Meal Planning

I aspire to plan my meals weekly. Every week I gasp in horror at the total at the supermarket and vow, yet again, to remember to plan my meals in advance and only buy what I need. You see my cupboards are full to bursting. I pride myself on being able to make whatever I fancy at the drop of a hat. Need some groats? No problem. What about some avocado oil? It’s in the 2nd cupboard from the left.

However the downside to this is that we throw away more food than I’d like. And there’s never any bloody space to put anything away once I have been shopping. Again. I am secretly addicted to supermarket shopping. I feel it’s allowed for me to spend money on food. Much moreso than coming home having blown £150 on clothes every week…

So, given that school goes back this week, and that there is a definite chill in the air I have once again vowed to meal plan. So here is the line up for next week in no particular order:

Jacket spuds with beans and cheese
Butter masala paneer with dhal and rice
Kedgeree with eggs and lentils
Thai green curry
Miso soup with tofu and noodles
Lentil stew with mash and veggies
Cheese and onion pie with sausages
Chickpea and sweet potato curry

Rice pudding
Lemon suprise pudding
Brownies with ice cream
Pear cake and custard

Hopefully we can use up all the leftovers, have something already in the fridge for lunch and not spend a fortune this week. So far the shopping bill total is £51 which is pretty good for me…

Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes

A while ago I decided I wanted something nice to do with my boy on Sundays, and given our shared enjoyment of cookery I decided making pancakes on a Sunday morning would be a nice thing to do. A year later and I am wondering why I started! Every Sunday, without fail, we have to have pancakes now. If I am lucky I can make crepes, but usually it’s thick, fluffy, American style pancakes that are on the menu. I can’t really complain as it’s a nice tradition to have, but still, sometimes you fancy something a leetle different!

The recipe I use for the American pancakes is taken from Rachel Allen’s ‘Food for Living’:

125ml milk (soya works well)
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
150g plain flour
50g vanilla sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I am too lazy to melt butter, but it tastes better if you do)

Lob all of the ingredients into a blender or whizz with a hand blander. I got suckered in to buying a Bamix a while back, and it’s useless for everything other than making pancake batter. A very expensive whisk! But it makes sublime batter. It really does.

Pour spoonfuls of the batter onto a hot griddle pan, no need to bother using oil if it’s non-stick. Let them cook until bubbles appear and the underside is golden brown. Flip over and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds. Serve with our favourite toppings:

lashings of maple syrup
strawberry jam (home made if you have it)
lemon and sugar (Lex’s favourite)

If you have some black or red currants stashed in the freezer, then drop them into the batter when you spoon it onto the pan, they will take a little longer to cook so lower the heat and enjoy the sharp tang of the fruit as you eat them.

Repeat every sunday ad infinitum…

Broad Beans Nil Points

Dinner was a bit of a let down tonight it has to be said. I wanted to use up the broad beans from the veg box, and decided to try a variation of this broad bean bruschetta on the Good Food website. The recipe worked pretty well. Instead of the suggestions on the website, I blanched the beans and added them to 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 a squeezed lemon and some finely chopped parsely as neither I or DH are that keen on mint. I then piled the mashed bean mixture onto some slices of bread and warmed them through in the oven. So far so good. After they’d cooked, I managed to lose half of DH’s topping on the top of the oven, darn. They tasted OK, but were a bit fiddly to eat. I served the bruschetta with some pan fried haloumi and onions and salad. Have to say, I’m not that keen on broad beans and feel quite sick now, but that could be from the rapidly quaffed kir I had alongside my dinner and the 2 teaspoonfuls of marmite I ate afterwards!

Have celery, chinese leaf and corriander to use up tomorrow so I think DH will be back into eastern fusion food tomorrow, much to his delight 😉

A(nother) new blog…

Well given that most of my tweets/FB updates consist of food related items, I thought I would take the plunge and start a food blog. It may work, it may not! But if nothing else it will help me to track what I have been cooking and how it turned out. Plus I enjoyed keeping the blog about Canada and I have been investigating blogging at work recently too.

So here goes…

Tortilla Soup

Here is the recipe for the yummy tortilla soup I created last night. It was based on a delicious bowl of soup we had at Toronto airport in August and I was pretty pleased with the end result I concocted last night!

For the soup
1 tin toms
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 can drained and rinsed black (turtle) beans
1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans
1 can drained and rinsed sweetcorn
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
salt and pepper

For the garnish and salsa
1 ripe avocado, diced
large handful corriander roughly chopped
1 red onion, diced small
small pot soured cream
Plain/salted tortilla chips

To make the soup blend the onion, garlic and tomatoes in a blender. Add to a large pan with the vegetable oil and heat for a few mins. Add the oregano, chilli, cocoa, salt and pepper, stock and beans/sweetcorn. Cook for about 5 mins or so until heated through.

For the salsa, combine the avocado, onion and corriander.

To serve ladle soup into shallow bowls and finish with a dollop of soured cream in the middle. Top with a large spoonful of the salsa and serve with tortilla chips on the side.