Frugal Food Friday

Frugal Food Friday: Vego forever, baby!

frugal food fridays

Well, I’m not really sure these will still be considered ‘frugal’. Maybe I should just rename it to Foodie Friday.

2 weeks ago was vegetarian-ish week. I felt like we have had meat in our menu for quite a bit more than usual due to my sudden obsession with finding discounted mince and cuts of meat at the supermarket so it was time to revert to our more usual ways. I say -ish because a bit of bacon snucked in. I was trying to finish up the bacon in the fridge, so I feel justified. Haha!

Sunday: Green Spinach Quiche

Spinach Quiche

The recipe actually didn’t ask for pastry – but I added it in. My preferred choice of pastry is from Careme Pastry, who are a local SA brand. Expensive, for what you get in volume but so worth it in taste and flakiness. They are made locally in the Barossa Valley and I would use them (and pay the extra, gladly) every single time over any other supermarket brand. Only available from selected Foodlands as well – I have never seen them in supermarkets in other states tho. Sorry!

So this is a Spinach Quiche. It’s incredibly easy to do, even easier because I actually used the Thermomix to do most of it. So it took like 5 minutes to throw together before going into the oven. It made a huge quiche too. Between the three of us (we had a dinner guest), we only tucked away a quarter! So there were plenty of leftovers.

Ingredients: Spinach ($3 for a bunch and I used maybe a quarter of the bunch, bargain!), parmesan cheese, cream cheese, eggs, garlic, salt & pepper.

Cost estimation per serve: $1.50 (incredibly generous estimate without pastry), $2.0 with pastry.

Monday: Red Lentil Dahl + Garlic Naan

Lentil and Naan

Again, another Thermomix recipe. We made the Naan dough first and while that was resting, made the Dahl. I love having the Thermomix especially for week night cooking. Because I also teach privately after coming home from school, my day actually ends around 7pm, sometimes later. So fast cooking is a must.

The dahl was so generous, it made 12 serves. We now have lots frozen in the freezer. The Naan recipe yielded 8 good sized Naans. We froze the leftover dough as well. This will make for a super easy dinner sometime in the near future!

Ingredients: For the Dahl, carrot, coriander, garlic, ginger, onion, red lentils, coconut milk, tomatoes, salt & pepper, and lots of other spices. The Naan is just yeast, bread flour and garlic.

Cost estimation per serve: Between $0.75 – $1 per serve of dahl. And that’s a generous estimation too. Dang, curries are cheap!

Tuesday: Green Eggs and Ham Frittata

green eggs frittata

What is this? You guessed it – another Thermomix recipe. To be honest, it doesn’t really need it for this recipe but it cuts prep time down to 2-3 minutes. It’s great. Plus it’s a super easy way to whip the mixture without digging out the electric beaters.

I also don’t know why it’s called a Ham frittata when really you are using bacon. This was massive too, it ended up serving 6 serves for us.

Ingredients: sweet potato, bacon, red onion, parsley, garlic, spinach, eggs, cream, feta cheese.

Cost estimation per serve: $2.50 – the feta is the killer here.

The rest of the week was leftovers from the previous days. We actually did have another recipe planned but judging from our leftovers, we decided to postpone that till next week’s cook. We froze what we thought would freeze well and ate like a king for the rest of the week on leftovers.

I missed blogging about the meal plan for the week before vego-ish week, so I’m just going to add the photos here and give a quick explanation as to what they are. I went to the trouble of taking photos, I might as well!

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca

My husband may be a chinese by heritage but his true culinary skills lies in Italian food. He is a wizard at pasta, pasta sauces, any kinds of pasta. We used to make our own pasta even, tho these days it is Barilla for us. When we went to Italy, even the locals told us they use Barilla if they had to use an instant pasta. They had another brand that was also highly recommended but it’s not available here in Australia, so Barilla it is.

And as far as olives are concerned, I feel that the only marinated olives worth consumption are the ones from Evilo Estate in Clare Valley. I didn’t realise they could taste quite so magical till I tasted these ones. And now that I am spoilt by how good these are, I cannot go backwards. It’s terrible, but so good at the same time. If you ever have the chance to go to Clare Valley, make sure that is your stop.

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu

My absolute favourite to order from my fave dumpling places. But no longer, because I’ve come to realise just how easy it is to make it yourself at home. So much cheaper too! Great way to get more tofu into your diet, not that we have that problem. We eat so much tofu as it is… Usually Mapo Tofu goes on rice. But I was feeling like I had a lot of rice recently so put this over sweet potato noodles.

Crispy Noodles with Sichuan Beef and Tofu

Sichuan Beef

 Have you ever tried the crispy noodle dish from Asian restaurants? They tend to have lots of sauce to soften the noodles on the plate. Unfortunately I failed to leave enough sauce in the pan while cooking the beef so this became a rather interesting affair of crunchy and semi-soft noodles. Tasty, but next time more sauce please. Those cakes of noodles were the last of the crispy noodles in our pantry too. I’ve been doing great at this whole clearing out the pantry business recently.

We seem to have settled into a rhythm of cooking 3 – 4 days and eating leftovers for the rest of them. My lunches are yielded from our dinners as well. It might not seem like much variety but seeing as our meals vary from week to week, I’m okay with that. Plus frozen leftovers means that it may not be the same week that the leftover is eaten as when it was originally cooked, which creates more variety for future weeks.


Anyways, till next time!

4 thoughts on “Frugal Food Friday: Vego forever, baby!”

  1. My friend has a Thermomix and swears by it. I did go to a demonstration, before I discovered FIRE and home cooking. At the time, I decided against the Thermomix because part of what I hated doing was grocery shopping and meal planning. The Thermy couldn’t do that for me!

    Your dinners look amazing, and I’m off to find a Mapo Tofu recipe. Did I tell you that we cooked the Hamburg Curry? That is delicious, but deceptively filling. By the time I added rice, cheese, the burger and the curry with veggies, I overfilled our plates. This is a meal that could really be stretched in our house.

    1. The Thermomix isn’t for everybody, I will admit. And yes, it certainly can’t do grocery shopping or meal planning! That would be amazing if it could, haha.

      Mapo Tofu is fairly easy –

      2-3 garlic cloves (diced)
      250 – 300g pork mince
      400 – 500g silken tofu (cubed)
      150g char choy (pickled vegs you can get canned from asian groceries – it’s also optional)
      3 tbsp chilli bean sauce (buy from asian grocer)
      1 heaped tsp cornflour
      75ml cold water
      300ml hot water
      spring onion (chopped into small pieces)

      1. Saute garlic with pork mince in oil till mostly cooked.
      2. Add char choy and fry till mince is completely cooked.
      3. Add chilli bean sauce (the brand matters! Not all taste good. Try this brand.) and saute for another 2 minutes.
      4. Add hot water. Mix cornflour with cold water to make a slurry and add to pan. Steam silken tofu on the side for 10 minutes. Simmer the mapo tofu in the pan while tofu is being steamed till it is a thick sauce.
      5. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

      I’m glad you tried the Hamburg curry! It is so, so easy to do and so easily stretched out. I love dinners like that.

  2. My mouth watered reading this post! Red lentil dhal is a staple in our house. Although we cook it a lot simpler: lentils, salt, turmeric powder, fried onions. You Sichuan Beef and Tofu looks delish!

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