Monday, 19 January 2015

This Week's Menu

I meant to post this last night but time got away from me. 

I spent most of yesterday morning preparing food in advance, except a chicken which I cooked at dinner time, and I have most of the main meals for this week pre-cooked. Once again I mostly used stuff I had in stock.

Yesterday for the first time I cooked a roast chicken using my halogen oven's spit-roast feature, and it came out amazingly well, moist and cooked through with all the fat having dripped into the bottom of the cooker. I had already used the halogen to pre-cook the stuffing balls, roast parsnips and potatoes, and the peas, carrots and sprouts were done in the microwave.Yorkshire puds were cooked at the last minute while the chicken was resting.

Sausagemeat stuffing
 Stuffing rolled in flour
Cooked stuffing  
 Plateful of loveliness

I had 2 whole chickens remaining in the freezer from when Morrisons had their £5 off a £10 spend on meat voucher in the newspaper a few months back. I bought 3 of their 3 for £10 chickens but only paid £5 plus 40p for the paper which made each bird just £1.80. I also had sausagemeat, parsnips, sprouts, peas and carrots in the freezer and spent just 49p on a pack of 15 yorkshire puds from Aldi. Stuffing mix from the cupboard courtesy of Approved Foods, and potatoes were yellow stickered from Morrisons last week.

I calculated the whole meal cost about £5 for 4 people, but of course the chicken will stretch a lot further. In fact, I have already made a slowcooker casserole for tonight's dinner with the chicken picked from the carcass, the leftover veg, a yellow-stickered casserole pack and some butter beans from the freezer, and a sachet of casserole mix from AF. With dumplings cooked on top it made a hearty meal for a freezing cold day. The meat from the two leftover chicken legs will make spicy chicken and rice with vegetables later in the week. 

In addition I also stretched the sausagemeat and stuffing mix. I had a 750g pack of Tesco value minced beef in the freezer, 500g of this was mixed with half the pack of sausagemeat and half the pack of stuffing mix to make a couple of meatloaves, one for the freezer, the other for later in the week. The remaining 250g of mince was used to make a bolognaise sauce in the slow cooker that we'll have with pasta tomorrow night. All this was cooked yesterday morning, so I have very little food prepartion to do this week.

 Meatloaf before and after

Slow cooker bolognaise sauce

This is how the menu looks at the moment starting with yesterday -

Sunday - Roast chicken with all the trimmings
Monday - Chicken casserole with dumplings
Tuesday - Pasta bolognaise
Wednesday - Spicy chicken, rice and veg
Thursday - Sandwich night (I might slow cook a small gammon joint from the freezer to serve with homemade bread and pickles)
Friday - Burns night, so Aldi Haggis (I bought 2, marked at £1.29 they went through the checkout at 99p each) with mashed potatoes and swede. The haggis can be cooked in the microwave in just a few minutes
Saturday - Meatloaf, new potatoes and veg

I might swap the chicken and rice and meatloaf nights around, not sure yet.

Away from talk of food, I had to stay in today waiting for the man to come service our boiler and finally decided on my next knitting project. I'd vowed to make one thing a month towards this year's Xmas pressies so I've decided on socks to start with. I have some more of the sparkly wool I used to make my hat. I have various colours, enough to make at least 4 pairs of the easiest design from that 2 needle sock pattern I bought last year. I've also adjusted it slightly to make the leg length a bit shorter, and from experience I now know they knit up quite big so I'm making the large child size for my daughters. I got one sock done and have made a start on the second so will post pictues as soon as the first pair is finished.


  1. Lots of mouth-watering food there Helen, it all sounds good and the roast chicken looks super. I have thought about a Halogen cooker but do not have the counter space for it to stay out or the cupboard space for one.

    1. I haven't used my regular range-style gas cooker and oven since getting my halogen. In fact I had a spare piece of worktop that I've put over the stove top burners and that's where I now keep my halogens and slow cookers. It's not fixed in place so can be removed if I ever do need to use the cooker.

  2. cant beat an out of date spud ..always makes me laugh when i see them

    1. I agree. Spuds can be stored for ages and ages so how can they be out of date? Not complaining though if I can get them at a reduced price.

  3. All looks tasty and warming ... I think we need a bit of good grub these perisingly cold days. its been so cold stood outside selling at the car boot .. the things we do ! I think i must be mad !

    Vicky x

    1. Rather you than me with the car boot, Vicky. And I quite agree about needing good, hot, filling food in this cold weather.