Stretching leftovers in every direction

Hello Dear Reader,

My soup mug contains just one portion of homemade ragu sauce and I needed to feed us both. I added a jar of cheapo tomato sauce, it’s gluten free and 80 calories for half a jar (4 slimming world syns). It had less fat and less calories than the low fat versions in the supermarket. Ironically, it costs the same as a tin of tomatoes so it was cheaper than making it myself.

As usual, we ate it with a massive pile of steamed greens instead of pasta to keep our carbs low and to get more nutrients into ourselves. Seasonal veggies like this are really cheap too.

I added a tin of sweet corn too. More cheap veggies.

We had one slice of cheese each. It might seem a bit expensive to buy sliced cheese but it’s portion control for us. You can see, one slice goes a long way. (4 syns) 

As if spring greens, carrots and celery in the ragu sweet corn wasn’t enough, I chopped up some gerkins and the crunchy spicy sourness really added punch to an already flavour filled bowlful. 

So today we’ve eaten: frozen leftovers, jarred, tinned and pickled and fresh…..all on one plate. Healthy, cheap and used up everything we had at home.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx

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Chicken, bacon and bean casserole 


Hello Dear Reader,

We have the first autumn storm bashing Cornwall and the rain is coming in sideways. That says one thing, it’s time for a casserole. This didn’t take long in my slow cooker and I made an entire batch and we’ve eaten half today and we’ll eat the rest tomorrow. 

I used

1 kilo of frozen chicken breasts and I added them frozen and cut them up once they cooked 

Half a head of finely sliced celery

1 small things onion – finely diced 

6 large carrots, peeled and chunked

1 tin of haricot beans

2 tins of tomatoes 

Half a pack of cooking bacon – cut into cubes

I popped the lot in the slow cooker and set it on low for 6 hours. That meant it was warm when I got home but had to take out what we needed and microwave it after I’d cooked some cabbage and rice to have with our supper. 

It’s cheap, simple and the addition of beans meant we didn’t need so much meat. Another supper with a combination of tinned and frozen along with some fresh veggies and rice from the larder.

I’m off to get in my pyjamas, get under a quilt and keep warm for the evening.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Slimming world sweet and sour chicken


Hello Dear Reader,

This isn’t from the Slimming World website but it follows their healthy eating plan. We’re both following this as our clothes are tight and we need to stick to a lighter plateful. 

Here’s my sweet and sour.

I used a kilo bag of stir fry veggies from Farm Foods. 2 defrosted chicken breasts, also from Farmfoods and stir fried them with minced garlic, chili and ginger and I use the lazy in a jar as there’s no waste and I’ve always got them in the cupboard.

I cooked some brown rice and made my sweet and sour sauce

20g of corn flour, 3 heaped tbsp of tomato purée, tbsp wine vinegar, 3 tbsp of powdered sweetener, 80ml of water, 1 tbsp of soy sauce (gf in my case) blend in a mug or jug.

When the chicken and vegetables are cooked, add the garlic, chili and ginger and cook for one minute.

Add the sweet and sour sauce, whilst it’s cooking taste and add a splash more vinegar, or sweetener or soy sauce to your taste. If the sauce is thicker than you like, a a dash more water. 

Serve with rice. Cheap, cheerful and sugar free. Does anyone else have a slimming world recipe you’ve adapted on the cheap,

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs x

Humble food 


Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve found my theme this week; homemade humble food with a really low price tag. Lunch today was roasted veggies, homemade hummus and some lettuce. 

I make my hummus with a tin of chickpeas that I drain and rinse with tap water. I add them to a bowl with 80ml of water, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, teaspoon of chili powder, 2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and blend the lot. You can add more water if you choose.

DB had his with a bigger portion and some frittata made in the week for lunches. Well under my pound budget, really quick and easy to make. My salad dressing is a light salad cream with added water to make it a thinner sauce. If you’re following Slimming World, then it’s 2 syns for the dressing and the rest if free. 

I’ll be back later with more humble food.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Lemonade budget? 


Hello Dear Reader,

This is one of our cheapest meals and one of our favourites. I take a few potatoes, peel and slice a few potatoes and onions and chop up a few slices of bacon. 

I boil the potatoes until they are just cooked but not over cooked.

I fred the bacon and onions with frylight and added a crush clove of garlic. You can of course add a tablespoon of olive oil or use fattier streaky bacon.

I make a cheese sauce to go in top with 250g of quark with three beaten eggs and a heaped tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan. You could make a béchamel sauce and add 100g of grate mature cheddar and pour that over; mine is the low fat version. 

I minx the whole lot together and pour the cheese sauce on top. You could make twice as much cheese sauce and it would permeate throughout the potatoes. 

I cooked it for twenty minutes at 180. 

I served it with steamed greens. It costs pennies but we love it. If you’re following Slimming World then it’s syn free but full of flavour. It’s such a favourite here and you can add cooked vegetables or add corned beef. 

So, that’s our cheapest favourite meal, what’s yours? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Fish, chips and minted pea purée 


Hello Dear Reader,

Egg, chips and beans, which were on the plan became fish and chips tonight. I peel and chip potatoes and part cook them in boiling water. Whilst they are cooking, I heat the oven to 200. 

I wrapped the cod (cooked from frozen – Farmfoods) in foil and once the chipped potatoes were part cooked, I transferred them to a baking tray and sprayed them with frylight.

I put the cod and potatoes into the oven for fifteen minutes. 

Whilst the fish and chips were cooking, I boiled the peas for ten minutes. When they were cooked, they were drained and I added two tablespoons of quark and a teaspoon of mint sauce and used my hand stick to blend it.

Soon as everything was ready and it was served.

It was delicious and we’re now off to vote in the local elections.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Let the ‘eat down’ commence


                              

   







Hello Dear Reader,


I have an odd combination of food in my freezer. It’s come about by buying the best offers in my butchers. My local butchers is, I am sure, one of the cheapest butchers in the country. Consequently, I end up buying really good cuts of meat that I could never afford if I went to the supermarket. So this in my freezer is: 2 packs of meat balls ( one pork and one beef) 2 packs of cod fillets ( bought them on offer from Waitrose where they sell MSC sustainable fish – one smoked and one not) one duck, 5 packs of bacon, some streaky and some back, 5 sirloin steaks (ridiculously cheap – 5 for £25 ) 6 rib eye steaks, which were £10 for the pack, 2 packs of sausages and one pack of burgers.

That does mean we have a degree of repetition so I’m going to try and make things a bit more interesting, I mean what does a woman do with a mass of bacon?

Here’s the ideas I’ve come up with…

Minestrone soup – added bacon
Bacon and pea risotto
Bacon and veggie frittata 
Bacon wrapped sausages, roast potatoes, veggies and gravy – alternative Sunday lunch.
Diced bacon sprinkled on salad. 

Meatball casserole
Meatballs in tomato sauce

Steak with mushroom and whole grain mustard sauce
Steak and onion sandwich 
Beef and broccoli stir fry
Steak and guacamole wrap


I’ll think some more on this and get together a three week menu plan to see us through until we go away. I’m hoping not to shop for very much at all and even though I’m off my food there’s still DB to feed. 

Now, I’m sure you can help….any ideas of how to shift this lot?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxc

Meatballs and tomato Sauce on shredded Savoy

Hello Dear Reader,

If you expected to see a whole heap of pasta, then think again! This is my low calorie and low carb supper. I crammed as many vegetables onto my plate as possible, with savoy cabbage instead of pasta and leeks in the tomato sauce. I swapped my suppers around and I moved the meatballs forward a night. I hope this is liked by my frugal faithful as this is another low cost frugal supper. 

To make this for 2 you will need: (Calories stated are for each portion)

1/2 savoy cabbage shredded and steamed.28 calories

To make the tomato sauce
1 onion finely diced – 11p – 23 calories
4 garlic cloves finely diced – 4p
4 sprays of frylight – or use any oil if you are not watching calories
1 leek – finely diced – 22p – 25 calories
2 tins of chopped tomatoes – 90p – 76 calories

Total cost of sauce per person – 64p – 124 calories

1. Finely chop the onions, garlic and leek and saute
2. Add two tins of chopped tomatoes
3. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the meat balls you will need:

300g of minced beef – £1 – wholesale butchers price – 186 calories
1 finely chopped onion – 11p – 23 calories
1 slice of bread – (gluten free in my case) 15p – 38 calories
1 egg – 17p
1 tbsp parsley – measured after being finely chopped – 25p
Sprinkle of garlic salt and ground black pepper
Total calories 247

This made 14 meatballs and we had 7 each – Total cost £1.68 – 84p per person.

To make the meatballs.

Mix all of the ingredient together and form into balls in your hands. Fry with no oil at all in a non-stick pan. Keep turning until evenly cooked all over. 

Steam the cabbage and ladle the tomato sauce on top. Arrange the meat balls on top of that and sprinkle each dinner with 10g of freshly grated Parmegiano cheese which adds another 15p and 39 calories per person. 

Here is my review of this recipe. It was really delicious and filling without being heavy or leaving us feeling sluggish. We could eat gluten free pasta but it’s so expensive that a pile of greens is a cheaper and healthier option. The whole meal cost £1.63 and had 399 calories. You can make this much more cheaply by adding more bread and by omitting the leeks or cheese. I’m trying to eat as healthily as I can with as few calories and as much nutrition. I think I succeeded here! My secret to cheap and healthy eating is to pile my plate with simple veggies and eat less meat. 

Over to you Dear Reader. Who is sticking to their resolution of losing weight, or eating healthily, or not drinking, or giving up caffeine? Whose resolve is wavering? Who needs to write down and remind themselves of their personal goals and desires to live a better life? If you are sticking to your resolve then keep going as you will thank yourself in the end. If you have fallen off the wagon then just get back up on it and remind yourself that every new tomorrow is a fresh start!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx