I do my weekly shop in Lidl. I started shopping there a couple of months into my career break to help with weekly savings and to be honest I love it. I get everything I need and mostly see no difference with other branded goods. And sure there are lots of the branded favourites there as well.
We have loads of cookbooks in our house. Probably about 40. They are all, bar one, my husband’s. My own single one is Paul Flynn’s Family Food. I had thought about buying it before Christmas but in the Christmas madness never got around to it. So when I saw it a few weeks ago on special offer I didn’t hesitate.
What I love about the book is the fact that every ingredient in it is easily available in the very supermarket I do my weekly shop as it was written by Paul Flynn with Lidl ingredients. My one big bug bear about cook books in general is that half of the ingredients are often alien to me and I have no idea where to get them; fancy, obscure stuff that never crosses the threshold into my house. I see a gorgeous recipe and realise I only have half the ingredients.
As I flicked through Paul Flynn’s Family Food I realised there were loads of great meal ideas I could do. Of course, each week I did my shopping before looking at the book and ended up resorting to my old reliable meals.
Enter Elizabeth from Life on Hushabye Farm with a great linky to challenge us to dig out our cookbooks with her Love Your Cookbooks Linky.
So I have chosen to attempt, for the first time, the Meatball and Bean Casserole from Paul Flynn’s Family Food.
I do cook meatballs on a regular basis so this was great for me to give my mundane recipe a new twist. My kids LOVE baked beans so I knew their addition would be welcomed.
I did make some tiny adjustments:
1. I made my own meatballs from mince rather than have bought the pre-made ones suggested in the recipe.
2. I don’t like pieces of tomato in my food so rather than a tin of chopped tomatoes I used a carton of passata
3. Instead of chopped garlic I used garlic granules (I hate chopping garlic)
All in all though I didn’t change any flavours.
Paul recommends serving the casserole with his cheesy mash. His recipe for cheesy mash includes parsnips which I don’t like and certainly don’t buy so I just left them out. I did add the cheese though which I usually wouldn’t to my bog standard mash.
I was blown away with how easy the dish is to prepare (particularly with my little adjustments!). I started dinner at 6pm and we were all sitting down to eat at 6.45pm. This included any chopping and peeling as well as setting the table and even a bit of Facebook time while the potatoes boiled and the casserole was in the oven.
I was worried that my homemade meatballs would fall apart but they stayed whole. The taste of the sauce was just amazing. My kids all gave it the thumbs up, although my little man didn’t eat too much as he had been at a party for the afternoon so was full of pizza and cake.
I have no doubt that I will be making this dish again.
I am so grateful to have been inspired to dig out my cookbook and try something new. There are so many other recipes in this book alone that I want to try. Big thanks to Elizabeth and don’t forget to check out her post and others in the linky over on her blog.