Stretching vegemince into 6+ meals

This recipe has now been moved to our new blog

I have been reading about stretching food out to make it go further and save money. So I thought I'd give it a try. This is based on what someone else posted on a forum using meat mince and I've adapted and added to it. Unfortunately I don't have reference to who posted the original that gave me the inspiration to give it a go. So if you are reading this, thank you.

Basic mix
2 garlic cloves
3 onions
2 stock cubes made up into 1 pint water
454g pack of veggie mince (could also use a 600g pack)
2 cans of toms
3 carrots (grated)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
½ tsp cinnamon
2 handfuls of oats
2 handfuls of lentils

Peel and mince garlic and leave to one side. Fry onions and then add stock and cook until soft. Add rest of ingredients, except garlic, bring to boil and then turn down heat to a simmer. Add garlic. Cook for 30 minutes.
Basic mix can now be made into several dishes which can then be frozen for later. Or the basic mix can be frozen and then made into other dishes later as required. Do not freeze finished dishes if using frozen mix.
Dishes which can be made using vegetarian mince

Stew – add more liquid, veg and gravy powder. Serve with dumplings.
Spaghetti Bolognese - Serve with spaghetti and you’ve got Bolognese
Lasagne – add more tomatoes to stretch it further and follow a lasagne recipe
Chilli non carne – add chilli powder, kidney beans and cocoa. Extra veg can be added such as mushrooms and sweetcorn.
Shepherds pie – topped basic mix with mash and cook.
New potato topped mince bake - Stir peas into basic mix. Top with slices of boiled new potatoes
Stuffed vegetables (such as courgettes, peppers or marrow)
Mix with cooked rice and cook in scooped out blanched vegetable.
Pasties - Add diced cooked potato and swede to basic mix and use shortcrust pastry for pasties
Pies - Add cooked mushrooms to basic mix and use puff pastry for pies.

Divided basic mixture into 4 portions

Portion 1
Stew for 2
Add to pan with about half again of water and some basic gravy powder mixed with cold water. Then I added a handful of peas and a handful of sweetcorn. Made some dumplings and simmered with lid on for 10 minutes.

Portion 2
Top with mash to make shepherds pie for 1

Portion 3
Serve with spaghetti for spaghetti Bolognese for 1

Portion 4
Make into chilli for 2 served with rice. Add 1 can of kidney beans (extra cans of different beans can also be added if you want to make a mixed bean chilli) to basic mince mix, ½ tsp chilli powder (more to taste if you like it hot), 1 can of tomato, 1 clove of garlic minced and left for 10 minutes first. I also added handful of sweetcorn, 1 tbsp cocoa powder. If you have any mushrooms you can add these also.

Depending on how much veg and how many cans of beans you have used, you may have enough for 3 or leftovers. If there are any leftover, you could serve in wraps or tortillas with strips of fried peppers and rice for a mexican burrito dish.

Banana Bread

Definately a recipe worth sharing, sorry no picture today.

3 medium/large Ripe bananas
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 2 tbsp Ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tbsp Water
¼ cup Applesauce
½ cup Muscovado sugar
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup wholemeal flour
¾ cup plain white flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
Mix flaxseed and water together. In another bowl mix applesauce and brown sugar, then add flax mixture to this. Mash bananas and bicarbonate of soda together, add to the other mixture. Mix dry ingredients together. Stir wet and dry together. Grease or spray a loaf pan and cook at Gas 4/350F/175C for 55-60 minutes. Leave for 5 minutes then take out of pan and leave to cool on a wire rack. Leave to cool for a while before slicing.

Cheap and quick dumplings

I am always looking for ways to use up bread and we end up with a lot of bread middles in our house as my hubbie likes the crust best! Today I tried a tip I had read in a money saving tip book. The book said to use bread instead. Just roll up the bread middles into balls and pop in your stew and cook for last 5 mins. I made two mini dumplings from each slice. Viola cheap and easy dumplings. If you now have crusts left over, make into bread crumbs and freeze for when you need them. So this will be added to my list of ways to use up bread. Article coming soon with all the ideas i've picked up and tried.

Lentil Stew

Made a lovely lentil stew for dinner this evening and it was yummy. Definately one to make again and suitable for freezing also.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 can tomatoes
600ml/1 pint stock
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
225g red lentils

In a pan, add oil, carrots, leek, parsnip and onion and fry gently until a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes until the lentils are soft. Serve

Serves 3