Europe food slowlivingactivism

Cooking on a budget

January 29, 2019

When I soak chickpeas I do enough for a couple of dishes. These are giant chickpeas – delicious, fat, buttery & creamy. I’ll be honest and say they are Greek but from Lidl. We’ve found Lidl to be the best for storecupboard essentials (although their veg is over packaged in plastic 😢). We shop on a tight budget so mix local farmers market fresh produce with supermarket budget items. This week our total food spend was €70 (last week it was €100) for two people. This averages out at just over €6 per person per day and includes the odd bottle of wine or beer. It comprises a mix of the local bakery, Lidl & farmers markets. We don’t eat out or buy coffees etc… preferring instead to cook in the van and spend a bit more on quality local produce like fruit, veg, salad, olives, oil, cheese, bread, herbs. Taking cloth tote bags to the market is a great way to avoid plastic and we just chuck all the loose veg from the scales into them ✊🏻. A vegetarian (mostly vegan) diet also helps to keep costs down.

Anyway – once the chickpeas are cooked this salad takes 10mins to put together and will keep in the fridge for a couple of days: Soak chickpeas for 24hrs in cold water. I have a large Tupperware box with a lid to avoid spillages in the van (and so I can stick it under the footwell out of the way). Boil chickpeas then simmer until nice and soft (an hour or so) & drain. For the salad I just added chopped cherry tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, dried chilli (I couldn’t get hold of fresh) a big handful of fresh chopped herbs (parsley & fennel fronds because that’s what’s in the market just now). In a cup I mixed lemon juice, olive oil & honey (the honey here is from thyme & wildflower bees and is utterly divine) – all local – then poured it into the chickpeas and gave it a good stir with loads of black pepper. Add crumbled feta if you like. Or not. Use rice cakes (Lidl’s are great) or the end of a stale loaf pan-toasted in thin slices for the hummus & guacamole.

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