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February 14, 2012

There are some recipes that are perfect for emptying the vegetable crisper and this is one of them.  It is my own Australianized version of Hoppin’ John so apologies to purists. 


some bacon, ham or prosciutto (about 1/4 cup)

1 cup rice

1 tbspn oil

1 onion

2 cups of diced mixed vegetables ( I used celery, carrots, some mushrooms)

1 cup of spinach

1/4 red capsicum diced

2 cups water

1 chilli

1 tbspn lime juice

pepper and salt to taste


1.  Place the oil in a frypan and gently saute the onions until they are golden and transparent looking.

2.  Now add the meat and fry until meat is cooked.

3.  Now add vegetables and chilli and fry until they start to look a little tender.

4.  Add rice and stir around until rice is coated then add lime juice then the water.

5.  Place lid on top of pot and simmer until rice is cooked about 15-20 minutes. You will have to keep an eye on it towards the end.  Keep moving it around with a wooden spoon.

6.  Now add red capsicum and spinach and cook gently for another 5 minutes.  Stir every now and then.



December 11, 2011

This is the sort of meal peasants used to take into the fields to eat at lunch time.  Basically it still works if you are looking for something nourishing until payday.


2 slices of bread cut into cubes (Bread bought previously)

2 mushrooms              0.50

1 tomato                        0.57

1 apple                           0.62

2 eggs  ( Bought previously)

TOTAL                       $1.69


LUNCH   1 apple



2 slices bread cut into cubes

1 tomato

1 cup pasta

2 mushrooms

2 eggs

2-3 tbspns balsamic dressing.


1.  Place eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Take eggs out and place in cold water.  Peel and cut into quarters.

2.  Place pasta in boiling water for 10-13 minutes.  Drain in colander.

3.   Cut tomato into quarters.

4.  Place bread cubes on a tray and place in a heated oven at 200 C for about 3 minutes.  Turn cubes and cook another few minutes until golden brown.

5.  Place all ingredients together in a bowl with balsamic dressing and toss.

Variations:  Add some baby spinach to the salad if you wish.


December 7, 2011

Okay I admit my omelette is Not Good.  I kid myself it would be better if I had an omelette pan.  Anyway here goes.


1/2 to 1/3 cup broccoli (bought previously)

1/2 cup spinach (bought previously)

1/2 cup zucchini (bought previously)

2 mushrooms                                             0.46

3 eggs (bought previously)

TOTAL COST                 0.88

BREAKFAST 2 slices toast (bought previously)

LUNCH 1 apple                          0.42



1.  Gently cook zucchini, spinach and broccoli in a small amount of water until tender.

2.  Gently whisk 3 eggs together and pour over vegetable mix.

3.  Pull the eggs in from the side of the pan with a plastic spatula or egg slice.  Keep doing this until the eggs are nearly all cooked through.

4.  Using a spatula turn one side of the omelette over on top of the other side.

5. Gently slide out of the pan onto a plate.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Variations:  Add some grated cheese to the middle of the omelette if you have it.


December 6, 2011

This is a delicious way to get your greens!   


1 slice Bacon                                         0.36

Green Zucchini      0.207 kg          0.82

Loose Baby Spinach 0.232            0.97

Broccoli     0.232  kg                         0.92                                                                                                    

1 Pear                                                     0.53

1 Banana                                              0.50

TOTAL                                               $4.10

Breakfast  1 banana

Lunch  1 pear


1 cup spinach leaves

1/2 cup of broccoli

1/2 cup of sliced zucchini

2 tbspns of balsamic dressing (purchased previously)


1.  Wash greens and chop into small pieces and chop bacon.

2.  Brown the bacon pieces in a non-stick pan.  Once browned add broccoli and a small amount of water (about 1 tablespoon).  Stir until the broccoli starts to become tender.

3.  Add rest of vegetables and stir fry until tender.

4.  Add 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Dressing and stir through and serve with cracked black pepper and small amount of salt.


December 5, 2011


6 eggs                   2.40

1 loaf bread        2.50

1 tomato             0.50

1 banana            0.50


BREAKFAST  1 piece of toast with tomato

LUNCH 1  banana


2 eggs

2 slices of toast

pepper and salt to taste


1.  Bring pot of water to boil.  Remove from boil.

2.  Use a spoon to make a whirlpool in the boiling water.  Add 1 tspn lemon juice, white vinegar to the water.  Drop two eggs in the swirling water.

3.  Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook eggs for another minute until white is set and yolks are still runny.  

Add pepper and salt and serve on toasted bread.


December 4, 2011

A fresh and lively salad that contains 3 of your daily 5 vegetables.


Mushrooms 0.079 kg        0.83

Pasta Bows 500g                1.00

Continental Cucumber  1  0.87

Truss Tomato 1                     0.76

Balsamic Salad Dressing   2.59  (don’t worry we will be using it again)

TOTAL COST                          $6.05 

Breakfast – 1 banana                 50c

Lunch –  1 apple & banana   1.00

TOTAL FOR THE DAY      $7.55    


1.  Place 1 cup of pasta bows in a pot of boiling water.  Cook uncovered for 13 minutes or until al dente. (still some resistance if you bite into it.)

2.  While the pasta is boiling chop up tomato into small chunks; the mushroom into thin slices, then halve the slices and slice the cucumber and then chop each slice into halves.

3.  Drain the pasta in a colander and then place in a bowl with 4 tbspsn of balsamic vinegar salad dressing.

4.  Mix the vegetables into the pasta.  Season with freshly ground black pepper and a small amount of salt.

Makes 2 servings.

Substitutions:  You will note that you can save considerably on this dish if you substitute a simple oil and vinegar dressing for the balsamic dressing.  If you don’t already have the oil and vinegar however it is often better economy to buy the dressing already made up.

 Additions:  You can add some finely chopped red onion and some cubed feta cheese if you wish.


November 12, 2011

Okay here is the challenge.  I have $20 and it has to last 5 days.  Worse.  I have no refrigeration.

I have noticed that the problems of making a small amount of food money go a long way become compounded when you have no refrigeration so it could be quite a challenge.

I will be starting my 5 day effort tomorrow so I will be keeping you posted.  Luckily I live only a short distance from a supermarket so I don’t have problems with buying groceries everyday.  I really feel for people with no refrigeration who live a long way away from grocery stores.