Sunday, 1 February 2015

Cooking, baking and food challenge

Well done Andy, you fought well and it is nice to see you return to form.

Whilst the oven was on for making some potato wedges and an impossible quiche (recipe on tab above) for tea, I took the opportunity to make a half sized soda bread as we have finished our normal bread:
We had some of the bread today, with what should have been French Onion soup. However, I forgot to keep an eye on it and the bottom caught. We added the stock, then tomato purée and checked it over once cooked. Still a very slight burnt taste so we added a spoonful of curry paste. Perfect:
There is enough left for another day as well.We ate half the quiche and wedges with some home made coleslaw for tea, the remainder has cooled and gone into the fridge to be served with slaw for our final tea of the food challenge:
I love impossible quiche, it is so quick to make as there is no pastry involved. It does have flour in it which settles on the bottom to give a thin crust like texture. If you can't eat gluten or want to reduce the calories a little, make it without, it works just as well.

I had some crème fraiche left over so that went in, instead of cream. I also used up most of the rest of the vegetables left from this week which included, courgette, pepper and mushrooms. The last 3 small carrots and a bit of the white cabbage went into the coleslaw!

The vegetables have almost gone that were purchased as part of the £20 per week food challenge for 2 people, just enough left for the soup above plus some slaw for the final tea.

This is the end of our food challenge for a week. It was a bit meagre on the fruit and vegetable front but overall, we felt full and well fed. We even managed to bake a small war time fruit loaf!

We enjoyed the challenge so much, we are going to do another week! I am not sure you could keep this up for too long and still be able to eat healthily. Food staples would rapidly disappear from the store cupboards and would need a big shop just for them.

Some people however, do have to do it and stick with tinned and packet goods and I for one, take my hat off to them.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Eat well for less programme...

I knew this programme was going to irritate me - and not just because of Gregg Wallace who is like an exuberant school boy!  Shopping seems to be the latest must have accessory for many people who, if this first programme is anything to go by, have their own money printing machines at home. No matter how much they print (spend) it is never enough and out they go again.

The amount of food wastage in this country is abominable, not just households but shops, restaurants, café's as well. Meal proportions have increased and often, when we do have a meal out on our walk, we are hard pushed to finish it, and that is only a sandwich most of the time! Most weeks we really don't have to put out our weekly food bin but do it when it contains either bones or onion/citrus bits which we don't put on our compost heap. Our compost heap gets everything else (raw peelings etc) which probably amounts to one of those food bins a week. We don't have anything off to throw away and any food leftover from one meal, gets used in another but that also rarely happens unless planned.

It was great that the family finally saw the light and managed to save £70 for the week but am sure they could save far more if they really try investigating their whole concept of shopping. It isn't just about swapping food brands and menu planning, it is also about changing the way you think and questioning yourself as to why you keep going shopping. Don't even get me started on non-food shopping!

The husband kept adding items in the trolley just because they sound/look interesting but hadn't a clue how to use them. If that applies to you, why don't you make a note of it, look it up and find a recipe, then buy what you need not just buy it and shove it into the nightmare of your cupboards.
Cooking from scratch saves even more money. If you don't know how to cook, learn. Yes you will make some horrendous mistakes but will eventually get the hang of it. Never be afraid to try:)

There were a few eye openers in the programme for those who were not aware of such practices. We already knew about mass produced food and what is classified as 'meat'. It was quite telling about the differences in the sausages when they were grilled as to how much fatty liquid came out of the cheaper brand and that was just one sausage. If you were being good and actually grilling a load for a meal you would at least be rid of it. If however you like to fry and then use the gunk to make your gravy, gosh, how much stuff are you putting into your body!

The tea trial was also interesting and we are doing that ourselves at the moment. We normally use Yorkshire loose leaf tea (hate tea bags) but loose leaf tea is not in fashion at the moment and substitutes are very difficult to find. We are currently drinking Sainsburys Red Label and don't like it at all, but will finish the pack. Next we are going to use PG Tips. My MinL used to buy big square packets of those, now we could only find a rather small oblong one. The differences in price in the trial were also interesting. Maybe they will do a coffee one later in the series.

I found the bread talk with the nutritionist very interesting. Bread is not the big bad wolf that it is purported to be but we shall stick with making our own. Using the cheaper brand flour and yeast, our two loaves that we bake each week (not including electricity) work out at 54p for both. We have had Aldi own cheap wholemeal brand (45p per loaf I believe) whilst visiting and it was fine.

DB didn't want to watch mainly because he knew I would be chuntering all the way through, so he put on his head-phones and listened to some music!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Welcome, weather and food

First of all, a warm welcome to Heather Burrell, Jill Akers and Catherine Robinson via Bloglovin and L.J. Lilley via here.

Isn't it cold now that the northerly wind is bringing air down from the Arctic! I had my monthly massage yesterday, we came home for a lunch of soup:
Then decided to go back and do our shopping for next week as the forecast wasn't very good. It started to rain, sleet and snow as we came out of the shop but had nearly stopped by the time we got home:

Just a light covering but it was already lying on the garden and roads and is still there this morning. More to come methinks!