Friday, 28 February 2014

How I decide what's for tea...

Hi everyone, I hope you're all well.

I thought I'd share with you how I decide what to cook for tea.

I have tried proper meal planning, looking through my recipes and writing a shopping list. This doesn't actually work for me because I often change my mind! I have actually found a way that suits us better now...

As I use something up, I write it on my shopping list that I keep on the fridge. When I'm actually shopping, I look out for bargains...reduced items, roll back items and offers on things that I can make a meal out of. I particularly look at the meat for a base for our meals. When I'm unpacking the shopping, I split meat into smaller portions and freeze it. 

Each day I look at my fresh foods that need using up first. I will get the meat out of the freezer that night to thaw for the next day. This way I make sure I don't have any waste. My lovely hubby works very hard and we still spend quite a lot on buying good quality food, so I owe it to him to not throw any away. 

Sometimes we just have leftovers. On Monday there was plenty of cold pork and roasties and veg leftover from our Sunday roast, so I did cold pork and bubble 'n' squeak. I used up what we had and had an easy day of cooking!

Yesterday a made a chicken doesn't have a name...I made it up as I went along! I knew I needed to use up some peppers and we fancied chicken. I looked through my recipe books for inspiration, but decided to cook a 'throw it all in' kind of meal...

First I browned the chicken with a chopped onion and red and green peppers.

I then added some frozen mixed veg and a can of sweet corn. This kept on cooking while I made a sauce...

Now this sauce is a bit of trial and error. I started off with a carton of passata, I added a little soy sauce (too salty for Daisy) and 2tbsp runny honey. I stirred in 2tbsp soft brown sugar too. I always add sugar to passata as it is quite bitter without. Then it just needs adjusting to taste...I added a little more honey and gradually added it to the chicken and veg. 

I continued to simmer until the chicken was cooked and cooked some rice. 

This was the finished product! It was nice...although I chose to add a little more soy sauce at the table.

Does anyone else eat 'throw it all in' meals???

Hopefully I'll be back soon!

Mandy x


  1. Over the past couple of week this is how I started working towards my meal planning and it was a success. Full tums with leftovers all used up!

    I hate meal planning with a passion and yet to find something that works for me... I like the security of knowing what we plan to eat, then changing it if we want to, but I don't like how long it takes me to plan for the week ahead. The Mister works a 5-wk shift pattern and I'd like to get to the point of having a loosely structured 5-wk meal plan to work with that, but there again, I've been saying that for 4 years now! :) Sx

    1. Hi Sara
      I've been over to your blog and voted for you xxx

  2. I call these "fridge bottom dinners" I make them at least once a week. If I have small bits of leftovers I wrap them in film and freeze them with a sticky label, I would never remember what it was, then if the fridge is looking bare I haul out all the bits and make something. All my raw veg gets chopped in the processor and frozen as "veg hash" this makes an ideal start to most dishes that start with, Take an onion and finely chop. A marvelous way of stretching meat and getting extra veg into a meal, great for meatballs and meat loaf, chilli and pasta sauces.. I am reading backwards through your blog. Pam x