Tuesday 3 December 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge

I used the last of the lettuce from the Challenge this afternoon in my lunchtime sandwich.  It just made me think of the Challenge and what, if anything, I had left now a week after finishing.

Since the Challenge ended I have used up the last of the vegan mayo, made soup out of the onion and the peelings that were stashed in the freezer.  I have 4 Weetabix left in the jar and half of the tub of dairy free spread, which will be used up later as I intend to make some scones and biscuits with some flour I found in the cupboard during my tidy up ready to leave the Van for the Winter.

The pasta sauce and penne pasta is now all gone after a few lovely tomatoey meals and that is it.  This week I've spent my evenings watching Christmassy cooking shows on television and getting myself into a festive mood, I especially like the old Jamie Oliver Christmas shows, as long as I avert my eyes while he stuffs turkeys.  

 I have so many plans whizzing round my head for next year that I am just sitting back and letting them develop.  If one morphs itself into a proper Challenge you will be the first to know.

I'm signing off from this blog now for 2019, with lots of good wishes being sent your way for a very Happy Christmas and a lovely happy and healthy New Year.  

Thank you so much for reading along and commenting during the eight Challenges of 2019, they will remain on the sidebar along with the three Challenges I did during 2018 just in case anyone wants a bit of a readathon on a cold Winters day.

All the very best.  🎄 🎅

Sue xx

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Bonus Day and End of Challenge Round Up

Breakfast - Weetabix and the last of the Almond Milk

Dinner - Final portions of Hummus and Seeded Crackers

Not long after my dinner I started making my tea, a simple vegetable stew with the exact same ingredients as the Potato Soup.

Tea - Vegetable Stew

It was deliciously herby and as you can see I strained out a few of the vegetables because I have a packet of ready made pastry in the fridge and they will be the basis of a nice Vegetable Pasty for tomorrows tea.

Five a Day = 4

And that's it Challenge Eight is over.

End of Challenge Round Up

It's been a good Challenge, I like to think I did reasonably well.  The food was varied and healthy and I just about averaged out my Five a Day. So ... what's left. 

 On the shelf I have:

 most of the porridge oats
10 Weetabix
4 portions of penne pasta

In the fridge I have:

1 portion of lettuce
1 red onion
most of the dairy free spread
3 potions of tomato pasta sauce
a tub of cooked vegetables from the stew
(they were still cooling down when this photo was taken)

In the freezer I have:

4 sausages
bag of vegetable scraps and peelings

So I guess I could easily get another days eating out of that if I were to have porridge for breakfast (I make mine with water) soup made with the last onion and the vegetable scraps for lunch and had pasta, sausages, and sauce for tea. 

The meals have been quite varied considering the limited ingredients.

Over the eight days I have had:

2 Weetabix and almond milk, with a small glass of orange juice x 4
Weetabix with 1/3 tin of Sliced Peaches x 2
Porridge with Peaches and a small glass of orange juice 
Toast and coffee

Two bananas

Chickpea Tuna Sandwiches
Bangers, Mash and Baked Beans
Pasta Bake with Garlicky Breadcrumbs
Herby Carrot Soup and Toast
Jacket Potato with spread and Homemade Coleslaw
Hummus and Salad Sandwiches
Spicy Tomato Soup
Jacket Potato with spread, Salad Tomato and Baked Beans with Red Onion
Chickpea Tuna and Lettuce Sandwich 
Potato Soup
Celery Sticks and Hummus
A Salady Picky Bowl
Potato Soup with chunky bread croutons

It's a Challenge I've enjoyed doing, but I am glad that it's over now and I can have a rummage in the near empty fridge and decide what to have for my next meal.  I have a feeling that tomorrows breakfast will still be Weetabix though ... now that I can open a new carton of almond milk  :-)

Thanks for reading along and for all your wonderful comments.

I have loads of ideas for new Challenges, in fact my brain is buzzing with them recently, but I think I'll perhaps wait until the New Year ... perhaps!!

Sue xx

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Seven

Breakfast 1 - Weetabix and the last of the Orange Juice

Breakfast 2 - Toast And Coffee

It was Sunday, a lazy start reading through my book and a two part-er for breakfast is sometimes just called for while you turn the pages of the latest recipe book you are reading through, it's a known fact that reading about or watching food being made gives you the nibbles 😁

Dinner - Potato Soup with chunky bread croutons.

Well I call them croutons but in reality I just tore up the crust of my loaf,  it was all that was left … Alan had pinched four slices of it to make himself some toast.  He now owes me four slices of his bread … bloody thief!!

Tea - A Salady Picky Bowl

See, it must be love … even after my naughty hubby pinching the last of my bread slices I shared my food with him at teatime.  I made a simple picky style bowl for us to sit and eat while watching the television.  Lots of lovely fresh salady things, the last of the Chickpea Tuna and a big dollop of hummus, with some sliced chicken added to Alan's bowl.

Five a Day = 5

The shelf and fridge is now looking decidedly bare, but there is food left, I was supposed to be making the Vegetable Stew for this night's tea but I didn't so my chopped veggies are still in their jug waiting.  So I am going to do another bonus day and see if I have enough for three good meals.  Back tomorrow to see if I manage it.

Sue xx

Monday 25 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Six

Breakfast - Weetabix with sliced Peaches and a glass of Orange Juice

A nice simple, leisurely Saturday breakfast after walking the dogs, then I set too to make my Potato  Soup for lunch.

Getting my ingredients out of the cupboard and fridge I realised that the exact same ingredients were needed for my Vegetable Stew the next day.  So I doubled up on everything, and had a peeling and chopping session.  As I only had three potatoes I decided to use one and a half in each of the meals.

The ingredients for the soup were added to the saucepan, no sautéing this time, I decided instead to just add herbs, seasoning and cold water to the pan bring it all to the boil and then leave simmering while I got on with other things.  

The other potato, carrot and celery were popped into a jug and covered with water to be stored in the fridge until they were needed.  I peeled the onion but didn't add it to the jug ... that will be chopped and sautéed when I make the stew.

Dinner - Celery Sticks and Hummus

While I was chopping I had the nibbles, as I usually do, no wonder I am never hungry after having a bit of a cookathon. So  I used the last couple of celery sticks to scoop up large amounts of hummus … mmm, possibly make favourite snack of all time!!  As I was then no longer hungry this was classed as my dinner 

Tea - Potato Soup

Ooh this was tasty and made enough for two bowls full, so again I'm tinkering with the menu and having the other half for my dinner tomorrow.


Simple Potato Soup

1.5 potatoes
1 carrot
1 onion
1 stick celery
dried mixed herbs

Chop the carrot, potato, celery and onion into reasonably small pieces, pour in enough water to just about cover the vegetables, add herbs and lightly season.  Bring to the boil and then simmer until everything is nice and soft, around 20 minutes is usually enough.

Take the pan off the heat and whizz with a stick blender to get the vegetables to the consistency that you like.  I missed a few little bits of carrot and potato but it was quite nice to occasionally get them on my spoon when I was eating the soup.  Finally season to taste and eat while still nice and warm.  If like me you find you have enough for another portion, leave this to cool in a jug or bowl and then put, covered into the fridge over night.

This also freezes exceptionally well, as do most homemade soups.

A very basic recipe, but I have been asked to say how I make even my most simple recipes, a pleasure … I hope this helps.

Five a Day = 6

Sue xx

Sunday 24 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Five

Breakfast -  Weetabix with Milk and a glass of Orange Juice

I wasn't in a fruity mood so I didn't add any of the peaches, although I do have enough for another serving.  I think I'll stick to Weetabix for the rest of the Challenge as I have enough of the almond milk to do this, even though it's still cold I'm still not fancying porridge.

Dinner - Chickpea Tuna and Lettuce Sandwich 

Because I didn't have any fruit with my breakfast I was hungry earlier than usual, but this sandwich was really filling so that was soon sorted out!

Tea - Jacket Potato with spread, Salad Tomato and Baked Beans with Red Onion

My tea according to the planned out menu was supposed to be Loaded Potato Skins.  That was written out when I thought I would have a block of cheese to grate on top of my meal and I haven't so I decided to keep it similar, but out of ease simply zap a potato in the microwave and keep things simple.

It was really tasty and the single quartered tomato added a real dash of freshness to the meal, and as it weighed the required 80g one more of my five a day.

Five a Day = 5 … just about!!

Sue xx

Saturday 23 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Four

Breakfast - Weetabix with 1/3 tin of Sliced Peaches
Orange juice with a slice of lemon

I wasn't in the mood for porridge, so knowing that I have more than enough Weetabix for the week I had that instead.  I have really gone off porridge at the moment … 75p wasted methinks  ☹

I used the slice of lemon that had been in my early morning mug of hot water in the glass for my orange juice, just for a bit of extra flavour.

Not long after breakfast I got together the ingredients for my dinnertime soup.

Dinner - Spicy Tomato Soup


Spicy Tomato Soup

2/3 tin of tomatoes
1 onion
1 carrot
2 sticks of celery
2 cloves garlic
mixed herbs
chilli flakes

Chop the vegetables and garlic and then cook gently in a saucepan in a tablespoon of oil.  Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and chilli flakes and leave to simmer away gently for 40-60 minutes or until all your veggies are nice and soft.  Season to taste then whizz it up with a stick blender, leaving it as chunky or getting it as smooth as you like it to be. 

Serve and enjoy.

Gosh this was tasty, possibly the best soup I have made for a long time and so simple.  The flavour was very dense and with each spoonful the chilli heat built up, just what I needed on a very cold November day.

For my tea I was going to have some of my pasta and sauce with a sausage cut into three and rolled up to make meatballs … but I wasn't hungry … so I didn't.  I'm thinking that because my food is pretty nutrient dense and reasonably healthy it's curbing my previous snacky appetite, it seems strange but I'm not eating just for eating's sake,  so if I'm not hungry I just have a cup of coffee.  

Five a Day = 5
Not too bad over just two meals.

Sue xx

Friday 22 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Three

The fridge food is looking very healthy at the moment, volume wise as well as 'healthy' wise if you know what I mean.

Whereas the food on the shelf has gone down greatly and will reduce even more in a minute when I grab that tin of chickpeas to make my lunchtime hummus.

Breakfast - 2 Weetabix and almond milk with a small glass of orange juice.
Followed later with a cup of coffee and my last banana.

Straight after breakfast I set to, to make the hummus for my lunch, again if I don't do things first thing they just don't get done!!

Keeping it really simple as these are all the hummus ingredients I have.  Outside of the Challenge I may have added some roasted red pepper, cooked beetroot or  and I could actually have done this some slow cooked caramelised onion.



1 tin chickpeas
couple of tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.

 If you're not doing a Challenge and you have some cream of Tartar and some sugar you could save the aquafaba to make some meringues … but I am and I haven't, so I didn't!!

Add all the ingredients with just a dash of water to the food processor ... a Nutribullet is really good for this but it's murder to scrape out … whizz until it's nice and smooth, add more water if needed to get to a consistency that you like.  

I like mine quite thick.

Decant into a jar, and scrape out your food processor by any means available  😄 

Lots of lovely hummus, this will keep quite happily in the fridge in a sealed jar or tub for up to a week.

I had some on my bread with some assorted salady bits for my dinner.

Dinner - Hummus and Salad Sandwiches
with some additional salady bits on the side.

Very tasty, and of course with lots of hummus left I'm on track to have this again on Friday … and there's even enough hummus to eat with my crackers when I get the nibbles, if  I can keep from dipping into the jar every time I open the fridge.

Tea - Jacket Potato with spread and Homemade Coleslaw

I kept tea nice and simple and decided against having the planned 1/3 tin of beans as I was just not that hungry.  So it was just one potato with coleslaw.


Simple Coleslaw

iceberg lettuce
grated carrot
finely sliced red onion

Mix all the ingredients together using enough mayo to get to a consistency that you like.

Another good day with just nice simple, but healthy foods … just the way I like it.

Five a Day = 5

Sue xx

Thursday 21 November 2019

Challenge Eight - The £19.25 One Shop Challenge - Day Two

Breakfast - Porridge with Peaches and a small glass of orange juice. 

As I'm having porridge three times this week I will have a third of the tin of peach slices on each porridge day, they do taste really nice together.  The orange juice is being divided between all seven days of the Challenge as I really don't like too much at one time. 

 After breakfast I started to make my pasta sauce ready for my evening meal.  I am making a three portion batch to use with all three of my pasta meals this week.  Which of course meant opening all three of the tins of tomatoes, the saved portion will be used for my Thursday Spicy Tomato Soup lunch.

I had the brainwave of using the potato water saved from cooking the potatoes yesterday to rinse out the three tomato tins.  Any added flavour is good flavour when you have no stock cubes  :-)

I decided to use all of the cherry tomatoes in this recipe as they were going a bit squidgy, I will save the four larger tomatoes to use in my salads and sandwiches.


Pasta Sauce

tinned tomatoes (2 1/3 this time for me)
1 red pepper
3 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
olive oil
mixed herbs
chilli flakes

Chop the pepper, onions and celery and place in a roasting tin.  Drizzle over a tablespoon or so of olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and chilli flakes, season lightly.  Roast in a moderate over for around 40 - 60 minutes.  Stirring a couple of times.  

( Roasting the veggies this way really intensifies the flavour and is well worth doing.  To save on energy costs you could do it while you have the oven on for something else the day before you need the veggies, as they keep really well in the fridge for a few days. )

Tip the hot roasted vegetables into the tinned tomatoes and stir well, whizz up with a stick blender or tip into a blender and zap.  Or if you prefer it can just be left chunky or a mixture of the two … which is my preference.  

Either heat now on a low hob for around 15 - 20 minutes if you are using it straight away, or check for seasoning and leave for later use.

I always find the flavour is so much better if you assemble this earlier in the day and then reheat later.

This is what it looked like before I whizzed it up with my stick blender.

Once my pasta sauce was tipped into a storage tub and put into the fridge I started to make my soup for lunch. (I only have one saucepan here at the Van so a bit of cookery juggling is always called for.)  The jug of potato water has just had the stick blender stick rinsed off in it … waste not want not and all that, all the more flavour for my soup.  I also didn't wash the pan out between recipes.

Sautéing the chopped vegetables briefly in oil is worth doing if you can, if you are watching your weight (I've just read that 1 tablespoon of oil adds over 100 calories) you can do this in water instead.

Dinner - Herby Carrot Soup and Toast

Words cannot begin to say how delicious this was,  So simple to make and yet so filling and tasty, and exactly what I needed on a cold frosty day.


Herby Carrot Soup

2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 onion
olive oil
mixed herbs

Chop the carrots, onion and celery into smallish pieces and sauté in olive oil for a couple of minutes then pour in the stock or water, add the herbs and lightly season.

Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer until the carrots are tender.  

Whizz up with a stick blender and serve.

Before I made my tea I whizzed up one of the bread crusts and sautéed them lightly in some olive oil flavoured with a crushed garlic clove.  They were used to top my Pasta Bake, which was simply 125g penne pasta with a third of the suace made earlier.

Tea - Pasta Bake with Garlicky Breadcrumbs

After the success of my lunch I was on a high ... this brought me tumbling down!!

It was too dry and too stodgy, and I'm afraid once it was cold half of it went into a bag to be fed to the caravan park ducks the next morning.  It filled me up though, so I shouldn't grumble too much.

Five a Day = 7 
(it would have been 8 if I'd eaten all my tea ... naughty girl!!)

Sue xx