Ham, Pea & Mint Casserole, 30p.

Photo by Susan Bell, for A Girl Called Jack.

This delicious ham casserole is adapted from a favourite old recipe of mine – where I would boil the ham joint whole to make a stock, before shredding it into the casserole. This faster version is no compromise, making a delicious hearty dinner in less than half the time. For an extra special twist, serve with crusty bread topped with […]

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Sort-of paella, 67p

Sort-of-Paella, from A Girl Called Jack, photographed by Susan Bell.

The star of the show in this paella is the simple coloured rice, cooked al dente, accentuated with bright red tomatoes and little green peas. This recipe is delicious on its own, or can be used as a base. Feel free to add chopped peppers, seasonal vegetables, any meat or fish of your choice, a glass of white wine, a […]

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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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Photography by Susan Bell: www.susanbellphotography.co.uk

  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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Faced with a leftover hunk of beef last night to stretch between two grown women with fairly healthy appetites, I started making bolognese, changed my mind and wanted bourgignon, and changed it back again halfway through. This is my first dinner cooked for Someone Very Special (who doesn’t like white chocolate, so Headrush Spaghetti was out, and who cooked for […]

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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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It’s just a matter of days until my book launch on the 27th, so I’ve decided to blog one of my favourites from the book, featured in last weekend’s edition of the Observer Food Monthly magazine… First up, Chocolate, Chilli And Black Bean Soup. Photography by Susan Bell. I knocked up this soup last winter. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness […]

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I’ve had a hankering for Curried eggs for the past couple of days, I’m not sure why… So tonight, I knocked this one together. Rich and simple, cheap and easy, this is set to become a Major favourite in my household… Ingredients: (Serves 2) 4 free range eggs 1 onion 1 tbsp oil 1 fresh red chilli or pinch of […]

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This kedgeree was another recipe idea suggested by my readers based in my food shop – and it was an absolute hit – Thankyou everyone who suggested it! The mackerel can be replaced with any smoked or strong fish, and the spices can be swapped out for garam masala or curry powder, whatever you have to hand. The onions lend […]

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This was my lunch for today – so simple that it’s barely a recipe but here we go! Basically, I cooked 100g of pasta, mixed it with half a portion of spiced split pea and lentil soup (http://agirlcalledjack.com/2014/01/28/spiced-split-pea-and-yoghurt-soup/) left over from Tuesdays lunch, grated a smudge of cheese over the top and shoved it under the grill for five minutes […]

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I just received the following email and I haven’t managed to test this as I’m in Tanzania right now, but the combination of corned beef and red wine and tomatoes makes it a winner in my book! Thanks Tom! 🙂 “Hi Jack My wife is a big fan of yours and told me to drop you a line and see if you want to add this simple recipe to your site Very simple Corned beef Onion Tin of tomato Pepper Garlic granules Splash of left over red wine or Worcester sauce if you have it Spaghetti Pasta Simple spaghetti bolognaise that costs little and tastes great! Hope you like 🙂 Tom” Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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The first of my recipes from my charity curry night to make it onto the blog (it’s probably fair to say that it’s been a very busy week) – I half invented this, half recalled a vague korma recipe from the depths of my overcrowded brain, so it’s not really traditional, but I like to surprise myself. And surprised I […]

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I received this recipe from Linda this morning, and it sounds absolutely delicious. If you don’t have curry powder, a teaspoon of cumin would be a good substitute. It’s that time of year when curried soup is a most welcome thing! Thanks Linda! Linda’s Curried Soup 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 onion 1 large parsnip 3 or 4 large carrots 1 green pepper 1.5 litres boiling water + 1 or 2 veggie stock cubes 1 tsp mild curry powder Dice onion and sauté in oil till onion is soft but not browned. Stir in curry powder and then all the rest of the veggies (small dice). Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the veggies are soft. This probably takes about half an hour, but I didn’t time it! As the veggies are cut up into small dice the soup cooks quite quickly. Blend with a stick blender and serve. It is a tasty soup and a useful and thrifty way of using up those odd veggies. The first time I made it I used a wrinkly green pepper which would have been thrown out in many households but it made a good addition to the soup. The soup has a good butternut squash colour and a lovely creamy consistency. My husband loved the first batch and was delighted when he saw me making it again yesterday!” If you have a favourite thrifty recipe you would like […]

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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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Reader recipes: Gill’s potatoes, tomatoes and cheese.

I had this email and recipe from Gill earlier this week, and it’s my kind of recipe – with no strict quantities or weighing or measuring! I have all of these ingredients at home so after what promises to be a busy day today, here’s what I’m having for my dinner… Hi Jack, love your blog and your tips! Here’s a great recipe, it’s cheap, filling, and everybody loves it! You need (in whatever quantities will suit your needs) Potatoes Cheese One tin of tomatoes (chopped, if cheaper, or chop own) Onion Salt & Pepper Slice the potatoes and the onions thinly. Layer in a lidded dish, interspersing with the cheese (can be grated, cheese that has gone a bit hard, even blue cheese works, so just whatever cheese you have, in whatever quantities you have). Season each layer. Half way through tip half of the tinned tomatoes in. Continue layering and seasoning. Finish with the rest of the tinned tomatoes. Bake for a couple of hours or so on a medium (about 170/180) heat. Or can be microwaved if you are in a rush. This dish is very forgiving in terms of how you cook it. Tasty enough to serve alone or have as an accompaniment to sausages, chicken thighs, etc., It’s a great standby ‘store cupboard’ dish! Hope it’s useful! Gill If you have a favourite frugal recipe or tip to share, email it to jackmonroe@live.co.uk Jack Monroe. […]

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Reader Recipes: Charlotte’s Borscht

I was sent this recipe by a lovely reader, Charlotte, so thought I would share it here. If you have a recipe you would like to share, email it to me on jackmonroe@live.co.uk I am trying to be really thrifty at the moment as I’m on a postgraduate student living allowance which is being squeezed from every direction. I was making dinner last night and needed to use up some beetroot so I made a vague approximation of borscht, I don’t know if it’s the sort of thing you or your readers might like. Ingredients: Pack of four cooked (not pickled) beetroot, in small cubes 1 tbsp sunflower oil Diced small onion Vegetable stock cube in about 700mL water Pinch of paprika Tablespoon plain yogurt Black pepper Mixed herbs I browned the onion and then added the beetroot and the juice from the packet. In next was the stock, the pepper and the herbs. I simmered this for about 10 minutes and then mashed the bits of beetroot with a potato masher. Normally I’d use a stick blender to get it really smooth but mine gave up a couple of months back. I then added the yogurt, followed by a pinch of paprika. I served this with cous cous but it would also go well with bread. This served four adults so I think this works out at about 50p a portion (I shop at Aldi). All the very best, […]

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