Cook once, eat for two weeks (plus later message)

 Hello everyone,

Didn’t you all do well! I wanted, or should I say, hoped for 50 posts yesterday and you didn’t let me down. So, in return, and as promised, a blog about ‘what the ferret’ to do with any thing and everything that you may or may not have laying around your store cupboard, freezer or what to so with the bendy or sprouting veg at the bottom of the fridge. Also, so you’re well warned in advance, this blog is just half of today’s blog and you’ll have to come back later for the final copy.

Let’s start with the request of what to do with oats. I made a savoury crumble topping. I took breadcrumbs out of the freezer, I had an opened packet of oats and I also added some omega 3 seed mix that I bought and started eating when I was feeling virtuous one day. I also had some grated cheese in the fridge and as you can see below, the result was a savoury crumble mix.

 In the pan below are 2 leeks, 3 carrots and pack of bacon. In the back ground, from the depth of the freezer is a pack of left over roast chicken. I very gently fried the bacon, leeks and carrots until they were soft. I then chopped up and added the cooked chicken.

 Next, I was off into the darkness of the store cupboard, for one of the many ‘packet mixes’ I have. I buy these when you can get 3 for a pound, or 10 for a pound if I get them from Approved Foods.

 I followed the instructions and then mixed the cheese sauce into the chicken, bacon and veg mix, poured that into three roasting dishes and covered with the crumble mix. I only used a thin layer, as I’m trying to stretch everything as far as possible.

 Here they are, ready to go into the oven for 15 minutes on 180 degrees.

 Another similar recipe, but this time just veggies with leeks, carrots which I steamed. I then added a tin of kidney beans, a tin of sweetcorn and, for the sauce, I used up some spicy lentil soup that I had in the freezer.

 Oh, by the way, don’t forget to label what you freeze, you may not eat it for weeks!

 Here are the spicy veggie crumbles, in smaller portions and will need bulking out, either with salad or stir fry veg.

 More goodies, from the cupboard. I used the ‘chasseur’ mix to add to beef, half a pack of bacon, onions, mushrooms and carrots, which I cooked slowly along with the sauce mix in the oven. Ignore any advice to add sauce mix to the meat they suggest, it has a tomatoey winey taste and it’s a kind of gravy and they were 10 for £1 from Approved Foods, as were the ‘Shepherd’s pie’ mix, which I added to minced beef. Below, and ready to go into the oven to slow cook, is the beef casserole. It will be stored in two small freezer boxes. I make one portion of beef go a lot further because we’ll eat it with mashed potato or rice and veg to bulk out the meal.

 Now, more chicken. This time, the last of the chicken breasts I bought whilst they were on offer in Lidl. I used two chicken breasts, half a pack of bacon, which I diced, an onion, green pepper and three carrots, which were all finely sliced by throwing them into the food processor. I sweated them down in some butteryish margerine and when they were cooked, I stirred in another of the cheese sauce mixes.

 The end result is an extremely tasty chicken and bacon pie mix. I have pastry already in the freezer and I will defrost them both, and assemble them when I want them. I like things in square stackable boxes, so everything I cook today has fitted in one freezer drawer.

So far, and I’m still cooking, so come back later for more. I have cooked and stored: 3 chicken and bacon crumbles, 3 spicy veggie crumbles, 3 cottage pies, 2 chicken pies (not assembled but ready to go) and 2 beef casseroles. I am soaking sprouting seeds for salad, as I’ve got them in the cupboard and I should use them, I am also soaking chick peas to either make falafels or hummus, or both. I’m now off to wash up!

Added later!!! As promised, I’m back again. In response to some questions. I only cook the crumbles or cottage pies for 15 minutes as I’m going to cook them again or at least reheat them. The plastic containers can be microwaves, so the beef casserole will only need reheating, whereas the cottage pies and crumbles need to be crispy on top and moist underneath.

No one’s asked, but for the sake of your health, always get your food as cold as possible as quickly as possible. It was cold outside, so I opened the back door and all the windows and the food cooled quickly, I then wrapped it, or put the lids on and then chilled it in the fridge. When it was chilled, I put it in the freezer. Lots of you say that you have no storage, well I only have a fridge freezer with three drawers and 13 meals for two people are tucked away. I used up everything I had and with the exception of a trot to the Co-op for some soya milk and three onions, I didn’t get any shopping this weekend. It’s been hard work, but no more work than usual when I batch cook. The oven has been used at full capacity, I’ve used the dishwasher today as I had so many pots and pans and the hard work means, I effectively have food at my finger tips, so no matter how tired I am, or how late I’ve worked, we can all eat home cooked food.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

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46 thoughts on “Cook once, eat for two weeks (plus later message)

  1. 13 meals for 2 with possible leftovers. A very productive day, to be sure! FQ-I had asked on a previous post but never spotted a reply, sorry if I missed one that you did send off! My question is this: I recently purchased quinoa for the first time. A bit pricey, but a lb should go a long way to either stretch or replace meat as a protein. WOuld you be so kind as to perhaps do a post or just a simple reply is fine, I do appreciate your time esp. as you are currently up to your elbows in what I call frozen assets! Any tips on cooking with quinoa, any recipes would certainly be appreciated!

    Thanks!

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  2. I found your blog and am blessed by all you share.I am slowly reading all of your blog. I am learning so much!
    I believe you are a brave woman to share yourself with others in such
    an open manner.
    I thank you for writing your blog and sharing your wisdom with all who
    want to learn. You are a blessing to many.

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  3. Hi FQ, thanks for doing something with oats as I requested, I absolutely love the idea of the savoury oat crumble and will definitely be doing that, I bet it will taste fab. Knew I could rely on you to come up with something. You'll need a rest tonight, you have been busy!!
    Love Sooze xx

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  4. Reading CTMOM's query about quinoa, we love it with a casserole or a curry.
    We've got about 14 or 16 portions of beef bolognaise bubbling away in the slow cooker and when I par boiled parsnips to go with the roast chicken we are about to get out of the oven, I did extra parsnips and froze them on a tray (to go in a bag later.) They were mostly reduced price ones going dry and I didn't fancy making curried parsnip soup at this time of year.

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  5. What a busy and frugal lady you are..those meals are truly inspiring..my poor hubby is now looking nervously at me lol…he knows my frugality has a new peak and is wondering what i'm going to do next ..i'm going to make those spicy crumbles ..lovely..
    thanks so much froogs
    love to you and yours
    sara

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  6. Hello FG,
    I'm a long time reader, new follower and first time commenter !
    I'm a French reader of your blog and even if I am used to a different way of cooking I still enjoy a lot reading your frugal adventures !
    Muriel

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  7. Yum Yum FQ I am definately eating at your house when you have the chicken and bacon casserole.
    Never thought of a savoury crumble, will have to give that a go. Thanks for sharing all your hard work as always.

    PS. I never used to comment as I thought it was a faff to have to set up an account (as I don't have a blog – would like to just don't have the time) but actually I am really glad I did it now 🙂

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  8. FQ, think I am being a bit stupid, but….
    You say to cook the savoury crumbles for 15 mins at 180 degrees. Is this before you freeze them, or to heat them up after freezing? I am assuming after, which if so, do I need to defrost the crumbles before cooking… Hope this question makes sense.

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  9. My, my, FQ. I'm a bit under the weather today, but after seeing all those lovely dishes you have prepared, I might just feel like cooking up a pot of something. Everything looks so delicious.

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  10. Hello there! I only found your blog today and have already spent much time happily browsing your posts. You're a real inspiration! And if I may say it, everything you cook looks absolutely gorgeous! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you for sharing! Claudia

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  11. Again Jane, you have inspired me not to give up, especially as I have burnt a piece of gammon I had bought for tomorrows lunch. I thought my neighbour was cooking bacon and eggs for her Saturday tea and then realised that they were out!!I felt like giving up frugality altogether and crying. No, I read your blog and you have brought me back from the depths of despair yet again. Cooking vegetable soup as we speak and have a loaf of bread “rising” in the airing cupboard! Thanks yet again for keeping us all on the straight and narrow, froogs. xxx

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  12. As always frugal queen, truly inspirational, i didn't even realise that you could use meat that had previously been frozen and that you could cook it and then re-freeze it. I have to live a very frugal lifestyle as a carer to my husband and mum to two children, money is very tight but reading a blog like yours makes me realise that i definitely am not on my own and its amazing what you can do on a limited budget i am looking forward to reading further great blog posts.

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  13. Hi Froogs , this all looks so tasty, love the oaty crunble !
    Did you see “super scrimpers” last week ? they should have got you to do the show …it would have been MUCH better :0)
    Jacquie x

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  14. What a super batch of meals. Late in and tired so storecupboard/freezer supper of baked potato, grilled bacon and remains of tin broad beans for OH, I have had a tum upset so tonight (and last night) just ate 5 fish fingers cooked in a little olive oil. Pud small slice of fresh made madeira cake, been buying duck eggs for 10p each, and used last of special offer butter to make it. Someone asked about pears, upside down pear sponge pudding is amazing if the oven is going to be on. Ali.

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  15. What a busy day you had,and what great looking meal's,i loved the crumble topping you made,so healthy!!your Food is a lot Cheaper in the UK than here in Sth Australia!great photo's,thank you,really enjoyed your post as usual,all the best FQ,maybe you can relax today(Sunday)

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  16. Well done, what an effort, starting to think that you will go to work for a rest. I am trying to look at your blog every day as you really inspire me to want to do the right thing, though I don't always succeed. I am off to google approved foods as it is mentioned lots and seems very cheap and we certainly don't have something like this in South Australia. Thank you so much for all the work you put into your blog, love following it. xxx

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  17. Hello! I've been following for a while here and love your thriftiness very much.

    I have re-found a youtube channel you might like. Found it a couple of years ago where Clara – a 90-something woman is filmed talking about and making the recipes she grew up with in the Great Depression. It's called Frugality with Clara.

    Hope you like it, let me know what you think.

    Vivienne

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  18. Sounds like a great day's work!! I used to do cook-aheads and miss having that easy convenience when we're both tired. DH has been taking over the dinners, which is great, but when he's not feeling like cooking and I've just gotten home after 12 hours off at work, we need to have something healthy and homemade that's easy!

    CTMOM – Not FQ here, but quinoa is so easy and versatile! I cook it 2:1 water to quinoa much like rice, get to a boil, dump in and drop to simmer, cover and let cook through. Great as a base for a vegetarian stew or chili (just ladle it on top of the quinoa as a base), with veg. stir fry, or make a savory salad and serve on top of a bed of spinach (my fave). Just a few options.

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  19. Here is a tip I stumbled upon when making a batch of fish pies – I had run out of potato for the mash topping so I froze the pies and then added the mash when they were frozen quickly returning them to the freezer – it was so much easier and no problems with sinking potato….

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  20. Hi Hester, thanks for dropping by and I'm loving your blog, as I always do. I have some dumpling mix, again from Approved Food, and I will use it with the casserole, I also have cous cous and rice, I can't stretch everything

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  21. Just wanted to wish you happy mothers day FQ, you've been an truly inspirational mum the last few months and I hope when I have kids I will be just as supportive as you are x

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  22. Hey again..well i didn't want to appear thick so i didn't ask lol..have got my girls and their friends saving me big margerine tubs so i can freeze more food..only have so many tubs to do that at the moment..i have showed them your blog and they are impressed with it and you..thats a lot coming from them..as for storage i have 2 huge freezers..so no problem there..even though i am a SAHM its nice to not to have to stand cooking all the time..if its in the freezer then i can get on with other stuff and spend more time with my littlies safe in the knowledge that dinner is in the freezer and waiting for me…i hope your having a great mothers day..thank you
    love to you and yours
    sara

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  23. Brilliant post and full of good ideas as usual.

    Sara, If you don't have many tubs/containers for freezing in at the moment, line the ones you do have with a freezer bag and then pour your soup/casserole whatever into it, once it has frozen you can lift the bag out of the tub fasten it off, double wrap it if you want to and re-use the tub for the next thing you want to freeze. Square and oblong tubs are best as the contents stack perfectly when frozen 'brick shaped'.

    I do this all the time so I don't have to have a big stash of tubs in the freezer.

    I hope you have a lovely Mothers Day FQ.

    Sue xx

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  24. Hi Froogs, just wanted to say how hugely inspiring this post has been, I love the idea of a savoury crumble topping, I had never considered it before! You are such an inspiration. On my next day off I shall be batch cooking for the week, its a start 🙂
    X

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