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How to eat healthily on £1 a day - Recipes

Discussion in 'Recipes and Ideas' started by Micawber, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Burger, 9p


    Ingredients, makes 4:*

    1 carrot, grated, 5p (from a 1.25kg veg pack average 20pcs, £1)
    1 onion, finely chopped, 5p (from a 1.25kg veg pack average 20pcs, £1)
    Handful of coriander, finely chopped, free (window ledge)
    Teaspoon of cumin, 2p approx (80p/46g)
    1 can kidney beans, 21p
    Splash of oil, 2p (£4.50/3l)
    Teaspoon of flour, 1p (65p/1.5kg)

    How To:

    1. Drain and rinse the kidney beans in cold water to wash away the ‘tinned’ taste. Put in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes to soften.

    2. In a separate pan, add the finely chopped onion, grated carrot, cumin and coriander. Drizzle a little oil over and cook gently on a low heat to soften.

    3. When the kidney beans have heated through and softened, drain and add to the carrots and onions. Mash together with a masher or a fork until you have a smooth-ish purée (like a mashed potato consistency). Stir in a heaped teaspoon of flour.

    4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. With floured hands, shape some of the mixture into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Place in the oil and flatten gently with a fork to make the burger shape. Cook for a few minutes on one side, before turning over gently. They need to be handled with care while cooking as they can be quite fragile!

    5. When cooked on both sides, serve hot.

    A Girl Called Jack
  2. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Gigantes Plaki, 17p. (giant baked beans)



    100g dried butter beans, 22p (£1.09/500g)
    1 carton chopped tomatoes, 31p
    1 onion, 5p (part of a 1.25kg veg pack, £1)
    1 garlic clove, 3p (46p for 2 bulbs, avg 8 cloves each)
    Pinch of cinnamon, 4p approx (95p/47g)
    Splash of lemon juice, 2p approx (60p/200ml)
    1 vegetable stock cube, 1p (10 for 10p)
    Basil, free

    How To:

    (You can either soak dried beans overnight in cold water, which means they will need to be drained, rinsed and boiled separately to the sauce in order to get rid of any toxins – or use a can of ready prepared butter beans, which is more expensive but more convenient. I used dried beans that I had soaked overnight, and drained, rinsed and boiled them for 10 minutes before starting this recipe.)

    1. Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to a saucepan with the chopped tomatoes.

    2. Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes until the onion and garlic soften.

    3. Add the lemon juice, basil and cinnamon and stir in, continuing to simmer.

    4. Stir in the butter beans (if using canned ones, drain and rinse them before adding to the pan).

    5. Crumble in the vegetable stock cube with a little water if necessary. Stir well.

    6. Simmer all together on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Garnish with additional basil to serve.

    Serve with rice (3p for a 75g portion*).

    Can also be eaten cold as a Mezze or snack, or mixed with leftover rice and stuffed into a pitta bread for lunch (40p for 6* – I have mine on standby for tomorrows lunch!)

    Keeps in the fridge for approximately 3 days, and freezes well too.

    A Girl Called Jack
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Vegetable Masala Curry, 30p.


    Proper Vegetable Masala Curry, 89p, serves 3-4 at less than 30p each.


    1 onion, 5p (part of a 20pc veg pack, £1)
    1 carrot, 5p (part of a 20pc veg pack, £1)
    1 potato, 5p (part of a 20pc veg pack, £1)
    1 garlic clove, 3p (46p for 2 bulbs, avg 8 cloves per bulb)
    1 carton chopped tomatoes, 35p
    1/2 pot natural yoghurt, 32p (65p/500g)
    1 vegetable stock cube, 1p (10p for 10)
    Fistful of parsley and coriander, free
    Shake of garam masala, 3p approx (£1.19/42g)

    How To:

    1. Peel and chop the onion, and peel and finely slice the garlic, and place in a large sauté pan on a low heat with a splash of oil.

    2. Chop the potato and onion (I dice mine into half inch cubes) and add to the pot, stirring. Halve the chilli and rinse the seeds out (quicker than faffing about with a knife) and add in, so it can be lifted out whole at the end to prevent little mouths getting a hot surprise. You can slice it extremely finely if you want, but life’s too short.

    3. Chop the herbs and throw in, with a liberal sprinkle of garam masala.

    4. Add 200ml vegetable stock, the carton of chopped tomatoes and 250g of natural yoghurt, stir through, and leave to simmer on a low heat.

    5. The trick with curry – good curry – is to allow it to cook slowly and gently in order that the flavours infuse and meld together in an amalgamation of spicy goodness. I let mine simmer gently for about forty minutes, checking and adding stock or water if it starts to dry out.

    Serve with plain boiled rice at around 3p per person for 75g Sainsburys Basics.

    Make it posh and variations:

    1. You can substitute the yoghurt for coconut milk if your budget allows for it, for a sweeter, creamier taste, or if you’re a vegan.

    2. Add fennel seeds and crushed cardamom pods for sweetness – I normally would but I don’t have any to hand and this weeks budget wouldn’t allow for an extra ‘spice’ in the spice rack. I try to buy one a week to build the collection up.

    3. When cooking the boiled rice, add a shake of turmeric, half a vegetable stock cube, a star anise, some scraped-out cardamom pods and a handful of sultanas for a seriously special accompaniment. Again, I’m surveying my spice rack sadly, and might put one of them on next weeks shopping list!

    A Girl Called Jack
  4. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Jardaloo Ma Murghi (Curry With Apricots) 22p



    100g dried chickpeas, 22p (£1.09/500g)
    1 onion, 5p (part of a 1.25kg veg pack avg 20 pieces)
    1 clove garlic, 3p (2 bulbs for 46p, avg 8 cloves each)
    1 carton chopped tomatoes, 31p
    5 apricots/1/3 of a 411g can, 20p (59p/411g)
    Fresh coriander, free (window ledge)
    Vegetable stock cube, 2p (15p for 10)
    Shake of cumin, 2p (80p/46g jar)
    1 chilli, free (window ledge)
    Splash of vegetable oil, 2p (£4.50/3 litres)

    How To:

    First, pop your chickpeas in a bowl of cold water to soak, either overnight or first thing in the morning. They need at least 8 hours soaking time!


    1. Drain your chickpeas and rinse them vigorously to get rid of the stagnant water that they’ll have been sitting in.

    2. Pop them in some fresh water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for a good ten minutes to boil out any toxins. (This sounds over cautious but believe me it’s necessary!)

    3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, and finely chop the chilli. Add to a saucepan with a splash of oil and a shake of cumin, and cook gently on a low heat. Allow the onions to ‘sweat’, not brown. If they burn, the burnt taste will permeate through your whole curry. If they sweat, they will add a delicious sweetness.

    4. Chop the apricots into small chunks and add to the onion/garlic/chilli mixture with any juice from the can. Put the rest of the apricots in a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to snack on, or make something else with tomorrow (recipes naturally to follow, seeing I have done just this!)

    5. By this time, the chickpeas should have vigorously boiled all of their toxins out! Reduce down to a simmer.

    6. Pour the chopped tomatoes over the apricots and onions, and add finely chopped coriander and
    a crumbled stock cube and stir in.

    7. Reduce the heat to a low setting, and allow to cook gently for at least 30 minutes. This thickens the sauce and melds the flavours together – if chopped finely enough, the onions will disappear as they thicken the sweet spicy sauce. You may need to add a cup of water to the sauce if it starts to thicken too much.

    8. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and tip into the sauce. Stir through.

    9. Serve! Can be served with rice (40p for 1kg bag = 3p per 75g portion* put on to boil 20 minutes before serving).

    It’s also absolutely delicious cold the next day in a pitta bread for lunch…

    Keeps in the fridge for two to three days, and freezes well, if there’s any left!

    A Girl Called Jack
  5. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Carrot & Coriander Falafels, 23p.


    Carrot and coriander falafels, 91p. Makes 12ish falafels, serves 4 at 23p each.


    3tbsp vegetable oil, 6p (£4.50/3l)
    1 onion, 5p (£1/20pc veg bag)
    400g can of chickpeas, 69p
    shake of cumin, 4p (95p/46g)
    1 carrot, 5p (£1/20pc veg bag)
    parsley, free -window sill
    coriander, free – window sill
    Tbsp flour for dusting your hands, 2p worth? (65p/1.5kg)

    How To:

    1. Peel and finely chop the onion, and grate the carrot. (I grate the onion too so it’s finer, but it’s a pain to do!) Fry together in a tablespoon of oil over a low heat for a few minutes until softened.

    2. Tip into a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas, and add the chopped parsley and coriander, and a shake of cumin.

    3. Mash it all together with a potato masher (or a fork) until the chickpeas have broken down into a mush. The oil from the carrots and onion will help combine the chickpeas together, but you may need to add a tiny bit more.

    5. Flour your hands, and mould into golf ball shapes. Heat a little more oil in the sauté pan and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.

    Serve with couscous made up with vegetable or chicken stock, lemon juice and coriander, and with green beans or other green vegetable of your choice.

    A Girl Called Jack
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Spring Piggy, Posh Nosh! 33p



    300g bacon, 48p (£1.09/670g)
    1 garlic clove, 3p (46p for 2 bulbs, avg 8 cloves each)
    1 onion, 5p (part of a 20pc mixed vegetable pack, £1)
    1 carrot, 5p (part of a 20pc mixed vegetable pack, £1)
    100ml white wine, 46p (Table Wine, £3.48/750ml)
    1 chicken stock cube, 1p (10p for 10)
    2 tbsp natural yoghurt, 7p (65p/500ml)
    1 tsp English mustard, 2p (46p per jar)
    Fistful each of thyme and parsley, growing on my window ledge
    1/8 savoy cabbage, 10p (80p each)
    50g green beans, 7p (£1.40/kg, frozen)

    How To:

    1. Dice the bacon, and peel and chop the onion and finely slice the garlic. Add all to a large sauté pan with an optional splash of oil (I dry cook mine on a low heat, as enough fat usually comes out of the bacon, but you need to keep an eye on it and stir it frequently to disturb the onions and garlic and stop them from sticking).

    2. Add the wine and chopped thyme and parsley, stir through and leave simmering on a low heat.

    3. Chop the carrot (again, I don’t peel my veg, a quick but vociferous rinse usually does the trick, there’s so much goodness just under the skins of vegetables that it’s a shame to waste them). Add the chopped carrot to the pot.

    4. Add 500ml of hot chicken stock, and stir in the mustard. Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for 20 mins, checking and stirring as you see fit.

    5. Finely chop the savoy cabbage, and five mins before serving, add to the pot with the green beans. Stir the yoghurt through to make the sauce slightly creamy, this is optional but delicious.

    6. Serve with mash or rice or bread. Also delicious tossed through spaghetti – in fact this works with most carbs!

    Make It Posh variations:

    It’s hard to improve on this, but use any baby root veg you have to hand. Sweet potato, baby turnips, swede, black salsify and parsnips all work well along with or instead of the carrot.

    Add extra yoghurt or if you’re feeling flush, creme fraiche or cream work beautifully too. (I use yoghurt as its one of my food shop staples, instead of buying an alternative)

    Add diced chicken the same time as the bacon, or chicken thighs on the bone a la Nigella – remember to seal on both sides before adding the wine and stock!

    Will keep in the fridge for a few days, or freezer for about three months. If freezing, add a little extra stock or water to the sauce to allow it to coat the bacon and veg – this helps it to freeze better.

    A Girl Called Jack
  7. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Tomato And Haricot Soup, 15p.



    2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped, 6p (46p for 2 bulbs, approx 8 cloves per bulb)

    1 carrot, peeled and chopped, 5p (from a 1.25kg mixed vegetable pack, £1)

    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped, 5p. (from a 1.25kg mixed vegetable pack, £1)

    Handful of thyme, free (kitchen windowsill)

    A tin of chopped tomatoes, 31p

    A tin of cannelloni, haricot or butter beans, drained and rinsed, 40p (5 for £2, special offer)

    500ml beef stock, 1p (10p for 10 cubes)

    How to:

    1. Add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic to a saucepan, with the beef stock to cover.

    2. Throw in the chopped tomatoes and drained, rinsed beans and simmer for 30 minutes until the veg is soft.

    3. This can be served chunky, by removing half, pulsing the remaining half in a blender, and adding the ‘chunks’ back in, or smooth, by pulsing the lot.

    Variations, suggestions and ideas:

    Serve with crusty bread and stir in balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar for an extra special lunch.

    Add tomato purée to thicken and give more of a tomato taste, if required.

    Add the grated zest of a lemon, and use chicken stock in place of the beef, for a lighter, summer soup.

    Use less stock and pulse for a thicker soup mixture, which can be frozen in ice cube moulds and used as a delicious pasta sauce.

    A Girl Called Jack
  8. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Warm Spicy Daal, Rice, And Pitta, 33p per person.



    Red lentils 100g (22p, £1.08 for 500g)
    Chopped tomatoes, 1 carton (35p)
    1 onion (5p, from a 1.25kg vegetable pack for £1)
    Cumin, 1 tsp (4p approx; 70p for 46g)
    Fresh coriander, 1 tbsp (free, grows on my window ledge)
    Chicken stock, 1l (1p, 10p for 10 cubes)

    How to…

    1. Rinse the lentils in cold water and drain. Place in a saucepan of fresh water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises by using a spoon.

    2. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces, and add to the saucepan with the chicken stock cube, cumin, chopped tomatoes and coriander. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are swollen. Add more stock or water if required.

    3. Stir well. Serve with warmed naan bread and extra fresh coriander to garnish.

    Variations: Add coconut milk in place of the chopped tomatoes, with turmeric, for a sweeter, creamy taste.

    A Girl Called Jack
    • Like Like x 1
  9. oss

    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    I don't entirely agree with her, the spice quantities mentioned are too small and also too vague in general, also yogurt and chopped tomatoes tends to give you tomato soup curry or a horrible version of the standard awful tandoori recipe that has been in use for so many years.

    Yeah slow cooking helps sometimes but really good curries can be made quickly they do not have to take hours, and in the real world Indian folk don't want to take hours to cook a curry either!

    They developed better ways!

    Also if you are on a budget you don't want long cooking times.

    I cook high quality Asian meals for on average a bit less than a pound a day, however while it is pleasant food I doubt that my meals alone would meet calorie requirements to stay alive, these low price 30p meals sure as hell would not, I think some of those participating are going to get very very thin.

    Re the posh variations, I think she meant substitute coconut milk for yogurt not the other way round?

    And for rice additions, well turmeric will give it colour but it's not a genuine fried rice just a bit of colouring with little flavor, sultanas, me I never liked sultanas in rice, personally if you are going to flavor rice then a touch of fennel seed and cumin seed towards the end of cooking and a generous helping of desiccated coconut flakes as a garnish works well.

    Regards price of ingredients, well for rice buy quality rice in 20 Kg sacks never buy supermarket rice, for one man a 20kg sack will last around 9 months. if a single man had one rice dish a day 20kg would cost about 15 quid and last most of the year however one portion of rice a day is not enough to live on, it does not matter who you are you need calories to live.

    Note a yogurt finish with sliced tomato can overcome the bad tandoori syndrome but both are added close to the end of cooking and can work well together but only if the tomato's are fresh and not refugee's from a refrigerator, fridges destroy the flavor of tomato's.

    Just my Asian cooking experience thrupence worth ;)
  10. Anon220806

    Anon220806 Well-Known Member

    Like I said, a good way to lose a few pounds (weight) :D
  11. Kuya

    Kuya The Geeky One Staff Member

    Years ago I used to have a really tight budget, used to buy cheap instant noodles, baked beans, meatballs and bags of frozen veg to go with the mix.. Made some random, but nice student meals back in the day..

    Used to live on £10 food shopping a week!!
  12. aposhark

    aposhark Well-Known Member Lifetime Member

    Great Recipes, Peter.

    I'm a useless cook, just never get excited about preparing food :(

    I love eating "Indian" though...
  13. Anon220806

    Anon220806 Well-Known Member

    How about this? Mrs Ash loves this stuff now.

    "A recent article about how little money someone can realistically live on generated a big response from readers.

    It looked at whether it was possible to eat healthily for £12 a week, how much in the way of clothes a person needed, and other budget essentials in the wake of the new cap on benefits. Readers shared their thoughts and feelings about living on a tight budget.

    Here is a selection:

    In January I moved to London from Darlington. Since then I have lived on £1,242 a month after tax. Half of this goes on rent, which is twice what I was paying in the North. I also run a car, pay all of my other bills and go out at least twice a week with the money left over. The last week of the month is "porridge week". It's 99p for 500g of porridge and I eat it for breakfast, lunch and tea in the seven days before I get paid again.

  14. Markham

    Markham Guest

    Porridge - or rather, oatmeal - is gaining popularity here in the Philippines. Our local SM supermarket has an entire aisle devoted to the stuff. Mind you, they don't eat it quite as we might - with milk and brown sugar, for example - they make it with just a little water and often eat it cold as a substitute for rice.
  15. Anon220806

    Anon220806 Well-Known Member

    Ah. Mrs Ash is eating it made with milk, topped with golden syrup and philadelphia chocolate spread. :D
  16. oss

    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    This was a really good thread, I was probably too strident and harsh with my comments in post #9 those were driven from my personal tastes, looking at Peter's recipes again some of these look pretty good.

    I dredged this up because I noticed someone browsing the thread and it took be back to better days.
  17. bigmac

    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I miss Peter. Does anyone know how he is ?
  18. oss

    oss Somewhere Staff Member

    He's getting on with his life in the Phils as far as I know.
  19. Anon220806

    Anon220806 Well-Known Member

    I messaged him a month or so back but got no response. I know he had a lot of issues with blood pressure.
  20. bigmac

    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    if you do get a reply please give him my best wishes. he was very helpful to me when i first joined an immigration help forum. ( not this one )
    • Agree Agree x 1

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