Jan 62 day fourteen – lunch

About a week ago Rebecca of The Domestic Storyteller said she’d be interested in seeing what cheap meals I come up with. This post may explain why I haven’t been that forthcoming!

This is what I ate for lunch today.

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It was a pile of the pumpkin and cabbage coleslaw I made last night (dressing: a few cashews, a few chickpeas, couple of spoonfuls sesame seeds, a few green olives, a sliver of raw onion and a clove of garlic, juice of half a lemon, glugs of balsamic and cider vinegar and olive oil, thinned with water and blended. And a kitchen sink for good measure!) a couple of handfuls cooked chickpeas seasoned with herbamare and half a sliced-up red pepper, plus a few pimento-stuffed olives, my budget garnish of choice at the moment. It did the job, but it’s hardly thrilling. I reckon it cost under 50p though, even including cooking costs for the chickpeas.

Other meals have mostly been unfortunately glorpy-looking stews and curries that nobody needs to see. I suppose I should be making more of an effort, but it’s taking enough effort to just get through this. Picking one month to go teetotal, live on the most restrictive budget I’ve had in twenty years and start trying to lose weight again strangely hasn’t put me in the mood to get creative in the kitchen.

Having said that, I still have a huge unopened bag of caraway seeds that need eating. Anyone got any budget-friendly suggestions?


Jan62 – day thirteen

Remember I got given a monster pumpkin way back in October (as well as a very large one)? Well, I finally hacked it open over the weekend. I got three 600ml boxes of chunks into the freezer for soups or smoothies, made two different large quantities of curry (coconutty and tomato-y), and roasted two panfuls of chunks to make pumpkin puree, some of which I then used to make pumpkin pie.
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EDIT: it’s a few hours later and I just used the last big slice of pumpkin in place of carrots to make a huge tub of coleslaw. Works really well! And then I ate a bowlful of coleslaw, at 11.40pm, because I am wild and fearless. Oh yes.

Haha, I bet you thought all the bloggers had stopped posting pumpkin-related stuff! What can I tell you? I’m either behnd the times or exceptionally forward-thinking!

For the pie, I used my favourite press-in almond pie crust from the Post-Punk Kitchen website, with oat flour (which I had to up to a cup and a half even without adding milk – think I maybe mismeasured the oil! Still worked though) as I’m totally out of plain wheat flour now. For the filling, I went with Dreena Burton’s soy free, vegan pie because I had nearly all the ingredients and because most of the comments are so positive. And deservedly so! I had to make one or two tweaks, but I’m very pleased with the ease and taste of this pie. I wasn’t sure if my pumpkin would be wetter than commercial stuff, so I used 2 cups (a 15oz can apparently is 1 3/4 cups) and didn’t bother to add the milk. I used sugar instead of maple syrup and instead of arrowroot and vanilla I used 3 tablespoons of custard powder (I like my custard-pies on the rubbery side, as opposed to sloppy. I think 1-2 tablespoons would probably have been adequate). I also added some zest from the lemon – since I paid more for unwaxed it seemed a shame to waste it. This recipe made 2 small pies and 8 bite-sized ones, so should provide teatime treats for several days!

On the money front, I’m not doing so well. I haven’t broken the budget but I’ve got a lean week ahead. I had to buy some DIY tools unexpectedly, and I finally got so fed up with my hair that I took a step I’ve been meaning to for ages and had it drastically shortened by a barber.

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This is obviously not how I wore it to work today! I did have a lot of fun playing with borrowed styling products over the weekend though! The cut only cost £5 (plus tip), at the cheapest place I’ve seen in Leicester, at the top of Welford Road. The guy obviously doesn’t get many, if any, women in there, and seemed a bit nervous about cutting my hair but was fine after I assured him I wanted it short and showed him pictures of men whose hair I thought was the right length.

Also, I went out for pizza. Even though I had vouchers, we ordered over the value of those.

So, although I should only be up to a maximum of £26 out of the total £62 by day 13, I only have £20.32 to last me for the rest of the month. What the heck, I don’t care! It makes the rest of the month even more of a fun challenge, right?