We often share on social media bargains/hacks/handy hints of things we find in various supermarkets and when we asked, you guys said it’d be helpful to have a resource for these finds…so here is the first installment! Hopefully you’ll find things in this series that mean making a nutritious meal can be quick, simple, tasty and still leaves you feeling good and nourishing your body. There’s no one perfect way to eat though, so bear that in mind that there might be things here that don’t work for you. That’s ok! Take the bits that do and leave the bits that don’t…and happy cooking!
We’re starting this series off with a nosey round Sainsbury’s…
Stir fry veg (fresh/frozen): We like to find these in the clearance bin (love a yellow sticker bargain!) and freeze them if fresh, they freeze just fine! Frozen ones are great to have on hand at ALL times! Even if it’s just that you’re in a pinch and want to get some greens into dinner, stir fry veg is a handy, pre-prepped way of doing it. Use in: Stir fry, bulk out a chilli/bolognese, use as a pre-prepared salad (they’re fine to be eaten raw) and add dressing.
Pre-prepared starches/sides: Not always the cheapest option BUT definitely useful for busy days and a great way to get in some extra veg too (buy when on offer and freeze!). Already chopped and ready, put on a baking try/fry in a pan for a quick addition to lots of meals. Use in: Alternative to oven chips or making your own homemade ones, noodles as an alternative to pasta.
Tinned fish: Easy, portable protein sources to take for lunch. Buying in bulk is usually cheaper (especially with tuna) and making sure you get a good portion of protein at meals can help you feel satisfied and full up. Tinned oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines) also gets you a good dose of omega 3. Use in: handy side for lunch salads/veggies, tuna for a pasta bake.
Beans/Pulses: cheap, tasty, protein and carbohydrate source for meals. If you fancy a meat free meal this is a great way to still get some protein and add in some variety too. Already cooked you can just drain the can and add it to your meal. Use in: stews, curries, stir fry, one pot meals as alternatives to meat, soup, bolognese/chilli etc.
Rice/Pasta/Noodles: Rice noodles are a really quick way to get some carbohydrate cooked for dinner. We put them in a bowl of boiling water and leave them to sit whilst we cook the rest. Then they’re ready! Microwave rices are handy for emergencies and buckwheat penne is a tasty gluten free pasta for those that need (and doesn’t cost twice as much as regular pasta!).
Flavours!: So many ways to flavour a meal without needing 10 bazillion different herb and spice jars! Buy them already mixed, loads of them are just spices blended these days, without extra fillers (just have a quick look over the ingredient list but all of these are great!). Use for: Salts – easy way to flavour meats/fish (chicken whole/thighs/legs, salmon/cod/haddock etc, steak/burgers), spice blends are amazing for curries, liquid based dishes (coconut milk/cream/milk/tomatoes etc), stir fries, soups etc.
Eggs: Maybe obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to forget how quick, easy and versatile these are for a speedy meal. Use for: Scrambled eggs for stir fry, frittata, fried/poached/scrambled eggs on toast, boiled eggs for snacks/breakfast on the go/protein for lunches (we always batch cook some at the beginning of the week).
Tahini: For all of you that have nut allergies or are sick of the nut butter trend, how about tahini?! It’s made from sesame seeds and is great in savoury dishes or even in cookies as a PB alternative. Lots of people have asked where to get it for our hummus recipe too. Use for: baking, hummus, beet dip, stir fry sauces in place of peanut or almond butter, replacement for nut butters.
Spray olive oil: This is so handy for making delicious roasties or for avoiding the overspill with a pouring bottle of olive oil. Lots of the sprays are a mix of a few oils, these are JUST olive oil. Use for: A non-faffy and quick way to coat potatoes for roasting/wedges etc evenly without drowning them!
Chocolate: Already portioned in to 5 smaller bars, these are really handy to keep in your bag, add to packed lunches, keep on hand for ’emergencies’ etc. These ones are 85% cocoa content.
Herbs/spices: These are already chopped and prepared and are to keep in the freezer (find them in the freezer/world foods freezer section). It’s the middle ground between fresh herbs and dried and actually makes making a meal much less faff when you haven’t got to prepare them. And if you forgot one particular fresh herb in your shop it’s nice to have these always on hand.
Cassava chips!: These were a great find in the frozen ‘world foods’ section! They’re already chopped into ‘chips’ and are just chunks of cassava which is a root veg, a bit like white potato (but Andy thinks is much nicer than potato!). You can spray with olive oil and bake on 200C for about 40 minutes and you’ve got yourself an easy side to dinner. You can boil first for a quicker oven time but we tend to put them straight in from frozen. Use for: a replacement for potato/sweet potato/chips etc.
Frozen veg: We swear by the stuff! No chopping or preparing, NO WASTAGE because it lives in the freezer and so speedy. We’re just choosy which we use and when. Broccoli can be a bit soggy, but not very noticeable in a stew or curry, the rest are pretty versatile.
Frozen fruit: Again a great way to reduce waste, plastic (because you get a lot more in one of these than the smaller fresh boxes, therefore less plastic) and always have on hand. It’s also considerably cheaper to buy frozen. Use for: baking, smoothies, mixing into greek yogurt etc.
Sauces/dressings: Balsamic is a great way to do a speedy salad dressing, either on it’s own or with some olive oil. This pesto and these pasta sauces are also made with minimal ingredients including olive oil (over other seed oils). We love making sauces but some days there isn’t quite enough time so these are really handy. Use for: salad dressing, pasta sauce, bolognese, stir fry.
So that’s a round up of our Sainsbury’s haul! Got others you’ve found that would be great to share? Send them to us and we’ll update the list! [email protected]