frugal cooking

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.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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.

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

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.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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

07April

Lamb Pasticcio - A Greek Family Dish

Delicious either Hot or Cold

Lamb Pasticcio - A Greek Family Dish

This is not a dish for you if you don't like Lamb.  I would suggest its probably very nice with Beef mince, but due to the lack of punchy flavours, this dish tastes very lamb-ie.

As a result my Husband wasnt at all impressed, and I think would have much preferred I had constructed a Bobotie.  However I am not at all happy with the topping on a Bobotie as it feels a bit like an omlette on top of your dinner.....something not quite right there.

So perhaps next time I venture this way Ill use the Bobotie base and the Pasticcio topping.

For those of you who have never ventured the way of a Bobotie try it - the Good Food recipe is quite a good one to start with.

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

19March

Not quite Spinach and Ricotta cannelloni, but just as delicious

Family tea for little more than a bag of spinach, a pot of cottage cheese and a couple of eggs

Not quite Spinach and Ricotta cannelloni, but just as delicious

I have written this blog entry for Alan.  A friend of my Husbands, who thought that the dish looked delicious and complicated.  However its not and with the simplest of ingredients you end up with the most frugal of family suppers.

The Ingredient list is as follows.

- 300g of spinach

- 300g of cottage cheese with chives

Posted in Frugal Foods

12March

A Casserole of Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

A great warmer after a day in the garden with the dogs

A Casserole of Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

Beautiful day today, so glad we had preplaned and prepped this meal so that we didnt have to slave in the kitchen, but instead could spend our day in the garden with timber care and tidying the shed.

We added vaccum packed precooked chestnuts to our dish but mushrooms would be nice too.

Posted in Frugal Foods

12March

Roasted Squash, bacon, pecan and feta supper with a touch of spice

Salty supper for a Spring Day

Roasted Squash, bacon, pecan and feta supper with a touch of spice

The wild rice pumpkin and feta salad on this blog here is a massive hit is house, particularly with my teenage daughter whom I think would have this dish as a preference over pretty much anything.

Today's dish is simlar but the pine nuts have been replaced with Pecans, the pumpkin roasted iwt the onions and the addition of cinnamon and cayenne gives the dish just a little heat.

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

12March

Cheese and Onion Pie - a British Classic

No Pastry version of the British Classic

Cheese and Onion Pie - a British Classic

Cheese and Onion.........its a marriage made in heaven.  Perfect as a sandwich filling, probably the best crisp flavour.  My husband has a problem with extra mature cheddar, just the smell of it sends him heading for the veg drawer in order to snuffle and slice of onion. For me Cheese and onion is the best pasty filling, but I am not sure I ever thought making a whole pie out of it until  I started looking in to it as an idea and discovered that theres a million different ideas on the subject.

Everyone has an opinion on what goes in the classic cheese and Onion pie, and mostly everyone thinks it needs to be enclosed in a pastry case.............so heres one which doesnt have a pastry case for those of you who can take or leave pastry.

Posted in Frugal Foods

12March

Rick Steins Circassan chicken

Another excellent recipe from Rick Stein's wonderful book

Rick Steins Circassan chicken

So far, dipping in to Rick Steins Venice to Instanbul book has been a complete joy.  The book, like the series was and is a feast for the eyes and whilst we dont eat fish, (and there is a large section of the book devoted to fish) there are lots of recipes in this book to try which from the ingredient list alone you know are going to be a hit.

Confidence is built when the lovely Mr Stein gives you a picture of the finished dish, but there is no picture of Circassan Chicken, so we had to be brave.......the result however is lovely and worth the risk.

Posted in Frugal Foods

25February

Meat free tea for the price of a tin of chickpeas and four carrots

Okay you will need a bag of spinach and some natural yogurt too!

Meat free tea for the price of a tin of chickpeas and four carrots

This all turned out to be quite a surprise.  I wasnt at all sure how with so few ingredients that we were going to get a family dinner.  To be honest this is really only a recipe for three with a few slices of bread, but it is very cheap so it would also cost very little to double the ingredients.

So to serve three adults you should get away with four large carrots, a 500g of Spinach and Rocket, and a 400g tin of chickpeas.  You also need cararway seeds a garlic clove, some freshly chopped coriander and some lemon juice, plus greek yogurt to serve.

However if you are intested in the opinion of my husband, he says it needs some toasted nuts (eg pine nuts or walnuts) to give it a little 'bite'

Posted in Frugal Foods

15February

Fried Potatoes, Sausage and a Chopped herb topping (Gremolata)

Another hit with my Husband

Fried Potatoes, Sausage and a Chopped herb topping (Gremolata)

Some of you will know that occassionally I post the comments from my husbands Facebook page on here.  Todays comments from my husband on his tea tonight were as follows:- 

There was a time when a packet of sausages and some potatoes meant sausage, mash and onion gravy. Now look! Its called fried Potato and Sausage with Herb Gremolata' and no that is not a spelling mistake, and no I had never heard of it either, but involved lemon zest, garlic, pine nuts, a whole chilli and coriander. Very warming

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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