Homemade beef stock has much more depth of flavour than stock cubes, and is healthier.
You can use bones from your joint of meat (chicken, lamb, etc) or you can ask your butcher for soup/stock bones, many will give you them for free.
Roast the bones first in an oven for about an hour on gas mark 6.
Then boil in a pan of water with celery sticks broken up for about an hour and a half,
I then strip off the meat and set aside for stew… (I did say I was a tight arse budget queen)
Back to the stock.
Put bones into a slow cooker with
Bay leaves (2 or 3)
Veg peel (I used carrot peel)
Teaspoon of peppercorns
Leave in slow cooker overnight, mine was in there a good 18 hours.
Strain, cool and freeze.
This is great cooled and sliced, goes well in pack ups too, picnics, or just served warm with beans or salad.
200gms of macaroni pasta
Head of broccoli cut into florets
2 chopped peppers
1 chopped onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
Chilli flakes (optional)
Tin of drained sweetcorn or frozen
4 to 6 eggs depending on size
1 stock cube (veg or chicken)
Cook pasta and broccoli in the same pan in stock & drain
Add to a bowl with chopped peppers, chopped onion, crushed garlic cloves and sweetcorn, Season with salt & pepper….
Add beaten eggs and mix well.
Pour into oven/flan dish.
Bake for 30/40 minutes at gas mark 6.
Tuscan bean stew.
2 garlic cloves 10p
1 carrot 5p
1 onion 10p
2 celery sticks 10p
800ml stock…. 3p for everyday stock cube
2 chopped toms 20p
Teaspoon of Italian mixed herbs
3/4 cubed potato (from a sack 25 kilo) say 10p
Butter beans if using a tin they are around 50p but i buy by the kilo dried and pre cook as its cheaper…£1.18 will serve 4
Fry the garlic, onion, carrot and celery till softened.
Add the stock and Italian herbs
Add the tomatoes, and potatoes
Cook until potatoes are soft.
Add the butter beans last and heat through.
One of the ways I reduce my shopping bills is to reduce our meat intake, so we do 3 meat free sometimes 4 days a week. We started with meat free Monday and went from there. It was a battle at first with the husband who used to think a meal wasn’t complete without meat, but after my persuading/nagging/pushing, call it what you will I won him over.
I started first with mince dishes, reducing the amount of meat I added say to a bolognese by adding less mince and replacing with red lentils, these are the easiest to start with as they are hard to detect in such dishes. Eventually I started with brown and green lentils which you can detect and he grew to like it.
Chilli, I did the same thing I started using less mince and more various beans, he is now a big fan of my 5 bean chilli with zero meat.
The hardest thing to convert him to were vegetable based dishes without meat such as a spinach and potato curry instead of a chicken curry, but by using my leftover scraps of chicken from previous meals which meant only a small amount in a curry with lots of spuds and lots of flavour, he was soon eating veg curries with zero meat.
Meat free Monday soon became 3 meat free days a week and sometimes more. We both still get to enjoy a roast dinner with meat or a chicken dish but not every day.
We both now enjoy meat free days.
Try it, even if its only one day a week, there are so many wonderful vegetables you can eat not to mention lentils and pulses, which are full of protein, add in your herbs and spices and you will end up with some wonderful dishes.
You can do these in advance for busy days.
As long as you have spuds you can always rustle up a meal.
You can stuff these with anything you like, the combinations are endless.
Large potatoes, as few or as many as you need,
Chorizo, again as much as you need, chopped small
Salt & oil your spuds
You can micro first to make it quicker
Then into hot oven, cook till crispy on the outside and soft inside.
Whilst spuds baking, fry your chorizo, onion and garlic, the chorizo releases a lovely oil.
Take out spuds, let cool.
Cut in half and scoop flesh, and mix chorizo, onion, garlic into the spud flesh.
Scoop back into skins.
Add grated cheese on top.
Back into oven for 10 minutes, gas mark 7.
Akoori for breakfast today. Going back to my roots. Indian scrambled eggs
Very easy to do.
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
An inch of ginger grated or finely chopped
1 chilli finely chopped
Teaspoon of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
Pinch or tureric
Salt & black pepper
2 large tomatoes chopped small
Fry the onion, garlic, ginger & chilli for 8 to 10 mins so nicely softened.
Add in the spices and coat the onions.
Stir in the tomatoes, cook for a few minutes.
Break in the eggs and stir in gently until they start to scramble, turn off heat and keep stirring until they are the consistency you like.
Serve with fresh coriander or mint or both, I also added some natural yogurt on top.
lovely on toast or served with home made pitta.
THAI Green curry all homemade..
You can buy ready made paste, but homemade is much nicer.
For the paste
Lemon grass stalk chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin
Half a teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds
2cm fresh ginger stalk chopped
Handful of kaffir lime leaves
Zest of a lime and juice
2 table spoons of fish sauce
3 garlic cloves
Bunch of fresh coriander
Half a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
2 whole chilli’s chopped
Put it all in a processor and blend, cover and leave in the fridge.. its a thick green, pungent paste and smells divine.
Add veg or meat to pan and brown,
Add paste which is all syn free,
Add 60ml to 100 ml of veg stock… and stir in well..
Add half a tin of reduced fat coconut milk (freeze the rest in a plastic tub)
7.5 syns between 4 if using blue dragon 200ml coconut milk light xx