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As many budgeters know, there are certain generic meals that can be endlessly modified, as well as all the wonderful recipes for these generic recipes, they will swallow whatever you have available, help in the weekly fridge clean out and use up all kinds of bits and pieces. I’ve been musing about it for a while and this week I thought that it would be perfectly possible to meal plan around generic meals. If you wanted to use a structure, it would maybe make meal planning that bit easier. A possible seven day structure that I came up with was….
4. Soup Night
6. Jacket Potato
You could do these same meals every week for months and months and never have the same thing twice!
Monday – risotto
A risotto is a thing of beauty and unctuous deliciousness (lovely word that isn’t it, unctuous). I have made risottos many times and I always use arborio rice. I have tried it with the best, carnoroli, but couldn’t honestly tell the difference. I’ve tried it with value rice and didn’t like that much at all. It disintegrated and was mushy. Arborio gives a creamy, yes, unctuousness, whilst retaining texture and interest.
Examples on the blog include…..
Seems I have a thing about peas in risotto! Other things that can be used to make glorious risotto include beetroot: tomato: seafood: use your wonderful home made chicken stock from a carcass, or vegetable stock from peelings. Chorizo always gives lots of flavour, or cheap cooking bacon with mushrooms, a few dried porcini, roasted peppers.
Fridge gleanings could include a few leftover roasted vegetables, the last shreds of meat, a handful of prawns, a spoonful of home made gravy left from the roast, a solitary beetroot, a single celery stalk, a couple of withered carrots. Just put together the ingredients you have that will go well together and team them with a bit of rice, an onion, butter, stock and Parmesan. Lovely!
Tuesday – pasta
How many squillions of recipes are there for pasta!
Thrifty Lesley options include…
Wednesday – pizza
Keep some Magic Dough in the fridge and you can knock up a pizza quickly, or make a scone based pizza, just as good.
Chorizo and roasted vegetable pizza
Rubber chicken pizza and salad
You don’t have to use a tomato sauce base, anything that you think will taste good together can go on a pizza. Have a look in the fridge and see what you have.
Thursday – soup night
You could make a main course soup like Mulligatawny, or one of the huge variety of soups. Most soups work out to be around 20p a big bowl. Here, we have, amongst many others
Have your soup with lovely crusty bread, with or without butter. or a scone, fresh from the oven, spread with butter or with a bit of cheese melting between the two halves. Or try a tomato scone, one of the most popular recipes.
Friday – fakeaway, pie or curry
Fridays are traditionally takeaway night. If you want to stay on budget, there are many brilliant fakeaways. Fish and chips, curries, Chinese and Indian. They can all be very successfully made at home.
Pie and mash
If you want a lovely pie, there are many varieties here. Here’s a couple.
We do curry quite often on Thrifty Lesley, how about these
Saturday – jacket potato
I haven’t done a feature on jacket potatoes yet, one of the many things I want to do.
You could have the classics
When the girls were small, one of their favourites was what we called cheesy jackets. It was handy for a working mum, as I could reheat them. They could be prepared several days ahead, or frozen. The spuds were cooked through and the skins scooped out. The hot potato was mashed up with butter, cheese and seasoning, then piled back into the skins. When it was tea-time, they were re-heated in the oven until the top went crispy. They would have that with various other bits and pieces, or just on their own. Sides could be baked beans, a squirt of ketchup, or a tomato and slices of cucumber, perhaps a sausage
Or you could get more creative and try
Roasted grape and goat cheese drizzled with honey
Caramelised onion and mushrooms
Cottage cheese and crispy bacon
Sour cream and chives
Chopped sausage and tomato
Smoked salmon and cream cheese
Brie and ham
Sunday – roast lunch
As well as the classic roast lunches, try the meatless version that has all the wonderful traditional flavours of a Sunday lunch, but hasn’t got any meat. There are crunchy roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, crispy Yorkshires, piles of veg, lovely gravy. Would you notice no meat? We didn’t when we accidentally had lunch without the meat, it was still in the kitchen!