“What can you make with bulgur wheat other than tabbouleh?”
Matt’s advice: “Try toasting it and then sprinkling it through salads – it will give it a bit of crunch. In fact, whatever way you cook bulgur, it’s preferable to toast it first to get a nutty taste. To do this, dry-fry it to make it a little charred and smoky, then cook it in a bit of water or stock.”
“What to use instead of wine?”
Matt’s advice: “This week, Jack Monroe – who is king of tin-can cooking – showed us how to substitute wine in dishes. Instead she uses black tea, which gives a similar taste. So she has a recipe that makes a sauce using a cup of tomato sauce and a cup of black tea. That, slowly cooked, will give you an Italian-style taste.”
“What can you do with marrowfat peas that isn’t just mushy peas?”
Matt’s advice: “If you’ve got flour and a couple of eggs, I’d make fritters. Drain the peas until they’re pretty dry and then mix them with a dried herb or a bit of spice to give a lift and kick. Mix in an egg or two and add flour to bring it all together, then make little fritters with them in the same way we do with sweetcorn. You could also make a risotto-style dish with the marrowfat peas and long-grain rice: fry the rice and peas and then add the stock gradually.” Jack makes versatile fritters on the show.
What vegan dishes can you make without rice or pasta?”
Matt’s advice: “Pulses like chickpeas, lentils and cannellini beans are great. I’d be slow cooking any of these with tomatoes and then I’d finish it with chopped nuts that you might have left over from Christmas. Then if you can get a jar of vegan pesto and stir in a spoonful of that, it’ll really add to the taste. You could make your own pesto of course, but just leave out the cheese.”
”What would you do with this selection: tins of tuna, tomatoes, potatoes and mixed beans, plus dried pasta?”
Matt’s advice: “I would cook the pasta and then let it go cold. Make the tinned tomatoes tastier by reducing them in a saucepan by about half and adding what herbs and spices you have to hand. Mix in the tuna and stir it all together with the pasta. Then stick it in a frying pan and fry it so it ends up being like a pasta bake as it all sticks together. Turn it over, cook it through, and then you can slice it up. With the tinned potatoes I’d make a potato salad either with sour cream or mayonnaise, or you could just add a little olive oil and garlic. I use tinned mixed beans all the time and they make excellent patties! Just blitz them up in a food processor, add some spices, then fry them up.”
Daily Kitchen Live’s top store-cupboard tips:
Having a few tins of lentils on standby means you’ll always have a healthy, nutritious – and cheap – meal at the ready. Jack Monroe’s dal makhani packs a taste-punch, but with no overnight soaking of lentils is surprisingly quick to prepare.
Jack turns tinned carrots into these carrot cake overnight oats. She also says you can use butter beans (or lots of other tinned beans) instead of chickpeas in her beetroot hummus.
Use your store-cupboard ingredients to make batches of sauces and then freeze, so they’re at the ready when you need them. This coconut curry sauce from Shivi Ramoutar will go down a treat!
For an inexpensive thickener for curries or stews, try adding torn up pieces of bread to the sauce as it cooks. Jack uses this technique for her spinach and chickpeas with bread.
For a sweet treat, if you have any kind of tinned fruit and chocolate in the house, you can make a twist on Jack’s white chocolate and peach cake. For instance, try dark chocolate with tinned cherries or pears.