My favourite cupboard
We like to eat like paupers. Beans and grains are nutritious, low fat and - when bought in big bags from the Asian Supermarket, or World Foods Aisle - very, very cheap. I'm not generally a food hoarder as buying only the fresh produce we need that week ensures that nothing goes bad, but a cupboard like this means we always have loads of possibilities even when stocks elsewhere are running low.
Here are some of my favourite, cheap, pulse based meals:
Three bean chilli - soak 100g each of three types of beans overnight. Bring the beans to the boil for ten minutes and then rinse. Fry an onion, garlic and chilli powder and add the beans, some stock, a tin of tomatoes and parsley or oregano. Bring to the boil again and then either simmer for 40 minutes or leave on low all day in the slow cooker.
Lentil soup - Fry an onion and some garlic, add 200g lentils, some finely chopped carrot and celery (if you have them), a stock cube and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Add lemon juice, chilli or herbs as desired.
Lentil curry - Fry an onion, garlic, ginger and 2 tbsps curry powder. Add 100g lentils, 100g frozen spinach (or any other veg you like), enough water to cover and a stock cube. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add fresh coriander at the end and serve with rice and Indian pickles.
Bean burgers - Soak beans over choice overnight. Cook them by bringing to the boil for 10 minutes, then simmering until tender. Drain and cool. Mix with finely chopped onion, garlic, herbs and spices of choice, an egg (to bind) and some flour. Form into patties and then fry.
The possibilities are endless...