Leftover-Porridge Pancakes

I never seem to get the porridge quantities quite right in the mornings, and have recently embarked on a series of experiments with teacups and measuring cups, trying to work out the exact amount of oats and water and milk needed to make two small bowls of porridge for two small children – but no matter how carefully calculated, there’s […]

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Minestrone Soup, 19p [VG/V/DF]

I often receive letters and emails from friends, family and readers asking for ideas for cheap lunches. Aside from the ubiquitous cheese sandwich or home made scone-muffin-type-thing and an apple, banana or pear, one of my favourite staple lunches for this time of year is A Good Hearty Soup. And nothing says hearty soup quite like one packed with pasta and beans and chunky vegetables! I’ve been making minestrone soup for so long, I’m amazed it didn’t make it into either of my books – but I guess I’d never taken the time to write the recipe down and think about it too much. It’s one of my staples for a leftover half can of beans or chopped tomatoes, a scraggy little carrot or half an onion in the bottom of the veg drawer, tired greens, and those little broken bits of pasta in the bottom of the bag, or odds and sods of pasta that aren’t quite enough to do anything with. I keep all the last few bits of pasta, and the broken bits, in a large jar, smashed to smithereens – perfect for tossing into soups like this one. Why buy specialty tiny pasta, when you can make your own?! Makes six mug-sized portions or four generous bowlfuls: 1 onion, 6p 2 fat cloves of garlic, 4p 1 carrot, 6p 1 tbsp oil (sunflower or vegetable), 3p 400g tin or carton of chopped tomatoes, 40p 600ml stock […]

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No-eggs little dollar pancakes

Yesterday morning we woke the toddlers with a promise of pancakes for breakfast, one of the small pleasures of the half term holidays being that breakfast can be a more leisurely family affair, rather than a melee of cereals and juice while trying to make packed lunches and brush hair and keep uniforms clean, one eye on the clock watching […]

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Penny Pizzas

I make penny pizzas as way of using up leftovers such as Mamma Jack’s Best Ever Chilli or Lentil Bolognese – but they are just as good topped with a dollop of tomato purée and some grated cheese. Or they are a good way to use up sliced mushy tomatoes that have passed their best and the dry ends of […]

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Courgette, Sultana & Lemon Bread

Courgettes give off quite a bit of liquid when you grate them but don’t worry about draining it off in this recipe because the courgettey water will help to flavour the bread and add moisture. when you will be adding water to a recipe later anyway, it doesn’t make sense to fanny about taking liquid out only to put it […]

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Nutty seedy half-n-half bread.

Regular readers will know that I used to bake a lot of bread, but for one reason or another my bread-baking has fallen by the wayside in recent months. Working away from home a lot, writing a large book, and a very busy work schedule meant it somewhat slipped a few notches down the priority list. But as I made […]

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Garlic jam [VG/V/DF/GF]

This started out as a curious thought in the back of my head – I know garlic softens and sweetens the longer you cook it, so could I make garlic jam? I scribbled some notes based on what little I know about jam making, dug out an old onion marmalade recipe to use as a rough guide, and promptly forgot […]

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Summer odds and ends cooler

This hardly qualifies as a recipe, falling more into the ‘ideas’ camp, but it’s so yummy I just want to share it with you. Basically this morning I was rooting around in the fridge and came across some straggly old mint, a withered half a lemon and a quarter of a cucumber that had gone soggy and soft. Rather than […]

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BABA GHANOUSH

  Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with pitta breads. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome curry, 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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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! Serves 2: 2 aubergines a pinch […]

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NOT-MEATBALLS

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. […]

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MIXED BEAN GOULASH

  I never tire of this quick, simple meal. Originally adapted from a beef goulash recipe, but tweaked and tampered with in the way that all recipes are, it has become a sweet and spicy staple in my household and doesn’t disappoint. I use cheap baked beans in place of haricot beans, as they are simply haricot or borlotti beans […]

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RHUBARB & GINGER SODA BREAD

    Here’s the Rhubarb and Ginger Soda Bread recipe I made for my first ever FoodTube video… Ingredients: 300g flour 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda 200ml milk (semi skimmed, soya, UHT, any milk will do) Juice of half a lemon, or 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice 100g fresh rhubarb 1 tbsp sugar Small piece of fresh ginger First, […]

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MAKE-ME-BETTER MORNING MUG

Scratchy throat, simultaneous blocked and runny nose, muggy head, general air of malaise? Yeah, that was me this morning… So in a bid to banish the heavy cold feeling, I knocked up a large jug of this stuff – and by golly, it worked a treat. If you have an office job, take it to work in a Thermos flask […]

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LOVE MARMALADE

What do you do when you have an abundance of oranges in the house and a Saturday morning to kill? Christened ‘Love Marmalade’ – it certainly was a labour, but of the sticky, delicious, giggly variety. Here’s the recipe we loosely worked from, loosely meaning we talked about it for a week, then eventually halved and gutted and sliced the […]

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CAULI, FENNEL & GARLIC SOUP

This wholesome, earthy soup is packed with flavour from the sweet roasted onions and unmistakable taste of fennel. (Serves 2) 49p a portion 400g cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen, 60p 1 potato, diced, 9p 1 onion, quartered, 9p 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 6p Scant teaspoon of fennel seeds, 5p 2 tbsp oil, 6p 500ml vegetable stock, 2p Preheat the […]

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PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

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 […]

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APPLE CRISPS

I had some finely sliced apple left over from my pancakes this morning, so decided to make some apple crisps for Small Boy to have later in the day as a snack. I only have a mini fridge at the moment, so fridge space is at a premium – thought these were something I could pop in a bag and […]

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LAVENDER TEA

Apologies to my readers that don’t have a lavender bush: I have a tiny one, and I adore it. I have a small garden, but before that relied on my window ledge to grow herbs and other edibles. Now I have that small garden, my motto is I’m not going to grow anything that I can’t eat! So, lavender. Simple, […]

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Reader recipes: Andrew’s spicy lentil and tomato soup

I had this lovely email yesterday, with a delicious soup recipe that sounds perfect for winter lunches or light suppers… If I was making it with what was in the cupboard, i’d use a veg stock cube instead of bouillon and trusty chopped tomatoes, but only because I usually have them kicking around! Thanks Andrew for sharing, I hope you all enjoy this one. Love your website and what you do for budget cooking and food poverty awareness. I made this the other day and it was lovely (and cheap): Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup One small onion One leek One small carrot Tsp olive/sunflower oil 6 medium fresh tomatoes 1 tsp dried organo Tablespoon tomato puree Half tsp cayenne pepper Tablespoon veg bouillon powder (low salt) 200g Red lentils Method Put tomatoes in boiling water. Gently fry finely chopped onion, leek and grated carrot until soft but not brown. Use water from tomatoes to make up veg stock, skin and chop toms. Add toms, oregano, cayenne pepper and puree to pan and fry the mix until soft but not sticking to the pan (about 5 mins). Mash down and bit with potato masher (you can blend if you like smooth soup, I don’t). Add veg stock and bring to the boil. Wash lentils until water is clear and then add to soup. Cook gently until lentils are soft but still intact, add more water, seasoning as necessary. Great with […]

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Ultimate Feisty Soup [VG/V/DF/GF]

Based on my original Feisty Soup recipe, I’ve made myself a batch of this this afternoon to try to combat a very heavy cold. It normally works very well; the chilli blasts the sinuses, the lemon and ginger eases that accompanying stomach ache, the onion and garlic are packed with antioxidants and the carrots and tomatoes deliver a hefty dose of vitamin C… I’d rather have this than Lemsip any day. Ingredients (Makes 4-6 portions) 1 onion 2 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1cm fresh 1 tbsp lemon juice 200g sliced carrots 800g chopped tomatoes with juice 300ml vegetable stock Pinch of dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli Peel and chop the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and add to a large saucepan with the lemon juice. Cook together on a low heat, stirring frequently to disturb and stop them from sticking. When the onion has started to soften, add the tomatoes and drained carrots, and pour the stock over the top. Simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavours and heat through. Remove from heat, and blend using a hand blender or jug blender. Serve hot! Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MxJackMonroe. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack   My new book, Cooking on a Bootstrap, is now available to order HERE. This blog is free to those who need it, and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and keep it running. If you use it and […]

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Mandarin & Poppy Seed Loaf

I like to make this bread in the evening to wind down and de-stress. Kneading the dough for 10 minutes may sound like a long time but it’s very therapeutic to do at the end of the day, and those 10 minutes will go faster than you think! This recipe uses half the mandarin segments from a standard 300g (or […]

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