SPICED SPLIT PEA PASTA BAKE

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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BANANA PANCAKES

What do you make for breakfast when you have bananas, eggs, milk and flour? Banana pancakes of course! Ingredients (made 6 good sized pancakes. 100g flour 100ml milk 1 egg 1 banana, or 2 if you want to go wild 2 tbsp oil Handful of sultanas – I’d normally add these but I don’t have any 🙁 Finely slice the […]

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TURKEY & CHICKPEA MEATBALLS

TURKEY AND CHICKPEA MEATBALLS This is what I made with the turkey and chickpea mixture that was loitering at the back of my fridge; I had to use it up today, and really fancied meatballs, so here we are! I’ve kept them simple, and will serve them with spaghetti and a light tomato sauce, Lady And The Tramp style. Except there’s only one of me. I’ll leave it up to your good selves to smirk about whether I’m a lady or a tramp! INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2 PORTIONS) 250g lean turkey mince 200g canned chickpeas 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp oil Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until softened. When the chickpeas are soft, remove from the heat and drain the water. Mash with a masher or fork until soft and pulpy. Tip the turkey mince and flour into the saucepan, and mix with the chickpeas until well combined. Pop the pan into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. This will make the mixture easier to shape into meatballs without it falling apart. If you don’t have half an hour but do have an egg, mix that in with an extra heaped tablespoon of flour to bind the mixture. Flour your hands and prepare to get a bit sticky! Shape the meatballs with […]

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APPLE CRUMBLE GRANOLA

This decadent-tasting breakfast is simple to make, and almost feels like starting the day with a dessert! It’s easy to customise, use any combination of fruit and spices that you have to hand. Frozen berries with chunks of white chocolate, banana and cinnamon, even grated orange rind and dark chocolate for a luxury twist… Here’s a simple apple crumble combination […]

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PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

Sometimes I make things that I love so much, I savour them slowly, wondering how I’ll ever bring myself to eat anything else again. This is one of those moments – one of those silent moments of appreciative bliss when I go all When Harry Met Sally about food. (Although this time, it’s a drink.) This time, it’s Peanut Butter […]

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SISTER MARTHA’S CHICKEN SOUP

While in Tanzania, I visited last years winner of Oxfam’s Female Food Heroes competition: an Africa-wide search to celebrate female farmers and food producers who were making a difference to their lives and communities. (I’ll write more about Sister Martha separately). While we were at her house, I are very little, having spent the night before being horrendously ill. She […]

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BRANDY BUTTER ICE CREAM

Brandy butter ice cream with white chocolate chunks. This is a delicious use for any leftover brandy butter (or swipe it from the reduced fridge!) and a perfect accompaniment to a warm mince pie crumble 🙂 I have given a method for those with and without an ice cream maker. I have an accidental one, but not for much longer! Ingredients, serves 6: 300ml double cream 200ml milk 100g white chocolate 50g sugar 50g brandy butter First pop the brandy butter into a heatproof dish in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. Remove and allow it to cool. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces, either with a sharp knife, or pop it in a freezer bag, tie it up, and bash it with a rolling pin or mallet. Then pour the cream into a large mixing bowl, and add the milk, sugar and chocolate. Stir through. Add a little of the brandy butter and stir in quickly to stop the cream from splitting. Add it little by little until combined. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes clockwise, then 30 minutes anti clockwise. Repeat if necessary – it should be thick enough to not fall off a spoon but still soft enough to spoon into a tub. Line a loaf tin or other container with two layers of clingfilm, folding it over the edges. Pour the ice cream in, smooth the top […]

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MINCE PIE CRUMBLE

And the dessert from the One Show! Here’s my twist on a festive dessert – because everybody loves a crumble, don’t they? I served mine with brandy butter and white chocolate ice cream, recipe for THAT to follow… ‘Mince pie’ crumble, serves 6: Ingredients: 100g flour 100g oats 100g butter 100g sugar 400g apples 200g mixed fruit and peel 200g […]

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MACKEREL PATE

In an effort to make an almost-traditional Christmas dinner for an episode of The One Show, here’s a seafood starter. Have more, if you want bigger portions – but save some room for dinner and dessert! Ingredients: serves 8 as a starter 220g Mackerel 100g cream cheese 100g butter 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp black pepper 200g fresh spinach 1 small loaf fresh baked bread – I used the ‘giraffe’ bread for a change, and it was delicious! First remove the skin from the mackerel, it should peel off easily with your fingers, and discard. Put the fish into a large mixing bowl, and break up into flakes with a fork or wooden spoon and some elbow grease. Pick out any bones you can see – but small pin-bones are usually fine. Melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds in a heatproof dish, and pour on top of the flaked mackerel. Add cream cheese, pepper and lemon juice and beat well to combine. I added a handful of chopped parsley from my window ledge for colour, it’s not essential. Press into a lightly greased tin (I find an old butter tub a good size for making pâté!) and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. To serve, cut up the bread (some like it toasted but I like mine soft and fresh) and pop in a bowl in the centre for people to help themselves. […]

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Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: My Finnish-inspired budget Christmas dinner for The Guardian.

I’ve blogged each of the recipes individually – click the links below! Simple sprat starter: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/12/10/have-yourself-a-cheaper-little-christmas-simple-sprat-starter-37p/ Honey roasted ham with vegetables: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/12/10/have-yourself-a-cheaper-little-christmas-honey-roasted-ham-with-veg-1-53/ Liver and sultana casserole: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/12/10/have-yourself-a-cheaper-little-christmas-liver-and-sultana-casserole-30p/ Christmas pinwheels: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/12/10/have-yourself-a-cheaper-little-christmas-pinwheel-biscuits-8p/ First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas. As always, all prices based on Sainsburys and Sainsburys Basics range where available. Similar products available at most […]

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FISH KORMA

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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MUFFIZZAS

It’s sort of a muffin, sort of a pizza, sort of a ridiculously named open topped toasted sandwich bun thing. I don’t care what you call it, it was my late night munchy snack after 12 hours of travelling today, and it occurred to me that it would be a fab lunchbox alternative to sandwiches, a quick snack, or great […]

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EASY MINCE PIES

These simple mince pies use marmalade in place of orange juice and sugar, to bring the cost down, and meld the fruits together with a spicy sweetness. I’m curious about making traditional ‘mincemeat’ – so expect to see a blog post on that later on! But for now, here’s a mince pie recipe so simple that you won’t even notice […]

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CHICKPEA & CHORIZO BURGERS

Chorizo is one of those ingredients that I buy rarely, but a little goes a long way. For a cheaper or vegetarian burger, you can omit it completely and just add the garlic and paprika for a similar smoky, spicy taste. Ingredients (makes 4 generous burgers): 3 tbsp oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 red chilli, […]

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HOME MADE POP TARTS

I MADE POP TARTS! Makes 6-8, mine are bigger and thicker than the originals, but still reckon on two per person ;-). Obviously these aren’t an everyday breakfast, but they’re a ‘what the hell why not’ breakfast… Ingredients (makes 6-8). 200g flour 100g butter 5 tbsp cold water 6 tbsp jam 6 tbsp icing sugar (60g approx) Another tbsp water […]

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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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Quick banana custard

I had two sad little bananas in the fruit bowl this evening and fancied a quick comforting dessert – so here we have it, banana custard! Makes around 3/4s of a pint (served three): Ingredients: 2 bananas 300ml cold water 6 tsp dried skimmed milk 2 tbsp flour 2 egg yolks (the whites can be frozen until needed – don’t […]

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