Live below the line shopping and first budget meal recipe

I have assembled my ingredients and am ready for my challenge to begin tomorrow. Bizarrely I think being exhausted from doing a show will work to my advantage in some ways. Being tired means I don’t eat that much as I just want to sleep, the downside of course is that I have to work and my normal sustenance of tea will not be available to me. This is what my £5 budget for the week got me:

Garlic 0.3
onion x 3 0.32
Rice 500g 0.2
Butter 65g 0.12
Salt 15g 0.09
Crushed chilli 10g 0.1
Lentils 500g 1.09
tomato puree tube 0.4
tin tomato x1 0.31
Flour 275g 0.08
Penne 500g 0.29
value pasta sauce jar 0.39
olive oil 40ml 0.14
green chillies x4 0.07
carrot x 3 0.17
turmeric 2g 0.02
Instant noodles 1 packet 0.2
cumin 3g 0.02
courgette x1 0.34
coconut cream block 22g 0.09
oregano 1g 0.04
Total 4.73

So I have 27p left over, this is for an emergency treat which I may or may not need! Hilarious that I actually am not wanting to spend every penny! I detailed my menu a few weeks ago, so just to remind you I have a simple dhal with rice or pasta and simple sauce for my dinner options and lentil, tomato and chilli soup  with chapatti or instant noodles for lunch options.

Here is my recipe for lentil, tomato and chilli soup with chapatti’s.

250g lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
large pinch chilli flakes
1 tin tomato
generous squeeze or two of tomato paste
splash olive oil
pinch salt
Large pinch oregano

For the chappati
275 g Flour
pinch salt

Put a large pan on the heat with a splash of olive oil, add onions, carrot and garlic and sweat down over a low heat until soft. Once sweated add your chilli flakes, pinch of salt, oregano, tomato paste, tin tomato and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the lentils along with about 500ml of water to begin with and simmer until the lentils are cooked. You might have to add more water whilst the lentils are cooking if the consistency is too thick. Once the lentils are cooked, use hand held blender (or liquidiser) ad blitz till smooth. At this point you can adjust the seasoning and add more water for a thinner consistency as you like. I need to make sure it lasts all week so will add enough water to ensure it does. Then simmer on a low heat whilst you make the chapatti.

For the bread just put the flour, pinch of salt in a bowl. Add enough water to make a soft (but not sticky) dough. Then make little balls, flatten out into flatbreads and cook in hot, dry non stick frying pan. It is cooked when it gets darker, and you have very dark brown spots as well, then flip over and cook the other side the same way. Wrap in a clean tea towel while you make the rest so that they stay soft. This is a very simple lunch, healthy and no frills!

Massive thank you to those who have already donated.  Remember the UK Government has pledged to match whatever people raise for Send a Cow so every penny donated makes even more of a difference.  You can still sponsor me at


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