Love your leftovers

Hello Dear Reader,

Tonight we had a stir fry of chicken, onion, mushrooms and chopped up leftover s from Sunday lunch with sweet and sour sauce. Adding the leftovers meant I could make one large chicken breast feed the both of us. 

First, I sautéed onion and mushrooms no then added chopped raw chicken and kept turning it in a hot pan until it cooked.

I popped in the leftovers of carrots, cauliflower and peas and heated them through. 

I didn’t make the sauce, I used this sachet from Aldi and at 39p, I couldn’t make it for that price myself. It’s quite sticky so I added some water from the cooking rice to thin it down

Chicken, leftovers, brown rice and a drizzle of chilli sauce for me. I always keep and use leftovers and it’s rare that anything gets wasted.

Over to you my lovelies, what do you do with your left overs?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Sweet potato rosti with goat cheese

Hello Dear Reader,

I thought I’d share our lovely lunch following on with my promise to cook ourselves something special every week. I bought welsh goats cheese from Aldi as well as sweet potatoes and shallots which are a bit more expensive than regular potatoes and onions.

Here’s what I used

1 large sweet potato, about 500g grated

2 beaten eggs

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced

Salt and pepper

Tablespoon of oil

200g of goats cheese

I grated one extra large peeled sweet potato and then popped it onto a clean tea towel and wrung out the sweet potato and added it to a bowl.

Combine the rest and shaped into six patties and brown them in a hot pan with oil.

Transfer to an oven tray and bake for fifteen minutes.

Crumble goat cheese on top and put back in the oven for five-ten minutes until the cheese has melted. 

If we had any salad, this would have been great but there’s very little available so we just ate them as they were.

Over to you, who loves goats cheese or is it just us Europeans? Does anyone else make something special at the weekend?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Recipes with mushrooms

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve never met a mushroom I didn’t like. I’m trying this year to cook ‘something nice’ once a week as some sort of a treat. I’m not big on treats because if I have them weekly, they’re not a treat but a regular occurrence. Perhaps I’m being a bit tough on myself or just picky about the words so I’ll just aim to cook something nice each weekend anyway and try and stay on budget.

I disagree when people say life is too short to stuff a mushroom. I think life is better because of stuffed mushrooms. I fill my big field mushrooms with pate which was 49p a tub  from Aldi and the mushrooms were 79p. I just wipe the mushrooms with a dry cloth and cut the stalks out, then filled with pate.

I keep the crusts of the gluten free bread, wizz them up in the food processor and pop them in a hot oven for twenty minutes. It’s so easy but really delicious. You can use any bread.

I succumbed to the avocados again! £1.50 for two in Aldi. I know they’re expensive but much cheaper than a take away or going out to eat. I bought the ready to eat ones and had them with spiralised courgette, finely sliced red onions and tomatoes. I tossed the onion, tomato and courgette in vinaigrette then laid the avocado on top.

You can use any bread as a topping and just bake until crispy.

Previously, I’d made a balsamic drizzle from balsamic vinegar and soft brown sugar which I mixed together in a jug and microwaved for three minutes until reduced. I keep it in a jar in the fridge and drizzle over with a spoon. That was Saturday’s supper and lovely it was too.

Mushrooms go really well in any kind of creamy sauce with pasta. I found this recipe that used cream, lots of cheese and butter and this is my tightwad cheap version that uses every day ingredients and costs a lot less.

In a pan, boil water in readiness to cook pasta. You can use any kind, it doesn’t matter. I used gluten free spaghetti as that’s what I had. You can cook the rest in the time it takes to cook the pasta, about 12 minutes.

You’ll need – serves 2

10 small mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced,

1 tablespoon of oil

1 small bunch of spring onions or a small onion finely diced

1/2 bag of small bunch of cleaned spinach. I used baby leaf but proper spinach will need chopping.

1 heaped dessert spoon of corn flour

1/2 litre of milk – I used skimmed – you could use soya to make this vegan

Salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and add the spring onions, garlic and mushroom.

Stir over the heat for five minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked to your liking.

Add the flour and completely combine.

Add the milk and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.

Add the spinach and keep stirring until the spinach wilts.

Season with salt and pepper.

We added 20g of grated Parmesan – that’s optional

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the saucepan.

Pour the sauce over the top and stir.

Serve with a salad if you like, we just ate it out of bowls just as it is.

What about you? Do you try and make something nice once a week or once a month? Is it a treat if it’s a regular occurrence? What’s your favourite mushroom recipe? As always, I love hearing from you.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

I spiralize 

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve been on the hunt for a spiralizer for a while and found one in B and M for £9.99. I made a ragu sauce with low fat pork and then just stirred in the raw courgette ribbons.

Really cheap and we had two courgette each. My sauce is watery as I don’t add any thickening. I’m trying to be good although I have the breaking strain of a kit kat and did think this would have been better with grated cheese. I didn’t give in (today).

It was much tastier than it looked.

Do you spiralize? Any veggi-getti recipe ideas are welcome.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx 

Meat free Monday 

Hello Dear Reader,

This tastes a whole lot better than it looks. We often have meat free meals and like this, they’re nothing fancy and certainly not expensive.

Our supper was wilted spinach, roasted red opinion, mushrooms and butternut squash with homemade fat free hummus.

I can’t take the credit for the hummus, like a lot of my recipes, is from the BBC. Here it is

1 tin of chick peas as well as the liquid in the tin.

Add to a jug and add,

1 teaspoon of tahini

2 cloves garlic, crushed,

1 heaped teaspoon of cumin,

2 heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt,

Good squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Blitz with a hand blender.

Poured the middle, we had half each. I finished this off with a sprinkle of paprika.

Just lovely. In my opinion, anything is good with spinach. All my veggies were on offer in Aldi so nothing more than 59p per pack so good for me and my wallet.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Menu plan for the week ahead 

Hello Dear Reader,

Quick pop in and out today as I’m spending time with family. 

A quick stock check and a rifle through my cookery books and a quick plan. Some can be cooked in advance and added to on the day. Some additions to meals can be prepared in the morning before work and then added to later in the day. Some recipes can be prepared in the slow cooker and finished in the oven.

My menu plan isn’t rigid. I might change it as the mood takes me. I might make double portions and freeze some for another day. I’ve already decided to change Stilton scones to cheddar scones as I have cheddar. All our meals usually have the addition of salad or veggies. There’s always the option of toast for breakfast. Lunch can be leftovers that we can reheat at work.

In case you can’t read my writing.

Roast pork – again, pork is still half the price of beef or lamb.

Pulled pork wraps with barbeque sauce.

Coq au vin, mashed potatoes with leeks and veggies.

Honey and mustard sausages with colcannon

Braised beef topped with cheese scones and veggies

Spicy squash, chickpea and spinach stew with brown rice

Fish pie with veggies


Breakfast – muesli and yogurt/toast

Lunch – sandwich/banana – leftovers 

I’ll pop recipe up as I cook over the weekend or through the week.

Until tomorrow or later,

Love Froogs xxxx

Keep it thrifty 

Hello Dear Reader,

Sometimes, it’s the most boring tasks that save us the most money. We do all the big things to save money. We lift share, budget and stick to it, buy second hand, keep all our household bills and personal spending to a minimum, look after what we own so we don’t need to replace, reduce our water consumption and we shop around and get the best deal on anything we buy. 

I still maintain that the best way to save money is just by not carrying any on a day to day basis but that takes planning. It means you have to have all your meals planned, all the ingredients, sides and everything for all the other meals. It’s too easy to pick up bits and pieces if you pop to the shops. It also means I need to take food and drink for work, the car needs enough fuel to last the week and I have the strength to say no if asked to anything that requires me spending any money. 

My shopping always starts with a stock take and I menu plan from what we already have and then I write my shopping list. This week, we had a huge shop as we’d run down supplies before we went to France and our shop came to over fifty pounds! It’ll normally be around half that but we do have three fluffies to feed and I cook everything we eat from scratch.

My little kitchen friend stayed with me today as I cooked for the rest of the week. Having a freezer full of homemade ready meals means we can come home from work and I won’t have much to do and no matter how tired I might feel, I’ll never reach for a takeout or call into the supermarket for a ready meal. There’s no last minute discussion wondering what we’ve got for supper, I’ve got it all planned.

I shop once a week and then shut my purse up until next Saturday, sounds simple enough to me, save money by leaving my purse at home. 

Here’s my ready meals: falafels, carrot and kidney bean burgers, lasagne and cottage pie. We had a chippy tea tonight of homemade chicken pie and chips, affectionately known as ‘fat Friday’ where we eat a fake away instead of a take away.

It’s, as they say, not rocket science, but with a bit of planning, you can just leave your wallet at home. Tough? What do you think?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Buddha bowl for autumn? 

Hello Dear Reader,

I love the concept of a Buddha bowl of delicious good grub. There might be a few lentil recipes ahead as I’ve got a kilo bag to get through. Feel free to leave some lentil ideas.

I just made dal, or a mild version of it.

1 cup of red lentils – add to a small pan with water to cover about 2 inches deep, they absorb all the water. Bring to the boil and simmer, scooping off any scum. 

1 chopped and fried onion, when it’s softened in some oil, add two cloves of crushed garlic, I chopped chilli, add the seeds if you want heat, I added a teaspoon of cumin powder too. 

When the lentil are completely  cooked, add the cooked onions, garlic and spices. Stir in a knob of butter too.

I chopped a courgettes, two cooked beetroot and a tomato, sprayed them fry lite and roasted them for fifteen minutes.

I also steamed some finely shredded spring green, after I cooked them, I tossed them in a splash of olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper.

I also cooked some brown rice.

There it is a bulging bowl of cheap and delicious healthy grub. Well under a pound a portion with plenty of protein in the lentils with a slight kick of spice.

Over to you, a kilo of lentils to use up and your ideas are welcome. Also, any ideas for hot Buddha bowls for the autumn? I know it’s still summer here but it’ll cool down soon enough.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx 

Peppers stuffed with leftovers 

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve always got something in the freezer that I can add something to. I had a portion of bolognaise sauce. I cut two peppers in half, added my mince and tomatoes which I spiced up with some ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and topped it with slices of cheese. 

I cooked them at 180 for thirty minutes and had them with more cheapy Aldi salad. 

You could stuff peppers with anything. They are great with chilli, spicy rice and vegetables, mushrooms in a cheese sauce or spicy minced beef. 

I’m going to cut my shopping expenses so there might be some cobbling together, lots of cheap seasonal salad. Even the blandest of 39p iceberg lettuce tastes fine with some homemade dressing. You could add some crusty bread or serve with rice. The cheese was slices from a pack of 99p sliced Gouda, again from Aldi. 

I’ll now go and have a dig around in the cupboards and put together a cheap plan for the next week.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Cheap cooking bacon

Hello Dear Reader,

I buy packs of cooking bacon from our local butcher for £1.99 a kilo. I turn the pack over and check to see if there’s big chunks of back bacon. I cook it in a very hot dry frying pan, without any oil and I cut off any fat although there often isn’t much.

Tonight we had big chunks of bacon, more like gammon than bacon, with mashed potato, loads of steamed broccoli and carrots, gluten free gravy to finish it off. Mine is weighed to check portion control. 

As I’ve weighed it, I’ve got 23p of bacon, 10p of potato, 20p of broccoli, 10p of carrots and 20p of gravy – supper for 83p and 590 calories and I’m totally stuffed.

Certainly not nutritionally perfect  but great for 83p.

See you tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx