Chomping our way to financial freedom one meal at a time



  • MatyMoo
    MatyMoo Posts: 3,171 Forumite
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    Welcome to the boards!

    would love the butter chicken recipe please! In fact maybe always give us the recipes as I like the sound of the chicken & broccoli pasta too 😂
    :j Proud Member of Mike's Mob :j
  • star24.7
    star24.7 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    @Parkyp thanks, Mr Star used to not be keen on veg either so a lot of mine is hidden. He still doesn’t eat salads! 

     I don’t buy snacks, think it is a hangover from childhood, my mum would make a cake for Sunday tea and that was the only sweet thing we had all week. Mr Star has 7 siblings and so if there were treats it was a competition to eat the most otherwise you’d get none. If I do buy a multipack of crisps there are never any left the next day if Mr Star gets hold of them!

    Made some scones and tea bread for tea this afternoon and had a friend over which was lovely. I need to put dried fruit on my list for next week as I’ve run out now!
  • star24.7
    star24.7 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    @MatyMoo chicken and broccoli pasta is the easiest so here it is (makes enough for 4) it’s another recipe you can tailor to what you have in stock and takes about 20 mins.

    you need:
    an onion finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic (not essential if you don’t have any in stock)
    small broccoli (cut into small florets)
    1 chicken breast (cut into small pieces about 1.5cm sq.
    mascarpone or cream cheese or ricotta or ive even used crème fraiche (full fat) if I’ve some left over.

    Cook the broccoli (don’t over cook it - needs to still hold its shape when stirred into the sauce).

    Fry the onion, add the garlic and chicken when the onion is soft. When the chicken is cooked add the cheese and when it’s melted/heated through if you are using crème fraiche add broccoli.

    if you have a steamer pan you can do the broccoli over the pasta so you only use 2 gas rings 😍
  • star24.7
    star24.7 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    @MatyMoo should have said I’m going to use 2 chicken thighs in my pasta because I’ve bought a pack of them to do the butter chicken, I’m also going to experiment with using cream instead of the cream cheese as I’ve bought 1/2 pint for this recipe as the 1/4 had sold out. I do try to have overlapping ingredients if I can manage it.

    Here is the butter chicken recipe (it’s a favourite in the Star household) - it’s from a slow cooker book:

    it says serves 4 but I would say more like 5-6.

    2 onions 
    3 cloves garlic
    1 1/2 inch garlic
    1 red chilli
    8 boneless chicken thighs
    50g butter
    1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed)
    1 tsp fennel seeds (crushed)
    4 cardamom pods (crushed)
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp turmeric
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I leave this out because I’m allergic to it) as far as I know it doesn’t alter the taste too much
    1/2 pint chicken stock
    1 tbs sugar
    2 tbs tomato puree
    5 tbs double cream

    blend the onions garlic, chilli and ginger in a food processor (I use my hand blender).
    Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, brown using half the butter and set aside.

    Add the rest of the butter to the pan and add onion paste once melted. Once it is starting to colour add all the spices cook for a minute then add stock, sugar, and tomato purée bring to the boil.

    transfer to slow cooker and add chicken (pushing below surface), cook for 5-7 hours on low and then add cream before serving. 

    I find it can sometimes be a bit watery if the onions are smallish so you may want to play with the water/onion ratios if this happens or reduce it a bit in a pan before you add the cream.
  • leftatthetrafficlights
    Just found your thread and subscribed 😁 It occurred to me recently that we're spending much more than I would like on groceries so I'm on a mission to reduce our bill too! We're only 1.5 weeks into our monthly budget and we've already spent 2/3rds of it! 🤦‍♀️ admittedly some of that has been bulk buying but it's still out of control especially as there are only 2 of us, I'm vegan and we grow lots of veg and have a massive storecupboard of grains and pulses!! 🙈😂

    I'm going to see if I can do the rest of the month on £35 a week too 😁
    Tilly Tidy Fund 2024: £80.86/£100
    Joint savings fund: £0/£1000
    Debt neutral fund: £0/£1000

    Weight loss challenge 2024:
    1st quarter starting weight: 9st 13.1lb
    2nd quarter starting weight: 9st 9.2lb
    3rd quarter starting weight: 
    4th quarter starting weight:

    GC 2024 - Annual Target: £2712- Running total:£764.12/£2712
    Monthly Target: £226
    Jan: £74.12; Feb: £300; Mar: £190; Apr: £200; May: £; Jun: £; Jul: £; Aug: £; Sep: £; Oct: £; Nov: £; Dec: £

  • star24.7
    star24.7 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    @leftatthetrafficlights good luck! I really like a veggie chilli with brown rice when the weather is a bit colder (although I do put a big spoon of sour cream on mine).

    if you have a well stocked store cupboard £35 a week should be OK, it is difficult when you need to buy 2-3 “big items” like dishwasher tablets and washing powder in one go, but if it’s only occasionally you slip up it’s not too bad.  

    Just had this months gas & electric statement through £110 😭 not sure what it will be during the winter and with the price increase. We are paying £210 on the direct debit and just worked our way into credit, I think we may need to increase it to £300 to cover the winter but  if we can hold off putting the heating on until October and with the £400 we may not need to increase it much over £300 - it is next winter that will be harder.

    Mr Star and a friend are going to look at putting more insulation in the loft as we don’t think there is much in there. It’s all boarded out and the ceiling is also boarded though so it’s will be quite a big job as the boards will need to be taken down and then put back.
  • star24.7

    So last week we stuck to our food budget, Mr Star had a pasty for lunch when he went into the office - but it wasn’t a meal deal 🤣

    My meals for this week are:


    Spinach, pea and mint soup

    Beans on toast



    Chilli con carne 

    Chicken stew & dumplings

    Sausage and mash w/ Yorkshire puddings


    I need £27.27 of ingredients for these plus some brown basmati rice that I can’t get in my usual supermarket. I also need dried fruit and some toiletries so I should be able to get it all within budget. If not I’ll switch fajitas for a tuna pasta which will save me about £3.50 (and fajitas only do one night whereas tuna pasta does 2).

    Next week is my trip to London so I will have to do my shop on either Friday or Monday so I might plan next weeks meals this afternoon if I have time.

  • Parkyp
    Parkyp Posts: 883 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    You’re doing great sticking with your budget. 
    Well done 👏 👏. 

  • happydenial
    Have just googled the BBC coconut chicken curry, and it sounds delicious 😋 Straight on the meal plan for this week as I have all the ingredients - thanks! 
    Books read 2023 - 49/75

  • janb5
    janb5 Posts: 2,625 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    I did too but other people suggest reducing the liquid.
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