Jack vs Jamie: The Evening Standard cook-off…

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From Jack versus Jamie: The great austerity challenge, Evening Standard, 30th August 2013, by Susannah Butter. “Save with Jamie, by school-dinners saviour Jamie Oliver, 38, came out yesterday and aims at getting us to “shop smart, cook clever, waste less”. He says it’s possible to save £3,000 a year by following his recipes and reminds us that around 40 per […]

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Last word: You’re only an expert in what you know.

So, it’s been a bit of a furious week. Between that scrap over the Left Futures piece, to receiving 200 tweets from the same person in 24 hours that repeated how privileged I was and how dare I complain about it, to writing an article for the Independent on “massivefuckingtelly”gate, and now I’ve just rolled off the BBC Breakfast sofa, from talking to a doctor called Ann about the hot topic, televisions, again, and opened my emails to find that someone had sent me two things. The first was an article by Stephen Fry, which I nodded at all the way through. The second was a screen shot of a tweet by Caitlin Moran. More on those in a minute. Firstly, readers and people on my Facebook page often thank me for saying “what they were thinking” or “speaking for then”, but as Naga said to me on the breakfast sofa this morning, you’re only there as an expert on what you know. I don’t speak for anyone other than myself. I know that I went to a grammar school, left at 16 with a handful of qualifications, had a few minimum wage jobs in retail and coffee shops before landing a brilliant job with the Fire Service as a control operator. I know that when I fell pregnant, I had some difficult choices to make. I know that I applied for flexible working policies, that I looked into nursery […]

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Austerity cooking has been hijacked by the moralisers. (Comment is free, The Guardian)

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To read the full article, Austerity cooking has been hijacked by the moralisers, click here. Published in Comment Is Free, The Guardian, 28 August 2013. Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available to order at Waterstones: https://m.waterstones.com/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=10013935 or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947

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Slummy Mummy Recipe: Pasta, Peas-N-Cheese, 22p

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“Hey Sprout, do you want tomato and cheese with your pasta, or peas and cheese?” “Cheese!” “Yes, but do you want tomatoes, or peas?” “Peas!” “Peas and cheese?” “PEAS AND CHEESE!” That’s how that conversation went with SB today, having spent all day painting and cleaning and coming home to a rather limited cupboard (and equally limited levels of energy […]

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“The rain is just as wet, when you went to a grammar school. It soaks you to the skin, and your three year old, too.” (TRIGGER WARNING)

I’d like to apologise to anyone I seem to have mortally offended with my apparent ‘conventional attractiveness’ and taste for middle eastern food. In an article published today on ‘Left Futures’, I am apparently ‘middle class’ for ‘not spending the afternoon drinking White Ace and copulating.’ I am often advised not to respond to criticism – and I rarely do, people are entitled to their opinion. But I do respond to outright lies and misrepresentation, because I’ll be damned if people can rewrite my life and I’ll just let it lie. In a potted bastardisation of my history, I have apparently ‘been judged lightly’ as a benefit claimant because, basically, i’m pretty and cook with chickpeas. (I’ll ignore the overlooked fact that I only claim child benefit these days, and crack on…) Really? Did you read the Sun comments section, the Guardian comments, the Daily Mail comments, the comments under the Hunger Hurts post on my blog? The tweets that flooded the Sky News feed telling me to ‘stop having children’ when I’ve got just one and probably won’t have any more? The death threats when I came out as gay? Judged lightly?! So, I’m sorry I went to a grammar school when I was eleven. I failed most of my GCSEs though, if that’s any consolation. I’m sorry I chose to spend my money on chickpeas and lentils instead of…what? What else was I supposed to eat? Why do […]

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Cheese and onion drop scones

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Friday morning breakfast, part of my ‘adventures in a meat-free cottage’ weekend… Ingredients (serves two): 100g self raising flour 100ml milk Half an onion 1 egg 30g hard cheese 2 sprigs of parsley 4 tbsp oil First, chop the onion very finely, and grate the cheese. I brought my small hand grater with me, which grates very finely – making […]

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Recipes for Kim: Cheese and onion pasta

This cheese and onion pasta recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard, but I will add them to the Below The Line recipe section over the next few days… Recipes for Kim: Cheese and onion pasta Ingredients (serves two): 2 large white onions 2 tbsp oil 4 tbsp passatta Grated cheese 150g pasta (orzo, in this case) Peel and chop the onions, and place them in a sauté or frying pan on a very low heat to soften. Add a shake of oregano. Meanwhile, put the pasta water on to boil. Add the pasta, and reduce to a medium simmer to cook. When the onions are translucent and sweet, stir in the passatta, and toss through the pasta. Top with a handful of grated cheese, and serve. Also works well as a simple risotto! Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available to order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947

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Recipes for Kim: Chicken and mushroom casserole

This chicken and mushroom casserole recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard, but I will add them to the Below The Line recipe section over the next few days… Recipes for Kim: chicken and mushroom casserole Ingredients (serves two): 2 tbsp oil 2 chicken breasts 1 onion 200g mushrooms 300ml stock 400g chopped tomatoes or jar of passatta Oregano and bay leaves First, peel and finely slice the onion, and add to a large, non stick saucepan on a low heat with the oil. Sweat gently until the onions and garlic start to soften. Add the chicken, skin side down if it has skin, and turn the heat up to medium to seal the meat. Brush any excess dirt from the mushrooms with a clean tea towel, break up into chunks, and toss into the pot. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, and stir well to combine. Add the herbs and crank the heat up to high. Bring to the boil, rapidly boil for two or three minutes, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Next step – remove it from the heat and allow it to stand, covered, to meld and develop […]

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Recipes for Kim: Red or Green lentil bolognese

This bolognese recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard! Recipes for Kim: Red or Green Lentil Bolognese Ingredients: 1 onion 1 carrot Shake of oregano 100g red or green lentils 1 carton chopped tomatoes or passatta 1 beef stock cube How To: 1. Peel and slice the onion and add to a large sauté pan. 2. Finely grate the carrot into the pan, chopped tomatoes or passatta, lentils and oregano, and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. You may need to add more stock or water as the lentils will absorb a lot of liquid. 3. Serve over spaghetti – or in Kim’s case, with orzo pasta – with cheese on top. Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available to order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947

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Recipes for Kim: Spiced lentil soup

This spiced lentil soup recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard, but I will add them to the Below The Line recipe section over the next few days… Recipes for Kim: Spiced lentil soup 1tbsp oil 2 onions, chopped 2 carrots, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 small red chilli or pinch of the dried stuff 400g chopped tomatoes 2 cups red lentils In a medium heavy based saucepan, gently heat the oil. Finely slice the carrots and onion, and cook on a low heat, stirring to soften. Add the cumin and chopped chilli. When the onions have started to soften, pour over the chopped tomatoes, and add the lentils. Add four cups of water for every cup of lentils. Stir, and turn the heat up to bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils have swollen. Serve chunky or blend until smooth. Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available to order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947

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Recipes for Kim: Carrot and cumin falafels.

This carrot and cumin falafel recipe is part of a personal project, Recipes For Kim, where a reader has sent me a list of the ingredients in her kitchen cupboard and I promised to write some recipes around them. These aren’t costed, as this isn’t my kitchen cupboard! First up, falafels… Carrot and cumin falafels. Ingredients (makes 12): 3tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion 400g chickpeas shake of cumin 1 carrot Tbsp flour for dusting your hands. How To: 1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Peel and finely chop the onion, and grate the carrot. (I grate the onion too so it’s finer, but it’s a pain to do!) Fry together over a low heat for a few minutes until softened. 2. Tip into a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas, and a shake of cumin. 3. Mash it all together with a potato masher (or a fork) until the chickpeas have broken down into a mush. The oil from the carrots and onion will help combine the chickpeas together, but you may need to add a tiny bit more. 5. Flour your hands, and mould into golf ball shapes. Heat the oil in the sauté pan and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. Serve with couscous made up with chicken stock and frozen spinach. Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available […]

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What’s in Kim’s cupboard, and what can we make out of it?

I received a message yesterday from a reader who has had her tax credits cut off suddenly, and her ‘bank balance was zero’. Having been in that position myself, I decided to do the only thing I can do to help – and asked her to send me a list of what was in her cupboard, to see if we could get through the next week or so until the tax credits are sorted, by devising recipes from what she has available. Here’s what she has to work with: Red lentils Green lentils Bulgar wheat Cous cous Porridge oats Brown rice Orzo Chopped tomatoes x2 Passatta x2 Tinned chickpeas x1 Breakfast cereals to last a good 2 weeks! 1kg bag of Onions 4 carrots Butternut squash x1 Mushrooms Cheddar cheese Frozen shortcrust and puff pastry sheets x1 each Frozen spinach 2packs of raw salmon fillets (79p reduced bargain!!) Chicken breasts x3 Stocks cubes beef and chicken Harissa paste Soy sauce Veg oil and olive Chilli flakes and powder Ground cumin and whole Ground coriander Garam masala Oregano Bay leaves Nutmeg Cinnamon Mixed spice At first glance I can see a Daal here, a butternut squash and oregano risotto, a chickpea and spinach curry, a chicken casserole, carrot and cumin falafels, a green lentil bolognese, cheese and onion pasta, cinnamon porridge and a Harissa spiced salmon bake… Recipes to follow shortly! Anyone got any other ideas? Jack Monroe. Follow me on […]

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