pot or a cottage pie.

I'm going to be quite busy in the coming weeks, baking and making chocolate for Christmas presents.

Meal Plan 15/12/13 - 21/12/13

Roast Beef Dinner

Smoked Mackerel with Potatoes and Beans

Stuffing Crusted Pork with Tenderstem Broccoli and Fine Beans

Cottage Pie /Beef Hot Pot

Roast Beef Pie

Crème Fraiche Chicken with Beans

Chorizo, Pork belly & chickpea casserole

Breakfast: Cereals, Eggs, Bacon, Fruit
Lunch: Gammon Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Fruit
Leftovers:  Pork Loin Steaks, Cheese,  Frozen Green Beans, Small Potatoes


Milk £1.00
Bananas £1.00
Mandarins £1.00
Apples £1.28
Bread £1.50
GF Bread £1.75
Yoghurts £1.00
Stuffing £2.00
Gluten Free Soy Sauce £2.80
Garlic £0.30
Potatoes £2.25
Vitality Drinks (6) * 2 £2.00
Chopped Tomatoes £0.31
Gammon Joint (1.4 kg) £7.00
Smoked Mackerel Fillets £2.27
Chicken  Thigh Fillets £3.58
Courgette £0.55
Crème Fraiche £1.10
Pecorino £2.00
Frozen Sliced Green Beans £0.75
2 * carrots £0.25
Beef Joint 2.3 kg (for later use) £9.20
2 * squash £2.50
Tender stem Broccoli & Fine Beans £1.35
Porridge Oats £0.75
Olive Spread £1.00
Total £50.49


Meal Plan 08/12/13 - 14/12/13

I'll not be sharing a shopping list this week, as I let the other half loose in the supermarket this week. I will still share with you the meals I have planned for the week though.

Gammon Dinner with Broccoli, Carrots and Green Beans

Griddled Polenta with Caramelised Onion, Goats Cheese & Bacon

Leftover Lamb Curry

Pork Stir fry

Spaghetti, Peppers (from jar) and Chorizo

Blue Cheese Beef Burgers and Wedges

Chorizo, Pork belly & Chickpea Casserole

Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Fruit, Eggs, Bacon

Lunches: Gammon / Tuna Sandwiches, Leftovers

Snacks: Clementines, Bananas, Apples

I'm looking forward to trying this weeks meals, I've never tried Polenta before so I'm really looking forward to trying it. I was hoping to try a recipe I'd seen for Parma ham wrapped polenta chips. 


Beef Stroganoff

After buying a huge 2.5 kg joint of rump roast from Asda for £4 per kg I knew we'd have PLENTY of leftovers from this. As there's only 2 of us, I actually cut it in half and roasted half for a dinner on Monday. This left of with enough beef for the stroganoff and another (approx) 300 g for a pie that I'm planning of making tomorrow.

This recipe happened to pop up when I was searching for one and it looked pretty simple and straight forward so I decided to give it a go. I can tell you now that I wasn't disappointed and felt like I was slaving over a hot stove for too long after work.

You can find the recipe on the Ocado website here. I do urge you to give this a go, as it's so simple and straight forward and is a great way to enjoy leftover beef! This is definitely going on the list of things to make again.

As I've got another joint in the freezer, I'll be looking for different ways to use up the meat. I have a few ideas but if you have any, please feel free to share.


Meal Plan 01/12/13 - 07/12/13

We've stocked up on food a bit this week, so we'll have plenty of leftovers for next week. Beef Rump Roast was on offer this week for £4 per kg this week, so we took advantage of this offer while we could. It'll give the 2 of us plenty of food to get on with.

We're eating out twice this week, so there will be 2 less meals than usual.

Roast Beef Dinner

Leftover Beef Recipe (Maybe Roast Beef Pie)

Beef Stroganoff

Egg, Bacon & Cheese Omelette

Lamb Curry & Bombay Potatoes

Breakfast: Cereal, Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Fruit, Sausages
Lunch: Tuna & Sweetcorn / Chicken Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Apples, Bananas, Clementines, Chicken Wings, 
Leftovers:  Tuna, Sweetcorn

Shopping List

Milk £1.00
Bananas (10) £1.27
Clementines £1.80
Apples £1.00
Little Big Loaf £0.75
GF Bread £1.75
Sliced Chicken £3.00
Chicken Wings £3.00
2.5 kg beef joint £10.06
Savoy £0.80
2 * Carrots £0.24
Frozen Green Beans £1.05
Dried Mushrooms £1.98
Onions £1.00
Double Cream £1.10
Curry Paste £1.68
2 X Diced Lamb (300 g) £7.00
Chopped Tomatoes £0.62
Baby Potatoes £0.69
Yoghurts £1.00
Bacon £1.69
GF Sausages £1.98
Salt £0.29
Total £44.75


Garlic Cheese, Herb and Gammon Spaghetti

We often cook a smoked gammon joint in the slow cooker then use this for sandwiches or lunches to take to work. We'll often find ourselves with some left though, so we decided we'd use some up in some pasta. 

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I get home from work, all I want to do is relax and have some time to myself or with the other half before we have to go back to work again. Don't get me wrong, I do like cooking but I don't always feel like it. This recipe is great for those days and the good thing is you can change the flavour easily to your taste.

Serves 2

250 g Spaghetti (I used gluten free)
200 g Pack Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese
100 - 150 g leftover Smoked Gammon
1 handful of Parmesan / Pecorino Cheese
Salt & Pepper

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Drain the pasta, but reserve some of the cooking liquid.
  3. Add the spaghetti back to the pan, add the cream cheese, ham and stir through. Keep on the heat and add the reserved cooking water until you get the spaghetti to the required consistency.
  4. Add half the remaining cheese to the spaghetti, then sprinkle the rest on top when you serve it up.
I know this is a very simple recipe, but with the different flavours of cream cheese you can get it's very


Meal Plan 24/11/13 - 30/11/13

In this weeks meals, I've tried to make sure that most of the meals don't take too long to prepare / cook. I've noticed since a lot of the colder and darker days and nights have come in that all I seem to want to do when I get home is hibernate. 

We've also stocked up on a few bits such as pork, which will give us enough for 4 meals for the both of us. We'll also probably have some gammon leftover from sandwiches, so I'll either freeze the leftovers or I'll make a quiche again. 

Meal Plan 24/11/13 - 30/11/13

Butter Chicken
Pork Stir Fry
Polish Sausage Soup
Roast Vegetables with Cheese
Cheese, garlic and herbs & Gammon Spaghetti
Buffalo Chicken Pitta & Wedges
Goats Cheese and Spinach ravioli

Shopping List

Milk £1.00
Bananas (0.81 kg) £0.55
Clementines £1.80
Gala Apples £1.00
Bread £1.00
GF Bread £1.75
Chicken Breasts ( 4 breasts) £4.50
Single Cream £0.55
Pork Loin Steak £5.00
Stir Fry Vegetables & Rice Noodles £3.00
2 * Oyster Sauce £1.00
Garlic £0.30
Carrots * 4 (0.42 kg) £0.37
Kale £0.95
Kabanos £2.40
Butter £1.00
Peppers £1.00
Courgettes £0.49
Gammon £5.34
Garlic and Herb Cheese £0.80
Smoked Bacon £1.69
Eggs £1.41
Goats Cheese £1.28
Buffalo Wings Sauce £1.48
Southern Fried Potato Wedges £1.00
Free From flour £1.65
Pesto £1.10
Cheese £2.00
Total £45.41


Quiche with Home Made Baked Beans with Bacon

I like to buy gammon every now and again, I love it as part of a roast dinner and also for sandwiches. There's so many ways you can use it. one of my favourite ways is in a quiche, so I went back to this cheese, onion and gammon quiche here.

On a previous visit to B&M, I'd bought some haricot beans at 29 p for a tin and they'd been sitting in my cupboard for a while now. I decided that now would be the perfect time to use these up. I do like to have baked beans every now and again, but as we know the sauce is not all that great for us (even though the beans are pretty good!). I loved the idea of making my own baked beans, so thought we'd give it a try.


1 tin of haricot beans, drained
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
100 g smoked bacon, chopped
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
1 tsp of sugar
tablespoon of vinegar (make sure it is gluten free)
Salt and Pepper


  1. Fry the bacon in a medium sized pan.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.
  3. Lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce has started to thicken and reduce.


Meal Plan 17/11/13 - 23/11/13

This weeks meal plan is a mixture of trying to use some of the store cupboard ingredients up, but also the cost of this weeks shopping is slightly higher than it would have been as I have stocked up on cereal for the other half. If I see some good offers on cereals he likes, I do try and stock up on them as he tends to eat a lot of it. 

We're making more of an effort to cook something on a Friday that's kind of like a takeaway. What tends to happen sometimes on a Friday is that we'll have a nice meal planned, but we'll end up ordering instead as we feel like "treating ourselves" as it's Friday. Last weekend worked pretty well as we had home made prawn fried rice with crispy fried chicken.

Meal Plan 17/11/13 - 23/11/13

Jacket Potato with Prawns
Lentil & Bacon Soup
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
Gammon Quiche with home made baked beans & bacon
Italian Beef Stew
Lamb Koftas with Pitta Bread & Raita
Chicken & Leek Potato Pie

Shopping List:

Milk £1.00
Bananas ( 5 - 0.84 kg) £0.57
Gala Apples £1.00
Satsumas £1.00
Mayonnaise (750 ml) £1.18
Red Potatoes £2.25
Tinned Tomatoes x 2 £0.62
Frosted Shredded Wheats £1.00
Wheatabix 36 £2.00
Chickpeas £0.60
Ginger (5g) £0.10
Eggs £1.41
Parsnips £1.00
Chicken Thighs £3.58
Leeks £1.00
Low Fat Crème Fraiche £1.10
Jiff Lemon Juice £0.55
Whole Grain Mustard £0.58
Mature Cheese £2.00
Stewing Beef - 450 g £7.00
Lamb Mince £0.00
Butternut Squash (0.605 kg) £0.57
Mint £0.70
Garlic £0.30
Pitta Bread £0.50
Free From Pitta £2.00
Raita £1.20
Free From Bread £1.75
Bread £1.50
Tuna 2 X 3 sandwich tuna £4.00
Sweetcorn £1.20

Total £43.26

The above was bought from Asda on 16/11/13

Breakfast: Cereal, Eggs, Fruit, Bacon
Lunch: Tuna & Sweetcorn Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Apples, Bananas Satsumas, 
Leftovers:  Peppers in jar, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Bacon, Haricot Beans, Cooked Gammon


Smoked Fish Cakes

I've been a little busy with a few things lately, such as the other half's birthday earlier this week, so I've not had as much time as I would have liked to blog so I decided to take a little break.

I have to apologise for the lack of picture below, in fact I've had this recipe done for a little while but didn't have a picture for it (guess I was too keen!), but I've decided to blog this recipe for you anyway.

I made smoked fish cakes fairly recently and we both really liked them, so when I saw some smoked fish in the marked down section in Asda I put them I thought I'd buy them. I put them straight in the freezer and defrosted them in the fridge when I needed them.

I bought 2 pieces of smoked fish, 1 was haddock and the other was river cobbler (I've read online that this is actually Catfish). To me this was fairly similar to the haddock and lends itself well to fish cakes. 


400 - 450 g smoked fish (see above for more details)
450 g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp chopped mixed herbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Asda Free From Plain flour)
1/4 cup polenta
Salt and Pepper


  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile put the fish in a pan and cover with enough milk to just cover the fish, put on a medium heat and cook for approximately 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Drain the potatoes and leave to steam for a couple of minutes. Add some of the poaching milk and mash the potatoes.
  4. Add the fish to the potato mixture, season and leave to cool.
  5. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, split into 4 - 6 portions. 
  6. Put the flour and polenta onto separate plates, then put the beaten egg into a bowl. 
  7. Make the mixture into patties, then cover in flour, dip in the egg and then the polenta.
  8. Heat a large frying pan with a little oil, then cook the fish cakes for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
I served mine with some home made pea puree (made out of frozen peas).


Meal Plan 03/11/13 - 09/11/13

This weeks meal plan includes a little extra as on Wednesday we're having people over for dinner. We're actually going to do a dessert as well, which will be raspberry crumble. I'm really looking forward to trying this so I'll keep you posted with how it turns out!

On Saturday I'm having people over, so I'm cooking Chilli Con Carne. I'll probably have plenty of leftovers, which will be frozen into portions or eating as lunches on the following days.

Meal Plan 03/11/13 - 09/11/13

Chicken Dinner with Vegetables and GF Stuffing

Pork Belly with Egg Fried Rice 

Smoked Fishcakes with Mushy Peas

Beetroot Risotto

Chicken Soup

Pitta Pizzas

Chilli Con Carne

Shopping List

Milk £1.00
Peanut Butter 700 g £2.37
Salad Cream £0.87
Mixed Peppers £1.00
Yoghurts £1.00
Butter £1.00
Bananas (1.15) £0.78
Gala Apples £1.00
Satsumas £1.00
Beetroot £1.60
Risotto Rice £1.10
Pecorino 160 g £2.00
Mixed Root Vegetables £1.00
Whole Chicken 2.2 kg - from the market £6.50
2 * Carrots £0.20
Broccoli £0.60
Cabbage £0.80
Cooking Bacon £0.81
Eggs £1.35
Steak Mince 2 lbs (907 kg) - from the market £3.75
3*Chopped Tomatoes £0.93
Kidney Beans £0.27
Basmati Rice 1 kg £1.88
GF Pitta Bread £2.00
2 x Mozzarella £1.16
Crème Fraiche £1.10
Continental Meat Selection £2.00
Frozen Raspberries £1.98

Total £41.05

Breakfast: Cereal, GF Oats, Toast, Eggs
Lunch: Chicken and Bacon Mayonnaise Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Apples, Bananas, Satsumas
Leftovers:  Peas, Fish ( 2 for £2.8  Asda- approx 400 g), Pork Belly (Morrisons), GF Bread, GF Porridge Oats.


Squash and Chorizo Stew

We're just loving squash at the moment and are eating a lot of it, I've also come across some different varieties in Morrisons so I decided to give the Harlequin squash a go. The taste and texture are slightly different and for me I prefer Butternut but it might be nice to mix to the 2 different types together in one stew.

This recipe was just what the cold weather ordered, a nice warming, comforting and tasty meal. As you may have noticed, I love chorizo so this recipe was ideal as it involves 2 of my favourite things.

I used 2 tins of chopped tomatoes in mine imstead of passata, this is just personal preference as this is how i like to make my tomato sauces. Instead of parsley I also used a couple of pinches of dried mixed herbs. I also added 2 chopped peppers as we had these available in the fridge.

I would suggest adding a little sugar to balance the tomato sauce a little.

Overall a very tasty, easy dish that we both enjoyed and it's such a bonus that this is low calorie as well. You don't have to make the full amount either, it's really easy to half.

You can find the recipe that I followed here on the BBC Good Food website.


Butternut Squash, Bacon and Vegetable Hash

This recipe was made out of the leftovers from another meal last week, so before the ingredients went off I thought it would be good to use them up. I do hate food waste and try to minimise it as much as possible, though I do think I could still improve this. 

This is ideal for a light supper or for lunch for 2, it's quite light and tasty. The good thing about this is that you can use up any of your leftovers from the bottom of the fridge, so feel free to experiment with this.

Serves 2

1/2 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 Pepper, de-seeded and sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
1/2 large courgette or 1 medium, chopped into small cubes
3 eggs
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
100 g bacon (I used cooking bacon)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan oven).
  2. Put all of the vegetables into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the mixed herbs.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and mixed around.
  4. Put in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into small pieces are fry in a large drying pan with some oil.
  6. When the bacon has cooked through, add the cooked vegetables to the pan and fry off for a couple of minutes.
  7. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir through until the egg has cooked.


Meal Plan 27/10/13 - 02/11/13

As we made quite a bit of soup last week, we have quite a few leftovers in the freezer. We're using some of these up, so that we can try and create some space in the freezer. The idea of this was also to keep the costs down for this week, as well as enjoying some nice comforting soups!

Meal Plan 27/10/13 - 02/11/13

Lentil and Bacon Soup

Broccoli and Stilton Soup (Leftovers)

Polish Sausage Soup (Leftovers)

Butternut Squash, Vegetable and Bacon Hash

Squash, Peppers and Chorizo Stew

Chorizo and Pepper Risotto

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup (leftover from last week)

Breakfast: Cereal, Porridge, Eggs, Bacon, Toast

Lunch: Tuna & Sweetcorn sandwiches, Leftovers

Snacks: Bananas, Clementines, Plums

Leftovers: Bacon, Tuna, Sweetcorn, Carrots, Eggs, Porridge Oats

Shopping List:

Milk £0.97
Bananas ( 10 - 1.72 kg) £1.17
Plums £1.00
Sweet Clementines (Marked down) £0.95
Onions £1.00
Garlic £0.25
Red Lentil 500 g £0.99
Harlequin Squash £0.60
Chopped Tomatoes £0.31
Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes (20) £2.99
Weetabix (24) £2.39
Yoghurts (2 x 4 Packs on offer) £2.00
Water £2.29
Isotonic Drinks £2.00
Genius Brown Bread £2.39
Chorizo 200 g (just over) £2.04
Peppers £1.75

Total £25.09

All of the above were bought from Morrisons on 26/10/13

The meals may be juggled around a little this week as I seem to have planned too much. So we had the Butternut squash and vegetable hash for lunch today and it was absolutely fantastic, I'll be sure to share this recipe with you soon as it was really tasty.


Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi

We had this gnocchi for dinner last night and it was just the right meal for a Friday night. It felt a little bit indulgent and was really tasty with the flavour of the 2 different cheeses coming through.It was just what I needed on a Friday night, was a brilliant substitute for a takeaway as well!

My other half made a cheese sauce to go with this, which went quite nicely with it. You've obviously got to be a cheese lover to eat this meal!

This recipe came from the BBC Good Food website, you can find the recipe here. If you would like to know how we made the cheese sauce then I can share this with you too.

I used Doves Farm gluten free plain flour in this recipe instead of standard plain flour. I also used frozen spinach as I have quite a bit to use up in the freezer (I find this easier to use as it keeps really well).

We're going to have a nice relaxing weekend, so I hope that you all are having a good weekend whatever you are doing.


Bacon Wrapped Pesto Chicken Breast and Roasted Vegetables

We both really enjoyed this last night and it was really simple to cook, it didn't take much looking after. The longest bit was the preparation. You could always save time on preparation if you're pushed for time, by getting a packet of pre-chopped vegetables from the supermarket.

Serves 2

2 Chicken  Breasts, sliced down the middle to form a pocket
4 rashers of streaky bacon
2 Tbsp Pesto Light Soft Cheese (I bought this for £0.90 from Asda, but it's currently showing for £0.80 on asda.com (use enough to stuff the chicken)
1/2 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
1 Medium Courgette, diced
1 Red Onion, sliced
1/2 tablespoon mixed herbs
Olive Oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Stuff each chicken breast with the Pesto Cheese, then wrap with 2 rashers of bacon. You can use cocktail sticks to secure.
  3. Fry the chicken in a frying pan for a couple of minutes until the bacon is browned slightly.
  4. Place on a baking tray.
  5. Put the chopped vegetables in a baking tray. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the mixed herbs on top. 
  6. Place the meat and vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes. Stir the vegetables half way through and cook until soft. Check the chicken is cooked through and juices are running clear before serving.


Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

As this is soup week for myself and Rob, one of the first soups on the list this week was Broccoli and Stilton Soup. This is one of our favourites, so we were looking forward to this. 

We doubled the quantities, as were going to freeze some soups to eat a later date. You can find the recipe that I used here from the BBC Good Food website.

It's not the first time I've used this recipe and it's definitely one I'll be using again. Instead of Stilton, I did use Castello Danish Blue Cheese as this was on offer for £1.00 for 150 g from Asda (when I bought it on 19/10/13).

Please also remember to use gluten free stock cubes, I normally use Knorr.

I urge you to give this a try, it doesn't take too long to cook and is nice a comforting on those cold nights!


Meal Plan 20/10/13 - 26/10/13

We're trying to eat more soups this week, as it's getting colder now and we are trying to keep the calories down a little. I'm also trying to make extra food so that we can freeze it as well, so that next week we won't have as much to make.

There is an extra meal being made this week, for the simple fact that I bought a marked down cooked chicken from Morrisons and decided to make a soup out of the rest (got to love home made chicken soup!)

Meal Plan 20/10/13 - 26/10/13

Leek, Bacon, Mushroom & Spinach Soup
Polish Sausage Soup
Chicken  Soup
 Broccoli and Stilton Soup
Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Pesto Cheese, bacon wrapped chicken with vegetables
Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

As mentioned above, some of the above will be used for meals for next week.

Breakfast: Cereal, Eggs, Bacon, Fruit
Lunch: Tuna Mayo / Egg & Bacon Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Bananas, Clementines
Leftovers:  Onions, Eggs, Lentils, Spinach, Rice noodles, Cereal, Flour

Milk £1.00
Organic Cornflakes £1.48
Bananas - 1.65 kg £1.12
Oranges (Smart Price) £0.60
Apples £1.00
Peppers £1.00
GF Bread £1.75
Broccoli (0.88 kg) £1.76
Celery £0.89
Potatoes £1.18
Frozen Peas £1.60
Butter £1.00
2 * Castello Blue Cheese 150 g £2.00
Garlic £0.30
Bovril Stock Cubes £0.92
1.2 kg Carrots £1.00
Shredded Kale 200g £0.95
Root Ginger - 0.045 kg £0.09
Frozen Sweetcorn £1.40
Mushrooms £0.79
Spring Onions £0.50
Mint £0.70
Chicken Fillets £3.79
Leeks £1.00
Smoked Middle Bacon £1.40
Lemons £1.00
2 x 4 Ski Yoghurt £2.00
Half Swede £0.61
Parsnip £0.33
Mature Cheddar Cheese £2.00
Chicken (Morrisons - marked down) £2.45
Natural Yoghurt £0.59
Low Fat Pesto Cheese £0.90
Parsley £0.70
Ricotta £1.00
Rocket £0.69
Kabanos £4.00
Butternut Squash - 1.14 kg £1.08
Courgette £0.52
2 * Sweetcorn £1.20
Red Onion £0.13
Tuna (2 * 400 g) £3.00

Total £51.42


Beetroot Risotto

I've been wanting to make Beetroot Risotto for some time now, I really liked the look and sound of it and I can tell you I wasn't disappointed. I loved the colour of it and it loved the taste of the beetroot coming through. I certainly will be giving this a try again.

I used this recipe from the BBC Good Food website, but I did make some changes:

  • Instead of raw beetroot, I just a pack of 500 g packed and pre-cooked beetroot
  • I did cook it on the hob, adding the stock a ladle at a time. 
  • I chopped and cooked the beetroot and then just used a fork to mash the beetroot, leaving some small pieces.
  • I added the beetroot to the rice, just before the end of cooking. 
  • I also didn't use wine in my recipe as I didn't have any in, so I just replaced with chicken stock and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar. I cooked the vinegar out right at the beginning after cooking the onions and adding the rice.
The original recipe was cooked in the oven, but I like the texture and creaminess of this and cooking on top of the stove lets you make sure you don't overcook the risotto. You can of course use the oven recipe, as sometimes ease is exactly what you need.


Meal Plan 13/10/13 - 19/10/13

We had a lovely day out in Leeds this weekend and as we'd been out for lunch, we didn't really feel like much to eat on the evening.... even the Thai Butternut squash soup! We'll be having that today on Sunday evening instead. Despite having it leftover from last week's menu, we are both still really looking forward to this!

This week is also a little more expensive than it would have been, as I've stocked up on oil as well.

Meal Plan 13/10/13 - 19/10/13

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Tuna & Sweetcorn Pasta Bake (Thornley's Mix)

Beetroot Risotto

Chilli Con Carne

Squash and Spinach Pasta Rotolo (Jamie Oliver Recipe)

Cod in Parsley Sauce with Carrots and Fine Beans (Thornley's Parsley Sauce Mix)

We will be eating out once this week:

Breakfast: Egg, Bacon, Cereal, Fruit
Lunch: Ham / Corned Beef / Egg and Bacon Sandwiches, Leftovers
Snacks: Bananas, Oranges, Kiwi Fruit
Leftovers: Rice, Tinned Fruit, Tuna, Cereal

Shopping List

Bread £1.50
GF Bread £1.75
10 Bananas - 1.87 kg £1.27
Smart Price Oranges £0.60
Punnet Kiwi £1.00
Beetroot 500 g (Morrisons) £0.79
Onions £0.75
Pecorino 160 g £2.00
Milk £1.00
Beef Mince £2.00
Kidney Beans £0.27
Chopped Tomatoes £0.31
Feta £1.50
Frozen Spinach £1.00
Red Onion £0.11
Garlic £0.30
GF Lasagne Sheet £3.00
Passata * 2 £0.68
Eggs £1.35
Cooking Bacon £0.81
Ham £3.00
Corned Beef £1.78
2 * Cod Portions £4.00
Trimmed Beans - 90 g £0.50
Carrot Batons 300 g £0.58
Ski Yoghurts £1.00
Vegetable Oil - 3l £3.78
Smart Price Yoghurt £0.59
Total £37.22


Sticky Kicking Chicken

I drive the other half potty sometimes watching cookery programs, I enjoy watching though and they give good ideas. A while back I saw this Jamie Oliver make Sticky Kicking Chicken with Watermelon Radish Salad & Crunch Noodles. This really appealed to us both and we've finally got around to trying it.

I think this turned out really well, was quick to cook (we were slightly longer than 15 minutes) but it was a very tasty dish and an ideal mid week meal. It would be great to have if you're having company. I would definitely make this again.

I did use gluten free soy sauce to make it gluten free.  We also left the radish out as we're both not keen on this, but that's just our personal taste.

I'm actually considering buying Jamie's 15 minute meals book (you can find it on Amazon here), as it seems like a good book to have around when you need some ideas for quick meals.


Meal Plan 06/10/13 - 13/10/13

I've tried to keep a couple of nights free this week as I'm going to be eating at my family's house for 2 nights. We should hopefully have plenty of leftovers this week as well, to take these to work for lunch. 

As we ending up eating out unexpectedly, I didn't manage to have the Carbonara that I was looking forward to so I've brought that into this weeks menu. We've also got a couple of new recipes that were trying, so very much looking forward to these too.

Meal Plan 06/10/13- 13/10/13

Pulled Pork with salad

Spaghetti Carbonara

Sticky Kicking Chicken - Jamie Oliver

Harissa Cous Cous with Chicken

Thai Pumpkin / Butternut Squash Soup

Shopping List:

Milk £1.00
GF Bread £1.75
Bananas 7 - 0.94 kg £0.64
Oranges £0.50
2 x Mangos £1.00
Bisto Best £2.00
Bread £1.50
Free From Soy Sauce £2.80
Lettuce £0.50
Activia Yoghurts £1.00
Mint £0.70
Cooking Bacon £0.81
Coriander £0.70
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs £3.58
Fish Sauce £1.68
Fresh Ginger 0.55 kg £0.11
3 Limes £0.75
Spring Onions £0.50
Water Melon £2.97
Garlic £0.30
Chipotle Paste £1.60
Cherry Tomatoes £1.00
Lemon £0.30
Butternut Squash - 1.42 kg £1.21
Lemongrass £0.67
Mayonnaise £1.18
Coconut Milk £1.50
Pork Shoulder 1.65 kg £4.96
Muscavado Sugar £1.38
Avocado £1.00
Cider Vinegar £0.84
Dijon Mustard £0.58
Watercress, Spinach, Rocket £1.50
Sugar £0.88
Organic Cornflakes £1.48

Total  £44.87


Roast Vegetables with Lancashire and Feta Cheese

We've been trying to eat a lot more vegetables lately and this particular recipe is something we tried a while back from the BBC Good Food website. The original recipe we used it here, but since then we've been tweaking it to our own taste and also trying to use up some leftovers in the fridge!

We really enjoy this recipe and apart from the preparation of the vegetables, you actually just put it in the oven and don't have to do much at all. You can serve this on the side of some roast chicken portions or your favourite meat if you prefer.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side


1 Butternut Squash
1 large courgette
1 large handful of cherry tomatoes
1 pepper 
1 red onion
100 g Lancashire Cheese
100 g Feta Cheese
3 - 4 garlic cloves
Sprig of fresh sage
1 tsp mixed herbs
Glug of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

  1. Preheat fan oven to 180 C / 200 C conventional / Gas 6.
  2. Chop your squash in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into small chunks and peel. Cut into chunks and put into the roasting tin.
  3. Chop the courgette and pepper and put into the tin.
  4. Peel the red onion, chop in half and cut each half into 4 chunks and put in the roasting tin
  5. Scatter the tomatoes with the rest of the vegetables.
  6. Chop up the sage and add with the mixed herbs and garlic to your chopped vegetables. Pour a good glug of oil over, season and mix round a little. Don't over season with salt as you will be adding the Feta later.
  7. Roast for approx 30 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through, stirring half way through.
  8. 5 minutes before the end, crumble the cheese over and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes.

The cooking juices from the vegetables are lovely mopped up with a bit of bread!


Meal Plan 29/09/13 - 05/10/13

We've decided to keep one night free this coming week, as I think we may be going out for dinner. If we don't we will have leftovers to use up. We've tried to make sure there are plenty of vegetables in this weeks meal plan, we will be trying to eat a little healthier and make sure there's more focus on vegetables. That being said, I really am looking to trying out the Thornley's Carbonara Sauce Mix!

Meal Plan:

Roast Chicken Dinner

Chicken or Beef Stir Fry

Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Lancashire Cheese

Leftover Chilli / Fish Cakes with Mushy Peas

Spaghetti Carbonara (Thornley Packet)

Vegetable Medley (Beans), Cabbage, Bacon

Shopping List:

Cooking Bacon £0.81
Chobani Yoghurts x 4 £1.50
Activia Fig Yoghurts x 4 £1.00
Smart Price Whole Chicken 1.584kg £3.93
Milk - 4 pints £1.00
2 X Carrots £0.21
Sweetcorn £0.69
Savoy Cabbage £0.80
Green Beans £0.50
Broccoli £0.60
15 Smart Price Eggs £1.35
Stir Fry Vegetables £1.00
2 x Stir Fry Sauces £1.00
1 Butternut Squash -0.86 kg £0.73
Sage £1.00
Lancashire Cheese 100 g £1.00
String Beans £1.00
Single Cream 150 ml £0.55
Kingsmill Seeded bread - little big one £0.75
Free From Wraps £2.80
Bananas (4 - 0.655 kg) £0.45
Clementines £1.75

Total £24.42

All of the above prices were correct at time of publication.

Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Eggs
Lunch: Chicken Mayonnaise and Sweetcorn / Egg and Bacon Sandwiches,  Tuna, Lerftovers
Snacks: Bananas, Clementines, Yoghurts
Leftovers: Cereal, Bread, Eggs, Chilli, Potatoes, Spaghetti, Lentils, Frozen Spinach, Frozen Broad Beans, Frozen, Peas, Garlic, Fish Cakes, Bananas


Prawn Tempura

I tried my hand at prawn tempura recently and it turned out pretty successful. I did however have a slight accident with the oil and succeeded in burning myself. Anyone who knows me will know how clumsy I am, so the other half did have to take over this half way. 

The original recipe I used was from the BBC Food website here

I did make a few changes to this recipe to make it gluten free:

  • I swapped the plain flour for plain gluten free flour
  • Instead of beer I used cider, as this is what I had in the house. You can of course you gluten free beer if you have this available.
  • I also used gluten free soy sauce.
I found the batter a little too loose, so I added a bit of extra flour to mine. It's definitely one I will be trying again. 

Leftover Beef Chilli with Thornleys Chilli Con Carne Mix

I was nicely sent some Thornleys Gluten Free Sauce mixes to try out, you can see their website here.  We went on a bike ride yesterday, so by the time it came to dinner time we were pretty tired and didn't really feel like cooking much.

We'd previously bought a fairly large brisket (I think it was about 1.4 kg raw), we slow cooked the joint and had some as part of a dinner with some vegetables on Sunday. I was happy to have the Thornleys Chilli Con Carne mix on hand. It was easy to use and I loved the flavours in it. It was also just around the right amount of spice for me, although the other half likes things a bit spicier so did add some extra to his.

We basically followed the instructions on the packet, the only change we made was that we subbed the minced beef for 400 g of cooked beef brisket. Aside from the beef, you only need a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of kidney beans. I did add a fried onion mine as well.