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Push It, Stretch It

This is a long and rambling post about food, it may not make sense and even if it does it will probably be dull. 


As the weather has been a bit cooler recently I've taken the opportunity to dive into some comfort food and eat some of the things I've been missing. Plus there were things to use up. This was supposed to be a one week plan and I was going to go shopping yesterday* but after the splurge on Saturday I thought I should try a bit harder. 

What the menu plan was supposed to be

T hash
W hash
T butterbean bake
F orzotto
S orzotto stuffed peppers
S soup and sandwich

The reality

T hash
W jacket potatoes and baked beans (we really like hash and ate it at once)
T orzotto 
F l/o orzotto
S spicy noodles w. avocado rolls
S soup and sandwich and chips and fizzy vimto and crying

I used the ready to eat spelt I bought from the cheapo shop the other week to make orzotto - spelt, quinoa, green lentils, miso (anyone filled in their vegan bingo card yet?), carrots, onions, mushrooms and peas. Delicious. We were supposed to be having the leftovers stuffed into some peppers, but I realised that if I just served with with something on the side the peppers could help us stretch the food budget a bit further, so that's what happened. 

Sunday was a trip to the football (kick off 4.30) so soup and sandwiches were the order of the day. Dan treated himself to some of the new "Gary" from Sainsbury's, Wensleydale style with cranberries. It stinks, just like cheese *yuck*. 

Yesterday, the other pepper, some mushrooms from a never ending bag and onions went into a massive bean chilli, enough for two days - and not enough for two days in a hash sense. In fact I separated some of the veg and lentils to make a pasta sauce, and there were still three good servings of chilli as I found some black eyed beans and passata in the freezer so chucked them in too. 

The plan for this week has changed already after a rejiggle of the fridge and pantry, this is what I found today.


So crumble is back on, for this evening. 

Original plan 

M chilli
T chilli
W fava bean stew
whatever's left one pot
all the exciting things you eat when you've been shopping

Reality 

M chilli
T veg and bean crumble with v-pud and a huge pile of mash
W bol
T chilli and potato skins
F fava bean stew
S black beans in jerk sauce
S l/o black beans in jerk sauce

The spare chilli has gone into the freezer. The jerk sauce is the only jarred sauce I buy, it's fairly expensive I think but I love it as an occasional treat, I'll stretch it with a carton of black beans and the last bit of frozen veg - squash and courgettes. Then it really will be time for a full shopping trip, amazing how far things will stretch when the mind is focused. 

*I did go shopping yesterday but only for things I don't buy from the supermarket like nuts, dried fruit and bird food.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Pleased to discover yours. Interested to know what you use the V Pud for. We get it sometimes and tend to just have it with a fried breakfast although we did once have it crumbled into a risotto which worked well.

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    1. Hello, thanks for coming over! Fry up and risotto are our two favourite ways of eating v-pud, it is also becoming a very popular toastie filling too!

      At this time of year I top casseroles with it quite a lot, just a thinnish layer on top works nicely, especially anything with lots of paprika, oh and stuffed mushrooms are very nice too.

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  2. You never cease to amaze, you certainly are good with the food. You put me to shame.

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    1. Thank you. I'm not a massive fan of cooking, but I do enjoy this aspect of it, finding a dish from not all that much.

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  3. Made sense to me and not too dull. I don't menu plan - it's more exciting just opening the fridge or cupboard, seeing what you've got and then making the meal up from there. If I know I am going to run out of something it goes on the shopping list. Once I've got a good list then I shop and not until. Sorry you had to cry.
    xx

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    1. I would love to be able to do that, but there would be many days where there would be no food at all! The plan means I don't have to think about it which is a huge relief to me!

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  4. I really should try to meal plan more. I have a rough idea but should really do a proper plan. Very versatile with your ingredients. I envy anyone that can just make something just like that :)

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    1. Hi, thanks for commenting. Using it up is the one aspect of cooking I enjoy, it's just a little game I like to play with myself. Menu planning isn't for everyone but it really helps me, if I make all the decisions at once I don't have to make 30 decisions throughout the month.

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  5. I love your comment about not "enough for two days" in a hash sense. I've made spag bol "enough for two days" and got up from the table to fetch something to come back and find it's as good as gone! Now if I want it to last, I grab what I need straight away and hide it! But hash is irresistible isn't it? Thanks for calling at my cottage!

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    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Has is irresistible, glad there's someone else out there that understands!

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  6. Good for you, I think you're doing really well. I'm at the point lately where I'm planning two weeks' meals in advance, which is the best I've ever done. It doesn't always work out exactly as planned, but that's okay. I wasn't paying such close attention for a few years, since I'd had my children, and I realized I could do a lot better. I feel better about all of it now, my spending especially!

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    1. Thank you. It really does help with the budget doesn't it. I don't always stick to the plan like you, but having the plan means I have something to work with. If I really don't want x one day I can look at the ingredients and use them to make y instead.

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  7. Not being a vegan and not particularly well informed, I had to look up the Gary reference. It made me smile because it reminded me of the horrendous vegan lasagne I once made, with a replicate Béchamel sauce and cheese topping. I decided then that if I ever would be vegan, I would not try to duplicate typical omnivore foods like cheese or sausages. There's plenty of tasty foods to experiment with. I like your menu, particularly the orzotto. Happy shopping, when the day comes.

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    1. I did include a Gary link (I think) but I probably need to make them stand out more in the text.

      Normally I wouldn't be so entertained by the Gary joke but Sainsbury's have really run with it, if you type "gary" into the search box on their shopping site it brings up all the "cheeses", I applaud whoever it was in the company who decided to go with that idea.

      I didn't like cheese before so I don't eat things like that now, we occasionally have meat substitutes but we both prefer beans and lentils and things. I can totally understand your lasagne experience!

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  8. We just often eat a plate of random ingredients for dinner. Just veg or something. Dinner tonight was tomatoes, left over old Pesto, tagliatelli, reduced pak choi and reduced avocado!x

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    1. I love it when we do that, we often end up with the odd falafel or blob of houmous alongside something it wouldn't generally be seen with!

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  9. I laughed out loud at the vegan bingo card! I'm always full f good intentions meal planning wise - then it goes out of the window!

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    1. :)

      The menu plan here is very much a guide rather than a sure thing!

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