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cheap seasonal recipes


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Cabbage Goulashy-type-thing  (tastes much nicer than it sounds!)

This will make a large pan - enough for 6 people I'd say .... or leftovers for next day

  • Slice a couple of large onions in half .  Slice each half thinly.  Saute with a clove of garlic if you can't bear (like me!) to have something garlic-free.
  • Let it cook good and long and get coloured, this will add to the taste greatly.
  • Cut three or four large carrots into big chunks and add to the pan.  Throw in some chunks of courgette if you have any left in the freezer from last year.
  • For cheap protein ... tip in some beans ... I love aduki beans, but you could used kidney beans, whatever you have lying around. Give it all a good stir.
  • Now add a very large cabbage (or two small ones) which has been washed and chopped.  It will wilt a lot, so really cram it in.
  • Top with two cans of tomatoes and enough stock to make stirring easy (which shouldn't be too much).
  • Now stir in a load of paprika.  Don't go overboard, but don't be stingy.
  • Add whatever other flavourings you think you'd enjoy in it - bring to the boil and simmer on the hob for about 40 minutes  (or chuck the whole thing in a casserole and in the oven).

It's cheap, tasty and healthy.  Lovely with mashed potatoes or cous cous.

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Sounds tasty - baked cabbage has a better flavour and texture than boiled.

I have a recipe for cabbage stuffed with bread crumbs, onion, pineapple and walnuts then baked slowly in the oven in a tomato sauce.

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I don't have the book any more - it got lost in a move. But as far as I remember:

Use a firm cabbage - trim outer leaves and cut off the base. Scoop out the heart and use this for something else. Keep a few leaves for a lid. Blanch the cabbage for a few minutes.

For the stuffing: fry a chopped onion in a little oil until transparent. Add about 6oz bread crumbs, a small tin of pineapple, chopped, and about 4oz chopped walnuts, some mixed herbs if you like.

Fill the cabbage with the stuffing, put on the lid and place in a deep oven dish. Try to find one that's a close fit. Then pour round it a tin of chopped tomatoes plus a tin of water. You could add some olive oil too.

Cover and bake in a medium oven for 30 mins then reduce heat and bake a further hour or so.

You could also make the same recipe but with separate cabbage leaves, made into parcels with the stuffing inside. These wouldn't take so long to bake.

We were vegetarian for a few years and I had several good recipes.

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Best cheap seasonal recipe I know at the moment is what I did yesterday...

get some sweet potatoes, Jérusalem articokces, parsnips...

cut em up, put them in the oven with some olive oil...

done in about 40 mins.

.. cover them with some tin foil for the first 30mins


all are under 2euros / kilo.

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A simple recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup which also freezes well:

500g carrots - peeled & roughly chopped

800g Jerusalem artichokes - peeled & roughly chopped

1 onion chopped

2 litres stock

1 tsp celery seed

salt & pepper

75g butter


Melt the butter then soften the onion before adding the carrots & Jerusalem artichokes, season & leave to sweat for 10 mins.  Add stock & simmer for at least 30 mins till vegs are tender, then blitz in food processor/blender & adjust seasoning. Serve hot as it is or with a swirl of creme fraiche & parsley.  Enjoy!! 

If you grow your own veg & make your own stock, then the cost is just for the butter & seasoning - this recipe makes at least 6 good sized bowls......at the moment we are enjoying the last of our glut of artichokes & have just planted ready for next winter's crop.


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  • 2 weeks later...
Here's a way to make those cheap strawberries from Morocco (€1.79 a 500g punnet in our local SuperU today) into something special as they are not very sweet or flavourful eaten just as they are.  It's actually one of Nigella's recipes.

Put 500g hulled and halved strawberries in a glass bowl and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and five tablespoons caster sugar. Cover with clingfilm,  give the bowl a shake to make sure all the berries get some sugar and vinegar and then set aside for at least three hours.  Serves three to four: good on their own or with madeleines or shortbread.


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