April’s Credit Crunch Munch Roundup
Last month I took over the reins of the #CreditCrunchMunch for Camilla of Fab Food 4 All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. April saw a host of varied recipes from soups, smoothies and stews, to potato muffins, burgers and bread. Proving once again that a quality culinary experience need not be expensive! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your recipes and bookmarking them on my Frugal Recipes Pinterest board, as well as them being pinned on Helen’s Credit Crunch Munch board. Big thanks to all those who submitted their thrifty recipes and to Camilla and Helen for letting me guest host one of the best link ups out there.
So if you are looking for money saving ideas on your food bill without cutting the taste factor, take a look at the recipes and tips linked below!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup
Has my house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East? Seriously, the winds here have been crazy and the house has been creaking, it feels like it’s about to take off any minute and end up in Munchkin Land! On the bright side, it’s weather for hanging clothes out to dry and even better, an excuse for gathering around the table for a delicious bowl of hot soup.
I spent Friday and Saturday making crème brûlée and chocolate truffles, when really I should’ve been making something more healthy (I purposely left a couple of healthy cookbooks propped up in the kitchen to no avail). However, whilst I was out on the prowl for dark chocolate chips, I did spot a 500g bag of vegetable soup mix for a mere 6p! Now that’s a bargain I couldn’t pass up. It was then I knew that I would be making soup with the sweet potato I had at home. Come Sunday I put the Silver Machine – my Froothie Optimum G2.1 into action. I wanted to keep the veg nice and chunky, so blended the sweet potato with the stock first and then transferred it back to the saucepan with the vegetables.
I just love sweet potato and unlike regular potato, it counts towards your 5 a day, so this soup is simple to make, packed with veg, tasty and frugal!
Homemade Cashew Milk and The Froothie Optimum G2.1 High Powered Blender
I closed the lid on my blender and prayed that everything would go well. It had been on the blink for a while now, but as I only wanted a basic smoothie, surely it would be able to cope? I watched as it spluttered and choked on the contents and, before I knew it, I was racing out the back door with said blender smoking. Into the bin went the charred remains. I’ve never had much luck with blenders but to be fair, it’s my own fault…this is what is to be expected when you buy a cheap one and then test it beyond its limits. As for food processors, my impatience means I dislike cleaning them and changing the blades to suit whatever I’m making. I came to the conclusion that I finally needed a blender that could cope with my exacting kitchen requirements.
Easy Potato And Seafood Chowder Pie. This seafood medley is simple to make and tasty for all the family. Fish, prawns, mussels and squid topped with potato.
Well, this Easy Potato And Seafood Chowder Pie takes me right back to my school days, when we were taught how to make a basic cheese potato pie in Home Economics. I remember it well, because in this particular lesson my class unleashed mayhem! There were a couple of tearaways that the teacher just couldn’t control, who were throwing potato peel around the classroom and talking back at her. Not that I was an angel, but Home Economics was a subject that I enjoyed and always paid attention in. Luckily, the potato pie was simple to make and tasty, or I doubt we’d have ever gotten through that lesson!
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb With Rosemary and Garlic
I write to you today for a number of reasons. 1) my kitchen smells simply divine from a leg of lamb slow cooked with rosemary and garlic from early this morning and the recipe, although maybe too late for Easter Dinner now, still needs to be shared. 2) because Lynas Food outlet have Spring sales on through March – April and you won’t want to miss out. 3) it’s Easter Sunday, I’m chilling with my dog on my lap, glass of red, belly full of lamb… and if I don’t distract myself, I know I will end up going back into the kitchen to nibble on the remainder of said lamb. I’ve already over-indulged myself on chocolate eggs!
Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread. In one hour you could make this easy and deliciously nutty banana bread, which includes flaked almonds and banana chips.
I’ve been greedy this week, having devoured quite a few test batches of my creme egg muffins, despite sending Neil off to work with a box or two. It’s ok though, because it’s coming up to Easter and we’re allowed to treat ourselves (I keep telling myself). It’s not easy being a food blogger, I’m sure I have put on weight and there’s an endless mountain of dishes to be done, but hey, I love it! I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, writing it all down and sharing it with you.
A yummy Easter treat: Creme Egg Double Chocolate Muffins.
Last week Neil and I went to Scotland for a couple of days to visit my Sister and Brother-in-law. It was the first time in years that we got to go over, so we were very excited to see their new house and celebrate my Brother-in-law’s special birthday. Walking around Glasgow, the streets appeared familiar yet different; new shops had opened and some places we liked are sadly now closed. This story is a bit like the Cadbury’s Creme Egg; the recipe has changed, but somehow it’s still the same old familiar egg we recognise from past Easters as kids. Back then, I had a super sweet tooth like most kids, and had quite the collection of Disney stickers stuck on my school books from trips to the Dentist!
Chicken, Prawn and Mango Curry
Buckled up in the backseat, the journey would be a long one, or so it would seem to me as a child. I used to look forward to these visits down to my Grandfather’s house. He lived by the sea in a little town called Killough, near Downpatrick, where my Mother grew up. Over the years I’ve heard many stories from her youth and the places associated with them. I know the steep path she and her Sister used to climb to visit my Great-granny. I know the street where my Dad first clocked eyes at my Mum crossing the road to go to the cinema where she worked (41 years on and it’s still there) and of course, where Saint Patrick is buried. My Grandfather used to be a Fisherman and the one memory that stands out to me is eating the fresh prawns that he had caught. I’ve always loved prawns from then and anytime I cook with them, I’m taken back to that little seaside town.
A healthier version of Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
There are certain words and terms that are quite simply irksome to my ears: “on a diet”; “detoxing”; and “clean eating” are at the top when it comes to eating behaviours. My philosophy has always been to eat in moderation without cutting out the food you love, to keep active and essentially you should be just fine.
It’s astounding the amount of recipe books that are thrust in our faces using these types of trendy marketing terms.“Souping” is the latest to target those trying to change their lifestyles. Just like these trends yo-yo in and out of fashion, you’ll find your weight also yo-yo’s as you try to find the right balance. Following a 7 day juicing course is one thing, but how do you maintain the weight loss once you start to eat normally again?
I don’t like these diet trends and never have; they aren’t healthy and they will leave you out of pocket and miserable. Denying yourself the food you love only sets you up for failure, as you will inevitably cave in and binge more than before you started. That is why I’m excited to share my thoughts on a refreshing recipe book called Hungry Healthy Happy: How to nourish your body without giving up the food you love.
Cheesy Pasta bake with sweet potato.
A few days ago I found myself home alone, cold and bored. My distractions (Facebook, Twitter – baby talking to 4 needy dogs) were only interrupted by hunger and a lack of warmth. I made the short walk from our living room, almost tripping over the dogs along the way, to see what there was to eat in the kitchen. Not much, was the answer. Bag of pasta, some sweet potatoes, a very lonesome looking bar of chocolate soon to be devoured… and CHEESE. Ha! Forget the chocolate for now, cheese is my saviour! Cheese is sunshine on cold days. Cheese is the Confringo spell to eradicate boredom. Hello, cheese! I welcome you into my hands, I’m pleased to grate you over food and watch you melt and go all gooey. I’m more than happy to go for seconds and wipe the plate clean. Yes, I love cheese.