This kedgeree was another recipe idea suggested by my readers based in my food shop – and it was an absolute hit – Thankyou everyone who suggested it! The mackerel can be replaced with any smoked or strong fish, and the spices can be swapped out for garam masala or curry powder, whatever you have to hand. The onions lend […]

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Ingredients: (makes one portion) 40g rolled oats 100g natural yoghurt 100ml milk (10g milk powder and 100ml water) 100g broken mandarin segments Mix the oats, yoghurt and milk together in a small bowl, and chill in the fridge overnight to soften the oats. In the morning, serve with the mandarins on top, and enjoy! A drizzle of honey, if you […]

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This was my lunch for today – so simple that it’s barely a recipe but here we go! Basically, I cooked 100g of pasta, mixed it with half a portion of spiced split pea and lentil soup ( left over from Tuesdays lunch, grated a smudge of cheese over the top and shoved it under the grill for five minutes […]

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What do you make for breakfast when you have bananas, eggs, milk and flour? Banana pancakes of course! Ingredients (made 6 good sized pancakes. 100g flour 100ml milk 1 egg 1 banana, or 2 if you want to go wild 2 tbsp oil Handful of sultanas – I’d normally add these but I don’t have any 😦 Finely slice the […]

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A week in the tummy of Jack and SB: What I made and what I have left, Day 1.

Good morning lovely readers! On Monday night, I blogged and tweeted a photo of my £13.41 food shop for this week and a few bits left over from last week, and asked you what I should make out of it… ( The response was overwhelming, over 250 recipe ideas and suggestions were submitted, and I promised to blog the whole week of recipes to show what could be made from a few simple ingredients. Of course – it’s what I do every week, but I don’t get around to blogging every meal that I make in my kitchen! However, it’s the thing I’m asked for most – is a comprehensive set of recipes based on my weekly shop – so I’ve risen to the challenge. It’s tougher than I thought – not the cooking, obviously I do that anyway – but to a cook like me, who flings and slings things together on a whim, actually weighing and measuring everything and carefully writing it down is a real effort – so I hope it’s a helpful effort! In order to be ‘real’, I’ve included the bits that were lurking from the week before, that Turkey and chickpea mince mixture, some half bags of frozen veg, and seemingly bottomless staples like flour, a few spices, and oil. Because I’m not starting with an empty cupboard, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. That’s the point of my blog, it’s really about […]

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TURKEY AND CHICKPEA MEATBALLS This is what I made with the turkey and chickpea mixture that was loitering at the back of my fridge; I had to use it up today, and really fancied meatballs, so here we are! I’ve kept them simple, and will serve them with spaghetti and a light tomato sauce, Lady And The Tramp style. Except there’s only one of me. I’ll leave it up to your good selves to smirk about whether I’m a lady or a tramp! INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2 PORTIONS) 250g lean turkey mince 200g canned chickpeas 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp oil Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until softened. When the chickpeas are soft, remove from the heat and drain the water. Mash with a masher or fork until soft and pulpy. Tip the turkey mince and flour into the saucepan, and mix with the chickpeas until well combined. Pop the pan into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. This will make the mixture easier to shape into meatballs without it falling apart. If you don’t have half an hour but do have an egg, mix that in with an extra heaped tablespoon of flour to bind the mixture. Flour your hands and prepare to get a bit sticky! Shape the meatballs with […]

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This decadent-tasting breakfast is simple to make, and almost feels like starting the day with a dessert! It’s easy to customise, use any combination of fruit and spices that you have to hand. Frozen berries with chunks of white chocolate, banana and cinnamon, even grated orange rind and dark chocolate for a luxury twist… Here’s a simple apple crumble combination […]

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Sometimes I make things that I love so much, I savour them slowly, wondering how I’ll ever bring myself to eat anything else again. This is one of those moments – one of those silent moments of appreciative bliss when I go all When Harry Met Sally about food. (Although this time, it’s a drink.) This time, it’s Peanut Butter […]

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While in Tanzania, I visited last years winner of Oxfam’s Female Food Heroes competition: an Africa-wide search to celebrate female farmers and food producers who were making a difference to their lives and communities. (I’ll write more about Sister Martha separately). While we were at her house, I are very little, having spent the night before being horrendously ill. She […]

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So here goes – I shall have to repurpose one of my large empty potato tins as a hat to avoid the comments from outraged food purists after this one, but my skin is fairly thick, I can take it. Do you ever see a fancy-pants ingredient in a recipe and think you can’t make that dish without it? You’re wrong. As was I, til I started fiddling about a bit (oo-er!) This is my list of discoveries so far, feel free to add your own in the comments below! Tahini: instead of using this expensive sesame seed paste, add peanut butter thinned with a little water. (I have Nigella to thank for this, her peanut butter hummus recipe put the idea in my head!) Juniper berries: I shamefully admit I have a tiny pot of juniper berries in my cupboard. They’re about four years old, have moved house many, many times with me, and I used them once to marinade some pork and they’ve even lurking at the back of my cupboard ever since. They’re probably not edible but I keep them as a dusty reminder that fancy ingredients aren’t worth it!! If you have a recipe that asks for juniper berries, use rosemary instead. Whole grain or Dijon mustard; For gods sake, it’s mustard. I use the Basics English mustard in everything, to marinade a gammon joint, in a ham sandwich, to pep up a chicken casserole or […]

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Every week, I answer the same email again and again and again – and I keep meaning to do a blog post about it but just haven’t got around to it. So what better time than a 3 hour drive through Tanzania? Now before we start, I’m not suggesting that you rush out and buy everything on this list all at once – because I know that for a lot of my readers, that’s not possible to do – and anyway, you might not like everything on the list. That’s the thing about your kitchen cupboard, it’s YOURS. I built mine up a spice a week – in the weeks that I could afford to do so. I already had herb plants on my window ledge from “the better days”, so I didn’t have to buy them, but I found a 30p jar of mixed herbs an invaluable alternative to any woody herb, like thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, etc, and great to sprinkle into a carton of chopped tomatoes for a quick and simple pasta sauce. When I was eating on a budget of around £10 a week for myself and my young son, I bought ‘a carb a week’. So, one week I bought a bag of rice, the next week pasta, the next week would be flour, and the week after would be ‘fancy carbs’ – pearl barley, or red lentils, or something like that. So sure, week […]

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I sat outside last night, gazing at stars. Stars, here, for me, are like the chickens; I know they exist and I’ve seen them before, but suddenly they are all around me, as much a part of the day-to-day landscape as the terracotta coloured dust ingrained in my feet and ankles. I counted 25 right above my head, one for every year of my life. I tried to take a photograph, but of course, I failed. There is only so much that this tiny little piece of technology can do. So instead, I tipped my head back and stared, and tried to recall the little Yeats I know… “Had I the heavens embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet…” Of the houses I have visited, Lydia’s, Cheresia’s, Irene’s and Maria’s, none have boasted lightbulbs glaring their synthetic lights from the ceilings at all hours of the night. You quickly adjust to sitting in the half-light that softly through tiny windows and chinks in doors, a welcome relief from the glaring sunlight outside. Back home, I will miss the stars. I wish that I was in Tanzania long enough to reset my circadian rhythms – even the jet lag from a 10 hour night flight pales into insignificance when I manage to wake with the dawn. […]

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We bounded into an Oxfam Land Cruiser early this morning – after a breakfast of mandazi (deep fried donuts) and fresh eggs and banana at the hotel. I’m really enjoying the local cuisine, but it deserves it’s own blog post I think! We (me, Mora from Oxfam GB, and Bill and Teresa from Oxfam in Dar Es Salaam) were setting […]

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I watched the sky darken for the impending sunset at Heathrow Airport, in England, and a night-flight later stepped out into glaring sunlight – a brand new day in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. I am here with Oxfam GB, meeting up with Oxfam Tanzania, to work together on a few projects. I have been involved with Oxfam since their Walking The Breadline report last year, which exposed the scale of food bank use in Britain. I was one of the case studies in the report, and indicated a wish to work with Oxfam on further projects. Later in the year they asked me if I would consider being an Ambassador for their UK poverty projects, and I accepted. So why, as a UK ambassador, do I find myself in Tanzania? It is a good question, with no straightforward answer – but I will attempt to clumsily put down my thoughts. I was invited by Jane Foster, the UK country director for Oxfam in Tanzania, to visit some projects centred around women, motherhood, farming and land, and to write about them for Oxfam. I have guest blogged for Oxfam on a number of projects and issues this year, including the G8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, last summer, as part of the Enough Food If campaign. I have said since I first signed my book deal (and later Sainsburys) that I would be donating a percentage of my royalties to projects […]

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I just received the following email and I haven’t managed to test this as I’m in Tanzania right now, but the combination of corned beef and red wine and tomatoes makes it a winner in my book! Thanks Tom! 🙂 “Hi Jack My wife is a big fan of yours and told me to drop you a line and see if you want to add this simple recipe to your site Very simple Corned beef Onion Tin of tomato Pepper Garlic granules Splash of left over red wine or Worcester sauce if you have it Spaghetti Pasta Simple spaghetti bolognaise that costs little and tastes great! Hope you like 🙂 Tom” Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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Dear readers – I had a fantastic email this morning from Tamsin at Penguin, which I just had to share – as it answers a question I’ve been asked about a hundred times since I announced I was writing a book… “Happy new year, Jack! Hope you’ve had a wonderful break. Just letting you know that we have decided to release an ebook to go along with the print edition. We don’t always release cookbook ebooks but our digital sales team feel very strongly that we should have one, which is very encouraging! All best wishes, Tamsin x” 🙂 So to answer an often-asked question, I’m delighted to say that YES, my book will be available as a digital version as well as paperback. I hope that makes a lot of you very happy! Of course I’ll let you know how to order it just as soon as I know myself! Happy new year everyone – I know it’s been 2014 for six whole days already but I just like saying it. Six days makes it a pretty ‘new’ year in my books… Best wishes, Jack x Twitter: @MsJackMonroe Facebook:

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Published in Look magazine, 30th December 2013. One little correction, I’m actually single, no girlfriend, no getting married in the Spring. The best laid plans and all that. The press will catch up eventually, but that’s one of those details that as a journalist, I’d definitely check before publishing. Never mind hey? Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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