Archive | November, 2012

Dee’s Healthy Eating on a Budget Plan


I’ve done this shopping list for a family of 4, but you could potentially stretch it to 6 people if you have 2 toddlers.

I have used family friendly recipes like chilli con carne, burritos, spaghetti bolognaise and shepherds pie, but replaced the expensive meat with lentils and beans.  It still tastes fantastic and before anyone starts saying “oh my crowd would never eat that ” if they don’t know what’s in it first off they probably will eat it, if it’s plonked in front of them.  Why?  Because the meals still taste fantastic and you genuinely would not miss the meat.

Breakfast is porridge every day during the week.  It’s cheap, easy and filling.  Give your family a choice of toppings rather than a choice of breakfast.  When I was young my Mum used to put the porridge in a cup and top with milk, I used to drink it going out the door.  Almost like a hot oat shake.  Call it that, it might be more attractive than porridge!

At the weekends when you might have more time, I’ve suggested Mushroom Omelettes and Brown Bread and Smoked Salmon Bagels.
Free Range roast chicken is for Sunday lunch with a curry being made for the next day out of the remainder.  Obviously if you are a vegetarian you can swap this for another dinner.  Maybe buying soya mince for the curry on Monday and doing a nut roast for Sunday dinner.

Start each day with a freshly squeezed glass of orange and grapefuit juice, put the bits back it that’s where the goodness is.  This is cheaper than buying orange juice that will be guzzled from the fridge everytime someone is thirsty.  And contains tons of vitamins and minerals your family need to keep  colds and flus at bay.

Lunches are either soup or pittas.  These are handy, cheap and you can put lots of filling in them.  I like Aldi’s wholegrain pittas as they have no preservatives.  Much better than preservative loaded sliced pan.
These are just meant as ideas and suggestions.  I will analyse the recipes later to see how they are stacking up in terms of nutritional content.  But generally adding more wholefoods and vegetables into your diet means you stay fuller longer and have more nutrition in your diet, so you feel better.

Here is the shopping list



And here is the link to the menus and recipes.  If you are just a single person divide everything by 4.


Dee’s ‘Honey’ and Mustard Sausage Rolls Vegan Christmas Party Food

15 Nov Dee's 'Honey' Mustard Vegan Sausage Rolls

I had some cooked Carmelised Onion Sausage Bites leftover yesterday, so I made some vegan sausage rolls with them.  Jus Roll pastry (found in the freezer is very handy). Just take it out leave it sit for an hour and it’s ready to use.

Vegan Sausage Roll Ingredients

Vegan Sausage Roll Ingredients

All you do is place mini squares of the sausages onto the pastry.   In a small bowl mix some honey/ or as we used HighBank Orchard Organic Apply syrup and some wholegrain mustard.  Place a spoon of this mix over each sausage and roll the pastry over it.  Place the sealed side down on a baking tray.   Brush the pastry with some soy milk or ordinary milk if you are not vegan.  Bake in the oven for 20 mins until pastry is golden brown.  Eat immediately!  Puff pastry can lose its flakiness over time.

Dee's 'Honey' Mustard Vegan Sausage Rolls

Dee’s ‘Honey’ Mustard Vegan Sausage Rolls

I haven’t tried this recipe using the “raw” mix but it might turn out good also.  If any of you are trying the sausage recipe, you might put some raw mix in some puff pastry and see how it turns out?

Dee’s Caramelised Onion “Sausage” Bites – Vegan Christmas Party Food

14 Nov Vegan Christmas Party Food

Serves 14 people – total recipe cost of €2.50

This recipe is a result of an experiment in my kitchen last night, it’s quite easy and very tasty AND is less than 100 calories per serving (that’s one skewer with 3 sausage bites).  Yes, it is a little early but recipe testing has begun for the holiday season!

500g of Tofu, I used the one from Dunnes which costs €2.00 (found in the salad section)

1/2 cup vegetable stock (drop of wine if you have it red or white will do)

80g brown rice flour (you could also use normal flour reduce to 50g)

100g of porridge oats

3 shallots (1 medium onion) diced finely

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 desertspoon of marmite

1 teaspoon dried parsely

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp of toasted sesame oil


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Combine tofu and vegetable stock in a blender, process until almost smooth.  This mixture will be quite wet.  In a pan add a drop of oil then add the sliced shallots (or onions) with the sugar and salt and cook at a low heat until brown add the crushed garlic towards the end of cooking.  Add this mixture to the blender and blitz again for 2 seconds.

Pour the wet mixture from the blender into a bowl, add all the other ingredients and mix until you get a doughy texture, .  The mixture will be quite soft but if you feel it is too wet to handle add in some more rice flour.
Cut a rectangular piece of tinfoil and brush with the toasted sesame oil/or normal oil.  Form the mixture into a loaf shape in the the centre of the foil and wrap with the tinfoil.
Place in the oven at 180C for 15 mins and reduce heat to 150C for 45 mins.  Leave to sit for a few mins before slicing.  Thread onto skewers  3 bites per skewer, and serve with a sweet chilli sauce.

TIP – Slices of this are delicious in sandwiches too with some cranberry sauce.




Calories 84.6 Kcal

Carbohydrate 10g

Fibre 1.3g

Sugar 0.4g

Total fat 3.4g

Sat fat 0.6g

The good: This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Manganese.

Vegan Christmas Party Food

Carmelised Onion Sausage Bites Vegan Christmas Party Food

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