All posts tagged: blog

Pangrattato Al Pomodoro, 31p [VEGAN]

Firstly, a confession. This recipe is a twist on an Italian classic, Pappa al Pomodoro, which is essentially a bread-crust and tomato soup, with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sometimes garlic and basil or rosemary, depending on whose recipe you consider to be sacred. This version eschews the traditional, using dried stuffing crumbs to replace the bread and herbs. But Stuffing Crumb And Tomato Puree Soup didn’t seem like a particularly appetising recipe name, so I translated it into Italian as a nod to the original. Serves 1, from 31p, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.) First peel and finely slice your onion, and set to one side for a moment. Measure the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one, and warm it for a moment on a medium heat before adding the onion. Season with a little black pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Quarter your tomatoes and add those too – when …

Vegan Rainbow Dhansak, 31p

Authentic dhansak recipes that I’ve found sometimes include tamarind sauce or fresh tamarind, which I didn’t have to hand, so I replicated the slightly sour note with a dash of lemon juice instead. I am aware that I am extremely lucky to have found this particular bag of stir fry veg so cheaply, but I am often asked by readers what to do with them that isn’t a stir fry, so when I swagged this one from the markdown chiller today I thought it an ideal opportunity to address this particular conundrum. If you don’t have a similar bargain to hand, you can make similar by adding roughly equal amounts of red and green cabbage, thinly sliced or thickly grated carrot, and some sweetcorn. Or use whatever veg you have to hand, of course. If serving between four, this recipe contains four of your five a day. It keeps in the fridge forum to three days, or in the freezer for three months. Reheat to piping hot before serving – it is not advised to …

Cheesy Tuna, Courgette & Mushroom Gratin, 65p

This recipe is a riff on the Courgette, Tomato and Brie Gratin from A Girl Called Jack, with some extra veg and protein added, and mushrooms for Vitamin D as the darker evenings draw in. You can use pretty much any veg you like in this; I toyed with a wrinkly red pepper in the fridge and fingered half a leek before deciding I could use them elsewhere and plumping for this particular combination. If you’d prefer a veggie version, simply swap the can of tuna for a can of beans or chickpeas to keep the heartiness and protein intact.   Serves 4, from 65p each. Prices correct at time of publication. Other supermarkets offer similarly competitive pricing – this is just my closest right now. (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.) 140g onion, 12p (80p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 140g carrot, 14p (30p/500g, Growers Selection at Asda) 125g mushrooms, 25p (49p/250g, Farm Stores at Asda) 1 medium courgette – …

Instant Moonshine Mash, Tiny Veg, & Sausages, 58p

Moonshine Mash first appeared in Cooking On A Bootstrap, a bootleg riff on polenta made with potatoes and corn. I so named it because ‘hooch’, or moonshine, is typically made from potatoes or corn, and the idea of my own sneaky irreverent take on something usually considered quite special rather tickled me. This version takes the idea even further into the depths of culinary depravity, firstly by blending canned corn with its brine, with milk, to create a ‘corn milk’ – not dissimilar to the ‘carrot milk’ theory in the carrot cake oats in Tin Can Cook that equally delighted and horrified viewers of Daily Kitchen Live when I demonstrated it in lockdown. I then add instant mash, and the cheapest available variety, to this corn milk abomination, and you know what? It works really well. My son, who can be a frustratingly fussy eater at times, absolutely loved it. The corn gives an underlying sweetness, the skins that get stuck in our teeth are blitzed away to a much more manageable nothing, and the …

Sausage, Bacon & Many-Veg Casserole, 39p

For many reasons, I am returning to a very strict groceries budget for the foreseeable future. Yesterday I went to the supermarket – in two separate trips, as I was on foot with a backpack – with a budget of twenty pounds. I uploaded my receipts on Twitter, but for those of you not on Twitter, I will post them as a separate post here later on. I will try my best – other work and commitments permitting – to write up as many of the new recipes I make from that list of ingredients as possible. This one was made both with the sausages and bacon for my son, and without, for me. Although I am no longer vegan, I do eat more plant based meals than not these days, and as I tighten my budget again, that will continue to be the case. This recipe was originally designed to fulfil five out of five of our five a day, making three portions, but it made such a large pan that I easily got …

You Don’t Batch Cook When You’re Suicidal

Whenever food poverty, obesity, or food in general comes into the media spotlight, I adopt a mental brace position, awaiting the onslaught of tweets that come, a plague of clockwork cockroaches, wound up and scurrying every which way into the light. Some are clumsily well-intentioned, most are not, yet here they come with their hastily-Googled prices of spring greens and potatoes, crowing about how! cheap! vegetables! are! The latest was Annunziata Rees-Mogg, MEP and sister of that sentient haunted Victorian coat rack, Jacob Rees-Mogg, pointing out that raw potatoes were cheaper to buy than oven chips. A 21st Century Marie Antoinette moment, ‘Let Them Eat Spuds!’ but sputtered into the vacuous echo chamber of Twitter, rather than a foundling moment of a revolution. I know the price of a bag of potatoes, Annunziata. Having lived in grinding poverty and with its aching and unshiftable groggy hangover ever since, I know the price of potatoes at three different supermarkets through eight consecutive years. I know the price of potatoes that are fresh, frozen, loose, baking, bulk, …

Zero-Waste Banana Peel Ketchup, 43p

I first came across banana chilli ketchup while staying in a self catering apartment in Edinburgh. It takes a certain amount of planning to buy exactly enough food to sustain two adults for three days, wasting nothing, when your nearby shopping options are the Harvey Nichols food hall (ineffectual, expensive, but fun to walk around gasping at and making furtive notes at all the fancy pastas), or a Sainsbury’s Local, where fruit and veg are sold in large packets and nothing by the handful. I found a banana habanero chutney in Harvey Nicks by Mr Vikki’s, a small Cumbrian company, and we wolfed our way through two jars of it in a weekend. I knew that as soon as I got home and into my own kitchen, I would be knocking up my own version. And I have done it many times since, each batch slightly different to the last, and each disappearing into the homes of various friends who are absolutely obsessed with it. It’s an ideal accompaniment to a curry, or grilled cheese, …

Vegan ‘Egg’, Tomato & Cress Sandwich, 68p [from ‘Veganish’]

This recipe is based on my favourite ever egg sandwich – the M&S Egg, Tomato & Salad Cream – but I challenged myself to create it as a vegan version when I was writing Veganish. My readers had specifically requested sandwich recipes for this book, seemingly unanimously tired of the solitary falafel offering in the supermarket compared to the dozens of meat and cheese options. So I made a list of both my personal favourites, and asked people for theirs, and tried to recreate as many of them as possible, as closely as possible to the originals. And this was FUN. A whole lot more testing and retesting than most of my recipes, as well as side-by-side comparisons with the original. Literally a bite out of the M&S one, a bite out of mine. Proffering both at friends and asking them to guess which was which. Tweaks and adjustments and adding specialist ingredients in and taking them out again, until finally, satisfied, I ended up with this. I’m still undecided on the nutritional yeast, so …

Tomato, Bread & Butter Pasta, 24p

This pasta sauce started off as a pappa al pomodoro, but quickly veered towards a tomato butter sauce as I craved comfort on an increasingly blue day. I don’t know about you, but lockdown is playing havoc with my already unreliable emotional weather vane, clattering it all over the place, and I am learning to take things hour by hour, meal by meal, and take pleasure in moments of simple comfort in this strange new world of unknowns. I am grateful that all members of my household are healthy and well, and that we are able to do most of our day jobs under lockdown, even with the challenges that presents, and that my young son seems to have adapted well to the changes. He Facetimes and Zoom calls his friends and family every day, keeps a diary of his thoughts, feelings and experiences, does some educational work each day, and seems to be faring the best of all of us. Anyway, back to the pasta sauce. I have a recipe for a three ingredient …

Tinned Pear Cake, 36p [Tin Can Cook]

This soft, sweet, rich and heavy cake was written for Tin Can Cook, as I sat surveying tins of fruit and wondering how to plump up my pudding chapter. My eyes roved greedily over the tinned peaches, pears and cherries, looking for inspiration, and there it was. Fat, fulsome pears swimming sodden in their own slippery, succulent syrup – what a treat! I could barely wait as I sat typing up the recipe, my home rich with the scent of freshly baked goods, impatiently picking at the slice I promised myself as a reward for committing it to paper. I love this, and it’s all the better for using tinned pears; I hope you love it too. If you do happen to have ripe pears needing using up, first quarter them and carefully scoop out the seeds with the point of a small sharp knife. Cut away the very tip of the stalk and the woody star shape at the base, taking care to remove as little of the flesh as possible in the process. …

JACKANOSHY, The Recipe Reading Corner by Jack Monroe. Episode 1: Cannelini Beurre Blanc, from Tin Can Cook

Dear readers – it’s been a busy week for me! And I have a few things to share with you all – so buckle up, because there’s a lot to take in. Last week I was invited onto ITV’s This Morning programme to cook three family dinners for four people for a fiver – and viewers at home LOVED it! And what’s more, I really, really enjoyed myself. I’ve been very awkward and nervous about cooking on television or in front of any kind of camera for the last six years, but it was like something snapped very gently inside me that day, and I came home and threw my self doubts and gremlins in the bin. I knew that I had to seize this good feeling and run with it, but, television being fickle and schedules being unpredictable, I didn’t have any idea if I was ever going to be asked back again. (I was, but that’s another story!) So I came home, and decided to record my first ever proper video for YouTube. …

Best Vegan Sausages, 38p [from ‘Veganish’]

This is a brand new and exclusive recipe from my new book Vegan(ish), published in December. I get a few questions about the title, so just to be clear, it’s a totally vegan book full of totally vegan recipes – I just describe myself as ‘veganish’ these days because I still occasionally work with animal products, but the book is 100% deliciously vegan. You can grab a copy here – I think it’s my best yet! I fear that the term ‘everyday sausages’ somewhat underplays the magnificence of these simple beasts; but they are my favourite go-to vegan sausage recipe, and everyone in my household raves about them. The filling also makes incredibly delicious sausage rolls, fooling all of my friends and family into thinking they are the real thing, which, in my mind, they absolutely are. I use Violife Original cheese for these, it’s merely a binding agent rather than imparting ny particular flavour, so any faux cheddar or mozzarella style cheese will do the same job if you can’t get hold of it. …

We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now. (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

This is not a recipe. I wrote this as a series of tweets today and readers asked for it as a blog post, so here it is. Our politics may differ, so feel free to skip straight back to the recipes if that’s what you’re here for. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DIANE ABBOTT. Right one of us political writer people needs to do this and it looks like it’s me. Grab a seat. I wanna talk about Diane. Diane was first elected as an MP in 1987, the year before I was born. She has been dedicated to serving the British public for longer than I have even been alive. Hold that thought. Understand it. Diane was the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons. She MADE HISTORY. Her father was welder, her mother a nurse. How many working class kids do we have in politics these days? None, really. Diane went to Cambridge University to study history. IN THE SEVENTIES. In 2017 only 15 black kids went to …