Tag Archives: Garlic

Ricey Cheesy Mess

8 Dec

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This is such a quick meal to make, and great for when you’ve almost run out of food – everything in it is pretty much guaranteed to be in the fridge. It’s also really versatile, and you can chuck almost anything in, depending on what you have or prefer. It’s not the prettiest food (hence the name!), but is really tasty and very easy to make, and is essentially a really cheap version of risotto.

It doesn’t really matter what cheese you use, but strong-flavoured is better; I use mature cheddar. The stock cube also isn’t essential, but it gives this dish a lot more flavour and just generally makes it more awesome.

Tip: if you have leftover (pre-cooked) chicken you can use that instead of the bacon, and it’s really tasty.

Serves: two people.

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

Ingredients:

  • 180g rice
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 75g grated cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method:

1) Put the rice on to boil, with the stock cube in the water.

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2) Chop the onion, garlic and bacon, and fry for around 10 minutes on a low heat. Season with mixed herbs.

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3) Add the pepper and fry for another 3 minutes.

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4) Drain the rice and mix in the bacon and vegetables with all but a small handful of the cheese. Serve with the rest of the cheese sprinkled on the top.

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Cheat’s Tartiflette

7 Nov

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This is a perfect dish now that the weather is getting colder, because it’s really hearty and filling without being stodgy. The ingredients are all things that you probably already have in the fridge, so it’s really good for when you need to make something quick but tasty.

It’s also a great play on the classic French dish tartiflette, which is delicious but a lot more expensive as it uses double cream and reblochon cheese where I’ve used milk and cheddar, making it a perfect treat on a budget.

Tip: this would be really tasty with bacon in all of the layers, but if you want to do this I would suggest frying it first so that it crisps up a bit, as just cooking it in the milk won’t give it as nice a texture.

Serves: three people.

Cost per person: £0.63 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 3 baking potatoes
  • 1 rashers bacon
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100g cheddar cheese (or similar)
  • 100ml milk
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

2) Cut the baking potatoes into slices.

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3) Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a layer of potatoes. Season with garlic, mixed herbs, salt and pepper.

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4) Cover with a third of the grated cheese and half a roughly chopped onion.

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5) Add another layer of potatoes and cover with another third of the cheese and the rest of the onion. Season with garlic, mixed herbs, salt and pepper.

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6) Add another layer of potatoes and season with garlic, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Chop the bacon rashers into pieces and cover the potatoes with them. Drizzle with vegetable oil.

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7) Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then add the milk and return to the oven.

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8) After another 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir, to avoid the milk curdling.

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9) Add the rest of the grated cheese and cook for another 10 minutes, until the cheese has completely melted and the potatoes are cooked.

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10) Tuck in!

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Beef and Bean Pot Melt

6 Sep

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This tender, melt-in-the-mouth dish is a hearty treat, great as we move into autumn. It can be made with pretty much any cut of beef, and because it cooks for a long time even a very cheap cut will be succulent and tender. I used a cut of beef called skirt, but anything such as braising steak, brisket, chuck or shin would be delicious in this recipe. You may have to look in a butchers to find some of them if your supermarket doesn’t have a meat counter, but they shouldn’t be too expensive and there is often much more flavour to be found in a cheaper cut of meat!

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

Tip: small chunks of blue cheese or mature cheddar stirred through 5 minutes before cooking is done would add a lovely depth to this dish.

Serves: four people.

Cost per person: £1.02 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients, except for the beef).

Ingredients:

  • 400g diced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1-2 tsps chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 50ml water
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 160C.

2) Dice the beef if not already done, and coat it in a layer of flour.

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3) Fry the beef on a high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until sealed and golden brown.

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4) Chop the onion and garlic and them to the beef. Cook on a medium heat for another 10 minutes.

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5) Add the water and chilli powder to the beef and onions, and simmer for 2 minutes.

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6) Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and the chopped pepper, and stir together well.

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7) Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

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8) Serve with a jacket potato or mash, and enjoy!

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Egg Fried Rice

21 Aug

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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.

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

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

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

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

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6) Stir the chopped egg through the rice.

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

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Sausage and Tomato Pasta

11 Aug

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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.

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

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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.

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

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5) Drain the pasta and serve.

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Chicken Kiev and Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

6 Aug

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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Tomato, Spinach and Chickpea Spaghetti

29 Jul

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This is a simple and extremely healthy meal, and is a favourite of mine to perk you up when you’re feeling tired and run down – it’s full of vitamins so makes you feel loads better, as well as being really tasty.

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: £0.49 (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 350g spaghetti
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 60g baby spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

1) Fry the onion and garlic on a medium heat with the chilli powder for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

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2) Put the spaghetti on the boil. Turn the onion down to a lower heat and add the chopped tomatoes, simmering gently. Season with mixed herbs, salt and pepper.

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3) A couple of minutes before the spaghetti is cooked, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the sauce.

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4) Add the spinach leaves and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach wilts.

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5) Drain the spaghetti and serve! Sprinkle with a little grated cheese if preferred.

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