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Old Style vs the USDA head-to-head challenge...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
1.7K replies 203.6K views


  • poodlehorsepoodlehorse Forumite
    675 posts
    hi folks! Yes OAMC is once a month cooking and back when I was working FT and paying off debts I employed this method a bit. Now that I am a SAHM I still do a bit of cooking for the freezer but not half as much as I have more time to cook every night but then again I am losing out on the savings to be made from cooking 6 lasagnes at once etc. And I am also missing out on the savings of buying in bulk from the wholesaler, but we do now live a lot further away from one so it is harder to go now as it would be an hour to get there, but that is an excuse I grant you.

    Red lentil bolognese - fabulous. I have been making this for nearly 20 years and I love it, DH unfortunately isn't keen on lentils other than in soup so it has slid off my menus over the years but DH is away for a month so I can make a big batch and freeze some. I always felt it was one of those meals that made you feel healthy when you ate it, filling but doesn't make you feel sluggish (like meat does for me, I am becoming more and more convinced that my body does not like meat much, fish yes but meat no). I am going to make that tonight I think, I am salivating already. Hope I have wholemeal pasta as it is best with that I think. I remember when I was in my early twenties I had a really grim year and my staples were lentils, homegrown potatoes and shallots. What I couldn't do with those three ingredients wasn't worth knowing at the time! I need to refind it. AND I was 3 stone lighter then. I need to write down what I used to eat in those days and use that as my menu plan.
    Grocery challenge - you are quite right I need to join. I think I am too ashamed to admit that I just spent in one shop for one week what Weezl could live off for 6:o . But we do have an extra mouth to feed but then again since he barely eats that should be costing me :rotfl: . The other problem is no month is quite the same round here as DH works away from home for weeks at a time. But I guess the point is the challenge is individual and I set it so I really need to pull the finger out and just do it and stop making excuses/moaning:eek: . If anyone wants my lentil bolognese "recipe" then give me a shout and I will post it.
  • bailsbails Forumite
    3.2K posts
    Ooh yes please to the lentil bolognaise please Poodlehorse! And any tips you can remember from your potato, lentil and shallots days :rotfl:
    The 1,000 Day Challenge:
    Feb 16, 2016
  • debbymdebbym Forumite
    460 posts
    Hi Weezl, don't know if anyone has suggested this already but how about sprouting the beans and pulses you have been buying - this increases the nutrients available e.g the vitamin C content goes up by something like 500% 2-3 days after germination. The only beans you shouldn't use are red kidney beans as they are poisonous but since bean sprouts are only sprouted mung beans with the seed hulls removed why not?
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
    8.7K posts
    a fab idea debbym, I shall!:T

    Weezl x

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • poodlehorsepoodlehorse Forumite
    675 posts
    Right here goes, I never quite bother sticking to recipes that much but this is the original and I have added my modifications in green

    Spaghetti with Lentil Bolognese Sauce X4

    8-12 oz spaghetti (works well with wholemeal)
    ½ oz butter (I don't use as it is meant to be to toss the pasta in ??)
    freshly ground pepper
    8oz cooked lentils recipe said green but I use red and I just sort of guess how many
    2 onions, chopped
    2 tbs oil
    2 garlic cloves
    2 celery sticks, chopped DH doesn't like so I usually omit these days
    2 carrots, finely diced
    2 tbs tomato puree I tend to just whack a tin of chopped tomatoes in
    salt and pepper
    grated parmesan
    I like some chopped red peppers in there and maybe some mushrooms, whatever is kicking about the bottom of the fridge really.
    Dash of Lea and Perrins - everything needs that right?

    Prepare sauce: drain lentils, keeping liquid. Fry onions in oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, celery and carrots. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, until tender. Stir in the lentils, tomato puree, seasoning and a little of the reserved liquid to make a thick, soft consistency(a bit faffy hence I jsut add in the tin of tomatoes). Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding more liquid of necessary. Half fill a large saucepan with water, add a teaspoonful of salt and bring to the boil. Add spaghetti and simmer for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain the spaghettu, then return to the saucepan with the butter and pepper (ok have never donet he butter and pepper thing). then turn spaghetti out onto a hot serving dish and pour the sauce on top. Serve with parmesan on top.
  • poodlehorsepoodlehorse Forumite
    675 posts
    HEre is another one and I think it can be seen that I basically merged the two recipes to get my one but thought it useful for you to see the originals.

    Pasta with Red Lentil and Tomato Sauce

    8-12oz of pasta shells
    ½ ozbutter
    1 large onion, peeled and chopped
    2 tbs oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    ½ tsp cinnamon
    8 oz red lentils, washed
    14oz can tomatoes
    ¾ pt water seasoning

    Fry onions in oil until soft, add garlic, cinnamon, lentils, tomatoes and water and bring to boil . Simmer for 20 mins until lentils tender. Season. Cook pasta. Serve sauce on top of pasta and top with grated cheese.
  • poodlehorsepoodlehorse Forumite
    675 posts
    And here are the instructions my mum gave me many moons ago about how to make her lentil soup:

    Mam’s Lentil soup

    4-5 oz lentils, washed thoroughly
    2 beef stock cubes in 1pt boiling water
    Place stock in pan add lentils. Add onion chopped. Then add 2-3 carrots and some swede. Always make sure there is more carrot than swede or it will be bitter. Boil then simmer for 1-1 ½ hours adding more water as needed. Mash the veg down or liquidise. Season.

    Mam’s Pea Soup

    As above but split peas instead of lentils and use ham stock.

    I have added a tin of tomatoes to the lentil before now and maybe spiced it up a bit with some chilli powder, anything to ring the changes and make lentils seem new again LOL. Nowadays I would use a ham hock for my pea soup and add the meat off it to the soup yum and a bit of boiling beef for my lentil if I have a bit of rib in but you don't always have time for all that nonsense.
  • MarruMarru Forumite
    4.1K posts
    weezl74 wrote: »
    Hi ceridwen, I'm not really a Monday we'll have this, tuesday t'other kind of planner, but here's some ideas of what I do with my budget, I've included costings where I've worked them out already:


    I have been lurking here for awhile. Would you please have a food planner for veggies? I know you have suggestions with the shopping list but something like the one you had in your post 115 would be fantastic!!! Sorry if you have already posted it as I have only managed to scan some of the pages (this thread is moving so fast :D .

    Thank you so much,

    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."

  • poodlehorsepoodlehorse Forumite
    675 posts
    And because we have marmalade makers in our midst I thought you might be interested in this, courtesy of my MIL:

    Marmalade Gingerbread

    Butter a 2lb loaf tin or a round cake tin 8-9 inches diameter, and base line each with paper –

    8 oz butter
    8oz maramalade
    8oz soft brown sugar
    12oz SR flour
    1 rounded tbs cinnamon and 2 tsp ground ginger
    2 large eggs, beaten
    4oz raisins and 6-8 bits of ginger, chopped (optional)
    ½ pt milk and 2 level tsp bicarb of soda

    Warm together the milk and soda and set aside. Melt together the butter, marmalade and soft brown sugar. Sieve together the flour, ginger and cinnamon and mix into the melted butter misture together with the beaten eggs, missing well. Mix in the warm milk and bicarb of soda, beating all really well together. Stir in the raisins and chopped ginger, pour into the prepared tin and bake in an oven 310F (Gas 2 ½ ) for 1 ½ hours. Cool in the tin. When quite cold turn out of the tin and store in an airtight tin.
  • BigMummaFBigMummaF Forumite
    4.3K posts
    Evening all! Just back from worm and about to make the pate!! Only managed to get fresh ones but tesco have an offer for 2 for 1.50 at the mo for those who may be interested:eek: oooh-err mrs....not me!!!!! May freeze nicer than preprozen but will go & have a look on website for frozen to check weights arent too different! Will also sign up for the GB for this month! Need to have a think about what I an live on between now & pay day (20th!) because want it to be a challenge without starving IYKWIM!

    No offence ISOM, but I don't think I'll be accepting an invitation for supper any time soon:pI know times is ard & others are using nettles & such, but I think you're taking self-sufficiency to a whole new level:rotfl:
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

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