I recently discovered that every egg (from farmers with more than 50 hens) in the EU is printed with a code that allows you to pinpoint which farm it came from, as well as if it comes from organic, free range, barn or caged hens. Excited to discover my egg-source, I typed the code into this egg code tracker only to be disappointed by the fact that “no supplier was found”. I think it might be because my eggs are Scottish…
I surprised myself yesterday by whipping up a surprisingly tasty and cheap meal from items I already had at home. Leeks are apparently one of the only vegetables that will survive the Scottish winter, and friends of mine are still harvesting them from their gardens! I’ve definitely grown to love leeks since moving to Scotland, even though apparently they are popular in Bavarian cuisine as well.
Cost: about 45p per serving
- half a packet ready-made gnocchi 30p
- handful spinach (frozen is fine), defrosted 10p
- 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 25p
- 1 leek, sliced 15p
- 2 tablespoons single cream (optional) 10p
- nutmeg, salt & pepper, dried thyme & sage
- cook the gnocchi in a pan of salted water for 2-3 minutes (according to the instructions on the packet)
- heat a few tablespoons oil or butter in a frying pan
- add the leeks and soften for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms
- cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until they are soft
- add the gnocchi, cream, spinach, a sprinkling of nutmeg, and thyme or sage if you have it on hand
- cook for another 5 minutes until the ingredients are combined and then season with salt & pepper and serve
So this week Kasia and I have unfortunately caught the horrible lurgy flu floating around St Andrews at the moment and have been hobbling around at home unable to do anything except watch too many House of Cards episodes.
So yesterday we decided to try our best to kick the cold by making a power-packed warm soup full of vitamins to soothe our throats and fix us from the inside out…using only ingredients we had in the pantry already. We felt so much better after having this soup, we’re making it again for lunch today.
We apologize sincerely for the silence, at the moment our time is being eaten up by two monstrosities: dissertation and a music event we’re organising. In the meantime, we have been managing to feed ourselves and have learned a thing or two about meals that you can make so quickly that they don’t even count as a study break. Yes, this is possible. But before we share those, here is a delicious and simple tomato soup that has become a staple in this house.
Serves 2, 45p per serving
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 sticks celery
- handful basil
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup red lentils (optional)
- salt, pepper, oil
- chop the onion and slice the celery into discs
- heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a deep pan on med-high heat
- add the onion and celery and fry until the onion is translucent
- add the chopped tomatoes, stock, lentils and basil
- cook for 15 minutes and then blend using a stick blender
- season with salt and pepper
This article by Jack Monroe gives excellent tips on where, how and what to buy in order to stretch your budget as far as it will go. Take a look at her recipes too, they’re incredibly budget-friendly, creative and delicious. Here’s a two we’re hoping to try soon: Bramley apple soda bread & Apple crumble granola
Pea soup was a complete stranger to me until I moved to the UK four years ago. The thought of turning those tiny, kind-of average green vegetables into a soup had never even crossed my mind. But since trying it for the first time 2 years ago, I have not turned back. Pea soup is delicious, healthy and cheap. Made with frozen peas it can be a year-round staple and brings some nice fresh green-ness into the depths of Scottish winter.
Thank goodness this week is coming to a close…not because it was particularly stressful, but because our sugar and cheese cravings have reached astronomical heights, and at this point we’re about ready to eat a wheel of brie on a bed of grated cheddar with mozzarella on top and cake as a side.
To make ourselves more aware of how much food we eat that has been through industrial production, we endeavoured to avoid all processed foods for a week. However upon researching what exactly constituted ‘processed foods’ (i.e. anything that’s not straight out of the earth), we realised that this was perhaps a little too ambitious, and limited our ingredients to: Fruit & veg, lentils, beans, fish, grains, milk, nuts and seeds, oil, butter and flour.
Nothing says ‘good morning’ quite like a big glass of orange juice. As part of our ‘back to basics’ eco challenge week where we avoid most processed foods, we’ve had to rethink almost all our usual meals- including breakfast. We’re both serious orange juice addicts, but I personally never really bothered to squeeze my own juice… until now.
Crouton, crouton! Crunchy friend in a liquid broth