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Budget Beater for Meatless Monday

15 April 2012 in Budget Beater, Easy to prepare, Uncategorized

Himself has not embraced Meatless Mondays with any degree of fervour, in fact he started to play squash on a Monday “don’t do supper for me babe, I’ll eat at the club” So I fool him every-now-and-then by slipping in a vegetarian option when he’s least expecting it, he got this for lunch on Saturday and I got his long-suffering sigh when he realised he wasn’t getting a wors roll like he normally does!

After eating his, and part of mine he said “that wasn’t bad!” I don’t think I have a vegetarian in the making but it was a huge improvement on some of his previous comments let me tell you! I enjoyed it, don’t be tempted to leave out the topping it really adds to the dish.

Sweet Potatoes stuffed with Curried Beans

4 sweet potatoes

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 TSP oil

2 tsp butter

2 tsp curry powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ clove of garlic grated finely

1 tin baked beans

I green chilli (split open, remove seeds with a knife and cut into 4 pieces, wash your hands immediately!)

Seasoning

 

Topping

4 heaped TSP Greek style yoghurt

3 spring onions chopped

3cm cucumber chopped

Seasoning

Firstly you need to bake your potatoes in the oven @ 180 until done about 30 – 45 minutes depending on size, test with a sharp knife. I find this way quite lengthy, so I give the spuds a wash, pierce them and stick them in the microwave for 10 mins on high, then I finish them in the oven until the skin is crunchy (my preference) but you do them whatever way floats your boat!

Using 1 TSP of oil fry the onions really gently, take your time, until they look like this….

Add 2 tsp butter until melted then add the curry powder, turmeric and grated garlic. I decided to try out the Chisa Faya Extra Hot Curry Powder that I got in my winners hamper…click here to read the amusing story of how I won.

Pour the tin of beans into a saucepan and add the cooked onions and the chilli.

Simmer very gently for 10 – 15 minutes, if your beans are lacking sauce add some water, check for seasoning.

Mix the yoghurt with the chopped spring onions, cucumber and seasoning.

Cut open your sweet potato, I much prefer the orange ones as I hate how the normal ones discolour.

Spoon in the beans and top with the yogurt mix.

Budget Beater – Beef Pies & Gravy

13 March 2012 in Budget Beater, Easy to prepare

Recently a young man called David commented on my blog, he said he has been following me since I did a series of budget meals. He has tried some of my recipes and has asked for that I feature some more cost cutting dishes. David you have no idea what positive feedback means to a food blogger, thank you very much. This ones for you, I hope you try it.

 These pies happened due to a cooling in the weather and I had bought some shin at a reasonable price.

I cooked my meat in my slow cooker, but you can do exactly the same on top of your stove (simmering slowly until cooked) or in your oven at a lowish heat 150/160.

450g shin on the bone

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 stick of celery chopped finely

450ml instant beef gravy

Black Pepper

A good shake of Worcestershire Sauce

I didn’t brown my meat, merely cut it into smallish cubes and placed all the ingredients in the pot. Don’t discard the centre bone, cook them as well, they add such taste to the gravy. I remove the bones after cooking and mash up the marrow and put it back in the gravy.

When the meat is tender, cool and the using a sieve separate the meat from the gravy, put both aside and make the pastry:-

2 cups cake flour (plain flour)

125mls butter

½ tsp salt

1 egg yolk

Iced water

Egg-wash for brushing over pies (1 egg mixed with a dash of milk)

This is the same pastry I used for my pork pies (another budget beater making 12 pork pies from one packet of sausages) it takes a little longer if making by hand, but if you have a mixer or a food processor it can speed things up.

Sift in the flour & salt mixture, and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and then the ice cold water a little at a time until you form a dough.

Wrap the pastry in Clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 20 mins.

I prefer to work with half the pastry at a time, on a floured surface roll out the pastry. Now I have this nifty pie cruncher thingy, which is very handy but a saucer will also do the trick.

Cut out three circles and put aside, repeat with the remainder of the pastry.

Place a portion of your meat mix on one half of the pastry, brush the edge of the circle with a little water to help the sides adhere.

Fold the pastry over the meat and using a folk press the two sides together.

Place your six pies on a greased baking sheet.

Brush with egg-wash  and bake @180 until golden, approximately 20 – 30 minutes depending on your oven.

I estimate that this recipe cost approximately R32.00, costing in the meat, veggies, eggs & butter, the rest I consider staples that we all have in our cupboards. This recipe made 6 pies.