Green chilli pork meat balls, sunflower seed couscous salad and mint yoghurt

This type of food is me. With a larger budget I would add coriander, raisins, grilled peppers and apricots to the couscous salad. Just enjoy at £4.95.

Another great summer dish with a really cold beer.

Recipe #10: green chilli pork meat balls, sunflower seed couscous salad and mint yoghurt

  • 500g of pork mince (£1.95)
  • 500g of couscous (80p)
  • 500g of low fat natural yoghurt (46p)
  • 100g of sunflower seeds (60p)
  • 100g of green chillies (30p)
  • 150g of fresh mint (64p)
  • 1 medium sized red onion (20p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, 3 cloves of garlic (from last week) and olive oil.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at ASDA, where it came to just £4.95.

Instructions

  • Let's make the meatballs first as they'll need to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes - mix together the pork, 3 finely chopped (seeds up to you!) green chillies, 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Mould into small balls (around 15) and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Now for the couscous salad - place 300g (500g if you're hungry) of couscous in a glass bowl, pour over twice the volume of boiling water and cover the bowl with cling film. It will take around 10 minutes to steam - give the couscous a good stir with a fork at the end to avoid lumps.
  • While the couscous is steaming get a pan on the heat and add the sunflower seeds - toast the seeds lightly and take off the heat just as they start to smoke. Also finely chop the red onion.
  • The couscous will be ready now so stir in the red onion, sunflower seeds and a good big glug of olive oil. Season to taste.
  • For the mint yoghurt finely chop the fresh mint and stir into the yoghurt with a little black pepper.
  • Using the pan you toasted the seeds in, get back on a high heat and drizzle in a little olive oil. Once the pan is really hot get the meatballs in and make sure you get loads of colour on them - don't be put off using some heat. Once the meatballs are browned all over, lower the heat to ensure they cook all the way through. Serve up with the couscous salad and a big dollop of mint yoghurt over the meatballs.
  • Happy eating!


Tagliatelle with air dried cured ham and minted peas

I've tried to steer clear of pasta dishes as it feels like a cop out.......Sainsbury's ;-)

I've put this in though as it's simple to put together and spot on to cook after a bad day at work. It also tastes of Tuscany. Big meaty red with this one. Cost £4.71.

Recipe #7: Tagliatelle with air dried cured ham and minted peas

  • 400g of egg tagliatelle (95p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic - we're using 2 cloves (34p)
  • 330g of Tesco finest petits pois peas (74p)
  • 200g of air dried cured ham (£1.89)
  • 30g of fresh mint (79p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper and olive oil.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco, where it came to just £4.71.

Instructions

  • Get a large pan of salted water to cook the tagliatelle as per the packet instructions. To get al dente simply take off the heat and drain one minute before the instructions tell you to.
  • Whilst the tagliatelle is cooking get the peas on to cook. Cook for two minutes maximum and then drain off and run them under cold water so they don't cook anymore.
  • Now you can finely slice two cloves of garlic and fry over a low to medium heat for one minute (be careful not to burn the garlic).
  • Now add the peas and fry for a further two minutes. Turn off the heat and put to one side.
  • The pasta should be ready by now. So drain it and add the garlic and pea mixture. Mix it all up and add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, finely chopped mint and the thinly sliced air dried cured ham.

Happy eating!

Beef, rosemary and mushroom loaf with potato dauphinoise

IMO this dish is all about the potato dauphinoise, a classic dish which I can happily eat by itself with a salad. This costs and amazing £4.81!!!

Recipe #8: Beef, thyme and mushroom loaf with potato dauphinoise

  • 210g of closed cup mushrooms (51p)
  • 500g of beef mince (£1.21)
  • 1kg maris piper potatoes (£1)
  • 1 large red onion (21p)
  • 1 pack (100g) of fresh lemon thyme (68p)
  • 2 cartons (264ml per carton - total 568ml) of Elmlea double cream (£1.20)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (use cloves from last week's bulb)

The cupboard staples...

Salt and pepper, olive oil and an egg. Include some peas as a vegetable side if you have any lurking in the freezer!

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco, where it came to just £4.81.

Instructions

  • Finely chop the onion and mushrooms and fry off in a little olive oil until they have taken on a good colour and all the juices have evaporated. Set to one side to cool.
  • Now finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and thyme and mix together with the beef in a mixing bowl along with some seasoning and the egg. Add the onion and mushrooms once they have cooled down and get your hands in giving it all a good mix.
  • Get a loaf tin (around 1.5lbs) and grease with a little olive oil and add the mixture. Place some oiled greaseproof paper on top of the loaf to ensure it doesn't burn. Set to one side whilst you prepare the potato dauphinoise.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
  • Slice the potatoes very thinly (around 2mm).
  • Get a large thick bottomed pan and pour in the cream heating to a simmer. Grate the remaining four cloves of garlic; add to the cream and season well. This will take a little extra salt due to the quantity of potatoes.
  • Now add the potatoes to the cream and simmer for 5 minutes (add a little milk if the cream looks on the low side). Once this is done add the potatoes to a shallow oven proof dish.
  • Both the meatloaf and dauphinoise will take around 1 hour to cook in the pre-heated oven. Remove the greaseproof paper for the last 15 minutes of cooking of the meatloaf.
  • You can test to see if the loaf is done by putting a metal skewer through the loaf and just touching the skewer on your top lip. If it's done the skewer will be hot and come out clean.
  • For the dauphinoise be careful the cream doesn't split, check every 20 minutes and turn down a little if it does (don't worry about the meatloaf as you can just leave this in a little longer). The dauphinoise will be ready when bubbling and all browned on top.
  • Happy eating!

Mixed bean and coriander green curry with fragrant rice

A request from a vegetarian reader - sorry carnivores. You should all try it though, it's a tasty light dish and cost £4.83. Could feed more than 5 as well :-)

Recipe #7: Mixed bean and coriander green curry with fragrant rice

  • 1 garlic bulb (30p)
  • 100g of fresh ginger (23p)
  • 1 pack (50g) fresh green chillies (47p)
  • 2 onions (14p)
  • 2 packs (25g per pack) of fresh coriander (£1)
  • 1 tin (400g) red kidney beans (31p)
  • 2 tins (400g per tin) chick peas (74p)
  • 2 tins (400ml per tin) coconut milk (£1)
  • 1 pack (500g) easy cook long grain rice (64p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt and pepper, oil, cumin, turmeric and medium chilli powder

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at ASDA, where it came to just £4.83.

Instructions

  • First thing to do is to get all of your preparation done in terms of chopping and crushing - finely slice the onions and 4 or 5 fresh green chillies (seeds optional). Then grate 4 cloves of garlic and a thumb-sized piece of ginger.
  • For the rice get a large pan of salted boiling water, add the rice (500g for 5 people) and 4 teaspoons of turmeric to the water and give it a good stir. Cook as normal.
  • Now get a good thick-bottomed pan on the heat, get the pan nice and hot and add 4 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil has started to smoke slightly, lower the heat a little and add the chillies and ginger. Fry off for 20 seconds and then add 3 teaspoons of cumin and 2 teaspoons of medium chilli powder, fry off for a further 20 seconds adding the onions and garlic last and cooking through until the onions have become translucent.
  • Drain the kidney beans and chick peas and add to the pan. Continue to cook through for a few minutes on a medium heat.
  • Finally add the coconut milk and season to taste. Simmer this down on a medium heat until the sauce thickens a little, this will take about 7-8 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat and stir in ¾ of the finely chopped fresh coriander.
  • Serve with the rice and with use the remaining ¼ of finely chopped coriander to garnish each dish.
  • Happy eating!

Egg Florentine with smoked cheddar and rocket salad (RETRO!!!)

Proper rewind to the 70s here. Not that I was around then - a classic for £5 on the nose.

Recipe #6: Egg Florentine with smoked cheddar and rocket salad (RETRO!!!)

  • 450g fresh spinach (£1.49)
  • 150ml double cream (56p)
  • 185g Ilchester Applewood smoked cheddar (£1.46)
  • 6 pack of mixed value eggs (80p)
  • 60g rocket salad (69p)

The cupboard staples...

For this recipe I'll assume you already have black pepper, salt, butter, olive oil and nutmeg.

Total cost

If you already have the staple ingredients then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to exactly £5!

Instructions

  • Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil into a saucepan and gradually add the spinach until it wilts down. Once wilted drain the spinach and add back to the pan.
  • Get the pan back on the heat and add the cream and a pinch of nutmeg then gently heat through - you don't want to overcook the spinach or let the cream come to the boil. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Get 5 ramekin dishes, butter the dishes and split the spinach mixture evenly between them - making a small hollow in the middle of the spinach mixture.
  • Now crack an egg into each hollow and sprinkle with grated cheese so the whole dish (and the egg) is covered. Twist a little black pepper over each one.
  • Place the ramekins on a tray and put under a medium heated grill for 5-6 minutes until the cheese is bubbling (turn the grill up to high for last 2 minutes). This will give you the perfect eggs Florentine with runny yolks.
  • Serve with a rocket salad lightly dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

Beef, mushroom and thyme pie

Is there anything better than a well cooked pie? Serve with seasonal veg.

Recipe #5: Beef, mushroom and thyme pie

  • 430g of stewing beef (£2.14)
  • 2 medium red onions (42p)
  • 1 pack (25g) of fresh thyme (68p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (31p)
  • 500g of Jus roll pastry (79p)
  • 3 medium carrots (27p)
  • 140g of mushrooms (32p)

The cupboard staples

Pepper, salt, oil, flour and 2 pints of beef stock and a splash of red wine - if you have a bottle in the house already!

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to just £4.93.

Instructions

  • Slice the beef into strips, season with salt and black pepper and coat with five tablespoons of flour. Then get a pan very hot, add some oil and fry the beef off until brown all over. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a large shallow ovenproof dish. Keep the pan on a low heat.
  • Finely slice the garlic, onions and mushrooms and roughly chop the carrots into 1.5cm cubes, turn the heat up on the pan and fry off the vegetables until slightly browned. We're looking for colour and a slight caramelisation; once this has been achieved add the vegetables to the oven dish.
  • Next up is to finely chop the thyme and prepare the beef stock. Once the beef stock is prepared add it to the pan and let it reduce down over a high heat for a few minutes (making sure you scrap all the bits off the bottom of the pan as if you were making gravy). Finally, add the chopped thyme and pour over the beef and vegetables in the oven dish. Place the oven dish (covered with foil or a lid) in the oven at 150C for an hour. This ensures the beef gets nice and tender. Tip: if you have some red wine, add this to the pan before the beef stock.
  • After an hour, check the beef is tender. If it is, remove it from the oven and let the mixture chill for a good 30 minutes (or the pastry will become a disaster!).
  • Grab the pastry and roll out on a floured surface to about 0.5cm thick (amend thickness according to the size of your dish). Roll the pastry out over the dish - I prefer to tuck the pastry in a little so nothing overhangs. Brush with milk and make a small hole to let steam escape in the middle.
  • Put back into the oven at 190C for 30 minutes or until the pastry has risen and has a nice golden brown colour to it.
  • Enjoy!

Sausage and rosemary hotpot with pickled red cabbage

This is something you can get in the oven before you go to work and return to a wonderful smelling house - a great winter dish. Only cost £4.92 to put together.

Recipe #4: Sausage and rosemary hotpot with pickled red cabbage

Ingredients

Pack of 4 baking potatoes (75p)

2 medium onions (40p)

1 red cabbage (50p)

1 pack (25g) of fresh rosemary (79p)

2 packs (8) of Cumberland pork sausages (£1.24)

3 cloves of garlic (from the bulb of the last recipe for chorizo and pea risotto)

The cupboard staples...

Black pepper, salt, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, flour and 1 pint of chicken stock (made with stock cubes)

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to just £4.92.

Instructions

  • Firstly, fry off the sausages in a little olive oil until browned all over. They don't have to be cooked through, you just want to seal the sausages to keep the juices in them and create a better flavour for the hotpot.
  • Finely slice the onions and potatoes (and mix in one tablespoon of flour) - not too thin or they'll break up when cooking. Also finely chop the rosemary and garlic together.
  • Place a few of the browned sausages in the bottom of a hotpot dish (or a casserole dish if you prefer), add a few sliced onions and then a sprinkle of the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Then add a layer of the sliced potatoes. Keep repeating this process until all the ingredients have been used and you finish with a layer of potatoes.
  • Now make up the chicken stock and pour into the hotpot dish ensuring the stock just touches the top of the potatoes (add more stock if needed). Brush the top of the potatoes with olive oil and season generously with black pepper only. Place in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours on 150C/320F. You will know it's ready when the potatoes are nice and browned on top. You can turn the oven up to a high heat for the last 10 minutes to create a really crispy top.
  • Now for the easy (or cheats!) pickled red cabbage to serve on the side. Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the stalks and finely slice. Add the cabbage to a saucepan with 100ml of vinegar, 200ml of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and salt and pepper. Bring up to the boil then bring the heat down and simmer for no longer than 2 minutes or until the cabbage has softened very slightly (you want to retain some bite).
  • Enjoy!

Chorizo and pea risotto

This just screams comfort. Especially at £4.97.

Recipe #3: Chorizo and pea risotto

Ingredients

225g of Tesco finest chorizo ring (£2.48)

500g of Arborio rice (95p)

1 large onion (16p)

1 bulb of garlic (34p)

1 tin of garden peas (29p)

50g of grated parmesan (75p)

The cupboard staples...

We're assuming you have the following cupboard staples already: Black pepper, olive oil and 2 pints of chicken stock (made with stock cubes).

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to just £4.97.

Instructions

  • Add a couple of glugs of olive oil to a large heavy-based saucepan. Heat the oil for 30 seconds and then add the finely chopped garlic and onion. Sauté for a few minutes on a medium heat until onions softened - be careful NOT to burn the garlic! Once this is done pour the onion and mixture into a bowl for use shortly.
  • Get the pan back on the heat and add the cubed (about 0.5cm) chorizo - remember to take the skin of the chorizo before chopping. Fry off the chorizo for a few minutes until slightly crispy and the oils have run off. Drain off as much of the oil as possible and add the onion and garlic mixture back to the pan.
  • Now add the rice. Try to get all the grains coated with oil. Keep on a medium heat and stirring all the time so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. Do this for just over a minute until all coated.
  • Prepare two pints of hot chicken stock and add one ladleful of the stock to the pan, keep stirring! Never stop stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the majority of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is nice and tender. The more you stir the creamier the risotto - so make the effort!
  • Finally add the peas, heat through and add a good few twists of black pepper.
  • Serve with a good sprinkling of parmesan and a twist of black pepper if desired!

Beef koftas with a feta, spinach and mint salad

A perfect dish for kicking back and making outside on a summers day and even more perfect with a chilled glass of sancerre and only £4.93.

Recipe #2: Beef koftas with a feta, spinach and fresh mint salad

As well as this delicious recipe for under a fiver, why not also try last week's recipe for Spicy tuna, bean and coriander lasagne?

The Koftas

500g of British mince beef (£2)
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped (use the leftover cloves from last week's recipe)
2 tsp of dried oregano (a staple)
1 tsp of ground cumin (a staple)

The salad (and dressing)

200g of Feta cheese (£1.18)

1 finely sliced red onion (21p)

260g of spinach (75p)

30g of fresh mint (79p)

White wine vinegar (a staple)

Olive oil (a staple)

The cupboard staples...

We're assuming you have the following cupboard staples already: Salt & pepper, cumin, oregano, white wine vinegar, olive oil and 5 large wooden skewers

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to just £4.93.

  • First thing is to get the 5 large skewers in some cold water for 20 minutes. Otherwise, the wood will burn when placed on the griddle pan.
  • Put the beef mince, finely chopped garlic, oregano, cumin and a big pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Get your hands in and give it a good mix, then chill in the fridge until the skewers have soaked.
  • When the skewers have soaked for 20 minutes take the mixture out of the fridge and press a portion of mince around each skewer, so you have a long thin sausage type shape. Hint: dip your hands in cold water when moulding the shape so the mixture doesn't stick to your hands. Once you've made five good size koftas, put in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.
  • Now for the salad dressing; this is a standard dressing so make up however much you like - as long as use the three parts oil to one part vinegar, it will taste good! For this salad I'd suggest six tablespoons of oil and two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
  • Now the salad itself; wash and spin the spinach leafs and place in a large salad bowl, then cube the feta into 1cm square pieces and add to the spinach. Finally, very thinly slice the red onion and mint leaves, place in the bowl and give it a light tossing. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  • It's time for the koftas; get a heavy griddle pan or skillet on the heat for a good five minutes until very hot (get the windows open as well!). Place the koftas in the pan and cook for three minutes on each side until brown all over. Set aside and cover with foil for a few minutes, so the meat can rest (remember to pour the juices back over when serving).
  • Get the salad out of the fridge and add a few tablespoons of the dressing. Mix very lightly and serve with the koftas. Enjoy!

Spicy bean, tuna and coriander lasagne

This is an amazing dish for all the family. I can hardly believe myself that so much food can be created at a cost of £4.85.

Recipe #1 Spicy tuna, bean and coriander lasagne

Ingredients

The cupboard staples

We're assuming you have the following cupboard staples already: Salt, pepper, three tablespoon of flour, olive oil, two tablespoons butter and ½ pint of water.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco* where it came to just £4.85.

Instructions

1. Get a medium sized sauce pan on to the heat for a few seconds and add a few good glugs of olive oil. Then, add the roughly chopped red onions and sauté off for a few minutes until the onions are soft. Now add the chillies (seeds an' all) and the garlic - feel free to use more or less chilli or garlic, it's up you. But the stated amounts won't overpower the dish.

2. Drain the kidney beans and add to the pan along with the tuna and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook out for one minute on a medium heat and add the tomatoes and half pint of water and simmer for 10 minutes on a very low heat. Then set to one side adding the chopped coriander.

3. Now for the béchamel sauce. Grab a thick bottomed saucepan and add two tablespoons of butter melt down and then stir in three tablespoons of flour. Now cook out gently on a low heat for two minutes without colouring the flour to ensure the flour is cooked out.

4. Gradually add the milk over a medium heat, stirring all the time to avoid lumps. If you have lumps in the sauce don't worry too much - this is nothing a good healthy whisk won't solve at the end. Once the sauce is smooth and glossy, turn right down and simmer gently for five minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a medium-sized ovenproof cooking dish, pour around a third of the tuna, bean and tomato sauce into the bottom and cover with a layer of uncooked lasagne sheets, then pour remaining the sauce covering with another layer of lasagne sheets. Finally, pour over all of the béchamel sauce and cover with the final remaining lasagne sheets (slightly submerging them in the béchamel sauce so you get a nice crispy finish on the top after cooking).

6. Now bung in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes - or until nicely browned and crispy. Yum.