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A clever cookbook shows you how to make meals for just £1 a portion to help beat the squeeze

TOMATO POKE BOWL 

To make 1 portion 

COOK’S TIP

All these recipes make enough to feed one, if you’re cooking for more simply multiply the ingredients as necessary.

  • 55g-70g (2-2½oz) rice 
  • 150ml (5fl oz) water 
  • Salt 
  • 1tbsp sesame oil 
  • 2tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1tsp rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 garlic clove, grated 
  • 1cm piece of fresh root ginger, grated 
  • 1 big tomato, chopped
  • ½ a carrot, cut into thin strips using a potato peeler 
  • A small handful of shredded red cabbage 
  • A small handful of edamame beans 
  • A pinch of sesame seeds 

Put the rice and the water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and place over a medium heat for about 7 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. 

Fluff with a fork to separate the grains. 

Urmeer Weinhaus Pinot Gris 2021 (12.5%) £8.99, Waitrose

Urmeer Weinhaus Pinot Gris 2021 (12.5%) £8.99, Waitrose

Meanwhile, mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger in a bowl, then add the chopped tomato. 

Assemble the poke bowl by first adding the rice, followed by the carrot, cabbage, tomato and edamame beans. Pour the remaining marinade over the top and garnish with the sesame seeds. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Super with soy 

Urmeer Weinhaus Pinot Gris 2021 (12.5%) £8.99, 

Waitrose With offerings as delicious as this white, it’s time Germany became top of your list for wines to pair with mildly aromatic recipes. This feels like a pear spliced with a mandarin – tropical and tantalising, it’s scrumptious with ingredients such as soy sauce and ginger and is a firm favourite in my house! 

SAUSAGE AND PEARL BARLEY HOTPOT

To make 1 portion 

COOK’S TIP 

Grains and pulses are so underused. Give this recipe a try and you’ll be converted. Pearl barley is cheap and tasty. 

  • 2 sausages ½ an onion, roughly chopped 
  • ½ a carrot, roughly chopped 
  • Olive oil 
  • A handful of pearl barley 
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube 
  • 400ml water, plus extra if needed 
  • A handful of frozen peas 
  • Leaves from 1 thyme sprig (optional) 
  • 1 potato, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper 

Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the sausages on a baking tray and roast for about 25 minutes until golden brown. 

Meanwhile, in a small flameproof casserole dish, fry the onion and carrot in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the pearl barley, stock cube and water and simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. 

Chalk Springs Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021 (14%) £8, Marks & Spencer

Chalk Springs Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021 (14%) £8, Marks & Spencer

Once cooked and about the consistency of a stew, season to taste, then add the cooked sausages, along with the peas and thyme leaves, if using. 

Top with the sliced potato. Drizzle the potato slices with olive oil and season, then cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Serve. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing:  heavenly with hotpot

Chalk Springs Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021 (14%) £8, Marks & Spencer 

Made by British Master of Wine Giles Cooke, this is an outstanding wine for under ten quid. 

Pale in the glass yet silky and bold when you sip it, its vibrancy and finesse complement the sausage hotpot perfectly. 

This grenache punches well above its price point, so get hold of some before it vanishes from stock! 

EASIEST FALAFEL EVER

To make 1 portion 

  • 100g chickpeas, drained 
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1tsp ground cumin 
  • A small handful of coriander, half chopped and half to garnish 
  • 1 pitta bread, toasted
  • Salad (lettuce, onion and tomatoes) 
  • A dollop of hummus 

Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. 

The OrWanguTang Mandarin, Gose, Anspach & Hobday (4%) £3.50, thewinesociety.com

The OrWanguTang Mandarin, Gose, Anspach & Hobday (4%) £3.50, thewinesociety.com

Scatter the chickpeas in a baking tray, then drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the cumin. 

Roast for about 20 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven and stir in the chopped coriander. 

Stuff into a toasted pitta bread with whatever salad you’ve got, plus a big dollop of hummus and a few sprigs of coriander. Enjoy straight away. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Fantastic with falafel 

The OrWanguTang Mandarin, Gose, Anspach & Hobday (4%) £3.50, thewinesociety.com 

Made in collaboration with comedian Phil Wang and with 50p from each sale going to the Orangutan Foundation, this beer made with fresh orange and mandarin is superb with falafel. 

PRAWN AND PEAS IN A TARRAGON SAUCE 

To make 1 portion 

  • A handful of peeled prawns 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • A few asparagus spears, roughly chopped 
  • A handful of frozen peas 
  • A big glug of single cream 
  • A pinch of dried or fresh tarragon 
  • ½ a lemon 
  • Olive oil 
Cape Point Fairtrade Sauvignon/Semillon 2021 (12.5%) £7, Co-op

Cape Point Fairtrade Sauvignon/Semillon 2021 (12.5%) £7, Co-op

Season the prawns with salt and pepper, then pan-fry them with the asparagus and peas in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat. 

After about 3-4 minutes, once the peas have defrosted and the asparagus is cooked, add the cream and tarragon. 

Simmer for another couple of minutes, serve with a squeeze of lemon then slice the remainder of the lemon to garnish. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Perfect for prawns

Cape Point Fairtrade Sauvignon/Semillon 2021 (12.5%) £7, Co-op 

This rich South African white is a comet of citrus splendour – its long-lasting flavours are a treat with tarragon and its zest is spot on for prawns. 

Plus it’s Fairtrade – and a bargain to boot! 

AUBERGINE PARM BURGER

To make 1 portion

  • 1tbsp plain flour 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • A handful of breadcrumbs 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 x 1.5cm slices of aubergine 
  • Olive oil 
  • 2 thin slices of mozzarella 
  • ½ a tin (200g/7oz) chopped tomatoes 
  • A pinch of dried oregano 
  • 1 bread roll 
  • A handful of rocket

Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and the breadcrumbs in a third. Season the flour and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. 

Grab your aubergine slices and dust in the seasoned flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally in the seasoned breadcrumbs. 

Shallow fry in a generous glug of oil over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Place some mozzarella on each aubergine slice. 

Preheat the grill to medium, then transfer the cheesy aubergine slices to the grill for a minute or so until the mozzarella melts. 

Vista Castelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2020 (12.5%) £4.75, Tesco

Vista Castelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2020 (12.5%) £4.75, Tesco

In the same pan you used for the aubergine, mix together the chopped tomatoes and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until thick. 

Assemble the layers of aubergine, mozzarella and tomato sauce in the bread roll to create a burger. Top with a little rocket, then serve.

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Brill with burgers 

Vista Castelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2020 (12.5%) £4.75, Tesco 

For less than a fiver it’s hard to quibble with this fruity Italian red. Great for burgers and with the right tang for the tomatoes, it’s particularly good after spending half an hour in the fridge. 

DICED AND ROASTED LASAGNE

COOK’S TIP 

You can use whatever veg you have lying around for this. The key is to dice it nice and small for that caramelised flavour. 

To make 1 portion 

  • ½ an onion, roughly chopped 
  • ½ a carrot, roughly chopped 
  • ½ a courgette, roughly chopped 
  • ½ a yellow pepper, roughly chopped 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • A pinch of dried oregano 
  • Olive oil 
  • ½ a tin (200g/7oz) chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 garlic clove, grated 
  • 1 fresh lasagne sheet (or you can pre-cook a dry sheet in boiling water for 5 minutes) 
  • ½ a ball of mozzarella, thinly sliced 
  • A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese 
  • A few sprigs of basil or parsley, to garnish 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Spread the vegetables out on a baking tray. 

Aldi Specially Selected Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2019 (13.5%) £7.99

Aldi Specially Selected Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2019 (13.5%) £7.99

Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of oregano, then drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through. 

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a suitably sized ovenproof dish. 

Add the chopped tomatoes and grated garlic, then stir and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. 

Season to taste, then top with the lasagne sheet, some slices of mozzarella and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan. 

Cook for another 20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Garnish with basil leaves, then serve. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Lasagne lover

Aldi Specially Selected Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2019 (13.5%) £7.99 

There’s a lot of red bang here for your buck. 

Some of the grapes are partially air-dried to intensify the cherry aromas and deepen the fruitiness – in much the same way as roasting the veg first boosts the flavours in the lasagne. 

SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS

To make 1 portion

COOK’S TIP 

Slow-cooked pork shoulder takes hours to make, so save time and electricity with this quick chicken version. 

  • 2 chicken drumsticks, skin removed 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Olive oil 
  • ½ an onion, sliced 
  • A pinch of ground cumin 
  • A pinch of paprika 
  • ½ a tin (200g/7oz) chopped tomatoes 
  • A few soft-shell tacos or tortillas 
  • Crumbled feta, for sprinkling 
  • A few slices of red onion 
  • A few sprigs of coriander

Season the chicken, then pan-fry over a medium heat in a splash of olive oil.

 After about 7 minutes, add the onion and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes. 

Next add the cumin, paprika and chopped tomatoes. 

Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 

Vallee des Pins Rose 2021, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, (12.5%)

Vallee des Pins Rose 2021, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, (12.5%)

Remove the chicken from the pan and use two forks to shred the meat from the bone. 

Return the shredded meat to the pan and stir through the sauce. 

Load up your tacos with the chicken and tomato mixture, and top with some crumbled feta, red onion and coriander. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Tops for tacos

Vallee des Pins Rose 2021, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, (12.5%) £10.99, reduced to £8.99 in a Mix Six, Majestic 

Pale and pretty, this southern French rosé has a palate that lives up to its appearance. Rosé is excellent at mopping up mild spice in a dish, and with these chicken tacos this blend is immensely moreish. 

HERB STEM FRITTERS

To make 1 portion

COOK’S TIP 

Ever wondered what to do with leftover herb stems? Stick them in a fritter. There’s lots of flavour in the stalks. 

  • 2 spring onions, sliced 
  • A small handful of frozen peas, defrosted 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 2tbsp plain flour 
  • A handful of any leftover cheese (such as Cheddar, Brie or feta), grated, crumbled or finely diced 
  • A few sprigs of herbs such as basil, stalks separated and finely chopped 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Olive oil 
  • Half a lime, sliced (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the spring onions, peas, egg, flour, cheese and herb stalks. Season with salt and pepper. 

Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil, then use a big serving spoon to add about a quarter of the mixture to the pan in one big dollop. 

Asda The Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala (11.5%)

Asda The Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala (11.5%)

Repeat the process until you have 4 fritters. Fry them for about 5 minutes on each side. 

Garnish with the remaining basil leaves and lime slices, if using, and serve. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Fab with fritters 

Asda The Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala (11.5%) £5 

Outrageous value for a fiver, this white from Romania is as scented as a peach in full bloom, and gorgeous with the fritters and their flavoursome herbs. 

  • Extracted from Green One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay, Headline Publishing Group, £16.99. To order a copy for £15.29 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20. Promotional price valid until 01/10/22. Also check out Miguel’s Student One Pound Meals, £12.99, out now. 

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