Tag Archives: Budget

Aubergine and lentil vindaloo

The wonderful Jack Monroe has updated her blog with another super vegan recipe, this vindaloo sounds delicious and we can’t wait to try it.

jack monroeIf you don’t like aubergine, use mushrooms instead. Red lentils could easily be kidney beans, baked beans, black beans, brown or green lentils, or yellow split peas; whatever you have in the cupboard or like. They are here to add texture and protein; all the other flavour speaks for itself, or rather, shouts and sings and dances.

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite:

3 onions

6 fat cloves of garlic

1-2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1/4 of a star anise or an 1/8 tsp fennel seeds

a good grind of black pepper, and then another one

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice

1 large aubergine or 2 small ones

100g red lentils
First peel and finely slice your onions and toss into a pan with a little oil. Bring to a low heat to start to soften the onions, and add the garlic cloves, whole and peeled. Dice the aubergine and add to the pot, stirring all to disturb and stop it from sticking and burning.

Add your spices, but only half of your chosen quantity of chilli. It is easy to add to, but rather more difficult to temper down if you misjudge it, so I put half the chilli in to cook, and leave half to garnish. It means guests and dining partners can choose their own heat, too, which is ideal if everyone is a little different. So, add the cinnamon, cumin, star anise or fennel, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Add half a cup of water to the pan, and crank up the heat. It doesn’t look brilliant right now but trust me, it geets better.

Thoroughly rinse your lentils. In a separate pan, cover them with water – no salt or the lentils will take an age to cook – and bring to the boil. I was initially tempted to throw them into the pot to make this a one-pot dinner, but lentils produce so much ‘scum’ that rises to the top of the pan, I didn’t want to mar my beautiful adventure, so doubled my washing up… When the water is boiling,  reduce to a simmer for around 12 minutes until soft and swollen. Drain, rinse well to knock off the scum, and tip into the first pan.

Add the tomato and vinegar and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring slowlly and therapeutically every now and then. It should take around 10 more minutes to meld into this glossy, orange, spicy goodness, and the liquid should thicken to an unctuous sauce. If it is too watery for your liking, bring it back to boil, then reduce the heat and cook a little more. If the thought of 10 more minutes on the gas worries you, give it all a thorough stir, remove from the heat and cover with a plate or foil or baking tray for 20 mins. It takes a little longer but by insulating some of the heat, it will continue to cook and thicken as it cools. – words taken from Jack Monroes blog, photo credit to her also.

I love curry and although vindaloo is too hot for me , Tom really likes it so I will be brave and give it a go!

Hearty vegan stew recipe

You know when it still cool in the evenings right before spring is truly here?

You need comfort food, something like a hug in a bowl, I have tried many times to recreate my mums beef stew without the beef and finally I have made this hearty concoction that fills the brief. Add dumplings to make it even better!

I give you my best vegan stew for 24p a bowl, whats not to love and I guarantee meat eaters will love it too – I tested some haha.

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Vegan wild garlic soup feed 3 for 38p!

This is the best time of year to start foraging for wild garlic, its deep green shoots and leaves are growing steadily in woodlands around the UK, the strong smell you get as you walk by, wafts through the woods and forests giving a heady scent of garlic and you know spring is here.

Grab yourself a handful, from the middle of the patch is best, the edges tend to have dog wee on them, I take a few leaves from a few different plants, that way you give the plants chance to keep growing at the same rate, take scissors and snip them off, tearing the leaves isn’t great. Don’t dig up the plants either! leave some for other people too.

wild garlic and potato soup

I made some wild garlic and potato soup for lunch, its simple to do, quick and delicious and best of all it costs 12.5 p a bowl!

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10p vegan sausage recipe

Jack Monroe has done it again! How fantastic, vegan sausages (my youngest always argues if there is no meat in them you can’t call them sausages, no matter how many times I explain thats just the shape) these are great because they are easy to make, quick and cheap but still have wholesome ingrediants, although I would swap the cooking oil for coconut oil and probably omit the white bread and use spelt or wholemeal breadcrumbs.

When I made the 9p burgers, I didn’t use white flour, I had a blend of hemp, flax, chai seeds thats for sprinkling on breakfast, but I used that instead and it gave it a nice texture.
jack

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Living on a budget without losing flavour

I read earlier in the week a cook book I borrowed from the library by Jack Monroe, I got it because I had heard about her before and her budget ( I mean real budget, not Jamie Olivers £22 leg of lamb budget) recipes, it’s a great book, I carried on then reading her blog ( I tend to obsess and read everything when I find something good), that led me to other blogs about this grey area of people who are not on their arses completely, like homeless people or the daily mails image of someone of benefits, they have jobs, they are doing something passionately and working a lot but still struggling to pay the electric bill, or have dropped down from their normal luxury range of food to the basics range, it was pretty eye opening really.

Find the cook book here:

A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes

We tried the 9p – yes you read it right, 9p veggie burgers, I added some chilli flakes to mine and we loved them, although the younger one wouldn’t even try them because they had kidney beans in! Always been a fussy eater – in fact a fussy everything haha.

A little tip which I have taken for granted before, is to bulk cook to save gas and time and I put the washing machine on an eco wash for the first time ever, apparently that saves water.

Asda have come up with a good idea to trail, unfortunately they are not available in the top 3 poorest places in UK, including my very own town Blackpool. The exclusive wonky veg boxes are packed with peculiar potatoes, crooked carrots and curved cucumbers which are all in season, as well as knobbly peppers, cabbages, onions, leeks and parsnips. They’re just £3.50 each.

I think it’s a good idea to tackle the waste caused by the supermarkets being too picky and guessing that customers want perfect veg all the time, it will help farmers too, did you see Hugh’s war on waste programme, that was heartbreaking for the farmers. I actually went to the veg stall in the market (it’s just round the corner now) I haven’t been in there for years, I was so surprised how cheap it was compared to Sainsburys where I normally shop. Of course it isn’t organic and I wouldn’t buy the garlic as it was from China but the occasional veg that’s not part of the dirty dozen has saved me money. Plus I realsied (der me) that I am supporting a small family business.

Natural living coaching

Individual wellbeing and natural living coaching sessions

Healthy-Living1

I believe it’s very important that you choose the right coach to work with, I offer the opportunity to have a free, no obligation 1/2 hour meeting with me over the telephone/Skype before you commit to booking any sessions. This enables you to ask me any questions you want to about me, how coaching works and for both of us to see if we think and feel there will be a good “fit” between us. I live with a positive mindset and am honest and open.

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Healthy eating on a budget

As the prices of things go up a lot more people are being careful of what they spend or even making a choice of putting money on the electric or buying food, it’s all about budgeting and spending wisely, so I want to offer you a series of handy tip and ideas on how to budget and spend a little but still eat healthily, and make conscious ethical choices.

I have heard many times “we can’t afford to eat organic” or “we can’t afford to buy coconut oil at £6 a jar”, I understand this mindset but it is really all about prioritising and finding a way which works for you, you can do you best and that IS good enough for this moment in time, do consider though not only will you be saving money buy not impulse buying when there is nothing left for tea, you will also be making yourself and your family feel healthy and free of disease.

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The £5 challenge

food shop 5

Please feel free to use this header on your facebook page if you are doing the challenge.

 

5-challenged copy

Vegetarian budget breakfast recipe

eggs and shroom

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

We really enjoy a big breakfast before a day at the allotment and this recipe is just the ticket!

Omelette from our chickens eggs, chestnut mushrooms cooked in coconut oil on a bed of rocket and spinach on granary toast

Take 2 or 3 eggs depending on size, we use our on free range chickens eggs but I know not everyone has chickens at hand so if you do buy eggs please make sure they are free range and organic, local is even better if you can find a farm nearby as you can go and visit the farm and see how the chickens are treated. I think eggs are one of the main things to spend the most money on because the welfare of the hens are at stake and you can vote with your money.

If you have an area where you can keep chickens I would wholeheartedly recommend it, after the initial set up, 6 chickens only cost 12p per day to keep.

Back to the recipe, add salt and pepper into the eggs and some herbs if you have them, thyme is always nice, whisk them up add 50 ml water and leave to one side.

Slice up your mushrooms and shallow fry in coconut oil with sat and pepper and a chopped up clove of garlic, I like mine quite crispy but cook them to your taste.

When the mushrooms are ready cook your omelette, I always put a pan lid or a big plate over the top of the frying pan, this makes the omelette rise and become fluffy. At the same time grill your toast, on this occasion we used granary bread from the bakers.

Serve your meal with some organic rocket and spinach, this is really quick and cheap to grow in a container and you can cut it and it regrows a few times so is very economical. You can also buy it in a mixed bag from the supermarket!