All posts tagged: chilli powder

Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese, 42p [from ‘Veganish’]

This is one of my favourite comfort meals, quick to assemble, using ingredients that I generally have kicking about the house, and can just be slung in the oven and forgotten about, left to slowly pull itself together in a haze of blissful creamy soft salty rich glorious goodness. I’ve just polished off my second bowl of it, and frankly, it’s too good not to share with you all, so here it is. It’s easy to make it vegan – replace the hard strong cheese and mozzarella with Violife or something similar, and the milk with coconut or almond or soya milk, depending on what you prefer. It’s easy to throw together, and the reward of a deep bowl of melting goodness far outweighs the minimal effort involved in making it. I consider this an essential part of my repertoire these days, and barely a week goes by without it. It freezes beautifully, too, so do double the recipe and sling some of it to one side for a lazy day. Serves three people, or …

Courgette Lemon Pancakes, 24p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

This is much the same as my humble gramcake recipe, but a little more substantial. I often get readers asking me what they can do with a glut of courgettes, and being a polite girl, I’m inclined to give an answer of the culinary variety. Come the summer, it seems as though everyone I know has a courgette going begging, and if you don’t know anyone who grows them, they’re pretty cheap to buy. You can also get them frozen and sliced in some supermarkets, which can work out even cheaper than buying them fresh! Just defrost them and finely slice or dice them, to use in this recipe.   1 decent sized courgette or 300g frozen and defrosted, (£1/700g) Juice and zest of half a lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice,  (60p/250ml) 125g gram flour (or self raising if you dont have it), 18p (£1.40/kg) 1 medium egg, 15p (89p/6 free range) A pinch of chilli or black pepper, <1p (85p/100g) A pinch of salt, <1p (25p/750g) 2 tbsp cooking oil, for frying, 3p (£1.20/1l)   …

Red Lentil & Mandarin Curry, 26p [Tin Can Cook]

The first time I stayed at my girlfriends house, all she had in the cupboard was Diet Coke, tinned mandarins and a sticky patch of something ominous that was possibly once soy sauce. Her hob hadn’t worked in over 2 years, and she stubbornly warned me not to try to change her. Undeterred, over the course of the last 10 months, I subtly snuck in the odd ingredient to make microwaveable meals from, a couple of spices to pep up salad dressings, and a jar of ginger-garlic paste ‘just in case’. Turmeric and black pepper made it over the threshold as a cold remedy, and a tin of tomatoes for an emergency gazpacho that never materialised. I frequently joke with her that she keeps me grounded and my recipes where they are meant to be, conjured from dust and thin air and a couple of tins of nothing. Last week, alone while she was out on a jolly, and armed with a YouTube video, a dogbone wrench, a phillips screwdriver and a mission, I fixed …

Use-Me-For-Anything Tomato Sauce, 13p [A Girl Called Jack]

This tomato sauce is exactly what its name says – a wonderfully versatile sauce for all occasions. I make a large batch and freeze it in small jars or ice cube trays to use as the base for pasta sauces, soups, stews, or anything that could do with a bit of pepping up. It stands alone as a pretty decent pasta sauce, too. This recipe first appeared in my first cookbook, A Girl Called Jack, in 2012, but I have updated it slightly here to reflect the rise in basic food costs, eliminating the red wine vinegar and tomato puree for a simpler splat of tomato ketchup – which does the same job, but far more cheaply. Every day is a school day round here. Makes approximately 6 generous portions at 13p 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.) 2 tbsp …

Tofu Shashlik, 51p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

I ordered a rare takeaway last week, having spent 2 days gutting and cleaning my school-holidays-ravaged house from top to bottom, exhausted, and unwilling to mess up my kitchen having spent 17 hours in a pair of marigolds and mostly on my knees. They had a fairly decent range for us herbivores, but I found myself hankering after a shashlik. Shashlik is usually skewered meat cooked in spices before being blasted in a tandoori oven, and having neither a tandoori nor any inclination to nibble on a duck or a lamb, I started to ponder how I could make a reasonably authentic veggie version. Mushrooms were out, aubergine would probably be okay but not quite what I wanted, and then I landed on the reduced tofu in Tesco. Bingo. The tofu shashlik was born. I posted it on Twitter and hundreds of you asked for the recipe, so here it is. As usual, prices are based on Sainsbury’s Basics, but other supermarkets offer similar products at competitive prices. If you know of any real bargains, …

Aubergine & Lentil Vindaloo

Tonight, after a few weeks of new-veganism, I knocked up this hottie in my little kitchen. (I should rewrite that, but I’m not going to.) I have been working my way through a list of curries recently, partly for my new book, Cooking On A Bootstrap, partly for a challenge, as I had a jokey conversation with a few friends on Instagram about doing ‘a year of curry’, and partly because there are so many things I enjoy but have never tried to cook myself. And so tonight, vindaloo. ***My apologies for not costing this already but I can barely keep my eyes open, it’s 2am here, but I wanted to share this before I forget it and it gets swept into ‘recipes I mean to blog’. Forgive me, I will do the forensics later. I delved into one of my curry bibles, Camellia Panjabi’s ’50 Great Curries of India’ and of course, there on page 102, was a vindaloo recipe. Admittedly with lamb, but I substitute lamb for aubergine in recipes as a rule, and I rolled …

Corn Bread Muffins, 10p

I’ve made corn bread about nine times this year and every time I do I think to myself “I must blog this recipe” as it’s one of my favourites. But the kitchen needs cleaning and the children need entertaining and there’s a wash to put on and a week goes by and I forget all about it. So this time, beating together corn and eggs and milk and forensically slicing an onion, I was absolutely determined to finally share this with you, my lovely readers. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes – I don’t know where my time is going at the moment, I’ve been up til 3am some mornings working and up at 7am sneaking forty minutes of admin in before the children wake up and there still don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to sit at my table and write any more. And it makes me sad, because my little chats with my readers make me feel happy, and useful, and part of a great …

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca [A Year In 120 Recipes]

My take on Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a little different – I prefer tinned sardines to the more traditional anchovies, and I like to add some of the preserved oil for a distinctive flavour. This dish is a hot, fast joyride for your tastebuds with its fiery chilli, soft chunks of fish, vinegary capers and salty aftertaste. (Serves 2) 4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled 1 fresh red chilli, chopped 2 tbsp oil 400g chopped tomatoes 100g tinned sardines in oil 200g dried spaghetti 1 tbsp capers 1 tbsp olives, pitted and diced Roughly chop the garlic – I like mine chunky in a dish like this, but if a mouthful of slightly crunchy garlic will put you off, chop it finely. Put it into a large saucepan with the chilli and oil and saute on a low heat for a few minutes. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and the oil from the sardines, and turn up the heat to bring it to the boil. Carefully remove the bones from the sardines by splitting them, …

Majorly Curried Eggs, 56p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Early on in my career as a political commentator and food writer, I appeared on Channel 5’s ‘Big Benefits Row‘ programme, hosted by Matthew Wright, and featuring Katie Hopkins, White Dee from Benefits Street, and Edwina Currie. During the program, Edwina made some atrocious remarks about my (recently deceased) grandfather, and – I am not an easily upset person – I burst into tears on live television, to be comforted by Boris Johnson’s sister. It was an odd night, all in, and I went home at the end of it, bashed out an excoriating letter to Edwina, and made myself a Major pan of Curried eggs to console myself with. It was petty, but, it’s become a favourite recipe in my household, and not just for the wry grin it gives me every time. Rich, simple, cheap and easy…and not a bad dinner, either. Ingredients: (Serves 2) (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 …

Liver & Lentil Bolognese

Tonight’s dinner came courtesy of some chicken liver at the back of the freezer, and some veg left over from a photoshoot yesterday. Idly flicking through my cookbook collection to find a new chicken liver idea, I came across a bolognese in Save With Jamie. Mine’s not identical – I’ve left out the bacon and mushrooms and chicken stock for a start, and replaced the balsamic vinegar with white wine vinegar, and added frozen spinach for some greens and to lift the flavour… And far more tomatoes than his recipe, because I like a good tomatoey ragu sauce. The result? I ate a good portion of this from the pan, and proclaimed it the best bolognese I’d ever eaten. Between me and Jamie, this is a job jobbed. Cheers. Chicken liver and lentil bolognese, serves 4. Ingredients: 1 carrot 1 onion 2 fat cloves of garlic 1tbsp oil 200g chicken livers 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 red chilli 400g chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp vinegar – red wine or white wine 100g red lentils 100g frozen …

Feisty Soup [A Girl Called Jack]

I make this for myself whenever I feel as though I am coming down with a cold. you know – when you’ve got that shaky, exhausted feeling and general self-pity. Instead of spending a fortune on various over-the-counter paracetamol and lemon drinks, I drag myself into the kitchen and cook myself a cure. This is called feisty soup for a reason: it’s a bit like hot and sour Chinese soup in a way, and if this doesn’t help shift whatever is wrong with you, I’m not sure what will. I’ve combined lots of natural goodies that have antioxidant and other nutritional qualities – garlic for goodness, chillies to fire up your system, tomatoes for vitamin C and lemon and ginger to cleanse and revitalize. (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.) Serves 2 1 onion 1 fat clove of garlic a thick …

Moroccan Not-A-Tagine [A Girl Called Jack]

This tagine uses my three staple spices – turmeric, cumin and paprika – to deliver a gorgeous sweet and spicy dinner. I made it for Xanthe Clay from the Daily Telegraph when she visited for an article called ‘My 49p Lunch With A Girl Called Jack’. In her words: ‘the food is very fine, and it’s also healthy’ – so what are you waiting for? I like to serve mine with couscous and rice, and green vegetables. Serves 4 (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.) 1 large onion 2 fat cloves of garlic 1 red chilli a splash of oil zest and juice of half a lemon, or 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice 1 heaped tsp turmeric 1 heaped tsp cumin (ground or seeds) 1 heaped tsp paprika 1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes 1 tsp sugar a …