Breadline Challenge Recipes

Due to popular demand, I have a written up a few of the recipes that I survived on for the Breadline Challenge (living off a drink and food budget of  £2.10 for a week for the fantastic Charity - FoodCycle (here is a little more about it and how I got on:  The idea behind the below recipes was to eat as cheaply as possible, whilst trying to be nutritious.  Obviously I had a limit as to what ingredients I could use (due to the budget), so I have written up the recipes exactly as I ate them during the Breadline Challenge week (recipes serve 1, and the pricing is an estimate of this serving) but have offered suggestions as to how you can make them extra special, just by adding regular, store-cupboard and back-of-the-fridge ingredients!  I haven't gone mad with exact amounts as these dishes don't need to be exact, you can really get away with adding more or less of ingredients that you like!

Sausage One-Pot

I loved this hearty and simple one-pot dish, not only was it incredibly tasty, it was also packed with fibre and goodness from the lentils, red beans, spinach and peppers.  65p/portion.  You can add any veg that is a little past-it and change the seasoning, instead use smoked paprika, or parsley and thyme, or cumin and chilli for a bit of a kick!  Chunky bread is great to have to hand to mop up any juices.

Ingredients:  glug of oil - 2 sausages - clove of garlic, crushed - small handful of chopped frozen peppers - a couple tablespoons of tinned chopped tomato - large handful of chopped frozen spinach - a third of a tin of drained, cooked lentils - a third of a tin of drained, kidney beans - a pinch of paprika - salt   

Method:  1.  Pierce the sausages, heat the oil in a small saucepan and fry the sausages on a medium heat, until brown on all sides.  Remove the sausages and set aside for later.

2.    Add the garlic and stir out for about 30 seconds until the aroma is released, then add the peppers and continue to stir for a few more minutes, until defrosted and softened.  Add the chopped tomato and the spinach, cooking until it has defrosted.  Slice the sausage thickly and throw into the saucepan, along with the beans, lentils and paprika, stir and pop the lid on and cook until the sausages are cooked through, stirring often.  Season to taste and serve immediately.  

Banana Pancakes

This 'life-saver' recipe is based on one in my forthcoming cook book, Caribbean Modern, where I use coconut milk, cocoa nibs, maple syrup and spices to create a light cross between french toast and pancakes.  During the breadline challenge week all I had was bananas, milk and peanut butter so I whittled down the ingredients list to create a more basic, but still tasty version of this energy and protein-packed breakfast, brunch or dessert dish.  If you want to make this a little more special (and closer to the original), add a pinch of cinnamon, some cocoa nibs, or chocolate chips, and a dash of maple syrup or sugar to the wet batter and serve with blueberries, maple syrup, caramel, chocolate sauce, or anything sweet that you've taken a fancy to.  25p/portion.


Ingredients:  1 large ripe (brown-spotted is even better!) banana - 1 large egg - 3 tbsp milk - pinch of salt - glug of oil - 1 heaped tbsp peanut butter

Method:  1.  Mash the banana in a bowl, then whisk in the egg and add a tablespoon of milk.  In a large frying pan heat the oil on a medium heat.

2.  When the oil is hot, spoon out about a third of the batter to a thickness of about a third of an inch and cook until the pancake is golden and dry underneath, then flip over and cook for about 20 more seconds, until cooked through.  Repeat with the remaining batter.   Whilst the pancakes are cooking, heat the peanut butter with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, until warm and a little looser.  Serve the pancakes immediately with the peanut butter dolloped on top.    

Spinach, Lentil, Bean & Caramelised Onion Oatcakes, Pepper 'Ketchup'

Having drunk litres of soup and chomped on platefuls of lentil/bean hot-pots during the Breadline Challenge week, I really needed something different using the same ingredients.  This creation was mildly inspired by walking past a 'Byron' burger joint and getting 'mouth-waters' (you know what I mean) for one...  Whilst it isn't an aged medium-rare beef patty, it is filling, nutritious and can take on any flavour you want via the introduction of any spices or herbs, try smoked paprika, curry powder, a mixture of ground coriander, cumin and chilli, or simply thyme or oregano.  Also, it was simple to make and made a great lunch the next day.  Throw in any beans or cooked veg that you have lying around.  45p/portion.


Ingredients:  oil - 1/2 onion, roughly chopped, salt, a third of a tin of cooked lentils, a third of a tin of kidney beans, 3 cubes of frozen, chopped spinach. 

Method:  1.  Pop the oven on to 200C.  

2.  In a small saucepan, heat a large glug of oil and soften the onions, on a low heat, with a large pinch of salt until caramelised and golden, about 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.

3.  In a large bowl, roughly crush the beans, add the lentils, spinach and onions, mix and add a pinch of salt and paprika and finally the oats, just enough to bind the ingredients together and form into 3 to 4 burger-sized patties.  Pop into the oven for about 10 -15 minutes, until a little dry.

4.  Whilst the oatcakes are in the oven, to make the ketchup, fry the peppers in a frying pan, on a medium heat, in a little oil, until softened and slightly golden.  Pop them into a blender and blend until you have a smooth puree.  Season to taste and add a little dash of oil and mix.

5.  To finish the oat cakes, in a frying pan, with a little oil, on a medium heat, fry until browned and crisp on both sides.  Enjoy with the ketchup, to dip.