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Monday, 23 January 2012

#gethealthy Week 3: Cheap (and Less Greedy) Ways to Cook More at Home

Ok, I've got to admit that I went a bit backwards with this weeks #gethealthy challenge to cook more at home.

It's all very well trying to cook more at home. But at the same time, you have to tackle cooking healthily at home and within a reasonable spend too. And this week I've realised the full extent of my greediness.

I've always been under the impression that I'm quite a frugal grocery shopper - I go to the market to buy my fresh fruit and veg, and try to avoid buying random food on the go.

But the thing you get with writing a food blog is you end up constantly buying more food than usual. (Funny that.)

Note I said 'thing' and not 'problem' - I love buying food, I do. And I love eating it as well. So I'm not about to start scrimping on what I eat, no.

Time to focus on cheap and less greedy ways to cook more at home then I think:

1) Start collecting a jar of change and use this to get your fruit and veg from your local market. You can buy as much or as little as you like, and still get a bargain either way.
2) If you can't get to a local market, always go for loose produce at the supermarket - it usually works out cheaper than buying the prepacked ones, and you can pick the best of the bunch.
3) Do your food shop when you have somewhere else to go afterwards. Having a time restriction means you won't end up buying the entire shop by accident.
4) Find the opportune to double or triple your cooking when you get down to it - now you've got a lovely cooked lunch or dinner for the next day, or leftovers to freeze for another lazy day.
5) When making carby things like pasta, rice or potatoes, make the effort to measure out portions - it's too easy to overdo it with these.
6) Although it never beats the fresh stuff, stock up on dried herbs and spices. Keep them visible (I keep mine lined up on a
7) Finally, don't be afraid to eat your cupboard down and throw something together that's completely random. It might just work.

For instance, take the er, Baked Bean Macaroni dish I made this week (at top of post), using stuff I had kicking around. Granted, I did have a randomly weird craving to try macaroni and baked beans together - but it turned out a lot tastier than I thought.

It probably isn't that fitting under the whole 'healthy' theme but it was definitely a homecooked meal so that's something, right?

Baked Bean Macaroni Serves 2:

200g macaroni pasta
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 celery sticks, chopped
75g mushrooms, sliced
75g red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
400g baked beans
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
100g grated cheese (I didn't have any at the time, but imagine this would be the killer!)

1) Gently boil the macaroni in lightly salted water. Drain and keep warm.
2) In another pan, fry the celery, mushrooms, onion and garlic in the oil over a moderate heat for about 4-5 minutes.
3) Turn down to a low heat and add the baked beans. Slowly simmer, adding in the cayenne pepper, constantly stirring until the beans are piping hot.
4) Pour in the drained macaroni, and mix well before dishing up into two bowl. Top with grated cheese.

Other recipes you might like for home-cooking inspiration


Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

I think baked beans are great in a lot of things! Good reminders and I totally agree that making extra to freeze for a lazy day is a great habit. Having a healthy homemade frozen meal is so much better than random fast foods. Have a lovely week Jenny!

Hungry Jenny said...

Thanks Tricia, yeh it's so true!

Hope all is well over your side of the pond :)

Hungry Jenny x

Arturo FĂ©liz-Camilo said...

A-Mazing!! I'm so hungry now!

Hungry Jenny said...

Thanks, this is pure comfort food and super easy to make, hope you'll try it!

Hungry Jenny x

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