Cooking On A Budget

Looking for something different for a family meal is always a challenge, and in many instances we take a quick trip to the local supermarket for a microwavable ready meal or something pre- cooked from the counter. Now, I’m not underestimating the role of these in our life because believe me, as a full time working mum of three, they have their place in my hectic schedule between after school clubs and general household duties. However, I often find myself wanting something less processed and generally fresh, this way I know myself and the family have had something that I would call ‘good for them’. This removes a lot of the mum guilt too!

In recent years I’ve increasingly moved towards searching for good quality produce and find myself veering towards independent stores like Fodder, which is situated locally. Fodder sources its produce from as many local suppliers as it can, visiting their farms and spending quality time talking to them about their ethos, inspirations and working methods. It is really quite surprising the number of amazing companies which are located right on our doorstep; I actually had no idea! Frankly, I was in awe of how many there are. You can buy cauliflowers grown as locally as Knaresborough, herbs packaged in Thirsk and spices from Tockwith and of course locally grown rhubarb from within the famous ‘Rhubarb Triangle’. Who would have guessed that no more than 5 miles from my house I could go to a farm and see cauliflowers and savoy cabbages being harvested or exotic eastern spices being packaged and distributed not only locally but nationally? I did not! Did I mention the copious dairy products such a Longley Farm yoghurts and milk to meats and milled flours.
When it comes to our weekly shop I try to budget quite strictly and find that sticking to this can be a challenge, especially when sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables. I have a pantry filled with the ‘everyday’ ingredients therefore it’s not always a challenge to create something for the family using seasonal produce which is often less costly than not. So, here is a simple, yet seasonal recipe adapted from my Punjabi Heritage using local produce from Fodder. The challenge was sticking to the £10 budget but I think you’ll be quite surprised what I actually managed to source and make.

Recipe Card 1

Spicy Cauliflower and Turmeric Curry

2 tbsp of Rapeseed oil
2 Onions, sliced
1 Cauliflower – cut into florets
1 large potato- peeled and diced
1 tsp of ginger
1 tsp of turmeric
½ of garam masala
¼ of chilli powder
1 Tin chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste

Slice 2 onions and brown in Rapeseed Oil. Once brown add the spices and salt to taste and cook out for 3min. Then add ½ Tin of chopped tomatoes, place the lid on and leave to simmer for 3 min (you can add a little water if it dries out too much). Add the potatoes and leave to simmer for 3 min. Finally, add the Cauliflower and leave to cook on a low heat for 15min or until everything is cooked through.

Vegan Turmeric Cauliflower and Potatoe Curry

Serve with Naan bread or simple boiled Rice.

Recipe Card 2

Tangy Mint Chutney

1 onion
25g Fresh mint Leaves
1 green chilli
Salt to taste
Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until it is chopped and resembles a salsa consistency. I like mine more blitzed though.

Recipe Card 3

Cooling Mint Raita

I small tub Longley Farm plain yoghurt
25g mint chopped
¼ tsp Garam Masala
A splash of full fat milk
Mix the ingredients together. Add the milk to loosen the yoghurt to your chosen consistency

Recipe Card 4


2 stems Rhubarb
2 Coking apples
50g caster sugar

Place all the ingredients into a pan and leave to stew on a low heat until they are all soft.
Serve the stewed fruits with either ice cream you could add a crumble.

Total cost from Fodder for the raw ingredients only £9.78
(Salt, green chilli, ginger and caster sugar from my pantry)

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