BC Week 10

A week of simple rustic food, with two Asian dishes to create some variety. There is luxury in the form of camembert, which makes a quick but amazing fondue. This is also another week with a full head of cauliflower, which results in 5 different dishes with this vegetable, but proving that as long as you get creative this does not result in boring food. The last 3 days of this challenge each have cauliflower: cauliflower garlic soup with camembert and red onions; cauliflower gratin with smoked salmon; and stir-fried cauliflower with potatoes, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. I hope this doesn’t deter you, because this is a great weekly menu.
You can find the budget challenge recipes of all weeks under BC Recipes. They are linked below as well; click on the dish names at each day to get forwarded to the corresponding recipe.

Week 10
My shopping list of this week (if I bought more, the quantity bought is between brackets):

  • 350gr steak
  • 200gr smoked salmon
  • 250gr camembert
  • 125gr mozzarella
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1/2 bunch carrots (1 bunch)
  • 250gr Swiss Brown mushrooms
  • 150gr cherry tomatoes (300gr mix)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 little gem lettuce (pack of 2)
  • 1/2 bunch radishes (1 bunch)
  • 3 spring onions (bunch of 7)
  • 4 red onions (750gr bag)
  • coriander
  • sundried tomatoes
  • 1 short baguette
  • 550gr baby potatoes

I spent €21.94. This includes half a bunch each of carrots, radishes and spring onions, 1 little gem, a couple of red onions and 150gr cherry tomatoes. These were used for salads to take to work.
I used the following items from my pantry this week: Macaroni (BC1), noodles (BC2 or BC9), frozen peas (BC2 or BC7), milk, stock cube, garlic (BC9), sesame oil, ginger syrup (or fresh ginger and some honey or sugar), soy sauce, white wine vinegar, breadcrumbs.
Plus these standard pantry items: Sunflower oil, salt/pepper, dried herbs (basil).

Day 1 – Saturday
Lunch: Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Sundried Tomatoes
Costs: €0.97
BC10-1 - Pasta salad sundried tomato and mozzarellaPasta salads are a great way to make a summer dinner, but they also make a hearty lunch dish for colder days. Elbow macaroni was used for this pasta salad, making it more filling than the same quantity of a larger, more open pasta type. The oil from the sundried tomatoes provides flavour and a sauce, omitting the need for extra ingredients or sunflower oil.
Pantry items: Macaroni (BC1), frozen peas (BC2/BC7), dried basil.

Dinner: Cold Cauliflower Couscous with Warm Roast Veg
Costs: €1.16
BC10-2 - Cold cauliflower couscous with warm roast vegThere are two ways to make cauliflower couscous. Usually I heat the couscous briefly, to brown it slightly, to heat it and to decrease the crunch. However, cauliflower couscous can be eaten cold as well. Simply stir in a bit of oil. The couscous is served with warm roasted vegetables, making this a fully vegetable dish, without a protein element. It is not lacking at all regarding flavour, and in a balanced week menu, there is no problem in today’s lack of protein at all.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil.

Day 2 – Sunday
Lunch: Steak Sandwich with Mozzarella and Sundried Tomatoes
Costs: €3.20
BC10-3 - Steak and mozzarella sandwichAutomatically an expensive sandwich due to the use of steak as a filler. Definitely a bit of luxury but sometimes you just have to treat yourself.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil.

Dinner: Camembert Fondue
Costs: €1.42
BC10-4 - Camembert fondueA great platter to serve up for friends, but as it contains proteins, carbs and vegetables, really not a horrible choice for dinner either. The picture I took is a two person dish, I made this for the budget challenge but could not finish it. It looks much less filling than it actually is. If you insist on trying; use 125gr of camembert and the amount of dippers as you see on the picture.
Pantry items: /

Day 3 – Monday
Dinner: Beef and Mushroom Noodle Soup
Costs: €3.53
BC10-5 - Beef and mushroom noodle soupThe first time I went over budget, only by a few cents but that is no excuse. I wanted to get a cheaper cut of beef, as long as you cut it across the grain it will be similar to proper steak in taste and texture, but the supermarket only had the most expensive kind available. I then considered splitting the beef into three portions of 110gr, which would have been plenty to keep you going, but decided to go for a bit more body instead with 170gr per dish, also to not have to change the menu. The weekly budget allows for these splurges, but usually steak is not easily incorporated into a budget, so if you insist on getting some, base the rest of the week around it or make sure you get a cheaper cut.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil.

Day 4 – Tuesday
Dinner: Smoked Salmon with Asian Dressing
Costs: €2.60
BC10-6 - Smoked salmon with Asian dressingWith some noodles this salad is a great, healthy and very different dish. It goes perfectly in a budget week, as the only expensive ingredients are the smoked salmon and the fresh coriander (and even that last one you could omit if need be). You can include a variety of raw vegetables, or serve it with more pasta to turn it into a pasta salad.
Pantry items: Sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger syrup (you could use fresh ginger with a little honey instead), white wine vinegar.

Day 5 – Wednesday
Dinner: Cauliflower Garlic Soup
Costs: €0.77
BC10-7 - Cauliflower garlic soupSoup tends to be very economical (well… unless you add 170gr of steak…) Here, cauliflower and garlic are blended into a thick soup, served with caramelised onions and camembert cheese. The toast provides some texture and carbs to keep you full for longer. The soup will warm you up on a cold day, but also goes fine in summer as it is a vegetable soup.
Pantry items: 1/2 stock cube, garlic (BC9), sunflower oil.

Day 6 – Thursday
Dinner: Smoked Salmon and Cauliflower Gratin
Costs: €2.60
BC10-8 - Smoked salmon and cauliflower gratinSalmon and cauliflower are a great match, although not put together often enough. Combine them with potatoes and cheese to get this great dish.
Pantry items: Garlic (BC9), 100ml milk, breadcrumbs, sunflower oil.

Day 7 – Friday
Dinner: Stir-fried Autumn Veg
Costs: €1.41
BC10-9 - Stir-fried autumn vegThe last dish this week also contains cauliflower, which is what you get when you decide to buy a full head of cauliflower for one person. Ok, I can also eat a whole head in one sitting if it is turned into cauliflower cheese, but let’s not tell anybody that. This cauliflower dish is completely different though. The mushrooms and sundried tomatoes give it an umami flavour and the potatoes provide extra body. Stir-frying cauliflower is a great way to serve cauliflower anyways, I can recommend keeping it as an option to prepare cauliflower.
Pantry items: Sunflower oil.

Grocery costs: €21.94
Recipes total: €17.66

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