All posts tagged: spinach

Caribbean Style Chilli, 28p

Winter is coming, the time of year where perpetual colds and snuffles are imminent, the nights draw in darker, and I start to crave a little bit of heat and spice. Usually I spend my winters making long slow curries, but, ambling around the Caribbean section of a supermarket I don’t usually manage to get to, I started to rifle through the unusual (to me) goods on offer, and muse about what to do with them. I enjoy a new culinary adventure, and I picked up a few tins of gungo peas, callalloo (a little like spinach), ackee. I wrote down ‘cornmeal porridge’, threw a large bag of rosecoco beans into my basket, and made notes in the little back-pocket notebook I am rarely without. I went home and tweeted about my haul, and Twitter followers with a lifetime of experience in cooking with these ingredients kindly sent me recipes and ideas. A new adventure is beginning, and I am super excited to explore it. This chilli was my first foray, not dissimilar from my …

Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them.

This piece started after an article in the Independent about the top 10 foods that we apparently throw away in the UK. I took to Twitter to ask people what usually ended up in their bin, and then spent a whole day and night answering hundreds of queries – some of them came up a lot, like bread and mushrooms, and some were rather more surprising, like ‘half a jar of caviar’ (not a problem I can say I have ever had, but I am here to help, and inverse snobbery is as ghastly as the original kind so please, resist the urge.) I have compiled them all here as an A-Z, and will keep this list going, and add to it regularly, as a handy reference point – so keep checking back! And add your own tips at the bottom, our ‘hive mind’ is a much better thing than my admittedly limited experience!! Also remember you can always use the search bar on the blog to find recipe ideas too, for that stray carrot, …

Mushroom & Spinach Bolognese, 38p

I’ve been meaning to write about my ‘mushroom mince’ for months now – I use it instead of soya mince or Quorn as a cheaper alternative that isn’t full of unpronounceable ingredients or a gazillion processes. It’s simple, quick, and actually tastes like food, and can be dried out and stored in a jar for months, or frozen to use as required. Basically, finely slice your mushrooms, then chop them up like billy-o until they’re finely diced. They’ll shrink a bit in the pan as they lose moisture anyway. Then either use them straight away, or freeze, or spread thinly on a baking tray (or any tray) on a layer of kitchen paper and leave to dry for a day or two somewhere safe and not moist (not the bathroom, for example). Now for the fun part – a bolognese packed full of veg, costing pennies, suitable for your vegan friends but convincing enough for the carnivores – enjoy! This is my new favourite winter comforting bowl-food. Serves 2 adults and 2 children at 38p …

Gram Flour Pasta, 17p

As part of my ‘health binge’ that I’m currently embarking on after the carbtastic Live Below The Line challenge followed by scarcely and sleep and a lot of crap sandwiches to power through a General Election, I decided to experiment and see if I could make gluten free pasta. I’m not a fan of ‘gluten free’ flour, having used it a few times in the past and being decidedly unimpressed with the results – and pasta being one of my absolutely favourite foods, I wasn’t going to run the risk of something that tasted like wet cardboard spoiling one of my favourite experiences. And so, the big bag of gram flour came down from the top of the fridge again, and I decided to have a play. I’ve made pasta with ‘ordinary’ flour in the past (once!), using a simple ratio of 1 egg to every 100g of flour and a splash of oil for good measure – so I applied a similar theory here to see what happened, upping the egg ratio for no …

Courgette, Tomato & Cheese Gratin, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

This recipe from my microwave series is based on a recipe from my book, A Girl Called Jack, that I see popping up on my Twitter feed and Facebook pages time and time again – it seems to be a definite favourite among my lovely readers! And so, I wondered if it was possible to make a portable microwave version, either for busy evenings, energy saving cooking, or even to pop into a jar in your work bag to stave off the boredom of yet another soggy cheese sandwich or expensive takeaway lunch. The microwave version has fewer ingredients than the original, oven-bake recipe – trying to keep it simple. I’ll also confess that I’ve made it with a few different rices as an experiment; although the simple basic 45p-a-kilo white rice will always be my go-to budget staple, this dish IS delicious with nutty brown rice too, if it’s the kind of thing you keep in the cupboard, and if not then don’t worry about it. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links …

Minestrone Soup, 19p

I often receive letters and emails from friends, family and readers asking for ideas for cheap lunches. Aside from the ubiquitous cheese sandwich or home made scone-muffin-type-thing and an apple, banana or pear, one of my favourite staple lunches for this time of year is A Good Hearty Soup. And nothing says hearty soup quite like one packed with pasta and beans and chunky vegetables! I’ve been making minestrone soup for so long, I’m amazed it didn’t make it into either of my books – but I guess I’d never taken the time to write the recipe down and think about it too much. It’s one of my staples for a leftover half can of beans or chopped tomatoes, a scraggy little carrot or half an onion in the bottom of the veg drawer, tired greens, and those little broken bits of pasta in the bottom of the bag, or odds and sods of pasta that aren’t quite enough to do anything with. I keep all the last few bits of pasta, and the broken …

Majorly Curried Eggs, 56p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Early on in my career as a political commentator and food writer, I appeared on Channel 5’s ‘Big Benefits Row‘ programme, hosted by Matthew Wright, and featuring Katie Hopkins, White Dee from Benefits Street, and Edwina Currie. During the program, Edwina made some atrocious remarks about my (recently deceased) grandfather, and – I am not an easily upset person – I burst into tears on live television, to be comforted by Boris Johnson’s sister. It was an odd night, all in, and I went home at the end of it, bashed out an excoriating letter to Edwina, and made myself a Major pan of Curried eggs to console myself with. It was petty, but, it’s become a favourite recipe in my household, and not just for the wry grin it gives me every time. Rich, simple, cheap and easy…and not a bad dinner, either. Ingredients: (Serves 2) (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 …

MACKEREL AND SPINACH CHOWDER

Ingredients (serves two generous portions): 1 tbsp oil 1 onion 1 tbsp flour 200ml milk 200ml water 50g frozen spinach 100g mackerel 200g sweetcorn 200g tinned potatoes First, heat the oil in a pan. Dice or slice the onion, add with the flour, stir well and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes to soften. Make up the milk if using milk powder, by adding two teaspoons to 200ml water – or use ‘normal’ milk if preferred. Add to the onions and stir in well to remove any lumps. Pour in the water. Add the mackerel, broken into chunks, spinach, sweetcorn and diced potatoes. Crank the heat up to full power to bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the sauce is thick and creamy. Enjoy! Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

Liver & Lentil Bolognese

Tonight’s dinner came courtesy of some chicken liver at the back of the freezer, and some veg left over from a photoshoot yesterday. Idly flicking through my cookbook collection to find a new chicken liver idea, I came across a bolognese in Save With Jamie. Mine’s not identical – I’ve left out the bacon and mushrooms and chicken stock for a start, and replaced the balsamic vinegar with white wine vinegar, and added frozen spinach for some greens and to lift the flavour… And far more tomatoes than his recipe, because I like a good tomatoey ragu sauce. The result? I ate a good portion of this from the pan, and proclaimed it the best bolognese I’d ever eaten. Between me and Jamie, this is a job jobbed. Cheers. Chicken liver and lentil bolognese, serves 4. Ingredients: 1 carrot 1 onion 2 fat cloves of garlic 1tbsp oil 200g chicken livers 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 red chilli 400g chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp vinegar – red wine or white wine 100g red lentils 100g frozen …

Simple Spiced Potato Soup [A Girl Called Jack]

This is one of my go-to recipes, a whatever-happens-to-be-in-the-cupboard special. I sometimes add a chopped chilli to the onion, and some coriander from my window ledge herb box, but I have given the basic recipe below – feel free to customize it as you wish. when it comes to my lunch, I can be an impatient oik so I tend to chop the tinned potatoes into small cubes. It makes no difference to the final product, just means that they cook quicker. I like to serve this soup with pitta bread. Serves 2 (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 onion a splash of oil a few generous pinches of ground cumin or turmeric (whichever you have available) 1 x 500g tin of potatoes (approximate drained weight) 1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 200ml boiling water 150ml natural yoghurt Peel and …