Soffritto, 19p

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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)

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  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*)

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  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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Applesauce bread-cake (V), 9p

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    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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Mushroom Rogan Josh, 26p (V)

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Last night I fancied a curry, a nice hot curry to warm the very cockles of my draughty flat, but like so many evenings of the dreaded ‘cooking for one’, I just couldn’t decide what curry to have. I opened the fridge, glowered at a bunch of onions and a handful of mushrooms, and took to Twitter with a poll. […]

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Beetballs! 6p each. (V)

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 These beetballs are based on a beetroot burger recipe from Lee Watson’s incredible vegan recipe book, Peace And Parsnips. If you follow my social media, you might have seen me evangelise about this book once or twice; in fact, such is my vim and vigour for this beautiful culinary bible that I put it on the desks of the country’s […]

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2 ingredient coconut hot chocolate, 9p

   The idea for this came after midnight on a very cold November evening. In my current home, I sleep on a sofa bed in a bay beneath a set of single-glazed louvre windows – you know, the kind with the slats that overlap but don’t quite meet. Which means when the temperature drops, my goodness I know about it. I’m not complaining, though, as I love my small, beautiful, idiosyncratic home; it just means that one of the last things I do of an evening is curl into bed with the hottest drink imaginable and burrow under my duvet. And so, with no milk in the house of any kind, but half a block of coconut cream in the cupboard, this was born. I made a big batch, seeing the weather was only going to get colder, it’s good to be prepared for this sort of thing. Makes around 8-10 portions: at 9p each 100g dark chocolate , 35p (Sainsburys Basics) 100g coconut cream , 45p (Sainsburys, 200g/90p) First take the smallest saucepan you have, and fill with barely two inches of water. Pop a mixing bowl over the top, and bring it to the boil. Break up your chocolate and add to the bowl, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir as the chocolate melts. If it starts to split (usually because water has touched the bottom of the bowl and scorched your poor choccy), simply add a […]

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Smoky Dogs (VEGAN), 10p

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On Thursday, I got a text message from my best friend asking if I wanted to meet for lunch and casually mentioning that it was National Hot Dog Day. Normally I side-eye those National Something Days but heck, National Hot Dog Day? There’s something I can get behind with aplomb. Gusto. Unfettered enthusiasm. And sausages. I’ve been making vegetarian sausages […]

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Tummy tea, 3p

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It’s been almost a week now since I fell ill at Ballymaloe literary festival on Friday night – festival-goers hopefully didn’t notice my decidedly below-par sluggishness under a professional veneer of an inch of makeup and a litre of strong sugary tea, as I was there to work and didn’t want to let anyone down by cancelling any events at […]

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Live Below The Line: Day 4 breakfast, 14p

This breakfast is so simple it hardly needs a recipe, but in ‘normal life’ it’s one of my favourite quick breakfasts anyway, so as soon as I had the peaches in my basket and realised the breakfast potential, I started looking forward to this. Imagine if the grapefruit had been in stock, I would have denied myself the small pleasure of tucking into this this morning – funny how things work out.   I used 80g from my rapidly-diminishing 500g natural yoghurt, which came in at 9p (the yoghurt was 55p for 500g in the Monday shop) and 50g of peaches, which worked out at 5p (they were 40p for 411g). So all in, a 14p breakfast that wasn’t as big as I’d have liked it to be, but I’m rationing remaining ingredients now – if I’m careful I can have this again as a snack or dessert today or tomorrow!  So far, with the generosity of friends and readers, I’ve raised £3,768 for Street Child United by doing this challenge – nearly double my target, and quite overwhelmed at all of the support and kindness. If you haven’t donated or want to check the page out, head over to http://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/agirlcalledjack Jack Monroe. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MsJackMonroe

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Live Below The Line Day 3 Dinner: Broccoli stalk and yoghurt soup, 29p

Day three, dinner three, sees me over the middle hump of this year’s Live Below The Line challenge. In previous years, I’ve found myself at the end of the week with the scraps and scrag-ends of my £5-for-5-days food shop, exhausted, cranky, and willing it to be over as I try to be inventive with whatever bits and pieces there are left. I’m trying not to let that happen too much this year; in the same way I gently encourage my 5 year old not to leave the ‘green veg’ on his plate until the end for a dragged-out, miserable dinner experience (if anyone finds the answer as to why small boys are totally happy to eat their own bright green bogies and lick their radioactive-looking snot from their noses but abhor anything green that might be good for them, please, I’m dying to know) – I decided to shoehorn some of the ‘scraps’ into the week, rather than drag my heels and pouty lower lip all the way to Friday. So here we are, Wednesday, and a broccoli stalk soup. Rather this than the mushy peas, anyhow, that are glaring at me passive-aggressively from the worktop and filling me with fear. I decided to dice and slightly char the broccoli stalk – there’s no real knowledge or science behind this decision, I just figured it needs all the help it can get to take it from ‘thing I would […]

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Whoa F*ck Dressing, 7p

A dark and ominous salty sweet kicking joyride for my tastebuds that absolutely deserves its profane name...

This came about as most of my favourite things do, with a musing to myself about something I’d eaten recently and a wonder if I could recreate something like it. The ‘something’ in this case was a jar of Tonkotsu’s ‘Eat The Bits’ chilli oil given to us by Emma Reynolds of Tonkotsu fame, but it was polished off weeks […]

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Three day beef stock, 12p

Three day stock... A friend on Instagram commented it looked good enough to drink, to which I sheepishly confessed I had been doing just that... Patience is a virtue, good stock is your reward...

First, a disclaimer about the perceived profligacy of a three day stock: this was accidental, as I am a busy and unorganised soul. On Tuesday when I decided to make beef stock from the forerib bones and scraps of beef left from Sunday’s lunch, I didn’t imagine it would be a half-week affair. I started making stock, turned it off […]

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Ham, Pea & Mint Casserole, 30p.

Photo by Susan Bell, for A Girl Called Jack.

This delicious ham casserole is adapted from a favourite old recipe of mine – where I would boil the ham joint whole to make a stock, before shredding it into the casserole. This faster version is no compromise, making a delicious hearty dinner in less than half the time. For an extra special twist, serve with crusty bread topped with […]

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Cabbage griddle scones, 13p

Photograph by Susan Bell, from A Girl Called Jack.

Griddle scones can be a simple weekend breakfast to make those lazy weekend mornings feel special and luxurious. Although these are extraordinarily easy to make, when I taste the sweet crunch of fried greens with melted butter or see a mixing bowl and spoon in the washing-up pile I feel like I’ve achieved something, even if it’s almost midday. I […]

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Colcannon, 25p

Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe made with kale, spring greens or cabbage – depending on what you have available. (I generally have kale kicking about, for those controversial kale pestos and the occasional grimacing penitence of a green juice on ‘the mornings after the nights before…’) Colcannon was a staple of my childhood but my mother, born and raised in Belfast, simply called it ‘champ’ – readers have been in touch in droves to explain the differences between the two, and Mum’s seemed to be a hybrid depending on what we had in the veg drawer. We used to eat it with a pile of sausages and gravy, and fought over seconds. Serve with sausages, chicken or eat as it is straight from the pot. The quantities are easily doubled, for larger families or appetites. Serves 2 as a side dish at 25p each 350g white potatoes (fresh or tinned – I use tinned as they’re FAR cheaper, AND already cooked), 20p a handful of kale (30g), 15p ½ an onion (100g), 6p a generous knob of butter (25g), or more to taste, 9p If using fresh potatoes, wash and dice them. If using tinned potatoes, drain and leave them whole. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, pop the potatoes in and simmer until super-tender – 20 minutes for fresh potatoes, 5 minutes for tinned ones. Finely chop the cabbage, greens or kale and peel and finely […]

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