Find out how I feed my family on a shoestring budget.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

I'm back!

OK, I’m back. I’ve been away for a year and a half (busy finishing my thesis and having babies, well, a baby), but I’m ready to start blogging again.

So, lots of changes here. I got pregnant, lapsed into eating dairy again. My son was born, I returned to the fold of veganism, finally had my thesis approved (and so got the green light to restart my life) and most importantly for this blog, upped my food budget from £30 to £35 then £40 (prices have gone up and I’m trying to eat more organic food).

So there it is. My new purpose is to feed my family of four on £40 a week or less eating mainly vegan food (completely vegan for me, vegetarian for N and S and eventually E when he starts eating). I would like to add to that an aim to eat more foraged food. I had this as a New Year’s resolution, but pregnancy and aversion to eating vegetables (weird, I know) meant I had to delay my resolve. However, I plan to give foraging a go again this year. I also hope to grow a bit more at the allotment too. It was brilliant summer last year, but being hugely pregnant and extremely tired impeded my efforts, Hmm, we’ll see how practical this is with two small kiddiwinks!

So this week I spent £32.94 on food (but I’ll need to spend a little more when I top up with bread and fruit). I even managed to replenish my dried beans and seed stores. Fortunately, I didn’t have a big things to buy (like washing powder). I bought value range chopped tomatoes and soya milk instead of organic this week (in an effort to spend less following the excesses of Christmas), I’ve still got lots left from Christmas ( e.g. brussels on the brussel tree and cheese), stored apples and leeks in the garden.

This is our menu for this week:


Saturday – Cashew nut stir fry
Sunday – Vegetable cobbler (from the freezer)
Monday – Red lentil flan
Tuesday – Veggie burger and chips
Wednesday – Nut spag bol
Thurdsay – Shepherd’s pie (freezer)
Friday- - Bean and tomato casserole

Here’s the recipes for my stir fry and nut spag bol

Cashew nut stir fry
c. 125g of cashew nuts
Half a red pepper
Half a green pepper
2 sticks of celery
1 onion (sliced)
2 carrots (cut in battons)
6 brussel sprouts (sliced)
Rice or noodles
Tbsp of tomato puree
2 tbsp of vinegar
I cup of pineapple juice
3 tbsp of soya sauce
2 tbsp of cornflour

1.      Mix the vinegar, soya sauce, tomato puree and pineapple juice in a small saucepan.
2.      Use a little of the liquid to slacken the cornflour in a bowl.
3.      Add the cornflour to the saucepan, mix thoroughly and heat until thickened
4.      Toast the cashew nuts in a dry pan and set aside.
5.      Heat a little oil and stir fry the veggies (I’ve used the combination above, because that’s what I had but you could vary them).
6.      Boil the kettle and cook the noodles or rice.
7.      Add the sauce to the veggies when the rice or noodles are cooked. Serve the veggies over the rice or noodles.

Nut Spag Bol (thanks Mum, this is her recipe)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
Half a pepper
1 stick of celery
1 carrot, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of tomato puree
Herbs (I used dried basic and oregano)
Half a packet of chopped nuts

1.      Boil the kettle and cook the spaghetti.
2.      Sauté the onions, garlic, celery, pepper and grated carrot.
3.      Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs.
4.      Season with salt and pepper, reduce a little
5.      Drain the pasta
6.      Add the chopped nuts to the sauce and serve.

N and S have their with a sprinkle of cheese. I have a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes and fresh parsley.


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