I have succumbed to that Aladdin's cave of food in boxes that is known as Approved Foods :o) We have been eating pretty much from our stores for the last couple of months, and the stocks are running down - which is what I intended - but on the other hand, when pasta is going for 99p for 3kg, and bags of coffee beans for £1, it'd be rude not to. Right ? The rest is something I do not usually indulge in, but a temporary madness came over me, and I went all mixy. Ice cream mix, cheesecake mix, vanilla sponge and chocolate sponge mix, batter mix, vegetarian chicken style roast mix, flapjack mix....
Well, you know.... That whole lot above came to just over £20, including delivery. Sometimes a little junk is good for the soul. I will try not to do it too often !
As an antidote to all this pre-bagged snacky sweet stuff, the main meals are still being cooked from scratch. This is a rice and meatball bake - one of those "basic method" recipes I like so much, that lends itself to almost countless variations. I believe I first came across it as a "Moroccan meatball and basmati bake", which used harissa paste and lamb meatballs. The version pictured below used garam masala and pork meatballs - but you can play with anything you have in.
What you do need is rice (basmati is best, but cheap long grain is also fine) - 75g per person; meatballs - 5 per person; stock (I used the last of the Christmas turkey stock) and some sort of tomatoey liquid to the tune of twice the volume of rice. Chopped tinned tomatoes, passata, or, like here, home made roast tomato sauce - they're all fine.
Place the rice in an ovenproof dish. Mix stock, tomatoes, and spices and pour over the rice; place the meatballs on top. Pop a lid or some tin foil over the top, stick in the oven at about 200 C for 20 minutes. Take the lid off, and bake for 20 more.
And enjoy !