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Anjali’s Dinner Party Menu – Menu # 17

Anjali Pathak is the brand ambassador for Patak’s sauces, the granddaughter of LG Pathak who founded the Patak’s business over 50 years ago. Anjali was involved in the family business from a very young age with her mother Meena inspiring her with new recipes.

When I asked Anjali to give me her favourite dinner party menu this was top of her list.

Anjali’s favourite Dinner Party Menu

Main Course

Anjali’s Masala Chicken

Pilau Rice

Cucumber and Mint Raita

Dessert

Roast Peaches with Honey

Anjali said “When I have done this menu before I haven’t really served starters as the chicken curry is so darn delicious that they are usually pretty full from main course and so starters would be overkill. Sometimes with drinks I make some roasted spiced nuts just to keep them going!”

Ever since I was a little girl I remember my mum’s chicken curry. It was delicious and the scents of aromatic spices filled the house. When I started cooking it I changed the recipe slightly, but my mum loves mine so I guess it must be pretty similar. When you make yours you can add as many chillies as you like. I know it seems like the ingredient list is endless but trust me, this recipe is worth buying all the spices for as I am sure you will make this again and again!

This is served with cucumber and mint raita and pilau rice

 

 

The dessert is an Indian twist  given to two great ingredients that work wonderfully together, peaches and honey. It tastes best with ripened peaches as they are sweeter and softer, but if you don’t have time to let them ripen then make sure you bake them for a little longer.

Thanks Anjali for a great menu – definitely one on my list to try -you can see more of Anjali’s delights on www.anjalipathak.com

Next I am looking for the very best romantic dinner party menu for that very special Valentines weekend! Please send through any ideas to ideas@mydish.co.uk

Jenny’s menu choice – MyDish menu #15

Jenny is a food blogger and lives in Dorset – She describes herself as “a 50-something disabled Mum trying to get by as best she can with what is available. I thoroughly enjoy sharing recipes & ideas through my blog with those who are interested in cooking good food on an elastic budget and more importantly, for pleasure.”

Jenny’s Supper Menu

Starter

Herby Chicken Liver Pots with Melba Toast

Main Course

Salmon and Leek Parcels

Beetroot Couscous

Green Salad

Dessert

Goosebery & Elderberry Cream

Almond & Elderflower Cookies

I’ve been referring to this dinner party menu as an “Easy Supper Party”, largely because the greater part of the courses can be made well in advance.  The starter, the couscous and the entire dessert are all recommended as being made in advance, and even the salmon parcels can be made up ready for baking.  For me, this is an essential for any dinner party.  As a disabled Mum, any way of easing the inevitable stress brought about by needing to feed numbers of people, is a very good thing!

When I think about this supper party, I envisage a property on the rugged Cornish coast, with a large veranda suitable for a big old dining table surrounded by comfy chairs.  Candles are on the table, along with several bottles of sparkling wine and everyone is relaxed and just enjoying the food along with the scenery.  Bliss!

Chicken Liver Pots

Salmon and Leek Parcels – courtesy of BBC Good Food

Beetroot Couscous (Jenny’s recipe)

he Dessert is another BBC Good Food recipe, whereas the biscuits are my adaptation of a basic cookie recipe given by Rachel Allen in “Bake”.  However, I’m sure you could find that basic recipe just about anywhere, so I’m not sure any copyright would apply in this case.

Gooseberry & Elderflower Cream with Almond & Elderflower Cookies

Thanks Jenny for sharing your favourite supper menu – for more inspiration you can check out Jenny’s blog at Jenny Eatwell’s Rhubarb & Ginger

Now I am looking for the most romantic dinner menu for 2 – what with Valentines coming up!   Please send in your suggestions for the best Romantic dinner to me at ideas@mydish.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankgiving menu – MyDish menu no 10

It seems fitting to dedicate this weeks menu to a Thanksgiving feast.  This has been put together by Jenny (known on MyDish as JWMCCABE) who was born in America, down south and has a wealth of traditional foods that she loves to make and share.  This weekend Jenny is having 16 to dinner for a Thanksgiving dinner party.

Thanksgiving was first celebrated inthe  late fifteen hundreds and was later made a national holiday in America by Abraham Lincoln.  It is a holiday  celebrating the harvest and other good things that have happened over the past year.

Jenny says she loves this holiday even more than Christmas as it brings people together of all faiths and focuses on the good in life (and lets face it , its great to have something to be joyful about rather than thinking about tough times!)

JWMMCABE (aka Jenny’s) Thanksgiving Feast

Starter

Posh Quails Egg with rosemary, sea salt & pepper dip

Main Course

Lemon, Basil Turkey Crown

Le Fabulous Parmesan Asparagus

Uber Caramalized Carrots

True Southern Cornbread

Roasted Potatoes

Cranberry Sauce

Dessert

Alabama Pumpkin Pie

Key Lime Pie

Jenny makes the Desserts  2 days before and freezes them and then takes them out the day of the feast to let them Thaw!

On the day Jenny starts preparation around lunchtime with dinner planned for 7.30.  She buys the Turkey fresh which keeps cooking time down and gets the Turkey ready to put ion the oven around 4pm.

Basil lemon Turkey Crown , basically the skin is rubbed with salt and paprika and under the skin she pastes a mixture of softened butter, lemon and Basil.

Then while the Turkey is cooking everything else is organised.  The True Southern Cornbread, cranberry sauce and the side dishes.  Its all about the timing.  The dishes are prepared to go in the oven all around the same time to ensure starters are warm on the table at 7.30 with a cold glass of Prosecco, and main course is ready foreight pm.

The Caramalized carrots are cooked with sugar, ginger and a handful of pecan nuts and the Asparagus (Le Fabulous Parmesan Asparagus ) are coated in olive oil and fried, then put in n oven dish and baked and covered with parmesan and baked some more.

These are served with roasted potatoes, paprika, goose fat and sea salt and homemade cranberry sauce on the side.

And then for starters Jenny makes her own Brussels Pate and a Posh Quails Egg Plate with Rosemary, Sea Salt and Pepper dip.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here who is celebrating and a special thank you to Jenny – I wish you and your 16 guests have a fabulous sumptious feast!

Have you got a feast to share?  Do you do a special something over the Christmas season…please let us know your favourite dinner party menu at ideas@mydish.co.uk


Deadly Four, But Did You Know It? Foods With Hidden Dangers

A post by Elizabeth Mason

1 – RICE – The idea that rice is dangerous to reheat is one that is commonly disputed. One of the most widely eaten dishes in the world it is considered a safe, basic and staple food source for many. On the whole, this is very true – rice recipes, when prepared and stored correctly are probably the least offensive food going. The trouble arises once cooked, and the rice is stored at room temperature. This moist and warm environment then becomes home to Bacillus cereus, a rather nasty bacterium. Doesn’t sound too good does it? This bacterium is not known to be deadly, but it can induce severe vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and nausea. The obvious solution would be to reheat it, no? Even if the rice is reheated to above temperatures of 100°C, this is not enough to kill some of the spores and they will remain toxic.

Ok, so maybe rice isn’t exactly deadly but I thought it might be wise to start with something mild. Still, it’s fairly shocking that something so widely eaten and known as harmless actually possesses these attributes if not handled correctly, and hey, in the long run the diarrhetic syndromes could lead to death if persistent!

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2- POTATOES – A second commonly and widely eaten food is the potato. Similarly to rice, it is thought to be a harmless and rather ordinary food, appearing on most people’s dinner tables on most nights, but don’t be deceived.

Usually, the potato itself is rather harmless; it is the stems and leaves that contain the poison, glycoalkaloid. In some cases, the poison is known to spread in to the potato itself, causing it to appear green in parts. In high concentrations, this is known to cause death, following a coma and prolonged periods of weakness, nausea, and confusion. Although cases of death by potato are rare, they do happen. So, remember what your friends said to you when you were younger – the green crisps really are unlucky.

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3- APPLES – well, when I say apples, what I really mean is apple seeds. These seeds contain cyanide, albeit a fairly small dose but if you eat enough apples (and I mean the whole apple, not just the fleshy bit) then it could be deadly. After ingesting the toxin, cyanide removes an organ’s cells ability to utilise oxygen. Following this, aerobic respiration becomes redundant, affecting the central nervous system, the heart and slowly other organs as the cyanide makes its way around the body. As said before, in small amounts (such as the seeds of one apple) it has little or no effect however long term exposure will mean increased levels of cyanide in your blood, potentially resulting in permanent paralysis, nervous lesions and hypothyroidism. So next time you’re making an apple crumble be sure to keep an eye on the seeds.

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4 – CASHEW NUTS –A raw cashew contains a toxic chemical by the name of urushiol. To destroy this toxin, making the cashew safe for consumption, they need to be roasted, taking care to avoid allowing the smoke to escape as it carries the toxin with it in droplet form. When ingested, urushiol tricks the body to think that an attack is happening, triggering the immune system to send out a defence in the form of the release of enzymes from T-cells, these enzymes cause severe nerve damage, with severe cases resulting in death or permanent damage. It is enough to make you rethink all your recipe ideas.

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MyDish Supports Movember! (Featuring Some Highly Amusing Moustache Photos!)

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Movember is upon us. Shaving kits are ready for the October 31st clearing of the face, and the race shall begin. Moustaches will flourish and be carefully nurtured during this month long ritual of manliness on display.

It all began in Australia, a dozen years ago, this growing of whiskers as a fundraising effort for good causes. The small group of lads from Adelaide had no idea that their ‘hair-brained’ idea (pun intended) would turn into a worldwide phenomena of handle-bar proportion. In 2004, the official focus of the fundraising became raising awareness for men’s health issues, particular male specific cancers.

Movember enthusiasts are on the move, with creative ideas already gaining Mo-mentum. A £1240 donation has already been registered by the Inkfectious Custom-Tattoos team after they sponsored a 10 hour Mo-athon in their tattoo parlor. Ten unique Mo designs were offered to customers willing to contribute to the day’s fundraising efforts, and 154 willing customers offered their body parts up for the  Movember cause. Talk about commitment! Toes, fingers and ears are now sporting the Movember message in a very permanent way.

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Inkfectious’ fundraising efforts weren’t limited to the tattoo shop. A bouncy castle was setup for the kids and good food recipes provided edible Movember themed treats from the Day of the Dead Divas. An entire community got involved because a group of ink artists got excited about their own participation in Movember madness.

Movember provides opportunity for all different brands of Mo fun, from long-curled, ticklish hilarity to the suave and sophisticated. Watch the streets. You’ll see some strange sights if you keep your eyes on those upper lips.

You might see someone who has decided to mimic the 2010 Man of Movember from Sydney. His moustache traveled down his face and his neck, with the two hairy stripes finally ending at his waistline. Big hairy deal, you say? Obviously, he was, prior to the use of a razor on his chest and abdomen.

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The real fun comes at the end of Movember, with the local parties and the big gala events in the cities. Guys and gals gather together for fun and a good time. Local parties sport easy recipes for finger foods and fun snacks; usually, with a Movember theme. Cupcake recipes get frosted and decorated with a variety of faces, all sporting moustaches, of course.

The big finish to the month comes with the awarding of titles, both locally, nationally and internationally for the Man of Movember. The man who has most artfully displayed his facial hair in full accordance with the Movember rules of razor-cut.

For those of you who are ‘Facial Folically Challenged’, do not despair. You have not been left out. Included in the award list is the ‘Lame Mo Award’; a means of encouragement for those of lesser means in the whisker area of the upper lip.

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Now is the time to get started. Create a team from your coworkers or your guys from your university. Get the ladies involved, too, and start planning that end of Movember party. There’s still time to register at http://uk.movember.com/ and support this great cause. Also be sure to browse through the recipes on MyDish.co.uk and find some easy recipes for soups to dip the ‘staches in and some great sandwiches to go with it!


Deborah Meaden’s Dragon’s Dinner – MyDish menu 6

This week MyDish accosted a Dragon and lived to tell the tail.

Deborah Meaden, the famous dragon, is well known for her business acumen and her support of MyDish. What she isn’t well known for is her cooking, admitting to the MyDish team that she hadn’t cooked a dinner party for over 25 years!

Although Deborah may not be involved in much cooking, she has luckily been to more than her fair share of dinner parties. This being the case, MyDish decided to get the Dragon on board to help out with the dinner party menu challenge (for those of you who don’t know, we have set ourselves the task of finding and publishing a different dinner party menu each week).

Once on board, Deborah chose a menu which she built around the time of year and the ability to source the ingredients locally as she is passionate about supporting local suppliers.

 

Deborah Meaden’s Autumn British Menu

Pumpkin Soup, followed by Beef Wellington with green beans, roast potatoes, and to finished off, her favourite British Pud: sticky toffee pudding.

Ingredients sourced and raring to go, Deborah struck gold.  Catching wind of Deborah’s challenge, Top chef Giancarlo kindly invited her to his cookery school, La Cucina Caldesi, in Marylebone High St where he showed Deborah exactly how it is meant to be done.

Deborah is taught to read through the whole recipe before she starts cooking

Starter

Pumpkin Soup

Deborah cuts up the pumpkin and roasts it first with garlic.

Onions get the better of Deborah

The trick to a great pumpkin soup is to add a hint of sage flavouring just before serving.

Main Course

Beef Wellington

Once the pumpkin had been impressively mastered, Deborah and Giancarlo moved their attentions to making the perfect Beef Wellington.   

With spirits riding high, it was here Giancarlo imparted further invaluable cheffing wisdom. For truly great Beef Wellington you need to create small pancakes that lie on top of the pastry. Doing this prevents the actual puff pastry from getting soggy from the juices of the meat and mushrooms. Instead, all the juices get absorbed by the pancakes. Genius.

Dessert

Sticky Toffee Pudding 

Last but not least was the delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding. The pictures speak for themselves, as once again this recipe proved divine.

Summary

The day was a great success and MyDish learnt quite a few things. Firstly,  this particular menu tastes even better than it looks! Secondly Giancarlo of La Cucina Caldesi is a genius and a gentleman, and thirdly, Debroah can cook, its just that she’s normally too busy!

We would love you to tell us what your favourite dinner party menu is so drop us a line at ideas@mydish.co.uk

 


72 Ways To Eat Healthy On a Budget – A Definitive Guide

Chili Con Carne

This is a guest post by Josh Nicholas.

Many of us are still feeling under financial strain due to the ongoing recession and with currently no signs of economic recovery on the horizon, MyDish thought it would be a good idea to compile a definitive list of tips and tricks to eating healthy and delicious food on a budget. Afterall, food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and there is no reason that a recession should stop us from enjoying life to the fullest!

Since this is such an extensive post, we have conveniently broken our list of tips into different categories: Diet, Shopping, Cooking, At Home, Out and About, Entertainment and Other Suggestions. If you don’t wish to read them all, feel free to quickly skip to a section that interests you.

Diet

1. Become a full or part vegetarian – Meat is expensive. You don’t have to cut it out entirely but eating less of it is not only cheaper, but many say healthier too.

2. Don’t eat fruit – It is a myth that human beings need fruit as part of a balanced diet. Before international trade became widespread, fruit was only in season for a few of months of the year. What did we do for the other nine or so months? Fruit is delicious, but not a necessity.

3. Drink tap water – Many people say that bottled water offers no inherent health benefits and is nothing more than a cunning marketing ploy. Buy a water filter if you are worried about chlorine and other chemicals that may be present in tap water.

4. Don’t drink calories – We live in one of the fattest countries on the planet. Many of us could drastically reduce our calorie intake by eliminating soft drink, cordial, juice and other high calorie containing beverages.

5.  Eat staples – By including cheap calorie dense staples like rice, pasta and potatoes with each meal, you can make expensive ingredients like meat go much further.

6. Eat porridge – Oats are a cheap and healthy breakfast food and are also rich in low-GI or slow-release carbohydrates, helping you to sustain your energy levels throughout the day. Heat them into a nice porridge and add milk, honey and raisins to make it more palatable!

7. Eat eggs – Eggs are high in protein and vitamins and much cheaper than other protein sources. Why not try a nice omelette for dinner?—Delicious!

8. Eat tins of tuna – Another cheap source of protein. Add tuna to sandwiches and pastas, or eat flavoured tuna straight out of the tin!

9. Eat beans – Beans are a wonderfully cheap and healthy legume and are very versatile too. Aside from baked beans on toast, you can also try using kidney and black beans in chilli con carne and other Mexican dishes and salads. They are great for making vegetarian hamburger patties too.

10. Eat fried rice – Making fried rice is a great way to make good use of leftover rice and veggies. Two-day-old rice works best. Fry it all up with some finely diced vegetables, scrambled eggs and soy sauce.

11. Eat cheaper cuts of meat – When properly prepared, cheap cuts of meat can be just as delicious as expensive fillets. Try stewing the meat for 4-5 hours in a slow cooker. You can make large quantities this way too and freeze it down for later.

12. Eat cabbage – Cabbage is an insanely healthy leafy green vegetable that last for ages in the fridge. It is delicious when used in stir-fries and other Asian dishes, so this might be a good place to start.

 

Shopping

13. Make a budget and stick to it – We’ve all heard this one a million times, but it really does need to be first on this kind of list.

14. Pay in cash – Once you have established your weekly food budget, withdraw that exact sum of money from your bank each week and leave the credit card at home. Paying in cash makes you far more aware of how much you are spending – you can’t spend what you don’t have!

15. Shop with a list – By sticking to a shopping list, you can avoid those regrettable impulse buys that really eat into your budget. Of course shopping with a list also has the added benefit of helping you remember to get everything you need.

16. Eat before you go shopping – You already know if you go shopping with your stomach rumbling that the huge multipack of crisps is going to end up in your trolley with the chicken nuggets and the Cadbury bars. Eat a big satisfying meal before you go shopping to avoid this trap.

17. Go to one grocery store – Don’t forget that time and travel costs are valuable commodities too. While you might be able to find great deals by traipsing all over town, your time (and petrol) might be better utilised elsewhere.

18. Compare unit price – Fortunately the supermarkets make this very easy to do with shelf-edge labels. This is the easiest way to make sure you are getting the best value for money.

19. Use vouchers – The internet makes it easy to find great deals from supermarkets and restaurants alike. If you’re in the UK, try vouchercodes.co.uk to get started.

20. Get the customer card – We all know that big supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s offer customers loyalty cards that offer savings to regular shoppers. If you shop at one of these places already, you should be taking advantage of these incentives.

21. Don’t Shop at Waitrose and Mark and Sparks – Sure they have some lovely things, but save it for when you’re rich!

22. Use a stand-alone freezer – You can save enormous amounts of money by buying meat and other foods in bulk when they are on sale and freezing them.

23. Buy frozen veggies – How many times do you end up throwing away spoilt fruit and veg? Frozen veggies retain just as many nutrients as fresh ones, and they can stay in the freezer until you need them. They’re also often cheaper.

24. Buy in staples bulk – You can order 25kg sacks of rice, potatoes, pasta and other staples online for dirt cheap. This is much more cost-effective than the 500g packets you buy from the supermarket each week. Consider doing the same for canned and packet food too.

25. Buy sale food In bulk – If something you eat regularly is on sale, stock up. This isn’t limited to processed food either—many other things like bread and meat can be frozen for later.

26. Buy “loss leaders”– Do you know all those bulk stacks of wonderfully low priced items at the end of each isle in the supermarket? These are known as “loss leaders” and are typically sold at cost or sometimes at a loss to entice you down the aisle to make more expensive purchases. Don’t fall for this cunning plan—instead buy these items up in bulk while they are on sale and then wait for next week’s loss leaders. Over time you can fill your pantry with everything you need at drastically reduced prices.

27. Buy generic brands – Quite often generic food is packed in exactly the same factory as the big brand names. Don’t pay extra for packaging and advertising—it’s all the same stuff anyway.

28. Buy supplements – Veggies and fruit can be expensive and let’s face it, due to our busy lifestyles many of us don’t eat enough. Multivitamins are not all that expensive and are a good way to supplement a diet lacking in veggies, and save money in the process!

29. Buy whey protein – Meat is one of the most costly items on your grocery bill. By substituting inexpensive protein like whey for some of your protein intake, you can dramatically reduce your weekly expenses.

30. Buy fruit and veg in season – Seasonal fruit and veggies are almost always cheaper. If everyone followed the advice in this step, it would really benefit the environment too. The shipping industry uses vast quantities of oil to deliver us these exotic foods all year round.

31. Buy discounted meat – You can often buy meat at drastically reduced prices just before its expiry date. Buy it up and freeze it for later.

32. Buy non-perishables – Eliminate waste as much as possible by purchasing foods that keep for a long time. If a recipe does require an ingredient that doesn’t keep for long in the fridge, try and buy it on the day you are cooking and only buy what you need for that meal.

33. Buy from local farmers – Not always cheaper, but often you can get great bulk deals at the farmers market and their produce usually contains less pesticides and other nasties.

34. Don’t bring the kids shopping – How many times will a child in a supermarket ask for a Kinder Surprise? As many times as it takes you to say yes! Leave them at home!

35. Don’t do any shopping for one week of each month – Boycott the grocery store and consume whatever is leftover in the fridge and pantry during one week of each month. This is another great way to reduce waste.

36. Don’t buy brands, convenience foods or frozen dinners – These items are dramatically overpriced to cover associated advertising costs. They’re often unhealthy too.

37. Don’t buy ingredients that work only for a single meal – Buying very small quantities of rarely used exotic ingredients works out to be enormously expensive. Instead try to cook with ingredients that can be used for a range of different meals so you can buy in bulk and save money.

38. Order wine by the case or on sale – rather than stopping at the off-license on the way home from work when you feel like a drink, be prepared and buy your wine in bulk when it is on sale.

39. Understand the difference between “need” and “want” – Most of us eat far more than we need to sustain our livelihood. Consider adopting the philosophy “eat to live” rather than “live to eat”. This is a much healthier and cheaper way to live in the long run.

40. Shop around the perimeter of the store – All the “real” food like meat, vegetables, bread and dairy are typically located around the “outer-loop” of the supermarket. By sticking predominantly to this circuit when shopping, you avoid being tempted by all the overpriced and unhealthy convenience foods located in the middle isles.

41. Shop at ethnic markets – Produce is dramatically cheaper at these places as the owners don’t have anywhere near the overhead expenses of the big chains. You’ll often find food here to be much fresher too.

42. Plan meals around what’s on sale – Rather than going to the supermarket with a list of meals that you require ingredients for, try only buying food that is on sale and plan meals after you shop.

43. Take a calculator to the shop – Some of you may be a little embarrassed to do this, but if you are going to follow our tip of paying in cash, it will save you from further embarrassment when you go to the checkout only to find you don’t have enough money to complete the transaction!

44. Shop at a quiet time so you’re not rushed – If you can avoid shopping at peak periods like straight after work or on weekend afternoons, you can avoid feeling rushed and put proper thought into your purchases. If you go in the morning, you also have a better chance at picking up bargains too.

 

Cooking

45. Make pizza at home instead of ordering for delivery – Topping a pizza at home is easier and far cheaper than ordering take away. Consider using pitta bread as a base for a convenient, healthy and delicious alternative to thick white dough bases.

46. Make your own vegetable and chicken stock from scraps – Don’t throw away those vegetable and chicken scraps. Instead boil them into a nice stock that can be used in a variety of dishes. You can strain the scraps afterwards and use them as compost in the garden.

47. Prepare meals from scratch – Jarred sauces and other packet flavourings may be convenient, but they’re full of artificial ingredients and are way overpriced. Instead stock up on different spices, garlic, soy sauce and other natural flavourings. Meals typically taste better this way too.

48. Batch cooking – Why not set aside one day a week (perhaps Sunday) to cook meals for the whole week? You can use large pots and frying pans to cook several meals and then freeze them down for work lunches and evening meals. This is a much cheaper alternative than convenience food and is something that the whole family can get involved in.

49. Cook once a month – A slightly more extreme alternative to the above suggestion, but if you observed our previous hint of buying a large stand-alone freezer, you can easily freeze down a month’s worth of pre-prepared meals. Consider spending one weekend of each month cooking. You can always enjoy a bottle of wine and some music in the process!

50. Use meat as a flavouring rather than the central component of a meal – Thomas Jefferson once stated “I only use meat as a condiment to the vegetables which constitute my principal diet”. Most dieticians believe Westerners eat far too much meat. Why not try the Asian method of adding just a few small pieces of diced beef or chicken to a stir fried dish. Your health and your wallet will thank you for it.

51. Bake your own breadBaking bread is a lot easier than you think, especially if you have an electric bread maker. It’s also at least half the price of pre-packaged bread.

 

At Home

52. Plan ahead – We all know what happens when we fail to plan meals in advance. We end up ordering take-away or eating expensive convenience food. It only takes a little advance planning to avoid these trappings.

53. Use smaller dinner plates – Most of us were brought up to eat everything on our plate before leaving the dinner table. The problem with this is that we frequently pile too much food on our plates and then feel obligated to eat it all. Consider using smaller plates at dinner time. You can always go back for seconds if you’re still hungry.

54. Freeze Leftovers – It’s always great to cook a little extra food and freeze it down for a quick and easy meal when you’re feeling tired or couldn’t be bothered cooking. If you’re cooking for two, cook for four instead and save the rest for later.

55. Don’t waste food –Don’t buy large quantities of perishable fruit, veg and dairy. Only buy what you need for the short term.

56. Grow your own herbs – Buying herbs at the supermarket is expensive and silly too considering how easy they are to grow at home. You don’t need a garden either. Grow some simple herbs like basil and parsley on your kitchen window sill. That way you will remember to water them when you wash the dishes.

57. Grow your own veggies – Slightly more work than growing herbs, but you can start with easy to cultivate crops like tomatoes and chilli peppers and then decide whether you have the discipline to grow more varieties of vegetables.

58. Get an allotment – If there is a community garden in your neighbourhood, consider getting an allotment. You could trade gardening tips with the other plot-owners and get to know members of your local community in the process.

 

Out and About

59. Bring a packed lunch to work – We all know how expensive bought lunches can be. While you cook dinner in the evening, make your lunch for the next day. And then be sure to leave it in a spot in fridge where you will see it when you go to make your morning coffee.

60. Buy sandwiches from the supermarket – If you really don’t have time to make a pre-packed lunch before you leave the house, consider buying cheap sandwiches from the supermarket rather than visiting expensive restaurants and cafes. You can do this for family outings too.

61. Carry a water bottle – When companies first started charging for water several decades ago, people were outraged. Now this practise is so common-place that virtually nobody batters an eyelid. Even still, water is needed for survival and should be a standard right for all human beings. Refuse to pay for water and carry your own with you wherever you go.

62. Carry a thermos – Lattes are expensive. While many of us couldn’t possibly go through life without our daily dose of caffeine, carrying a thermos of tea or coffee is a much cheaper alternative to those frequent visits to Starbucks.

 

Entertainment

63. Have guests bring the wine – Cooking for guests at home can be a much cheaper and frequently more enjoyable alternative to eating out. You’ll also find that guests will often provide a nice bottle of wine or two when they come over, which means you can get merry at a fraction of the cost!

64. Drink at home before you go out – Drinks at the pub are expensive, at nightclubs doubly so. Why not have a few drinks with friends before you leave the house? That way you can set the mood for the night ahead and minimise the amount you spend on drinks.

65. Carry a hipflask – Carrying a hip-flask is a sneaky way to save money on drinks during a night out. Just don’t let the bar-staff catch you or you could see yourself promptly ejected from your favourite pub!

 

Other Suggestions

66. Fast – For many cultures, fasting is an integral part of their way of life. Aside from being a good way to save money on food expenses, many believe that fasting also has inherent health benefits.

67. Work at a restaurant – Many restaurant workers are able to eat for free at work, and sometimes take home delicious food that is leftover at the end of a shift.

68. Become a food critic – If you love food, why not become a part-time food critic? You could start a blog as a credential and then approach restaurants offering to post a review of their cuisine online.

69. Go fishing/hunting – Get back to the source. There was a time when food didn’t just come off the shelf at Tesco’s.

70. Forage for mushrooms – If you like to get out in nature, you can find some great wild foods that can be picked and taken home for later. Mushrooms are a delicious source of protein and wonderful herbs like sorrel are ideal for salads.

71. Dumpster diving / skipping – This one isn’t for everyone, but we all know that the supermarkets waste millions of pounds worth of perfectly good food each year. Consider joining the growing community of “skippers” in reclaiming some of this waste. Perhaps wear a hoodie or another disguise if you don’t want to be seen by anyone you know!

72. Try eating for a dollar a day – If you really want to take frugality to the extreme, try following the experiments of these two school teachers, and make your food budget no more than one dollar per day!

I hope you enjoyed this post–Feel free to post your own tips on how to eat healthy on a budget in the comments below :)

 

6 Miracle Hangover Foods/Recipes

It has been estimated that the average Briton will spend a stupendous 5.7 years of their lives hung-over and while this may be an astonishing fact, it is unlikely  to have any long term impact on the way some people live their lives. Damage control therefore becomes the name of the game and thankfully there is help on hand.

Below are the miracle hangover foods that will get you through the pain and help you along the road to a fast recovery:

1.      Tripe: You would think just the thought of tripe would be enough to antagonize a hangover further, however all over the world this is the one food  that is consistently regarded as a miracle cure. Tripe tends to contain huge amounts of the exact nutrients and vitamins your body craves after a night out, making it a perfect suitor.

2.      Bananas: Drinking causes the body’s levels of potassium to plummet dramatically, so getting them back up should be a priority.  Thankfully, the humble banana is extremely rich in potassium, so eating a couple of them will definitely help to sort you out.  Just don’t go eating 10 in five minutes, because this level of potassium will likely kill you!  Also remember that banana recipes that contain lots of sugars and chocolate will help you to restore your blood sugar and energy levels too.

3.      Haejangguk: Directly translating to ‘soup to chase a hangover’, Haejangguk is a wonderful traditional Korean soup recipe that many Koreans swear by. Containing beef, vegetables and congealed ox blood, this cure may be hard to find, but   certainly promises good results.

4.      Egg recipes: Containing the wonderful substance cysteine, eggs help breakdown acetaldehyde, one of the toxins that needs to be expelled from your body before you’re feeling straight again.

5.      The fry-up: By nature, a fry-up is a mix of foods that all individually play an important part in the fight against a throbbing hangover. Eggs, bacon, beans and mushrooms are perfect for combating those hangover demons. Not only this, but if you eat a fry-up before you drink, the fats line your stomach meaning alcohol is not absorbed so quickly, acting as a preventative measure!

6.      Ice cream: This brilliant substance not only helps to regulate body temperature, but also contains dairy products which provide a large source of vitamin B12. Not only this, but if you mix icecream with Pepto Bismol you have what many people on the internet claim to be the definition of a miracle cure.

If you think we may have missed some greats out, then leave a comment with your own recipe ideas and let us add to the list.

Guest post by Richard Hanrahan

 

Back to school – at last!

Its September and most kids are back at school.  It is the longest holiday and for those of us who work it is a logistical nightmare expecially for parents with kids in primary school.

So now they are back at school I breathe a sigh of relief as I dont have to organise more playdates and work out how I can drop my youngest off and still get to do my work – instead what I need to organise is three sets of pack lunch boxes for kids who each like different things!

I want to be really creative and imaginative only my children are SO unadventurous.  So all of our research and contributions are for those of you with interesting children who are prepared to try different foods (obviously I adore my children but as I have such a wealth of ideas that people share I find it totally frustrating!)

One of my very good friends Simi has a catering company called falafel feast and she makes falafel which I think is a great alternative to add to a lunchbox.  Other interesting ideas include pasta kept warm in a thermos.

For sandwich fillers I love chicken & avocado, or egg mayo mixed with smoked salmon.

Tortilla wraps make a great lunchbox treat such as Tuna wrap or Pitta with humous and salad.

If you have any ideas to liven up our lunchboxes please share them with us or just leave a comment here.

Share recipes with your facebook friends

You can now invite your friends on facebook to connect with you on Mydish and swap and share recipes with them.   If you are already a member all you need to do is login via facebook login – this will connect your facebook account to your MyDish account – and then when you go to your personal profile page you can click on “invite a friend” and a popup showing all your facebook friends will come up.  Just tick who you want to connect to and you will be able to swap and share all your favourite recipes.

If you are NOT already a MyDish member you can use your facebook  login to create your own online cook book where you can store and share all your favourite recipes.   And to share these with your freinds and family, just  go to your homepage, click on invite a friend and it will show you your facebook friends!