2 Aug 2013

Cooking on a Budget; Beetroot Pasta

I'm probably not meant to moan about how broke I am on this blog, I really should pretend that I am super successful, and that I sleep in blankets made of money. This sadly is not the case, I'm broke at the moment, I know I'll get through it, I always do, but for the next while I'm living on a very strict budget. 

It frustrates me when the media talk about people eating badly because they are poor. The times in my life that I have eaten the healthiest food is when I'm really stuck for cash. There is no option to buy processed food as it's way too expensive. Years ago when I suddenly lost my job was the first time that I realised that you can eat really well on very little money, you just have to put in some extra effort in the kitchen. If you build up a good larder over time it makes cooking flavoursome meals affordable. If you get into the habit of buying one or two things for your cupboard every week you will quickly build up a good arsenal of spices, herbs, oils, and grains.  

I had the misfortune of only having a few euro to get the makings of a dinner for two days. I got  the above ingredients for the grand total of only €4.13! Keep an eye on the veg section that is just about to go out of date, this means shopping more often during the week, but that suits me fine since I live in the city centre. I also went for the own brand feta, which was 1/3 the price of the one beside it.
Cooked beetroot
Feta cheese
Green Pepper
Red Onions
Baby leaves

This is where the well stocked cupboard comes into play for making a delicious dinner on a budget!
Veg stock cube
Tomato puree
Black Pepper
Tinned tomato
Soy Sauce
Leftover garlic bread
Mixed Seeds

-Chop the red onion and cook with a little olive oil on a low heat in a pot with a lit, at this point add you crushed garlic.
-While the onion is cooking cook up your pasta with a veg stock cube, it really adds flavour.
-Add lots of black pepper and a teaspoon of marjoram to the onions.
-After your onions and garlic have sweated nicely add in your chopped green pepper, turn up to a higher heat.
-To make sure your garlic bread is cooked on time pop it into to the oven at this stage.
-Put in your tinned tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of tomato puree, and a splash of soy sauce.
-Chop your beetroot into large chunks and add to the tomato sauce, leave to simmer until your pasta and bread is finished cooking.
-While you are waiting on the pasta make the dressing from the below instructions and mix in with baby leaves, crumbled feta, and beetroot chunks.
-Sieve your pasta and add to the tomato sauce, add crumbled feta on top of the dish.

I never buy salad dressing, I make it as I need it and it tastes 100 times nicer. Just use
1 teaspoon  honey
1 teaspoon mustard
loads of black pepper
Half a lemon
Good splash of nice vinegar
Mixed Seeds

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