All posts tagged: stock cube

Cannelini Beurre Blanc, 38p [Tin Can Cook]

I have very little time for the notion that some foods are ‘not for poorer people’ – it is a criticism I have come up against time and again, whether it is kale pesto irritating the commentariat at the Daily Mail, or a slosh of £2.50 table wine in a risotto, there is a frankly hideous misconception that good food is for the ‘deserving’, with the parameters of who deserves exactly what seemingly set by those who have never had a tenner in their pocket to last a week. Sometimes, when testing new recipes, I have a moment of hesitation, wondering how to frame it to reduce the petty background chatter around what I consider to be ‘food for everyone’. And then I carry on. This was one such recipe. An unctuous and subtly powerful sauce reduced to a thick, provocative shroud for slow-cooked cannellini beans and a scant handful of pasta. It would sit proudly on any hifalutin restaurant menu, but its main ingredient is a tin of beans and a slug of vinegar. …

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 …

Cannelini, Leek & Sausage Pasta, 41p

I have set myself a challenge to blog a new recipe every single day for a few weeks – I used to blog regularly, when I was a single mum on the dole scraping meals together from loose change and a food bank box – and I would write about what I had to hand and what I would make from it. That was six years ago now, and both my spice rack and repertoire have expanded beyond recognition. I missed writing regularly for pleasure, however, especially as I cook on average three brand new recipes Every Single Day. Most of them are scrawled on scraps of plain A4 paper, then filed away in a huge lever arch file, to be pulled out and shuffled into some kind order and shaped into a book at some point in the future. I’ve decided to keep a kind of kitchen notebook here on my blog; keeping to my original principles of cooking great food for a little money, with a simple collection of basic ingredients, and costing …

Chillaf, 50p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

I’m a few days into the microwave cooking project since I gave up my oven for Lent and I have to say, I’m having a blast. I’ve set up a test kitchen in a corner with a fridge, microwave and kettle, and it’s like learning to cook all over again. Today I poached an egg for lunch, and mucked it up – I am completely out of my comfort zone and learning new things all the time, but what I’m hoping to achieve at the end of it is a useful resource for people to take into their offices, workplaces and kitchens and cook simply, cheaply, and with a microwave. It’s nothing new, microwave cooking was big recipe book business in the 1970s, and I have a few rather old and slightly hilarious microwave cookbooks that I’ve spent the last few days reading – anyone for defrosted hash browns with Campbells soup and crunched up cornflakes on top? It’s a real recipe from Easy Livin’ Microwave Cookin’ by Karen Kangas Dwyer, called ‘Elegant Potatoes’… Hmm. …

Pasta, Peas-N-Cheese, 22p

“Hey Sprout, do you want tomato and cheese with your pasta, or peas and cheese?” “Cheese!” “Yes, but do you want tomatoes, or peas?” “Peas!” “Peas and cheese?” “PEAS AND CHEESE!” That’s how that conversation went with SB today, having spent all day painting and cleaning and coming home to a rather limited cupboard (and equally limited levels of energy to drag myself in the kitchen to cook – yes, I have off days too…) I decided to fall back on pasta, a piece of cheese in the top of the fridge, and gave him the option of accessorising it with either half a can of chopped tomatoes, or half a can of mushy peas. This resulted, and I watched astounded as he devoured the lot, mentally adding it to my ‘quick lazy dinners’ list… (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.) …

Simple Tomato & Bean Soup, 20p [A Girl Called Jack]

This simple staple started off as a tin of baked beans, thoroughly rinsed, plus a carton of chopped tomatoes – out of which I made a hearty, filling soup suitable for lunch or a light supper. I’ve jazzed it up a bit since then! And don’t be scared of rinsing baked beans, they are normally just haricot or borlotti or cannelini beans slathered in ‘that’ bright orange tomato sauce, and the value range versions are much cheaper than their plain counterparts. In case you’re interested, this recipe cost 15p per portion in 2012, and is up to 19p per portion 6 years later. Not the worst price rise I’ve seen when rewriting my older recipes, but still a little annoying.) (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.) Serves 4 at 20p each 1 medium onion, 7p (59p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 2 …

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 …

Nigella’s Lentil & Chestnut Soup, 48p

This recipe is adapted from ‘How To Eat’ by Nigella Lawson, who in turn adapted it from ‘an aromatic, velvety, manilla-coloured soup at Le Caprice’ in the late 1980s. The bootstrap adjustments and pricing are my own. The original recipe includes half a leek, which I have omitted out of laziness; I didn’t have one in and didn’t want to take a trip to the shop especially, but if you want to stick more closely to the original, slice it and add it at the same time as the onion. If chestnuts are a step too far outside of your comfort zone, replace with peanut butter instead; this variation benefits from a hefty whack of chilli and lemon, turning it into an entirely different meal, but a delicious one. Serves 4-6 from 48p 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 …

Love Soup, 23p [A Girl Called Jack]

There are many different recipes entitled Love Soup – I’ve seen some rich chicken soup recipes, some with heady garlic and some deep red tomato soup ones. By chance, the ingredients for this were what I had kicking around in the fridge one Valentine’s Day, so this warming carrot, ginger and onion soup is mine. Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like sweet roasted vegetables, blended into a home-made silky soft soup. Especially if you’re making it for yourself. Serves 2 from 23p 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.     3 tbsp cooking oil, 4p (£2.98/3litres) 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2p (39p/250ml)   2 cloves of garlic, 3p (50p/3 bulbs) A small piece of fresh ginger, to taste, 3p (£1.50/500g) A fistful of fresh coriander or …

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 …

Cannellini, Cider & Garlic Risotto, 29p [Tin Can Cook]

I did not mean to make this. I did not imagine it, did not plan it, did not conceive of it in advance. I wandered into my kitchen one midday in May with friends to feed, and myself, and pottered absently at the stove throwing whatever came to hand into my, wide, shallow pan. I very rarely cook with onions these days, as any great quantity of them upsets my stomach – such are the perks of growing older with a compromised immune system and a body that seems to find a new failing on a near-weekly basis – but I inexplicably find myself still with half a fridge drawer of them, red and white and peeling at the edges, and so I shrug and accept the consequences. A tin of cannellini beans at eye level, a bag of basic rice so old by now that when I bought it that it has cost 45p, 65p and now 45p again before I have reached the bottom. I want comfort, soft and creamy, but subtle and …

Bubbles & Squeaks, 9p [A Girl Called Jack]

Traditionally a Monday mash-up of the Sunday roast, a comforting, easy bubble and squeak is something I have been making for years. It’s one of the first things I taught myself to cook and is still a firm favourite. If you don’t have a leftover Sunday roast lying about, here’s how to make it from scratch. I eat mine with a pile of mushrooms and some ketchup, but depending on your budget and preferences, you can serve bubble and squeak with sausages, or leftover roast and veg, or on its own as a lunch or snack. Makes 8 patties (2 per person) from 9p 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. 1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 500ml boiling water, 3p 2 large potatoes or 1 tin of …

Lentil & Spinach Daal, 37p

So, if you’ve made the Beetroot, Feta and Lentil salad that I kicked off my Guardian recipe column with – or you have some lentils and spinach still kicking about, here’s a recipe for a quick warming winter dinner. It’s easy and filling – I love mine with pitta breads dunked in… Serves two at 37p 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 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried flakes, 1p (£1.15/100g) 1 tbsp oil, 2p (£1.10/1l) 2 tsp cumin or turmeric, or a tsp each if you have them, 3p (£1.15/100g) 100g red split lentils, 18p (£1.80/kg) 1 stock cube, 3p  200ml water 200ml natural yoghurt, 16p (80p/1kg) 130g spinach, 22p (£1.50/900g) 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3p First, peel and finely slice the onion, and finely chop the chilli, and add to a large frying pan …

Lettuce, Pea & Lemon Risotto by Jack Monroe

Risotto with Peas, Lettuce & Lemon, 16p

The idea of putting cold lettuce leaves into a warm dish may seem an unusual one, but it is one of my new favourite things. The idea is definitely not a revolutionary one; gently wilted lettuce has topped slick hot burgers for a hundred years or thereabouts, so there must be something in it. I found a bag of lettuce for 10p at my local Tesco Express, and have been folding it into everything ever since, much to the chagrin of my bunnies, who usually get to nibble on the bargains, but what they don’t know shan’t hurt them. If the idea really makes you shudder, then use a hardier leaf for this recipe, like spinach, chard or cabbage, but I promise you, the fresh, still-slightly-crisp surprise of a lettuce leaf in a creamy-soft risotto is a truly delightful one. Serves 4 at 16p each 300g basic rice, 14p (45p/1kg, Smartprice at Asda) 1 tbsp oil or butter, 1p (97p/1l, Asda) 2 tbsp white wine, if you have it, 12p (£2.98/750ml Fre Chardonnay, Asda) 750ml …