Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Frugal food - Charity Challenge day 4

I've had to plan meals down to the last grain of rice so I can stretch the food bought with my £12 budget across the week. I don't really mind the planning bit, and it's less daunting than last time, because things like making bread don't phase me as much as they used to. I make it regularly now, thanks to the very lovely, talented Recipe Junkie and her tutorials on growing and using a sourdough starter. I wasn't totally sure what a starter was to be honest; now I have a jar of bubbly, yeasty goo sitting on my window sill, constantly reminding me to make bread.

sourdough starter

So, this week breakfast is bread or toast, and lunch for me is some kind of orange soup (lentil/carrot or to spice things up carrot and lentil..)  I have packed lunches to make too: my fussy one has them all week - the others have a mixture of packed lunches and pre-paid school dinners. I'm giving them ham and cream cheese sandwiches, a muffin, 2 cream crackers with marg, and a carrot.
They are going to be sick of the sight of carrots by friday.

So the family meals work out like this:

Saturday      Lunch: Lentil soup and bread
                       Tea: Homemade ham and mozzarella pizza and garlic pizza
                       (sauce: one tin chopped tomatoes, half the passata, onion, tsp sugar, seasoning)

Sunday         Lunch: Tomato, mozzarella and ham pasta
                       (leftover cheese and sauce from pizzas + chopped up ham)
                       Tea: Roast chicken, potatoes and carrots

Monday         Spanish style frittata
                       (chopped and fried up potatoes from day before, half an onion, a little ham, 4 beaten eggs + cheeky handful of peas from freezer for a splash of colour..other than orange..)

Tuesday        Savoury chicken rice
                       (leftover chicken pieces, half a leek, half an onion, carrot, stock)
Wednesday   Tomato and ham pasta
                       (another batch of tomato sauce made with spare tin and rest of the passata - save about half for friday pizzas. Maybe add a dollop of cream cheese to pasta sauce)

Thursday       Leek and carrot soup with cider bread 
                        (Cider bread is really worth a go - so quick, easy and delicious. I'm using some cider I keep in the fridge for this recipe - but no cheese or butter)
Friday            Ham pizza and garlic pizza

I bulk out the meals with bread, and after-school snacks and puddings are muffins. Peach, carrot or banana on offer this week. Squirrel is having break.

Snackless squirrel

The homemade pizzas on saturday night were a great success

375g of flour made dough for 4 bases (2 tomato, 2 garlic)

We even had enough to feed a hanger-on; and apart from one slightly tense moment as I watched my son's friend carefully pick all the precious pieces of ham off his pizza, everyone was happy!

Sunday roast is always a winner - and there's enough chicken left for savoury rice tonight, plus a big bowl of fresh stock. I cut the potatoes up really small for the frittata yesterday, but they were spotted by my fussy potato avoider.
spanish style frittata
Still, he did eat it. Very slowly. Every single thing has to be eaten up this week!

No one's going hungry, that's for sure, and I keep reminding them we're doing it for Comic Relief - but think the novelty might be wearing a little thin..

You can find out more about our Charity Challenge here


  1. This is genius. Well done you. Lentil curry is a good one but maybe your boys aren't keen on curry.

    1. they don't mind a mild curry, but I've one who doesn't like lentils if he can see them! So annoying! Thanks Loo

  2. This is brilliant, you know. I keepo thinking I should do something like this - if nothing else to try and drum a little gratitude for all that we have. You make it sound pretty tasty too, and I'm very pleased teh bread is working out - thanks for the mention!

    1. :-) honestly I'd have a battle on my hands without the homemade bread!

  3. Fritta and soup both look brilliant. Copped out here and hit the local cafe for a Big Breakfast. But we are off to buy vegetables for soup mix tomorrow. Yesterday OH did enter into the spirit and made up a brussel sprout, pea and curry soup using left overs (unlike your beautiful blog we lacked the visuals) but the taste was actually quite good!

    1. leftovers soup is great, always much better than you think it's going to be and so satisfying using stuff up - like the sound of the Big Breakfast though, could do with one of those!

  4. Really impressive, good work!

    I'm inspired to give this a try next week, thank-you.

  5. the pizza looks brilliant,well done to all of you xx