Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tefal Fresh Week 2013 Update

Well, we're nearly at the end of the Tefal Fresh Week for 2013.  To be honest, I did think that we eat pretty well as a family but this week has shown me that sometimes, we do reach for the fish fingers, chips and beans at least once a week (especially on evenings where the children have after-school activities and my house seems like Euston Station!)

But, we did it, although we had a little slip-up on Friday after school!  A packet of Quavers and a handful of marshmallows invalidated our efforts throughout the week!

Aside from this faux-pas, here's our final menu for the week that we used and hope will inspire others to have their own Fresh Week in the weeks to come!

Monday Breakfast
Shredded Wheat or Weetabix cereal & milk
Monday Lunch
Poached egg on homemade toasted bread, piece of fruit, glass of water
Monday Tea
Spaghetti Bolognese - recipe hereMake double the sauce and use the leftovers for Lasagne on Wednesday
Homemade sponge cake and homemade custard
Fruit juice
Monday Supper
Piece of fruit, glass of milk

Tuesday Breakfast
As Monday
Tuesday Lunch
Quick pasta salad - pasta, boiled egg, salad, drizzle of olive oil
Tuesday Tea
Homemade chicken curry - no particular recipe!  Chicken, onions, red & green peppers, garam masala, cumin, chilli powder, fresh tomatoes, garlic.  Fry the chicken until cooked through, add all other ingredients, simmer for 10 mins & serve with boiled rice.
Piece of fruit, fruit juice
Tuesday Supper
Piece of fruit or homemade toast, glass of milk

Wednesday Breakfast
As Monday or porridge (for my kids, I hate porridge!)
Wednesday Lunch
Leftover chicken curry on pitta bread, salad
Wednesday Tea
Homemade lasagane with leftover sauce from Monday, salad
Fruit salad - melon, strawberries, grapes with a drizzle of single cream
Wednesday Supper
Piece of fruit, glass of milk

Thursday Breakfast
Scrambled egg on homemade toast, glass of milk
Thursday Lunch
Ham salad with pitta bread, piece of fruit
Thursday Tea
Sesame beef stir fry - recipe here.
Thursday Supper
Homemade toast or sugar-free cereal, glass of milk

Friday Breakfast
Sugar-free cereal or porridge, fruit juice
Friday Lunch
Prawn salad with garlic mushrooms - recipe here.
Friday Tea
Smoked haddock with rice & peas (onions & garlic too) - my own "drier" version of risotto!
Friday Supper
Homemade toast, glass of milk

Saturday Breakfast
Poached egg, toast, fruit juice
Saturday Lunch
Ham salad with crusty roll, fruit, glass of water
Saturday Tea
Homemade meat pie, mashed potato & cauliflower/broccoli  (Mum's "flat" meat pie - recipe to follow!)
Piece of fruit

Sunday Breakfast
Boiled eggs & homemade toast soldiers, glass of milk
Sunday Lunch
Homemade leek & potato soup, bread roll (Leeks & onions from the garden!)
Sunday Tea
Roast lamb dinner, carrot/turnip mash, peas & sweetcorn, homemade gravy.
Fresh fruit salad & cream
Sunday Supper
Piece of fruit, glass of milk

And that's it!  Snacks in between meals (usually just after school) we're fruit or carrot sticks and drinks were fruit juice, milk or water (however hubby & I snuck some tea & coffee in there too!)  My children have school lunches, so throughout the week, they ate at school.  I would include here what they have eaten too, but whenever I ask them what they have eaten, the answer is always, "I don't know" or "I have forgotten"!  I trust that they have eaten and that they have eaten well!  I'm sure if they weren't fed, they would definitely have something to say about it!

So, I hope we have inspired you to have a go at eating fresh for a week.  We will definitely do it again but will still rely on some "convenience" meals such as fish fingers and pizzas when we're really pushed for time!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Tefal Fresh Week 2013

From May 13th until May 19th, we've taken the Tefal pledge to "eat fresh", committing to give up processed foods for one week.  One of the aims of Fresh Week is to discover easy ways to get more fresh fruits and vegetables into your family's diet.

Generally as a family, we mostly eat meals cooked from scratch but do eat some processed foods so we're taking this opportunity to make fresh food alternatives to the processed foods that we may usually eat.  It will also be interesting to find out whether cooking from scratch is cheaper and quicker than the "convenience" alternative.

I'll be posting each day what we've eaten and the recipes that we've used so you can keep an eye on me!  Lunches and evening meals will be pretty easy as well as snacks throughout the day, but I think that the biggest challenge will be breakfast time!  We'll have to incorporate a bit of flexibility when it comes to this meal; we won't be eating highly processed cereals but will be allowing cereals such as Shredded Wheat, Weetabix and mueslis!  Eggs (scrambled, boiled, poached and fried!) will all be OK, but I think I'll be sick of eating eggs and toasted homemade bread by the end of the week!

Throughout the week, there'll be lots of social activity via Twitter (use the #freshweek hashtag), Facebook and Pinterest, so join in the conversation and maybe win some great prizes!

You can sign up to the pledge here and join in the fun!

Good luck to anyone else joining in - link your blog in the comments below and we can share tips and boost support if we run out of steam half way through the week!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Bank Holiday Madness! - Britain's Best Days Out with MoneySupermarket.

As the second Bank Holiday weekend of the year approaches, we're all hoping for beach & BBQ weather!  An extra day off work (for most anyway!) and a long weekend off school for the kids.  But for some, it's an extra day of finding something to entertain the kids! 

I'm lucky in that it's my son's 6th birthday tomorrow and it always falls on or very close to the long weekend so we always have a fun-filled and busy weekend, quite often squeezing a day out in there somewhere as a birthday treat!  With our budget as stretched as most parents out there, we love to use discount vouchers where ever we can!

If you're as money-saving as we are, why not have a look at the great offers below for this coming bank holiday...

Image source: MoneySupermarket Travel Insurance

There are some great offers available, so why not treat yourselves to a family day out (hopefully in the sunshine!)  To get the great deals featured in the infographic above, or for further information, visit MoneySupermarket's Deals and Vouchers channel.

Also, when you look at the results of a recent survey that carried out,  62% of us go to an attraction simply because they have a money saving voucher.  Interestingly, that shows that the majority of families are all looking to save money where they can when it comes to having fun!

So what do you have planned for the long weekend?  For us it will be a birthday-day on Saturday followed by a catch-up and relax day on Sunday with a money-saving day out on Monday.  Whatever you get up to, have fun and enjoy the extra time with your family!

Chicken and chorizo stew - Recommended Recipe!

Chicken and chorizo stew - serves 4, prep 10 mins, cook 40 mins.

2 tbsp sunflower oil
8 small chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, sliced
410g can chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
zest and lemon of 1 orange
100g chorizo castellano, chopped
50g mixed olives (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the chicken until golden (remove the skin if you prefer less fat in your diet).
  2. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper and fry until the onion is tender, then pour over the tomatoes, stock and the zest and juice of the orange.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes.  Add the chorizo and olives and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Serve with mashed or jacket potatoes.
Source - Morrisons instore magazine.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Sausage, herb and tomato roast - Recommended Recipe!

Sausage, herb and tomato roast - serves 4, prep 10 mins, cook 30 mins.

454g good quality pork sausages
4 medium potatoes, diced
2 ciabatta rolls, torn into chunks
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and washed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
270g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 210C/410F/Gas 7.  Cut each sausage into 3 pieces and place in a roasting tin with the potatoes.
  2. Add the ciabatta chunks and rosemary to the pan with the garlic and drizzle with oil.  Toss to coat everything in oil then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, then stir and add the cherry tomatoes.  Roast for a further 5 mins until the potatoes are tender and the sausages are cooked.
Source - Morrisons instore magazine.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Three-cheese cheesecake - Recommended Recipe!

Three-cheese cheesecake - makes 8, ready in 1 hour, plus cooling.

50g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
6oz digestive biscuits, crushed
50g/2oz walnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
300g pot full-fat soft cheese
150g pot mild, creamy goat's cheese
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g pot mascarpone
4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the sauce
50g/2oz caster sugar
250g punnet raspberries
strawberries, to serve


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/as 4.  Butter 8 x 150ml ramekins.  Melt the butter in a pan, then mix in the digestives, walnuts and sugar.  Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins, so the base of each is covered with a layer about 1cm thick.  Press down lightly on each, then cookin the oven for 10mins until crisp and golden.  Leave to cool, then turn oven down to 150C/fan 130C/Gas 2.
  2. Whisk together all remaining ingredients until you have a smooth mixture.  Place the ramekins on  a baking tray and pour some mixture into each one, filling to about 1cm below the rim.  Carefully slide them into the oven and cook for 25-30 mins until just set.  The mixture should give the faintest jiggle in the centre when gently tapped.  Don't worry if the mixture falls a little and cracks.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before covering with cling film and putting in the fridge.  You can make to this point up to 2 days in advance.
  3. Make the sauce by gently heating together the sugar and 50ml/2 floz water until syrupy, about 5mins.  Then stir in half the raspberries and cook for 2 mins until they begin to burst.  Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the pips, then toss through the remaining raspberries and leave to cool.
  4. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecakes from the fridge.  Run a knife dipped in hot water around the edges.  Invert, one at a time, onto a board, then turn over again onto a serving plate so the biscuit base is on the bottom.  Finish by drizzling with raspberry sauce and top with strawberries.
Per serving - 600 kcal, 13g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 47g fat, 25g saturated fat, 2g fibre, 19g added sugar, 1.17g salt.

Source - BBC Good Food magazine.