I put homemade in inverted commas because it isn’t really.. but it isn’t from a shop, so it’s sort of an in between.. I think.
Anyway, when I left home this morning I had a box of pad-thai-vermicelli which I had made on the weekend to take with me, but I also knew I had a 7.30 appointment which meant I either eat out, buy a sandwich, or bring another meal with me to work. I had more pad-thai in the fridge, but that’s for tomorrow and I didn’t want to deplete my stock of box lunches.
Many months ago after I had a pack of ainsley’s cous cous for another last-minute-dinner, I thought ‘hmmmm actually i can make this myself’. So £1.20 later, I had 1.kg of cous cous, in a large candy jar, and to it I added some salt, peppers, spices, the last of a long-abandoned jar of gravy granules, and a crumbled up stock cube. This jar of cous cous sits in my office. Today, since I planned it from home rather use it *really* last minute from work, I brought a little box of frozen peas, sweetcorn & mix veg, and a can of tuna with me. I also brought a little jar of chilli oil. The chilli oil is extra – the spice and salt in the cous cous is enough… but they were bogof so I had a stock of these little jars around and I thought why not.. It will really bind the fish, cous cous & veg into kinda of almost a fried rice.
I can’t cost this meal exactly…. not without knowing the exact weight of the frozen veg I brought, or the exact serving size of cous cous.. but assuming 20p for the cous cous, £1 for 1 can of tuna, & 20p for the veg – and omitting the optional extra chilli oil… This meal cost me £1.40. It was a hot meal – with the help of the office microwave & kettle. And it was pretty much healthy and balanced. This combination also allows one to eat more or eat less easily. Unlike a sandwich or meal deal from the shop… the serving size is entirely within my control and I can choose to have more or less veg, more or less cous cous.. and 1 or 2 cans of tuna.
I have recently discovered the amazing value for money which is tesco’s meal deal…. and when I have to, I’m not averse to using that when I am really in a rush and need to eat while on the move. But when I have some spare time at work and access to a minikitchen at work…. having quick fixes like this is both great for my bank account, and great for my stomach.