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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Making Tasty Sauces From Scratch

I love homemade cooking. I enjoy planning meals and separating ingredients, its become almost like a challenge to see how far i can make a meal go! The majority of the time it is much much cheaper to cook from scratch, as well as being healthier so if i can make it, i will! 
Sauces are the staple basics when it comes to my cupboards. 10 years ago, my cupboard would be filled with jars of sauce and tins of vegetables, ready for me to grab on the quick, genuinely believing that i was making a more healthy and pocket friendly choice. It wasnt until my nan told me off for making big K soup from a tin that i started to make my own. Since then i have adapted many times what i make to suit my budget or my lifestyle, finally settling on a version that is versitile and works for us. 

As you may have seen, i am committing myself to a food challenge. I am making 100 meals from scratch for £200. You can follow this by clicking here I thought as i am doing this and sauces are a big part of my cooking, i would share with you the homemade sauces which work best for me. These can be batch cooked and frozen giving you a good opportunity to save some pennies! 

White Sauce 

This sauce is the basis for pretty much any non tomato based sauce you can think of. It is really simple to make and takes 10 minutes at most, Compared to jars, 1 batch costs pennies to make. 


Ingredients: 

Milk
Plain Flour
Butter 

  1. Heat milk in a saucepan 
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt a little butter and add some plain flour to form a paste (Roux) 
  3. Keep stirring and add the milk to the roux. Continuously stir to remove lumps and allow the sauce to thicken. 
The important part of making this is that you continuously stir it. Leaving on the heat will allow it to thicken up but it will become too thick. 

Adding flavorings to this sauce will turn it into something new. 
  • Add cheese for a cheese sauce
  • Add mushroom for an onion sauce
  • Add white wine for a white wine sauce
  • The list goes on.....
For a more slimming world friendly version try mixing quark with an egg, cottage cheese with an egg or natural yogurt with an egg. No cooking required to make it :) 


BBQ Sauce 

I have tried many different versions but this slimming world recipe works perfectly every time for me. Plus its cheaper and healthier. 


Ingredients: 

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp mild chilli powder 
227ml/8fl oz passata 
3 tbsp artifical sweetner 
4 tbsp balsamaic vinegar
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Saute the onion and chilli powder over a low heat for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened
  3. Check seasoning and serve either hot or cold. 

Freezer friendly. This tastes amazing with pork or chicken. 

Curry sauce 

The slimming world version is nice, we prefer it to a jar and non low fat versions. 


Gravy 

Another slimming world version. 


Ingredients:

2 stock cubes
Water
Instant mash 

  1. Crumble 2 stock cubes into a mug or pan
  2. Add boiling water and stir
  3. Stir in Mr Mash to thicken
Ketchup 


Ingredients: 

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2x 400g chopped toms
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp celery salt
2tsp English mustard
2tsp ground white pepper
4 tbsp sweetener
9fl oz/255ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

  1. Finally chop onion and crush garlic. Place ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and cook gently for 40-45 mins, stirring occasionally
  3. Remove from heat, season with salt and allow to cool. 
  4. Blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth and serve into a bowl
If you transfer this into a washed up ketchup bottle, this will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 

Pesto 


Ingredients: 

1 large bunch parsley
1 large bunch basil
1 clove garlic
1 – 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
4 tablespoons your choice of oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (i use a hand blender, it takes more work though)
  2. Once mixed into a paste, spoon contents into a jar. 
Will last for around a week in the fridge. 

Mayonnaise 


Ingredients:

1 Large egg yolk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Place the egg yolk and salt in a food processor to combine
  2. Add the lemon juice and mustard and blend well
  3. Slowly add the oil so it does not separate from the egg
  4. Sample the mix and add more seasoning if needed
  5. Spoon into jar and cover, then place in the fridge. 
Once in the fridge this will last 3-5 days depending on fridge temperature. Stir before using. 

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