Marilyn Munroe


Been tripped up financially. Nothing horribly life-changing, just that the next couple of months will be a bit tight, especially as I would like to live the glamorous high-life in August, by spending a couple of days camping with my sister and nephew, and maybe do another day hike, perhaps this time on the North Downs Way. The problem is mostly self-inflicted (Bad Anxious! No Biscuit!). And so the food bill is one of the things that’s easiest to trim.

Fortunately I have a decent stock of oils, rice, flour, spices, pulses and beans in place. So the diet (in the week before payday) of beans on toast, rice, vegetables, lentils and cheap pitta bread, was at least a week of beans on toast (with marmite for the B Vits), the delicious and spiced lentils in pitta bread with a little grated carrot.

There are worse ways to be eating cheaply.

There’s a stuffed courgette in tomato sauce recipe below the cut, utilising cheap tinned toms, own-brand cheese spread and left-over rice, but in the meantime I’d like to bring your attention to the blog of Jack Munroe, whose determination to feed herself and her child well, healthily and as cheaply as possible, in the face of grinding poverty, makes my own attempts at economising look frankly amateur.

Based on a Nigel Slater recipe (he used breadcrumbs and rosemary, plus proper cheese, so adapt as you wish).

For the stuffed courgette
One large courgette
Couple spoonfuls supermarket Own Brand soft cheese spread
Left-over cooked white rice
Basil (I used fresh from my windowsill Herb Garden, but you can used dried)
Olive oil (sub marge or veg oil if necessary)
Salt and black pepper

For the tomato sauce
Pack/tin chopped tomatoes
Dash balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper

There was a decent wodge of tomato sauce left over from this, which I used in my next recipe (watch this space).

Chop off the ends of the courgette, and score the surface, but not deeply enough to pierce the skin.
Place in a baking tray, and wipe the courgette with oil/marge.
Mix the rice, cheese, basil and salt/pepper in a bowl. Spoon over the courgette.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes-ish, at medium heat, until courgette soft and topping very lightly browned.

(I must admit I was a bit concerned about how the cheap cheese would come out, but the baking actually rendered it lovely and creamy).

For the sauce – pour the chopped/plum tomatoes into a baking dish. Mix in the vinegar, salt and pepper, plus perhaps a little sugar if required. Roast in oven at medium heat for 25 minutes.



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