As soon as January starts each new year, it marks the start for many of us of new resolutions, new beginnings and changes that we challenge ourselves to keep going as the year progresses. January also means that for many of us it is not the best month financially after the extra costs that December brings. I know myself that the start to the new year is always one where I try really hard to keep to my meal plan and budget for food shopping, because money is tight following Christmas.
Aldi recognises that January can be a hard month and have therefore launched a campaign called the ‘Aldi Challenge‘ , you may have seen the advert on the television. The campaign is all about ensuring that their customers still eat well and at an affordable cost, aswell as starting new activities and therefore, making January the best month of the new year!
I was asked to take on the ‘Aldi Challenge’ myself and in doing so I was invited to do a weekly shop in Aldi, and see how it compared to my normal weekly shop in my usual supermarket, and to create a recipe to share on my blog. I have to say that I did not make a meal plan before I went into the store, as I normally do because I am not familar with Aldi as I do not shop there (my nearest store is quite far away!). I also have to say that I was amazed by how much my shopping came too at the check out – I only spent £57 and I know for a fact that had I bought that in my normal supermarket it would have been much more (for example a 1.5kg organic chicken was just £4.99!)
Based on what I bought I soon made a meal plan once I was back home, and one of the meals I made was a Fish Cobbler. I love fish pie, and the boys are starting to eat more fish now – it is not a favourite of my OH but he is working away this week so I knew that making a fish pie would be ok! I also thought that to make it a bit more interesting, I would make potato scones to put on top of my fish sauce base, and although I was not sure how it would turn out, as it happens it was lovely!!! My recipe is a healthier version as I am following the Slimming World eating plan, which is why my sauce was made using quark BUT if you prefer you can use cream or flour and milk instead.
- *For the scones*
- 250g frozen (or fresh/leftover) mash potato
- 200g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp dill
- good pinch of black pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp quark or grated cheese
- *For the fish pie sauce*
- 1 packet of mixed fish - mine contained salmon, cod and smoked haddock
- 100g button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 onion, diced
- squeeze of lemon juice
- black pepper
- knob of butter (I used frylight)
- 1 tsp dill
- 1 1/2 tubs of quark
- 2 tbsp peas
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn
- Pre heat the oven to 190oC /170OC (fan)
- take a sheet of tin foil and place the fish in the middle
- add the butter, pepper, and lemon juice
- fold the foil into a pocket - no gaps
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
- Place the mash potato (if using frozen) into the microwave and cook for 3-4 minutes as per the instructions to cook
- Once no longer frozen, place in a large bowl and add the flour, quark, egg, milk, pepper and dill and mix well to make a sticky dough
- Sautee the onions in some butter or oil (I used frylight) on a low heat for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.
- Remove the cooked fish from the oven and add to the onions and mushrooms (do not add the fish juices though) along with the peas and sweetcorn
- Carefully stir in the quark, black pepper and dill
- Pour into an oven proof dish
- Then make 6-8 scones depending on how big your dish is and how many you are feeding (I made 6 scones and based my quantities on 1 scone per child and 2 each for an adult) and place on top of your sauce
- Bake in the oven - 180oC / 160oC (fan) for 35-45 minutes until the scones are golden and cooked
- Serve with extra veg or salad and maybe some crusty bread
This made a really lovely change from a ‘normal’ mash potato topped pie which I would usually make. There was not a lot of sauce – but that is what you get being healthy, but this did not bother me. The scones were light and fluffy despite containing mash potato! (you could easily adapt this to make it more saucy of course).
The break down of ingredients bought to make this meal were as follows:
fish pie mix – £2.69
frozen mash – 69p
bag of carrots – 27p
broccoli head – 45p
mushrooms (250g)- 99p
lemon – 29p
onions – 59p
flour (1.5kg) – 45p
frozen peas – 89p
I did not use all of those either, for example the flour and veg and I still have some of the frozen mash left too. So as you can see this meal fed 4 people for excellent value and I woudl also add quality, as the vegetables were fresh and the fish (and meat I also bought) were mostly British derived and looked of good quality too.
I have to say if Aldi was nearer to me I would defiantely visit it more often because I really was surprised by how little it all cost, and I was happy with my groceries.
Would this encourage you to take the Aldi Challenge?
I was sent £40 of Aldi vouchers for my challenge