February 17, 2009 by missmegany
Monday night rolled around and I was running late from work and only had half an hour at home before I had to run out the door again for to catch a train to a meeting (oh the joys of being part of 5 different groups). Mac hadn’t realised how tight time was, so he hadn’t started dinner when I got in.
So, on the day when I heard on the news that KFC is expanding in the UK because more people are turning to fast food during the recession, I made my own fast food. And it was definitely cheaper than their chicken zinger or whatever it’s called.
Megan’s ultra-quick Italian-ish dinner for one — a VERY expensive 58p!!!
100g pasta (16p)
1T olive oil (10p)
2 cloves garlic (15p)
1/2 tsp oregano (2p?)
1/2 tsp basil (2p?)
1 slice bread (9p)
1T tomato paste (4p)
pinch Italian seasoning (OR garlic powder AND oregano AND basil)
Heat 2T olive oil on low-medium heat in a frying pan.
Thinly slice or chop garlic and add to oil.
Add herbs as well, stir occasionally, make sure heat is fairly low. Try to cook for 15 min if time allows.
Boil water and cook pasta to instructions (usually 9-13 min depending on type).
Meanwhile, spread tomato paste onto bread and add pinches of seasonings.
Heat in oven at about 160C (yes, I know that’s wasteful, but I was hungry!)
When pasta is finished, drain well and add to frying pan and stir to cover pasta with oil, garlic and herbs.
No, it wasn’t amazing. It would have been if I’d added some more spices and let the garlic cook a bit longer, but it was DEFINITELY better than KFC!!
While I was out at my meeting, Mac cooked the dinner I was longing for…. baked pumpkin and sage and parsnip cakes (see day 1 and the raves about the leftovers on day 2)
Baked pumpkin with red onion and sage – 5 servings – 14p per serving, excluding pumpkin
ready in: 1 hour (25 mins Prep – 35 mins Cook)
1 small pumpkin, about 1.6 kg (3½ lb), peeled, seeded and cubed, (RIVERFORD!)
2 red onions, cut into wedges (we used regular onions, 20p)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (30p)
3 tbsp chopped fresh sage (from our garden)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (20p)
salt and pepper (1p?)
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7).
Lay a large sheet of foil on a baking tray.
Pile the pumpkin and onions in the middle of the foil. Alternatively, prepare 4 sheets of foil and cook the pumpkin in individual parcels.
Scatter the garlic and sage over the pumpkin, then drizzle the oil over and add seasoning to taste.
Fold up the foil to enclose the pumpkin, then fold the edges together to seal the vegetables inside a neat parcel.
Bake the pumpkin parcel or parcels for 30 minutes.
Open the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and beginning to brown. Serve hot.
Copyright by The Readers Digest Association, Inc. 2004
Parsnip Cakes – Serves 4 (but we had enough for 5 with the extra ingredients) – 15p per serving for 2 patties per serving (excluding cost of parsnips)
450g (1lb) Parsnips (Mac used 580g – but all RIVERFORD!)
1 large Egg (Mac used 2 medium eggs because we had more parsnips. 44p)
8 tbsp Breadcrumbs (14p)
2 tbsp Flour (2p?)
2 tbsp Melted Butter (14p)
1 pinch Mace (2p?)
Oil for frying (we’re using oil that has been used before, and we’ll reuse this again)
Salt and Black Pepper (1p?)
Peel and slice the parsnips, then boil in salted water until tender.
Drain and mash well.
Add flour, mace, melted butter, salt and pepper.
Form into small flat, round cakes.
Dip into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs.
Fry in hot oil until brown on both sides.
Breakfast: Megan had porridge and tea – 13 p and 4p, Mac had nothing
At work: Megan had two cups of tea – 8p, Mac had tea – 3p
Lunch: potato and celeriac leftovers – 17p
Dinner: Megan had her super quick pasta for 58p, Mac had parsnip cakes 15p and baked pumpkin 14p. Megan also had two parsnip cakes and some pumpkin when she got home. 29p 😦
Megan: £2.05 (that’s what 2 dinners will do for you. I should have worked out the cost of it before I stuffed my face when I got home!), Mac: £1.24
However, we both got free food in the evening. Mac had someone buy him a packet of crisps (he was at a music quiz and the guy bought the whole team a pack each–I doubt this guy knew about our challenge) and then ate the remains of chinese food someone couldn’t finish. I stuffed my face on shortbread that was at my meeting. I had three pieces. I kept apologising saying that other people should have their fair share, but ate it anyway.