When my other half came over to my family home to meet the parents and have Sunday lunch we were dispatched for some vegetables and a sticky toffee pudding. I took him to the farm, just a two minute walk from my parents’ front door. In a little barn on the edge of the road was the farm shop where they sold home grown fruit, vegetables and stocked food made by local producers.
Every culture has its version of stew; Irish, Scouse – slow-cooked vegetables or meat with easy flavours. It’s cheap, filling and easy to cook.
For my birthday last month I asked for a tagine dish. I know, I know, but I like how bright they are and wanted to see the difference in the slow-cooking technique.
Everyone should have a favourite pub. Mine is The Caledonia. If you want to find out how to make tasty and hearty grub without it spending a fortune then a local independent pub is a masterclass. Often cooking in batch to keep the costs down and satisfy a lunchtime rush there are plenty of tips and tricks to learn.
I know not everyone has enough time to cook. Heh, I’m the cheerleader for preparing every meal from scratch and sometimes I can’t be bothered going into the kitchen! But cooking, knowing what you’re putting into your food, how you prepare it and craft it is vital, especially if you want to eat healthier this year.
I don’t develop purely healthy recipes – those who will have noticed I have a penchant for adding sausages to recipes will know that. But I try to eat healthily as often as I can and I’ve found that when I started cooking from scratch I made more conscious decisions about the meals I was eating.
The first time I made this recipe I had had a really bad day. It was snowy and frosty so I was cold and damp. I was working for a horror of a boss at the time and things were moving towards an inevitable conclusion. I needed a hug in a bowl that was filling, comforting and tasty.
There are many ways to pimp a soup; seasonings, dumplings, bread layers. But getting a basic vegetable soup right is easy and useful. When you’re skint or cold or need something you can bang in a pan and leave to simmer then soup is a good option. It’s also the ideal thing to pop into a flask or container than won’t leak and bring into work for lunches (buying sandwiches is a huge drain on weekly income).
I love pizza. If there is one reason that I will never be a size 8 it is probably said love of pizza. It’s just tasty, it’s great to share and there are myriad ways to flavour it.
However if you order it in it’s expensive. Buy it chilled and it doesn’t really taste of anything. There are few things, food wise, as disappointing as a flavourless pizza.
I know, there’s something about the word falafel that makes you think of a middle class bore. When you can pick up a can of chickpeas for 20p though it is an easy dinner. You can make it more complicated adding more flavours depending on how much money you’ve got – recipes which add spices here and there push up the cost so much, especially when a bottle of spice costs £2.50 on average.