Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner for August:
Hamburgers, Peaches and Mediterranean Vegetable Recipes
Core Ingredients for August:
Minced Beef, Aubergines, Courgettes, Onions, Peaches and Quinoa
Hamburgers with Herb Baked Onions
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Goat’s Cheese
Amaretti Peach Melba Crumble Parcels
Welcome to August’s Thrifty and Organic Meal Planner; with the sun still shining and the mercury rising, I thought that I would continue to create thrifty and organic family friendly recipes for my August menu, with the emphasis on cooking outdoors as well as simple to prepare dishes. Last month saw me cooking with lamb, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroot and raspberries, and I shared some lovely recipes for Lamb and Rosemary Skewers, Roasted Beetroot with Shallots, Cucumber and Yoghurt Minted Dip, Summer Salad in a Jar and Raspberry and Vanilla Custard Bake. For August, I am still working and cooking with lots of seasonal vegetables as well as beautiful home-produced organic beef and the first of the late summer stone fruits, peaches. I am also using quinoa with one of my recipes, which brings a healthy and easy to cook grain into the meal plan, and is perfect in place of potatoes or bread.
August is all about taking advantage of those last few precious weeks of the summer holidays, whether that be going to the beach, having a picnic or cooking outdoors, at home, on the barbecue. Now is the time to buy all of those seasonal vegetables that are plentiful and cheap such as aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes; and, it’s this time of year that big pots of ratatouille make an appearance at almost every meal – full of vibrant colours, green fruity olive oil and freshly picked herbs.
As well as seasonal vegetables that are bringing colour to our meals, I am just starting to enjoy the stone fruit season, and have already managed to buy some beautifully ripe peaches, apricots and plums. I am more than happy to eat them all “au natural”, sat outside on the grass with a stack of paper towels, juice dribbling down my chin! But, it is nice to create a recipe for the barbecue, and peaches in particular cook very well over coals, especially when they are cooked “en papillote” on little foil parcels.
And, what can be better than home-made burgers for the barbie! Especially when the burgers are made with organic British beef and are cooked with juicy, sweet onions with summer herbs. I am a big burger fan of the old-fashioned hamburger school – simply made with a little bit of seasoning and a finely diced onion mixed with the meat. All that is needed to serve them are a selection of sauces, ketchups, pickles, mustards and relishes as well as the ubiquitous hamburger bun. We are not lovers of the overly sweet, white “plastic” bread buns, so I usually serve our hamburgers in home-made baps or wholemeal bread buns.
Then there are the left-overs from the ratatouille, with such a large amount made to take advantage of the energy used baking them, this is inevitable. I have made soups from left-over ratatouille before and or course you can just serve it again as a vegetable accompaniment; but, I discovered that by adding a couple of scoops of ratatouille to cooked and seasoned quinoa, another tasty recipe had been created that would suit vegetarians and carnivores alike. Serve the quinoa salad with some crumbled goat’s cheese on top and a scattering of herbs and you have another tasty meal that would be perfect for picnics and lunch boxes too.
As regular Lavender and Lovage readers know, when I post my monthly Thrifty and Organic meal planners, I always try to keep the costs down, with a cost breakdown for each recipe. The cost will never go over £15 per meal for a family of four, and I try to used home-grown herbs and store-cupboard seasonings that we all have to keep the costs even lower. In the past, I managed to create meals for under £5 a meal, which just goes to prove that organic ingredients do not have to be expensive. So, here is my breakdown of costs for this month’s menu, and I think you will be surprised to see just how thrifty I have been this month!
August Shopping List:
(I have not added salt, pepper and basic store-cupboard ingredients such as olive oil and herbs, as most people will already have these in their stores, and the price will be negligible)
600g organic minced beef = £4:17
1 kilo onions = £1:50
2 aubergines = £2:00
2 courgettes = £1:50
1 red pepper = 0:80
1 yellow pepper = 0:80
1 garlic bulb = 0:30
750g tomatoes = £3:20
200g quinoa = 0:60
200g goat’s cheese = £2:00
4 peaches = £1:00
Amaretti biscuits = £1:00
100g raspberries = £2:00
Individual meal breakdown costs:
Hamburgers with Herb Baked Onions = £4:39
Price per head (serves 6) = 0:73
Oven-Baked Ratatouille = £9:02
Price per head (serves 8) = £1:12
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Goat’s Cheese = £3:46
Price per head (serves 6) = 0:57
Amaretti Peach Melba Crumble Parcels = £4:00
Price per head (serves 4) = £1:00
(I shopped at Waitrose, Morrisons & Sainsbury’s using the So Organic Range and the local Farm Shop. Prices correct at time of publishing)
More recipe and leftover ideas:
Minced Beef and Vegetable Pasties
Spaghetti Bolognese with Vegetables
Summer Vegetable Quiche
French Onion Soup
Peach Ice Cream
I hope that August’s Thrifty and Organic menu inspires you to take to the garden and have a barbecue – it’s a great time to take advantage of all the seasonal fruit and vegetables that are available, as well as enjoying the sun. I am pretty pleased with how low I have managed to keep costs this month, and by making large quantities of the ratatouille, not only do you save on energy but it makes many more meals with the leftovers. Next month, September, sees the last month of my partnership with Organic UK, so look out for a special “finale” menu as well as a bit of a party – more news to follow about that later! Have a wonderful week and enjoy these last few weeks of the summer holidays, Karen
Organic UK is paying me an agreed fee to create and develop these Thrifty and Organic Recipes, as well as providing me with all the ingredients. However, as I am a big supporter of organic produce, I am happy to share these sponsored organic recipes and posts on my blog, for the benefit of my readers.