Thursday, May 31, 2012

The rules...

The aim of this game is a simple fun way to try and eat good meals when you move out of home. Think of it as a nice break between instant noodles and cereal. 
  1. $10 per person - this does not include staple things, for obvious reasons - if you buy soy sauce or oil for one dish your not going to use the whole bottle then and never again, so these things are staples. 
  2. $10 is the maximum per person you are more than welcome to blow me out of the water and cook a kick as dish for 2 for a total of $10. 
  3. The main aim of the game is to do as much as you can to make a nutritious and balanced meal - by laypersons standards, for example I like to think of it like this - if food is colourful it is balanced! If I am full it is nutritious :)
  4. The ingredients don't have to be cheap, just within budget. I have been known to travel to get great ingredients for next to nothing... hello, 3kg of duck marylands for $10, who wouldn't travel for that?! Mind you I only needed to travel about 10 minutes away but I didn't just go to my local grocers. 
Get set... GOOOOOOOOO!

Another delicious snack I have recently is pictured above... Lavosh, fab brie, roasted walnut, and a drop of honey! mmmm. In fact this little bite is so amazing I have started eating nuts... well nut - walnut, for the first time in my life!  Handy hint, apparently extra tasty with a little mint!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The $10 Food Challenge!


Recently, my darling boyfriend** moved out of home. Since moving he’s lost a bucket load of weight… I’m a little jealous. However, let’s face it, it’s not so healthy.

I am beginning to see this quite often as more and more of my friends move out and no longer get to rely on home cooked meals and a packed pantry. Recently, I bought 500 grams of mushrooms, a head of ginger, and a bulb of garlic and it cost me $10 – no joke, $10!! So, I’m trying to find meals that are nutritious, balanced, and of course yummy meals!

Honestly, we already trialled it… maybe three times. It has been awful!

But I will continue!

For one, I found inspiration here… Spicy Coconut Chicken Soup for $9.80!!


*NB image not actually a part of the $10 meal challenge but super delicious snack!

** No insincerity intedended

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Foodies little secret


I’m about to let you in on a delicious secret. A place where your wildest dreams of three course dining and a budget come together with a beautiful result… TAFE culinary school restaurants!

Most states boasts at least one TAFE restaurant where the next Peter Gilmores or Matt Morans of the country cook a delicious and seasonal three to four course meal for around $25 to $30! Each restaurant depending on its location varies on price and feel, with some in suburban areas including unlimited alcohol in the small fee.

Recently, I sampled the menus at two TAFE restaurants in New South Wales, one near Sydney’s CBD and the other a small suburban campus in the northern suburbs. While we shared to ensure we tasted absolutely everything, each dish is generous and plated with care.

Usually there are three to four options for each course, depending on the restaurant and/or the number of bookings you may order a la carte or just be served a dish at random.
entre size pea risotto entre size salt and pepper squidmain gnocchi with slow cooked veal shanks main size roast lamb and potato dauphinoise

As a teaching school you aren’t paying for perfection, but the students talent is obvious. You will get an above average meal that is filling and delicious. Some things of course don’t work out as well as you would like with my friend’s gnocchi disappearing in a rich veal and mushroom sauce/goulash and a slightly fishy crab meat in the gazpacho.  The most popular items tend to run out quickly and some dishes are more filling than others but there are really so few reasons to complain when the menu more often than not contains some pretty lavish items including duck and seafood. 

To ensure no funds are wasted the restaurants are usually pre-pay and can be reserved either online or over the telephone.

For a hearty meal on a small budget TAFE restaurants are always a winner! I highly recommend getting in contact with your closest TAFE to enjoy the experiences for yourself!

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