23 Apr

Written by Lizzie on April 23, 2014

St George's Day Meal Plan

The 23rd April is St George’s Day, England’s national day. The day stands to commemorate St George, a Roman soldier who fell out of favour when he objected to the Emperor’s persecution of Christians. Because of his faith, St George was tortured and executed. These days, St George is synonymous with dragon slaying, a legend that began in the middle ages. The story goes that a town in Libya was being terrorised by a dragon. The townspeople had agreed to sacrifice a young princess to the dragon in exchange for freedom. When St George heard about this exchange, he rode into the town on horseback to battle the monster and save the life of the young girl. Protected by his cross, George slayed the dragon. As a result, the people of the town abandoned their paganism and converted to the Christian faith. Nowadays, St George’s religious association isn’t as prevalent, but images of men dressed in chain-mail wrestling with giant green dragons live on.

According to an online poll by Opinium Research, a staggering 52% of English residents (out of a sample size of 2012) couldn’t place the national date, compared with four fifths of Welsh residents knowing that their national saints day (St David’s) falls on March 1st. Is St George falling out of favour? Well, the patron saint seems to rise and fall in popularity, with some politicians lamenting his importance while others overlook it. What do we think? Well, any excuse to celebrate, eh? 

In honour of that then, we’ve decided to help you and your family celebrate in style, without having to spend a fortune. Keep adults and kids alike entertained with a week’s worth of English grub, in tribute to George! Here’s how:

Wednesday dinner: Start off with a classic, steak and kidney pie. Braising steak is one of the cheapest cuts of beef and it’s perfect for this homely dish. Buy 400g of diced beef from Tesco for £4, more than enough to feed your family. Buy two packs and you’ll save £1. Offal is often cheap and a great way of getting extra nutrients into your diet, too. Use prepacked pastry to save time and you’ll be on your way to a delicious tea in under an hour. Add a few chopped carrots to your pie and a handful of frozen peas. Serve with plenty of steamed cabbage. Follow Delicious Magazine’s recipe for Steak & Kidney Pie for best results.

Thursday breakfast: We’re coming into berry season and what’s more English than a bowl full of plump strawberries? This morning, we’re blending them and adding yoghurt for a gorgeous breakfast smoothie – ideal if you and the kids are on the go!

Thursday dinner: Next up, Toad in the Hole. Pop 2 tbsp of oil into the bottom of an ovenproof dish and slide it into your oven preheated to 220º. A very hot oven will cook your sausages all the way through and give you a nice, crispy crust to your batter. Premixed batter sachets make prepping light work, just add two eggs and a little water. Stock up on sausages with meat counter multi-buys and you’ll have enough for a few different meals throughout the week. Just pop your sausages into the hot fat and pour over your batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

Friday breakfast: This morning we’re kicking off with a couple of English muffins. Slice ’em in half, stick ’em in the toaster and spread with jam for a quick and easy start to the day.

Friday dinner: English tradition denotes a chippy tea at the end of the week, but for us there’s no takeaway in sight! Fresh fish can get expensive, so we’re cutting costs by buying frozen. £3.25 will get you five cod fillets from Tesco, so load up and just remember to get them out of the freezer before you leave for work. Use an egg wash and whizz up some stale bread to make breadcrumbs. Fry in veg oil until golden brown all over. Serve with potatoes wedges, par-boiled, drizzled with oil and oven baked at 180º. Mix some fresh mint into two cans of Tesco Value Mushy Peas to boost your vegetable count!

Saturday breakfast: It’s the weekend, so this morning we’re going for perhaps the most iconic of English dishes – the Fry Up. Surveys suggest that the perfect Full English is made up of one sausage, two rashers of bacon, a fried egg, a grilled tomato, fried mushrooms and half a tin of Heinz baked beans. Oh, and don’t forget the toast. Fire up the hob – that sounds pretty good to us!

Saturday dinner: Since you’ve got the day off, it’s time to get playful. Tonight’s dinner is a fun take on the English tradition of Afternoon Tea. Cut the crusts off your bread for cucumber sandwiches, fill up that tea pot and buy some ready made cakes and scones. If you have the ingredients in your larder, you might want to try rustling up some scones from scratch. We’ve love this recipe from Delia. Hey, you could even eat your feast al fresco!

Sunday breakfast: Nothing beats beans on toast, right? Set yourself up for the day, the cheap and cheerful way!

Sunday dinner: It’s Sunday, so of course we’re going for a roast. This week it’s a whole chicken, rubbed with butter and lemon. We’ll roast up some potatoes too, make gravy from the cooking juices and a stock cube, and serve with cabbage, garden peas and carrots, vichy style. Between four of you, you’ll probably get through the whole chicken, but remember to roast off the carcass and freeze it to make your own stock when you’ve collected a few. Save your left over veg in airtight containers in the fridge. We’ll be using them tomorrow.

Monday breakfast: This morning you’ll thank yourself for being organised. Use five minutes of your Sunday night to put half a cup of oats, a handful of berries and 250ml milk into a sealable container. Mix it all up and place it in the fridge overnight. When morning rolls round, all you need to do is pull it out and dig in for delicious overnight oats.

Monday dinner: If you’re English, you’ll know that Bubble and Squeak is the only way to use up leftover vegetables from your sunday roasts. Fry your sorry-looking cabbage, peas and even some carrots if you fancy it in a pan, and add boiled potatoes. Throw in any herbs you might have left and crush everything roughly with a fork. Season to taste and shape into little patties. These will sit beautifully next to pork chops, oiled and seasoned on each side and griddled in a pan until brown around the edges. Throw in an apple to caramelise if you’re feeling fruity.

Tuesday breakfast: It’s smoothie time again. Blitz up your remaining berries with a little yoghurt and milk. You can add a spoonful of sugar if you fancy it, and a sprig of fresh mint for a zingy twist!

Tuesday dinner: Our last meal of the St Georges Week Meal Plan is brought to you by generations of Cornish fishermen. Remember those cod fillets from earlier in the week? Yeah, we bought two packets on a multi-buy. Use whatever’s left after your chippy tea to make a creamy fish pie, topped with buttery mash. Poach your thawed fish in milk until it comes away in flakes. Remove the fillets from the milk and strain it into a saucepan. Mix in a tbsp of flour and stir until it thickens. Chuck in a handful of frozen peas, a fistful of spinach and a chopped chilli. Chop your fish fillets and mix them into your sauce. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and pipe mashed potato in swirls on top. Bake in a medium oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Phew! So that’s your week of food for four sorted. We added a few typically English treats like pork pies, tea cakes and wine gums in there to help out with lunches and that mid-afternoon slump and our shop came to a surprisingly low £64.28. Plus, the great thing is that you can use our £15 off all First Grocery Orders Over £60 at Tesco code to shave some serious cash off your purchase. Feed your family for a week on good ole English grub and still have cash left over? Blimey!

Got something to add? Leave us a note down in the comments or tweet us @LizzieShopScoop with your thoughts! Happy St George’s Day!


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