Author: Jack Monroe

Pear & Sultana Porridge, 19p [V/VG/DF/GF*]

I am trying to ensure that my Small Boy – now nine years old and unsure how much longer I can get away with the affectionate diminutive moniker – gets at least all five of his five a day during the Spring Term holidays, as even for a seasoned food writer, these things can fall by the wayside in the excitement of a change of routine. As a self employed mum, my childcare arrangements in the holidays are slapdash at best, and I usually find myself squeezing in hours before breakfast and after bedtime, so as not to neglect...

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Make-Me-Better Mug, 15p [V/VG/DF/GF]

Scratchy throat, simultaneous blocked and runny nose, muggy head, general air of malaise? Yeah, that happens a lot round here, courtesy of having a rubbish immune system, awful working hours and an 8 year old. In a bid to banish the heavy-cold feeling, I knock up a large jug of this stuff – and, by golly, it works a treat every time. If you have an office job, take it to work in a Thermos flask or similar, and sip it at your desk to banish the blues. Or take the day off, curl up with a book and...

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Sausagne, 43p

Making lasagne is an arse. A labour of love. An every-pan atrocity strewn around the desolate wasteland of what was formerly your kitchen. I have made dozens of lasagnes in my short lifetime, and halfway through every single one comes the moment, without fail, whereby I survey the three pans on the hob, the piles of everything, the crap strewn across every available worksurface and some of the not-available ones, too, and I wail inside that I could have just bought one for less than a quid at the supermarket. One night, craving lasagne but not the work that...

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Mug Marmite Mac n Cheese (in a microwave), 34p

Friends will know that my Marmite obsession is almost as out of control as my peanut butter obsession. In leaner times, I would substitute Marmite, which was well out of my budget range, for a paste made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, mixed with boiling water, and allowed to cool. Smeared onto toast with butter, it delivered that tongue-warming tingle and salty kick I used to get from my yeast-extract friend. These days, my cupboard has a jar of Marmite in for toast and snacks, and today, it went in here, too. If you’re a hater, not...

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Shakshuka, 49p

I first had shakshuka the morning after a very heavy night before, with a friend who had come to rescue me from the vulgarities of my own hangover. He took me to a café, ordered me shakshuka, and watched, giggling to himself, as I slowly turned from a mumbling wreck into something that vaguely resembled a human being. I have made and loved it many times since, usually in varying degrees of unwellness, both self-inflicted and unfortunately less so. If you need any further convincing, it packs a vitamin C punch from the peppers and tomatoes, and the spices will wake you up and clear out any lurking nasties. As for the egg? Eggs are good for pretty much everything. (Vegans, replace the egg with a tin of chickpeas for the same protein hit but a completely different dish!) SERVES 2, IF YOU’RE IN A SHARING MOOD, from 49p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 1 onion, finely sliced, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 pepper of any colour, deseeded and finely sliced, or frozen ones are cheaper, 20p (£1/500g) 1 tbsp oil, 2p...

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