Friday, November 4, 2016

Eat Delicious - a great cookbook for cooking on a tight budget

The other day I came across a fantastic free cookbook!  Born out of a concern for the large number of people living in poverty in the UK, it gives recipes to help people eat well on very little.  They acknowledge that people need more than good recipes to get out of poverty, but hope that this well help while they're there.

I think it's great!  The recipes aren't just cheap and fairly easy, they also look mouth-watering.  In particular, I'm keen to try their:
  • banana pancakes
  • lucky chicken bake
  • mighty omelette
  • cabbage and white bean stew
  • English breakfast (made in a yorkshire pudding!)
  • melt in the mouth bean burger
  • one pot pasta
  • perfect parmagiana (although it uses mozarella which is quite expensive here - it would be a lovely treat)
  • extra crispy roast potatoes

It includes recipes and meal plans for four weeks, with a week's food costing 18 pounds per person.  Over the four weeks you not only eat delicious food, you also build up a stock of spices etc. to help you make yummy meals into the future, all within a tight budget.

Part of how they make their meals so cheap is, counter-intuitively, by including some quite expensive ingredients.  They're big fans of the concept of 'big flavours': adding small quantities of things like chorizo, bacon, sundried tomatoes, olive tapenade or anchovies (as well as herbs and spices) to cheap and bland ingredients like lentils.  You need such small quantities of your 'big flavour' ingredients that the end result is much cheaper than an equally flavourful meat-heavy dish would be.

I'm particularly intrigued by the frequency with which they substitute sundried tomatoes for bacon.  We only buy free-range bacon, so it's fairly expensive, but I oven dry tons of tomatoes each summer (when they're only $1/kg) so we get them for close to free.  I'll definitely be trying that one!

I do think that their quantities are a bit small and that some of the vegetarian meals don't include enough protein but, on the whole, I think it's a fantastic resource that I'm looking forward to using.

You can download it for free from the authors' website here.  Many thanks to Frugal Trenches (Queen of frugal living - sadly out of dire necessity) for drawing my attention to it :-)

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