Broccoli and chard soup

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And homemade country grain bread. The soup was very, very good. And so simple. I used one onion, one stick of celery and one clove of garlic, cooked them in a bit of olive oil until soft, added a chopped head of broccoli (just the florets, I saved the stalk to freeze as I’m planning on making some stock later in the week) and a few handfuls of chard (the chard was getting a bit old; the rest of it is destined for the stock now too). Added a little bit of water so they stir fry steamed for a bit, then added some stock made from my favourite standby Vecon. Seasoned and voila! Who knew something so simple could taste so good? This is going in the repertoire.

The bread was fun too, I made it using some instructions from the authors of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes that I found on the internet. I hope the fact that I keep plugging their book will make up for the fact I have no intention of buying it myself (I have the basic recipe now, I can figure out any variations I need).

This is turning into a food blog…

Last night’s dinner:

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And today’s lunch and dinner too! Spicy potatoes in the foreground and red lentil dal in the back. Best (and probably cheapest) meal so far.

African beans!

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This is another of my favourite meals, and I was halfway through eating before I remembered to take a photo. There’s enough left in the pot for lunch and possibly dinner too. Which reminds me, I’m hungry!

You can get the recipe for this one in Alison Holst’s excellent Meals Without Meat. It’s basically black eyed beans, coconut cream, and tomato paste (although I decided to use tinned tomatoes this time). And yummy spices, including plenty of my delicious Hungarian paprika.

Frugal food

I’m still going on the shop I did last week, although I’ve had to buy plenty more milk and I’ve run out of eggs and butter.

Here are two more meals for you:

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Leek and quorn bacon quiche, with homemade wholemeal pastry. First time I’ve made pastry in quite a while! Still didn’t cost very much, probably around the £2 a meal mark, although it disappeared very quickly because this is probably my favourite meal. I would have appreciated some greens with it. This week’s grocery shop is definitely going to feature more vegetables.

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Mac n cheese with more quorn bacon. Dirt cheap! I would say under £1 per meal. Usually I add broccoli to this but I didn’t have any and nor did any of the shops nearby. Followed up with more pudding, this time made with maple syrup instead of jam, and I must admit I bought some ice cream to go with it. (£2.39, not a good purchase as our fridge/freezer is not very freezy)

Another of my favourite foods coming up in today’s photo upload!

Fashionkind

I’d like to announce that I have just started a new blog, Fashionkind. It’s all about ethical fashion, the whys hows and most importantly wheres – I tend to spend hours on the internet sourcing ethical clothing and thought I would share some of the great clothes I find as well as throwing some love to some companies that are really doing a good job.

Suggestions and questions of course are welcome – what do YOU want to wear? Confused about terms like “organic”, “sustainable”, “slow fashion” or whether bamboo will save the planet? Want to know how to put together an ethical working wardrobe or to find a cruelty-free handbag? It’s all in the works, so point your bookmarks and blog aggregators my way and tell all your friends!

Snow!

These pics are a bit late. I took them on Monday on my walk in Regent’s Park. It’s snowed again overnight but has only settled on the roof. It’s supposed to snow again tomorrow but I’m going out tomorrow night so I really hope the night buses are still running!

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Credit Munch

I just moved into a new flat, and on Tuesday headed out to my new local supermarket to stock up my food cupboard. I’m trying to live fairly frugally and I think I’m doing ok. I did slip up a bit at the get-go when I took a detour to the Stables Market for lunch – gnocchi with tomato cream sauce that tasted like the polystyrene container it came in. However, while I was eating said lunch David Tennant walked past me and made eye contact, which sent me to my happy place for the rest of the day, so it still counts as a win in my book!

Not counting the spices I bought which will last forever, I bought:

Chopped tomatoes x 2 £1.96
Black eyed beans £0.49
Raspberry jam £1.49
Pasta £0.89
Kidney beans £0.52
Quorn mince }
Quorn bacon x 2 } on a special offer, total price £4.38
Grated cheddar £1.84
500g organic butter £2
1 dozen woodland eggs £2.50
Coconut cream £0.84
Tomato paste £0.89 (approx, I bought this elsewhere and can’t remember)
Milk – about 50p
Double cream }
Custard } also from a different shop, both under £1 I think

And from the local veggie stall:
10 potatoes £1
2 leeks £1
6 red onions £1

Total: about £22

Together with my store cupboard ingredients I am hoping to eke these out into many delicious meals.

Meal #1 (and 2, 3, 4 and 5) – Vegetable stew with dumplings
No better food for a snow day! I made this with:
2 red onions
2 potatoes
1 tin kidney beans
1/2 bag quorn mince
leftover pasta sauce
1 tin chopped tomatoes
some leftover red wine
random herbs, black pepper
a teaspoon of Vecon which is like a vitamin supplement in soup stock form, and I add it to everything these days
and topped it with dumplings made with some self raising flour, butter and dried Mediterranean herbs.

Total estimated cost: £3.40

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I have eaten this for four meals so far and there is enough left in the pot for a fifth and maybe even a sixth. It was delicious and now I’m a bit sick of stew. Maybe I’ll freeze the rest?

I also made a steamed pudding with some of the jam, some flour, milk, sugar and butter and ate it with custard at a cost of around £2 for 4 servings. That means each of my meals so far have cost less than £2.

I have at least 4 other dishes planned with the rest of this food (and some store cupboard ingredients like rice and lentils), I wonder if you can guess what’s next?