August272013
May102013

Pleonectic Tips: making in bulk

Making food in bulk to freeze or to eat as leftovers is an obvious thrift of money and time. But you have to be clever to make it work.
- Bulking things out with additional veg rather than meat is the most economical way to up the portions of a dish.
- Buy seasonal veg in large quantities to get the best deal
- Compare the price per kilo/lb for various packages so you know the best deal, but bear in mind that the initial price has to be affordable; you don’t want your only groceries for the week to be a rapidly going bad 3-kilo bag of carrots.
- Freeze in portion sizes. No-brainer really.
- Check out the reduced sections of the supermarket for veg/meat to cook that day (once it’s cooked, it’ll keep much longer, and even longer in the freezer)

This is great for mid-week meals after work or school so that you don’t have to cook when you’re tired, or when you’re sick.

7AM

eddplant:

kayleyhyde:

geekerrific:

You’ll like this one, tumblr—21 vegan meals (and 14 snacks!) for just $40.

this video actually blew my mind. 

I am living my life this way from now on.

Though in my experience, vegetables - even just four types per week - cost a lot more in London than stated in the video.

This is relevant to our interests!

(via eddplant-deactivated20130821)

March12013

Fiery chicken satay with spicy special rice

A filling and easy satay and rice dish.This is moderately spicy, due to the curry paste; if you like it very spicy, add a little chili powder to the sauce. It only takes about a half an hour to make, including marinating time, but despite its simplicity should impress dinner guests if you double or triple it up.

Ingredients for one.

For the satay

  • 1 chicken thigh, £0.25 (From a pack of six, on offer for 1.50)
  • 1 tsp thai green curry paste*
  • A dash of each: soy sauce, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger.*
  • A minced clove of garlic, or a spoonful of pickled garlic*
  • A small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely

For the peanut sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce*
  • A dash of wine vinegar (I used red, but white or chinese rice would be better)*
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (~10p)
  • A pinch of sugar, if it’s very sour*

For the rice

  • 1/2 a cup of rice (~4p)
  • 1/2 a pepper, chopped (40p)
  • A few dried shrimp (already had; maybe 10p?)
  • 4 frozen prawns (~60p)
  • a dried chilli (27p)
  • A dash of each: soy sauce, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger.*
  • ~5 whole cloves*
  • a small handful of frozen peas (~5p)

Total cost per portion: Around £1.80

First, take your chicken thigh and cut the meat off the bone. Chop it into bite-size pieces; freeze the bones for stock or discard them.

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Put the chicken in a bowl with the marinade ingredients, and put it in the fridge while you prepare everything else. Chop the half pepper.

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Put the rice ingredients in a saucepan, and pour over 2 cups of water from the kettle.

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Put the lid on, and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum and allow to steam for about 10 mins, or until all the water has evaporated.

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While the rice is cooking, chop the ginger and garlic, and mix in the soy and vinegar. Add the peanut butter and add a little hot water from the kettle to melt it into a sauce.

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Heat a pan with a little oil or fat. Cook the chicken over a moderate/high heat for 3-5 mins each side. Add a little peanut sauce on the second side and flip over, turning the heat off and allowing to sear on the pan for 30s.

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Serve the chicken with the rice, dizzled in the sauce. Enjoy!

1PM

Aloo Gobi: quick, Indian-style supper

I like to knock this up when I have tomatoes to use up. If you have some lentils, you could make a quick dahl curry to have with it, and bulk it out with rice if you want a lot of carbs.

This recipe guest-stars Boyfriend’s flat.

Ingredients (for 2 as a main, or 3 as a side)

  • 1 onion, 16p
  • 2 cloves garlic, 6p
  • 5 or 6 tomatoes, 60p
  • 8 medium potatoes, 35p
  • 1/2 cauliflower, 40p
  • Garam marsala, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar
  • Fresh coriander (optional)

Method

Chop your onion into wedges, and then in half lengthways. Crush and chop the garlic. Sauté them in a pan on a low heat.

Cut the potatoes into 1/8s, and the cauliflower into bitesize chunks. Parboil for 5 minutes until cooked but firm. Drain.

Add the garam marsala to the onion and garlic. Be heavy-handed, as you will have a lot of potatoes to coat. Add the tomatoes, cut into 1/6s, and allow to cook down a little, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to fall apart a bit.

Add the potatoes to the pan, and stir to coat. Cook a little longer, adding more garam marsala if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sugar if the tomatoes are very tart, and serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Pro tip: Offer to cook this for supper when your significant other is making dessert. Look what I gained out of this arrangement:

Chalk that up as a win for the Pleonectic.

9AM

Lentil Bake: endless leftovers

This is one of the few things I make regularly that is vegetarian (or almost vegetarian: I often stick bacon in it, as in this case). As the title suggests, it’s easy and cheap to make a large batch, so you can feed a large group, or eat for days. You can also put whatever veg you like in it. A sweet potato does very nicely in the topping, and broccoli is delicious in the filling. Find what’s cheap, and seasonable, and stick it in.

Ingredients (Probably a good 5-6 portions)

  • 1 onion, 16p

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February262013

Using up the leftover soup

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I know, I know, my tendency is, when confronted with leftover ‘something soup-y’, just to add rice and call it a congee (which it demonstrably is not). But seriously, this will make the most delicious coconut rice, and makes a nice change from endless days of soup.

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February252013

Thai-esque coconut soup with pork meatballs

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This delicious soup in its initial form combined two of my favourite Nigel Slater recipes; but it longer resembles them very much. It is, in its usual incarnation, a noodle soup, wherein I plonk a nest of rice noodles into the broth in the last 5 minutes or so, but my supermarket doesn’t sell them and I didn’t make it up to the Chinese supermarket this week. Sweet potato vermicelli are another fantastic gluten-free noodle option, by the way, and have arguable more nutritional content than rice noodles.

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4PM

Third Time’s The Charm: Meal Plan and Shopping List (Week 3)

Here’s what we’re making:

Monday:

Thai-esque coconut soup with meatballs

Tuesday:

Leftover soup “congee”

Wednesday:

Lentil Bake

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February222013

Sorry about the spate of posts quite clearly meant for my personal blog.

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