At the airport, I picked up a copy of the BBC's Olive magazine, which I enjoy as it's a range of chat, recipes, recommendations and home stuff. One of their articles in the August issue was entitled '7 meals for £35'. All the recipes looked summery and tasty and I thought since I'd still got a week or so of holidays left, I could try it out.
First though, I needed to go shopping!
The list gave all the ingredients needed for the week, including any store cupboard ingredients, and cost the Olive team £34.67. Having looked through the list, I already had a red pepper, home-grown parsley and mint and chicken pieces. So I popped down to the shops and bought the requisite items. I couldn't find 'orzo' pasta and had to settle for mini farfalle instead! The cost? £29.06, but that was with the above exceptions.
I did not, however, have several items from the store cupboard list: lamb stock (do people really have a supply of this, or even lamb stock cubes, in their cupboards?); dijon mustard ( usual fridge-favourite of mine); harissa paste and pine nuts. Having been away, I also needed to stock up on eggs, milk, and Parmesan.
If you did have all the items in the stock cupboard, I think the price given would have been nearly spot-on.
When I returned I looked through the recipes in more detail and noticed that if a dish was served with something, for example, a salad, new potatoes, naan bread or rice, those weren't included in the price, but again, most people would have those in the cupboard anyway. I may have to have a go at my own flat-breads later in the week - any recommended recipes greatly appreciated!
So, for the rest of the week, I'll publish a post a day, letting you know how I got on with each recipe, how it looked in comparison with the magazine's lovely-looking pictures, and, most importantly, how it tasted!
Original photograph: Lis Parsons, Recipe: Janine Ratcliffe. Both from Olive, August 2009
First up: Lemon butter fish with pepperonata.