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Waste Not, Want Not: Bottom-of-The-Fridge Stew

19 Jan
Spicy Chirizo and Lentil Stew

Spicy Lentil and Chorizo Stew

I know it doesn’t have the sexiest of titles but this is actually really tasty. I make this stew (or a variation of it, depending on what I have lying around the kitchen) once every week or two and it always turns out well. And it’s cheap!! I tried working out how much it costs per person but, since ALL the ingredients came from ransacking the remains in my fridge, I have no idea. Also, I want to tell you about my new frugal best friend: Smoked Bacon Off-Cuts. You can get a huge value pack of it in Aldi for under 2 squid and you can cut it up for omelettes/soups/stews/anything really( bacon fudge?) and it lasts for frickin’ ages.

I realised another way I’m saving money and reducing my food waste is generally buying and eating less meat. Though in no way am I a vegetarian (I devoured a rack of lamb only last week and I was still gnawing on the bones as the waitress pulled my plate away), my weekly meat purchases tend to be things like tinned anchovies (fantastic for sauces), the aforementioned bacon and, if I’m feeling posh, some chorizo.

So anyway, this is my Bottom-of-The-Fridge (or Spicy Lentil and Chorizo if you want to sound fancy) Stew, you can change it around with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge or freezer, the main important things are chorizo, tomatoes and as much garlic as social decorum will allow (I take that back, balls to social decorum, throw in as much garlic as you can. Garlic for all!)


Spicy Lentil and Chorizo Stew

(Serves 4)

Put a large heavy  bottomed pot on a medium heat and add tablespoon of olive oil.

Add a handful of roughly chopped smoked bacon and chorizo, fry until crispy.

Add one onion, one leek, 5 cloves of garlic (yaay, garlic), 1 large carrot, 1 handful of cabbage and 2 handfuls of baby potatoes, all roughly chopped.

Add a tablespoon of dried chilli flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy, obviously).

Stir and sauté for 3-4 mins.

Add a tin of lentils, a tin of chopped tomatoes (both 400g tins) and a teaspoon of sugar. Fill one of the empty tins with boiling water and a chicken stock cube and throw in as well.

Reduce to a simmer, add a bouquet garni (if you have all the herbs).

Cover and let it cook on the lowest heat for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in 2 big handfuls of rocket or baby spinach.

Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Keep Calm and Make Soup

13 Nov

So, you know those days when you are cold and miserable, your nose has become Niagara Falls, you realise you have no money and  you can’t find your left shoe? No? Just me? Right, well, anyway, if for some strange reason you do find yourself having one of those days then I urge you to make soup.

Soup is good.

Soup is great.

Soup will save the world.

Really, just chopping away at the vegetables you find semi-frozen to your fridge floor, pretending they are the wandering fingers of a left-shoe-stealing demon will make you feel better, I speak from experience.

(Also this song helps too)

We’ll be OK folks.

Keep Calm and Carry on.

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Broth

(Serves 4)

Put a large pan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil

Add (all chopped roughly into small cubes) one  onion, one  leek, 3  cloves of garlic, one large red chilli, 2  carrots and one  parsnip

Stir in pan for 5 minutes to sauté

Add tin of chopped tomatoes, stir

Add 1.2 litre of chicken stock (fill the empty tin of tomatoes 3 times to measure) and a bouquet garni

Bring to boil then reduced to simmer for 20 mins

Add 100g of rice and one diced chicken breast

Simmer for a further 10 mins

Remove bouquet garni, season with salt and pepper and serve topped with fresh coriander or parsley