All posts filed under: Lunch

Creamy Chestnut Risotto, 82p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Chestnuts may seem like a bit of a la-di-dah ingredient, but if you can wait until after the Christmas season, you can often find them reduced in supermarkets and their outlet stores as they try to shift their stock to make way for the next seasonal celebration. My best bargain was found by my friend Caroline, who came to see me one morning with half a dozen packets of Merchant Gourmet chestnuts reduced from £2 down to 20p a packet – which would be unfair of me to price them as such in this recipe, but does make it a lot cheaper! This stands up well as a dish in its own right, but also makes a comforting creamy side for sausages and greens, if you want to stretch it out a little further.   (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.) To make it vegan, replace …

St Clement’s Chicken [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I named this one St Clements chicken after the old nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and lemons, sang the bells of St Clements…’ Although I use mandarins in mine, a mere technicality… Serves 4, (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 x whole chicken Zest of 1 lemon 1 x 200g tin of mandarins 75g butter (softened) 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs a fistful of flat-leaf parsley First, preheat your oven to 190C. Then weigh your whole chicken to calculate the cooking time. You need to cook it for 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end. For example, a 1.4kg bird will need just over an hour and 20 minutes in the oven. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and combine it with the drained mandarins, using a fork to break up the …

Microwave Marmite Mac n Cheese, 34p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

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 a lover, just leave it out – or of course, you could always cook your pasta in a stock made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, and we’ll call it quits… Serves 1 from 34p per portion. 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 …

Roasted Carrot, Chickpea & Garlic Soup, 20p

I first made this soup a couple of years ago, a bit snuffly around the edges, with a sore throat and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself, and limping around tragically on a broken left foot. This may be the most self-pitying recipe introduction to date. But basically, I fancied something warm, and sweet, and comforting, and easy to do. Something I could fling in the oven and forget about, and get something good inside. Carrot led to roast carrot, and garlic, and some chickpeas for protein and good measure – and the result is a subtly spiced, hearty, sweet and delicious soup. It’s like the soup equivalent of a cuddle, this one. And suitable for all my lovely vegan readers, too. (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.) Serves 4 at 20p each: 300g carrots (approx 3 medium ones), 13p …

Not-Meatballs [A Girl Called Jack]

These ‘Not Meatballs’ are adapted from a recipe in The Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion cookbook. They are a great veggie alternative to meatballs, and a favourite in my household. Delicious served with spaghetti and tomato sauce – a simple can of chopped tomatoes heated through at the end with a pinch of salt would be a perfect accompaniment. (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.) Serves 2: 1 aubergine 1 onion, red or white a fat clove of garlic 1 red chilli or a pinch of the dried stuff 1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives (optional) 3 tablespoons oil zest and juice of half a lemon, or a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice a slice of bread, stale or fresh a fistful of herbs: parsley, mint, coriander or basil all work well Cut the stems off the ends of the …

Creamy Salmon Pasta, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

This speedy fish supper – really simply a tinkering with a cheap jar of fish paste – takes just a few lazy minutes to put together and tastes absolutely divine. The sharpness of the lemon complements the salmon flavour, and the yoghurt lends a creamy subtlety. When I first put this recipe on my blog, over 100 people tried it, admitting disbelief that such simple ingredients could make such a yummy meal – but it does! (For vegan and veggie readers, this recipe was published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014 – I have simply updated the prices for accuracy.) (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.) Serves 2 from 34p each: 150g pasta, 9p (30p/500g) 1 large onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried, <1p a fistful of parsley, optional 1 tablespoon oil, 2p (£1.20/1l) zest and …

Mushroom, Lentil & Ale Pie, 37p [Tin Can Cook]

This pie came about because firstly, I adore pie. It was my pregnancy craving, steak pie followed by cherry or apple pie. I would buy packets of Mr Kipling and polish them off by the half dozen. Something about the crumbling, yielding collapse of the pastry, the hot-or-cold, sweet-or-savoury, the lingering lubrication, satiation, of a layer of fat and gravy disappearing down my greedy gullet. I make a pie most weeks, more so since cooking vegan food than ever before. This particular pie came from a longing for something ‘meaty’, but not meat, of course. A hearty, wholesome, dark and brooding pie that would fool even the hardiest of carnivores. And so I rolled up my sleeves, and I got to work. (For the record, my friend Phil, the only ‘man’ I call when I need heavy stuff hulking about and my erstwhile recipe guinea pig, sat in my kitchen and scoffed half of it in one sitting. Phil is absolutely, definitely not a vegan, but I’m working on him.) Serves 6 comfortably, or 8 …

Crumpets, 6p [from ‘Veganish’]

I very rarely advocate the use of specialist equipment in my recipes, but there is simply no way to make a crumpet without the use of an egg poaching ring. I retired mine when I went vegan, and had to properly search through my kitchen to find them again, but it was worth it. I picked mine up for £1 from a well known hardware and home store, and they have lasted a good few years so far, so I consider them a worthy investment. You could make a giant crumpet in a frying pan, I suppose, but it would be mighty ambitious. They take a little practise and patience, both of which I sorely lack, and I spent an entire day perfecting this recipe, which is virtually unheard of in my slapdash, quickfire kitchen, so enjoy them. There is an ongoing debate about whether they are best eaten for dinner, supper, breakfast, lunch, or tea – let me know when you have yours in the comments below! (This post is not sponsored; I provide …

Keralan Aubergine Curry

One of my favourite restaurants in Southend specialises in Keralan cuisine – and when I couldn’t afford it but really wanted a rich, spicy curry, I decided to make my own version. Aubergines are comparitively expensive to buy individually, so look out for the bags of three or four, and eat them all week! (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.) Serves 2: 2 aubergines a pinch of salt 1 onion a fat clove of garlic 2 tablespoons oil 1 red chilli or a pinch of the dried stuff 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 tsp cumin (ground or seeds) 1/4 tsp English mustard zest and juice of half a lemon, or a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice 1 x 400g carton of chopped tomatoes a fistful of coriander, to serve Cut the stems from the ends of the aubergines, and pierce the skin …

Gigantes Plaki, 65p [A Girl Called Jack]

I’m heading back to my Mediterranean roots with this simple but delicious dish. I can have it for dinner, then lunch the next day and pulse any leftovers into a soup. It makes me chuckle to see these spicy butterbeans retailing for almost £5 per pot in certain supermarkets, when they’re really just bigger, better baked beans. You can either soak dried beans overnight in cold water – which means they will need to be drained, rinsed and boiled vigorously for 10 minutes separately to the sauce – or use a tin of ready-prepared butter beans, which is more expensive but more convenient. If cooking with dried butter beans, use only 150g. Serves 2 from 65p 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. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 2 …

Perfect Yorkshire Puddings, 8p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

The trick to making perfect Yorkshire puddings is to get the fat really hot before you spoon in the batter. Then, once they’re in, resist the urge to open the oven door or you risk ending up with flaccid puds, and that’s just a tragedy.   Makes 6 in muffin tins or 1 large tin to divide between you! From 8p 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. 2 tablespoons oil, 3p (£1.10/1l) 125g flour, 4p (45p/1.5kg) a pinch of salt (27p/750g) 1⁄2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional), 2p 2 eggs, 30p (89p/6 free range) 150ml milk, 8p (55p/1l)   First preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Drop a little oil into the bottom of each muffin tin, or the whole lot into a large tin, and stick …

Oh My God Dinner, 28p [A Girl Called Jack]

Oh My God Dinner (or, ‘I Was Going To Make Pasta Alla Genovese And Then I Remembered That Sodding Courgette Rolling Around In My Fridge…’) 55p for 2 portions, or just under 28p 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.) 70g bacon, 11p (£1.09/670g) 1 chilli (free, grows on my window ledge) 80g spaghetti, 6p (39p/500g) Fistful each parsley, mint, basil (free, grows on my window ledge) 10ml lemon juice, 2p (60p/250ml) 50g green beans, 7p (£1.40/kg, frozen) 20g Brie, 11p (£1.09/200g) 1 garlic clove, 3p (46p for 2 bulbs with average 8 cloves each) 1/2 courgette, 15p (£1.80/kg, 6 in my bag) Chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the sauté pan with the lemon juice (10ml is 2 teaspoons), diced courgette and chopped chilli. Cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally to turn. In the meantime, break …

Brie & Bacon Risotto, 26p [A Girl Called Jack]

While testing recipes for my book this week, it was inevitable that I would start to put leftover ingredients together to come up with accidental dishes. This speedy and satisfying late lunch was born of some scraps of cooking bacon left over from Spring Piggy, and some sad looking Brie from the Courgette and Brie gratin. I have been criticised in the past by online commenters for using ‘posh cheese’ on a limited budget, but at £1.09 for 200g, a rich flavour, and creamy versatility, I find a hunk of Brie far more satisfying for my stomach and my wallet than plain old cheddar any day. Besides – I can’t get £1.09 of cheddar from my local supermarket anyway… (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.) (Serves 2 at 26p/portion. Prices Sainsburys Basics, July 2013) 100g cooking bacon, 16p (£1.09/670g) 1/2 an …

Soda Bread, 38p [A Girl Called Jack]

You have a natural, free breadmaker in your palms and your knuckles – and this easy recipe with no proving or rising time is a great place to start. A lot of soda bread recipes use wholemeal flour, salt and buttermilk or yoghurt – but true to my usual style, I’ve pared it back to the basics (although you can add 1 teaspoon of salt to the flour if you like). However, basic doesn’t mean disappointing. This is gorgeous served warm with red fruit jam or butter, or dunked into hearty soups and stews. It goes without saying that it’s one of my favourite and most tried-and-tested recipes. Makes 1 small loaf for 38p. (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.) juice of ½ a lemon or 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice, 5p (£1/500ml) 300ml semi-skimmed milk, 17p (55p/1l) 400g self-raising flour, plus …

Ultimate Lasagne, 35p [from ‘Veganish’]

This beautiful lasagne barely needs an introduction, as when I posted it on my Instagram, it received rapturous demands for the recipe. Good things come to those who wait, and here it is. Making lasagne from scratch is always a bit of a fanny, so I have deliberately made this recipe enormous so you can freeze it in portions for a quick ready meal, to make all of the work involved worthwhile by rewarding yourself with days where you won’t have to cook. Simply portion it into foil containers with those cardboard lids (around 8 for £1 from most supermarkets and factory outlet type stores, and reusable dozens of times if you wash them carefully) and pop into the freezer for a lazy day. For those of you who don’t have wine kicking about the place or don’t want to slosh it into your dinner, simply add stock or extra tomatoes in place of it. I have opted not to put cheese on mine, but you can if you want – for my vegan readers, …