Thursday, 26 September 2013

Colman’s "Cook Once Enjoy Twice" Challenge

Did you know that we throw away over 7.2million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK?  Did you also know that over half of that could have actually been eaten?!
Shocking isn't it?
When Colman's asked members of the Mumsnet Blogger Network to take the "Cook Once Enjoy Twice" Challenge I was more than happy to take part, with a large family I'm more than happy to try anything that means I might save a bit of time and money!
The principles of the challenge are exactly as it's title suggests...you cook once, but you freeze half and therefore enjoy it twice!  I must admit I do like to batch cook when I do have time, as a working mum of four it means that some nights I can just serve something up from the freezer in a matter of minutes rather than slaving over the cooker for however long it takes to cook our meal from scratch.  I never buy frozen meals or convenience food so it also feels like a bit of a treat when I do have something in the freezer I can serve up quickly.
Colman's very kindly  sent me a selection of packet mixes to take part in the challenge and as we are a large family and wanted to freeze half of what I made I thought it best to use 2 packet mixes in each recipe.
Firstly I decided to use the Chilli Con Carne mix to make Chilli Meatballs...one of our favourites because we can eat it with rice and the kids like to eat them with pasta.
 
The recipe was very easy to follow, but obviously I used meatballs as opposed to minced beef.
Ingredients

2 x Sachets of Colman's Chilli Con Carne Recipe Mix
900g Beef Meatballs
2 medium onions
1/2 Pint of Cold Water
2  x 400g Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
400g Can of Kidney Beans

Method
Brown the meatballs and onion in a non-stick pan.
Blend the contents of the sachets with the water and add to the meatballs.
Add tomatoes and kidney beans
Bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with rice or pasta, or leave to cool and freeze (or do both, like me!)

This is a portion the half we ate:

and this is the half that I froze (and we ate about 3 days later!):



I absolutely love this recipe and we all loved the meal, the fact that we then had another meal to enjoy later for the same amount of effort required to cook one was fabulous and I will continue to batch cook in the future.  I also cooked up the sausage casserole mixes the next day, doing exactly the same and served half for dinner and froze half for another day.
So why don't you give it a go? Batch cooking saves you time and money....and who doesn't like that?!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity

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