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Frugal Food Recipes


Savoury muffins



Muffins are a brilliant way to get the kids involved in the kitchen, as a lumpy batter equals a light muffin, and these savoury vegetable versions are moreish nibbles bound to get you closer to your 5 a day.  You can swap out the veg for anything you prefer, carrot, sweet potato, peppers, sweet corn or more, and the addition of different cheeses, a sprinkle of cayenne or paprika will all work – ring the changes according to what’s in season and what you fancy.  Makes a dozen.

Ingredients
  • 2 large courgettes / carrots or a combination
  • 225g self raising flour
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 175ml semi skimmed milk
  • 55ml olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 125g flavourful cheddar
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200ºC

Grate the vegetables with a coarse grater, or in the processor.  Squeeze out excess juice over a colander, and place in a bowl with the cheese, flour and baking powder.  Stir together.  In a jug, lightly whisk the wet ingredients until combined, then gently stir into the dry ingredients to form a rough batter.  Don’t over mix at this point.

Divide between prepared muffin cases

Bake for between 20-25 minutes, until golden on top and springy to touch.  Allow to cool slightly before tucking in.



Puttanesca Pasta



An Italian classic, Puttanesca makes for a quick, cheap and filling midweek supper.  Pasta is the obvious budget choice, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  Tinned tomatoes are very economical, and the extra ingredients mean you can use the budget version without worrying about loss of flavour.  Jarred anchovies and olives in the fridge can be kept open for a while, adding extra depth and savour to a variety of savoury dishes without breaking the bank.  The anchovies melt into the sauce, and you can turn down the chilli and use a few less olives if you are so inclined.  Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Large pinch dried red chilli
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 500g pasta
  • 80g black olives, roughly chopped

Method
Warm the oil over a low heat, and add the garlic, chilli and anchovies.  Stir gently for 5 minutes or so until the garlic softens and the anchovies begin to melt into the oil.

Turn the heat to medium, and add the tinned tomatoes.  Mush a little with a wooden spoon, and leave to simmer while you cook the pasta. 

When the pasta is done, drain but reserve half a cup of the cooking liquid.  Stir the olives into the sauce, toss together with the pasta, and add a few drops of the cooking liquor at a time until the sauce of a juicy, unctuous consistency.  A sprinkle of cheese on the side works well, but this dish is tasty enough not to need it.


 
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