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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