Batch Cooking my Work Lunches: Frozen Veg Couscous

Yes, I know I have totally made couscous before, I am just merely showing you that frozen vegetables are nothing to be afraid of, they are yummy. I don’t want to sound like a spokesperson for frozen veg (I would probably have a lot more money if I was) but in most cases they have been proven to contain more nutrients then their fresh counter parts as they are frozen at peak condition.


Cheap is very important to me. At University I lived off frozen vegetables as it was the only way I could afford to eat in some semblance of a healthy way and to prevent scurvy.

My couscous included frozen swede, frozen sweetcorn, frozen peppers, frozen onion, frozen mushroom and frozen courgette that I had prepped myself yesterday. I roasted them in the oven in a bit of oil, cooked the couscous separately, then when both were done I mixed them together and to continue the frozen theme further I added frozen coriander.

I may just make it to Friday with the £1.51 that remains of the food budget. As long as I can ration the boy’s milk drinking habit.


Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Mushroom ‘Barlotto’

I have been feeling guilty about my long forgotten grains in the cupboards which expired months ago, so decided today when it came to making my lunches for the week I would use up the one with the oldest best before date. Which was my Pearl Barley.

(A quick note, yes I am gung ho and cavalier with my best before dates, because that is ok, the food was just better before that date. You can disregard a best before date but you should never disobey a USE by date. You can really make yourself ill.)


As usual I used almost exclusively frozen vegetables because it’s cheaper and suits the boy and my’s lifestyle.

The recipe came from the excellent student cook book ‘Beyond Baked Beans Green’ by Fiona Beckett.

A ‘Barlotto’ is a risotto type dish made with pearl barley. You don’t need to stir it as much. And it is cheaper.

Normally I tell a little whimsical story about something I did whilst I was cooking this, but unfortunately the boy and I were getting angry with each other and our internet as it had stopped working and we were failing to get back the connection. I know, I know, ‘First World Problems’, but that’s why I wasn’t doing something cute. I wasn’t even listening to Absolute 80s.


250g of pearl barley, celery, frozen mushrooms, 1 red onion, frozen onion and a tin of chopped tomatoes and 500ml stock equalled four work lunches made up of 3 heaped kitchen spoon portions. I should be fine till Friday, when I will panic.