Trying to cater for forty-two meals a week can be a tough ask, and that's why it's beneficial to make one super meal once that can be eaten throughout the week. This week's Super Lunch: Spaghetti BULKOGNESE!
First I shall step you through the ingredients.
Lean Mince. 550g. .50 [Special]. Lean Beef and other lean and white meats are a key ingredient in muscle building. Eat another animals muscle to build your own. The advantage of lean meats is less fat, obviously. I like to write my name on my beef.
San Remo Wholemeal Pasta – Spirals. .98. Whole foods contain more protein than processed foods, and with a lower G.I. as well, meaning the energy from the food will sustain you over a longer period. I used spirals instead of spaghetti because I already had this meal last week and some variety is good.
Generic Spices – FREE. We have Italian Seasoning, Oregano and Mixed Herbs which I think contains more Oregano. Herbs enhance the flavour and don't really have any health benefits.
Garlic – FREE. Garlic is full of antioxidants and contains properties that naturally fights off illness and infection. And it smells great!
1 Capsicum, chopped – 0.80c. Capsicum also contains helpful health properties; it can lower blood pressure and apparently helps reduce back pain!
2 Onions – FREE. Onions are like Garlic.
Olive Oil – FREE. High in monounsaturated oil, and vitamin E. Whenever you cook with oil, make it olive oil. It lowers your cholesterol and helps burn through fat.
Beans, 400g of Red Kidney Beans and 400g of 5 Bean Mix - .36. Fibre! Protein! Iron! Raw beans are brilliant for you, not only will they bulk this meal up by about 500g (when drained) which saves us money, but they are good for you too. If you don't like them, once the meat and sauce has simmered through you won't even notice them.
Chopped Tomatoes, 800g - .00 [Special]. I highly recommend the latest range of tinned tomatoes from Ardmona, who have released a selection of tomatoes enhanced with different spices and flavours. And I'm talking so enhanced that you could literally sit there and eat the tin straight (this is how I cut my finger last week). The paprika and chilli one is the best. Woolworths have these on a 2 for special all this week.
Tomato Puree, 400g - .09. This will assist with the base of your sauce, being runnier than the chopped tomatoes. With the tins of tomatoes and the herbs and vegetables you are cutting out the need for Dolmio or any other tomato based pasta sauces, you get twice as much as you would pay for the sauce and you're cutting out a lot of sugar. All tomatoes and other red coloured fruits are loaded with lycopenes, which are world title antioxidant champions twenty centuries running.
A note on brand name versus generic brand tinned vegetables. Woolworths and Coles have both recently rebadged their generic range to include pictures and look higher quality. Do not be fooled; always check the label. The Woolworths Select tomatoes contained much higher levels of sodium (salt, raises blood pressure, decreases life span!) and less protein and energy, indicating more watering down. Alternatively, the Select Beans both outperformed the closest priced Edgell beans, being lower in sodium and higher in protein and complex carbohydrates.
Whew! With that out the way we can discuss the actual process. Boil four litres of water plus a drip of olive oil and, when it is bubbling, add the pasta. Meanwhile, after chopping the vegetables (you can include celery and mushrooms in those calculations) heat a tablespoon of oil in the frying pan. Once steaming, add a tablespoon of garlic; mince; and a lot of herbs. Then spread this around in the frying pan or saucepan (I used saucepan because my frying pan wasn't deep enough!) until the mince is browned. Add the vegetables and the beans, drained. After 2 minutes add the three tins of tomatoes, then two minutes later cover and simmer, to let the flavours blend. Stir regularly throughout.
After 10 minutes on low heat and after the pasta has been drained, covered and cooled for five minutes, you may serve. This came up with five meals, which averages out costs to .59 per lunch this week. That is a massive bargain, considering going for a dosage of complex carbohydrates and protein (46g of protein per serving here, 8g more if you add 30g of Parmesan Cheese) from Subway or something would cost you about a day and you'd probably fork out .80 for a Coke Zero as well (which, by the way, I don't recommend).
In fact, I suggest sourcing a carton of Pepsi Max cans from Woolworths when the cans cost 29c each, keeping a couple in the fridge and the rest under your desk.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
"Brad, how am I going to cart a whole case of Pepsi Max cans from the Woolworths in Rundle Mall to my office building? They're too heavy!" Why with your giant, bulky muscles of course. This is what being a spendthrift health fag is about. Alternatively, if this is all too hard, you can just go out for lunch every day and enjoy fatty meals from fryers filled with vegetable oil, similar to what my Step Mum demonstrates here: