I did some food writing before Christmas for a large recipe website, and because I got paid by the recipe (with photo) I found myself making one thing with half a can of chickpeas and then using the other half to make something else. It turned into a kind of chain, where extra rice or leftover veg from the previous meals end up in the next one. That’s kind of how I cook anyway, but it became a more conscious thing. A friend of mine suggested that this was a really helpful way of planning out a week’s meals, so I thought I do just that. For the past week, I’ve made things that follow on from each other, take leftovers as shortcuts or just generally leave as little wastage as possible. All recipes serve 4 (2 dinners and 2 lunches, for us) unless otherwise specified.
On Saturday 2 February I spent £28 in Morrisons, and bought:
1 red pepper
2 massive sweet potatoes
2 white onions
2 red onions
5 massive carrots
2 butternut squash
2 packs green beans
1 bunch fresh sage
500g fake butter spread
2 pints milk
1 big block cheddar cheese
1 ball mozzarella
400g light cream cheese
3 big pots yoghurt – 2 fruit, 1 plain
500g twirly pasta
4 tins chopped tomatoes
500g frozen summer berries
1 punnet fancy sun-blush tomatoes in oil, from the deli counter
3 bulbs garlic
1 litre orange juice
We already had: tinned chickpea/beans/tomatoes/sweetcorn, lentils, fresh tomatoes, flour, sugar, herbs/spices, frozen peas, frozen Quorn chunks, frozen Quorn mince, veggie sausages, 2/3s pack fajita wraps, pitta bread, houmous, bagels.
- Dinner – Butternut squash and goat’s cheese bake.
- Snacks – Smoothie made with 2 bananas, handful frozen berries, dollop of fruit yoghurt, orange juice (2 portions).
- Notes – 1 portion of squash bake left over because we had a friend round for dinner. Apple crumble muffin mix made and put into the fridge.
- Breakfast – Apple crumble muffins, coffee
- Lunch – Lentil soup
- Dinner – Mushroom risotto with leftover squash bake
- Snacks – An orange
- Notes – Ony 1 portion lentil soup left over because my boyfriend ate 2 bowls.
- Breakfast – Bagel with jam, coffee
- Lunch – Lentil soup for me, risotto for him
- Dinner – Wraps with sweet potato, peppers, onions, rice and black beans
- Snacks – Apple crumble muffin
- Notes – Cooked extra rice and saved half of the onion cooked for the black beans, for a pilaf tomorrow.
- Breakfast – Bagel with honey, coffee
- Lunch – Taken out for lunch by my Mum. CHEATING. Delicious cheating.
- Dinner – Rice pilaf, eaten before the theatre
- Snacks – Apple
- Notes – Did no cooking today!
- Breakfast – Cereal with chopped pear, coffee
- Lunch – Wrap with sweet potato for me, risotto for him.
- Dinner – Creamy mushroom pasta
- Snacks – None – ate too much lunch!
- Notes – Extra pasta cooked, to be thrown into minestrone-type soup
- Breakfast – Smoothie with pears, strawberry yoghurt, orange juice
- Lunch – Creamy mushroom pasta
- Dinner – Vegetable korma and naan
- Snacks – Apple
- Notes – Three people for dinner, so only one portion of korma left.
- Breakfast – Bagel, coffee
- Lunch – Vegetable korma
- Dinner – Minestrone soup and garlic focaccia (for three of us)
- Pudding – Cheat’s cheesecake
- Notes – Banana and oat muffin mix made for breakfast tomorrow
- Breakfast – Banana and oat muffins (for three of us)
- Lunch – Minestrone soup (for three of us)