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Meal plan 8 - Oaty fritters, veg, chilli & yogort
Meal Plan 8 - Chicken and veg with a coconut & peanut butter sauce 45p each

Feeling illFirst of all, apologies for the recent lack of posts. I have been well and truly bugged over the last 10 days or so. Where I am, there has been a virulent virus doing the rounds that basically wipes you out for two weeks. It feels much more like flu than anything else and I have been feeling completely and utterly vile for what feels like forever now.
I haven’t been doing anything much other than sitting staring vacantly into space and feeling sorry for myself. Whenever I try to lay down to sleep, every ten minutes or so, I have to stand up to facilitate the deep, hacking, cough (I have to cross my legs tightly, if you know what I mean, blush). The only way I can get any sleep at all is to stay sitting up in a chair, which is uncomfortable and not much sleep happens. I still cough, just not as much.

I must be feeling a bit better today tho, as I have just had a little play in the kitchen.

During the long recesses of last night, I was thinking about the sandwich fillers we have been exploring lately. We have done a chicken and sun dried tomato one, a lovely, deep flavoured beefy one, and a creamy cheesy one. What we haven’t done is a fishy one.

So today, I set about putting that right. The first thing I tried was mashing up some sardines in tomato sauce and mixing it with value soft cheese. It was absolutely delicious, but rather too runny to put in a sandwich, would be fab with pasta or a jkt potato tho!

Second try was using some beans with it. I used the other half of the sardines, drained and rinsed some baked beans and mixed them in. Hmm, not quite right, a bit too dry this time. So a little splodge of soft cheese, and et voila, a fishy sandwich filling, packed full of protein, super easy to make and will freeze beautifully, in or out of the sandwich wrapping.

So to make both the pasta sauce and the sandwich filling…

Sandwich filling
Half a tin of sardines in tomato sauce, Asda 40p/120g, 20p
50g of drained value baked beans, 24p/tin, 6p
20g value soft cheese, Asda 71p/250g, 6p
Makes 4 sandwiches
Total cost 32p or 8p a sandwich, plus 2p for 2 slices value bread, total of 10p a sandwich

The beans I used were Lidl Campolargo ones and yielded 218g of drained beans, so I am assuming about a quarter of a tin

Divide the tin of sardines in half and put each half in a separate bowl. Mash them up, bones and all, they will add valuable calcium.

Drained baked beans
Open the beans and drain them in a sieve over a third bowl. Keep the sauce and use it in something else, I usually add any beans in an opened tin sitting in the fridge to the soup or casserole, so you can do the same with this.

Run the drained beans under the tap for a bit and drain off the water well. Now measure out 50g of them and tip them into the mashed up sardine bowl. Mash the beans up with the sardines. Or leave them whole if you want them that way, up to you.

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Add 20g of value soft cheese and mix well. All done. This will give you enough sandwich filler for at least 4 sandwiches, maybe 5.

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You can use it for packed lunches, or on toast for breakfast, or a quick toasty tea for the kids. Or with a a little pile of crudités, carrot and celery sticks for instance, and maybe a value pitta, toasted if at home, sliced up if not.

Now, with the other half of the sardines, make a rapid and simple pasta sauce

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Half a tin of sardines in tomato sauce, Asda 40p/120g, 20p
50g value soft cheese, Asda 71p/250g, 14p
160g value pasta, Asda 29p/500g, 9p
Makes enough to dress 2 portions pasta generously
Total cost 43p or 22p each.

Simply mix the sardines and soft cheese together while the pasta is boiling. Mash it up, or not, just as you like. Drain the pasta well and mix through the sauce. Serve immediately.

Lemon zester

If you have any, a few little bits of lemon zest would work well in either of these recipes. I have had this little lemon zester gadget for many years, it is really handy and I can zest off just a few strips very easily with it.

You can add some sliced cherry tomatoes to the pasta, or some whole or chopped up olives, serve it with salady bits, roast some fennel/carrots/onions to go with it, make a simple salsa from diced cucumber and tomatoes or fennel, serve it with some peas or dark leafy veg. Anything you like.
 

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Meal plan 8 - Oaty fritters, veg, chilli & yogort
Meal Plan 8 - Chicken and veg with a coconut & peanut butter sauce 45p each
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