All posts filed under: Snacks & Treats

Ginger and Chestnut Pudding, 64p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

My household is going to be very busy over Christmas this year – with various family and extended family members coming to stay, and dozens more popping in over the season, which I am hugely looking forward to, because feeding people is one of the things I love to do the most. But Christmas Pudding is a divisive dessert; and when I asked my guests how they feel about it, reactions ranged from mildly unenthusiastic, to downright disgust. ‘You’ve never had my Christmas pudding’, I attempted to say, but nobody wanted to hear it. It was Stir-Up Sunday, and I was puddingless. And as much as I fancy my chances at eating an entire basin of dense, treacley pudding myself, it’s probably not the best idea. So I took my standard, trusty Christmas pudding recipe, and I tweaked it and fiddled with it until I ended up with this. Mrs J is allergic to almonds, so I used chestnuts instead. I didn’t want the heady boozy tang of the usual brandy, so I replaced it …

Vegan Nut Roast, 42p

I have made over a hundred variations on this nut roast since meeting Mrs J, who, along with my mother in law, is a lifelong vegetarian. This festive version is one of our favourites – and I make enough to share with the carnivores at our table, because everyone invariably wants a bit! (I’m typing this on my phone on the way out of the BBC Woman’s Hour studios where I realised in a panic that I had just banged on for 15 minutes about my nut roast but hadn’t published the sodding recipe anywhere, so please forgive any spelling errors or whatnot). Serves 8 from 42p each 200g mixed shelled nuts, 70p (70p/200g, Asda) 180g vacuum packed chestnuts, £2.25 1 tbsp oil (£1/1l, Asda) A pinch of salt, <1p 1 large onion, finely chopped, 9p (60p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 4 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped, 6p (50p/3 bulbs, Asda) 6 tbsp sage and onion stuffing mix, 15p (38p/170g, Asda) 4 tbsp cranberry sauce or marmalade, 5p (27p/454g, Smartprice at Asda) 100ml apple or …

Mulled Rich Fruit Tea, 31p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

I have tried many times to recreate a decent mulled ‘wine’ that is alcohol-free – because despite what legend may otherwise tell you, boiling alcohol doesn’t eliminate it completely, it just reduces it – and by how much is so comprehensively variable that I dare not even try to tackle it. Mulling alcohol-free red wine would seem like the obvious choice, but I’m yet to find one that stands up to the challenge. If you know of a good, jammy Shiraz in the alcohol-free section, do let me know! Until then, this experiment with my slow cooker has proved to be the favourite; the deep smoke from the slow-brewed Lapsang and the dark, juicy fruit flavours combine with the traditional mulling spices to make a hot, rich, grown-up drink, without the headache. Some of the ingredients may seem a little odd – so let me explain. The ginger and sultanas are to replace the traditional ginger wine that forms the base of mulled wine. Ginger wine is made from raisins and ginger, so I simply …

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 …

Spiced Vegan Banana Bread, 11p

I almost had the audacity to call this recipe ‘Christmas-spiced Banana Bread’ as I am currently testing some new recipes for a December project (more on that below) but I didn’t think I could cope with the outrage of the Internet if I dared use the C-word halfway through September. So instead, euphemistically, this is an Autumn-spiced banana bread, warming, comforting, and pull-your-jumper-around-you warming delicious bliss. Based on the vegan banana bread recipe from A Girl Called Jack, but better. For best results you will need a small powerful blender to grind the spices into the sugar; I have used this one for years and absolutely swear by it as a blender, smoothie maker, curry paste machine and spice grinder, so it’s worth a look. And a third of the price of it’s hifalutin equivalent… Serves 6 very generously at 11p 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 …

Peanut Butter & Banana Superpower Muffins, 10p

What do you do when you have a pile of black bananas sitting in the fruit bowl? I don’t even know how this happens – I generally work from home, bananas are my go-to snack because I can reach them and don’t have to do anything except peel them and shove them in. Sometimes they get sliced and flung in the oven to make dried bananas for the kids, sometimes I whizz them with yoghurt, milk and oats for a breakfast smoothie, but today I fancied neither of those things. It’s freezing. And raining a bit. And I’m a bit tired and gloomy. What I wanted, was to make those black and mushy bananas into Baked Goods. I started with these, as I’m a peanut butter fanatic…and as I started jotting down ideas, I thought, I wonder if I can make them flour less… And vegan… And thus, with a bit of science and substitution, the vegan oat peanut butter banana power muffin was born. So so so soft and subtly sweet and delicious that …

Quick ‘n’ Hot Banana Pot, 18p

It would be remiss of me not to include this ‘not really a recipe’, as I have eaten it almost every day since the microwave project began. It came around by accident, like so many of these things do – I was trying to make banana chips in the microwave and ended up with a hot banana mush… Undeterred, I scraped it up with a spoon and sighed to myself in a small blissful moment, at my accidental mid morning dessert hot, sweet, meltingly soft banana. The next day, I sliced the banana straight into a ramekin dish – all thought of banana chips banished now, I had to have this again. By day three, I was stirring in two squares of dark chocolate. It’s quick, simple, naughty, delicious, virtuously vegan and a dessert I definitely wouldn’t mind feeding to the kids…if only I can relinquish my sudden fierce ownership of Every Banana In The House… Serves 1: (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can …

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, 3p

Last night I found myself with an urge for chocolate chip cookies. I was a bit miserable, the gas meter was running out (and even more so by the time I type this…), my tiny flat was cold and I was generally feeling a little bit grouchy and blue. Usual distractions don’t apply – I don’t own a television and nor do I have broadband to distract myself from the occasional bout of gloom (I run this blog from the internet on my mobile phone!) These are choices I have made for myself, because I am still fearful of long term financial contracts, especially as a freelance writer, especially in insecure rented accommodation in the first few months of my contract. So when it comes to mood-boosters, my options are somewhat limited. So, cookies. I put a rallying cry on Twitter, as the wonderful people who follow me are often so very generous at sharing their favourite recipes and ideas when I feel in need of inspiration – most recently inundated with over 100 recipes …

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Sometimes I make things that I love so much, I savour them slowly, wondering how I’ll ever bring myself to eat anything else again. This is one of those moments – one of those silent moments of appreciative bliss when I go all When Harry Met Sally about food. (Although this time, it’s a drink.) This time, it’s Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. (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.) Ingredients (makes one mug, easily, dangerously doubled): 50ml water 3 squares of chocolate 1 heaped tablespoon of peanut butter 150ml milk (for vegans, almond milk is amazing in this, for an extra smooth nutty flavour…) This is really simple. Pop the water and peanut butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Stir well until the chocolate and peanut butter have melted and form a glossy, sticky paste. Add …

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 …

Lemon Curd Sponge Puddings, 24p [A Girl Called Jack]

Luckily for me, as I shop very carefully, I have most of the ingredients for this in the cupboard at all times. Unluckily for my jeans, that means I’m never more than thirty-two minutes away from a cake… This is a simple, classic, sticky treat, that Small Boy and myself enjoy every now and again. They also freeze well, so I make four – we have one each, and pop the remaining two in the freezer. If you don’t have pudding tins, then a deep muffin tray will do the job just as well, but may make six smaller desserts instead. 95p for 4 or 24p 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.) 100g self raising flour, 4p (65p/1.5kg) 70g butter, 34p (£1.20/250g) 2 eggs, 44p (£2.65/12 free range) 50g sugar, 5p (89p/kg) Splash of lemon juice, 2p (60p/250ml) 8 heaped …

Peanut Butter Granola, 8p

I first made this for myself as I love peanut butter in the mornings, but not having a toaster, popping bread under the grill inevitably goes wrong when you have a child to get washed and socked and shoed in the mornings – so I cobbled this together and bunged it in a big jar. Perfect with hot milk, or cold, or even pop it in the microwave for a minute for a warm, soft, stodgy, comforting start to your day. There are endless variations to this too, just add a good oil, like coconut, in place of the peanut butter to hold your oats together (oo-er) and the possibilities are endless. I recommend dark chocolate with toasted or ground almonds if the purse stretches. Dark chocolate and marmalade is similar to a famous round chocolate orange in a bright blue box, and for breakfast, such fun! Golden syrup can be replaced with treacle, sugar, or any sweetening agent of your choice. If you feel like erring on the side of virtuous, chop a banana …

White Chocolate Tea Bread, 9p [A Girl Called Jack]

This came about because I LOVE chocolate-chip brioche – so I decided to try to make some chocolate-chip bread as a replacement. Unfortunately, though, the chocolate chips all melted into the dough as I added warm water and I ended up with this Chocolate Tea Bread instead – but it was still delicious! Then I experimented with tea and white chocolate and stumbled on something heavenly. Bliss! Makes 1 small loaf to serve 6 people from 9p 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. 275g self-raising flour, plus extra to knead the dough, 8p (45p/1.5kg) 7g fast-acting dried yeast, 7p (£1/100g) 50g sugar, 3p (69p/kg) 100g white chocolate, 30p 25g butter or baking block, plus extra to grease the loaf tin, 6p 150ml boiling water with a tea …

Marmite, Peanut Butter & Honey Popcorn, 11p [Good Food For Bad Days]

This came about by accident; I couldn’t decide between peanut butter and marmite popcorn, or peanut butter and honey, so on a whim I decided to amalgamate all three. And good lord, I have no regrets about it at all. The tang of marmite, earthiness of the peanut butter and the sweet stickiness of the honey are a triumvirate of absolute bliss – Caroline and I polished off the bowl faster than I could say ‘How many should this serve? Four? Oh. Us.’ To make this vegan, replace the honey with golden syrup, or other thick liquid sweetener of your choice. Serves four. Allegedly. From 11p per portion. (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.) 80g corn kernels, 16p (£1/500g) 2 tbsp/32g peanut butter, 7p (70p/340g) 2 tbsp/42g honey, 12p (£1.24/425g) 1 tbsp butter or light cooking oil, 2p (£1.09/1l) 1 tsp/5g marmite, 5p (£2.70/250g) – cheaper …

Apple, Pear and Sultana Baked Oats, 29p

I love to start the week for my little family with slightly luxurious breakfasts when time permits, but I’m currently on a book deadline and have been at my desk since 0630 this morning. However, this pudding-for-breakfast takes mere seconds to assemble, and tastes like love, and goodness, and a comforting blast of warmth on a slightly chilly morning. Mrs J and Small Boy were delighted, and I took the remains of the tin back to my desk to nibble on as I worked. Although decadent tasting, these oats contain three of your five a day (two if sharing between three, because, maths) – not bad for the work of a moment!  To make it vegan, or dairy free, simply replace the milk with a plant-based milk of your choice. I can highly recommend Alpro Soya Vanilla for this – my son’s favourite! To make it gluten-free, swap the oats for gluten-free oats. Serves two or three, from 29p each. (I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate …