Archive | August, 2013

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

28 Aug

P1030704

Although this isn’t the cheapest recipe I’ve made, it isn’t too expensive and is well worth a little extra cost. Strong flavours and colours give this dish a real sense of luxury despite being on a budget, and it’s one of my favourite curries.

I’ve tried not to use too many spices in order to keep costs down, as it can get very expensive if you don’t already have them. However, turmeric really does add to the flavour of this dish which is why I’ve included it alongside the chilli.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Tip: if this recipe is too spicy for your liking try only using 1 tsp of chilli powder, as the turmeric is more important to the flavour of the whole dish than the chilli is.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £0.91 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 tsps chilli powder
  • Salt, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Boil the sweet potato for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

P1030688

2) Chop the onion and fry on a medium heat with the garlic and turmeric for 3 minutes.

P1030693

3) Add the chilli powder and fry for another 2 minutes.

P1030694

4) Add the coconut milk and stir in well. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the coconut milk has thickened slightly.

P1030697

5) Season with salt and stir in the sweet potato. Simmer for another 4 minutes.

P1030700

6) Add the baby spinach – don’t worry when it doesn’t all fit in the pan! Simmer for 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted.

P1030701

P1030702

7) Serve with rice, naan bread or chapattis.

P1030708

Advertisements

Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

24 Aug

P1030649 - Copy

I have a really sweet tooth so I thought these little cupcakes would be great. The strawberry jam gives a delicious addition to traditional fluffy sponge, and they’re so more-ish.

Tip: I’ve used strawberry jam as it’s my favourite, but pretty much any flavour of jam (although not marmalade!) would work well. I think blackcurrant or raspberry would be particularly good!

Makes: I made thirteen good sized cupcakes, but you could possibly get one more out of this recipe if you made them quite small.

Cost per cake: obviously this depends on how many cakes you make, but if you made thirteen cakes it would work out as £0.09 per cake (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 75g strawberry jam

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

2) Cream together the butter and sugar, and then beat in the eggs and vanilla essence.

P1030634 - Copy

3) Sift the flour into the mixture gradually, and fold in with a large metal spoon.

P1030636 - Copy

P1030638 - Copy

4) Fill each of your cake cases around half full with mixture.

P1030640 - Copy

5) Add around a teaspoon of jam to each cake case, taking care that the jam does not reach the sides – if it does, it will all ooze out of the side of the cake.

P1030641 - Copy

6) Cover over the jam with a layer of mixture, ensuring it is all covered up.

P1030644 - Copy

7) Bake in the oven for around 12-15 minutes, until golden.

P1030646 - Copy

8) Try not to eat them all at once!

P1030652 - Copy

Egg Fried Rice

21 Aug

P1030628 - Copy

This is an extremely cheap and very easy recipe to make, and it’s great either as a dish on its own or as an accompanying dish to oriental food such as Chinese.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or this dish can also be eaten cold.

Tip: I’ve left the recipe vegetarian and very simple, but it would be great with some bacon if you wanted a more substantial meal – just chop it up and fry it with the mushrooms.

Serves: two people.

Cost per person: £0.42 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g mushrooms
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g rice
  • 3 tsps soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Cook the rice for around twelve minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.

P1030610 - Copy

2) Beat the eggs and fry for around 1 minute until set, then remove from the pan and slice into strips.

P1030611 - Copy

P1030613 - Copy

3) Chop the mushrooms and fry for around 3 minutes, until golden.

P1030618 - Copy

4) Add the peas and chopped garlic to the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.

P1030620 - Copy

5) Add the rice to the pan and stir through, before adding the soy sauce.

P1030623 - Copy

P1030624 - Copy

6) Stir the chopped egg through the rice.

P1030625 - Copy

7) Serve immediately, with a little more soy sauce if you wish.

P1030630 - Copy

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cookies

17 Aug

P1030600 - Copy

I have a real thing at the moment for cookies that are a bit more interesting than basic milk chocolate chips, so I was really pleased with how these turned out. I really like the added flavour that using whole raspberries, as opposed to freeze dried raspberry pieces, gives.

Tip: I used frozen raspberries because they’re much cheaper than fresh, but you can use either and it will work exactly the same. However, fresh raspberries will release a lot more juice into the mixture so if you find it gets too runny just add a little more flour.

Makes: around fifteen large cookies, or maybe a few more if you make them a bit smaller.

Cost per cookie: again, this depends on how many cookies you make but if you made fifteen cookies it would work out as £0.14 per cookie (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 350g unsifted plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 75g raspberries

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together, and then beat in the eggs.

P1030580 - Copy

3) Mix together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and add to the mixture.

P1030583 - Copy

P1030584 - Copy

4) Break the chocolate into small pieces, and stir it evenly through the mixture.

P1030585 - Copy

P1030587 - Copy

5) Chop the raspberries into pieces and add them to the mixture as well, trying not to release too much juice.

P1030590 - Copy

6) Spoon the dough onto a greased baking tray and cook in the oven for around 12-15 minutes, until golden.

P1030591 - Copy

7) Try not to eat them all at once!

P1030601 - Copy

Sausage and Tomato Pasta

11 Aug

P1030571 - Copy

This is a quick and simple recipe with very few ingredients – and you probably already have all, or nearly all, of them in the cupboard already. It’s a great meal to make for when you want something quick but hearty and filling, and don’t want to fill up on junk food.

Leftovers should be fine to reheat for around three days if kept in the fridge, or around a month if frozen.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £0.43 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 300g pasta
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 small or 4 large sausages
  • 2 cans (400g each) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Cook the sausages according to the instructions on the packet and set aside.

P1030568 - Copy

2) Chop and fry the onion and garlic on a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes, until soft and golden.

P1030562 - Copy

3) Put the pasta on to boil, and add the chopped tomatoes to the onion and garlic and season with mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for around eight minutes.

P1030564 - Copy

4) Chop the sausages into pieces and add to the tomato sauce. Simmer until the pasta is ready.

P1030569 - Copy

5) Drain the pasta and serve.

P1030575 - Copy

Chicken Kiev and Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

6 Aug

P1030556 - Copy

This is definitely one of my favourite meals, as it’s packed with flavour and it’s not even bad for you, it’s actually pretty healthy! Although chicken isn’t the cheapest of ingredients, I think that this meal is definitely worth the extra expense as it’s so good. Shop-bought chicken kievs just don’t compare to the homemade version!

Tip: If you don’t have or don’t like sweet potato then a normal baking potato would work just the same, although it may need 5 minutes longer to cook.

Serves: three people.

Cost per person: £1.61 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • Three chicken breasts
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 25g butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper/cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C, and the grill to a medium heat.

2) Peel the sweet potato and slice into wedges. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the mixed herbs and chilli powder, and drizzle with vegetable oil. Cook for around 30 minutes, until golden.

P1030539 - Copy

3) Whilst the chips are cooking, get started on the chicken. Finely chop or crush the garlic and mix with the butter.

P1030545 - Copy

4) Cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast and spoon some of the garlic butter inside. Spread the butter on both sides of the chicken breasts and cook under a medium grill for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

P1030548 - Copy

5) Whilst the chicken is cooking toast the slice of bread and break it into breadcrumbs.

P1030544 - Copy

6) Remove the chicken from the grill and cover with more garlic butter and breadcrumbs; if they won’t stick try mixing them with some of the butter. Cook under the grill for another 3-5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden.

P1030551 - Copy

7) Serve with your choice of vegetables and tuck in!

P1030557 - Copy

Chocolate Marble Cake

2 Aug

P1030531 - Copy

I have a major sweet tooth and this is probably my all-time favourite cake. The mixture of vanilla and chocolate means it isn’t too rich and is light and fluffy – it didn’t last two days around my family!

Cost per slice: obviously this depends on how big your slices are! You should be able to get around sixteen slices out of this cake, in which case they would work out as costing just £0.12 per slice, far cheaper than anything you could buy and much tastier too! (Price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm cake tin, and if you have any available then line the base of the tin with greaseproof paper.

2) Add all the ingredients except the cocoa powder to a large bowl and blend. If you are doing this by hand, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs one at a time and beat them in too. Fold in the flour, milk and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth.

P1030510 - Copy

3) Divide the mixture between two bowls and and stir the cocoa powder into one of them. Then use two spoons to put alternate spoonfuls of the two mixtures into the cake tin.

P1030511 - Copy

4) Use a skewer or a fork to swirl the mixture around and create a marbled effect.

P1030512 - Copy

5) Bake for around 45-55 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and place it on a cooling rack (or just a plate if you don’t have one!) to cool.

P1030537 - Copy

%d bloggers like this: