Saturday, January 26, 2019

Be Prepared!

Here at A Family Against the Flow we're always trying to find ways to save money and time. One of the ways money gets wasted is when you buy a lunch everyday for work. It's understandable that we all do it, it's convenient and the last thing you want to do in the morning (or the evening before) is make a lunch to take to work.

This past year JD and I have had a go at prepping lunches at the weekend for the week ahead. We bought some cheap plastic boxes with lids from the supermarket. Then on a Sunday afternoon we make up a batch of food to be heated up for lunch each day. If your workplace doesn't have a microwave you can buy a food flask. We've made a few different things so far. Pasta with bolognese sauce, spicy minced beef and broccoli, chilli, macaroni cheese and corned beef hash.

Spicy minced beef and broccoli

Pasta with bolognese sauce

Pasta bolognese is filling and really cheap to make. We can make a week of lunches for about £6. Most meal deals you can buy cost around £3. That gives us a saving of at least £24 a week. Almost £100 a month!

Another thing we like about making our own lunches is that we can add as much veg as we like to make sure we get our 5-a-day. We often add spinach, peas, sweet potato, sweetcorn or brocolli to our lunches.

In the warmer months when we don't really want a hot lunch we switch to prepped salads. When our shopping is delivered on a Sunday I prep all the salad ingredients in boxes ready to be made up on the mornings. It's really quick to make up a salad when all the ingredients are chopped ready. We store the prepped ingredients in the fridge to be kept fresh.

It's really nice to be prepared and save time on busy mornings. It's also great to have home-made nutritious lunches with plenty of vegetables.

On the negative side it does take time to prep meals. About 30-40 minutes to make up a huge batch of lunches or to chop salad ingredients. It can also get a bit samey sometimes unless you make an effort to source new recipes quite often. We've had pasta bolognese a few more times than I'd like.

Overall though it's a great money saver. We always feel pleased when we've made the effort to prep our lunches. I'd recommend giving it a try if you want to save money this year :)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Burger It 21: The Kimchi Burger

Kimchi is a Korean food made of fermented cabbage and korean radish. It's supposedly strong tasting and quite sour but I'm still keen to give it a try! I bought this jar from Amazon for about £4.

I wanted a quick and easy burger this time so I just bought some burgers ready to grill. While they were cooking I warmed up the kimchi in a pan. I also made some spicy mayo by mixing 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder.

Spread the spicy mayo on the bottom half of the bread bun, add the cooked burger and top with kimchi.

I was worried the sour kimchi and spicy mayo would be too much together but I really liked this burger. It was so flavourful. Kimchi is spicy and sour at the same time but in a lovely mouth-warming way. It went great with the meaty burgers. Now we've got half a jar of Kimchi to use up

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 4

Coming next - Juicy Lucy

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Subscription Box Review: The Honestly Good Smoothie Company

When I discovered this company I was excited to try out their subscription service. Frozen smoothie packs ready to blend delivered to your door. Sounds great to me. I picked a box to come the following Saturday with 5 smoothie packs. The best part is you don't pick which ones come, it's a surprise! Usually £27 a month, I got my box discounted to £14 through the Earth Miles app.

It was delivered in a 1 hour slot by DPD. Packed in a sturdy box with dry ice and wool packaging to keep it cold.

My smoothies all had intriguing names. The Bee-nefit One, The Almond Tart, Good Morning Sunshine, The Christmas One and The South American One. I'm really curious to find out what ingredients they have in them.

On Sunday morning I was ready to try one and I had to pick Good Morning Sunshine on this cold, miserable January day. Organic ready to blend banana & strawberry with jumbo oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and flaxseed. You just tip everything into the blender including the contents of the little pouch. Add 1 cup of liquid (I added milk) and blend.


It was nice! Colder than my usual smoothies because everything was frozen this time. I usually only add frozen berries. It was like drinking slightly melted ice cream with chopped nuts in. It was great to just take it out of the freezer and make it. Especially all the seeds which would be time consuming to get a little bit out of several packets. The only problem for me was using my Breville blender made it tricky. The smoothie ingredients were a bit reluctant to blend, maybe because they were all frozen and stuck together. It might be easier in a bigger blender.

Next I tried The South American One. Pineapple, broccoli, cucumber & blueberry smoothie with chia seeds, macqui berry and camu camu. I don't even know what camu camu is! Apparently a berry with antioxidant properties. We're learning together here. I let the ingredients thaw a little before I blended them this time but nope, they still got jammed in the blender bottle. Bah! I managed to get it out and blended but it was a hassle.

It was another nice smoothie but not as nice as the ones I make myself. I'm probably just used to the ones I've been having all year with all my favourite ingredients. It's nice to try some new flavours anyway.

Sadly, this subscription isn't for me. It wasn't really working with my blender and all the convenience of having the ingredients pre-chopped was lost in having to un-clog every time. Oh well. I'll just have to go back to peeling and chopping my own bananas. Haha :)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Oh Burger 20: Sliders

Sliders! Small burgers you can eat in just a few bites. We're making meatball sliders today for convenience and they couldn't be easier. The hardest part is finding small enough burger buns. We cut up finger rolls into 3 pieces for ours.

This blurry picture is the meatballs being cooked in a frying pan. When they're almost done put some grated cheese on top to melt. Make sure to cook them with the lid on so they steam. When they're done it's time to assemble your sliders. Secure them with cocktail sticks so they don't fall apart.

So cute looking! These are great to eat. You can add a different sauce to each one for variety. A really simple idea to make food for friends. We don't have friends so we just ate them ourselves.

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 3 and Leigh - 3

Coming up next - The Kimchi Burger
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