Caribbean style chilli, 28p [VEGAN]

Winter is coming, the time of year where perpetual colds and snuffles are imminent, the nights draw in darker, and I start to crave a little bit of heat and spice. Usually I spend my winters making long slow curries, but, ambling around the Caribbean section of a supermarket I don’t usually manage to get to, I started to rifle […]

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5 minute bread, 4p (VEGAN)

On Thursday morning, off school and recovering from surgery, my Small Boy announced he wanted ‘dippy bread’ for breakfast. Bread with something to dip it into, I surmised. Seems fair enough; who doesn’t enjoy dunking warm bread into something soft and viscous, and ramming it in their gob? I made a yoghurt dip and whipped the last nights leftover roasted […]

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Sunny broth, 19p

This beautiful, bold, soup is full of goodness and vitamins and vitality, and reminds me of a gentle, grandmotherly hug. It’s a brightening tonic, a perky pick-me-up, and a simple sushine injection for a hangover or a cold or a bluesy day. You can blend it all together for a more substantial meal, but here I have strained it for […]

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Tw*tbreads, 4p

I joke that ninety-seven percent of the spontaneous conversations that my friends start with me – especially mid afternoon or early in the evening – are panicked cookery conundrums, photographs of burned pans, musings about what to have for dinner based on photographs of their kitchen cupboards, or emergency cake queries. This afternoon was no exception.  It started off innocently […]

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Tomatoey baba ghanoush, 30p (VEGAN)

Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with flatbreads or pitta. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome supper, or toss it through pasta with fresh mint for an easy lunch. I highly recommend cooking the aubergines over an open flame for a deep, smoky intensity – I hold mine […]

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Brown bread ice cream, 24p

I first discovered brown bread ice-cream in an old copy of Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, and as an avid maker of simple ice-cream and brown bread, decided to combine my two recipes. You don’t need an ice-cream maker for this one, I don’t own one. If you have an electric whisk or cake mixer, it will come in handy, but you can make this without – you just need a little patience and a firm hand.  Makes around 8 portions at 24p each. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, and correct at time of writing.  100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (40p/800g loaf, Basics) 200ml milk, 9p (44p/litre) 3 egg yolks, 56p (£2.30/12 eggs, free range) 100g sugar, 8p (80p/kg, Fairtrade) 300ml double cream, £1 (£1/300ml) A fistful of sultanas, 10p (£1/400g, Basics) For the topping: 2 tsp breadcrumbs  1 tsp sugar, <1p (80p/1kg, Fairtrade) Few pinches ground cinnamon, <1p (80p/100g, Natco) Soak your bread in a little milk and stand to one side for an hour or so. Separate your eggs – I pour my whites into a jar and use them for meringues, egg-white omelettes and egg-fried rice – and beat the yolks in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat well. Pour in the cream and whisk until the mixture has almost doubled in size. Run a finger through: it should feel airy, light and fluffy, and not fall off […]

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Whirlybuns, 11p

These little weighty wistful whirls of whimsy came about entirely by accident. I was going to stay with friends in Manchester for the weekend, to all fling our small boys at one another for a raucous time, and I never like to accept hospitality empty handed. So, I set about making a hulking great fruit bread big enough to energise […]

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Tofu Shashlik, 51p (VEGAN)

I ordered a rare takeaway last week, having spent 2 days gutting and cleaning my school-holidays-ravaged house from top to bottom, exhausted, and unwilling to mess up my kitchen having spent 17 hours in a pair of marigolds and mostly on my knees. They had a fairly decent range for us herbivores, but I found myself hankering after a shashlik. […]

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Moonshine Mash, 17p

This recipe came around completely by accident, as so many of the best of them do. I was recovering from a throat infection and hankering for something soft and soothing, so started to make myself a pile of mashed potatoes. And then, one of my readers sent me a recipe from the New York Times for a buttery polenta topped […]

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Mushroom mac n’ cheese, 42p

This is one of my favourite comfort meals, quick to assemble, using ingredients that I generally have kicking about the house, and can just be slung in the oven and forgotten about, left to slowly pull itself together in a haze of blissful creamy soft salty rich glorious goodness. I’ve just polished off my second bowl of it, and frankly, […]

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Soffritto, 19p

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)

  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*)

  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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Self-Love Stew (V)

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

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

    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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