Category Archives: food costs

E=Spicy MBubbleC & 2Squeak


As mentioned in the last post, you should have a certain amount of spicy potato mash left over from the stuffed peppers recipe.  By an amazing cosmic coincidence I had some sprouts, 1/3 of a sweetheart cabbage, and a few slices of vegetarian bacon lying around as well.  Onion and garlic are a given in this household, like the kitchen sink, an eclectic music collection, and the large number of 1950s classic sci-fi novels from the Tangleton British Heart Foundation charity shop lying around….*



*’Waterstones’ For The Skint, And The Collectors of the Obscure.

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Spiced Potato-Stuffed Peppers


By some frightening piece of Farming Alchemy (Falchemy?), bags of peppers, £1 for a pack of 6, are available at Sainsbury’s.  It’s late November but here they are, fluorescent yellow orange with delicately-applied blushes of green.

Add in two tins of ready-boiled new potatoes for 20p each, and onion and some spices and you have the makings of a cheap, generous and filling dinner.  Several cheap, generous and filling dinners in fact.  Spinach not essential but added as I had some left over from another recipe, and bagged spinach has a lifespan of approximately 8.3 minutes, after you’ve been daft enough to actually open the bag, rather than just admire the leaves through the plastic.

Please note that the amount of potato given in my version of the recipe will likely leave you with a decent margin of spiced potato left over.  Hang on to it, there’s an epic bubble & squeak recipe coming up…….

Original here:

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Mung Dahl pretend you’re high pretend you’re bored pretend you’re anything just to be adored


Like a lot of vegetarians I cottoned onto lentil dhal pretty early on, in my case via Rose Elliot’s “Cheap & Easy” vegetarian cookbook (see inset photograph of authentically stained and loose-leafed recipe page).  Like most of the recipes in the book it was very much avec-training-wheels cooking, using the ubiquitous red lentil, garlic, onion, chilli, cumin, turmeric and creamed coconut, and ready to go in 30 minutes.  However “Cheap & Easy” did What It Said On The Tin and kept me sustained with economic yet spicy protein for quite a while, before I eventually tired of it and moved onto other styles of cooking.


Since then I’ve discovered that there is indeed more than one lentil available in the world, and as such I’m going to be trying out a few different types and recipes of Dhal.  First up, mung dahl, comforting and creamy but with an enlivening burn of fresh green chillis.  Original recipe can be found simmering away here….


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Oatcake Chaos


I don’t often eat porridge for breakfast, as although it’s an economical and healthy dish, I tend to find it makes me sluggish for a couple of hours afterwards.  (Not to mention the joy of chipping the concrete-like remains off the saucepan when I get home in the evening).  However I had a bit of success this week using a version of the below bannock recipe, balanced with some protein in the form of scrambled egg, or soft cheese with marmite, which gives the slow-burn benefit of the oats without leaving me feeling like a python that’s eaten a particularly fat goat…

Jack’s recipe is all oats as she food-processes some of them to provide a smoother element to the dough.  Lacking such modern mechanical fripperies I substituted a little wheat flour – the result still had that distinctive oat crunch.


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…but its not my conscience that hates to be untrue…


Now I’m not religious, but I’m not impressed by a newspaper that chose Easter Sunday of all days to attack food banks.  Apparently someone in this “Christian” newspaper hasn’t actually read the New Testament (and neither has our Glorious Prime Minister, whose inherited £8million personal fortune will have to be scrunched up rreeeaaallll small to go through the eye of a needle).

By the way, the local Tangleton food bank did a lot to assist local victims of the 2013/14 Winter Floods (around 50-60 local families in total).  Who presumably only had their properties destroyed by rising groundwater from one of the wettest winters on record as they were too feckless and stupid to buy or rent homes built on 12 foot bloody stilts, in an estate that has no history of this type, level and intensity of flooding.

And the kickback… 😉

Tomato Chutney, Tofu & Mushroom with Rice-Flour Pancakes


Spotted a bunch of Basics Own Brand Value Range Tomato-Chutney jars clustered forlornly together on a shelf in the supermarket, as the line is being discontinued. Due to successful experiments with the Date & Tamarind Chutney I felt I should acquire a jar or two of the tomato, as spicy tomato paste of any kind has a myriad of uses, and chutney turns out to be a rather splendid form of cheap stir-fry sauce……..



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La Belle Beans Sans Merci


I own a toaster, but don’t use it that often, as it usually proves to be more effective as an ad-hoc tester of the smoke alarm than as a purveyor of tastily-charred bread product.

I forgot this fact today and tried toasting two halves of pitta bread, which were then hastily removed from the toaster and shoved under the cold tap whilst I waved a kitchen-towel over the toaster itself, whilst trying to get the window open, whilst trying to start up the extractor fan, whilst being in possession of only two arms, neither of which are 8 feet long.

Fortunately the alarm didn’t go off, and so my evening is, sadly, free of Hunky Firemen. However, I thought I would bring a hint of French sophistication to this evening’s meal, Pain au Bean des Tomatoe avec Fromage. Any resemblance to a common, economical and much-loved British dish are, of course, entirely coincidental……..


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