Frugal February. Week 2.

Welcome to the second week of frugal yet satisfying, (mostly) home made meals. If you missed last week, you can have a look here. Otherwise, here is our menu this week (please note all costings are approximate, and I haven’t accounted for things we’ve already got in the cupboards):

Monday: slow cooker vegetable curry, rice & naan using vegetables we still have in the fridge. £2.60. I loosely followed this recipe although I left out the Coconut milk as I didn’t think it needed it, cut back on the curry powder for Phoebe’s sake, and added in yellow pepper, courgette, frozen spinach and half a carton of passata instead of fresh tomatoes, oh and of course a couple of dashes of lemon juice. Oooh, and I used white kidney beans because I’d run out of chickpeas. It was lovely.

Tuesday: Assyrian macaroni using quorn mince. £2.80

Wednesday: Vegetable bake. £3.50


Phoebe was especially excited about tonight's dinner and polished it off in about five minutes!

Thursday: Sweet & sour prawns, stir fried veg and rice. £4.00

Friday: Cheat (aka shop bought) pizza for the hubby & little one as I’m out at a local charity fundraiser. £3.50
Saturday: Valentine’s Day… I’m hoping my DH will give me the evening off!
Sunday: Good old Sunday roast with all the trimmings. I’ll see what offers there are on meat at the supermarket tomorrow.

What’s on your menu this week?

Cinnamon Banana Bread (gluten free)

banana loaf 3Last year I stumbled across the most lovely cake recipe book. I fell in love with it, not just because of the recipes, but because the layout and feel of the book sings of English springtime and afternoon teas. The most intriguing thing about this book though is the fact that beautiful, delicious cakes are created using vegetables instead of fat. Yes, vegetables! Amazing! The book is ‘Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache’ by Harry Eastwood, and boasts of containing within its whimsical pages “natural cakes that taste naughty”.

The first recipe I tried was this Cinnamon Banana Bread. Light, moist and gloriously spiced with sweet cinnamon, it’s hard to believe this little gem of a cake is actually pretty low in fat and gluten free.

Here’s what you need:

Banana loaf 1
140g banana, mashed
2 medium eggs (I used 3 as mine were pretty small)
140g caster sugar
150g grated courgette (the book says to peel but I don’t bother, largely because most of the goodness is in the skin)
150g rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mixed spice (I didn’t have any of this so added a little extra cinnamon)
25g finely chopped brazil nuts
25g finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 180oC and grease a loaf tin. Whisk the eggs and sugar until light in colour and creamy. Add the mashed banana and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the grated courgette, the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and mixed spice (if you’re using it). Carry on whisking until completely blended. Mix in 3/4 of the chopped nuts and then pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.banana loaf 2

Bake for about 45 minutes, leave to cool and enjoy with a cup of tea. This cake is great on its own or buttered if you’re feeling extravagant.

Enjoy, and please check out the book on Amazon. I cannot rate it highly enough.