All posts filed under: Blog

Spicy Jackfruit Patties With Pineapple Hats, 74p [VEGAN]

This recipe is in partnership with Del Monte and is the vegan counterpart to the Upside Down Pineapple Chicken featured in the May issue of Delicious Magazine (which is available from supermarkets, convenience stores and newsagents from the end of April). Serves 4 from 74p each. All prices calculated at Asda and correct at time of publication. 1 medium onion, 10p (70p/1kg, Growers Selection) 2 cloves of garlic, 4p (69p/3 bulbs, Growers Selection) 10g of fresh ginger, 4p (37p/100g, loose) 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (59p/12g) 1 tbsp light coloured vinegar, <1p (29p/568ml, distilled malt vinegar) a pinch of hot chilli powder, <1p (84p/44g) 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 5p (54p/150ml) 1 tbsp light cooking oil, 2p (£1.09/1litre) 2 tbsp (28g) tomato puree, 5p (35p/200g) a good grind or pinch of black pepper, <1p (£1.10/100g, TRS) 2 tsp sugar, <1p (65p/1kg) 1 small can of pineapple slices in juice, 80p (80p/220g, Del Monte) 1 can of jackfruit, £1.44 (£1.44/400g, Summer Pride) 150g mushrooms, 32p (54p/250g, Farm Stores) 2 tbsp cooking oil, 3p (£1.09/1litre) First …

Baby Dutch Babies With Fruit Cocktail, from 35p

Fancy getting a little bit fruity? Whether spoiling a special someone, or simply showing yourself some love, you won’t regret whipping up this quick, gorgeous, and deliciously luxurious treat for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert. I topped mine with caramelised pears, canned peaches, and fruit cocktail in the testing phases, and fruit cocktail just about pipped the others to the post, but mostly because of that cheeky little cherry on top. Let me know what you would have on yours in the comments below, or by commenting on Facebook or Instagram! And if you make it, I always love to see your photos on social media – tag me with #jackmonroe on Instagram or @bootstrapcook on Twitter – it’s nice to be nice! <3 AD : This post is part of a long-term commercial collaboration between me and Del Monte Europe. Other links in this post may be affiliate links and may earn a small commission on purchases made. This does not affect the integrity of the recommendation, as I truly only recommend products I …

Vegan Pastitsio, 77p

This recipe has been produced in partnership with Linda McCartney foods for Veganuary. Pastitsio is a food that reminds me of my childhood; snaffled from piled-high buffet plates at various relatives’ houses following Greek Orthodox church services, usually a christening or a funeral. My aunties would usually make them; huge trays of something that was a cross between a lasagne and a macaroni cheese. Usually stuffed with ground meat and several kinds of cheese, it was a challenge to make one that was vegan but still authentic enough to not get myself excommunicated from my family! But here it is – and it’s an instant classic in my household already. Using Linda McCartney’s Vegemince, it’s super simple to make – and can be enjoyed straight from the fridge, so make a large batch and give yourself a few days off cooking. Who said Veganuary meant missing out? Ingredients – serves 6 generously from 77p each. All prices quoted are based on Asda groceries and correct at time of writing. For the bechemal:50g flour, 2p (45p/1.5kg)60ml …

Anchoiade Devilled Eggs, 21p

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never had a devilled egg, let alone tried to make one. I had read about them with fascination in various novels, usually set in the American South or housewifely suburbs, passed around as canapes at fictitious afternoon parties by women who lived the kind of lives I could scarcely imagine, peppered with scandal and boredom, kitten heels and daytime martinis. Devilled eggs represented, to me, something otherworldly, something aspirational, something bordering on the celestially obscene. Anchoiade, pronounced an-shoy-ard but very quickly, according to a French youtuber with a voice of clipped velvet with a laugh never far behind, was stumbled across on the Instagram feed of my former Daily Kitchen Live colleague, Matt Tebbutt. A passing mention on a restaurant menu, that I scrawled in a notebook, commenting ‘Oh, anchoiade!’ with hearts for eyes, as though I knew what it was. I didn’t, of course, but I loved the word already, and suspected I would love the thing itself. Weeks later, with a Delia Smith recipe in …

Pangrattato Al Pomodoro, 31p [VEGAN]

Firstly, a confession. This recipe is a twist on an Italian classic, Pappa al Pomodoro, which is essentially a bread-crust and tomato soup, with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sometimes garlic and basil or rosemary, depending on whose recipe you consider to be sacred. This version eschews the traditional, using dried stuffing crumbs to replace the bread and herbs. But Stuffing Crumb And Tomato Puree Soup didn’t seem like a particularly appetising recipe name, so I translated it into Italian as a nod to the original. Serves 1, from 31p, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.) First peel and finely slice your onion, and set to one side for a moment. Measure the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one, and warm it for a moment on a medium heat before adding the onion. Season with a little black pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Quarter your tomatoes and add those too – when …

Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 48p [VEGAN]

I love mushroom soup and have made many of them over the years, but think this one is my best so far. If you don’t have celery to hand, or don’t like it, you can use extra onion. Mushrooms soup traditionally has a splash of wine in it, but I try not to keep it in the house at the moment – if you wanted to add some and it’s the kind of thing you have kicking about, do feel free, but I think it’s perfectly luxurious and delicious without. This cream is a delicate golden colour – or it was when I made it – which is a relief from the minky greys of mushroom soups gone by! I use full fat coconut milk here as you get more bang for your buck, but if you only have the reduced fat version available, double the quantity and reduce the water accordingly. Serves two, from 48p each, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase …

Vegan Rainbow Dhansak, 31p

Authentic dhansak recipes that I’ve found sometimes include tamarind sauce or fresh tamarind, which I didn’t have to hand, so I replicated the slightly sour note with a dash of lemon juice instead. I am aware that I am extremely lucky to have found this particular bag of stir fry veg so cheaply, but I am often asked by readers what to do with them that isn’t a stir fry, so when I swagged this one from the markdown chiller today I thought it an ideal opportunity to address this particular conundrum. If you don’t have a similar bargain to hand, you can make similar by adding roughly equal amounts of red and green cabbage, thinly sliced or thickly grated carrot, and some sweetcorn. Or use whatever veg you have to hand, of course. If serving between four, this recipe contains four of your five a day. It keeps in the fridge forum to three days, or in the freezer for three months. Reheat to piping hot before serving – it is not advised to …

Sausage, Bacon & Many-Veg Casserole, 39p

For many reasons, I am returning to a very strict groceries budget for the foreseeable future. Yesterday I went to the supermarket – in two separate trips, as I was on foot with a backpack – with a budget of twenty pounds. I uploaded my receipts on Twitter, but for those of you not on Twitter, I will post them as a separate post here later on. I will try my best – other work and commitments permitting – to write up as many of the new recipes I make from that list of ingredients as possible. This one was made both with the sausages and bacon for my son, and without, for me. Although I am no longer vegan, I do eat more plant based meals than not these days, and as I tighten my budget again, that will continue to be the case. This recipe was originally designed to fulfil five out of five of our five a day, making three portions, but it made such a large pan that I easily got …

You Don’t Batch Cook When You’re Suicidal

Whenever food poverty, obesity, or food in general comes into the media spotlight, I adopt a mental brace position, awaiting the onslaught of tweets that come, a plague of clockwork cockroaches, wound up and scurrying every which way into the light. Some are clumsily well-intentioned, most are not, yet here they come with their hastily-Googled prices of spring greens and potatoes, crowing about how! cheap! vegetables! are! The latest was Annunziata Rees-Mogg, MEP and sister of sentient haunted Victorian coat rack, Jacob Rees-Mogg, pointing out that raw potatoes were cheaper to buy than oven chips. A 21st Century Marie Antoinette moment, ‘Let Them Eat Spuds!’ but sputtered into the vacuous echo chamber of Twitter, rather than a foundling moment of a revolution. I know the price of a bag of potatoes, Annunziata. Having lived in grinding poverty and with its aching and unshiftable groggy hangover ever since, I know the price of potatoes at three different supermarkets through eight consecutive years. I know the price of potatoes that are fresh, frozen, loose, baking, bulk, tinned, …

Zero-Waste Banana Peel Ketchup, 43p

I first came across banana chilli ketchup while staying in a self catering apartment in Edinburgh. It takes a certain amount of planning to buy exactly enough food to sustain two adults for three days, wasting nothing, when your nearby shopping options are the Harvey Nichols food hall (ineffectual, expensive, but fun to walk around gasping at and making furtive notes at all the fancy pastas), or a Sainsbury’s Local, where fruit and veg are sold in large packets and nothing by the handful. I found a banana habanero chutney in Harvey Nicks by Mr Vikki’s, a small Cumbrian company, and we wolfed our way through two jars of it in a weekend. I knew that as soon as I got home and into my own kitchen, I would be knocking up my own version. And I have done it many times since, each batch slightly different to the last, and each disappearing into the homes of various friends who are absolutely obsessed with it. It’s an ideal accompaniment to a curry, or grilled cheese, …

Tomato, Bread & Butter Pasta, 24p

This pasta sauce started off as a pappa al pomodoro, but quickly veered towards a tomato butter sauce as I craved comfort on an increasingly blue day. I don’t know about you, but lockdown is playing havoc with my already unreliable emotional weather vane, clattering it all over the place, and I am learning to take things hour by hour, meal by meal, and take pleasure in moments of simple comfort in this strange new world of unknowns. I am grateful that all members of my household are healthy and well, and that we are able to do most of our day jobs under lockdown, even with the challenges that presents, and that my young son seems to have adapted well to the changes. He Facetimes and Zoom calls his friends and family every day, keeps a diary of his thoughts, feelings and experiences, does some educational work each day, and seems to be faring the best of all of us. Anyway, back to the pasta sauce. I have a recipe for a three ingredient …

Tinned Pear Cake, 36p [Tin Can Cook]

This soft, sweet, rich and heavy cake was written for Tin Can Cook, as I sat surveying tins of fruit and wondering how to plump up my pudding chapter. My eyes roved greedily over the tinned peaches, pears and cherries, looking for inspiration, and there it was. Fat, fulsome pears swimming sodden in their own slippery, succulent syrup – what a treat! I could barely wait as I sat typing up the recipe, my home rich with the scent of freshly baked goods, impatiently picking at the slice I promised myself as a reward for committing it to paper. I love this, and it’s all the better for using tinned pears; I hope you love it too. If you do happen to have ripe pears needing using up, first quarter them and carefully scoop out the seeds with the point of a small sharp knife. Cut away the very tip of the stalk and the woody star shape at the base, taking care to remove as little of the flesh as possible in the process. …

Some News That Is Good.

Hello! Just popping over here quickly to share what I hope will be some good news with you all – and lord only knows we need some of that right now! [deep breath] From Monday 13th April the BBC will be showing a brand new live morning TV show, at 10am on BBC One, Monday to Friday. It’s based on the Saturday Kitchen format, and will be hosted by ME! And Matt Tebbutt, who is a brilliant and experienced presenter and broadcaster and an excellent foil to my awkward, clumsy weirdness. For years and years my readers – you – have been saying that I should do this, and I have been approached dozens and dozens of times. And every time I turned it down, because I didn’t have the confidence, I didn’t believe in myself, I thought I was too odd and anxious and nervous and that everyones belief in me was misplaced. I know I can write, I do that instinctively, but pointing a camera in my face has been a recipe for …

Cherry & White Chocolate Bake, 21p

I made this adaptation of my original – and very popular – Peach Traybake from A Girl Called Jack, last weekend for Mrs J’s local cycling club. She reported back that it had all vanished within minutes; the most popular of the three cakes at the tea stop by far. I was very chuffed – although I had also made the other two as well! Recipes for those to follow later – for now, please enjoy this utter delight. I used defrosted frozen cherries as they come ready pitted and are cheaper than fresh ones (I long for the careless frivolity of being able to spend both time and money hurling fresh cherries into cakes!) but tinned cherries and glace cherries work just as well. I’ll also be posting a vegan edition later down the line using applesauce in place of the eggs; I just want to test it first as this is a particularly moist cake so I’ve a feeling it won’t be a straight simple swap and that the other ingredients may need …

Gluten-Free Berry Buckwheat Pancakes, 33p

I made the batter for these last night after finding a bag of buckwheat flour in Holland and Barrett for half price. I asked Twitter for a decent soft honey-oat style buckwheat bread recipe for it, and was overwhelmed with responses telling me to make buckwheat pancakes instead. Curious, and on the cusp of Shrove Tuesday, I decided to give it a go. In for a penny, in for a pound, I went for a full gluten free pancake recipe, as the only one missing from my extensive pancake repetoire – and these were such a success, I am now making up an entire 2 litre Kilner jar of the dry ingredients, with dried berries in, for instant pancakes whenever we fancy them. Oh dear me, these were DELICIOUS. Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain – it’s from the same plant family as rhubarb, so ideal for gluten-free baking. (I’m not gluten-free, but my Mum is, and many of my readers are, so I do develop gf and coeliac-friendly recipes from time to time.) If you …