Food vouchers and Meal Plan 8, Lentils, chilli and coconut with salad

Jan 27, 2015 | 0 comments


On Monday I went to Tunbridge Wells to use the BBC Radio Kent studio there for a live transmission to BBC Radio Coventry. While I was there, it’s 17 miles from home, I decided to pop into M&S.


We use an Amex credit card everywhere they are accepted as they give a good cash back once a year. I even pay for things like buildings insurance and road tax using it. For everywhere that doesn’t take Amex, we use an M&S card. Needless to say, they are both paid off in full every month. Not much point collecting points and cash back if you incur interest charges.

The Amex cash back is paid into the account once a year, so it just reduces the balance, it doesn’t feel much like getting anything. Perhaps I should make a point of spending that amount on something nice. The M&S one sends us M&S vouchers every quarter and I always use them to get lovely M&S food that I otherwise would never get. I save them up and go into the shop when I think I will. I’ve got £72 worth left now.

The picture at the top of the page is what I chose today. Till price about £45, cash I paid…… 32p.  lovely!

There’s nothing like the taste of a free pizza, followed by an equally free apricot tart!

I sort of drifted over to gaze into Waterstones window longingly but managed to tear myself away before going in because I would have been bound to have bought several books. I don’t need any books, I have plenty to read and the library can always order anything I especially want. I definitely don’t need any more cook books.

Lunchtime today I tested another recipe for meal plan 8. It was supposed to be lentil burgers, but didn’t quite work out that way.
100g dry weight green lentils, 257g cooked weight,Asda 500g/£1, 20p
100g onion, Asda 2kg/£1.08, 5p
100g white cabbage, Asda 1kg/58p, 6p
100g carrots, Asda 2kg/£1.14, 6p
20g coconut cream, Asda 200g/76p, 8p
30ml oil, 1 litre/£1.25, 4p
30ml sweet chilli, Asda 150ml/£1, 20p
Total 69p

50g bean sprouts, Asda 360g/50p, 7p
100g white cabbage, Asda 1kg/58p, 6p
100g carrots, Asda 2kg/£1.14, 6p
60g value plain yoghurt Asda 500g/45p, 5p
Total 24p

Total cost of dish 93p, 46p a serving

I added some soy sauce to the salad, but wouldn’t bother again.

If your lentils are uncooked, cook them now. If you can, soak them overnight, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Simmer them until they are still firm, but cooked through. When cooked, drain well and mash with a fork. Place into a large bowl.

Shred all of the cabbage very finely, peel the carrots if you want to, if not, scrub well and grate. Peel and chop the onions finely. Put 2 tsps of the oil in a frying pan and soften the onions.

Mix the cabbage and carrots together and put half into the bowl with the lentils. Break the coconut up into very small pieces and add to the lentils. Add the cooked onions.

Add the bean sprouts to the other bowl and set aside. Season the lentil bowl well with salt and pepper, fresh ground if you can. Mix it all together well.

When you are ready to eat, put the remaining oil in a large frying pan, pile in the lentil mixture and cook gently over a low heat. Put a lid over if you can and leave until the veg are cooked through and the bottom has developed a golden crust.

Add the yogurt to the salad veg and season with a little salt and pepper.

I wanted to press the lentils into burger shapes, but they simply wouldn’t hold their shape. I could have added a little flour, or an egg, and they would bind, but we don’t have any available on meal plan 8.

Pile the lentils and salad onto 2 serving plates, or on a dish like in the picture. Drizzle the sweet chilli sauce over the lentils.

If you are taking this to work, add the seasoning when you eat as the salt will pull moisture out over a few hours and make it watery.

The lentils are extremely yummy, the coconut the perfect amount to lend a hint of coconut flavour without overwhelming. The salad is less so. Normally I would dress it with low fat mayonnaise and yoghurt 50:50, but we have no mayo available. Or I would add some lemon zest and honey, or tomato paste. None of that either. I have to assume you only have what is on the shopping list. If you have any in the larder, fabulous, use them to inject a bit more flavour. If you do not, no matter, take a little of the lentils and a little of the salad on each forkful and it will taste just fine.

We had ours with bannocks, which went very well and were delicious.





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