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PBJ Granola, 8p [VG/V/DF/GF*]

Granola is one of my most favourite breakfasts to have on standby, usually slung in the bottom of an oven that already has something else going on in it, in order to utilise the hot air already swilling around in there to create something else, practically for free, from storecupboard ingredients. My Small Boy loves this with his milk warmed […]

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Come-To-Bed Parmigiana, 74p [VG/V/DF/GF*]

11 months ago today, I turned up to work late, sleepless, an incoherent babbling wreck chewed up by an 18 month landmark court trial and with bright copper dye fading from my wiry, tousled mania of hair. I left my walking stick in the lobby, and limped in to work…to find a hand thrust towards me in a polite gesture of welcome, a smile, a curt hello. She introduced herself. I apologised seven times for my lateness and my pulled-from-a-car-wreck appearance. She was firm and professional, and she smiled at me again. And I felt that selfsame car wreck collide with my solar plexus and toss me down a rabbithole of giddy headspinning highs and that soaring, almost nauseatingly disorienting feeling of time stopping and slowing and turning on its head. I stumbled away, a new crush ablaze across my cheeks and in every tip of my fingers, burning coiled springs in the soles of my feet, a song whispering in the cold, grey, slumbering chamber of my strange little heart. And then I went home, and did what any self respecting 21st century romantic heroine would do; I followed her on Twitter. Fast forward a few weeks and, having established that my paramour was mutually curious, I found myself standing frozen in my kitchen, petrified, with a wooden spoon in my hand, wondering what to cook for her imminent arrival. I settled on this, and it has become eponymous, […]

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Jacket Beetato, 84p (VG/V/DF/GF)

I came across this idea in the food magazine that comes free with the Guardian, by the inimitable and rather wonderful Nigel Slater. I was at my girlfriends house for the weekend, where she helpfully leaves the Guardian magazines in the bathroom for my bathtime viewing pleasure, and scrawled the idea of a whole roasted beetroot in my little blue […]

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Dollar Pancakes, 6p (VG/V/DF)

In case you ever find yourself wanting pancakes, but not having any eggs in the house (or bananas, or chia seeds, or flax seeds, or vegan egg replacer), here’s a cheeky cheaty recipe – because some things are just too good to keep to yourself. Serves 4-6, depending on appetite, from 6p each 150g plain flour, 7p  (65p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) […]

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Crumpets, 6p (VG/V/DF)

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 […]

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Applesauce Pancakes, 17p (VG/V/DF)

Pancakes became something of a tradition in my household when Small Boy started school; our lazy days of laconic love-ins giving way to 6am alarm calls, nervous breakdowns in the morning about where the bloody hell the latest school jumper could possibly be, finding every left shoe in the house and not a single right one. Weekend breakfasts became a […]

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Moussaka, 31p [VG/V/DF/GF*]

 As the granddaughter of a Cypriot immigrant, I know my claim to have made the ‘ultimate’ moussaka is indeed a bold one. My grandfather would laugh in my face at the very notion of this vegan offering being considered anything close to the original, but, being a former chef himself (he once had a restaurant called the BellaPais in Southend, […]

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Aubergine and Kale Satay, 30p [VG/V/DF/GF]

 For Veganuary 2018, I have been trying to recreate near-replicas of popular non-vegan dishes, simply and inexpensively, in order to make the transition easier for people who are trying to reduce their intake of animal products while keeping in some recognisable dishes. I chose aubergine for this because it retains a ‘meaty’ texture when cooked, is succulent and juicy when […]

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Heating or Eating?

Imagine having to choose between having a warm home, or having a meal. Regular readers will know that it is a choice I made almost constantly in 2012 and 2013, unemployed and with benefits frequently suspended and delayed, freefalling into debts from bank charges and rent arrears, and unable to feed myself and my young son, and warm my home. […]

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Katie Hopkins losing her job is nothing to celebrate (unedited version)

Unless you have been on a series of long-haul flights recently, or don’t use social media, you will have heard by now that erstwhile darling of the alleged unheard underdog, purveyer of perversions of truth and justice, and dogwhistle dogmatic, Katie Hopkins, has been unceremoniously given the heave-ho from that bastion of truth and fairness, the Daily Mail. Following a series of carefully manufactured outrage-generating (and ostensibly damaging) ‘articles’, it seems Hopkins has been deemed too much for even a publication whose print sibling has been accused of hounding a transgender teacher to her death, has metaphorically dug up Ed Milibands dead father, and dedicated a whole page of fury to same-sex traffic lights in Oxford Circus (after they had been up for several months, I might add, but months behind is pretty good going for a newspaper still mentally circulating in the 1930s). ‘What would Nelson say?’ the headline exclaimed, clutching its black and white pearls. ‘Kiss me Hardy, I presume’, I mumbled as I turned the page. For the past three days, since the news broke, my timeline, text messages and email inbox have been flooded with messages of congratulations, celebration, and asking me how I feel about it. I steadfastly ignored every one, unwilling to add my voice to the public mix of jubilation. I started to type a ‘hoorah’, but deleted it; it felt hollow, and I didn’t mean it. Having famously taken her to court […]

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5 minute bread, 4p [VG/V/DF]

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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Unicorn Slaw, 18p [VG/V/DF/GF]

This particular recipe doesn’t strictly fall within the ‘bootstrap’ range, owing to its use of ludicrously beautiful blue petals as a finishing touch, but if you’re willing to abandon them, then it’s a different – and simpler – prospect entirely. I try to keep the recipes on this blog to easily accessible ingredients for as many people as possible, but when I posted a photograph of this on Twitter and Instagram, I was inundated with requests for the recipe. Cornflower petals are admittedly a little specialist (once you’ve been cooking for a living for a few years, your shelves do acquire all sorts of oddments…) the more humble kitchen could replace them with chopped parsley or mint for a similar eye-popping colour contrast, without the hit to your wallets. Serves 4 as a side dish at 18p each – including the stupid and entirely unnecessary bright blue flowers A generous handful (100g) of cabbage, kale or spring greens, 14p+ (Sweetheart cabbage 70p/500g, Spring greens 85p/200g and kale £1.20/250g – take your pick!) 1 carrot, 5p (75p/1.5kg, Basics carrots) 1 onion, 9p (80p/1.5kg, Basics onions) 1 beetroot, fresh or pickled, 20p (Vac-packed 80p/250g, fresh £1.65/200g) 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar, 3p (at a push, malt vin will do if you don’t keep the fancy stuff kicking about…), (£1.15/500ml, Sainsburys own) A few pinches of salt, <1p (40p/750g table salt) 1 tsp/4g sugar,<1p  (80p/1kg Fairtrade granulated white sugar) 4 tbsp […]

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