Food for Free

No, I’m talking about foraging today. I’m thinking about those “stealth” free foods that live in my freezer. You might remember I talked about my top ten freezer favourites last week.  Today I want to introduce you to a few things that make my life easier and feed us practically for free.

  1. Spicy chicken wings. Every time we buy a whole chicken, I cut off the wings before cooking. Save them up in a tub or a bag in the freezer and next time BBQ season comes around defrost them, steep in a spicy marinade of oil, soy sauce, chilli flakes and fresh ginger. Roast in a hot oven or cook on the BBQ for a tasty snack that has cost you almost nothing.
  2. Pizza toppings. Next time you open a jar of pasata, scoop out a couple of tablespoons and freeze in a small tub.  If you paid attention last week, you can use this to top a small pizza base, add a few frozen veg, some herbs and some of that frozen grated cheese and voila – an pizza snack for one. Serve with a baked potato and salad for a perfect Friday night tea
  3. Save left over chilli, curry or stews and freeze in individual servings. They make perfect ready meals and can easily be stretched by adding frozen left over rice, pasta or frozen vegetables.
  4. Pea soup –  a bag of  frozen peas makes a quick soup, add some frozen ham leftovers or mint for flavour.  There’s a great quick pea soup recipe on the BBC Food website. We grow our own garlic and onions, so I tend to think of them as free food.
  5. End of the week soup. OK, so not strictly free. Most of us find a few veg lurking in the fridge or veg basket at the end of the week. Use a decent stock cube if you don’t have fresh stock in the freezer (or  look out for 9 Meals from Anarchy stock (see link in sidebar (not sponsored).  Chopped onions, garlic and herbs can be used for flavour. BBC Good Food website has some great recipes for soup you can make from leftovers. Even a potato and a couple of carrots can make a delicious soup. Top with some of that frozen grated cheese and a few toasted nuts or seeds (again you can make a batch and store in the freezer).

Feeding yourself and your family quickly and cheaply is an art form. You can learn it and passing these skills on to your kids prepares them for when they inevitably leave home. You might also like to take a look at my store  cupboard staples page and stock up your kitchen. Next week I’ll be sharing five quick and delicious meals you can cook from the store cupboard – you might be surprised!

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • A hook and a book! Bought myself this gorgeous hook from  @beyond_measure & met my crochet heroine Marie Wallin - a good Woolfest haul this year!
#woolfest #crochet #crochethook #worksouting Bought myself a new shawl pin from @textilegarden at Woolfest (shawl knitted in Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4 ply
#knitting #knittersofinstagram #shawls #neverenoughshawls #woolfest The gooseberries are plump and tart - perfect for gin! This is my favourite summer gin. Add a few elderflowers if you like. Freeze the gooseberries first so they release their flavour. 
#gooseberries #gin #girlgardener #eatwhatyougrow #ediblegarden #permaculture #countrywisdom #slowliving #summerinaglass #homesteading #greenliving #slowliving #slowfood Borage. I'll be freezing these flowers in ice cube trays for adding to summer Pimms & gin. 
The leaves make a fabulous "tea" to feed tomatoes (mix in a bucket of water with a handful of nettles), it doesn't smell as bad as comfrey feed and much cheaper / greener than the stuff you buy in garden centres!!
#girlgardener #edibleflowers #slowliving #foraging #permaculture #countrywisdom #mygardenrightnow Throwback . Taken on a visit to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire a couple of weeks ago. Can you read that  card? A valet to whiten your converse! Brought back memories of  whitening my Dunlop green flash in the 70's!!!
#chatsworth #converseallstars #conversetrainers Strange sky tonight.
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