Makes 4 x 350g tubs so cost per tub of sauce = £1.26
Equivalent cost of a 350g tub of tomato and marscapone sauce: £1.45
So it’s not massively cheaper to make it yourself BUT it is SO DELICIOUS and it’s mostly vegetables so no nasty hidden sugar and e-numbers in there.
Roughly chop the peppers and remove the seeds, roughly chop the onions into quarters, and peel the garlic. Add it all to a large roasting pan with all the tomatoes and some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast at around 190 degrees for about 30 mins or so until soft and roasted. Add a drizzle of balsamic, a sprinkle of sugar, the chopped basil stalks and the whole block of feta and return to the oven for another 15-20 mins.
Then carefully add the whole lot to a blender along with all the fresh basil leaves and blend until smooth.
Pour into tubs and freeze. Delicious with spaghetti and meatballs, sausage pasta or any other type of pasta. The kids love it and it’s packed with vegetables. All kinds of wins.
Well as most of you are aware by now it’s getting harder and harder to just live as costs are rising all over the place. As someone who is in a privileged position I am lucky that I can still afford my mortgage and bills (just about) and that I am not on the breadline.
However, like many people I am doing my best to cut costs as best I can and try to reduce expenditure where I can, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks with you all.
I’ve also been baking lots of other new things. With literally nothing else to do day after day when the weather is cold and grim, I’ve been learning to bake and experimenting with other things. Continue reading →
I sometimes make a healthy-ish batch of salady things for my lunches. I like salads but need them to be quite solid and hearty otherwise I’m hungry again an hour later, which is why I like a lentil salad.
This recipe is delicious, reasonably low-calorie as long as you don’t put too much oil in, but it’s also accidentally vegan so if you ever need to come up with something for a vegan guest it’s handy to have in your back pocket (just don’t add any feta!). Sadly I have once again failed to take any pictures to show you how delicious it was though.
Courgettes (two large or three small ones)
1 tin of green (or puy) lentils, drained and rinsed
4 or 5 Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion
Small handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Feta cheese (optional)
Chop the courgettes (you can do rounds, half-rounds, or even long slices – any way works) and red onion. Toss with olive oil and roast at around 190 for half an hour or until they are soft and starting to go a little black and crispy.
Allow them to cool, then add to a bowl with the lentils and sun-dried tomatoes and basil
Add a little lemon juice (approx 1-2 teaspoons) and balsamic (approx 1 tablespoon), and if you like you can add a little oil (I often use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavour) and toss it all together
For a non-vegan version this is really good with crumbled feta mixed in too, and you can experiment with mint, coriander or parsley instead of basil for slightly different flavours. You could also roast some red pepper along with the courgettes.
While at the library recently, as my baby girl was pulling random books off the shelves, she picked out a children’s cookbook (Professor Cook’s Dynamite Dinners) which we decided to try out.
Our first recipe was a Smoked Haddock Chowder and it was DELICIOUS! Admittedly children’s recipes are often very bland so I have added a few spices, but overall it’s a very nice recipe so I thought I would share.This one is designed to be served in a bread roll soup bowl, which is also fun, though impractical, as the bread roll is so small you can’t fit much actual soup in it. However it’s also yummy in a bowl with a crusty roll on the side! Sadly I forgot to take a picture of it though…
6 Crusty Cob bread rolls (we only bought two and froze the excess soup)
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
500g potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1.2 litres of milk (I only used a litre but it wasn’t enough – definitely needs the full amount)
1 garlic clove, crushed (I added more garlic as I needed a bit more flavour!)
300g tinned sweetcorn, drained
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
450g smoked haddock fillets (skinned)
Handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
I also added 1 vegetable stock cube (though a fish stock cube would probably work too) and a few of pinches of paprika to taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 180c
Cut the top off the rolls and pick out the soft bread, leaving the “bowl”, brush the inside with olive oil and put into the oven for 15mins to seal the bowl.
Put the chopped potatoes and onion into a large saucepan with the milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
Stir in the garlic, peppers, sweetcorn, and fish fillets (whole). Simmer for another 5-10 mins until the fish flakes easily into pieces.
(At this point I also added a stock cube, some paprika, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste). Add the chopped parsley at the end.
Spoon into the bread bowls (or regular bowls!) and serve.
I’m not too sure how well this freezes, but have put a couple of tubs in the freezer so we will find out!
It’s also nice that it’s a soup that doesn’t take ages to cook – really quite quick as long as your potato chunks aren’t too big.
(Postscript – I took a picture the next time I made it – here it is! Yummmmm)