Easy food ideas to stop expensive meals out

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Diane1969, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Diane1969

    Diane1969 Funster

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    Morning,
    I cook all our food from fresh ingredients at home during the week which is time consuming and we normally end up eating out or takeaways at the weekends, as I can't be bothered to cook, ( lazy I know ) anyway the thing is having spent all our money on our van we need to keep the cost down whilst being away and not eat out all the time which is what we normally do whilst away, which ends up really expensive! we want to enjoy the van and not worry about the added cost.
    So I'm wondering if any of you lovely people have some easy, tasty meal ideas?
    We have an oven, hob and microwave So even if it's a really good quality ready meal I would be grateful .
    I have searched the forum for this type of thread but didn't find one so sorry if this has already been covered before
     
  2. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    You'll get plenty of suggestions.

    I'd advise buying a nonstick sauté pan, basically a deep frying pan with lid. Tefal or similar. I've had them from Argos or French hyper markets and think mine is about 22 cm but depends on your hob. It doubles as a frying pan and as a wok too.

    Search bbc good food (app or online) for one pot meals. Many have only 4 or 5 ingredients and are really tasty. Typically the rice or potatoes are in the pot too so less washing up and quick to throw in together, less time to make. I now have a whole selection that I know the ingredients for off by heart, they are regular 'van' meals.

    I have also found recipes from the many tv chefs ' quick' books but bbc good food seems to have a knack of creating simple and quick versions of old favourites.
     
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  3. Diane1969

    Diane1969 Funster

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    Thanks , I have bought a frying pan with lid for the van as I use them a lot at home. I will search one pot ideas
     
  4. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Omelettes with salad or nice bread.
    Tesco finest £10 meal deal is normally good (other brands are available e.g. M&S)
    Pre-make meals to take with you like chilli & bolognese
    Those small joints that some in foil trays & frozen roasties
    Ready cooked chicken with salad or savoury rice
     
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  5. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    My wife when cooking a curry or chilli in the week makes double the amount and then pops the surplus in freezer bags and puts them in the freezer.

    Then if we are away a few nights we take the bags out and put them in the van freezer. Then it's just a case of defrosting and making some rice

    Same with cottage pie and stuff like that , just make the potato topping in the van.

    If it's dry outside get the BBQ going - whatever time of year(y)
     
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  6. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    I have a quick cook pasta meal I use as a standby.

    Cook bacon or ham bits and sliced mushrooms for a couple of minutes in a frying pan. Add quick cook pasta and water to cover, with a stock cube. Simmer until the pasta starts to soften, adding a little more liquid if needed. I stir in a little tomato ketchup for a tomatoey sauce and add a table spoon or so of parmesan and a little cream.

    When cooking this in the van I then add a small can of sweet corn and a small can of sliced red peppers.

    (If at home with more time I use fresh peppers and onions for the base and frozen peas and I usually use Cayenne to make it spicy).

    When almost all the liquid has disappeared and the pasta has softened turn off the heat and leave to stand for a few minutes to absorb the rest of the sauce.

    Easy.

    You can also just cook the pasta in the stock and then add the sweet corn and pepper and a can of tuna near the end of cooking.
     
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  7. Diane1969

    Diane1969 Funster

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    Thanks don't know why I didn't think of that as I'm always freezing food!!
    You'd get on with steve he would have barbecue every day, trouble is he wants a weeks worth of meat each time, i actually think it's cheaper eating out, This was a Sunday afternoon barbecue just for the two of us
     

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  8. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    Fry onions with some thickly sliced spicy chorizo (aldi) on a low heat add a sliced red pepper tin of chick peas carton of passata and some red wine simmer for about an hour eat with rice or bread with rest of red wine
     
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  9. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    So what are they then? I think this is the type of thing the OP is interested in.
     
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  10. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    we use the oven a lot, casseroles and small roasts, half a chicken is good. Corned beef hash with a tin of sweet corn, pasta with anything in the fridge is another quick and easy one
     
  11. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    For me this is were the slow cooker and microwave come into their own. Yesterday morning chucked braising steak, onion, red pepper and tin tomatoes into the slow cooker with a sachet of Swartz slow cooker casserole mix. Last night we had a beautiful casserole with jacket potatoes done in the microwave. Would have been too tired to cook anything decent as we had been out all day.
    Can highly recommend the McCains frozen jacket potatoes for a quick fix.
    I usually bring a quick frozen meal for our first night away, this week it was bolognase with a bag of fresh pasta - all ready in just 5 minutes. Agree that making extra and freezing at home then bringing with you is the way to go. Have even done this with mash potato in the past.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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  12. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We take meals cooked during the week and frozen into take away containers - they defrost slowly in the fridge (and help cool the fridge down) and last us a weekend or more.
     
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  13. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    If you're abroad, especially France, the simple things in tins can be a refreshing change from whatever we get here, and don't take much cooking; I would never dream of eating "beans and baby sausauges", but somehow a tin of cassoulet (preferably the lentil cassoulet) with its chunks of ham served with a hunk of fresh bread is great, but you can even buy things like le langue in a madeira sauce for a couple of Euros which is delicious.

    Microwave rice is ready in two minutes and is a great standby; and you can bang up a curry in seconds if you use tinned meat/veggies - obviously not as good as fresh, but pretty good and a LOT less hassle, and all the "skins" can go straight into the can-bank (c;

    Also as @Chris says, make extra and freeze! We always always clean and save the cartons from any take-aways so we can re-use them. Easy to store in the freezer and in ready sized portions! Lady Bacchus is working up in 'that London' at the moment and much prefers a re-heated tocitura with polenta or a green thai curry and rice to some five pound sandwich!
     
  14. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    I like my meat but that is an unbelievable amount of meat for two!

    I BBQ the meat and we have salads or baked or salad potatoes when we are away in the summer. Don't want to be slaving over a hot stove in a hot van in the summer.
     
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  15. deanroofing

    deanroofing Funster

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    Good job you never had friends round then.
     
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  16. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    That's shocking!!!!!!!!!

    (who let a girl near the barbecue...)
     
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  17. Enword

    Enword Funster

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    As Chris said, For race weekends Mrs D cooks x 4 evening meals & freezes them, then defrost as an when, just the veg to do then, midday light bites or if I'v been good & scored points I get a bacon sarni !!!
     
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  18. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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    As said before double up ideas are great. You already sound like a great cook, can you just simplify some of the stages in recipes you like. I batch freeze cubes of things like fresh blitzed root ginger and chillies, for stir frys curries etc (buy chopped stir fry veg bags, chopped chicken, add some cashews) take the easy squeeze tubes of garlic etc. Saves washing up.
    Ready make thai curry sauce mix with can of coconut milk. Microwave rice. Frozen coriander and parsley which I buy in big bunches from the local farm shop, much cheaper than supermarket just empty the bag. I use microwave steam bags to cook fresh veg and salmon steaks, saves washing up. Cheaper cuts of meat in slow cooker.
    Take at least a couple place settings of nice plates and glasses, when you are out for the day set yourselves a challenge of finding something simple and inexpensive to bring back for your evening meal, have some spices /rubs with you. I always take a few onions and lemons / limes. I have recipe photo's on my ipad and a little book with favourite recipes in too.
     
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  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I learned how to cook a paella at a masterclass held by @Coolbeanz in Spain this year. As a result this has become my party piece and I enjoy making it.

    Of course it isn't necessarily the best meal for a wet weekend in Wigan but the point is cooking can be enjoyable and be part of the trip. Mussels very easy to cook as well and if you have an oven the part baked loaves you can get from the likes of Lidls make a good crusty accompaniment.
     
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  20. jdk62

    jdk62 Funster

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    Finely chop 2 or 3 gloves of garlic. Finely chop 2 or 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley. Finely chop a red chilli.

    Boil the kettle and fill a large pan bring back to the boil add salt and pop in 180 - 200 grams of good spaghetti? Cook as per instructions.

    Meanwhile heat a frying pan with 4- 5 tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the garlic and chilli for about 5 mins ( not too hot or will make garlic bitter..). When spaghetti is cooked, drain and then add oil,garlic,chilli mixture along with parsley. Toss together, serve with lashing of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    Prep and cooking time - 10mins : Spaghetti alio e peperocino..

    Oh and crack a bottle of wine..:D
     
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