All posts filed under: News

Top 5 Tips For Eating Healthily On A Budget (and the limitations)

On Sunday, after the Government announced new measures to attempt to tackle the correlation between poverty and obesity, I found myself suddenly on the end of literally dozens of enquiries from journalists and reporters, asking me for a response to the news. I couldn’t get around to all of them; but wrote this for BBC News on the hidden complexities of attempting a one-size-fits-all strategy, and my top five tips for eating well on a low budget. There are many complex reasons why cooking and eating healthily on a low budget can present a challenge for people, and unless you have lived that life, some of them can be unimaginable. Some people have complex dietary needs, such as coeliac disease, IBS, lupus, or other illnesses that lead to digestive complications. Autoimmune diseases do not discriminate by salary; people who live in poverty do have to contend with them too. In other circumstances, people may lack cooking facilities, in houses of multiple occupancy, student halls, domestic abuse and homelessness shelters. They may have shoddy landlords renting …

My Ready Meal Is None Of Your Business.

Tonight, scrolling through Twitter, I came across a frankly audacious message sent from the ‘Bath Conservatives’ account, that had tagged me in. Unfortunately this is not an account dedicated to the frugal recycling of your dirty wash water, more’s the pity, but the haphazard and misfiring musings from the anonymous social media person for the Bath branch of the Conservative Party. You might have heard of them. They’re the ones in Government right now, and have been for around eight years now. These Conservatives decided, in their wisdom, to uphold me as an example of someone who could cook well on a meagre budget. Put like that, you may wonder why I exploded in cold fury. They said: “Indolent or disfunctional parents… simply don’t know how to feed their children well. If…Jack Monroe could feed herself and her child for £10 a week…most people can.” I exploded. I have lived, waiting in fear for this moment, for almost six years. Waiting, to be upheld as some kind of justification for the deepest incisions of Conservative …

BBC2: Election Blind Dates with Jack Monroe and Georgia Toffolo

“What happens when two strong-minded individuals from opposite sides of the political debate sit down for dinner? To find out, the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme organised a series of election blind dates for the general election campaign. Made in Chelsea star Toff, real name Georgia Toffolo, says she had a privileged background and is a Conservative Party member. Political campaigner and food blogger Jack Monroe, who at one time was unemployed and unable to afford food, has been a member of several parties, including the Labour Party. They went into the meal without knowing who they would be meeting. But did they get on?” – From the BBC website, written by Emma Ailes and John Harrison for the Victoria Derbyshire Programme.

Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them.

This piece started after an article in the Independent about the top 10 foods that we apparently throw away in the UK. I took to Twitter to ask people what usually ended up in their bin, and then spent a whole day and night answering hundreds of queries – some of them came up a lot, like bread and mushrooms, and some were rather more surprising, like ‘half a jar of caviar’ (not a problem I can say I have ever had, but I am here to help, and inverse snobbery is as ghastly as the original kind so please, resist the urge.) I have compiled them all here as an A-Z, and will keep this list going, and add to it regularly, as a handy reference point – so keep checking back! And add your own tips at the bottom, our ‘hive mind’ is a much better thing than my admittedly limited experience!! Also remember you can always use the search bar on the blog to find recipe ideas too, for that stray carrot, …

I can't even open my own front door.

This is an article that I wrote for the Guardian in December that I didn’t post on my blog, because I hadn’t done anything ‘political’ on here for so long that I didn’t want to scare people away. But I am who I am, and this is a very big part of who I am, so if you’re here for just the cheap recipes, then I make no apology for talking a little about why I started writing them in the first place. TRIGGER WARNINGS: Anxiety, trauma, mental health, PTSD, debt, poverty. My head in my hands, choking out words, tears rushing down hot, humiliated cheeks, I raised my head to look at the array of varying expressions looking back from the other side of the room; a Labour MP, two Conservative peers, and a Conservative MP looked back, a mixture of horror and sympathy as I publicly crashed and burned. Fear and humiliation and self-loathing leaping on me like a set of hyenas, as I sobbed: “I can’t even answer my telephone, any more. …

Jack Monroe, ITV This Morning

Cauli Mac-N-Cheese [A Year In 120 Recipes]

This is part mac ‘n’ cheese, part cauliflower cheese, and deliciously golden and moreish with some crispy bacon thrown in for good measure. Baking it at the end to melt the cheese isn’t essential, but oh, it’s so good. It’s a quicker method than the traditional ‘melt some butter and flour to make a roux then thin with a little milk’ – but with pretty much the same end results. You know me, I like to keep things simple, but if the thought of not making a ‘real white sauce’ distresses you, then melt a tablespoon of butter over a low heat with a scant level tablespoon of flour, mix well to form a thick paste, thin with a little milk, stir until smooth, add more milk, toss in the cheese, melt, and remove from the heat and set to one side until you need the saucy bit. I find (personally) that the eggs thicken the mixture and a good whack in the oven finishes it off, but hey, there’s many roads up the mountain …