Pork and Apple burger with quick beet slaw – 59p – 81p per burger

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I don’t know about you, but I’m always slightly let down by so-called ‘pork and apple’ things. I feel that they’re either too watery, or you can’t taste the apple, or they’re just a bit… meh. Definitely not one of my usual flavour combinations!

So I don’t honestly know what first possessed me to try doing these pork and apple burgers – I’m glad I did though, because they’re quick, cheap and summery. And go wonderfully well with the quick-slaw and fried onion I served them up with (we had no relish in the house, or salad – I had to think fast! 😉 ). I’ve pictured the burger here with home-made potato wedges though these are not included in the price below. We were stuffed from eating the burger on its own so the wedges were just a bit superfluous. If you want to make them then slice some potatoes, and toss them in a bowl, add a teaspoon of sugar, a good pinch of salt and some chilli flakes. The sugar makes them crisp really well and helps give them a sweet chilli flavour. Yum!

The bun is actually made using the naan bread recipe – don’t add the nigella and instead of shaping into a tear-shape, roll into a ball and leave on a baking sheet for 20 minutes to rise, remembering to leave a good space between them! You should only try to fit 6 to a tray as these grow like you wouldn’t believe. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.

The main ingredient is listed as being from Aldi, but you can use other high meat-content sausages if you don’t have a store close by (the minimum you want to go is 85% meat), otherwise, prices are Tesco via mysupermarket as always.

Anyway, without further ado, you need:

1 pack of Aldi outdoor bred pork sausages (these are the cheapest 90% meat sausages I can find) – £1.75
1 apple, grated – 14p
1 onion, sliced into half rings – 16p
1 carrot, grated – 7p
1 cooked beetroot, grated – 9p from multipack of 5.

The bread cost 3p from the Naan recipe as it went mad whilst rising and we got 18 buns out of one batch! If you don’t want to make your own bread, Aldi Brioche buns are pretty good and work out at 25p per bun.

Price with homemade bread: £2.33 for 4, or 59p per burger
Price with brioche buns: 81p  per burger

For the patties, skin your sausages and grate your apple. Knead the sausagemeat and apple together then pat into 4 burgers. Fry these and set to one side. Using the fat in the pan, fry off your onion and place this on the bread. Pop your burgers back into the pan to keep them warm while you grate your carrot and beet. Stir these together with a little salt and distribute between your four buns. Place the meat on top and serve.

Easy, quick, impressive looking… ideal summer party food.

Enjoy!

— Farn ❤

Sausage Goop – 58p – 74p per person

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This recipe’s actually my Mum’s – credit where it’s due. And it’s not so much of a recipe as a can of tomatoes, a tbsp of brown sugar, a chopped onion, a sausage per person, a tbsp of paprika and a tbsp of dried basil, coupled with whatever random vegetables are in your fridge. This is another great recipe for using up the lingering odds and ends, if soup or pasta don’t appeal.

In any case, I’ve priced it as I would with anything else so that if you feel so inclined, you can include it in your budget, rather than as an ‘oh poop I’ve got nothing in’ panic meal. As usual, prices are for Tesco via MySupermarket.

1 can of Tesco Value Tomatoes – 34p
1 tbsp oil/cooking fat – 2p
1 onion – 16p
1 clove garlic – 4p
4-8 sausages (I allow 1 per person, cut into rounds, so have priced accordingly) – 75p (based on half of one of the ‘2 packs for £3 offer’ on Tesco Butcher’s Choice sausages – 8 sausages per pack, valid on publication 17/6/15)
3 carrots – 23p
100g frozen sweetcorn – 10p
1 can of kidney beans – 30p
1 tbsp paprika – 6p
1 tbsp dried basil/mixed herbs – 1p
1 tbsp/50g brown sugar – 15p

Finely chop/mince your garlic, chop your onion and slice your sausages into rounds. Chop your carrots according to how you like them and throw the lot into a pan until the onions are soft. Drain and add to the pan. Add your chopped tomatoes, any water you need to make a fairly curry-like consistency and then throw in your herbs and seasoning. Five minutes before serving, add the sweetcorn.

This recipe feeds 4 adults with a side of rice (around 250g of dried rice – 13p). That makes it around 58p per person, including rice. Do bear in mind though, that this is using only 4 of the sausages, rather than 2 per person. Upping the meat content pushes this to 74p per head.

Really though, using any old vegetables left in the fridge is fine. Mushrooms work really well, as do peppers, and you can leave out the can of beans if you’ve got enough other bits.

What are your quick, easy go-to recipes?

— Farn ❤

Quickled Onion salad – 28p-56p per person

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Based on a recipe in the LEON 2 cookbook, ‘quickled onion salad’ has become a bit of a staple at our house. It’s great when served slightly warm on a slice of hot, buttered toast and could be made for the cost of a can of beans and an onion if you had a tomato plant and some parsley in the garden. Bargain! 🙂 Another massive plus point, is that there is no cooking required.

1 can of beans – I used Pinto beans because I had some in the pantry and didn’t know what else to do with them, but I usually use kidney beans at 30p per can (Tesco Value).
Half an onion, very thinly sliced – 8p (based on a 16p loose onion – Tesco again)
2 large tomatoes – around 20p (based on a net of Tesco Value tomatoes costing 75p per net and containing an average of 8 tomatoes)
2 tbsp of vinegar – I used some from an old jar of pickled onions (free), but you can use any clear vinegar you like. Distilled white vinegar will cost around 2p.
Salt and Pepper – 2p
A good handful of fresh parsley (optional) – 50p ish from Tesco

Very finely slice your onion. The thinner you can do this, the sweeter the onion will go in the vinegar during the quick pickling – quickling… see? 😉 – process. Cover the chopped onion in vinegar and set to one side while you dice the tomatoes, drain the beans, and finely chop the parsley. Wait another five minutes, just to be sure your onions are ready and then stir everything together. Done!

As a main for lunch, this would serve two people, putting the cost at 56p per person. With 100g of rice stirred through (uncooked weight and using Tesco Value, this adds 5p to the total cost), it’ll feed 3-4 people putting it between 39p and 30p per person. As a side to a main meal, this served four of us easily, with enough leftover to stir through a can of chopped tomatoes to make a tasty soup – 28p as a side.

I like to make this during the summer to eat with fresh rocket from the garden, a good slice of toast and an omelette – simple, tasty and wholesome food.

What are your favourite salads?

— Farn ❤

Nectarine and cardamom slice –

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Based on this beauty of an apple slice, I thought I’d make some alterations to one of our family favourites. And oh wow! It was so worth it!

Ingredients

2 cups self raising flour –  (2 cups is approx 250g flour) 8p
1 cup sugar – 20p (1 cup is approx 225g)
6 nectarines, peeled, cored and diced to 1cm – 48p ASDA
125g butter or margarine 48p/20p (both from Aldi)
1 egg – 15p Aldi free range (lower welfare eggs are cheaper)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom – 1p

Total bake costs  £1.12 with marg, or £1.40 with butter. It looks to make around 16 slabs so that makes it between 7p and 9p per piece.

Directions

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Toss apples with self raising flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in egg.
Pour butter and egg into the apple mixture and mix until combined.
Spoon into a greased and lined slice tin.
Bake at 180 C for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Keeps for about 3 days.

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What’s cooking at your house? 😉

— Farn ❤

 

Pancakes – 9p-20p per person. (GF, carb free, sugar free options.)

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Pancakes, pancakes… scrummy yummy pancakes. These are my favourite weekend breakfast, though they’re so quick to make that I sometimes manage them during the week too. I like weighing out the dry ingredients the night before so that I can just toss the milk and egg in while I’m still semi-comatose.  Yes… I’m sad like that and plan my breakfasts for the next day.

For some reason, I priced this up from my Aldi shopping list last week… no idea why that seemed like a good idea at the time but… yeah. Here we go.

Pancake base option #1

125g SR flour (around 4p for the Aldi one – this works brilliantly with GF too btw.)
50g sugar (4p Aldi – can use a tbsp honey/agave nectar if you’re avoiding sugar)
1 egg (15p Aldi free range)
5 fl oz milk/150mls milk (6p Aldi whole milk)

Around 29p for the batch and it easily feeds three of us (two adults and a pancake-mad toddler, who eats more of them than we do). Works out at 9p per head.

Pancake base option #2

Alternatively, 2 overripe bananas plus one egg will make a decent pancake batter 🙂

GF, carb free, refined-sugar-free, wheat free etc. and a good way to use up your extra bananas. 😉 At around 11p per banana this way works out at around 37p per batch and 12p per serving.

Additionals

Optional: The zest of one lemon and a tbsp poppy seeds. I had a lemon that I used the juice of in another recipe so I zested it and froze the zest before squeezing. I just took it out of the freezer last night and added it to the mix this morning. The poppy seeds I collected from the garden when the flowers dried so for me these additions were free. At around 25p per lemon, and around 6p per tbsp poppy seeds, if you were buying these extra ingredients specially they would up the total to 20p per head. Still cheap for a Sunday morning treat, or a snack after school, but maybe best left for if you need to use up zest for something 😉

Method

Mix up your basic batter (option #1 or option #2) and add the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Spoon a tbsp of mixture onto a griddle pan (with a little butter if it’s not non-stick) and flip when bubbles start appearing on the surface.Enjoy! 😀 Lovely with hot butter or lemon curd.

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Fish noodle soup – 60p

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Based on a recipe from the Danish Meat Association, this was originally intended to be made with strips of pork (which is also delicious). I usually go for fish though as I find it quite hard to think of ways to cook fish which aren’t fish pie, breaded fish and baked fish.

2 fillets of pollock/coley – 50p per 100g from the fish counter, around £1.00.
2-3 spring onions – 20p
Sesame oil to fry with (though any oil works, sesame gives a really nice taste) – 2p
400mls stock – 2p Value stock cube
200mls coconut milk – 8p -as with previous recipes, I used the Maggi powdered milk as you don’t need to halve a can. If you can’t get the powdered milk, you can plan to make this and another coconut dish in the same week so as not to waste any.
1tsp of turmeric – 1p
50g frozen peas – 5p
50g frozen sweetcorn – 5p
1 carrot, very finely sliced – 7p
1tsp sambal olek/chilli jam/ a strong, red chilli and a tsp sugar… or all three if you’re that way inclined – 10p
Noodle nest – 19p This is a pack of Asda Smartprice noodles (the Supernoodle knockoffs). They’re by far the cheapest way I’ve found to buy noodles and I just use them without the flavourings.

Fry off the spring onions and the carrot rounds. Add the fish to the pan, followed by the coconut milk and everything else but the peas and sweetcorn. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the noodles. Cook for a further 3 minutes or so, adding more liquid if you feel it necessary. Finally, add the frozen veg, stir through and serve.

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Total Cost: £1.79 or 60p per person for a lunch sized portion, or 89p for a dinner sized portion. You can cut the costs here by using less fish and more veg, using dried chilli flakes and a little sugar or omitting this entirely.

Do you have any ideas for reducing the cost of this?

— Farn ❤

Chicken and Beans – 82p per serving

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I know I say this about a lot of dishes, but this one is really one of my favourites. It’s comforting, easy and quick to make. It tastes wholesome, earthy and is the perfect fodder to come in to after a long spring walk. In the past, I’ve been known to chop an onion and garlic, freeze it with a pack of chicken pieces and throw the lot in the freezer as a sort of ‘meal pack’. Then I know I’ve always got something filling and hearty to put in the slow cooker that involves no ‘fresh’ ingredients (obv. the onion and garlic were originally fresh but… you know…) This is perfect for when you’re coming back from a trip, or on those days when you’re tempted by takeaways.

Anyway, the prices below are from Tesco via Mysupermarket. You could easily do this cheaper by shopping in Aldi/Lidl, using dried beans instead of canned, making the chicken stock yourself from bones, or by buying lower welfare chicken.

2 cloves of garlic 8p
1 onion 16p
200g frozen sweetcorn 20p
1 can of interesting beans i.e. flageolet (these are best!), pinto, black eyed beans etc. 52p (or four cans for £2.00, cutting the price to 50p per can)
250mls rice (because I am odd and measure rice this way… I would estimate 200g, making it 8p)
1 value stock cube and 750mls-1litre of boiling water 2p
OR 750mls-1litre of chicken stock from leftover bones
1 piece of chicken per person from a pack of Tesco free range chicken thighs, £4.25 (or befriend your local butcher, buy lower welfare meat, use leftovers from a Sunday roast or check out the chicken thigh selection at Muscle Foods) As I use just over half a pack for this recipe, I’m writing the cost as £2.25,but give or take as you will.

Method: Put everything but the rice and sweetcorn (onion and garlic finely chopped, beans drained) in the slow cooker on high for 2 hours, or cook on the hob for 45 minutes. Cook the rice – either by adding it to the . When the rice is done and the water/stock absorbed, add the sweetcorn, stir through and serve.

Total cost: £3.29 or 82p per serving.

Using the prices above, this is at the more expensive end of the £1 per day spectrum. You can still come in on budget though – having a bowl of 10p porridge for breakfast puts you at 92p for the day, then follow this up by a couple of slices of the 12p loaf, buttered, for lunch and you’re just around the 95p mark. This gives you a little leeway for toppings – jam is cheap but not particularly healthy, whilst homemade hummus is a great alternative to butter and much better for you. You could make a bone broth from the leftovers of a whole chicken and add some veg peelings/nettles for a totally free soup (nettle soup is wonderful, by the way. I’ll cover that another day, I promise).

And if you’re wondering, the green in the pic is some celery I added, just to use it up.

Which are your favourite bean dishes?

— Farn ❤