This gallery contains 14 photos.
Originally posted on Retro Joy:
Retro Joy has been out and about selling scrummy dresses to the lovely people of Bearwood and attending a few other events just for fun too. What has struck us is how lovely all the…
I used to use fresh carrots and potatoes, turning my nose up at tinned veg, until I started to read A Girl Called Jack.
I wanted to make Jack’s recipe as I have a cupboard full of lentils that need to be used. I wasn’t sure that The Gamer would take to lentils so I made both versions. All left overs are used for lunches so, don’t worry, there was no waste.
The sausages I used are from the Aldi Specially Selected range and are high in pork content. I will not compromise and buy nasty cheap value range sausages. You may as well just mush up some bread, lard and salt. If I cannot afford good meat I would rather not eat meat.
I am experimenting with a lot of recipes and noting prices of everything as I am planning for my week of living on a £1 a day for the Live Below the Line Challenge. It was while looking at the recipes suggested by the organisers that I started to write more about food. I was shocked to see how unhealthy some of them were (think of value white bread and sausages) so set out to come up with a healthier way to eat and drink on a pound a day. I wish Jack Monroe had been blogging then!
One of my very early posts was written for Blog Action Day 2011. Written at Heathrow Airport waiting to fly to San Francisco, those taking part had been given a theme to write about, in 2011 we were asked to focus on the many issues related to food, such as health, hunger, quality, culture, farming, access and waste to coincide with World Food Day.
So back to the sausages.
My version uses baked beans instead of lentils and tinned tomatoes with a bit of mustard, tomatoes puree and Worcester Sauce to give it a bit of kick. A bit of flour was added to the sausages and onions before adding the other ingredients to thicken it up.
The lentils in Jack’s recipe absorb the liquid from the stock, which as well as thickening the casserole, give it its texture.
As ever, I decided to tweak the recipe, and added some curry powder to the one with lentils, as I thought it would work. It did. I am sure Jack won’t mind.
The verdict, The Gamer still prefers the original as it is sweeter (that will be the baked beans) but he didn’t hate the lentil version. Vinyl Man loved the lentil version as did I. 2-1 to Jack. And I am at last using those lentils.
Night off tomorrow as The Gamer is cooking.
After last nights success with the Mango and Chickpea curry from this book,
I asked The Gamer to choose a meal tonight as curry and chickpeas are not his thing.
The only shopping I had to do was to pop to Aldi and choose the pork. I had the option of belly or loin. The cookery snob in me wanted the loin, yet at £5 something for 400g (I think) that seemed a tad expensive, so pork belly it was at £1.99 for 500g. Everything else, bar the wine, I had in the house. I have rosemary growing in the garden. I don’t need an excuse to buy wine.
This is a doddle to cook, all in one pan, browned off the pork, added the onions to sweat and then chuck everything else in. I did add a bit of flour in to absorb the fat and to thicken the sauce, before adding the wine and tomatoes, but I always tweak recipes. That is what I do, control freak that I am.
Not only delicious, jolly good value too.
I finally managed to get my hands on this book!
As I am not buying books as part of my year of Not Buying It, I borrowed it from Sandwell Libraries. I checked today and I have 22 books on loan. Imagine how much I have saved already by not buying books. Many of them are cook books!
So back to my attempt to recreate this.
The good news was that I didn’t have to go shopping to make this. I had all the ingredients in already. Almost. I didn’t have peaches but I did have a tin of mangoes. I didn’t have a chilli either. So I used sweet chilli sauce instead. See where I am going? Substitute and tweak the recipe to make it my own. Based on what is in the cupboard.
I also added in the chickpeas before the simmering stage as I have a bit of an aversion to chickpeas. I know, bear with me here. You see I had made the Chickpea and Chorizo Burgers,
not in this book but the recipe is on her blog, A Girl Called Jack and loved it as the chickpeas had been mashed up. So I reckoned that they may be a bit more mushy if I cooked them for longer. Yup ignoring the recipe again.
Then I forgot to add the coriander so sprinkled it on at the end.
And I used one of the retro Tupperware rice cookers I inherited from my lovely mom Retro Joy. I have three of them.
Mom was a bit of a hoarder. I am really rubbish at cooking rice in a saucepan, using one of these I get lovely rice.
The recipe says it served 2 with enough for a lunch of left overs the next day. Two hungry adults delved in, and yes there is loads left for lunch tomorrow! This sort of food is not only incredibly cheap but very filling. And very very delicious.
I have been watching a lot of telly this week as I have been laid up with a cold.
Thanks to modern technology I can watch what I want and when I want – and having recorded Home Comforts, Saturday Kitchen and Operation Hospital Food, I have been able to see a lot of James Martin. And that is not a bad thing.
The Best Crackling EVER.
The recipes can be found here. Yes, even for the bacon buttie. 🙂
And don’t you just love my vintage plates?
And if you are a regular reader you will know that I have cooked with James Martin.
Have you ever cooked with a TV chef?
I tweaked the recipe and whizzed the chickpeas, breadcrumbs, egg and the sliced spicy meats I had in a food processor, and added them to the onion, garlic and carrot I had fried in a pan. I managed to make 8 burgers, the current lodger, The Tax Man, came in and remarked how good they looked, so let him have one.
My shopping bill today, Chick peas, 39p from Aldi, as I had all of the other ingredients in. I did buy some chorizo but then discovered we had so left over spicy sliced meat from when we made pizza on Saturday, I had some breadcrumbs in the freezer I had made from the last bits of bread that was a bit stale, and already had eggs and vegetable and the spices I needed.
I will make a veggie version for my daughter and pop them in the freezer.
And my chickpea aversion? Mushed up they are lovely. I wonder if this could solve my hatred of red kidney beans? Mmmm.
You can find the recipe here.
A couple of weeks ago I heard that SIFA Fireside could no longer offer breakfasts to the homeless of Birmingham. They needed £10k a year to keep the service going, but due to cuts in funding they had to make the difficult decision to stop this service. At the coldest and wettest time of the year.
£10k is a lot of money to me. It isn’t to a Premier League footballer or a Banker of course whose bonus could fund SIFA for many years. And I got angry.
And I thought about what I could do. So I tweeted.
I have read this book and I have hanging around on social media for a while and I know that as well as the trolling, flinging of insults and tweets about doggie do, Twitter can be used for good.
Busking Bobby and I had a chat via Twitter about various things I could do that may help to raise funds. I was pretty sure that there were big corporations out there that could sponsor them. Even if only 1 in 10 Brummies donated £1 each, SIFA would have enough money to carry on breakfasts.
I started following SIFA on Facebook and Twitter and asked them what I could do to help. I told everyone in my Social Media world about the work they do by sharing their tweets and posts.
I also tweeted @GreggstheBakers to ask them what they did with unsold yet safe to eat food that they bag up, suggesting they could use this to support charities like SIFA. They sent me a link to this policy outlining their partnership with Fareshare.
Thank you for contacting Greggs.
I just wanted to let you know that I’ve forwarded your e-mail onto our Charity Team who deal with all charity requests that we receive. I’ve asked that they contact you directly about your request, so they should be in touch with you within the next three weeks.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
Remember to quote your call reference number: F1523470 in any
correspondence, as this will assist us in providing you with a
Customer Care Team
I am still awaiting the follow up emaiI. I am hoping they have contacted SIFA direct as I suggested.
Yet I still felt I was not moving on in helping with the issue and I was getting a little frustrated.
Then two things happened this week. SIFA held a silent auction for a meal to two that had been donated by Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill. Just as it was about to close I put my bid in. And then got this.
It is my birthday and wedding anniversary next month, and guess where I will be celebrating? And the food will taste even better knowing that my money is supporting SIFA, albeit in a very small way.
And last night SIFA were featured on BBC Midlands today. The Worcester Warriors Rugby Club had donated time and money to serve breakfasts there. At once I dashed off a tweet.
It wasn’t much and I do not know how much difference it made, but it got retweeted by BBC Midlands today who have over 37000 followers.
Today I saw this:
And of course I retweeted.
I didn’t do much, but this much I know, I used Twitter for Good.
My son The Gamer is a ‘super taster’ which makes meal planning difficult. I am not complaining as he prefers my homemade lasagna to a more expensive one in Carluccio’s.
As I cook for The Gamer, the Mobile Library Man as well as for myself most nights, meals are based around pasta, tinned tomatoes and peppers. This week though, The Gamer is away climbing mountains and paddling canoes and generally getting cold and wet in The Countryside. He has to cook for the group on one night and not surprisingly has copied his favourite recipe for a spaghetti sauce (from this book)
into an app on his iPod. At least he can cook. He also washes his own clothes and knows how to use a vacuum cleaner. I have trained him well.
The upside of him being away is that I can cook new and different things. Free from the shackles of pasta, pasta or pasta for four nights I want to eat what I like.
And I am going to cook only recipes from the A Girl Called Jack blog. I have shared her tweets and blogs for ages, shouted at the telly when Eggwina Currie was vile to her yet have only ever cooked one of her recipes, the Creamy Salmon Pasta. There it is, pasta again.
I have had lentils lurking in the store cupboard for far to long, spinach that needed using up and plenty of spices etc in my collection so all I had to buy today was some yoghurt at 45p and pita at 49p for dinner tonight. Both from Aldi (no surprise there).
I forgot to rinse the lentils, and I bought low fat yoghurt which I won’t do again and added a little bit more water, and used sweet chilli sauce n place of fresh chillies as I like spicy but not hot food. And it was nom. The Mobile Library Man had seconds, and saved some for his lunch tomorrow. Jack says this serves two. So for two read four. And we like our food in this house.
Now what shall I cook tomorrow?
for every body, every mind and every budget - jack monroe
Own Your Attention, Build Better Habits | Minimalism, Habits, & Focus
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Recipes, tips & inspiration to eat healthily on a budget.
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