I’m not a chef, this isn’t fine dining. I’m not a Gordon Ramsey – so this isn’t going to have swearing in it (unless you drop something on your toes), nor am I Nigella – although if you want to seductively suck your own fingers – that’s fine.
During the week I want to have food which appeals to my taste buds, fills me up and is fairly healthy. It also has to be quick to prepare and cheap enough for my budget. This weekend I did some batch cooking to fill the freezer and these are a couple of my basic staples. Each recipe gives 8 single ‘adult’ portions. So if you do both recipes side by side (as here) – it will make 16 adult size portions, which means each portion is 61.5p! I shopped at Tesco, you may be able to get better value items elsewhere.
So, if you’re like me, you don’t want to always stick to the recipes – you can substitute or leave stuff out and experiment, why not add in more veg - check out the reduced items – the more veggies you add in the healthier it is and it’s a cheap way to bulk the dishes out – there’s nothing wrong with having broccoli, sweetcorn or green beans in either dish.
Once made all you need to do is remember to take one out of the freezer in the morning!
Basic Food Fillers
Chilli £4.98 Spag Bol £4.87
Will cost more if you do not have some of the ‘Cupboard’ items.
From the Cupboard:
2 x large pans
Plastic food containers or medium/large freezer bags
2 x beef stock cubes and or teaspoon of Marmite
2 large onions £0.80
1 x 750g lean Mince £4.00
Fresh Basil £0.80 (optional)
Garlic 1 bulb £0.35
Peppers £1.50 (I used 3 peppers – green, yellow and red)
4 x Tin tomatoes @ £0.31 each £1.24
1 x kidney beans £0.21
1 x Tin tomato puree £0.35
- Making both dishes at the same time.
- Take both large pans and place on hob, add a glug of vegetable oil into each pan.
- Dice both the large onions
- Chop or crush the garlic (use as much or as little as your taste buds like)
- Divide between the two pans, fry until onions soft.
- Divide the 750g mince between the two pans and fry until brown.
- Dice the peppers and add to the chilli pan
- Dice the mushrooms and add to the spag bol pan
- Add whatever other veggies (diced) you wish to the mixes.
- Add the kidney beans to the chilli mix
- Add 2 tins of tomatoes to each mix.
- Divide the tomato puree tin between the two mixes.
- Crumble in a stock cube to each mix (or stir in half a tea spoon of marmite) or both
- Sprinkle in chilli powder to your chilli mix (however much to suit your palate) you can always add fresh or dried chillies if you have them.
- Sprinkle in dried basil and oregano to your spag bol (I added fresh basil and had some fresh oregano growing in the garden – but this is purely optional) I also stirred in a teaspoon of pesto – but again – this is optional.
- Season to taste and add water to get the consistency you require.
- Simmer on the hob until sauce thickens and veggies are cooked through.
- Leave the mixtures to cool and then divide into your containers/freezer bags. I use a large ladle to measure portions, but whatever suits you. I did use a permanent marker to mark the chilli with a ‘C’ on the lid, just so you can tell the difference through the frost, then bung in freezer.
- You can serve the chilli with rice, with pitta bread or scrub some potatoes and cut into wedges and bake or have just as baked potatoes, or serve just by itself.
- Serve the Spag Bol with any type of pasta.
Written by WhiteRose