Last Week’s Food Prep 3rd-9th July 2017

Hi guys,

So I am writing this a little late – mainly because I was mainly eating on my own (as OH didn’t fancy ANY of the food I had planned!) and I got treated to a couple of meals for doing some extra bits and pieces for people. My £25 food budget ended up lasting me two weeks and I topped up during this week (10-16 July) with some impromptu snack foods as I was working super late one night and had run out of food and a trip to McDonalds >.< so I've probably spent around £50 over the two weeks.

I did the majority of my food prep in one day whilst I was doing some paperwork at home. I did have a couple of cravings for certain foods which I made using stuff I already had so I didn't buy any additional ingredients (10/10 for sticking to the budget for me!).

So first off I cooked my gammon joint from Aldi. I used this recipe from Feisty Tapas and then made a delicious gammon and vegetable soup based on Feisty Tapas’ recipe here. I added a few more veggies to clear out what I had left in the fridge and to bulk it out a little more as well as adding a cinnamon stick, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. I really do recommend this recipe – it’s so delicious and I love using my new Instant Pot.

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I used about a third of the gammon joint to slice back up and put in the soup and I sliced the rest to use for another meal.

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The night before I marinated my chicken drumsticks. I marinated half in a BBQ sauce I had lying around and the other half I did my own marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, pepper, chilli, garlic powder and some smoked paprika. I then roasted these and took the meat off the bone for meals, sandwiches or salads in the week.

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At the same time I roasted some new potatoes and carrots to go alongside some meals.

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Whilst the oven was still on, I also roasted my lamb leg with some courgette slices. I put garlic pieces in little slits all over the lamb leg and then covered with salt, pepper and mint sauce.

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Midway through the week I had a craving for a creamy pasta bake. I made a cheese sauce from scratch using a bechamel base (flour, butter, milk). I used some water in place of some of the milk to reduce the calories a little bit. I threw in some of the chicken, a slice of gammon as well as broccoli and cauliflower and some pasta we had in the cupboard. Placed it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown and served it with homemade garlic bread. I had made a homemade loaf but forgot to take a photo! To make the garlic bread, I toasted it before putting a mix of butter, garlic powder and chopped garlic and placing it in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

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I also had a super craving for congee late one night after work which I also forgot to take a photo of as it was so late and I was a little hangry. I based my recipe on this one from Pressure Cook Recipes. As I used the chicken I cooked earlier, I reduced the cooking time a little to just cook the rice through. I added preserved Tianjin vegetables and some pieces of spam I had sliced in the freezer from the last time we had hotpot. Really delicious.

As of today, I still have some leftover pieces of lamb and gammon and some frozen veggies and potatoes. My next post will be on some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

Until next time.. x

Food Shop & Meal Plan 03.07.17

Hi guys,

As promised, here is my food shop and meal plan for the upcoming week. If you read my update post, you’ll know that I’m preparing myself for a sharp drop in income so I will be curbing my spending and eating more at home.

To prepare for my food shop, I went online to both Asda (as my flatmate has 10% discount) and Aldi (where I live, they are around the corner from each other and only a 5 minute drive from me) to see what special offers there were on meat and vegetables. I then decided which meats I wanted to use and compared them to each other to make sure I was getting the best price. My aim for the shop was £25.

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Frozen items: mixed shredded cabbage (£1) and broccoli & cauliflower (£1.25) from Asda

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Meat: a kilo of chicken drumsticks (£1.89), smoked gammon joint (£2.65) and a half leg of lamb (£7.76) from Aldi

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Fresh items: Charlotte potatoes (95p), 4 baking potatoes (85p), a watermelon (£1.99) from Aldi and semi skimmed milk (75p), 1kg carrots (45p), celery (55p), strawberries (£1) and courgettes (95p) from Asda

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Cupboard items: sugar free tropical blast drink (42p), diet lemonade (19p) from Aldi and mint sauce (83p), bread flour (79p) and mini wraps (75p) from Asda.

In total, I spent £16.68 at Aldi and £7.49 (after discount) at Asda, giving me a grand total of £24.17. I had also planned to get some cherries from Aldi but they were sold out. I still have some avocados, a couple of carrots & potatoes, some smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes from last week’s shop so they will be used up in the next couple of days. I could have been even more under target if I didn’t choose lamb but I have a bad roast dinner craving and I can use the leftovers in sandwiches and whatnot in the week. I can pick up some eggs and rice for free so I will probably top up these at some point too.

Meal Plan

I no longer assign meals to days as I’ve found I’m less likely to follow the meal plan if it’s too rigid! Therefore, breakfasts on my list consist of avocado toast with eggs and tomatoes, granola/cereal with milk or beans on toast with a veggie.

Lunches and dinners will be a mix of: gammon and vegetable soup, gammon steak with potatoes & vegetables, roast chicken dinner, roast lamb dinner, lamb/chicken sandwiches, lamb/chicken stir fry with rice.

So, until next time.. x