Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Frugal Lunches

Now that I am doing supply teaching I never know from one day to the next if I will be working. My first assignment came with a telephone call one morning at 8:50am to ask if I could do a days work beginning as soon as possible! Luckily it was at the local primary school and I managed to be in the classroom teaching by ten past nine!

This does produce a challenge for lunch times mind you and I have started to make sure that there is something in the fridge that I can just grab and go. Dave takes a packed lunch to work each day, although he will get a bit bored if it's sandwiches everyday so I try to be a little bit creative. It's not only the desire to provide something different that motivates me however, have you seen the cost of cut meats lately? On top of that, I have never liked to waste food and in my current situation I need to watch every penny.

Despite what I said above, today's lunch for Dave was sandwiches. Having bought a small free range chicken from Lidl yesterday I cut off the legs and roasted them for today's lunches, took off the breast fillets for tomorrow's evening meal (not sure what it will be yet, but it will use said chicken breasts!) cut off the wings to collect in a bag in the freezer until I have enough for salt & pepper chicken wings and popped the leftover carcass into the freezer to make into stock at some future date. The chicken cost £3.68 - it would have cost me more than that for the two breast fillets alone! So Dave had chicken and mayo sarnies and there was chicken leftover in a bowl in the fridge in case I got "the call" to work. As it happened the call never came, no work today, so  a "scrape of the fridge" seemed in order to use up or freeze any bits and pieces left lurking there. 

 We had home made mince pie for dinner the other day and there was a fair size chunk of shortcrust pastry in there as well as some left over dough from the home made tortillas from yesterday's evening meal of Quesadillas. I rolled out and cooked four more flour tortillas and once cooled popped them in the freezer for another day. After that I decided on pasties for tomorrow's lunches. Having wasted spent some time earlier perusing one or two blogs, I had decided I just had to try this for lunch so the chicken that was scheduled to go in my lunchtime sarnie was now a "leftover" which I needed to incorporate into my pasties. 

Hmmm ... what to add?

I diced a couple of potatoes and carrots added a few frozen peas and boiled them together for 5 minutes whilst frying off a diced onion and a pepper that had seen better days with a little garlic and ginger. I added the drained veg (keeping back the cooking water) and lobbed in a bit of garam masala, a pinch of dried chillies and a dash of turmeric (all very scientific - not!). Gave it all a stir and added a few splashes of the cooking water and a couple of teaspoons of tomato puree. Another stir later I added some chopped (frozen) coriander, then tasted and seasoned with salt and pepper. The chicken was stirred in and then I left the whole lot to cool before making pasties.

My pasties generally have a rather "rustic" look to them, but that's how I like them- to me part of the appeal of homemade food is that it looks homemade and not like some sterile tasteless mass produced offering.

The last tiny bit of pastry made a titchy pasty for sampling purposes!

Purely in the interests of quality control you understand - it passed!

There was a bit of the filling leftover, probably enough for another two pasties, and that has been popped in a little tub in the freezer to contribute to a future lunchtime pasty.

I just have to leave you with a picture of my lunchtime sandwich ...

...fried egg and chorizo.

The inspiration was from The Quince Tree Blog . Thank you Sue, it was amazing, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!


  1. My mouth is watering with all this frugal fare.
    Love from Mum

  2. Those pasties look fabulous, I love The Quince Tree Blog and I am inspired by your idea of saving up the chicken wings in the freezer.

  3. Those look delicious. I really need to work out meal plans as I do waste food and with a little more thought and effort I could avoid this. I will be checking out the Quince tree blog, thank you x

  4. These look delicious Linda!

    I have missed you! Pleased that you're doing well though, despite the uncertain job phase....:o(

    Hope Flic is well and happy, and the rest of your clan?

    Take care my dear, and have a great weekend,
    Love n hugs,
    Donna xx

  5. The pasties look delicious... this was not a post to read when it's not yet lunchtime but already the rumbletums are on parade! Love fried egg sarnies too!

  6. They look yummy! I need to make sure we use up all our food, it's usually the left over parts of veg that get forgotten about at the back of fridge. :) x

  7. yummy lunch! I am a supply teacher too, such a funny way to start everyday - will I work or not? You did very well to be in the classroom in such a short time x

  8. Looks delicious! I need one of those pastries! =)


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