Food glorious food

Jess Neale

Jess NealeLast weekend I made my lasagne recipe for the family, which is one of my personal favourites to make (and to eat!).

I do enjoy cooking. Being in the kitchen can be a creative and inspiring place and pretending to be Jamie Oliver for half an hour is actually quite fun!  Seeing my family dig in to the food with grins on their faces brings a great sense of satisfaction.

Even my niece finished it all up. Although she has a habit of repeating back to you whatever you say when you talk to her, so she was telling everyone “I made that”… I’m not sure they believed her!

Unfortunately though, food can be expensive, but your culinary creations needn’t be.  I had an interesting conversation with my sister and how she saves money and time in the kitchen. With two kids running around she’s found it easier to master a few staple recipes and she adapts them as and when.

For example, she has a basic tomato sauce made by simply frying shallots or onion, garlic and a tin of chopped tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper, heating until boiled, then adding basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The whole lot simmers for half an hour and it’s as simple as that! She then adapts it to use with pasta, or in a lasagne or bolognese.

So if you enjoy your food like me, you wouldn’t want any to go to waste, or to waste any money for that matter, so here are some top tips to make your food shop last longer.

  • Sometimes I’ll find that I don’t need to use the whole jar of pasta sauce and promptly pop it in the fridge to use later on. A great tip to make sure it stays air tight and fresher for long is to tightly screw the lid on and turn it upside down.
  • The traditional fruit bowl might look pretty but often fruit lasts longer if it’s kept in the fridge and another tip is to keep other fruit away from bananas.
  • Half eaten loaf of bread that is beginning to go stale? Use leftover crusts and slices to make breadcrumbs. Store in the freezer to top pasta bake or chicken kievs at a later date.
  • I’m a sucker for going to the supermarket and getting carried away, impulse buys can add around £10 to my bill and by planning my meals ahead of time I can make sure I stick to budget and don’t waste anything either.
  • Got a bit of a grubby looking lettuce or onion? Don’t be so superficial, peel away the layers and you should find a perfectly healthy looking vegetable underneath.