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To ask what your weekly 'go to' dinners are?(21 Posts)
Sorry for the bizarre question!
Will be moving into a bigger house soon and will be going on maternity from January so really looking to get the most out of the weekly food shop.
Which I guess really helps if you're planning your meals.
Hoping to all in spend about £40 all in per week for food bill which should be do able as it's just me and DH. We don't really budget for food atm and just buy what we fancy with the weekly takeaway in there.
Any meal suggestions welcome!
Meatballs, tagliatelle and pasta sauce. Chuck veg in there too.
Mince, veg, rice with seasoning in tacos
(If you bulk buy mince you can make your own meatballs)
Basically mince, veg and pasta in different variations
Toad in the hole, chicken thighs with lemon and garlic, big pack of mince split into a spag bol and a chilli, mushroom risotto, pea and ham soup, rattatouile, prawn,pepper and pineapple curry (Jamie recipie). Some of my go-tos. Before lockdown I would spend £30 on a weekly shop and these were some on my list. Usually include two veg meals a week as this keeps costs down.
Chilli w rice of jacket potatoes
Mushroom risotto w roast chicken
Roast chicken w salad
Fish and veg oven baked w rice/cous cous
Stir fry chicken w noodles
Salmon in ginger and soy
It all looks very 'samey' when I write it down, but the kids eat it happily enough!!
Brie and bacon rissotto (fantastically cheap with cooking bacon) (bootstrap)
Fishey or prawny tomato pasta
Chorizo one pot pasta (eat well for less)
Salmon paste pasta (bootstrap)
Meat (thin beef steak or turkey steak) couscous and veg
Salmon with sweet chilli sauce
Chicken and veg skewers with homemade wedges
Prawn and cherry tomato spaghetti
Homemade chicken Kiev (Jamie recipe)
One big suggestion is to make sure you have a good selection of dried herbs and spices, as it can really help to make simple ingredients tasty. Our go-tos are basil, mixed herbs, harissa paste, chilli, turmeric, fresh ginger, fresh garlic and cumin. Also try growing some herbs like mint and parsley, which are also useful for making food more interesting. Plus some big bottles of olive oil - always better value to buy the huge ones if you can.
Our go-to meals (DD is 3 so a lot of these are designed to get her to eat veg):
- Kale and chickpea stew with coconut milk. Fry an onion in olive oil for a few minutes, add chopped garlic and ginger, plus some crushed chillies/chilli powder if you like. Add a drained can of chickpeas and a teaspoon of turmeric. Fry the chickpeas for a few minutes then add a can of coconut milk and some vegetable stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes then add some chopped fresh kale or spinach and cook until it's wilted. Delicious with rice and a bit of lemon juice.
- Spicy butterbean stew: Fry an onion for 8 mins or so, then add finely chopped red pepper, fry for another 5 mins, then add garlic and fry for another 2 mins. Then add some harissa paste and tomato puree and fry for another few minutes. Then add a tin of butterbeans (drained) and some vegetable stock, simmer for 10 mins or so, then add some spinach or kale (optional) and some lemon juice if you like and simmer until the greens are wilted. Yummy with couscous (and some yoghurt or feta cheese on top).
- 'Fish pie' just made with frozen cooked prawns (defrosted, obviously!), fried leek and courgettes rather than bothering with white fish. (I used to hate making white sauce but it's fine with a bit of practice)
- Chicken stew with garlic, onion, chickpeas, kale and lemon (basically kale is the one green vegetable DD will eat, so we put it in everything we can) - easy to make in bulk and then freeze portions for later.
- Jacket potatoes with ratatouille and feta cheese on top (we do the jacket potatoes in the microwave)
- Gazpacho made in a blender
- Nicoise salad with boiled eggs, green beans, tomatoes and anchovies (+ optional boiled potatoes) - DD obviously doesn't eat the anchovies.
- Meatballs - Co-op beef meatballs, browned in a pan with onions, carrots and garlic, then add tinned tomatoes and mixed herbs - simmer for as long as possible then serve with rice.
If you're on a budget, tinned pulses (like chickpeas, butterbeans, etc) are definitely your friend. Jack Monroe has lots of helpful info about food shopping on a budget. It's definitely worth getting the hang of a few cheap and healthy dishes, as when the baby gets a bit older and is on proper solid meals, it's good to have a few standbys.
Hope that helps.
This week we're having
Jacket potato (tuna for DH & I, beans & cheese for dcs)
Other usuals are
Sweet & sour chicken
Chicken chow mein
Baked salmon and homemade wedges with peas or salad.
Pasta of some kind with loads of veggies.
Curry with rice (tends to be veggie curry of some kind).
Risotto or some sort of baked rice and veggie dish.
Veggie fritatta for those busy, sports based, nights. I cook it ahead and chill it in portions so it can be grabbed as needed.
If all else fails, beans or poached eggs on toast!
These are our summer staples, winter is when the slow cooker comes out!
Chicken & chorizo rice
Pasta & tomato sauce and one of, grilled salmon steak or chopped cooked sausages or tinned tuna
Macaroni cheese with cauliflower and broccoli
Soup - family favourites are chicken noodle & tomato & lentil
Egg fried rice
Mock moussaka ( with potatoes rather than aubergine as the kids won’t eat them
Tarka dhal (Jamie Oliver)
Chana Paneer Masala (the guardian perfect Chana Masala, I sometimes add cubes of paneer)
Falafel (bootstrap) with salad, tzatziki and couscous
Aubergine parmigiana with salad and garlic bread
Satay noodle salad
Squash and Coconut Dhansak (BBC good food)
Burgers (either homemade beef or Halloumi)
We do homemade soup on Monday, then you've got a couple of lunches. Then jacket potato either with beans and cheese or tuna mayo and sweetcorn leftover can be tuna pittas for lunch, then omlette or frittata and you can the the frittata for breakfast (otherwise I'll have yog oats and frozen berries). Then ither stir fry (use eggs as the protein), thai curry (use tofu as protein) or curry (chickpea as protein) leftovers for the latter two can be frozen. Then frozen fish for friday dinner. Small cooked breakfast involving eggs on weekend, lunches pasta or toastie and then dinners are roast and pizza. The most important thing i find it to freeze your protein into individual portions like chicken breasts for the roast and sausages/bacon for the breakfast and a packet will last you a month. Also save crisps alcohol and sweet treats for the weekend as these are probably the least cost effective bits of your shop
Oh and have most thing with salad not ready made as that just goes off. at the moment I like iceberg cucumber tomato and blue cheese dressing yum! And dp has lots of milk as he is taller than me and a bag of roasted peanuts for a late night snack during the week. Also I'd go to aldi /lidl (or even better local!) I like to buy the highest grade animal produce and my shop is literally halved by not hitting the big four
Chilli con carne (sometimes with rice sometimes tacos)
Sausages, Mash and veg
I try and use quorn for spaghetti bolognese.
I make my own sauces for everything using spices, tinned tomatoes, natural yoghurt, cans of mixed beans (for chilli), I put grated carrot and courgette in bolognese to get veggies in, lasagne always has a side of salad.
roast veg on a tray with feta,
ratatouille with olives,
omelette and salad
chicken, coconut and mushroom soup (Itsu recipe),
pan fried salmon steaks with steamed veg. Lentil Dal and brown rice with mango chutney.
smoked mackerel and boiled potatoes.
smoked haddock (poached in milk) and mashed potatoes.
Puy lentils and bacon bits
Chicken and chorizo stew
Things we've had n the past couple of weeks:
Sausage, fried onions, mash and beans
Kedgeree - smoked haddock or coley
Paella - prawn or chicken
Risotto - chicken and mushroom
Chicken curry, rice
Shepherd's (or cottage) pie, baked beans or peas
Stir fry beef or chicken
Spiced baked salmon, new potatoes, lettuce
Home made fish goujons and chips
Steak, mushrooms and chips
Chilli and rice
Burgers and chips, salad
Duck breasts with orange and watercress salad
Bacon chops, BBQ sauce, new potatoes, salad
Then we have roast beef, or lamb, or chicken on Sundays, plus veg and a pud, and I don't cook on Fridays, we have French bread and cheese, or pork pies, ham, that sort of thing.
I like to cook new things all the time but a couple of things I always come back to for something cheap and handy is cooking bacon fried with veg e.g. onions peppers carrots mixed with a jar of curry sauce. Madras, jalfrezi etc. Freezes beautifully too.
Halloumi sandwiches- crusty bread slightly toasted, halloumi, chilli jam, rocket, houmous, red onion, roasted peppers from a jar. Delicious.
Do you any of the 'Roasting Tin' books? I have the Quick Roasting Tin and it is a great book. My favourite is the tandoori salmon with sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
Veggie dishes: supergreen spaghetti (a Jamie Oliver recipe - chocka block with greens and so tasty and easy to make), Thai red chickpea curry, 3 bean chilli, leek and barley “risotto”, baked aubergine with tomato spaghetti
We usually have fish once or twice a week - usually something like baked salmon with jacket potato and veg (something like leeks or asparagus) or a pasta based side
Meat-wise, roast chicken thighs (with the skin!) are cheap, easy and super tasty. Sprinkle with olive oil and a little butter, and alternate the herbs/spices on top (along with a bit of salt and pepper) to keep it interesting (rosemary/lemon and garlic/za’atar are favourites - as is the Nando’s peri peri spice mix ). There’s a great za’atar chicken with chickpeas and garlic yoghurt recipe that is fantastic - on bbc food (Nigel Slater, I think).
Also mince is easy and versatile - eg chilli, spaghetti bol, stir fries, meatballs, burgers. I like to also use lamb instead of beef mince sometimes - lovely and tasty in a ragu with fresh pasta and some parmesan.
All of the above is easy to cook with relatively basic ingredients. Agree with previous poster that having an array of spices and herbs can make all the difference!
Agreed about herbs and storecupboard stuff- and I only recently worked out that fresh parsley, mint and coriander all freeze well, which has stopped me wasting a bunch when I buy it fresh and then only use a bit for a particular recipe. I buy frozen lime leaves and lemongrass in the Asian supermarket. Coconut block is way cheaper than tinned coconut milk and has no dodgy stuff added. And mustard seeds and cumin seeds dry fried make all the difference to dal and curries, or dry fried sesame seeds on Chinese or Japanese- style food.
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