How to Cook: Moroccan Cous Cous

I have recently become obsessed with cous cous – it’s easy, ready in 5 minutes, and requires minimal clean up. Not only that but it’s a filling and healthy lunch that will see you through to dinner.

What’s even better it is so versatile that you can interchange flavours so that you will never get bored.

I like to add a variety of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and meats to create a well-balanced meal which is ready for me to defrost and eat when needed.

If you like this simple dish, then I have many a cous cous creation for you to try so check back soon for more and let me know how it goes.

Moroccan_Cous_Cous.

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Kitchen know-how: create 540 meals with £100

For those of you who may have had a peek at my blog before reading this article, or potentially follow it, you will have seen that I am a great advocate of saving money where possible. I am in love with the frugal lifestyle because in my opinion you don’t need to spend thousands to gain great quality dishes in the kitchen – all you need is a little inspiration and a lot of know-how.

Over my years as a thrifty student, I have managed to gain many skills and assets that have helped me spend pennies on things that would normally eat away at m budget. I’ve fed myself and one other for as little as 19p per meal and with this know-how I’ve managed to save thousands!

It is these hints, tips, and recipes I dedicate my blog too because if I can do it there’s no reason why you can’t too!

Now, I am aware many families incur many expenses that I (as a student) haven’t encountered yet – mainly those orientated around children and the like. But that doesn’t mean that some of these tips won’t bee useful; the majority are transferable and will still allow you a few spare pennies!

1. Shop local (for bits and bobs only)

Everyone knows that shopping local doesn’t work on a tight budget especially for your weekly shops. However, forgotten an integral fruit or vegetable for your dinner tonight? Then head down to your local fruit and vegetable store (and I’m not talking about Spar!) I’m talking about the authentic, fresh from the stem, food goodness! You’ll find that fruit and vegetables are a lot cheaper (and triple the size) than nipping to Tesco. And plus, you’re helping a local business in the process too – it’s a win/win!

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How to Cook: Lentil Bolognese

This simple Lentil Bolognese recipe has fast become my favourite to cook and eat. It’s light, flavoursome, and just simply delicious. I could eat barrels of the stuff if I allowed myself!

It only takes 20 minutes to prepare and cook so it’s perfect for that mid-week slump. And tastes delicious even when it comes straight from the freezer!

I would highly recommend adding the spaghetti with about 1/4 cup of the spaghetti water to the dish for the remaining 5 minutes because it is that which will help give the flavour that extra boost.

Trust me you’re going to become obsessed with this one.

Lentil_Bolognese

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How to Cook: Gumbo

This simple 5-step Gumbo recipe was inspired by: Cotter Crunch and it has fast become one of my favourite go to dinners/lunches. It’s blend of spice enriched tomato base paired with a tonne of vegetables makes it as satisfying as it is delightful. It has the ability to transport you to a thousand different places with each spoonful, and the paprika really gives it the kick every dish needs.

If you’re looking for an easy re-heatable lunch – or just fancy something different for you dinner – then this is a must try! Plus it makes approximately 8 servings so what are you waiting for?!

Gumbo

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How to Cook: Bacon and Mushroom Tagliatelle

If you’ve been following my social media platforms at the minute you will know I can’t shut up talking about this absolutely delightful dish. Bacon and Mushroom Tagliatelle was a staple in our house until Schwartz discontinued the packet mix and mum had no herbs to whip it up herself. The dish had almost gone extinct from memory until at Easter I decided to take it upon myself to do an exact recreation. And by exact, I mean perfect!

Armed with a tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, and a variety of herbs, I set to work. The end result was mind-blowing, it was like that scene in Ratatouille where the food critic had full-on food nostalgia!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “come on Anna, it’s hardly a notable achievement is it?” Well, here is where you are oh so very wrong. Yes, herbs may be down there on your list of experimental condiments but I tell you this one slip of the hand with some Rosemary or Thyme and the dish has gone rogue without any hope of returning.

Equally if you’re new to the practice of herbs, spices, and all things home-cooking then this dish is a great starting point to build you kitchen confidence! So shake away my dear followers – SHAKE AWAY!

Bacon_and_Mushroom_Tagliatelle.

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How to Cook: Stir Fry

I love making stir fry for many reasons; it’s quick, easy, versatile, and allows me to eat my 5 a day in one delicious helping! There are so many combinations of sauces, vegetables, and seasonings to try that if I did a recipe for each one it’ll never end! So wy not take this as a base and then chop, change, and experiment your way through some more flavours? Trust me, you will never get bored of this 20 minute dish.

Beef_Stir_Fry

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Sunshine Blogger Award

First and foremost, thank-you to Man Vs Adulthood (formerly Ross) for the nomination. Receiving the nomination made my week, and really did bring the sunshine! For all of you who are not acquainted with Ross’ blog I would highly recommend checking out his work. You can visit his own acceptance speech here, or his blog here.

Sun through trees

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5 simple steps to help you budget…

Last week I asked you what you wanted to see appear on the blog and it was a unanimous win for budgeting advice! So I’ve listened, and here it is…

To be quite honest, this post has been a long time coming – this particular draft having been filed away since December 2018 – crazy I know! I wouldn’t be a budget blog if I didn’t let you in on a few of my secrets, so it seems crazy that I haven’t published this post before today.Although some of these points aren’t really secrets, I feel it’s beneficial to repeat them anyway. And. if you want to find more hints and tips, have a read of my guest post over at The Money Shed.So with the preliminaries out the way, let’s begin…

1. Know your Finances

In-comings, outgoings, and expenditure. 3 horrible words we all dread to hear, but get used to it guys because I’m going to be throwing these words around a lot!You need to know exactly what is going out of your account, when, and how much. Sounds simple and common-sensical but you’d be surprised how many people fail to know this simple information. And it really does help to know this sort of stuff because knowing this off the top of your head will allow you to make more logical decisions about whether you really can afford that morning coffee.Which brings me nicely on to my next step…

Piggy_Bank

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How to Cook: Paella

Paella is a great dish whenever you don’t really fancy cooking. Throw some rice, broth, and veg in a pan – wait 20 minutes –  and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a tasty dish that is fit for any budget!

For this paella I decided to max out on veggies, but feel free to add anything you want – just don’t forget to cook any meat before continuing with the rest of the recipe. If you want to add some meat to this particular recipe then I would recommend salmon, it complements the vegetables nicely.

Paella

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How to Cook: Beef Cacciatore

Leftover passata and cream cheese? Fear not, I have a great recipe for you to try out. This beef cacciatore is so versatile, if haven’t got any beef (or don’t like it) then simply change the recipe to chicken and it works just as well (if not better!) You can also add whatever vegetables your heart desires, I opted for a casserole mix as this was pretty cheap in Iceland and worked really well with the creaminess of the sauce.

I prefer to pair this recipe with some rice but it will work well with anything. This time round I attempted egg friend rice, which was…well…interesting. Suffice to say, for my first attempt, it didn’t go quite to plan but it still tasted delicious!

Beef_Cacciatore

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