Soffritto, 19p

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For the last few months, I have been spying little jars of soffritto paste in the specialty foods aisles of various supermarkets. Snuggled next to such exoticisms as ancho chillies, dried porcini mushrooms, and other things that it is ‘nice to have but not essential’ (although Waitrose now feature artichoke hearts in their Essentials range, for the love of God!). […]

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Beetburgers, 18p (V)

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  I love the general enthusiasm that Veganuary generates across my social media (an annual challenge to try vegan for January), and this year with 40,000 people signing up and support from Stella McCartney and other fabulous animal lovers, the buzz created has been gorgeously warm and supportive. I am busy finishing my book at the moment – and thank you all […]

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Sprout Scones, 15p (V*)

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  Sniff not, leftovers fans, for this is a delicious and delightful way to use up any leftover greenery hanging around from recent festive dinners. Spring greens work just as well, and spinach, or a combination of anything green and leafy, really. Knobbly, straggly ends and rinds of cheese can be incorporated into these too, for a baked brunch or lunchtime treat […]

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Tarka Daal (V), 36p

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There comes a time in most of our lives when we receive a small wake-up call about the kind of person we really are, and my deliverance came in the form of a tarka daal. I had been whisked away by friends to a cabin in the woods by the sea for my birthday back in March (and half wrote […]

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Self-Love Stew (V)

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I cooked for myself last night. This is pretty good news, considering how blue I have been the last few days… Black dog came home, and cooking is the self-love I need but often the first thing it takes in its jaws. So I hereby christen this Self-Love Stew. I’ll reformat it into a proper recipe later on, with costings, […]

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Warm Chickpea Salad With Bacon And Olives, 47p

Dear vegan and vegetarian readers, please do not despair. I haven’t gone back on myself and am not eating bacon; I have pledged to upload the contents of both of my cookbooks as a free resource to help people to cook on a budget in the wake of the news that the BBC will be removing recipes from its website. This means that a few non-veggie recipes may be appearing in your inboxes over the next few days, and I absolutely do not mean to cause anyone any offence or upset. I’m just trying to be helpful to people who will find these recipes useful in managing their household budget, or learning to cook.  Anyway, this recipe is from my first book, A Girl Called Jack, and was born of the bottom of a jar of sliced olives, some scraps of cooking bacon and a tin of chickpeas lurking in the cupboard. Olives may seem like a luxurious ingredient, but at around 60p for a 185g jar they deliver a strong, punchy livener for pennies if used sparingly. Once opened, they keep in the fridge for a few weeks, and can be used to make a tapenade (a rough paste for dipping things in, smearing on toast, or tossing through – just finely chop or whizz with garlic, lemon and oil), or added to a tin of tomatoes with some chilli and a dash of vinegar for a rough take on spaghetti alla puttanesca. All hail […]

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Oodles of Doodles

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Hello! I’ve been busily working on Bootstrap so the blog has been a bit quiet lately – but here’s something I have been desperate to share for a while! The Kickstarter edition of Bootstrap will be illustrated instead of photographed, inspired by the old cookbooks like Mrs Beeton, Dorothy Hartley, and a lot of the 16th century cookery books I […]

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Go on, be a tosser. (9 easy pancake recipes, from vegan to gluten free, leftover porridge and everything in between.)

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Apparently we don’t bother with pancakes on Pancake Day any more. That’s what a press release that landed in my email inbox this afternoon told me; that we, as country, aren’t all tossers. We don’t flip out. We no longer belong in the gang of whisk-pour-fry-flip-lemon-sugar-munchers. I simply don’t believe it, and I hope you will all prove me wrong. […]

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Applesauce bread-cake (V), 9p

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    This applesauce bread-that’s-a-bit-cakey is based on my original vegan banana bread recipe from my first cookbook, A Girl Called Jack. Photographs of that banana bread are sent to me on a near-daily basis, with an especial flurry at weekends, and I am delighted to receive them. It remains one of my favourite recipes, but every now and again a reader gets […]

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Mushroom Rogan Josh, 26p (V)

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Last night I fancied a curry, a nice hot curry to warm the very cockles of my draughty flat, but like so many evenings of the dreaded ‘cooking for one’, I just couldn’t decide what curry to have. I opened the fridge, glowered at a bunch of onions and a handful of mushrooms, and took to Twitter with a poll. […]

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Beetballs! 6p each. (V)

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 These beetballs are based on a beetroot burger recipe from Lee Watson’s incredible vegan recipe book, Peace And Parsnips. If you follow my social media, you might have seen me evangelise about this book once or twice; in fact, such is my vim and vigour for this beautiful culinary bible that I put it on the desks of the country’s […]

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Coconut-milk soda bread, 51p (V)

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“Sometimes I think I want to have another baby and so I go bake some bread to mull it over. A 40 min incubation period later and I’m rocking a warm snuggly bundle that isn’t wailing, chewing my nipples or crapping down my leg, but warmly snuggling into my hip as I rock it gently, and you know, I’m over […]

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2 ingredient coconut hot chocolate, 9p

   The idea for this came after midnight on a very cold November evening. In my current home, I sleep on a sofa bed in a bay beneath a set of single-glazed louvre windows – you know, the kind with the slats that overlap but don’t quite meet. Which means when the temperature drops, my goodness I know about it. I’m not complaining, though, as I love my small, beautiful, idiosyncratic home; it just means that one of the last things I do of an evening is curl into bed with the hottest drink imaginable and burrow under my duvet. And so, with no milk in the house of any kind, but half a block of coconut cream in the cupboard, this was born. I made a big batch, seeing the weather was only going to get colder, it’s good to be prepared for this sort of thing. Makes around 8-10 portions: at 9p each 100g dark chocolate , 35p (Sainsburys Basics) 100g coconut cream , 45p (Sainsburys, 200g/90p) First take the smallest saucepan you have, and fill with barely two inches of water. Pop a mixing bowl over the top, and bring it to the boil. Break up your chocolate and add to the bowl, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir as the chocolate melts. If it starts to split (usually because water has touched the bottom of the bowl and scorched your poor choccy), simply add a […]

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5 minute thing with Tom Cruise Dressing*, 60p

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One afternoon in the all-hours flail-and-flurry that was this-glorious-top-secret-for-now-project, I emerged from my writing corner (apologies to Virginia Woolf for not managing an entire ‘room of my own in which to write’ but, recession, gentrification and a dislike of cleaning mean I basically live in a nook. Anyway, when there is a small child around all rooms are rightfully theirs […]

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