Day 18 – MUCH cheaper stirfry!

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February 20, 2009 by missmegany

Not too shabby. Made TONS of stirfy for not too much money AND managed not to use up too much veg. I’m very aware now of spreading out our veg box over the whole week. I used all the broccoli (TIP: use broccoli as soon as you get it–it does NOT keep well) half the mushrooms we were given, one carrot (once cut up into matchsticks it looked like LOADS!), a few leaves off the red cabbage, and decided to use onions instead of leeks. I’m hoping for a mushroom and leek dish later (maybe we can top it up with mushrooms from the Mushroom Guy at the Winchester Farmers’ Market…….mmm….. mushroom butties……)

Also, we managed to have cookies (!) and I had an apple (!!) AND we both had dessert (!!!) We are definitely getting better at this.

Anyway, here’s our dinner. I WISH I’d taken pictures. Stupid Megan. Stirfry ingredients look so colourful lined up on the chopping board.

Megan’s cobbled together vegetable stirfry

serves 4 BIG portions (or 5 if we hadn’t been so greedy) – 43p per portion.


  • About 200g (I think? a couple handfuls) of mushrooms, in thick-ish slices (RIVERFORD)
  • Soy sauce 2T 18p
  • Lime juice – 1T – 3p
  • Veg oil – 2 1/2T 7p
  • Onion, roughly chopped- 10p
  • Broccoli, florets with small stalks separated from main stalk, which is then roughly peels and cubed (RIVERFORD)
  • Carrots, chopped into matchsticks (RIVERFORD)
  • A few leaves peeled off of a red cabbage then thinly sliced (RIVERFORD)
  • 2 cloves garlic – 15p
  • Ginger 1p
  • Pinch of Chinese 5 Spice 2p
  • 2c rice – 72p
  • 2 eggs – 44p

I hate it when recipes don’t tell you in the directions to prepare the vegetables but instead put it in the ingredients list. However, I’ve already done it…. so I’ll repeat it.
Prepare the vegetables:

  • Slice the mushrooms first and put in a VERY shallow dish with the soy sauce, lime juice and 1T of veg oil. You want this done first so it has about 20-30 min to marinade. It’s not much marinade, so you will need to occasionally move around the mushrooms to ensure all are soaking at least some of the time.
  • While the mushrooms are marinading, chop the onion, broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage (see above for how big). TIP: The reason to pull off individual leaves of red cabbage (although it is a bit of a pain to do) is because it will keep the red cabbage whole, so that it lasts longer. As soon as you cut into it, it will go off a lot faster.
  • I made the mistake of not steaming my broccoli first. Do this now so that your other vegetables can stay quite crunchy. Steam about 5-7min, or until it is just barely tender…if you like it a bit crunchy. If you like well-cooked broccoli, keep cooking until the fork easily goes through the stalk.
  • Start cooking the rice—2c rice with just under 4c water in a covered pan. Do NOT heat the water first. Heat on a medium-high heat until it starts to boil and then IMMEDIATELY turn it down to the lowest possible temperature. It will take about 20min to cook. DO NOT TAKE OFF THE LID. The rice will cook in part through steam, so you don’t want the steam to escape in excess.
  • (Again, I did NOT do this part of the recipe when I should have and got another pan dirty. Oops.) Heat up 1/2T of oil in the wok on medium/medium-high heat.
  • Beat 2 eggs together in a bowl and then add to the hot oil.
  • Stir quite quickly and keep stirring so you don’t end up with an omelette, but instead you get a whole bunch of little cooked egg pieces.
  • Once it is fully cooked, remove from the wok and set aside.
  • Add 1T of oil to the wok and add the onions.
  • After about 3-4 min, add the carrot sticks and garlic.
  • Two min later, add the rest of the vegetables, the mushrooms and their marinade (there is no perfect way to do this, so don’t worry too much about timings).
  • Add a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice, and grate some ginger over the wok. Keep stirring.
  • Once you’ve been cooking all these vegetables for about 5 minutes, add about 1/2 c of stock (or be lazy like me and put 1tsp of stock powder on top of the vegetables and just pour some water onto the wok from the kettle).
  • Keep cooking until you get the tenderness/crunchiness balance that you want OR until the rice is cooked (all the water will have been absorbed and you can fluff it with a fork) OR until you feel like eating and the table has been cleared.
  • Throw in the egg with the stirfry at the last minute to mix it in.

Serve over rice.

Here’s the day’s breakdown. We worked out most of this BEFORE dinner so we knew whether or not we could have dessert.

Breakfast: oatmeal and raisins 13p, tea 4p Mac at a cookie for breakfast for 5p. I guess it has oatmeal and peanut butter in it, so it’s not too bad.
Lunch: 31p leftovers.

At work: Megan pigged out and had green tea 4p, 2 cookies 10p, and an apple 13p ALL before noon – 27p. I then gave Sarah my last cookie so that I wasn’t tempted to eat it as well. Mac had 1 cookie after work 5p.

Riverford: 75p
Dinner: 43p
per portion, excluding veg.
Dessert: Mac had 55g worth of pistachios (he did out the math gram by gram to see the maximum he was allowed with his leftover money. Megan had half a cup of tea and a cookie for 7p. I was going to have half a cookie and a full cup of tea, but once I broke the cookie into half, I decided it would be cruel to only eat half of it… I thought half a cup of tea wouldn’t be too bad.

Totals: Mac: £2.00 (after his carefully counted 41p of pistachios), Megan: £2.00 (after realising she could have a whole cookie AND half a cup of tea for dessert)

I ended up being really full at the end of the evening. Not bad for £2 a day!!

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Less and Less and More is all about enjoying more, all whilst worrying about less. Whether enjoying better health because you eat less junk, having more time for friends and family because you spend less time on acquiring, or lots of other big and little things that we want more of, I look at examples of people doing more.


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