Thursday, 3 April 2014

Budget Cooking

The danger with not planning and just in time shopping is the potential for budget blowing. The fact I'm concerned about this three days in is a big deal. I spent a lot of cash on Tuesday, mainly on nuts, seeds and dried fruit, but after I'd been at the charity shop I went to M&S to get something for tea...

It was delicious but it was also quite expensive, thankfully there are lots of bits and bobs left over for the rest of the week. So last night I went very budget and I think it was possibly just as nice in a very different way. I made lentil hotpot. It appeals to me as it's no fuss, it's a one pot and once it's in that pot you can sit down for an hour!

It was just - 

1/3 cup or thereabouts green lentils
1/2 a big onion, thinly sliced
3 sliced potatoes (I used a mixture of celeriac and spuds)
some stock
additional herbs
splash of soy sauce or your favourite gluten free alternative

Layer the spuds, lentils and onions up, pour the stock over, stick in the oven for an hour. Eat.

I don't know how much that cost to make but not very much. I bought some wraps last night so lots of the left over veg from Tuesday will be cooked and shoved into them, another cheapy. I roasted the rest of the celeriac, a leek and the rest of the onion from the hotpot last night and we'll have a quinoa one pot on Friday. If I don't use all the spinach tonight I'll shove some of that in too. There are three potatoes on the bring at the bottom of the sack so they will feature at the weekend in some way. We're going to wonderful Halifax to watch Widnes on Sunday so it will be soup and sandwich on our return. 

See, I can't help but plan!

For those of you who were wondering how Widnes were getting on, and I'm sure you're all out there. It's not going too badly. We lost heavily away to Leeds a few weeks ago, worst of all Joe Mellor dislocated his shoulder so will be out for a while. Due to this injury Tom Gilmore was able to step up when we played Hull FC the following week. Dan and I had the usual conversation about whether we should go or not, in the end we didn't despite loving that city. In terrible conditions Widnes ground out the win, 0-7 with Gilmore dropping a goal to put us more than one score ahead. 

Sunday just gone saw Widnes at home to struggling Bradford Bulls. Widnes saw the game out 22-18 which makes it sound closer than it really should have been. Chris Dean was sin binned for Widnes and Bradford went in for two tries in the time he was off the field. Both sides showed some really good flashes but also some poor decision making. Having said that, it's the kind of game we might have thrown away in previous seasons, so a win is a win! We're currently 4th in the table, but it's still very early days, whether we'll be able to sustain the good start and make the top 8 for the playoffs I don't know, it will be fun finding out!


  1. My dad and sister were Hull FC fans and often went to watch them. I on the other hand had to be awkward and preferred Hull KR and he would take me to see them too sometimes. It's nice to hear that you like the city where I grew up. We still get back there quite a lot and love to mooch around familiar places.

    1. Ha! That was a bold move, I've heard about those "divided families". When Dan was doing his Masters he interviewed people who had moved into the tower blocks and about how it had changed their family and community. One lady said, "one of my sons grew up and moved to East Hull so..." and just let the sentence trail off!

      People find it easy to knock Hull, mainly if they've never visited. I love it, but then again, I grew up next to a river estuary so I enjoy the similarities.

    2. I agree with what you say about people knocking the city. It has some lovely galleries and museums though and lacks any pretentions, if you know what I mean. I think it can be a little isolated geographically, as it is on the end of a motorway with little through traffic, but that could also be argued to be a strength in many ways. Funny how there's often an east/west divide in cities. When I came to London, I immediately felt more at home in the east end and have lived here for over 15 years now, although it is gradually becoming a different place as it becomes increasingly gentrified. East enders seemed to me to be similar to Hull people. Grounded unpretentious no-nonsense types. I found it very reassuring.

    3. The "end of the world" feeling I get when we get onto Clive Sullivan way is one of my favourite things about visiting.

      I know what you mean about no pretentions. There is a pride in the city without having to bang on about how great it is constantly, unlike some places.

      Dan went to a Creative People and Places thing the other week to find out about their prep for City of Culture which sounded interesting.

  2. The Lentil Hot Pot sounds quick and easy - I have made a note of the recipe. Fruit and nuts are expensive - I have just bought some fruit to make another fruit cake - I had to buy at full price too as no offers and I want to use up some eggs so couldn't wait.

    1. Let me know how you get on if you ever make the hot pot. We had it for lunch at Tate Liverpool last time so I had to fond a recipe of my own!

      I grin and bear it whenever I pay for nuts but it's a good job they're delicious as well as healthy.