Sunday, 14 October 2007

Patatas Bravas

I tried these at a restaurant the other day, and they were really delicious. We were dining with a Spanish couple, and they said this was a really easy dish to make. Not only is it easy, but it's cheap! We were so hungry, and these were so tasty that we ate it all before I could take a picture. This probably isn't the most traditional recipe, but you can make it with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

5 medium or 10 small potatoes
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
olive oil
hot sauce, to taste
fresh basil or other herbs, to taste
sale & pepper, to taste

1. Dice potatoes. Coat with about 2 tbsp olive oil and bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes, or fry in a wok (which is what we did) for about 15 minutes, until tender.
2. sautee diced garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add tomatoes, hot sauce, herbs, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Pour tomato sauce onto potatoes.
4. (optional) top with grated cheese (we used cheshire, but cheddar, feta or mozzarella would work too).

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Hearty Vegetable Soup part II

If you do make this soup, and you wind up with an extra serving or two leftover, you can make it into a new meal.

Mix a couple tablespoons of flour with hot water, and dump it into the remainder of the soup. Mix & heat in a saucepan to thicken. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

So, I didn't make up this recipe, but it is FABULOUS! And cheap! I got it on

I don't have a cookie sheet right now, but I do have a small roasting pan (it's like 6 inches by 9 inches), so I tried making squares out of it and baking it a little longer - it came out soft in the middle, but I could still cut up the rest of it to make it presentable... and someone else in the house didn't mind eating the messed up part!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 small/medium)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking sodaand salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in egg and banana, followed by the vanilla extract. Gradually, on low speed or by hand, add in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats (either whole rolled oats or "quick cooking") and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350F, until set and lightly browned.
Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

This is a quick soup recipe that costs pennies per serving and lasts for several meals. It uses canned and frozen foods, and can be adapted for whatever you have sitting around the pantry.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 beef or chicken bouillon cube
1 can lentils
1 can diced or chopped tomatoes
1 can beans in mild chili sauce
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 liter of boiling water
salt & pepper to taste
cheese for topping
crusty bread

1. Saute garlic in butter.
2. Add bouillon cube to garlic until incorporated.
3. Add 1/2 liter of hot/boiling water, can of lentils, can of tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce temperature to a simmer.
4. (optional) use hand mixer to blend soup.
5. Add can of beans, frozen vegetables and remainder of hot water.
6. Simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Add salt & pepper to taste, and more water, if desired.
8. Serve topped with grated cheese, accompanied by a chunk of crusty bread for dipping.

Welcome to Cooking on the Cheap!

As Paul and I will be living on a tight budget while he is in school, I've decided to post any recipes I come up with that are very cheap to prepare on a student budget. I'll do my best to categorize recipes according to ingredients or themes so it can be easily searched.