Day 5 – Mac makes enough food to feed a small army


June 6, 2009 by missmegany

Mac’s away this weekend on a conservation project, so he had to bring lunch with him for the next couple days. In doing so, he managed to fill up our whole fridge with lots and lots of food. I’ve been instructed not to bring it to the Art House, but I don’t know how else we’re going to get through this much food. See below for recipes for the aubergine (eggplant) and chickpea curry we had for dinner, and the two quiona salads that are now sat in our fridget–quinoa, almond, roasted chickpea and roasted cherry tomato salad (the catchier name for it from the vegweb site is “Quinoa to Win Over Your Boyfriend’s Family” and the quinoa, walnut and mushroom salad that was supposed to be mostly arugula (check out the picture on the website we got it from to see what I mean). Both look delicious, but the quantities are approaching ridiculous.

Aubergine, Potato and Chick Pea Balti (Birmingham Balti) – Serves 6
£2.64, 44p per serving

10 minutes preparation time (unless you cook the chickpeas from dried, which is 2 hours), 30 minutes cooking time

For the vegetables

2 Tbs vegetable oil – 30p (Mac used rapeseed oil)

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced – 27p
½ tsp cumin se
eds – 1p
1 aubergine, cut into 1 cm cubes – RIVERFORD

1 potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes – 42p

200g chickpeas, rinsed & drained (it was 1/4c of chickpeas soaked since this morning and cooked for 2hours) 8.5p

1 tsp ground coriander – 3p

½ tsp ground cumin – 1p

¼ tsp ground turmeric – .5p

For the sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil – 30p

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced – 27p

2 cloves garlic, crushed – 15p

2 tsp root ginger, peeled and grated – 3p
4 cm cassia bark (optional-skipped)

6 whole cloves – 6p

450g tin chopped plum tomatoes 49p

¼ tsp ground turmeric – 5p
½ tsp
ground coriander – 1p
½ tsp
ground cumin – 1p

1 tsp sugar – 1p

1 ½ tsp salt – 1p

1 tsp red chilli powder to taste (skipped)

To finish (Skipped all of this)
4 tbs fresh coriander,
finely chopped
200ml water

½ tsp garam masala

2c basmati rice – 12p

4c water.

For the vegetables
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the sliced onions and cumin seeds. Cook for 3 minutes

2. Add the chopped potato, aubergine, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric. Stir to coat vegetables evenly and then cook over a high heat for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside.

For the Sauce
1. Heat the oil in the pan. Add the onion, crushed garlic, grated ginger, cassia bark and whole cloves and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add chopped plum tomotoes, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt, sugar and chilli to taste. Cook on a high heat for two minutes, then lower to a medium heat and cook for a further 3
minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the cassia bark and blend the sauce roughly with a hand blender, then add the vegetables to the sauce with 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander, the water and the garam masala.

4. Cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with remaining chopped coriander and serve with Basmati rice and/or naan bread.

Spring greens – 27p total, 13.5p per portion
one bunch of
spring greens cut into 2″ slices – RIVERFORD
Head a pan on medium and add 2tsp Pratt’s rapeseed oil (10p)
Place 2 sliced cloves garlic (15p) in the pan and cook slowly. When they are approaching golden, add the spring greens. Stir to coat with oil. Cook 10 min.
Just before serving, add
1tsp lemon juice – 2p.

Today’s Breakdown
Breakfast: 13p porridge and Megan had a cup of tea 3p
Mac had half of the wild rice salad: 14p AND mushroom and spinach curry 31p.

Megan had a work lunch at the Fat Fig (… oops and just remembered that half a falafel wrap is still sat in her bag the morning after. Oops.
Megan also managed to get free Krispy Kreme donuts from the other guy who is leaving from our team…and then proceeded to eat a bunch of them. And then brought some home, and we both ate some after work….and then again after dinner.
Dinner: Aubergine, potato and chick pea balti over rice for 44p and some cooked spring greens from Riverford. 13.5p
Megan had half a glass of apple juice (100mL) for 20p

Mac: £1.93 Megan: £1.71 Plus a
whole bunch of Krispy Kremes…

Quinoa to Win Over Your Boyfriend’s Family by envirogirl- Serves 3-4

£1.39 total, per serving 35p for 4 people, 46p for 3.
2 cups quinoa (Mac only used 3/4c) – 34p
3 cups water
3-4 tablespoons olive oil – 50p

200g chickpeas, rinsed & drained (it was 1/4c of chickpeas soaked since this morning and cooked for 2hours) – 8.5p

2-3 cups sliced almonds (Mac used 45g of whole almonds – 44p)
1-2 oz. sliced sundried tomatoes (used RIVERFORD fresh cherry tomatoes)

1 Tbsp Rosemary (from the GARDEN)

garlic salt to taste

Pour water into a sauce pan and bring to boil on high heat.
Pour quinoa into boiling water. Turn heat to medium high once foam starts to rise.
Allow to boil uncovered until water level reaches quinoa level. Cover & let simmer until water is absorbed.

If using cherry tomatoes, put in a roasting dish or baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 20min or so. Take out, and add other ingredients for roasting.
If using sundried tomatoes, just add olive oil, chickpeas, garlic salt and rosemary onto baking sheet.
Broil in oven on 400 degree F heat until chickpeas are crispy and/or start to crackle.
Toast sliced almonds in a pan on high heat until browned and aromatic.
Add chickpeas, almonds, and sun dried tomatoes to quinoa and stir. Add more spices if needed.
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Quinoa, walnut and mushroom salad tossed with watercress or arugula – serves 6 – £1.51, 25p per serving

250 ml (1 cup) water
125 ml ( 1/2 cup) quinoa – 35p
(Mac used 3/4c)
50 ml
(1/4 cup) olive oil, divided – 50p

125 g (4 oz) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (used chestnut mushrooms from RIVERFORD)

1 clove garlic, minced – 7.5p

15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce – 9p

2 ml ( 1/2 tsp) each salt and fresh cracked black pepper

10 ml (2 tsp) maple syrup – 14p

5 ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard (Mac used 1/2tsp Coleman dried with 1/2tsp water to make a paste) 4p

8 cups arugula or watercress – (Rocket from our GARDEN!)

250 ml (1 cup) toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (only used 50g) – 31p

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; leave covered for 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining oil with maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
Add arugula and walnuts to hot mushrooms in pan.
Stir in quinoa and drizzle with oil mixture, stirring to combine.

Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories, 8 g protein, 22 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 29 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium. Source:


2 thoughts on “Day 5 – Mac makes enough food to feed a small army

  1. Robin says:

    I would like a photo of your fridge.Sally and I took a picture of our fridge in Santa Fe, when, for some reason, we had FOUR jars of pickles.

  2. Robin says:

    Also, that quinoa looks good, but why with almonds? I would add more tomatoes or veggies, or something else. But not almonds.

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