June 16, 2009 by missmegany
I started my new job today. Everyone seems really nice, but I did have to spend a good chunk of the day reading through health and safety guidelines and looking through an “induction pack”. I think they only make packs like that because they know that otherwise the first day on a job would be fairly boring.
Mac has, over time, told people at his work about his £2 challenge and other things–although I’m still not sure if they know whether we don’t have a TV. (Of course I’ve been watching more Alias, Angel, and Numb3rs episodes while cooking and doing blog updates than could ever be good for me, so it’s probably not fair to say that we don’t have a TV. I still watch crap) I’m not sure whether or not to tell people….who am I kidding? I like talking, so I’m sure I’ll end up telling people anyway.
I do wonder sometimes if this is worth doing as a challenge–the idea is to show people that it can be done, that buying organic isn’t beyond people’s means… but if we’re worried about even mentioning it because we might alienate people or weird them out, what’s the point? We don’t need to prove anything to ourselves anymore. Maybe if we did a £3 a day challenge and were able to eat more cheese and fruit, we wouldn’t feel so weird mentioning it. Of course, then if might not get the same kind of attention.
Anyway, as to what we ate today, what was organic/local/fair trade?
Organic: oats, raisins, milk in tea (the tea was fair trade), pak choi, red pepper, carrots, pasta (also fair trade), tomatoes, and basil.
Local: asparagus, butter, bread, garlic, and probably a fair portion of our veg box ingredients.
Summery Pasta with tomatoes, basil and asparagus
This is a quick and easy summer pasta recipe. You can use more basil and tomatoes and just use those, or slow cook in butter some mushrooms, or sautee until brown some courgette (zuchinni). There are lots of options for this, and just about all of them taste good–especially if you have fresh, local ripe tomatoes (do not EVER try this recipe with crappy supermarket out-of-season tomatoes! It will be bland and horrible and probably put you off tomatoes for life. I may be exaggerating slightly, but it won’t be good. Trust me.)
400g pasta – 96p
Asparagus 250g – £1.00
Assorted cherry tomatoes RIVERFORD
6 cloves garlic 45p
a few handfuls of basil – from our windowsill(!!)
2T extra pressed rapseed oil – 30p
Heat oil on medium-low heat, and preheat your oven to 200C (400F) or thereabouts. You aren’t baking, so it’s not an exact science.
Once the oven is hot enough, place the whole cherry tomatoes in it on a baking dish. You can gently cover them in oil if you like, put a bit of salt and pepper ontop, but neither are necessary. Leave to roast for 20 min or so.
Meanwhile, slice your garlic and add to the oil. You don’t want the oil too hot because the garlic should NOT burn. You want it to ever-so-slowly turn a light gold colour. Depending on how small your asparagus is, you might get away with just adding it to the oil. Before you do that, snap off the ends by bending both ends until it snaps–it will snap at the point where the woody-bit ends and the nice tender bit begins. Hopefully you won’t lose too much asparagus that way–that’s another good reason to buy local seasonal produce!
When you add the garlic, boil up a pan of water at the same time. You can add the asparagus to this for a minute and then strain out–you’ll use the same water for your pasta.
If you aren’t short of pans, you can always place the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2 min. Mac boiled about an inch of water and then placed the asparagus standing up for about 5 min (we don’t have a fancy-pants asparagus steamer pan). Once you’ve done that, you can either grill it (my favourite) on a ridged grill pan or add it straight to your oil and garlic. Asparagus is fairly flexible.
Once 10 min or so have passed since you put in the tomatoes, add the pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook for however long the package says.
Take out your tomatoes (they should be bursting at the top, but still pretty whole), add all ingredients to a bowl, stir well and add the basil.
Breakfast: Both: porridge with raisins 13p. Megan had a cup of tea, 3p
Lunch: leftover stirfry 27p, Megan had 2 more cups of tea 6p (they really like tea at my new job!)
Dinner: Pasta with roasted garlic, tomatoes, asparagus and basil for £2.71 for 4, 68p per person, plus a piece of sourdough bread with butter (18p + 7p)
Total: £2.18 for Mac, £2.27 for Megan. Stupid asparagus.