Christmas Meal Plan – super simple mixed veg soup, with fresh crusty roll, 18p
400g mixed veg, Asda 1kg frozen mixed veg/77p, 31p
Another super simple soup. Simmer the mixed veg in 750 ml boiling water for 15 minutes. Take some of the veg out, whizz the rest, add the other veg back in and season well with s+p.
While the soup is simmering, make a roll or wrap each. If you are following the meal plan, you will have some bread dough in the fridge. If you haven’t any dough in the fridge, mix 500g any flour with a sachet of yeast and enough cold water to make a loose’ish dough. Cover well and put in the fridge for several hours. This dough can be safely left for 10 days without doing anything at all to it. Just take some out of the fridge when you want to use it. If you want to make fresh bread at a moments notice, when you use some, just top it up with more flour and water, no need for more yeast, and you will never need to knead it either.
To make crusty rolls. 35 minutes before you want to eat, pre-heat the oven to 220C, Gas Mark 8. Take the bread dough out of the fridge and remove a quarter of the mix. Divide the dough into two portions, 100g each is a nice big roll. There is no need to knead this dough, the long time in the fridge allows the gluten to develop. Shape into rolls, tucking the bottoms around and around with the sides of your hands to make a tight roll. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the inside of the oven with a little water, or put a baking tin with a little boiling water in the bottom of the oven. Once the oven has heated, bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes until dark brown, crusty and sounding hollow when you rap the bottom.
You can use exactly the same mixture to make wraps instead of rolls. If you want wraps, using 100g mix per wrap, roll out the very springy dough to the size of a dinner plate, about the thickness of a 2 credit cards, you will probably need to dust the work surface with a little flour. Pre-heat a frying pan or griddle, don’t oil it, turn the heat to medium. The pan shouldn’t be smoking hot, just hot. Now slap the wrap on the hot surface and wait a couple of minutes, peeking at the bottom of the wrap until it has brown splotches on it. Flip over and repeat. Put the wrap on a plate and cover immediately with a clean tea towel. The steam trapped under the tea towel will ensure the wrap stays soft. Now repeat for the 2nd wrap.
You could make the rolls or wraps for all days in one go if you want to, keeping them covered, somewhere cool. If you can, either the rolls or the wraps do taste much nicer freshly made, but I know this isn’t always practical.
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one