Skinflint Bolognese

The Mr and I are overspent this week in both financial and caloric terms which has presented something of a challenge for the catering team- which is Me tonight.
Due to being both brilliant and too lazy to go on a yellow sticker hunt at the shops I’ve pulled it out the bag with our scant fridge contents and made a pretty good dinner which I wanted to share for a number of reasons, not least of all to show that you can eat healthily and heartily on a budget- try these three ingredients for a start:

Turkey– a good protein source, nutritionally winning with high levels of iron, zinc and potassium plus metabolism buddy tryptophan which you need for all sorts of basic functions in the temple that is your body.

Chopped tomatoes– weirdly better for you than raw tomatoes due to increased lycopene availability which could help the body fight cancer and cardiovascular diseases too. Most own brand supermarket versions do the job as a sauce base at less than 40p a tin.

Garlic– Tasty and fights germs. And vampires.

Store cupboard staple Morrissons chilli powder which packs plenty of flavour for all budgets

I’d also like to pay a quick homage here to Morrissons own brand herbs and spices which really walk the walk in my kitchen without racking up too much budget allocation. I’m not one to buy a crappy ingredient just because it is cheap, I like eating too much, but I very rarely stray from their chilli powder which is about 50p a pot and really nicely balanced in heat there really is no need to go higher. There was a horrible day in 2013 when we ran out of Morrissons awesome own brand smoked paprika but we will not dwell on those dark times now . Asda do very good own brand spices too if they are your supermarket of choice.
Moving on now to frozen veg. Gah, no, we all wail and agree that fresh is best BUT the majority of plain frozen veg retains a good level of nutrients and can rescue many a mid week dinner when you don’t have time to pop out to the Co op. Speaking of the Co op, they do stupidly good value deals on their frozen food. The peas we used this evening came from an Easter frozen deal which scored a leg of lamb, pack of peas, pack of carrots, Yorkshires (the horror, I know), roast potatoes (bigger horrors), profiteroles AND a full size tub of hagen daaz for a tenner. That’s still a bargain when you chuck out the spuds and Aunt Bessies so check out what your local Co op food Hall has on offer this week. The fresh mince you need for this recipe is £2 a pack there at standard price.

So here it is, the poor foodie’s bolognese which I reckon comes in at less than £1 and 400 calories a serving depending on your carbohydrate of choice.

Skinflint Bolognese


Serves 4
Yes I know it isn’t a proper bolognese.

400g turkey mince
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
2 large carrots or a cup frozen slices
1 cup frozen peas
10 button mushrooms
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Cider vinegar
Chilli powder
Dried mixed herbs

Heat 1tbspn of rapeseed oil in a sturdy pan with 1-2 tsp chilli powder to taste. Roughly chop the onions and crush the garlic then add to the pan. Once softened, add the turkey mince and stir well. Once the mince colours add the carrots if using fresh and mushrooms. Cook through for another minute then add tomatoes, dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Cover, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the frozen peas and carrots if using plus a Tbspn cider vinegar, bring back to simmer for another two minutes, done.

Serve over pasta, rice or a baked potato.


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