All posts tagged: peppercorns

Vegan Fake Bake, 90p [Veganish]

In 2019, Greggs (a UK high street bakery chain, for my overseas readers) launched a legendary vegan sausage roll, and I launched half a dozen of them into my face in one week alone. I started to fantasize about an entirely vegan pasty-and-cake shop – which I’m sure exists somewhere – and one thing led to another and I ended up here, with my own vegan version of their famous Steak Bake. I reverse-engineered this by physically dissecting a steak bake or two, then painstakingly recreating it in my kitchen at home. The jackfruit gives the tender meaty filling, the gravy fools your tastebuds into thinking it’s a proper steak bake, and the rest bolsters the flavour. Bisto red gravy granules are the best to use here, and also vegan at the time of writing, but Asda own brand ‘meat gravy granules’ are also vegan too. As with all things, do check the labels carefully, as products are subject to change over time. Makes 4, from 90p each (This post contains affiliate links – I …

Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 48p [VEGAN]

I love mushroom soup and have made many of them over the years, but think this one is my best so far. If you don’t have celery to hand, or don’t like it, you can use extra onion. Mushrooms soup traditionally has a splash of wine in it, but I try not to keep it in the house at the moment – if you wanted to add some and it’s the kind of thing you have kicking about, do feel free, but I think it’s perfectly luxurious and delicious without. This cream is a delicate golden colour – or it was when I made it – which is a relief from the minky greys of mushroom soups gone by! I use full fat coconut milk here as you get more bang for your buck, but if you only have the reduced fat version available, double the quantity and reduce the water accordingly. Serves two, from 48p each, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase …

Salmon, Lemon and Pea Pasta, 22p [ITV]

This recipe was adapted from the Creamy Salmon Pasta in A Girl Called Jack – I’ve simplified the cooking method a bit and added a generous fistful of frozen peas to make it even healthier. Serves 4 from 21p per head. Prices calculated at major supermarkets and correct at time of writing. 300g spaghetti, 12p (20p/500g, Asda) 150g salmon paste, 54p (27p/75g jar, Stockwell at Tesco) 60ml milk, 3p (52p/1l UHT, Asda) 200g frozen peas, 14p (68p/1kg, Asda) Lemon juice, 3p, and plenty of black pepper, <1p Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, and add the pasta. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas halfway through to defrost and cook so they’re lovely and tender. While the pasta and peas cook, grab a small bowl, and beat together the salmon paste, milk and lemon juice. Season generously with black pepper. When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Tip the pasta into the pan and coat with the sauce, and …

Turkey & Chickpea Burgers, 21p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

This recipe makes a LOT of burgers. I use the chickpeas to pad them out and make them cheaper, and fling any leftovers on to a baking tray to open-freeze, bagging them up 24 hours later. They’re a handy standby for barbecue season, or for those evenings when you don’t fancy cooking from scratch. I used to make them for myself when I was working out a lot (a long time ago now!) as they’re packed with protein too. Makes 8–10 burgers from 21p 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. 400g chickpeas or any white beans, 40p 300g turkey mince, £1.62(£2.70/500g) 1 rounded teaspoon cumin or paprika, 3p (£1.15/100g) 2 rounded tablespoons flour, 2p (45p/1.5kg) salt and pepper a splash of oil, for frying, 3p (£1.10/1l) To …

Sneaky Sprouts, 15p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Brussels sprouts: you either love them or you hate them, but if your only experience of them is as a bland yet sulfurous accompaniment to your Christmas dinner, you should definitely give these a go. Sliced and pan-fried with cabbage and butter: this is how I smuggled them into my Small Boy when he was younger, and now he requests it as a side dish to a Sunday roast. Serves 4 as a side dish from 15p 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. 200g Brussels sprouts, 38p (95p/500g) 30g butter or a splash of oil, 2p (£1.10/1l) 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 4 fat cloves of garlic, 8p (69p/4 bulbs) ½ savoy cabbage or a handful of greens, 6p (62p/500g) salt and pepper, <1p a grating of nutmeg …

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 …

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, …

Cheeky Corn Fritters, 20p [Tin Can Cook]

This is a brand new recipe from Tin Can Cook – 75 store cupboard recipes by Jack Monroe – which is available here, and there is a fundraiser to donate it to foodbanks here. A good corn fritter recipe is an excellent thing to have up your sleeve, for breakfast, brunch, or making a meal out of a tin of corn. This is as good a recipe as any, and once you know how to do it, you’ll never be short of a speedy, filling brunch recipe. Serves 2–4, depending on appetite, from 20p 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.) 1 small onion, finely chopped, 9p 75g self-raising flour, 2p ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper or ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1p a little salt and pepper 300g tinned sweetcorn, drained, 35p 2 eggs, 28p 2 tbsp milk or water 2 tbsp cooking …

Pearl Barley, Mushroom & Lentil Risotto, 44p

I have a feeling I should be calling this a ‘barlotto’ rather than a risotto, as the ‘ris’ in risotto refers specifically to rice, and I take enough liberties with that particular medium as it is, with my use of long grain rice in place of arborio to keep the costs down. But risotto, barlotto, whateverotto, this combination of pearl barley and brown lentils is fast becoming my new favourite, having had it in various guises for dinner for the last three nights running. I was once quite intimidated by pearl barley, not being entirely sure what to do with it, how to cook it, if it needed soaking beforehand, and thinking it was more of a ‘waitrose type’ ingredient than something for me, but my Mum, who is a Northern Irish lass, scolded me for my preconceptions, telling me that it was one of the main ingredients in her Irish Soup that she would make for herself, her eight brothers and sisters, and her Mum and Dad. Chastened, I decided to investigate it for …

Ratatouille, 69p

For the last two years of our courtship, Mrs J has been asking me very nicely to make her a ratatouille. Some childhood memory of a baked potato hot from a food van, piled high with soft, veg-laden ratatouille, stirs within her a bone-deep blissful comfort. Oblivious to the emotional sentiment, I would simply mutter something about ‘not being a frigging cafe’, and make something else. The truth is, I had never made a ratatouille before. My knowledge of it stemmed entirely from a Pixar movie starring a small excitable animated rat, and an indeterminable can of mush I was given at the food bank once that was so inexorably unappetising, I never wanted to see it or its ilk again. And then one day a few weeks ago, with the holy triumvirate of courgette, aubergine and pepper in the fridge, I decided to surprise her. I dug out my French cookery books – French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David, The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo, and Elisabeth Luard’s Classic French Cooking, all liberated …

Butter Bean, Veg & Stuffing Stew, 42p

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cheap packet stuffing for all manner of culinary surprises – from a crispy coating for chicken nuggets (vegan or otherwise), to a topping for mac n cheese, to folding it into a bread dough for little herby surprises, the uses I have found for it over the years are so numerous that I constantly have a ready supply of it, decanted into a 1l airtight jar on the kitchen shelf, with instructions written on the side in black marker as to how many grams per ml of water to make up standard stuffing. I buy the cheap boxes half a dozen at a time and upend them, nestling the jar between the Salt and Turmeric, and with equal gravitas to both. Its latest incarnation is as a thickener to soups and stews that need a little bit of a lift, like this one, rustled together from frozen veg, a couple of tins, and whatever was rolling around at the bottom of the fridge. You could add greens …

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 …

Shakshuka, 49p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

I first had shakshuka the morning after a very heavy night before, with a friend who had come to rescue me from the vulgarities of my own hangover. He took me to a café, ordered me shakshuka, and watched, giggling to himself, as I slowly turned from a mumbling wreck into something that vaguely resembled a human being. I have made and loved it many times since, usually in varying degrees of unwellness, both self-inflicted and unfortunately less so. If you need any further convincing, it packs a vitamin C punch from the peppers and tomatoes, and the spices will wake you up and clear out any lurking nasties. As for the egg? Eggs are good for pretty much everything. (Vegans, replace the egg with a tin of chickpeas for the same protein hit but a completely different dish!) SERVES 2, IF YOU’RE IN A SHARING MOOD, from 49p 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 …

Red Wine & Mushroom Risotto, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

When I need easy but comforting food, I always turn to a large bowl of warm, flavourful rice – and using red wine as a base works beautifully. In the winter, serve this risotto in a deep bowl with a spoon, whilst snuggling under a thick blanket. Or it can make a special meal for two served with some lovely crusty bread, if you’re so inclined. My Mum used to serve us a version of this as children, served with kievs or sausages, so when I feel nostalgic I have mine with a couple of (veggie) sausages on the side. The quantities are easily doubled – or more – to feed more hungry bellies. This recipe first appeared in A Girl Called Jack. Serves 2 from 34p 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 …