All posts tagged: spice

Come-To-Bed Parmigiana, 74p [from ‘Veganish’]

Almost three years ago now, I turned up to work late, sleepless, an incoherent babbling wreck chewed up by an 18 month landmark court trial and with bright copper dye fading from my wiry, tousled mania of hair. I left my walking stick in the lobby, and limped in to work…to find a hand thrust towards me in a polite gesture of welcome, a smile, a curt hello. She introduced herself. I apologised seven times for my lateness and my pulled-from-a-car-wreck appearance. She was firm and professional, and she smiled at me again. And I felt that self-same car wreck collide with my solar plexus and toss me down a rabbit hole of giddy head spinning highs and that soaring, almost nauseatingly disorienting feeling of time stopping and slowing and turning on its head. I stumbled away, a new crush ablaze across my cheeks and in every tip of my fingers, burning coiled springs in the soles of my feet, a song whispering in the cold, grey, slumbering chamber of my strange little heart. 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 …

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 …

Whirlybuns, 11p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

These little weighty wistful whirls of whimsy came about entirely by accident. I was going to stay with friends in Manchester for the weekend, to all fling our small boys at one another for a raucous time, and I never like to accept hospitality empty handed. So, I set about making a hulking great fruit bread big enough to energise 3 grown men, 3 grown women, and 3 small and boisterous boys. I mixed it, kneaded it, left it to rise…and promptly forgot all about it until I was halfway across the country. Silly me. I came home to find it fermenting beautifully, tickling the top of the teatowel flung over the top of it. I gave it a ginger sniff, it smelled a lot like sourdough. Vaguely remembering a yoghurt based bread I had made a few years ago, I figured it would be fine, and whipped it into these whirlybuns. J and A, here’s what you coulda had… Sorry! Makes a dozen pleasingly enormous buns at 11p each 750g plain flour, 28p (55p/1.5kg/Basics) …

Black Bean Tarkari, 38p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

This recipe was, in part, inspired by a tarkari dish on the menu of my local Nepalese takeaway, Yak and Yeti. I had moved back to Southend from the dizzy heights of the busy big City, finished lugging several car-boots of boxes up two flights of stairs, and before I knew it, it was late and I was hungry. Rather than locate the box with the kitchen equipment in, I picked up a pile of the take-away menus that litter the hallways of a vacant home, and rifled through. Yak and Yeti caught my eye, if only for the name, and a curiosity about Nepalese cuisine. I made it myself some months later, substituting their chicken with my own tin of black beans, and it was a triumph. The original recipe uses mango, but mine uses tinned peaches, as they are cheaper. For the real deal, sling a sliced mango in, too, but I’ve had both and they are equally splendid. SERVES 3 from 38p each . This post is not sponsored; I provide links …

Chocolate, Chilli & Black Bean Soup, 64p [A Girl Called Jack]

I knock up this soup whenever I find myself in the grips of a piteous cold, or just generally need a bit of a kick in the cookies. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness, with chillies to fire your engine back up, tomatoes and carrots for essential vitamin C, beans for protein and chocolate because it’s a solution to almost everything. Plus dark chocolate and red wine are good for you, don’t you know? But putting all the science to one side, this is delicious, filling and surprising – so even if you don’t have a cold, make it anyway! Serves 2 from 64p 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 tinned black beans or kidney beans, 55p 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 2 cloves …

Pumble, 20p

This cheeky little number is a cross between a pie and a crumble, a hot sweet pile of stewed fruits beneath a crumbly puff pastry topping. I admit to approaching my pies with borderline religious fervour; that is, in order to qualify as a pie, it must have a base and walls and a lid. This does not meet my high pie standards, but it is undeniably adorable in itself, and so the Pumble was born. You can use any kind of fruit here – I have made both an apple and a banoffee version – and am dreaming of a zesty tinned peach and mandarin version with a smattering of lime juice, too. The Pumble is a simple first recipe for children, too, who may be curious about helping in the kitchen. Serves 4-6 from 20p each. Prices at Asda and checked online at time of writing. 500g pears (tinned or fresh), 70p (70p/500g mixed size, Farm Stores at Asda) 2 tbsp sugar, 1p (64p/1kg, Silver Spoon at Asda) 1/2 tsp cinnamon or mixed …

Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Soup, 18p [A Girl Called Jack]

. I wanted to write another recipe, but I felt sullied, trite, misappropriated, and used. So instead I am going to rewrite my recipes from 2012 – that many of you will not have seen buried beneath the beautiful new ones – and re-cost them to demonstrate the soar in prices in the Basics range over the last 6 years, and how it is always the poorest who shoulder the burden of economic inequality. 

Caramel Banana Cake, 16p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

This cake is a cheap but luxurious twist on my original banana bread, slightly more moist and gooey than the first iteration, with a home made sticky syrup sauce to drizzle over the top, ideally warm from a jug. I have made this as a loaf cake and also as a round, Victoria sponge type cake, split in the middle with a buttercream style icing and extra syrup sandwiching it together. It can be as simple or as showstopper as you want it to be. If you keep frozen berries kicking about, scatter a few on top of the cake mixture as it goes into the oven; as it cooks, they will gently sink to suspend in the finished delicacy; if you stir them in, there is a risk they will all sink and give you a soggy bottom. If this happens, I generally allow the cake to cook completely before removing from the tin, level off the risen top so it is completely flat (a bread knife is best) and carefully turn it over …

Spinach, Lentil & Lemon Soup, 34p [Cook For Syria]

This easy, comforting spinach and lentil soup was inspired by a recipe in Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf. I made it a few times as a quick late-night supper, before I lost the notebook with the details in one of my many house moves. For a long while, as a single mum on benefits, I all but lived out of a pile of boxes as I ran from rent arrears to damp and mould to a single mattress on a floor in a shared house, and a lot of pieces of paper – and nerve endings – got lost along the way. Here’s what I remember of it, in happier times these days, with a few blanks filled in. Homely, comforting and filling, it can also be made with tinned lentils and frozen spinach for the ultimate easy, inexpensive lunch or dinner. (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 …

Red Mushroom Curry, 40p

This hot spicy little number is a favourite in my household for dealing with the dreaded cold and flu, or when feeling a little run down. The combination of garlic, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and a kick of citrus is a feisty relief for the symptoms of even the most grim winter germs. I make a double batch of the paste and pop it in the freezer for future use. Of course, you can use a jar of shop-bought curry paste too, if you are feeling really rough; I’ve been there and I absolutely sympathise. I blitz mine in a blender to get the paste super smooth, but it’s not essential, you can just throw it all in a pan for a similar effect, just with a little extra texture, which is fine. Serves 2-4 from 40p each 1 large onion, 9p (90p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) 4 cloves of garlic, 6p (35p/2 bulbs of garlic, Sainsburys Basics) A small piece of ginger, 3p (30p/100g loose ginger, Sainsburys) ¼ tsp red chilli flakes, 1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC …

Applesauce Pancakes, 17p [from ‘Veganish’]

Pancakes became something of a tradition in my household when Small Boy started school; our lazy days of laconic love-ins giving way to 6am alarm calls, nervous breakdowns in the morning about where the blinking hell the latest school jumper could possibly be, finding every left shoe in the house and not a single right one. Weekend breakfasts became a snapshot of togetherness, long lazy breakfasts rolling into lunches, often eaten in bed, with newspapers for me and a comic book for him. Saturdays are pancake days, and no two weeks are the same – and this is one of our favourites. Serves 4 at 17p each 270g plain or self raising flour, 12p (65p/1.5kg, Basics flour) 4 tbsp sugar (80p/1kg, Fairtrade white sugar) 2 tsp baking powder,4p (90p/160g) 4 tbsp apple sauce,20p (60p/jar) A pinch of salt, <1p (45p/750g basics table salt) ½ tsp cinnamon or mixed spice (80p/100g, KTC or Natco brand) 2 tbsp oil, 3p (£3/3l sunflower or vegetable oil) 260ml soya milk or equivalent, 23p (almond, coconut and oat milk all …

Brown Bread Ice Cream, 24p

I first discovered brown bread ice-cream in an old copy of Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, and as an avid maker of simple ice-cream and brown bread, decided to combine my two recipes. You don’t need an ice-cream maker for this one, I don’t own one. If you have an electric whisk or cake mixer, it will come in handy, but you can make this without – you just need a little patience and a firm hand. Makes around 8 portions at 24p each. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, and correct at time of writing. 100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (40p/800g loaf, Basics) 200ml milk, 9p (44p/litre) 3 egg yolks, 56p (£2.30/12 eggs, free range) 100g sugar, 8p (80p/kg, Fairtrade) 300ml double cream, £1 (£1/300ml) A fistful of sultanas, 10p (£1/400g, Basics) For the topping: 2 tsp breadcrumbs 1 tsp sugar, <1p (80p/1kg, Fairtrade) Few pinches ground cinnamon, <1p (80p/100g, Natco) Soak your bread in a little milk and stand to one side for an hour or so. Separate your eggs – I …

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 …