Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The end of my storecupboard challenge

The supermarkets and the media recently discussed whether you could feed a family of 4 for £50. Sainsbury's launched a campaign recently saying it could be done (by shopping in one of their stores obviously) and an article in the Times a few months back had a balanced view on the matter. We had a yes no and a maybe. One contributer said that it was possible if you shopped around and another said it took all the joy out of eating.

Well my own challenge is officially at an end and my conclusion? It can be done for around £30 and you can eat a variety of lovely simple meals. The main problem is that you have to plan in advance and not veer away from your shopping list. Fancy some lamb chops? forget it and also you end up eating lots of carbohydrates as they are cheap and filling. I got all my groceries from one place in any given week. I used Sainsbury's and Asda and found the latter to be cheaper, but I preferred some of the lines in the former. You could probably do it cheaper if you used your local market.

The purpose of this challenge for me was to be more disciplined when shopping as my food budget is now pretty strict. I've come away from a supermarket over £100 pounds worse off with not much to show for it and needing to go shopping a few days later. The other reason is that I don't agree with the economic argument that people are becoming obese because they cannot afford to eat healthily. My weekly food contained oily fish, chicken, salads and vegetables and were simple to cook. Although my challenge is over for the purpose of this blog, I will continue to let it be a guiding principle and also if you have these basics in your cupboard you will always have something to eat.

I think 3 weeks of blogging on one subject is enough for now and I am going to let the blog return, for a while, to it's original purpose, as a means to give my daughter's all the recipes I've cooked them. Which is, of course, how I express my love for them.

Chicken and chorizo casserole

I made this in my slow cooker - brown the chicken off and literally chuck the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and relax.

1 whole chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic
200g diced chorizo sausage
 2 tins chickpeas or canellini beans, drained
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/4 pint of water
2 tspn smoked paprika (opt)

As I said, brown the chicken pieces in a frying pan and add all the other ingredients. You can bring them to the boil (if you wish) then add it all to the slow cooker or a casserole dish / large saucepan and cook for hours.

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