Monday, 19 September 2016

Gregg's Gal Or Bear's Babe?

I have finally caught up with the last programme in the BBC's Eat Well For Less series. The irrepressibly cheerful Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin have worked with six families to help them cut their food budget and eat better. [I blogged about an earlier series here]
Episode 6 dealt with a single Mum and her young daughter - the latter, quite a fussy eater, and the former obsessed with taste [she maintained that organic always tastes better] Each day Mum prepared two different evening meals, despite time pressure and added cost. Her Mum was appalled by the grocery bills, but seemed unable to help.
As with the earlier programmes, I admired Chris and Gregg's patience. They genuinely wanted to help, and clearly got a kick out of passing on the simplest of cooking and budgeting skills. I genuinely found the ones where they taught knife skills to the disabled girl, and 'family friendly' recipes to the coeliac dad quite moving. 
They are currently seeking applicants for the next series. I checked it out to see if we would qualify.
  • Do you despair at your family's poor eating habits? [YES the two of us ate a whole bag of leftover donuts from a church event last week]
  • Have your financial circumstances changed and you need to reduce your food bill? [YES still no supply teaching, trying to reduce all bills]
  • Are you trying to improve your diet and eat healthily but you simply can't afford it? [YES have you seen the price of chia seeds, amaranth and coconut oil?***]
  • Are you wasting food each week? [actually, NO I rarely waste anything]
Bob says he thinks I am keeping our food budget so low anyway that they would struggle to pare any more pence from the total, we're well below the national average already. But I still found their website fun and their tips and recipes interesting. Best tip - I keep a bag of 'basics' frozen fruits in the freezer now, and use it with fruit I already have to pep up smoothies and desserts.
But if I can't do it 'For Less' what about 'Eating Well'? I have borrowed Bear's book and I am working through it thoughtfully. I confess I have never watched any of BG's programmes - unless you count the video he made for the Alpha Course. He does seem a Jolly Nice Chap [and he is Chief Scout] I'll review his book on food later!! [***these ingredients seem to feature highly in it]

But I am in total agreement with BG about faith in Jesus. [check out an Alpha course near you if you want to know more]


  1. Chia seeds are great and I only add a small quantity to anything I use them in. I buy a 550g bag of organic chia seeds for £3.59 at my local heath food shop. I didn't set out to buy organic; that's what they stock in the shop.I've just looked online and it's £6.99 for 300g of organic chia seeds at Holland and Barrett or £2.75 for 100g of their own brand ' clever chia seeds', so I've definitely found a bargain! I'll have a look for Bear's book - I often get books from the library on your recommendation.

    1. Thats interesting to read about your seed bargains. I have certainly found some spices and grains are sometimes much cheaper in small ethnic shops than in the larger supermarkets. In what ways do YOU find chia seeds beneficial- and how do you use them in your meals, please? I will review BGs book properly later in the week

  2. Hm, chia seeds??? I watched a couple of the programmes, and was a bit taken aback by the sad lack of knowledge about cooking from scratch rather than buying ready made. I think we are the wrong age to qualify for the programme, being brought up during the war years and rationing etc.

    1. You are right about the age thing - those of us born before 1960 probably learned at least the rudiments of cookery, and the importance of not wasting food and managing our budgets. Later generations have had instant ready meals, convenience foods and more money to spend. I applaud Gregg and his team for trying to help them learn!

  3. We think BG has gone too sensational celebrity in his TV stuff, but paradoxically buy his gear for the boys because it gets them into the hills with less complaint!

    1. And will they eat witchetty grubs [or the NI equivalent?]


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