Friday, 11 May 2012

Cheap and Cheerful Recipes: Pancake lasagne and my meat suce

Having been a long time poster on the MoneySavingExpert Old Style forum  I remembered one lady who fed her family of 4 on £100 a month.  Her "name" is weezl and she left off her epic thread posting to set up her own blog and website dedicated to sharing some of her recipes and plans.  Sadly these seem to have fallen by the wayside during the last year but since starting this challenge I re-visited to see if there is anything that I could use.  Then last night I discovered that some child, who shall remain nameless, had emptied (as in eaten) the whole box of raw lasagne that I was planning to use for tea tonight.  Luckily weezl provided the answer as one of her recipes was for a lasagne made with pancakes instead of pasta.

Here is her brilliant (veggie) recipe priced last year at just 18p a portion. Wow.

Unfortunately whilst I think I can swing pancakes rather than pasta with my fussy hoards this time I think red lentils will need to to crept up on.....Even with the substitutions its still pretty cheap and will freeze just the same.

My meat sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, grated
1 courgette, peeled and grated (no tell-tale green bits for the kids to see!)
1 carton of passatta - plus rinse out the carton
250g minced beef
2 tbsp porridge oats
1 tsp marmite OR a stock cube
Soften the veggies in a little oil before adding the meat.  Stir to break up any lumps (no free-form meatballs allowed!) this will allow thinner layers when you assemble the dish.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.  Use this sauce for lasagne (made like the recipe linked to above) or with pasta shapes, rice, couscous or baked potato.  This can also be frozen.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cheap and Cheerful Recipes - Sausage Casserole

Since my last post life has rather dumped a load onto us that has meant that we are struggling to stay afloat at all rather than saving money for the challenge.  A new boiler, hole in the roof to be repaired, £1,500 MOT bill for one car and another car which has had to be replaced after a whole month in the garage have all meant that we have not had any spare pennies at all and maybe won't for a while!  Of course this hasn't meant that we aren't doing everything we can to save money; just that it has had a different destination.
Whilst looking online for inspiration I found this site Good to know - money saving.  It has lots of articles including a weekly "7 Dinners for under £1 a head" post which uses a named supermarket and the my supermarket website for its prices.  Duly motivated I hit the freezer and came up with something different than we normally have for tea tonight.

Sausage Casserole (serves 4)
1 pack of sausages
1 onion
2 peppers
1 carton passata (if you don't have passata use a regular 14 oz can tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree but this will actually cost you more...)
1 kg new potatoes
Chop the new potatoes into chunks and place in the casserole dish.
In a frying pan brown the sausages, onion and peppers.  Add to the casserole dish.
Pour over the passata and rinse out the carton with water and add this to the casserole dish too- the contents of the casserole dish should be just covered.
Bung in the oven at Gas Mark 5/ 375 F/ 180 C for about 1 hour whilst you do something more interesting with your life!
When the potatoes are soft when prodded with a knife it is ready to serve.  OH had his with chunky bread and butter on the side.
N.B. had I been more organised (wouldn't that be dangerous!) I could have cooked the whole thing in our slow cooker. If you want this to feed more people pad out with more root veggies and serve with garlic bread.

Savings: nothing to add and no-one wants to see a minus figure right :)  Still fighting though!