Monday, 10 September 2012

Meal Planning Monday - 10th September 2012

I'm quite astonished that I cooked all week last week! I got quite carried away on the lunch boxes (see how long that lasts!) and even made minestrone soup to avoid leftovers.

So in my new found Domestic Goddess role, here's what I'm planning for this week. As usual, there's batch cooking and defrosting involved.

Monday: Fish Pie

Tuesday: Vegetable Chilli Pasta Bake

Wednesday: Potato Hash

Thursday: Roast Chicken Dinner

Friday: Cowboy Casserole

Saturday: Hey, Hey it's Takeaway!!

Sunday: Steak & Kidney with Leeky Mash

There's loads more meal plans over at At Home With Mrs M.

Hope you have a fab week!


Sunday, 9 September 2012

I Will Prepare!! The Big Christmas Hamper Project

There's nothing better than getting a big, heavy box and not knowing what's in it, is there?

This year, in line with my money saving project (and the fact I probably will be the size of a small bungalow by December) I will be making hampers full of home made goodies for Christmas gifts.

So if you're likely to get a gift off me, it's probably best to stop reading or you'll spoil the surprise!

Have you gone?


So, what's the plan?

A small Christmas cake
A jar of strawberry curd
A bottle of Winter Liqueur
A jar of body scrub
Some bath melts
Some chocolate truffles

And it will all be handmade. The Christmas cakes need making first so they can be fed and I've got most of the ingredients in.

I'll be posting our family recipe later in the week.

What do you think to this idea? Would you rather have a box of handmade items or a gift off the shelf?

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Batch Cooking: 10 Ways With Vegetable Chilli

Batch cooking not only saves you time but money and it really need not be a case of dragging the same thing out of the freezer and eating an monotonous menu.

Here's what you can do with Vegetarian Chilli

1. Eat it as it comes with Rice.
Vegetable Chilli with Rice

2. Wrap in in a fajita wrap and have it for lunch or dinner (it tastes just as good cold)
Vegetable Chilli Wrap

3. Use it as a filling for Vegetarian Lasagne.

4. Defrost some filo pastry and make samosas

5. Serve with polenta or over a jacket potato (ooh! thats 2 options!!)

6. Fill taco shells with it

7. Top with mash for vegetarian shepherds pie

8. Add extra passatta and do a vegetable pasta bake

9. Use smaller portions as a spicy ratatouille accompaniment

10. Mix with rice and coat to make rissoles.

As you can see one basic recipe can be extremely versatile and save you time and money.

So...if you need a recipe for Vegetable Chilli, click through here

Enjoy and just think of the time you save by just grabbing it out of the freezer!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lunchbox Ideas: Vegetable Chilli Wrap

I've got quite carried away with lunchboxes recently.  It's taken six years but now I'm feeling the guilt of sending the kids to school with a box of saturated fat and e-numbers and I'm finding myself actually wanting to eat better. 

For those days when you run out of sandwich filling or just fancy something different, why not try a vegetable chilli wrap.  It's far cheaper than buying a £2.50 wrap from the supermarket and much more filling.

I tend to construct this the night before, wrap in tin foil and leave in the fridge.  That way the filling is more solid and the wrap doesn't fall apart.

Serves One


Defrosted Vegetable Chilli
1 fajita wrap
2 dessert spoonfulls of cooked rice


1. Mix the defrosted (already cooked) Vegetable Chilli with the cold rice

2. Place on a peice of tin foil

3. Fold opposite sides of the fajta in about an inch

4. Turn 90 degrees and roll tightly.

5.  Cut in half with a sharp knife and put next to each other

6. Wrap in tin foil and place in fridge until ready to eat.

Vegetable Chilli Wrap


Hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Fuel Saving Opportunity

To be concise, Morrisons are offering 1p per litre off fuel for every £10 gift card you buy.

On the face of it this doesn't sound too great but there's several ways to play this one.

So...if you're planning on spending, say £50, at Next, buy a £50 gift card from Morrisons and receive a 5p off per litre voucher.

Or...if you're doing Christmas shopping at Toys R Us, Boots or Debenhams (or maybe even a bike from Halfords) buy the gift cards now and reduce your fuel bill now. It's also a great way of ensuring you don't go over budget.

** This isn't a sponsored post. Morrisons haven't approached me at all to write this post. I just think its a fab way to stay on budget & save on fuel.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Meal Planning Monday - 03/09

After the hectic summer hols, I'm getting back on track & resuming life.

So after frantic reading of several cookbooks this morning, this is the plan...

Monday: The Hairy Dieters Lamb Hotpot

Tuesday: Gino De Campo's Three Bean Chilli & Rice

Wednesday: Slow Roasted Sun Dried Tomato Beef & Pesto Roasties

Thursday: The Hairy Dieters Paprika Chicken

Friday: Annabel Karmel's Chicken Burgers

Saturday: Hey, Hey, Takeaway!!

Sunday: Spaghetti Bolognaise from the freezer

I am determined to stick to this plan (for the first time ever!!) so determined in fact that tomorrow's chilli has already been cooked.

There's more meal plans over on At Home With Mrs M if you are looking for more meal inspiration.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Vegetable Chilli Pasta Bake

You know me, I love batch cooking as it's cheap and more importantly saves me cooking everyday!

Always to be found in my tiny freezer is at least 4 portions of Vetable Chilli.  There's at least 11 ways to eat this as listed in the post "Batch Cooking: 10 ways with Vegetable Chilli"

This week, we're having it re-incarnated in the form of Pasta Bake.

As I tend to adopt the do it and leave it approach to cooking, the chilli needs a fair bit of liquid adding to it to allow the pasta to absorb and soften.

So, how to do...

Serves 4


1 batch of defrosted Vegetable Chilli
2 handfuls of pasta per person (I use bows or shells as they absorb the best)
500g of passatta
250ml of vegetable stock
Grated Cheese to cover


1. Preheat the oven to 160C

2. Mix in the passatta to the defrosted chilli

3. Add the pasta and stir well.  If the mix seems too dry, add the vegetable stock until it is quite a liquid mixture.

4. Cook for 20 minutes and check.  If it is drying out too much, add a little more stock.

5.  Grate the cheese over the top and cook for a further 20 minutes

6.  Serve with a lovely garlic bread and italian salad.

It seems a bit hit and miss with the stock but this is due to the original consistency of your chilli.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!



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