Reader Recipes: Lesley’s Thick Onion Tart

Lesley sent me this Thick Onion Tart recipe recently… Serves 4, make in a 20cm tin Pastry 100g flour 3p Pinch salt 2 tsps mustard 40ml oil 4p Up to 40ml water 40g cheese (Asda Smartprice Cheddar £4.82/kg) 20p Filling 700g onions, chopped 32p (Asda Smartprice 49p/kg) 50g butter 24p 2 eggs 20p 110ml milk 6p 60g cheese 30p Mix all the pastry ingredients together, adding the water bit by bit until you get a soft ball of dough. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onions and sauté them slowly, uncovered, over a low heat for 30-45 minutes, until they have turned a deep brown. Stir them every now and then, particularly towards the end. Then let cool a little Line your dish with the pastry. Tip the remaining ingredients, except the cheese, into the onions (they can’t be too hot, or they will scramble the eggs) and stir well. Tip this mixture into the pastry case and top with the cheese. Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 30 minutes. This is lovely hot with salady things, or cooked veg, and also makes a very nice lunch, cold, the next day Total £1.39, 35p per person Lesley. To see your favourite cheap or frugal recipes here, email them to jackmonroe@live.co.uk Advertisements

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Reader Recipes: April’s granny’s banana bread

April said… “My nan used to make it for me and my sister every sunday and we looked forward to it every week. My nan was a frugal queen and would have loved your blog.” Banana Bread (Serves 4-6) 225g self-raising flour 3/4 level teaspoon ground mixed spice (or whatever combination you like of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardomem, gingerbread etc) 1/2 teaspoon salt 100g caster sugar 100g butter (cut into small pieces) 1 tablespoon honey 450g ripe bananas peeled and mashed with a fork 2 eggs Squeeze of lemon juice Optional – chocolate drops, sultana’s, nuts inc walnuts, almonds, dates – (you can add anything that you have lying around that takes your fancy really!) Sift the flour, mixed spice (if using), salt and sugar into a bowl. Add butter. Beat in all the remaining ingridients, then pour the mixture into a greased 23cm loaf tin. Bake in a pre heated oven, 180 degrees, 350 F, Gas 4 for 1 hour, then for a further 30mins at 170 degrees, 330 F, Gas 3 1/2. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin before turning out and tucking in! Tip – this is a store cupboard recipe so if you’re reasonable well stocked you should be fine. I have made it with half plain and half self raising flour before and also with all plain and a level teaspoon of bicarb so you can really play arould with […]

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Reader Recipes: Laura P’s Chickpea Rice

Laura said… “Here’s another Chickpea recipe from my kitchen. I often joke of my 101 Ways With Chickpeas, so expect more! It’s a bit long-winded I know – I find it ever so difficult to be concise – but I think missing out any element of the instructions would mean a pot of burnt, stuck, useless rice. This is a delicious and well-worth-the-extra-faff recipe, as opposed to plain boiled rice, should you have the time or inclination to faff that is.” This serves 2 people generously as an accompaniment to a curry. Would be equally delicious with chilli, fajitas, an omelette – that sort of thing. Also, very nice cold for lunch the next day. It’s a nicely balanced meal on its own, but very very mmmmm with chopped cooked chicken or tinned tuna – if you had some. Use 100g value rice, well rinsed in advance. It is worth taking the time to rinse the rice until the water is as clear as you can get it. You will have the end result of far fluffier, nicely dry, non-soggy rice, and less sticking to the pan. Start with a dry pot and heat up a dessertspoon of oil – to a medium heat. To this, add a finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until it is beginning to soften. At that stage add the following – miss out what you don’t have, and if you have none of these, […]

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Dear ATOS, my 3 year old can push a button, should I be sending him to work?

Dear Atos Healthcare, I’m writing to you with a concern about a person known to me who is not in work. I am a journalist for a local newspaper, and on doing some research for an article yesterday, came across a very long list of questions that are asked at Atos ‘Work Capability Assessment’ interviews up and down Britain. Questions such as: Can you spell the word ‘world?’ What is 97 minus six? Can you show me your left hand? Can you show me your right hand? Can you touch your nose with your left hand? Can you touch your nose with your right hand? Do you live with people or on your own? Can you wash yourself? Can you dress yourself? Can you feed yourself unaided? As I started to read the questions, a growing sense of doom began to build as I realised that I might know someone who is committing Benefit Fraud. You see, my son, frequently referred to throughout my blog as Small Boy, can spell the word ‘world’. I don’t want to seem like one of those show- off mothers, but he can also touch his nose with his right and left hand when asked, he can wash his face, he dresses himself in the morning, and he doesn’t live by himself. My son is three years old, and from my understanding based on my own research, he would pass an Atos Work Capabilty Assessment […]

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Reader Recipes: Lou’s cheap n cheerful n very very tasty onion bhajis recipe

I’d like to share a ‘frugal recipe’ for onion bhajis. If you make a fairly big batch (as below) and freeze most of them, the ingredients total about £1.44 (4.5p each) which is not only bargainous but you have a ready supply of tasty bhajis. And at that price, they’re a cost effective addition to any meal. _ _ _ _ _ Onion + veggie bhajis recipe Much as I like onions, they don’t much like me so I like to throw in other veggies too: finely sliced sticks of carrots, potatoes, aubergines, and courgettes all work well. But you can try whatever you like. Ingredients: ~ 14 tablespoons plain flour ~ 1.5 tsp turmeric ~ 1.5 tsp cumin ~ 1.5 tsp garam masala ~ 1.5 tsp chilli powder ~ 1 tsp ground coriander ~ 1 tsp salt ~ 2 eggs ~ 4 tablespoons home-baking lemon juice (or the juice of a fresh lemon) ~ 6 tablespoons water ~ vegetables as desired eg: 1.5 onions, 3x carrots, 2 x potatoes, ½ an aubergine ~ vegetable oil Method : 1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt, herbs, spices and turmeric (which – I learnt from James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen – is a natural antiseptic and classed as a condiment rather than a spice). 2. Beat 2 eggs in another bowl, whisk in 4 tablespoons of home-baking lemon juice (or the juice of a fresh lemon) and 6 […]

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Red Wine And Mushroom Soup

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Mushrooms are one of my staple products, being both cheaply available at supermarkets and greengrocers, and simple enough to grow at home. I’m a tactile cook, so I like to break them up with my hands instead of slicing them, but it doesn’t make a difference to the end result of the recipe. If you like this and you have […]

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Reader Recipes: Nige’s baked bean lasagne

.Nige’s Baked Bean Lasagne, serves 4. Nige said… “I’ve been making this for a couple months now, two of our family of four are vegetarian and this gave them an option from the classic meat version. Most of the products are based on an Aldi shop with the addition of Tesco Every Day Lasagne sheets which are currently half the price of Aldi.” Shopping List: Lasagne Sheets Tesco 33p pack of 13 sheets Every Day Aldi Baked Beans 1 tin 25p Aldi Tomato & Herb Pasta Sauce 39p Aldi Lasagne Sauce 75p Aldi pack of 6 Tomatos 49p Aldi Every Day Grated Cheese 450g pack 1.99 Ingredients: 6 Lasagne sheets 18p 1 Tin Baked Beans 25p Half Jar Tomato & Herb Pasta Sauce 18p 1 Jar Lasagne Sauce 75p 1 Tomato thinly sliced 8p 100g Grated Cheese 44p Method: Use a table spoon and layer one spoon of baked beans onto a suitable lasagne/pasta dish, create two layers and then top with one lasagne sheet. Repeat until you have 2 stacks, each with 3 layers of baked beans and lasagne sheets. Pour over the full jar of lasagne sauce making sure that all of the sheets are covered. Use the half jar of tomato & herb pasta sauce to spoon evenly around the edges and between the two stacks. Layer the sliced tomato over the top of each stack and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake in a hot […]

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LBL Day Six: Beige, bland, muck.

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Day Six of my ‘making a £5 food shop last seven days’ challenge, in line with this years Live Below the Line challenge. This is my second attempt at LBL this year, and I decided to go for seven days as most people do a ‘weekly’ food shop, instead of a ‘five day’ food shop. Well it’s been difficult not […]

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LBL Day Five: Fed up and grumpy,

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Day Five. Friday. Day Five. Fed up and grumpy. Breakfast was lemon curd on two slices of toast. I don’t think I’m going to eat lemon curd again for a long time after this… 7p. Lunch was a leftover cold rice salad with courgette, and lemon curd stirred through to make a cold sauce. I’d left it at home by […]

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£5 for 7 days challenge – Day 3

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Day Three. I was sent home from work this afternoon with a migraine. Well-meaning friends have suggested that I quit the challenge to look after myself, but I’m not a quitter. I get migraines every now and again, usually stress related, but I’m going to be okay. I went home, lay down in the dark for the afternoon, drank lots […]

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£5 for 7 days challenge – Day 2

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I come to the end of Day 2 of my second take on the Live Below The Line challenge, or this time I’m stretching my fiver over seven days and I’ve tried to up my fruit and protein intake. So here goes: Breakfast, 2 slices of whole meal toast with lemon curd, 7p. ….and an apple, 21p: Lunch was a […]

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Live Below The Line: Take Two

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I’ve decided to reattempt the Live Below The Line challenge, taking on board my previous experience of white rice and lack of protein, and advice and comments from readers. The challenge is open until June – so I thought a second attempt would be an opportunity to raise additional funding for Oxfam, as well as awareness about poverty and food […]

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Reader Recipes: Rod’s Perfick Hot Pud

Never forget the most simplest of hot puds. Slice and deseed any fruit….you’ll soon discover which one works best for you. We like plain old apple….but pear, pine-apple or orange are also good. A small knob of butter or other light fat in a pan that has been sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnammon and just “fry” until the fruit is browned and the sugar treacley. Serve with what ever you like or have, cream, ice-cream, yoghurt, creme fraiche etc. Perfick…. Rod To see your favourite recipe here, email it to jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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Reader Recipes: Kate’s Spicy Lentil Burgers with Chilli Tomato Sauce

Burgers 4oz Red or Brown Lentils carrot grated celery finely chopped onion finely chopped 2oz Breadcrumbs clove of garlic crushed 1/2 tsp Mustard 1/2 tsp Cayenne 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1 egg Sauce 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes 1tbsp marmalade pinch chilli powder (more if you want) Boil the lentils according to the pack instructions Saute the onion in a little oil Mash the lentils, breadcrumbs, garlic, cayenne, mustard, coriander with the beaten egg, until all are well combined. Add the carrot, onion and celery Shape into balls and then flatten into burger shapes Chill for at least 30 mins to firm up or freeze for later use Fry in a little oil until golden brown For the sauce cook all the ingredients together in a saucepan until reduced and sticky I would serve with potato wedges , parboiled with the skins left on, tossed in a spoonful of oil and oven baked till crispy and a coleslaw of grated carrot, cabbage and finely sliced onion tossed in a little oil and lemon juice. Kate x To see your recipe here. email it to jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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Reader Recipes: Clare’s Kind-of-Ratatouille

My budget is not as tight as it once was, but when my son was small there were days when I was reduced to searching the cracks in the sofa for change so that I could buy milk. You don’t forget things like that in a hurry. Anyway, here is my modest offering. I’m not sure it really counts as a proper recipe. But it is, I have found, a very good way of getting even vegetable-shy toddlers to eat things they can normally detect and reject at fifty paces. You can adapt according to what’s in the fridge. On toast, it’s great comfort food, with rice or pasta it’s more substantial. It’s a kind of ratatouille, I suppose. I call it ‘rats on toast’, but I thought that if I made that the title of my e-mail you would probably think I was some kind of troll. This easily serves three of us, and although I’m small my son is now over six feet tall and puts away a lot of food. His dad doesn’t do so badly, either. Ingredients: 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional) 1 onion, chopped (you could certainly use less, but I like it good and onion-y) 1 small courgette (again, adapt according to what you have), chopped fairly finely 1 tin chopped tomatoes 6 medium mushrooms (or whatever you can spare), sliced 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (the squeezy stuff […]

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Reader’s Recipes: Laura P’s Chickpeas n Cheese

I was very excited to receive your invite for recipes, I am sure you will be inundated, but here’s one of my own. Possibly my favourite lunch though I would happily eat for every meal of the day. It serves as a sandwich/toastie filler, topping for crackers/oatcakes or a baked potato, or in cold cooked rice or pasta. I haven’t ever considered giving it a name, and I’m sitting right now trying to think of something clever, but nope nothing’s springing to mind and its shortly going to become 9 o’clock so I better go and hit send before the working day begins…. This will suffice for approximately 2 sandwiches, generously. I am not exact as to the weight of the chickpeas – I tend to shake into a bowl what looks right – but this won’t be far off. I soak and boil 125g dried chickpeas for various purposes and use roughly a quarter of that. Ingredients: 30g cooked (or tinned) chickpeas 25g cheese (Asda smartprice, I find it very tangy and flavourful, so you don’t need much, for this or any other recipe) ½ a medium onion, thinly chopped (preferably red, if you happened to have one) 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Asda smart price, tastes very nice, I find and not too bad calorie-wise either) Roughly mash the chickpeas with a fork. Add the chopped onion, grated cheese and mayonnaise and stir to combine. All done!! If you were […]

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Reader Recipes: Laura’s Sausage Pasta

One of my recipe suggestions is sausage pasta. Buy cheap pack of port sausages – you can get about 12 for £1. Cook some of the sausages and when cool, chop them up and put them in the fridge. Next day, cook the pasta with onion, carrot, passata or chopped tomatoes and a bit of tomator puree and some marmite or vegetable stock cube. Any other veg left over can be chucked in. To finish, sausages can be thrown in and the dish warmed up with grated cheese on top (if no cheese, then yoghurt or coriander) Delicious! Good for leftovers. Keep up the great work Laura (mother of two very hungry children and skint!) To see your favourite recipe here, email it to jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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Reader’s Recipes: Maria’s Crespillos

Here I send you a recipe my mum used to cook when I was little, it is not expensive at all. it is a Spanish recipe, although I’m from Chile. It’s very easy and low cost, I make it to treat my self from time to time. I gave you approx quantities cause I’ve always cooked without measures, but it really depends for how many people. Make enough butter so you don’t have anything or much left. I hate to waste! Ingredients: 1 bag of spinach leaves 2tb sp flour 1 egg some milk (can be soy milk, doesn’t matter) oil 4tb sp of sugar optional,cinnamon, vanilla or any other spice if you want to add to the mix Method: Heat up oil in a pan. We mix the eggs, milk,sugar, flour and spice and we will have a liquid butter,we soak the spinach leaves in it and fry. Serve it warm and sprinkle sugar on top. Maria de los Angeles Rodriguez Correa To see your favourite recipe here, email it to jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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Reader’s Recipes: Marie-Cecile’s Simple Fried Rice

I have a recipe for you. It is a simple fried rice I prepared for today’s lunch. I guess you may want to try it yourself. For two persons: Splash of vegetable oil – 20 ml Rice – 125g Sesame oil – 10ml Dark Soy Sauce – 30 ml 1 big carrot or 2 medium carrots 1 spring onion 50g bacon 2 eggs 1/2 garlic clove salt, pepper Cook the rice per instructions (It is best to cook the rice the previous day or use leftover rice) Cook scrambled eggs in the wok, set aside. Do not add salt. Chop the carrot and the bacon, mince the clove Put them in a splash of hot vegetable oil in the wok Let them cook a bit Add the rice and the soy sauce. Raise the heat, stir a bit and wait until the rice “pops” , then lower the heat In the meantime, mince the spring onion Add the reserved eggs and the minced spring onion Add the sesame oil (fragile, best to add just at the end of the cooking and not too much because it has a strong flavour) Add salt and pepper to taste Stir and NOM! Best regards, Marie-Cécile To see your favourite recipe here, email jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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