All posts tagged: heathy on a bootstrap

Diet-Coke Chicken, 54p [A Girl Called Jack]

You don’t have to use Diet Coke to make the barbecue sauce for this recipe; if you don’t mind the sugar, ordinary full-fat will do instead. And of course, I have priced mine as supermarket own brand saccharine sticky cola, because that’s my jam. Serve with rice, chips, a buttered bun, or slaw – however you like. (For vegan and vegetarian readers, this recipe was first published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014. The same sauce works brilliantly with a large flat mushroom, and when I have got around to uploading my back catalogue, I will do that recipe too! For now, just scroll past and mutter rude things about me, if you must.) Serves 2 from 54p 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 or purchase any ingredients.) 2 tbsp oil, 3p (97p/1l, Asda) 4 chicken thighs or drums, 73p (£2.20/12 drumsticks, Asda) …

Boxing Day Pasties, 13p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

An ideal place to smuggle leftovers – for today or for the freezer, these pasties are as versatile as the scraps of whatever you have left over from your dinner – just knock up (or buy) a quick shortcrust pastry and you’ll have lunch in a jiffy for not very much at all. This recipe was first featured in my second book, A Year in 120 Recipes. Serves 6 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.) 250g fat (butter, marge, or a combination), 60p (Vitalite, £2.40/kg) 500g plain flour, 18p (55p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) a few teaspoons ice cold water Any quantity of leftovers: finely chopped veg, potatoes, stuffing and a good slug of fresh extra thick gravy   Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. First make the pastry. Dice the butter or marge. Tip the flour into a large mixing …

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 …

Creamy Salmon Pasta, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

This speedy fish supper – really simply a tinkering with a cheap jar of fish paste – takes just a few lazy minutes to put together and tastes absolutely divine. The sharpness of the lemon complements the salmon flavour, and the yoghurt lends a creamy subtlety. When I first put this recipe on my blog, over 100 people tried it, admitting disbelief that such simple ingredients could make such a yummy meal – but it does! (For vegan and veggie readers, this recipe was published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014 – I have simply updated the prices for accuracy.) (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 from 34p each: 150g pasta, 9p (30p/500g) 1 large onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried, <1p a fistful of parsley, optional 1 tablespoon oil, 2p (£1.20/1l) zest and …

Mushroom, Lentil & Ale Pie, 37p [Tin Can Cook]

This pie came about because firstly, I adore pie. It was my pregnancy craving, steak pie followed by cherry or apple pie. I would buy packets of Mr Kipling and polish them off by the half dozen. Something about the crumbling, yielding collapse of the pastry, the hot-or-cold, sweet-or-savoury, the lingering lubrication, satiation, of a layer of fat and gravy disappearing down my greedy gullet. I make a pie most weeks, more so since cooking vegan food than ever before. This particular pie came from a longing for something ‘meaty’, but not meat, of course. A hearty, wholesome, dark and brooding pie that would fool even the hardiest of carnivores. And so I rolled up my sleeves, and I got to work. (For the record, my friend Phil, the only ‘man’ I call when I need heavy stuff hulking about and my erstwhile recipe guinea pig, sat in my kitchen and scoffed half of it in one sitting. Phil is absolutely, definitely not a vegan, but I’m working on him.) Serves 6 comfortably, or 8 …

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 …

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 …

Ultimate Lasagne, 35p [from ‘Veganish’]

This beautiful lasagne barely needs an introduction, as when I posted it on my Instagram, it received rapturous demands for the recipe. Good things come to those who wait, and here it is. Making lasagne from scratch is always a bit of a fanny, so I have deliberately made this recipe enormous so you can freeze it in portions for a quick ready meal, to make all of the work involved worthwhile by rewarding yourself with days where you won’t have to cook. Simply portion it into foil containers with those cardboard lids (around 8 for £1 from most supermarkets and factory outlet type stores, and reusable dozens of times if you wash them carefully) and pop into the freezer for a lazy day. For those of you who don’t have wine kicking about the place or don’t want to slosh it into your dinner, simply add stock or extra tomatoes in place of it. I have opted not to put cheese on mine, but you can if you want – for my vegan readers, …

Bootstrap Chilli, 25p

This chilli is adapted from a beef chilli recipe by Gordon Ramsay. I simply left out the beef and halved the wine to make it cheaper – plus, of course, Mr Ramsay doesn’t use a tin of cheap baked beans in his version! I’ve tweaked and fiddled with it so much over the years that now it’s not Gordon’s chilli, it’s mine. It first appeared in A Girl Called Jack, and has since been stripped back to this even simpler recipe, where it is handed out on recipe cards at Trussell Trust food banks – minus the red wine, because it isn’t strictly essential. (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 4 from 25p each 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, 30p  1 x 400g tin of baked beans, 23p 1 onion, 5p (54p/1.5kg) powdered chilli, to taste, <1p …

Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Burgers, 9p [A Girl Called Jack]

This burger is where the media storm began, and dubbed ‘the 9p burger’ because of the low cost of the ingredients used to make it, it’s one of my most popular recipes. A can of value range red kidney beans is a cheap but excellent source of protein and I built a lot of my early cooking around it, and they became a firm staple in my household. I triple the recipe to make a batch of them, and freeze them in patties to whip out at a moment’s notice and fry on a low heat. I like mine best in a pitta bread (22p for 6) and a dollop of mango chutney or mayo… (I’m currently trialling a partnership program with the budget supermarkets that I shop in for my recipes. If you click the links in the recipes I may earn a small commission, but don’t just click for the sake of it as they’re wise to that! As ever, I don’t promote anything I don’t genuinely use and love myself, but if …

Marmite on Marmite tast, home made bread recipe by Jack Monroe in partnership with Marmite

Marmite Bread, 8p

I love Marmite on toast as a simple, quick and healthy breakfast, but my mischievous mind is always stretching possibilities and pondering, and for a while I had been wondering whether I could make Marmite *in* toast instead. This recipe is not for the faint hearted – I use a LOT of the sticky black stuff, so you may wish to temper it slightly – but it has quickly won a place in the heart of my kitchen; for breakfast, spread with butter or peanut butter, or dunked into tomato soup, or with a little cheese melted on top… Makes 1 decent sized loaf to serve 8 from 8p 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 or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 50g Marmite, 40p (£2/250g) 400ml warm water 500g plain flour, 15p (45p/1.5kg) 2 …

Peanut Butter & Jam Crumble, 21p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

I am near fanatical about peanut butter and jam – or peanut butter and jelly, for my readers across the pond. I have previously made these extremely popular PBJ cookies (vegan version here), PBJ microwave brownies for BBC Good Food, a PBJ semifreddo ice cream for a Small Boy and a PBJ pie with peanut butter hand-kneaded into the pastry, stuffed with thick, unctuous strawberry jam. My latest homage to my favourite marriage of flavours is this – the PBJ crumble I served at a lunch for 10 yesterday – met with a chorus of rapture as I placed it on the table (readers who are old enough – or young enough – to have seen the original Toy Story film, it was like offering it to a crowd of small green aliens…) It went down a treat with all ten of us, even the unenthusiastic crumble hater and the one who insisted she didn’t like peanut butter – and four of us had generous seconds (and six were mildly disappointed). It can be made …

Twice-As-Nice Meatballs, 51p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

To make these go further on a budget, I add mashed beans to the mix to pad them out, hence the name ‘twice as nice meatballs’, because it makes double the amount!. If you don’t have hordes to feed or freezer space for spares, you can leave them out, but leftover meatballs can be tossed into a stew or kept in the fridge for a few days, so don’t be afraid to make a pile of them! Take a leaf out of the books of traditional Italian meatballs, and tip some chopped tomatoes into the pan to heat through for a few minutes at the end. You could then serve this atop a pile of spaghetti, if the fancy takes you. Vegan and vegetarian readers; this recipe was first published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014. I’m working on a vegan equivalent, but in the meantime, my Not Meatballs are right here waiting for you! Makes approximately 24, from 51p/serving. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use …

Sausagne, 43p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

Making lasagne is an arse. A labour of love. An every-pan atrocity strewn around the desolate wasteland of what was formerly your kitchen. I have made dozens of lasagnes in my short lifetime, and halfway through every single one comes the moment, without fail, whereby I survey the three pans on the hob, the piles of everything, the crap strewn across every available worksurface and some of the not-available ones, too, and I wail inside that I could have just bought one for less than a quid at the supermarket. One night, craving lasagne but not the work that went with it, I threw this together, and the Sausagne was born. I’m not suggesting for a minute that it is an exact substitute but, my, it ticks all the soft, cheesy, comforting, gooey boxes, and with far less washing up. (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 …

Thrupenny PBJ Cookies, 3p [A Girl Called Jack]

This afternoon one of my readers got in touch via Twitter to ask me how to make these cookies vegan, for a friend. This is one of my favourite recipes for a rainy-day activity with my small boy, and as the weather draws in around us and we will be looking for more baking days than beach days, it seemed as good a time as any to convert it for my vegan friends. If you don’t have self raising flour kicking about, just use plain flour and add 1 level teaspoon of baking powder instead. To make these gluten free, replace the flour with any gluten free flour blend, or ground almonds. This recipe first appeared in ‘A Girl Called Jack’. Makes 12 cookies at under 3p 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 or purchase any ingredients.) 50g sunflower spread or other dairy-free butter …