Saturday, 23 June 2018

Saturday, 23-06-18

Good morning.
The sun is shining and there's a gentle breeze moving the branches.  It's very lovely!
Yesterday's meals were also very lovely.  I posted about lunch and I cooked the fish for dinner by simply spraying the smoked basa with a little oil and adding some lemon juice before wrapping and baking.  So tasty!

Today's meal plans:
B:  strawberry overnight oats
L:  chicken tikka, salad
D:  peach and chickpeas curry - a Jack Monroe recipe:
      then maybe home made banana ice cream as I have a bag of frozen banana that ought to be used up or watermelon slices
S:  apples x 2
E:  allotment

From the freezer
Maybe fruit for breakfast, if the fresh strawberries don't play
Chicken for the tikka
Chickpeas for the curry

The frugal factor:
The muesli cost me nothing and I might have a few strawberries left,I haven't looked yet.
Jack says the curry costs 22p.  It may be more now but it is undoubtedly good value.  I may or may not cook some rice to go with it but rice isn't going to up the cost much.
The chicken for the tikka is the most expensive but I still have a bit of not-kind chicken to use up so I will use that, given that it has to be used or chucked and I'm not doing the latter.  I'm using some tinned tikka mix that I found at the back of a cupboard.  It still smells fine so should be OK.
The bananas were from a bag of over-ripe bananas on YS, bought a while ago that I peeled and froze.  I shall zizz them with some lemon juice, a bit of natural yogurt and, if needed, some sweetener (but I doubt that last will be required).

Friday, 22 June 2018

This was gorgeous

 . . . so good that I can't wait until tomorrow morning to talk about it.

I used the last beanburger that I made here . . .
. . . and I MUST make some more, just because mmmmmmmmm

The salad is just leaves, cucumber and tomato (and they're improving in flavour now the season is almost here), the coleslaw is cabbage, carrot, a few dried cranberries and a bit of lighter than light mayo and the chutney is an apple and cranberry chutney I made years ago which just keeps improving in flavour the older it gets.

The burger is out of shape because it is soft and when I put it on the plate, it bent to the shape.  :-)

Lovely lunch and filling too.

Recipe: strawberry overnight oats

This is lovely at the moment as I'm able to use the garden strawberries and the foam from the strawberry jam I made, but it can be adapted.

30g oats
60g milk
60g natural yogurt
1 tsp jam foam (or use jam itself)

Pop all these into a container the evening before, mix well, cover and pop in the fridge overnight.

fresh strawberries
another dollop of natural yogurt

The next morning, spoon out the thickened oats, add the fruit and yogurt and enjoy.

Once the strawberries are over, I shall use sweetener and other fruit, maybe frozen fruit or what's available and reasonably priced in the shop.
Grated apple and cinnamon might be nice!

Friday, 22-06-18

Good morning!

For a few months each year my two main pensions land in my account at roughly the same time which feels jolly nice, even though I know perfectly well that  it actually makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the ongoing finances.  I've always organised it so that each month's money was paid in the month before, just like my end of month salary used to be, so when it is paid in doesn't matter as it's used the following month anyway.  :-)

Today's food plans
B:  strawberry overnight oats (this was so delicious yesterday morning that I'm having it again today)
L:  chickpea burger, coleslaw, salad
D:  foil baked fish (probably a bit of smoked basa I have in the freezer), SW chips, salad; the last lot of watermelon (might get some more, it was lovely)
S:  apples x 2
E:  hopefully, allotment work today.

From the freezer
I think there will be enough strawberries left in the garden but, if not, I have some frozen ones which I will use.
the chickpea burger
the piece of fish

The frugal factor
breakfast almost always is pretty frugal and this one is no exception
the chickpea burger is home made, as is the coleslaw
basa is an economical fish
So, all in all, pretty good value.

I continue to eat as much home made/cooked food as I possibly can, appreciating that now I am retired, I have the time and energy.  Most of my meals don't take long to make but they do require effort and after a day's hard work with an evening of marking, assessment and planning ahead of me, that used to be the last straw.
I know I have earned my retirement but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate its benefits - I definitely do; every single day I'm thankful for it.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Thursday, 21-06-18

Good morning.

The strawberry jam went well, it set with no trouble and now I not only have nine pots of deliciousness, I also have a container of 'foam' - the 'scum' that needs to be spooned off and which I refuse to throw away because it tastes so good and to discard it would be such a waste!  Foam goes so well with yogurt or in porridge or rice pudding, etc.

When I made the fruity couscous for the salmon meal yesterday, rather than make just one portion of couscous, I used up the rest of the bag (which was half of what the recipe required).  Even so, I got seven of my portions out of it, six of which are now in the freezer, which showed me how large the portions actually are if you follow the recipe (which is supposed to be for six). 
Not only is this a keeper as far as salmon is concerned, I think it will be nice with cooked chicken added or tuna or . . . well, lots of things really.

Today's plans
B:  overnight oats with strawberry foam and garden strawberries
L:  tuna pate with carrot and celery batons
D:  tuna pitta pizza, salad; watermelon
S:  apples x 2
E:  swimming and aqua

From the freezer
one pitta bread
20g finely grated cheddar

The frugal factor
Most of it really
The oats will be oats (obviously), milk, some home made yogurt, the foam that would otherwise be thrown out and a few garden strawberries  I will use 30g oats which is what I use when I make porridge.
The tuna was a special offer and I shall only use one tin for the whole day.
The pitta was YS and the cheese was on special

I'm working hard to get my portions under control after the holiday for both health and frugal reasons.  Tuesday was hard work, yesterday was a bit easier so fingers crossed for today!  I do wish I wasn't such an emotional eater at times.  How do you manage it?

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Wednesday, 20-06-18

Good morning.
Food went really well yesterday.  I did what Sooze suggested for lunch and had the child's jacket potato half, no butter, with tuna and mayo and it was a perfect portion.  Really delicious.  In the evening, I swapped the yogurt for some watermelon, delicious water melon and it was so refreshing after a hot, humid day.

Today's plans:
B:  muesli (30g), splash of milk, a few strawberries, natural yogurt (60mls)
L:  cheg (2 eggs, 20g grated cheese, bit of mayo), side salad
D:  salmon couscous parcel, salad; water melon
S:  apples x 2

From the freezer:
grated cheese for the cheg
piece of salmon

The frugal factor:
the muesli is gifted (thanks, Dad!)
the strawberries are garden picked (just the muesli berries, not the berries for the jam - see below)
the cheese was on special
eggs are great for both frugality and healthy eating
salmon isn't frugal but it IS nutritious and works with the healthy plan while the rest of the adapted menu is good value
I've not mentioned it before but the apples are from a big bag of smaller apples that came to around 12p per apple - so pretty good!

I came home from the PYO farm yesterday with some lovely strawberries and first thing today it is strawberry jam making.  It makes the house smell absolutely wonderful.  I was going to have an early morning swim but the jam comes first!

The garden strawberries are coming to an end so now I'm really looking forward to the tomato picking months.  I love picking my breakfast and half an hour later it's being eaten!  Quite apart from the deliciousness, it makes me feel so good.  Sun ripened and warmed tomatoes are wonderful.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tuesday, 19-06-218

Good morning!
Well, I took a deep breath, exhaled again (no extras inside me for this) and stepped on the scales . . . and . . . spit, spit, spit!  Eight pounds on!  Hopefully, some of that will disappear pretty quickly and anyway, any other option is not acceptable so it's onward and downward as I jump back on the wagon!
(It was a lovely holiday so no real regrets)

Today's plans, interrupted by strawberry picking and lunch out with a friend - unfortunate timing but Real Life goes on.
B:  muesli, strawberries, natural yogurt and a splash of milk.
L:  no idea . . . I've looked at the lunch menu and none of it is frugal or particularly healthy but that's just tough.  Here's a link to it - what do you think?
D:  Beth and Alex are round for dinner so I shall get some savoury mince out of the freezer for me and Alex and some bean mix for Beth.  That. with new potatoes and runner beans, should make a good first course without too much hassle   If I do dessert, it will be strawberries and yogurt or maybe fresh fruit yogurt ice (zizzed frozen fruit with natural yogurt and a bit of sweetener).  It all depends how many strawberries I pick
S:  apple

From the freezer.
Several portions of savoury mince (Alex will manage two portions!) and one of bean mix.
Two bags runner beans
Perhaps some frozen fruit

The frugal factor
Taking the lunch out of the equation (and I will try to be good), it's not such a bad day.
The muesli is gifted and the yogurt home made while the strawberries are from the garden
The savoury mince and the bean mix are both leftovers from the last family meal I gave and are both bulked out with lentils, oats and veg, the potatoes really do need using up and the runner beans are from last year's crop.  The dessert will be more expensive but nice!

I shall be making strawberry jam with the berries tomorrow.  Naughty but lovely and makes great gifts.