Friday, 7 March 2014

Vegetarian Fried Chicken Steak

So the recipe promised a meal made out of oats that promised to taste exactly like fried chicken - so much so that even grown men wouldn't know they weren't eating meat! Click here to see the original blog post and recipe.

Did it taste like delicious fried chicken? No. Was it edible? Absolutely. Would I make it again? Probably, with some tweaks. I used regular oats, and I wonder if using really fine oats like you find in 'creamy porridge' might be better. I also think adding even just the teensiest bit of actual chicken mince, say 100g, would perfect this recipe (unless you're vegetarian of course). And I think I'd need to make the patties a little flatter next time, to absorb more of the mushroom sauce.

It was really neat though to make something that came off as totally different to its actual ingredients!

Give it a try!
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Monday, 3 March 2014

February Frugal Fourteen Update

Well I was ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED to PAY OFF MY CREDIT CARD this month!!! This credit card has been hanging around for years!!! And at the beginning of the year, before I knew just how much dedication I had in me, I thought it was going to take around six months to pay off. I've done it in less than three, and I couldn't be happier.

I did it by putting another $2,000 on the card, and then by letting impatience get the better of me and transferring $900 out of my emergency fund to pay off the balance. It really is such a great feeling! 

This month I spent $0 in discretionary spending and 23 No Spend Days. I also did some additional website work, and received a payout from some shares unexpectedly. I felt extremely dedicated to my goals this month.

Next months goal is to max out my $1,000 emergency fund again, and to tackle my next debt!
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Friday, 28 February 2014

$100 Grocery Challenge Update #4

Final week of the challenge, so with the last of my $100 I bought ingredients I could utilise to use up a lot of the remaining food left in my fridge and pantry. Would you believe I have lost this docket, which is gutting because in total, for the entire month of February, I ended up spending $99.95 - yes, I came in with just $0.05 to spare!!! If I end up finding the docket I will edit this post, as I was so proud of what I had done!

So over the weekend I baked up large, using up old carrots and frozen bananas among other things. First I made banana bread:

Carrot cake/muffins (these photos and the one above make it look like they were burnt - they weren't):

And more delicious bread:

Breakfasts were porridge, lunches were peanut butter sandwiches, leftovers or fried rice, and we only drank water. Snacks were home baking. Dinners to follow...

Saturday: Vegetarian 'fried chicken' (recipe and review to come), served with oven fries and carrots.

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner! Pancakes and milk, for a treat.

Monday: As Saturday.

Tuesday: 'Fried chicken' and oven fries.

Wednesday: Microwaved 'roast' chicken with fried rice.

Thursday: As yesterday.

Friday: Fried rice with chicken.

And there you have it! Less than $100 spent on groceries for two hungry adult sized people, for an entire month! It wasn't overly exciting, gourmet or beautiful, but we didn't go hungry and generally we got a variety of foods. I challenge you all to set yourselves a strict budget for a month to see how much food you can use up, and how much money you can save!

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Friday, 21 February 2014

$100 Grocery Challenge Update #3

This week we had a pre-planned trip away to Auckland, which could have thrown things out completely, however with a combination of bringing food with me and my daughters' friend unexpectedly contributing financially, I kept food costs to a minimum.

We also started to run out of a few things this week, so I went to Pak n Save and bought the following:

Mostly staples, plus fruit and milk. As usual, breakfasts were porridge, lunches were peanut butter sandwiches, leftovers or fried rice, and drinks were just water. Snacks were fruit and cookies (cheap Budget shortbread). Dinners are documented below:

Saturday: Homemade vegetable curry with a butter chicken sauce mixed through, and rice.

Sunday: Mexican dinner out, a treat paid for by my daughter to thank me for taking her to Auckland.

Monday: Leftover vegetable curry with tinned tomatoes added, served with homemade bread.

Tuesday: Leftover chicken pie taken from the freezer, served with homemade bread.

Wednesday: Poor mans steak, served with rice, mixed veg and an apple.

Thursday: Similar to last night, however I didn't get a photo so instead here's a pic of my first tomato of the season, from my 'deck garden'!

Friday: Daughter made fried rice with chicken.

All going well :-)

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Deliciously Ugly Poor Mans Steak

Can you just take my word for it that this is a hundred times tastier than it looks?! It's comfort food to the max PLUS it's an extremely economical meat stretcher.

The ingredients are simple: 1kg of mince, 1 cup of cracker crumbs, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper. Combine and form into patties. Roll in flour and quickly pan fry in oil just until each side has gone a little golden. Place patties in a casserole dish and pour over a can of condensed mushroom soup. Bake in the oven on 180 degrees for around an hour. And voila! A cheap, mouth-wateringly yummy dish that can be served with a variety of cheap sides to stretch it out further. 

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Friday, 14 February 2014

$100 Grocery Challenge Update #2

Sunday again brought food prep to save time later in the week. The above cookies were delicious too - made with oil rather than butter for cheaper baking. I made bulk breakfasts (porridge with a cube of cream in each container, plus the last of a bag of frozen berries, and the last of a bottle of maple syrup), Lentil Shepherds Pie and a Yellow Split Pea curry to eat over the week. I also pulled out a small packet of pastrami I had in the freezer that I bought on clearance for $1. And my lovely colleague brought me tomatoes, avocado, fruit and other bits and pieces.

As per last week, my daughter doesn't like eating breakfast, and takes the same thing for lunch each day.


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast.

Lunch: Snacked.

Dinner: Spinach and tomato fried rice.


Breakfast: Eggs on toast.

Lunch: Snacked.

Dinner: Carrot and pastrami pizza.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice.

Dinner: Shell pasta with frozen green beans, tomato, pastrami, canola oil and a little grated cheese.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice.

Dinner: Shepherds Pie.


Breakfast: Porridge and a nashi.

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice.

Dinner: Split pea curry, fried rice, guacamole.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Sushi (work paid lunch).

Dinner: Shepherds Pie.


Breakfast: Porridge.

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice.

Dinner: Split pea curry.

Snacks were carrots, boiled eggs and cookies.

All beverages consumed were water.

I enjoyed having more vegetables and pulses in my diet this week. We had barely any meat and we certainly didn't feel like we were missing out anything. I've still got a chicken and a packet of mince to last through the next two weeks  as well as plenty of staples, but I've got almost $30 I can also spend at the supermarket this weekend. 

Halfway through and doing great!

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Need A Cheap But FABULOUS Website?

For an extremely well priced, attractive website, please feel free to visit my business website and check out some of my clients' sites. I also have very reasonable hosting options.  If you have any queries at all, I look forward to hearing from you!
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