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Nourishing Winter Meals planned by a Prudent Pensioner

A 'No Frills' guide to getting the most from your budget.

Available to purchase from Amazon at £4.99

I am grateful for many things in my life but I would say that being taught to eat well on a budget really had a positive impact on my personal contentment and well-being. Family and friends accept that I am not an organised person but planning meals ahead and wasting little has, for very many years, been second nature to me.

You might like to try this easy recipe for a cheerful and healthy soup. Carrots are so nourishing and inexpensive.

Carrot Soup

Makes 500ml / I pint

1 medium shallot or small onion
15g /½ oz. Butter
Potato approx. 100g/4oz
Carrots approx. 200g/8oz
Vegetable or chicken stock cube dissolved in 500ml hot water
Salt and Pepper to taste.

How to make Carrot Soup.(Video)

Peel potato and carrots and cut them up into small pieces
Peel shallot/onion and slice finely.

Place butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add vegetables stir and mix well. Add stock, increase heat and bring to boiling point. Reduce heat and leave, covered, simmering gently, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are quite soft, approximately 20 minutes. Strain off most of liquid into a jug, put aside while you either put vegetables into liquidiser or use hand blender and whizz for a couple of minutes, alternatively use potato masher and mash well. Return liquid 1/3rd at a time, to pureed vegetables in the saucepan stirring gently to mix well. Add salt and pepper if required. When all the liquid is mixed in, reheat to boiling point stirring gently. Turn off heat, serve and enjoy.

This is one of the recipes in the book and costs 45p for two generous portions.

Leek & Potato Soup

Approx.230g/8oz Leek
Approx.230g/8oz Potato
Medium size Shallot or small onion
Chicken or vegetable stock cube
Knob of Butter about the size of a walnut
Salt and Pepper

How to make Leek & Potato soup.(Video)

Dissolve stock cube in 500ml hot water.
Trim leek as necessary, slice thinly and chop a little to break it up, place in a colander and rinse in cold water.
Peel potato and cut into small pieces, Peel shallot and slice thinly.
In a medium size saucepan and over a low heat, soften butter then add leek, shallot and potato and stir well. Taste stock, add seasoning if necessary add to saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until potato and leek are soft. Strain off most of liquid into a jug; leave this to one side while you blend the potato and leek for a few minutes. Return liquid, 1/3rd at a time, to pureed vegetables in the saucepan, stirring gently to mix well. Bring to the boil then turn off heat. Season more if necessary. This is ready to serve and enjoy.

Macaroni Cheese with Leek

Serves 2.

150g/5oz Dried Macaroni pasta
25g/1oz Butter
25g/1oz Plain flour
300ml/1/2 pint Milk
1/4 teaspoon English mustard
100g/4oz strong flavoured Cheddar Cheese grated
Salt &Pepper
230g/8oz Leek sliced
You will need a 850ml/1½ pint ovenproof dish.

How to make Macaroni Cheese with Leek.(Video)

Put leek slices in a colander and rinse with cold water then transfer them to a saucepan and add the milk, carefully bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until leeks are tender.
Bring a medium size saucepan of salted water to the boil add the macaroni boil for 5 minutes then drain.

Remove leek slices from milk and place in an ovenproof dish spreading evenly.

Mix mustard powder into flour. Melt butter in a saucepan; add flour and mustard powder beating quickly to form a smooth base for the sauce. Whisk in milk a little at a time until all mixed then bring to the boil still stirring constantly. Reduce heat to simmer, Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Add par cooked macaroni to pan, stir and cook for 4 minutes. The starches in the pasta will thicken the sauce as it cooks.

Preheat grill to medium.

Remove sauce from heat and stir in 2/3rd of the cheese. Pour sauce over leeks, spreading evenly. Sprinkle over remaining cheese and grill for approximately 6 minutes or until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling.
It is then ready to serve and enjoy

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