All posts filed under: Lunch

Turkey Meatballs, 53p [from ‘A Girl Called Jack’]

These meatballs are a classic recipe from my first cookbook, A Girl Called Jack, and they recently got a new and exciting lease of life when I taught Marcus Rashford to cook them in the kitchen of his old school, Button Lane Primary School, in Wythenshawe, Manchester a couple of months ago. And then I had to keep it a MASSIVE SECRET which god help me, has almost burst me with anticipation a few times over the past few weeks, especially when people have endlessly been asking on Twitter if we are going to be doing anything together. Serene emojis and poker faces all round. Video footage of that strange and hilarious and humbling and inspiring day is available on the GQ YouTube channel on their Men Of The Year awards video – and I’ll be posting my own video later on when I get the okay from the GQ team. Marcus was a bit nervous about cooking, saying it wasn’t something he really did, but we had an absolute blast and he made an …

Vegan Fake Bake, 90p [Veganish]

In 2019, Greggs (a UK high street bakery chain, for my overseas readers) launched a legendary vegan sausage roll, and I launched half a dozen of them into my face in one week alone. I started to fantasize about an entirely vegan pasty-and-cake shop – which I’m sure exists somewhere – and one thing led to another and I ended up here, with my own vegan version of their famous Steak Bake. I reverse-engineered this by physically dissecting a steak bake or two, then painstakingly recreating it in my kitchen at home. The jackfruit gives the tender meaty filling, the gravy fools your tastebuds into thinking it’s a proper steak bake, and the rest bolsters the flavour. Bisto red gravy granules are the best to use here, and also vegan at the time of writing, but Asda own brand ‘meat gravy granules’ are also vegan too. As with all things, do check the labels carefully, as products are subject to change over time. Makes 4, from 90p each (This post contains affiliate links – I …

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 …

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, …

Vegan ‘Egg’, Tomato & Cress Sandwich, 68p [from ‘Veganish’]

This recipe is based on my favourite ever egg sandwich – the M&S Egg, Tomato & Salad Cream – but I challenged myself to create it as a vegan version when I was writing Veganish. My readers had specifically requested sandwich recipes for this book, seemingly unanimously tired of the solitary falafel offering in the supermarket compared to the dozens of meat and cheese options. So I made a list of both my personal favourites, and asked people for theirs, and tried to recreate as many of them as possible, as closely as possible to the originals. And this was FUN. A whole lot more testing and retesting than most of my recipes, as well as side-by-side comparisons with the original. Literally a bite out of the M&S one, a bite out of mine. Proffering both at friends and asking them to guess which was which. Tweaks and adjustments and adding specialist ingredients in and taking them out again, until finally, satisfied, I ended up with this. I’m still undecided on the nutritional yeast, so …

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 …

Beet Wellington, £1.34 [from ‘Veganish’]

This is one of my more difficult recipes, but I approach it in stages, treating the duxelles as a separate recipe on its own and making it in advance to lessen the workload a little. I can promise you that the end result is completely worth it – a vegan ‘special occasion’ dinner for Sunday roasts, festive feasts, date nights, or any other occasion where you really want to push the boat out. I have made many a vegetarian wellington, ranging from whole flat portobello mushrooms wrapped in spinach, to a black bean and chestnut version, but my favourite by far is this beet wellington, and not just for its nomenclature. It requires a little care in the assembly process, but then so does a standard fillet beef wellington, and this keeps as close to the original as possible with the inclusion of a mushroom duxelles and a crepe layer. The duxelles provides a distinctive depth of flavour, and the crepe layer, although it may seem overly fancy, acts as a barrier between the vegetables …

Come-To-Bed Parmigiana, 74p [from ‘Veganish’]

Almost three years ago now, I turned up to work late, sleepless, an incoherent babbling wreck chewed up by an 18 month landmark court trial and with bright copper dye fading from my wiry, tousled mania of hair. I left my walking stick in the lobby, and limped in to work…to find a hand thrust towards me in a polite gesture of welcome, a smile, a curt hello. She introduced herself. I apologised seven times for my lateness and my pulled-from-a-car-wreck appearance. She was firm and professional, and she smiled at me again. And I felt that self-same car wreck collide with my solar plexus and toss me down a rabbit hole of giddy head spinning highs and that soaring, almost nauseatingly disorienting feeling of time stopping and slowing and turning on its head. I stumbled away, a new crush ablaze across my cheeks and in every tip of my fingers, burning coiled springs in the soles of my feet, a song whispering in the cold, grey, slumbering chamber of my strange little heart. And …

Diet-Coke Chicken, 54p [A Girl Called Jack]

You don’t have to use Diet Coke to make the barbecue sauce for this recipe; if you don’t mind the sugar, ordinary full-fat will do instead. And of course, I have priced mine as supermarket own brand saccharine sticky cola, because that’s my jam. Serve with rice, chips, a buttered bun, or slaw – however you like. (For vegan and vegetarian readers, this recipe was first published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014. The same sauce works brilliantly with a large flat mushroom, and when I have got around to uploading my back catalogue, I will do that recipe too! For now, just scroll past and mutter rude things about me, if you must.) Serves 2 from 54p 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.) 2 tbsp oil, 3p (97p/1l, Asda) 4 chicken thighs or drums, 73p (£2.20/12 drumsticks, Asda) …

Creamy Mustard Chicken With Root Veg, 48p [A Girl Called Jack]

This creamy mustard chicken recipe is adapted from A Girl Called Jack and contains four of your five a day! If you’re veggie, replace the chicken with butter beans for a similar protein hit, and if you’re vegan, use your favourite plant-based milk in place of the usual stuff. Serves 4 from 48p each. Prices calculated at major supermarkets and correct at the time of writing. This post is not sponsored though I may make a small amount if you click the links and make a purchase. 600g chicken thighs or drums, 95p (£1.58/kg, frozen at Tesco) 2 tbsp cooking oil, 3p (£1/1l, Asda) 500ml chicken stock, 3p (39p/12 stock cubes, Asda) 200g carrots, 10p (50p/1kg, Sainsburys) 200g onion, 10p (50p/1kg, Sainsburys) 250g swede, 26p (30p a jar, Smartprice at Asda) 1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p 200g long grain rice, to serve, 9p (45p/1kg, Sainsburys) 2 tbsp plain flour, 5p (45p/1.5kg, Stockwell at Tesco) 2 more tbsp cooking oil, 6p (£1/1l, Asda) 1 tsp mustard, 1p (35p a jar, Sainsburys) 125ml milk, 6p (52p/1l, …

Salmon, Lemon and Pea Pasta, 22p [ITV]

This recipe was adapted from the Creamy Salmon Pasta in A Girl Called Jack – I’ve simplified the cooking method a bit and added a generous fistful of frozen peas to make it even healthier. Serves 4 from 21p per head. Prices calculated at major supermarkets and correct at time of writing. 300g spaghetti, 12p (20p/500g, Asda) 150g salmon paste, 54p (27p/75g jar, Stockwell at Tesco) 60ml milk, 3p (52p/1l UHT, Asda) 200g frozen peas, 14p (68p/1kg, Asda) Lemon juice, 3p, and plenty of black pepper, <1p Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, and add the pasta. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas halfway through to defrost and cook so they’re lovely and tender. While the pasta and peas cook, grab a small bowl, and beat together the salmon paste, milk and lemon juice. Season generously with black pepper. When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Tip the pasta into the pan and coat with the sauce, and …

Chickpea, Carrot & Coriander Falafels [A Girl Called Jack]

This recipe uses tinned chickpeas, but can also use dried chickpeas if you have them available. Dried chickpeas work out cheaper but will need to be soaked in cold water for at least 8 hours before starting the recipe, and then need to be cooked (put in a pan, cover with water and boil vigorously for at least 10 minutes before draining and using). If you have dried chickpeas, use half the quantity of tinned, i.e. 200g. I like to serve the falafels accompanied by couscous made up with vegetable or chicken stock, lemon juice and coriander, and with green beans or another green vegetable. Makes 12ish falafels (4–6 per person) (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 and make a purchase.) 1 onion 1 carrot a generous shake of ground cumin 1 tablespoon oil, plus 2 tablespoons to fry the falafel 1 x 400g tin …

Boxing Day Pasties, 13p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

An ideal place to smuggle leftovers – for today or for the freezer, these pasties are as versatile as the scraps of whatever you have left over from your dinner – just knock up (or buy) a quick shortcrust pastry and you’ll have lunch in a jiffy for not very much at all. This recipe was first featured in my second book, A Year in 120 Recipes. Serves 6 at 13p 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 and make a purchase.) 250g fat (butter, marge, or a combination), 60p (Vitalite, £2.40/kg) 500g plain flour, 18p (55p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) a few teaspoons ice cold water Any quantity of leftovers: finely chopped veg, potatoes, stuffing and a good slug of fresh extra thick gravy   Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. First make the pastry. Dice the butter or marge. Tip the flour into a large mixing …