FRUGAL FOOD
Sconehenge

Sconehenge

£6 for 6 gluten free dairy free pasta bake

£2 jar of Trattoria Verdi artichoke antipasti from Tesco.
£1 box of GF penne (grabbed mine in LeClerc in France).
£1 Tin of artichoke hearts in brine (again from France but you can get them here or poach fresh ones, especially if they are reduced from a closing market).
Half a £1.50 tub of black pepper and spring onion free from soft cheese from Tesco.
10p garlic clove.
Half a £1.80 pack of lactofree mature cheddar (of course substitute dairy free if needed - my issue is just lactose).
Handful of fresh spinach or a few lumps of frozen spinach, defrosted.
Glug of white wine if you have it, or substitute with a little lemon juice or a teaspoon of white wine vinegar to taste.

Cook the pasta, refresh in cold water.

Meanwhile, crush and fry the garlic in a frying pan in a little of the antipasti oil.
Add the rest of the antipasti jar and stir.
Add the drained can of artichoke hearts and lightly break them down with your cooking spatula.
Add the spinach and stir.
I added a couple of ice cubes of frozen leftover white wine at this point. You could leave it out or add a glug of wine if you have some handy.
Stir in the black pepper and spring onion free from soft cheese substitute. Warm through thoroughly.
Pour sauce over the pasta in a baking dish and stir in.
Grate the lactofree or dairy free cheese substitute over the top and bake until golden and bubbling.

serves 6. £1 each.

Failed cheesecake - I was trying to make a mega-healthy cheesecake with a crumb from milled linseeds and berries. The cheesy part is just 2 pots of quark mixed with 100g Philadelphia, set with 4 leaves of gelatine and flavoured with the zest of one lime and the juice of two. I added 2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder to be clever because it works in cakes…don’t. Just stick with the lime and a little sugar to taste. Matcha tastes of fish in cheesecake. Who knew? #cookingfail

Failed cheesecake - I was trying to make a mega-healthy cheesecake with a crumb from milled linseeds and berries. The cheesy part is just 2 pots of quark mixed with 100g Philadelphia, set with 4 leaves of gelatine and flavoured with the zest of one lime and the juice of two. I added 2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder to be clever because it works in cakes…don’t. Just stick with the lime and a little sugar to taste. Matcha tastes of fish in cheesecake. Who knew? #cookingfail

Chickpea stir fry with 20p reduced stir fry from the co-op last night :-) I added some frozen sweetcorn, spinach, peas and green beans.

Chickpea stir fry with 20p reduced stir fry from the co-op last night :-) I added some frozen sweetcorn, spinach, peas and green beans.

20p bargains £2.20 for 2 cottage pies, mushroom stir fry, spring onions, 4 spinach and ricotta tortellini, 2 loaves of bread, coleslaw

20p bargains £2.20 for 2 cottage pies, mushroom stir fry, spring onions, 4 spinach and ricotta tortellini, 2 loaves of bread, coleslaw

From the bottom up

I just watched the first in the latest series of Jamie’s money saving meals from the recording thingy box that keeps going wrong.
Although its helpful and provides some inspiration, I can’t help feeling it’s a ‘top down’ approach… From having a reasonable budget but trying to save money.
I’m probably much the same as many other families with house prices, cost of living, wages and recession as it is and has been for some time… approaching it from the bottom up. I’m trying to somehow stretch no food budget (money borrowed from the mortgage payment) to provide good food and reserve as much money as possible for bills.
I’m not really trying to save money for other things, although that is a useful concept, I’m trying to create some kind of good living out of very little.
£1.73 a portion? For 6? That would be nice. Maybe for occasional family celebrations but most days, the budget is nearer 50p per portion for two.

Paella made with reduced langoustines (67p for 5) and 2 pieces of frozen cod

Paella made with reduced langoustines (67p for 5) and 2 pieces of frozen cod

A rummage through the cupboard brought forward some coconut flour. Coconut walnut sultana gluten free muffins. Topped with leftover lemon buttercream.

A rummage through the cupboard brought forward some coconut flour. Coconut walnut sultana gluten free muffins. Topped with leftover lemon buttercream.

Some roasted red onions and sage from the garden turn 20p reduced sausages into a special toad in the hole

Some roasted red onions and sage from the garden turn 20p reduced sausages into a special toad in the hole

Peach Melba ice cream - 600ml double cream, whipped, one can of condensed milk stirred through, a can of drained peaches, crushed, stirred in and then blobs of raspberry jam swirled in. Carefully fold into a freezable tub and freeze. Serve with home made shortbread.

Peach Melba ice cream - 600ml double cream, whipped, one can of condensed milk stirred through, a can of drained peaches, crushed, stirred in and then blobs of raspberry jam swirled in. Carefully fold into a freezable tub and freeze. Serve with home made shortbread.