Changes in 2017

Ho Ho Ho!  Merry Christmas, Happy New year, I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday period.

This is just a quick post to let you know I haven’t evaporated, won the lottery or been sent to Coventry.  I’ve had a very, very busy few months both personally and in work, as some of you may know I’ve been chosen to stand as a Labour candidate in a nearby village in the 2017 elections.   As you can imagine it’s busy, busy, busy… I’m not complaining I’m here to do it.

My food tastes have changed in 2016, I’m sadly going to have to admit I’m a grown up (cries in to his wine).  2015 was a massive culture shock for me food wise I realised I liked Cauliflower, Broccoli, Olives and red wine to name just a few new discoveries.  2016 was a shock too, my biggest finds were Broad beans, horseradish, mushrooms and a massive new found love of red meat.  My teeth haven’t got any better but I’ve learned how I like my steaks cooked and my mother, and especially my father are amazing at cooking red meat… awesome!

New food tastes

New food tastes

So what have I got planned for Wheelie Good Meals for 2017, well I’m going to be ditching some key themes from the past, they are

  • Mystery Bag Meals,
  • Strictly Suppers
  • Six Nations of Food

I say ditch they’re not exactly going to the great big wheelie bin in the sky they,re just not going to feature regularly, we’re also going to focus more on budget living, so Time-Saving Tuesdays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays will be focusing on cost effective recipes which are healthy.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading on food banks and food poverty over the last few months and along with drawing support from friends, businesses and celebrity chef’s I tweet with I’ll be looking to make all my recipes affordable on a very low budget.

Reviews over the last couple of years

Reviews over the last couple of years

However, that being said I will continue the restaurant and food festival reviewing and hope to line one up every month starting with January, I will share with you my foodie travels both on here and instagram.

My family and I have had an horendous month of December with a family bereavement, I’ve learned two things this month, I’ve learned that you are never prepared for tragedy, and age is no criteria for how you deal with it.  I’ve seen people whom I think of as “kids” deal with personal tragedy in the most mature and adult way.  I’ve also learned that I have tremendous friends, two in particular, I always feel like it’s all “me, me, me” because my friends have to come in to my life, driving me, sorting my oxygen out etc and I don’t feel like I give anywhere near as much back.  But you will never know how grateful I am for my friends, one person who deserves a mention here familywise and that is a fellow (Wheelie Good Mealer) Alice  who has worked with me for a few months and is now leaving to work over the bridge.  Alice has been amazing working with Accessible Wales and has been a great asset to the team, she’s also been a good friend, companion and most of all… stealer of my drinks.

Alice and I

Alice and I

Have a good new year folks, enjoy your time with your friends and family, drink as much as you can, eat as much as you can and worry about it in the new year.

My five most popular recipes of the last couple of years:

Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala

Saira Hamilton’s Chicken Bhuna

Melanie’s Food Adventures – Hedgehog Traybake

Dean Edwards’ Lamb Kofta Curry

Toad in the Hole with Yorkshire Pudding and Onion Gravy

And my Review highlights have been:

Tesco Value Chicken Curry and Rice

Uncle Ben’s Chilli Con Carne and Rice and Dolmio Pasta Carbonara

Bisto Lasagne

Westlers Burgers in Onion Gravy

Restaurant Review – Caradogs at Ty Newydd

Greg and I with a fantastic background of the harbour

Greg and I with a fantastic background of the harbour

Thank you Dave for all your design work, and for your creativity and thank you as always to Greg for being with me for all my reviews, food festivals and for being Greg!

See you in 2017 folks…

… Happy Days!

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice in its packaging

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice in its packaging

Don’t all shout at me, I know I’ve said I don’t eat rice these days but this review was written some time ago but never published.  This is Hunters Chicken and from the Weight Watchers range, a range in which we’ve already seen us review the impressive Salmon and Broccoli Wedge Melt  and the less so impressive Thai Green Chicken Curry.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice - Ingredients and Nutritional Information

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice – Ingredients and Nutritional Information

You can see the ingredients and nutritional information above, you’ll notice there was 352Kcal (calories per pack) of which 4.2g were fat.  As I’m now on a low carb diet… I wouldn’t be eating this because of the rice, it’s a whopping 57g of Carbohydrates which is about more than I plan to eat in a three days.  The ingredient list is awesome, because it almost tells you how to make BBQ Sauce.  Hunter’s Chicken is chicken in a BBQ Sauce, it can be topped with cheese and is often found on gastro pub menus.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice - Cooking Instructions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice – Cooking Instructions

The cooking instructions are easy to follow and include instructions for microwaves which are 750W and 850W.  The printing is clear to understand and spread out fairly well.  The packaging was very clear all round and in my opinion was not too difficult to read.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice ready to eat

Time-Saving Tuesday – Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken with Brown and Wild Rice ready to eat

If this dish hadn’t had the rice to accompany it I would have really enjoyed it, The Hunters Chicken element was really lovely, chunks of chicken which were succulent and a rich BBQ sauce made for a really enjoyable meal… then there was the rice!  I’m writing this fresh today but I’m going off my notes at the time, the grains of rice was like bullets, I don’t think it was the way the dish cooked because everything else was really nice.  Apart from the rice I’d buy this again, but as it comes with the rice I’m only scoring it a 6 out of ten.5 stars

I’m back later in the week with a recipe, and then it’s Party time on Friday as we get the band back together so to speak.  Greg my mother and I are off to Caradog’s for my mother’s birthday meal… bring on the fun and food!  Remember you can join us on social media and share with us your thoughts, recipes, and more.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

Hope you’re all having a good week so far and not suffering in the heat too much!

See you at the end of the week with a great recipe.

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Time-Saving Tuesdays & 6 Nations of Food – Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce

It’s been a while since I last posted a Time-Saving Tuesdays review so I thought why not introduce it to the 6 Nations of Food feature, I know this is a slight deviation off track but bear with me as it’ll all make sense soon.  I’m going to review something that my mother and I ate on Easter Weekend.

Time-Saving Tuesdays & 6 Nations of Food – Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesdays & 6 Nations of Food – Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce

I love mussels, I’ve cooked them a few times and they’re fairly easy to cook, my mother bought this for me from Lidl.  I hadn’t had them for years and was quite looking forward to them.

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce - Cooking instructions

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce – Cooking instructions

The cooking instructions were clear and easy to follow and these mussels can be cooked in the microwave, boiled in the bag or in the hob.  The guidelines are easy for all these cooking methods.

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce - Ingredients

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce – Ingredients

I would have said that the muscle liquor tasted very winey, however, there was no wine in it.  I don’t know what the predominant flavour was but the sauce was excellent.  With hints of garlic and little flecks of carrots and tomatoes running through the sauce it really set the mussels off well.

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce - Nutritional information

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce – Nutritional information

I probably didn’t eat 100g of them because I had other things to eat as well and my mother was sharing them with me, but there were 4.6g of Carbohydrates in 100g.  I suppose had I not been on my low carb diet I wouldn’t have even noticed.

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce - Nutritional information from the front of the package

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce – Nutritional information from the front of the package

Here is the nutritional information from the front of the pack, while the sugar levels are good the fat, saturated fat are not brilliant and there’s a lot of salt for half a pack.  My mother and I are nightmares though we love salt, so this suited us.

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce - Ready to eat

Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce – Ready to eat

The sauce was stunning as I’ve said, if I’d been eating bread I could have just had a bowl full of the sauce and dunked some bread in to it.  Some of the mussels were a bit chewy and some were quite small, but those aside the rest were excellent, sweet and plump.  This is a great way to try mussels if you don’t feel confident in cooking them yourself.  They were quick and easy to cook, whichever way you chose to cook them, I say congratulations Lidl, these were a triumph.

Time-Saving Tuesdays & 6 Nations of Food – Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesdays & 6 Nations of Food – Scottish Mussels in a Garlic and Butter Sauce

My next recipe, and final instalment of the Six Nations of Food will be towards the end of the week and it will be Mags Welsh Cakes…. I’ll let you guess what country that comes from lol.  I know I said I’d do Scotch pancakes but I couldn’t resist reviewing these Mussels. Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

Remember, you can get in touch; you can visit our social media pages below, or subscribe to the blog for regular updates.

Bye for now!

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Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - The Asda Meatballs

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – The Asda Meatballs

Here’s a bit different of a difference, my mother’s obsessed with these meatballs, she buys them quite regularly and either serves them as meatballs or squashes them into burgers…. bizarre I know lol!

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Ingredients

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Ingredients

I’m unsure whether this should come under the “Waste Not Want Not Wednesday” because these ingredients were leftovers from the Pizza Pies I made, but it’s also quick and easy so it’s a win win! Before we start cooking chop the chorizo, roasted red peppers and the onion, I’ve cut the onion into half moon and the chorizo into chunks.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Frying the onions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Frying the onions

I had some Oil that came in a spray bottle, spray a light covering on the pan and heat. When the pan is warm add the onions and fry them until they start to soften.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Frying the onions and chorizo

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Frying the onions and chorizo

When the onions start to soften add the chorizo and stir, you’ll need to cook them until they start to soften and also the oil from the chorizo comes out.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - minced ground garlic and chili flakes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – minced ground garlic and chili flakes

In a small bowl add 1 tsp of ground garlic and a large grinding of chilli flakes. Give them a mix and set aside.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Adding the Minced ground garlic and chili flakes to the pan

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Adding the Minced ground garlic and chili flakes to the pan

Add the chilli flakes and garlic to the pan and stir thoroughly to combine the onions, chorizo, garlic and chilli.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- grilled red pepper pastes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- grilled red pepper pastes

Add the Char-Grilled Red Pepper and the Sun-Dried Tomato Pastes and stir thoroughly, allow the ingredients to mix together and get to know each other, the party is starting now!

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the roasted red peppers

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the roasted red peppers

Add the roasted red pepper and stir thoroughly to combine all the flavours, these are some of my favourite ingredients and it’s shaping up really nicely now.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the mixed dry herbs

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the mixed dry herbs

Add the mixed dry herbs, if you don’t have a packet of mixed dry herbs you could use oregano, basil and coriander in equal measures.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the tinned tomatoes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the tinned tomatoes

Pour in the tinned tomatoes and mix thoroughly, allow everything to come to temperature. You can add water if you want more of a sauce, or add a bit of stock if you want to make some up with a stock cube.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - all the ingredients cooking away nicely

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – all the ingredients cooking away nicely

Allow the mixture to simmer and come together nicely, turn the heat down and just check it from time to time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - the sauce simmering and the meatballs frying

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – the sauce simmering and the meatballs frying

Fry the meatballs in a pan with a small splash of oil, you want to cook them until they start to brown all over, you’re going to finish them off in the sauce so don’t worry too much.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - bringing the ingredients together at the end of cooking

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – bringing the ingredients together at the end of cooking

Once the balls are brown add them to the sauce and mix through when you stir everything, do it gently and to ensure that you don’t break the balls up.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - microwaveable basmati rice, a great accompaniment

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – microwaveable basmati rice, a great accompaniment

Serve this with some quick and easy basmati rice, use the type that you can cook in the microwave and it’ll be ready in next to no time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - a microwave, a busy cook's best friend

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – a microwave, a busy cook’s best friend

The microwave is a great asset to a time starved family, I’m going to be featuring recipes that can be cooked in the microwave, like our Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto. If you’ve got any microwaveable recipes then get in touch, I’d love to see them and try and recreate them.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce -served and ready to eat

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce -served and ready to eat

I really enjoyed this, it’s very similar to the Sausage Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce I made in September last year. It’s really enjoyable, slightly spicy and a great to use the meatballs, they’re handy to have in the freezer , they can be defrosted and cooked quite easily.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

I’m back to normal now, and on time 😆 what more can I do! I hosted a dinner party a couple of weeks ago, so I’ll be blogging about that on the weekend, more to come next week with a review and another recipe 😀Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

I’m going to be doing lots over the next few weeks, so will keep you updated even hoping to finally get my youtube videos up and running… here’s hoping 😆

6 Nations Of Food

6 Nations Of Food

Have you been watching the six nations, I’m going to try and cook something from each of the countries involved so brace yourself for a bit of welsh cakes, pasta, toad in the hole, Kedgeree, champ and something French…. six nations of food, happy days!

See you soon

Rich signature

New Time-Saving Tuesdays Logo

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it's packaging

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it’s packaging

Here’s something I wouldn’t normally eat, it’s Spaghetti, I’m not a lover of the long strands of pasta, they don’t go well with my fear of choking 😀 . But I bought this to try and overcome that fear…. How brave am I lol

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

The nutritional information is clear, the whole packaging was clear and easy to read, although it was black and white some people with certain medical conditions may have difficulty reading it. Personally I feel the calorie content of 762Kcal, 37.8g Fat and 19.4g Saturated Fat is high. I decided to look in to the recommended levels of these ingredients. According to the NHS.UK website…

  • the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day

  • the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day

The website also went on to say about the different levels, this dish would be considered high because it had more than 5g of Saturated fat per 100g. There was a red marker on the front of the package, all the key figures of this dish were high, now I feel like I probably shouldn’t have eaten this lol. I’m going to look into this more and maybe see if I can make it myself and hopefully reduce the bad elements.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

The packet described the product as:

Spaghetti and beech smoked bacon in a creamy cheese sauce.

The ingredients list is straight forward enough, things you’d expect to find in a Carbonara. I don’t quite know what the purpose of the Pork Gelatine in the ingredients were, so I asked Tesco? I sent them a tweet eight days ago…. no reply as yet 😡 will let you know when I do get one though.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

The cooking instructions were great, they were clear to understand and although not displaying times for my microwave it was easy to work out the correct time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

This wasn’t a bad ready meal in all fairness, it wasn’t my favourite but itI don’t have any doubt that some people would really enjoy it. The pasta was ok, it was a little chewy but I’m not daft that was probably the way I cooked it. The sauce was creamy but slightly claggy, the pasta was stuck together too, I did stir it but it didn’t seem to make a difference. The sauce didn’t really have the smoky flavour to it that I was expecting and the bacon was pointless, they weren’t really big enough to taste.5 stars

I’d award this five stars, the packaging was clear, the instructions were straightforward and the taste wasn’t too bad. It’s not the best meal I’ve had from Tesco but it’s not the worst. Maybe some more garlic and a bigger hit of smokiness and we’d have been ok.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

As always you can get in touch using the social networks above, I’d love to hear from you. How are your Christmas preparations going, are you all ready? I’ve done all my shopping and they’re all wrapped so just bring on the festivities. On the weekend I’ll be sharing with you my take on Rachel Khoo’s Cauliflower Cheese Burgers, they’re totally veggie and great as a starter or main course… or even as a snack!wheelie-good-meals-christmas-door-web-

I’d like to thank Greg (for his company, on our trips away and his photography and not to mention his driving), my mother Mags (for being my sous chef and chief taster, and for putting up with me), Chris (for his technical help), Melanie (Melanie’s Food Adventures for listening to me moan and for her guest posts, which have been some of the most popular posts to date), Alice and Heather (for their ideas), Dave (for his fantastic artwork), Kirsty (for her photography) and Sharon (for the glass). Thanks also to everyone who hosts the linkies I’ve linked up with over the past year, and I’d especially like to thank you all for your support and for stopping by week after week to read the posts.

I doubt I’ll be posting anything until after the new year, so just in case I don’t I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Rich signature