Budget Cooking workshop in Leominster with FareShare produce

Last weekend I provided a budget cooking workshop for Leominster Food Share which runs from the Leominster Foodbank which distributes fresh food twice a week.  It’s aim was to show regular users what they could make with the vegetables on offer and inspire them to cook with them in a simple but creative way.

You never know what will come in the delivery so a Read Steady Cook approach required.  I took along some store cupboard essentials:

Salt, sugar, oil, stock powder, curry powder, smoked paprika, thyme, soy sauce, a tin of chick peas and a tin of butter beans, plain flour and a pack of noodles.

This delivery included broccoli (lots!!) cabbage, carrots, sweetcorn cobs, mange tout, spinach, peeled potatoes, spring onions, onions, kale.

I set up with four camping stoves and with the help of local residents we made a range of dishes over the course of several hours.  It was lovely to see youngsters taking part and following the dishes through to completion.  Everyone got to taste the dishes and take them home to eat or freeze.

Here are the recipes!

POTATO, CHICKPEA AND SPINACH CURRY (4-6 portions costs approx. £2.50)

Ingredients available:

1kg potatoes peeled and chopped

1 tin of chickpeas

1 onion

200g approx. of spinach

water – enough to cover potatoes and chickpeas

1 tsp stock powder

3 tsp mild curry powder


  • Add oil to a large pan.
  • Add a chopped onion to the hot oil and add a dash of salt.
  • After 5 minutes add the curry powder and stir through with a dash of water.
  • Add the potatoes, chickpeas and enough water to cover them.
  • Place lid on pan.
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes until potatoes soft.
  • Add spinach near the end of cooking time and place lid back on. It will wilt down, then stir through the curry.


Add garlic and ginger after the onions become soft.

Add a tin of tomatoes.

Add extra water and blend into a soup.

Add leftover shredded roast chicken.

Add more vegetables such as peas, kale, broccoli or cauliflower.

Use a jar of curry sauce or a few tablespoons of a curry paste.

CHAPATIS (4 portions costs approx. 15p)

Ingredients available:

1 mug plain flour

¼ mug of water (may need more)

2 tbsp oil

Pinch of salt


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Rest for 20 minutes if possible.
  • Divide into 4 or 6 pieces.
  • Roll out thin into circles (use a bottle if no rolling pin available).
  • Dry fry in a hot frying pan for 30-60 seconds either side.


Use a different flavoured oil.

Add spices or fresh herbs to the dough.

VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP (4-6 portions costs up to £3.00)

Ingredients available:

Wholewheat noodles (you can use any type of noodles)

5 spring onions (you can use an onion)

1 bag of sugar snap peas

1 corn on the cob



1 tsp stock powder

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 litre approx. of water


  • Add water to a pan and place on medium heat.
  • Place 2 or 3 square nests in the water.
  • Chop up all the vegetables and add to the pan.
  • Add the soy sauce and stock powder and sugar.
  • Cook the noodles and vegetables until cooked through 5-8 minutes.


Add ginger and garlic if you have them.

You could use honey instead of sugar.

Add a dash of sweet chilli sauce or other Chinese sauce.

Add any vegetable you have fresh, tinned or in the freezer.

You could add more water to stretch the meal out.

PATATAS BRAVAS (4 portions cost £1.10)

Ingredients available:

500g approx. chopped small peeled potatoes

1 onion

2 tsp smoked paprika

1-2 tsp thyme

1 tsp sugar

1 lemon

300ml water approx, then more if potatoes not cooked through and all water absorbed

Tin of butter beans (added to bulk out into a meal)


  • Add oil to frying pan/pan, when hot add a chopped onion and cook on a low heat until soft.
  • Add the potatoes, thyme, smoke paprika, squeeze of lemon and water to cover the potatoes and stir for about 12 minutes until the liquid has absorbed and the potatoes are soft. 
  • Add the butter beans and cook for a few more minutes until heated through.

NOTE: We were using a frying pan so had to keep adding water to stop potatoes sticking while they cooked through but if you use a pan with a lid you will use less.


Add a clove of garlic and tin of tomatoes instead of the water. 

You could also add a few tablespoons of tomato puree instead of the tinned tomatoes.

Add extra water and use a hand blender to make a soup.

This dish can be frozen or kept in the fridge for several days.  

Use tinned potatoes, cook quicker too.

COLESLAW (4 portions costs approx. 70p)

Ingredients available:

4 carrots

Half a cabbage

Fresh chives

Vegan mayonnaise


  • Peel and grate the carrots and add to a bowl.
  • Slice thinly the cabbage and keep adding to the bowl until it looks right 50:50 ratio works well.
  • Chop finely the chives and add to the bowl.


Add spring onion chopped up.

Add grated apple.

Add cheese.

Add lemon juice or lime juice.

Use red cabbage or add other root vegetables like parsnip, fennel or celeriac.

PANCAKES (makes 6 cost approx. 25p)

Ingredients available:

1 mug of plain flour

1 mug of water

3 tbsp milk powder

4 tbsp aquafaba (from the drained tinned chick peas)


  • Place all the ingredients in a jug or a bowl and mix with a whisk or a fork.
  • Let it stand for 10 minutes or so.
  • Heat a frying pan with a little oil.
  • Add a ladle of batter to the hot pan
  • Turn pancake over when the surface has gone matt.
  • Cook for up to a minute until the pancake is golden.


You can use any milk for this recipe.

Replace aquafaba with 1 egg.

Use tinned fruit or peel some fruit and cook up with a little sugar for a warm filling.


Stock cubes/powder

Soy sauce

Sweet chilli sauce

Tomato puree

Curry powder/pastes

Smoked paprika

Chilli powder


Salt and pepper

Surprising with the addition of a splash of soy sauce or an addition of a herb it can really help brighten up vegetables that are lacking in flavour.

Use old large yoghurt pots or ice cream tubs to store or freeze meals.

Stir fry or roast vegetables close to spoiling and then use them in dishes later in the week.

Visit some of my other blogs for:

hints and tips and budget recipe videos

energy saving ideas in the kitchen  

reducing food waste

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