One of the first questions I was asked on my return from Poland was whether I was living on £1 a day. I thought it was a reference to my new freelance status until the concept was explained to me. Even though I have no plan to do that right now, I'm used to coming up with cheap recipe ideas due to my life-money balance, or lack of it. Basically, when I have money I spend it until I don't have anything left to live on. On those sad days I take some kind of masochistic pride in the fact that I can survive on next to nothing. So I would like to share some cheap recipe love with those of you who are on this noble mission. Here are my top 5 recipes under £1:
1. Pearl barley and kale risotto: Fry an onion in some oil until translucent, add some pearl barley and cover in vegetable stock. Add a crushed garlic clove. Allow to simmer on a low heat for about 30min. Add the kale. Season. Once it wilts a bit, stir it into the risotto. Serve with chilli sauce on the side. Price per serving: aprox. 50p
2. Homemade hummus and carrots: Blend a tin of chickpeas with the juice of half a lemon, some cumin, a garlic clove, salt and pepper and olive oil. Add the oil as it blends. Serve with carrot pieces. Price per serving: aprox. 50p
3. Brown rice with vegetables: Cook some brown rice. Fry a grated carrot, crushed garlic clove and thinly sliced courgette in olive oil for about 10-15min. Add the cooked rice, a tin of chopped tomatoes and any herbs or spices you fancy. Price per serving: aprox. 85p
4. Congee: This is an Asian breakfast soup, but it's great for any meal. You can find loads of congee recipes on this blog - here is my favourite one with spinach and egg. Price per serving: aprox. 65p
5. Pasta with beans: Super cheap and super delicious, you can see the recipe on my YouTube channel. Price per serving: aprox. 60p. Incidentally, all the recipes on there are pretty cheap. Liver with onion and mashed potato would also easily fit the bill.
I hope skimping on food doesn't mean buying eggs from caged hens and bad quality meat. Here are some more healthy ideas from the BBC. Good luck!