My OLIO Haul

These two bad boys are the reason why I ‘braved’ going out into the torrential rain and generally bad Welsh winter weather this evening, wrapped up in a jumper dress, hoodie, rain coat and woolly hat (I was very cosy and only mildly damp).

I have made friends with someone through OLIO, and she is pretty much the food waste prevention champion of Cardiff (also she may be able to help me get a job so it is all good). She listed these squash’s on OLIO last night and I promptly requested the hell out of them.

I am not entirely certain what I am going to do with them. I am also not entirely certain what type of squash’s they are, but I like a challenge.

This has also reminded me that I am aware of a few things in my cupboards I need to list on OLIO, so I will crack on with that.

Batch Cooking my Work Breakfasts: Vegetable Muffins


We have very little remaining of the food budget, and to be fair we only have to last till Friday, but that was after the boy and I had a disagreement about whether we needed to replace the rice krispies in this month, or the next food month. We compromised, the boy and I donated half the cost each and bought a pack (he can’t live without them), but I will add it to next month’s food budget spreadsheet.

I normally take 2 cheap cereal bars and a banana in my bag to eat on the train for my breakfast, but the budget didn’t allow me to replace these stocks after they ran out on Saturday. So I had to come up with a batch cook idea to last me for the week.

These muffins are from a combination of the original recipe, and a swap recipe in this book I absolutely love called My Zero-Waste Kitchen which is a Dorling Kindersley book, I believe the author is Kate Turner, and I have found out she has a blog called

So for that reason I won’t repeat the recipe, as it is not mine, but the muffins contained 2 grated sweet potatoes and 1 grated carrot and I managed to finally use up all my chickpea flour. They are yummy.

I really can’t recommend that book enough.


1 way to your 5 a day: Courgette Porridge

Last year I went through a stage of buying Women’s Health magazine which I love, and am sad I can’t buy (but actually I have found a way to read it for free, but I’m saving that for another blog post).

In one of their issues last year they were talking about unusual mash ups inspired by a trend for Sweet Potato Toast. One of the things they recommend to try out was Courgette Porridge.

I have given it a whirl and it’s not bad, it tastes like it’s distinctly lacking sugar, so maybe you would want to add some, or more cinnamon, it also tastes like it would be really nice with chocolate, have a go!

INGREDIENTS (This is taken almost exactly from what the magazine recommended)

1 Courgette between 180g-230g

115g Porridge oats

240ml water, but I used around 300ml


About 10g protein powder (I used vanilla)

Chia Seeds

Banana and Blueberries if you have them.



Grate the courgette, discarding the bottom and stalk.

Add the oats and grated courgette to a pan with cinnamon, protein powder and water.

Cook until ready, it won’t take very long, add more water if needed.

Add the bananas/blueberries and chia seeds.




I assumed that the recipe was measurements for one portion, and maybe if you were going to climb a mountain it would be, so if you are a greedy guts the measurements above definitely feed one person (although I donated some of mine to the food bin), but really we are looking at 2 portions, maybe even as many as 4.


Store Cupboard Veggie Cottage Pie

I batch cooked a load of cottage pie for tea and lunches this week. I used up A LOT of ingredients from the stores.

Things banished from the cupboards include:

100g dried soya mince (a bit of a faff to prepare but so cheap)

1 x 400g tin Haricot Beans

1 x 400g tin cut green beans

1 x 400g tin green lentils

1 x 400g carton of pasatta

Frozen peppers, onion and sweetcorn

2 ginormous sweet potatoes

2 tiny jacket potatoes


Last of the BBQ sauce (adds a kick)

all but 2 of my carrots


Tomato Puree


You see the picture? That is the overflow cottage pie, I have another dish twice the size of that cooling down in the kitchen.

What’s the difference between a cottage pie and a shepherd’s pie? Apparently Cottage Pie traditionally uses Beef mince, and Shepherd’s Pie traditionally uses Lamb.

I used neither, but soya mince more resembles beef mince than it does lamb, that is why this is a veggie cottage pie.


Easy Pea-sy Soup (I am ill)

An ill day calls for one thing.


We have had a big bag of frozen peas in our freezer for a long time, and I don’t really like plain peas. Nor do either the boy or I have a sprain in need of an ice pack.

After trying, for the first time, a delicious pea and mint soup last year when I was still eating from the work canteen at lunch I have been craving it ever since.



serves 3 greedy mouths (4 normal mouths and 5 small mouths)

About 350g of frozen peas.

1 big potato (or 3 small potatoes)

Frozen or fresh Onion. I used A LOT. About one medium fresh onion is a good starting point.

2 tsp of dried mint (you can use fresh if you like. I know it’s better, but our windowsill is occupied by long scrubbing brushes the boy insists on buying so that his precious hands don’t touch a plate when doing the washing up)

1.5 Litres of vegetable stock

A big splodge of butter/margarine



Chopped the potato(es) and onion (if using fresh) into small pieces.

Melt the butter in the biggest pot you have and once it’s foaming add the potato and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the stock and cook for about 15 minutes.

I added the dried mint at this point but if you are using fresh I would recommend waiting till a bit later.


Once the potato and onions are soft add the peas and bring back to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour into the blender and pulse.


Do I really need to tell you what to do next?

You eat it of course.

I do feel a little better.

The ‘Throw Anything at Me’ Vegetable Soup

It is the boy’s birthday today. He wanted Parsnip soup. We did not have parsnips, so we went to Tesco’s and bought some.

I decided to combat our vegetable drawer and mountain of potatoes and thus made the ‘Throw anything at me’ soup. For when times are tough but for some reason you have a lot of vegetables.

When my mum left us around the time I was 12 my Dad became a single parent. He only had limited experience in the kitchen and had to step up. There were some ‘unusual’ experiments, and our meals frequently involved up to three types of potato as they were cheap and filling, but I remember clearly that one of the first things he made from scratch was soup.

I would spend my Sunday’s in the second year of Uni roasting veg and then pulsing them into soup. Soup was one of the first things I made.

Once you have learnt to make soup you know you can survive.


1 onion, finely sliced (I had a fresh onion, normally it would be frozen onion)

4 stalks of celery. If it is slightly bendy that is fine.

3 small-medium potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, washed, skin on, finely diced.

5-7 parsnips IF SMALL AND WEEDY. The prepacked bag I bought in Tesco’s had little parsnips in, not like the hefty behemoths I get at the fruit and veg stall at work. If you have the hefty beasts then use about 2-3.

1.5 Litres of stock.

Herbs you like. I used dried Thyme, Rosemary and Sage.

A nice big wedge of butter.

A blender, a big pot and a wooden spoon.


Melt the lump of butter/margarine in the pot over a low heat. Once it is all melted add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Cook for about 5 minutes until your kitchen smells lovely and onion-y (is it just me that likes that smell?)

Add the finely sliced carrots, potatoes and all important parsnips. Give a courtesy  stir to coat in the buttery onion goodness and then add the stock.

Bring to the boil then cook for about 10 minutes. If the pot has a lid put it on. It saves energy by cooking things faster.

At this point I did the washing up and listened to Absolute 80s.

Once I finished the washing up I checked that the root veggies were soft, which they were (thank you Mr Pot Lid) and then I turned off the heat and carefully put it all in the blender (depending on the size of your blender you may have to do this in two stages)

I then pulled out my biggest bowls, poured it in and ate. Yum.

The boy was happy.

As always adjust the veg quantity, stock intensity, thickness and herbs to your own individual liking. The boy added a mound of pepper to his.

Leftover Vegetable Cheesy Scones

Remember that glut of veg I bought last Monday?

Well I didn’t want the Swede to go to waste, so I decided to make some vegetable scones from them. I found a recipe on the BBC food website by Greg Wallace from the Eat Well For Less show banner, that called for around 200g of mashed swede and 50g of other leftover cooked veggies.

My swede was B I G so even shaving some of it off for our Sunday dinner I still had 300g of it. I boiled it along with a very small sweet potato that was about 80g and I was planning on changing the rest of the ingredient measurements to reflect these changes in amounts, but in the end I kept the flour, baking powder, salt and milk measurements the same and I feel that my scones were all the better for it. In fact the milk amount seemed far too much!

I’m sure Mr Wallace will tell me I did everything wrong but I thought they were delicious.

As usual I was generous with the grated cheese.

I like my food ‘crispy’ which I know is more carcinogenic, even before the news report this year about ‘golden food being bad’ I knew that so I will leave it to you as to how well done you like them.

I will be having some in my lunch box tomorrow.

I reckon any combination of root veggies would make a good scone. They were yummers!