A new week, a new menu. This time including smoked salmon and pork from the semi-fancy butcher. He stocks proper meat from French pastures, but is not biological-certified. I got pork shoulder, which is a relatively cheap cut but very tasty and with not too much fat. It definitely pays off to get to know the cheaper cuts, because you can very easily use these to make delicious food, without paying the premium price. Smoked salmon prices can vary a lot, some supermarkets charge more for a 100gr pack than others do for 200gr. Always check the weight because packaging can be very misleading when it comes to smoked salmon.
Some supermarkets stock good cream cheese for a low price, so you really don’t need to splurge on expensive brands like Philadelphia.
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.
My shopping list of this week (if I bought more, the quantity bought is between brackets):
- 350gr pork shoulder
- 200gr smoked salmon
- 6 eggs (box of 10)
- 1 aubergine
- red onions
- 450gr spinach
- 260gr beans (500gr)
- 1 cucumber
- 250gr Swiss Brown mushrooms
- 1 can tomatoes
- 4 tbs cream cheese (200gr)
- 200gr crème fraiche
- 100gr feta cheese (250gr)
- 1 tsp capers (small jar)
- 2 breadrolls
- Penne pasta (500gr)
I spent €18.64. This includes the following leftovers for the freezer: 240gr green beans and the leftover bread. I made this bread myself, you only need a couple of slices. I did budget the entire loaf (estimate: €1,-) as I am not so naive to think everybody is willing to bake their own bread. The cream cheese, capers and feta I will use for lunch salads to take to work, and the leftover pasta will go to my pantry.
Day 1 – Saturday
Lunch: Egg and Creamy Spinach Panini
In my eyes, paninis are great for lunch. It is basically just a fancy sandwich that is warm and crunchy, which means it can be so very tasty but with limited work. This is a medium work panini, as it does require you to boil an egg (make sure you boil one extra for the eggplant stuffing for tomorrow) and to heat the spinach with the cream cheese and nutmeg.
Pantry items: A pinch of nutmeg
Dinner: Chinese Pork with Stir-Fried Rice
The most expensive meal this week, with a large amount of Chinese style marinated pork shoulder, and eggy fried rice. In China these kind of dishes are usually made with pork belly, which is fatty and stands up very well against the rich sauces. I chose a less fatty cut, which also has more flavour. If you prefer, use streaky bacon or cubed pork belly.
Pantry items: Rice and most marinade items: sake, brown sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, powdered ginger, star anise.
Day 2 – Sunday
Lunch: Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg Sandwich
If you have never had the combinated of egg and smoked salmon, I hope this converts you. Simple yet delicious, it also goes very well with rich eggy sauces such as Hollandaise. This week’s menu will split the smoked salmon into three meals, so make sure to wrap the package well after use.
Pantry items: /
Dinner: Aubergine rolls
These rolls are filled with feta and boiled egg, and are laying in a garlic-basil-tomato sauce. They are great to have like this, but would also make a great addition to a meal with vegetarians.
Pantry items: Milk, garlic, dried basil and dried oregano
Day 3 – Monday
Dinner: Pork Noodlesoup
Noodle soups are a wonderful thing. They are very versatile, do not require large quantities of ingredients and still fill you up really well. I used to make a lot of these when I was a student. Adding a dash of soy sauce and sambal to the stock really brings out the flavours.
Pantry items: Noodles and stock cube of last week’s groceries, garlic, soy sauce and sambal.
Day 4 – Tuesday
Dinner: Pasta Salad with Salmon, Cucumber and Red Onion
This is my most popular pasta salad. So far almost everybody who has had it wanted the recipe. But it is incredibly simple to make. I recommend adding it to your standard pasta salads to fall back on on hot summer days. I budgeted a full onion, but only used a fourth. Use the rest in the spinach mushroom pie of tomorrow for extra flavour. This finishes up the leftover cucumber.
Pantry items: Dried dill
Day 5 – Wednesday
Dinner: Spinach and Mushroom Pie with Mashed Potato
Vegetarian pies are a good addition to any menu, being cheaper than meat or fish pies, but they can be very delicious in their own right.
Pantry items: Potatoes of last week’s groceries. Milk, butter, dried basil and dried oregano, and vinegar.
Day 6 – Thursday
Dinner: Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Spinach
The last remaining smoked salmon is used for this creamy pasta dish. As it contains 100gr of smoked salmon, plus spinach and quite some crème fraiche, it is not the cheapest dish of the week.
Pantry items: /
Day 7 – Friday
Dinner: Omelet Wrap
This is pretty much this week’s leftover dish. Three eggs plus some chives and milk make up the wrap, and the filling contains onion, mushrooms, spinach, beans, feta and cream cheese. I budgeted a teaspoon of dried chives, assuming not everybody has fresh chives in their garden.
Pantry items: Fresh chives from my herb garden and milk.
Grocery costs: €18.64
Recipes’ total: €16.41