Leek & Potato Soup (Cheap As Chips!)

It feels like we have had two days of sunshine since the beginning of 2014. In fact the weather is so bad that there is a severe weather warning across most of the country with mass flooding and possible tornado warnings. I’ve never known anything like it in my life! Whether you believe it’s the human race’s fault or it’s happening on it’s own, you can’t deny that the weather and climate are certainly changing.

With that in mind, is it any surprise that I am once again providing you with a delicious and healthy dose of comfort food to keep you warm? Not really! 😉

I rustled this up from scratch after a walk on the beach with the dogs and my family. I believe this might have been the first time my sister Donna has tried my food and she seemed to like it, so get in! 🙂

Ingredients for 5 adults:

3 leeks, chopped

6 small potatoes, peeled

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

1 pint of unsweetened soya milk

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Seeded rolls to serve

Method:

  • Fill your largest pot to the half way point and place on the stove on a high heat.
  • Place the potatoes, leeks, onion, garlic and stock cube in the water and turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water and place back on the hob, this time adding the mustard and soya milk. (If you want it to be extra creamy, here is the place to add a dollop of vegan butter if that sort of thing takes your fancy.)
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Use a hand blender to turn the soup into a thick and filling mixture.

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  • Serve with “buttered” half stale rolls that your Dad picked up for 8p. 😉 (Or some nice fresh ones are just fine too.)

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It has also been mentioned in a lot of my outreach work lately that people believe vegan food is expensive. Here is proof that it isn’t. The total cost of this dish per head was less than £1. Please enjoy and share far and wide.

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Get Your Healthy On: Vegetable Stir-fry

Sometimes to be healthy it’s all about taking it back to basics. Here’s one of my favourite and very basic recipes that is guaranteed to fill you up and not break the bank.

Ingredients:

A whole pack of mushrooms

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

A mug of brown rice

A mug of red lentils

Method:

  • Place the lentils and brown rice in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat.
  • In the meantime, cut, chop and peel all of your vegetables.
  • Place in a hot pan without oil and stir constantly for 10 minutes so that they do not stick.
  • Turn the heat off and allow to cool, whilst you wait for the rice and lentils.
  • When the rice and lentils are nearly done, crank up the vegetable pan again.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and lentils and place at the bottom of a bowl. Top with your steaming hot vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and soy sauce for some epic flavour.

500 calories, low fat and high fibre – not that us vegans really worry about fibre! 😉

That recipe will serve two adults.

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Vegan Juicy Lucy Burger

Do you know what? Sometimes I’m flicking channels on my TV and I come across something ridiculous like, “Man Vs Food.” I often sit there and think, “well that would easily be veganised.” So that is exactly what I have done. 

I searched around for the perfect vegan burger patty when I suddenly realised that the most perfect were the cheapest ones available because they most resemble the cheap meat put into non-vegan burgers. The 99p pack of four Holland & Barrett burgers. 🙂

Ingredients:

4 vegan burger patties, defrosted

2 large burger buns

4 potatoes

1 block of Cheezley mozzarella style, sliced very thinly

Ketchup

Salt

Pepper

Vegetable oil

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Method:

CHIPS

  • Get your oven on and up to full whack.
  • Slice your potatoes into wedges and place in a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of oil.
  • Place chips into the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Chips

BURGERS

  • Get your four defrosted patties and lay them out on a chopping board.
  • Push down on them with the palm of your hand so that they stretch outwards, but not too thinly.
  • Place some thinly sliced cheez on one patty and then place the other patty on top.
  • Crimp the edges with your fingers so there are no gaps.
  • Do this so the four patties turn into two cheese stuffed burgers.
  • Heat some oil in a pan (there isn’t enough fat in the burgers and they will stick to the pan otherwise.)
  • Place burgers in pan for about ten minutes, flipping every couple of minutes so each side gets nice and brown and that the cheez melts all the way through.
  • Serve in a nice big burger bun with tons of ketchup and your home cooked chips! 

 

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Not healthy in the slightest, but it bloody well had to be done! 😀

 

Red Lentil Dahl

This is a dish I have been making for years. It’s really simple and totally yummy! 🙂

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Firstly you’re gonna need some ingredients:

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* Two handfuls of red lentils

* 800 grams of chopped tomatoes

* 4 cloves of garlic, crushed

* 1 can of coconut milk

* 2 cubes of vegetable stock

* 2 white onions

* 1 tablespoon of garam masala, cayenne pepper and cumin (each)

 

1) Heat some oil in a large pan. I used a wok because this makes plenty.

2) Now add in your two chopped onions and garlic. Give it a good stir to cover everything in the oil.

3) Turn the heat off and place the red lentils in the pan. Mix through thoroughly adding all the spices as you go.

4) Now add the whole can of coconut milk and again mix and stir through. (Turn the heat back on now.)

5) Open and pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan.

6) Place your stock cubes in the pan, add half a pint of cold water and again mix through.

7) Turn the heat right down to it’s lowest and stir the pan every few minutes for about 20-30 minutes, or until a good chunk of the liquid has been absorbed.

8) Serve with garlic and parsley vegan buttered chapatis.

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Vegetable Paella

Sorry I’ve not posted in a while! I’ve unfortunately had a lot of anxiety issues lately but fear not, I’m back on track to being a super fitness fiend.

Seeing as we’re all feeling the squeeze at the moment, I thought I’d do another one of my Cheap as Chips meals. Most of the ingredients you should have in your cupboard or fridge and if you don’t, you should be able to source them from your local corner shop.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers (you can even go for frozen ones if you’re super skint.)
  • A large handful of frozen peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pint of long grain rice
  • 2 pints of vegetable stock
  • A good pinch of black pepper

Method

Chop your peppers, onion and garlic and place in a heated pan with some oil. Add your frozen ingredients (which for me was just peas) and mix.

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Then create a well in the middle of the pan and fill with your two chopped fresh tomatoes and the paprika.

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Now pour the vegetable stock straight into the well in the middle and mix everything around thoroughly.

Add the rice and mix through thoroughly.

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Allow to simmer on the lowest heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In this time the liquid will start to be absorbed by the rice, so make sure it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.

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Once 20 minutes has passed, sprinkle with pepper and allow to stand for another five minutes. (The longer you leave it the thicker it will become.)

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Stuffed Tomatoes

A while back I asked my friend on Facebook to come up with three cheap ingredients and I’d make a simple, healthy meal out of them. The first person to post was my friend Pete. He suggested that I make something out of twigs, leaves and water in traditional vegan style. Of course he was joking and subsequently posted tomatoes, pine nuts and tofu. What a great combination! Tofu is rammed full of protein and calcium, pine nuts have loads of vitamin E and tomatoes have loads of vitamin C. A healthy and affordable combination. 

I went to Asda and brought two pack of beef tomatoes. They are currently out of season so they cost more than I was hoping. I also brought just one pack of silken tofu. I already had a bag of pine nuts at home. They are the expensive part, but once you buy some you will find many uses for them and they last for ages. Total basic ingredient cost approximately £6.80 and that will feed two people for lunch or four people for a starter.

Turn on your oven and heat to 200 degrees.

 

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Now the problem i have is that on it’s own, tofu tastes of NOTHING. I figured most people would have garlic, onions and turmeric in the house, so I’m allowing them as ingredients because they are store cupboard staples. (If you don’t have them, they are pretty damn cheap from any local corner shop.)

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First things first; chop the onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and place in a hot pan with oil of your choice. I used sesame seed oil for some extra flavour.

 

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Stir lots and then place about half of the bag of pine nuts into the pan.

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Stir some more and then turn the heat off.

Next job is to prepare the tomatoes. Slice the tops off quite thinly and place to one side. (You’ll need them later.)

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Now slice a deep circle around the center of the tomato and scoop out with a knife or a spoon. (I used a bit of both.)

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Once you have completed this, place on a baking tray upside down to allow any extra fluid to drain away.

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Place any leftover tomato center that isn’t part of the hard core, into the pan with the pine nuts etc and turn the heat back on.

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Cut open the pack of silken tofu and squeeze into the hot pan. Mix well and then add a good sprinkle of turmeric. You can also add any other condiments that you have laying around here. Soy sauce, salt or black pepper would go really well and give it some extra flavour. 

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Mix everything really well. Then turn your beef tomatoes over and fill with the warm tofu mix. Then place the lids you chopped off earlier on top.

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I also sprinkled a bit of olive oil over the top here so they would bake more quickly, but this is optional too.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve as a starter with some rocket salad or as a lunch on it’s own. Two will most certainly fill you up.

Enjoy! 🙂

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