Quickled Onion salad – 28p-56p per person

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Based on a recipe in the LEON 2 cookbook, ‘quickled onion salad’ has become a bit of a staple at our house. It’s great when served slightly warm on a slice of hot, buttered toast and could be made for the cost of a can of beans and an onion if you had a tomato plant and some parsley in the garden. Bargain! 🙂 Another massive plus point, is that there is no cooking required.

1 can of beans – I used Pinto beans because I had some in the pantry and didn’t know what else to do with them, but I usually use kidney beans at 30p per can (Tesco Value).
Half an onion, very thinly sliced – 8p (based on a 16p loose onion – Tesco again)
2 large tomatoes – around 20p (based on a net of Tesco Value tomatoes costing 75p per net and containing an average of 8 tomatoes)
2 tbsp of vinegar – I used some from an old jar of pickled onions (free), but you can use any clear vinegar you like. Distilled white vinegar will cost around 2p.
Salt and Pepper – 2p
A good handful of fresh parsley (optional) – 50p ish from Tesco

Very finely slice your onion. The thinner you can do this, the sweeter the onion will go in the vinegar during the quick pickling – quickling… see? 😉 – process. Cover the chopped onion in vinegar and set to one side while you dice the tomatoes, drain the beans, and finely chop the parsley. Wait another five minutes, just to be sure your onions are ready and then stir everything together. Done!

As a main for lunch, this would serve two people, putting the cost at 56p per person. With 100g of rice stirred through (uncooked weight and using Tesco Value, this adds 5p to the total cost), it’ll feed 3-4 people putting it between 39p and 30p per person. As a side to a main meal, this served four of us easily, with enough leftover to stir through a can of chopped tomatoes to make a tasty soup – 28p as a side.

I like to make this during the summer to eat with fresh rocket from the garden, a good slice of toast and an omelette – simple, tasty and wholesome food.

What are your favourite salads?

— Farn ❤

Pancakes – 9p-20p per person. (GF, carb free, sugar free options.)

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Pancakes, pancakes… scrummy yummy pancakes. These are my favourite weekend breakfast, though they’re so quick to make that I sometimes manage them during the week too. I like weighing out the dry ingredients the night before so that I can just toss the milk and egg in while I’m still semi-comatose.  Yes… I’m sad like that and plan my breakfasts for the next day.

For some reason, I priced this up from my Aldi shopping list last week… no idea why that seemed like a good idea at the time but… yeah. Here we go.

Pancake base option #1

125g SR flour (around 4p for the Aldi one – this works brilliantly with GF too btw.)
50g sugar (4p Aldi – can use a tbsp honey/agave nectar if you’re avoiding sugar)
1 egg (15p Aldi free range)
5 fl oz milk/150mls milk (6p Aldi whole milk)

Around 29p for the batch and it easily feeds three of us (two adults and a pancake-mad toddler, who eats more of them than we do). Works out at 9p per head.

Pancake base option #2

Alternatively, 2 overripe bananas plus one egg will make a decent pancake batter 🙂

GF, carb free, refined-sugar-free, wheat free etc. and a good way to use up your extra bananas. 😉 At around 11p per banana this way works out at around 37p per batch and 12p per serving.

Additionals

Optional: The zest of one lemon and a tbsp poppy seeds. I had a lemon that I used the juice of in another recipe so I zested it and froze the zest before squeezing. I just took it out of the freezer last night and added it to the mix this morning. The poppy seeds I collected from the garden when the flowers dried so for me these additions were free. At around 25p per lemon, and around 6p per tbsp poppy seeds, if you were buying these extra ingredients specially they would up the total to 20p per head. Still cheap for a Sunday morning treat, or a snack after school, but maybe best left for if you need to use up zest for something 😉

Method

Mix up your basic batter (option #1 or option #2) and add the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Spoon a tbsp of mixture onto a griddle pan (with a little butter if it’s not non-stick) and flip when bubbles start appearing on the surface.Enjoy! 😀 Lovely with hot butter or lemon curd.

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Thai Sweet Potato Soup – 26p

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Another recipe to make use of the Aldi Super Six for this fortnight (ending May 6th), this sweet potato soup is a nice break from my usual carrot and coriander (a go-to flavour combination when I’m cooking root veg). For when they’re not on sale, the sweet potato is easily substituted for something else that has the same sort of syrupy flavour – carrots, butternut squash, parsnip… you’re looking for something toothsome and earthy.

These quantities serve between two and three people, depending on how hungry you are. As ever, prices are Tesco via Mysupermarket, unless otherwise stated. You need:

3 large sweet potatoes (800g) – 49p from Aldi
5 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder, plus 1 litre of water* – 20p
OR 1 can of coconut milk, plus enough liquid to make up to 1 litre.
1 tsp Thai Red curry paste – approx 9p (cheaper from Asian supermarkets but avaialble for around £1.89 in Tesco)

(*  The powdered milk is very cheap from Clearance XL just now at 59p per box, though it is  also available from Tesco for £1.99).

TOTAL: 78p, or 26p per serving

Chop the veg into large chunks, add the curry paste and boil in the coconut milk.  When the veg is soft, mash with a potato masher/fork and serve with a scattering of fresh coriander (if you have it) 🙂

I’ll be 100% honest with you here, I love this soup. But… my family hate it. Husband thinks that it’s ’empty’ – that there’s just a hot, sweet hit at the end and that it’s otherwise flavourless. Daughter, just voices her disgust and pushes it around her bowl a bit. It’s something I save to enjoy when there’s just me in the house.

If you do try it and end up with leftovers, blend them into a smooth sauce and use it in place of a jar of curry sauce – fry off your veg and any meat you might fancy using, spoon this over the top and enjoy on a bed of rice.

I’d love to hear from you if you try this – am I right and this is delicious, or is Hsuband entitled to moan? 😉

— Farn ❤DSC_2552

 

Butternut Squash Dhal – 42p per serving.

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Based on a BBC Good Food recipe, this simple, earthy curry is perfect for a warming supper. Deeply satisfying and packed with flavour, it’s one of my favourite vegetable-based mains.

At the moment, butternut squash is on sale as one of Aldi’s super six – until May 6th – so I thought I’d make use of it.  Other than the onion, everything else is a store-cupboard staple so it’s another good way of keeping costs down at the end of the month. Otherwise, as ever, prices are Tesco via Mysupermarket.

1 tbsp sunflower oil – 2p
1 onion, finely chopped – 16p
1 garlic clove, finely chopped – 4p
1 tsp ground coriander – 3p
1 tsp ground cumin – 1p
1 tsp ground turmeric – 1p
400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm (prepared weight) – 49p from Aldi*
400g can chopped tomatoes – 34p
1.2l stock – 2p value stock cube/free if you make your own
300g red lentils – 54p (18p per 100g)

Total: £1.66 – 42p per serving

Naan bread, to serve – 9p per bread – making this 51p per person per meal.

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Fry off the onion and garlic. Add spices, add the squash and other ingredients. Cook for around 40 minutes on a simmering heat, or until the squash is tender. These are generous portions, and freeze well, so it’s worth cooking a big batch while the squash is on sale. When it’s not, I use sweet potato as a substitute. The texture and colour are slightly different, but the sweet, satisfying taste is much the same.

Anyone tired of curry yet? 😉

— Farn ❤

Coleslaw Soup – red cabbage and apple, 24p-36p

Not literally, you understand – bleh! (Though of course, if anyone has any good experiences of blending coleslaw into a soup, please correct me.)

In any case, I stumbled upon this recipe when I made a batch of coleslaw and had half a red cabbage left to use up. It wasn’t quite the right time of year for pickled red cabbage, nor did I want yet more coleslaw… feeling distinctly uninspired, I threw all the leftover veg from my fridge into the soup pan and made this. It remains one of my favourite soupy offerings – both earthy and sweet.

Prices are from Tesco via mysupermarket 🙂

So, you need:

  • 2 apples – 28p (ish, using Gala apples)
  • Half a red cabbage – 26p (ish – 80p per kg)
  • 1 diced onion – 16p (ish)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube – 2p
  • WaterYou can also add a tablespoon of yogurt/dash of milk if you like a creamier soup.

Total: 72p. Will feed 2 hungry people (36p) or 3 not so hungry folks (24p).

Finely chop your onion and apple, and shred your cabbage.  Put the lot in a pan with enough water to cover and toss in your stock cube. Simmer until the apples dissolve and then blend. Season to taste.

Lovely!

— Farn ❤

Vegan Meringues – 2p each

Oh yes, you read that title properly.

When I was writing my post about what to do with things you’d normally chuck out, Claire mentioned that it was hypothetically possible to make meringues out of the water from canned legumes (i.e. chickpeas, beans etc. – though I’m not 100% sure it’d work with canned lentils.)

Since I was having beans for dinner that night, I absolutely had to try it. This is the tutorial/recipe I used. And it was a can of harricot beans which I drained.

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The texture was absolutely perfect. I mean, these are actually the best meringues I’ve ever made in terms of crunch and chew. And taste wise? I don’t really like meringues so I’m not the best judge, however Mum and Husband assure me they taste just like regular ones, but with an ever-so-slight savoury undertone. When I did try a little – for science! – I think this would have been negated by actually using the vanilla essence suggested by the recipe. I also think that in place of egg whites in other recipes – like Beacon Hill Cookies, for example – you wouldn’t notice a difference at all.

These are actually the perfect desert (you know, unless you’re like me and aren’t a meringue fan) 🙂 They’re vegan, gluten free, fat free and cheap. They use up something you’d usually throw away. From now on, I’ll definitely be trying legume-water in place of egg white in loads of recipes, so expect the vegan baking section on here to fill slightly quicker than it might have done otherwise!

Hope you’re having a great weekend – what’s cooking at your house? 😉

— Farn ❤

Rocky Road Bites – 12p per cake

17One for the weekend – these little bites of loveliness are super-easy to make and are great for involving the kids.

Basically, they’re are a variation on old-school Crispie Cakes, and you can substitute the biscuits for any cereals you might have lying around (except muesli, because… well… just no). All the different textures in the chocolate are lovely, and because they contain raisins, you can con yourself into believing that you’re being healthy.

As usual, prices are for Tesco via MySupermarket.

You need:

8 biscuits – I used Lidl’s Oaties because we had them, but digestives are cheaper and so that’s what I’ve priced – 9p (ish)
3 bars of Value chocolate – I like a mixture of dark and white but anything will do – 90p
100g sultanas – I used raisins because we had them, but sultanas are cheaper – 17p
50g of mini marshmallows – 37p from Tesco, but a pack of 150g costs around 84p from Aldi (if memory serves) so these would be 28p

£1.53 for 13 cakes, making them 12p each if you use the Tesco marshmallows, £1.44 and closer to 11p each if you use the Aldi ones. You can also make this without an oven, using only a kettle/very hot tap water/a microwave.

First of all, melt your chocolate. I don’t have a mircrowave so do mine in a Bain-marie (read: big empty plastic bowl balanced on a small porcelain bowl which contains hot water… I do not advocate this, and there are plenty of good tutorials online as to how you can safely set up a Bain-marie).

Pop your biscuits in a bag and either break them up yourself, or have an over-enthusiastic three year old do it for you.

Add the biscuits and other ingredients to the chocolate, stir through until everything is covered and spoon into cupcake cases (or onto a non-stick surface to cut later when the chocolate has set).

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I use reusable cases because that way, I know I’ve always got some in the house and don’t need to replenish my supplies. What are your favourite bakes with kids?

— Farn ❤