1940s Meal Prep – 7 days dinners for 32p


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Yes that’s right – 7 days dinners for 32 p each. And I’m going to tell you what I used, what each item cost, AND how much fibre and protein per serving!

There is quite a group of us on my blog starting off the New Year with really good intentions to have a “Month without Money” in January (grocery money) by using up stuff we have been hoarding in the cupboards before buying more. Spending as little money in January is something we are all trying to achieve to help us get over the lean month but also be mindful of waste and of what we spend, just like our families had to do during rationing in WW2!

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I decided today that I would use up the post Christmas reduced veg I bought the other day. I bought some bags of parsnips for 9p a bag, some sprouts for 10p a bag, some carrots for 19p a bag and potatoes for 29p a bag. I then rummaged through my cupboards and found a can of tomatoes, can of kidney beans, can of chick peas, a large onion, 2 courgettes, few teaspoons Bisto powder, dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper. The total cost of all the ingredients actually used was about £2.25 and I was able to have one meal for lunch and fill 6 meal prep containers to put in the fridge and freezer (it also spurred me into defrosting the freezer!).

YES, that’s right…..£2.25 for 7 days’ dinners, that’s 32p per meal!

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So here’s what I made and how…although these are not 1940’s wartime recipes that you’ll find in a book any cook during the 40’s would have thrown stuff together to use up stuff and not waste it!

Root Veg Mash

Ingredients
1.5 lbs parsnips
1.5 lbs carrots
1.5 lbs potatoes
1 onion or leek finely chopped + garlic (optional)
Butter or margarine
Salt and pepper.

Method
Cut up carrots small and parsnips and potatoes in slightly larger pieces.
Add to boiling water and simmer until soft.
Meanwhile add all your butter or margarine (according to how much you like) into a saucepan and peel a clove of garlic or two and add that into the saucepan with the chopped onion and sauted until onions are soft (remove garlic cloves when ready)
Place drained veg into a large bowl, place butter and onion mixture on top and mash all up together.
Add salt and pepper liberally until your own desired taste is reached.

Will be enough for 7 days meal prep plus a portion of pre mashed veg to add to stew recipe below.

PS: It was DELISH!

Meal Prep Bean Stew

Ingredients
1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can tomatoes
1 onion or leek
2 or 3 courgettes or a small chopped marrow
Portion of pre-mashed cook veg from recipe above.
Bisto powder
Salt and pepper
Dried mixed herbs
Spoonful of sweet chutney (optional)

Method
In a large saucepan, saute chopped onions or leeks until browned and soft
Add chopped courgettes or marrow
Add all cans and pre-mashed veggies
Thicken with Bisto powder
Add chutney, herbs, salt and pepper.
Cook until stew has reduced a little and thickened.

Will be enough for 7 meal prep portion sizes.

Fibre and Protein Boost!

I even worked out the fibre and protein content of each meal. Each meal provides a whacking great 20g of fibre!! (daily recommendation is 25g – 30g) and protein was 18g (daily recommendation is about 55g) so that’s pretty good too!

With hindsight I would have thrown another can of kidney beans in or thrown in some dry lentils and boosted each meal by another 5g of fibre and 5g of protein!

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Blackberry Mincemeat for WW2 Christmas Mince Pies – Recipe No. 157


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You had to really think ahead on the home-front during WW2. Bottling hedgerow fruits during the late summer months would have enabled you to use many of those berries to make Christmas mince pies. The fruits bulked out the dried fruit which was much harder to get hold of in the quantities most housewives were used to.

7c3678aff3aa79930546591cda391b12This recipe comes from ‘Woman Magazine’ and makes about 3-4 jam jars or at least a large litre kilner jar and will be enough to fill 24 mince pies!

I made this today and as I had no blackberries and obviously wasn’t forward thinking like many bakers during WW2, I was able to just pop along to my local Sainsbury’s a buy a frozen basics bag of forest berries which includes blackberries. They’ve worked very well!

I tasted a spoonful before bottling and it tastes very much like a mix between traditional mincemeat and apple pie mixture. Very tasty!

Blackberry Mincemeat for Christmas Mince pies.

1 lb blackberries (or mixed berries). Use fresh, frozen or bottled.
4 cooking apples
4 oz (100 g) butter, margarine or shredded suet
4 oz (100 g) of chopped mixed nuts
1/2 lbs ( 400 g) of dried mixed fruit
2 – 3 rounded dessertspoons of soft brown sugar (or granulated)
8-10 drops almond essence
2 rounded teaspoons of mixed spice
Honey or golden syrup

Method

Chop up apples and place in saucepan with a spoonful of water and soft brown sugar and simmer until apple is soft and getting pulpy.
Add berries, spice and almond essence and simmer on low for another 15 minutes stirring now and again. Switch off heat.
Add your margarine/butter/suet and stir in until melted
Add chopped nuts and dried fruit and stir (at this stage if you wish you can add a dram of whisky or brandy.)
Spoon into clean, sterilized jam jars and once filled drizzle the top with a little warm honey or golden syrup to seal before adding lid.
Store in the fridge or somewhere cool until needed when you make your mince pies at Christmas!

Should keep for 3 – 6 months in the fridge!

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Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food – Recipe No. 156


So here is the first promised Wartime Christmas themed recipe for our ‘Wartime Christmas Countdown’ here on www.the1940sExperiment.com.

This is a recommended Christmas Cake recipe from the Ministry of Food in the mid 1940’s and the rationed ingredients make a very acceptable cake. My son works in Tesco’s so I was able to go shopping last night with him and get a 10% discount on my shopping! (he has a staff discount card!). Every little bit helps!

Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food

4 oz (115g) margarine
3 oz (85g) of soft brown sugar
1 lb dried mixed fruit
2 reconstituted dried eggs or 2 fresh eggs
3 level tablespoons of warmed treacle or golden syrup
8 oz (225g) of plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
3 tablespoons of cold strained tea
(I also added a slug of dark rum!)

Method

Line a 7 inch (18cm) cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Pre-heat oven to 150 C (300 F), Gas Mark 2.
Cream the margarine and sugar.
Gradually add the beaten eggs then the syrup or the treacle.
Sift all the dry ingredients together then add to the creamed mixture and then add the fruit and tea. Add a slug of rum or rum essence if you wish.
Spoon into the cake tin and make a hollow in the centre so the cake will be flatter on top.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the top is firm and the sides are slightly sinking away from the side of the tin. (You may need to cover top with foil half way through cooking).
Cool in the tin.
When cool remove from the tin and place in airtight container.

Over the coming weeks you can feed the cake with rum/whisky/sherry and nearer Christmas you can finally ice and decorate!

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Vegan Cheesy Pizza Puffs – Non-1940s Recipe!


Yes occasionally I do bake and try foods off ration. I try not to do it too often but once in a while it satiates my need to experience new things and I do so love cooking!

I wanted to try a recipe I had seen online but convert it to a ‘Vegan Party Food’ and I also tried a very quick video style (one handed with my phone!) which I think I would like to adapt using 1940s music for some of my recipes going forward (although I think some of the iconic 40’s recipes deserve longer videos to tell the story!).

I’ll set a page up for occasional vegan recipes as I know there are a lot of people out there moving away from dairy etc because of lactose intolerance and ethical reasons and I really don’t want to have to create another blog or website when my main passion is historical cooking!!!

I’m catching up on life a bit here and really looking forward to creating some 1940s Christmas Recipes and also some wartime Christmas decorations too which I will of course photograph and video for the blog to share.

Lots of love

C xxxx

All ingredients from Sainsbury’s!

RECIPE
1 roll of Puff Pastry (Just Roll is suitable for Vegans)
Dairy free margarine
Tomato Puree
Dried mixed herbs
Dairy free cheese, I used half Vio-Life Mozerella and half Cheezly
3 or 4 spring onions chopped finely
Parchment paper for baking tray

METHOD
Roll out the puff pastry sheet leaving the backing on
Spread a very thin layer of margarine
Spread a thin layer of tomato puree
Sprinkle on the grated dairy free cheese (I used half a block of each)
Sprinkle on lots of dried mixed herbs
Sprinkle on the chopped spring onions
Roll the pastry sheet up into a sausage shape
Create pin wheels by chopping into slices about 1/2 inch thick (mine made 12)
Place on baking tray
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 c for 20 mins until golden brown
Remove, leave to cool so not hot
YUM!

Thank you to www.bensound.com for the music!

Kentish Pasties – Recipe No. 155


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In the WW2 recipe book ‘Good Eating’ published in the 1940s by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and which included wartime recipes tried and tested by readers, I came across a recipe for ‘Kentish Pasties’.

This particular recipe, according to the reader, was for a popular pasty distributed by mobile canteens and pie stations at Sevenoaks Rural District during the war.

Using the ingredients in the recipe, I was able to make three huge pasties which could easily be cut in two, one half  for your dinner (served with veggies and gravy) and one half for your lunch the next day (although I am sure if you were working on the land a whole pasty for lunch would be appreciated)  I also added two teaspoons of Marmite and one chopped leek which added to the flavour as it was a little bland without.

Overall I found this very filling and tasty!

Kentish Pasties

Filling

  • 1/4 lb of boiled rice
  • 4 oz grated cheese
  • 2 oz raw grated carrot
  • Salt and pepper

Carolyn’s extra ingredients

  • 1 leek chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of Marmite

 

Pastry

  • 12 oz flour
  • 3 oz cooking fat/margarine or butter
  • Pinch salt
  • Water to mix.

 

Method

The original recipe calls for the filling ingredients to be mixed together well and then placed on the pastry and formed into pasties.

To improve the flavour, once the rice was cooked I placed a knob of butter in a pan and when it was hot added the chopped leek and sauted and then added the rice and mixed well. I then removed from the heat and mixed in the raw grated carrot, grated cheese and two teaspoons of Marmite and a little extra salt and pepper.

I rolled out the pastry into three rounds about the size of a large side plate and damped all the edges with water and placed a third of the mixture in the middle of each tapering out at each end and then brought the pastry up and over and created the frill with my two fingers.

The pasties took about 30 minutes to cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 C.

Makes 3 extra large pasties or 6 small ones!

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Leek and Potato Soup – Recipe No. 154


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This easy and delicious recipe was taken from the WW2 ‘High Teas and Suppers’ Ministry of Food Leaflet No.7. I’ve just eaten two bowls of this with a slice of bread and butter and thoroughly enjoyed every single mouthful.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 medium sized leeks
1/2 oz of fat or dripping
3 medium sized potatoes sliced
1-2 pints of vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of dried household milk
Chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper.

Method

Cut the leeks in half long ways and after washing chop finely.
Melt the fat in a saucepan and gently fry the leeks without browning, keeping the lid on.
Add the potatoes and 3/4’s of the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Mix the powdered milk to a smooth paste with the remaining stock and add to the soup.
Bring to the boil and sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Serves 4
Calories per bowl 200 cals.

My modifications: I’ve made this soup several times and usually make it with the following modifications which I feel not only fits in better with my daily diet but also I found by making these modifications the soup turned out even more delicious. Using alternatives to dairy below make the recipe suitable for vegans.

Parsley: I just don’t like parsley. Instead I use a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs when cooking.
Milk: I use wholebean soy milk on a daily basis so used 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 soy milk for the liquids used in the recipe.
Fat: Dairy free margarine
Potatoes: I always mash the cooked potatoes up and add them in to the soup. Sometimes the mash is a mixture of potato and carrot. I find this thickens the soup.

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Readers Digest – 10 Thrifty Wartime Dishes


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Thank you to Karen Burns Booth and the Readers Digest for featuring my Lord Woolton Pie.

There are also 9 other great wartime recipes on the link below that you might like to check out!

http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/food-drink/food-lists/retro-recipes-10-thrifty-wartime-dishes