Tag Archives: food

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

It is cold and wet and horrible – you need nourishment. Now Jade Goody thought that chickpeas came from chickens but they don’t, kidney beans however are the kidneys of small dogs so be warned.


2 tbsp Olive oil

1 Onion diced

Clove garlic chopped

2 celery sticks diced

2 tsp cumin

1 can of chickpeas

1 can of tomatoes

100g frozen broad beans

1 tsp harissa

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp tomato puree


Heat oil with spices, add onion and celery and sweat for 10 mins, add all the other ingredients except broad beans and simmer for 8 mins. Add broad beans and lemon juice (optional) serve with chopped coriander

Health benefits

Chickpeas like most of the other pulses are fantastic for you as they lower your heart attack risk (lots of magnesium and folate), provide lots of fibre which is very good for avoiding Irritable bowl syndrome, lowers cholesterol which when combined with a bit of garlic and turmeric (which this soup does) can lower your cholesterol level by 9%. Help your body balance it blood sugar so you don’t get highs and lows and instead have sustained energy release. Iron which loads of women are short off which can make you feel weak and lethargic and finally loads of protein which makes you feel full up without the saturated fat of meat or dairy.

Canned tomatoes have many health benefits. The magic word is Lycopene. This has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts. (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.) So you could have a few nuts with this soup if you want to increase your absorption of lycopene.

Did You know…

The word restaurant was first used in France in the 16th century, to describe a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors called restaurer, that was advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in restaurers. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant to describe the shops.


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Filed under soup, Uncategorized

Saving money at the supermarket

I love this, it makes me giggle. It all links back to being thrifty, which doesn’t mean having to compromise.

Below is a table lifted from Martins money saving expert  (I am a pirate) showing when supermarkets reduce food (In the UK). I would also add that I have noticed in the past that certain days are more likely to see bigger reductions.

When I lived very close to a supermarket I would accidentally stumble across amazing bargains (probably, I now realise, because it was after 7pm). As a keen cook it often means that I would save massively on expensive ingredients which I would then cook that evening – yummy.  

Supermarket Rough Reductions Schedule
Times will vary by store, but this is rough feedback from store staff
Amount you may be able to save
  Up to 25% off
Up to 50% off
Up to 75% and up
Source: Great ‘supermarket staff, tell us your reduction policies’ hunt.  

These days I tend not to hunt round supermarkets at 8pm instead choosing to shop online. 

Online supermarket shopping has been greatly improved by my supermaket which is brilliant. My supermarket allows you to choose what supermarket you want to shop at, pick a delivery time and then keeps a running tab of how much your shop would be at the other supermarkets. It also offers suggestions for swaps to save money or have fewer calories. There are a few issues for foodies such as if you put in free range chicken it will do a price comparison in the other supermarkets for any chicken, same with organic milk, but hey I can cope.

Having tried all home shopping deliveries would say Ocado is the best – not cheap but I have aldi for the basics – my reasons are as follows

  • 1 hr delivery slot (not rubbish 2 hr slot)
  • they always come in that hour (not like Asda who were an hour late in a two hour slot)
  • they text you 10 mins before coming with name of driver – which means even during the hour wait you can pop out
  • they always seem to have all the goods and substitutions are very rare
  • the drivers always seem happy and helpful
  • they have green delivery slots
  • they deliver the next day
  • finally my nearest store is 10 miles away so they are cheaper delivering than me going there!

Worst was Asda which is a pity as they are often the cheapest – reason being

  • bad delivery times
  • substitutions are many – which means rifling through your shopping on the doorstep whilst they re scan it ( every time I ask for no substitutions but they always do) and also often means you have to go somewhere else to buy what you ordered so wastes time.
  • Bad substitutions –  no fresh thyme so they offered me fresh basil.
  • drivers all tell you that it not their fault (despite me not blaming anyone) and that asda are just rubbish (great staff training and motivation!) 
If you order branded goods rather than ingredients then I would still use Asda as they are cheaper, Tesco and sainsbury are both okay not bad for delivery or substitutions (but not great)  maximum points for Ocado.

Have also tried Natooraand they were very good and exciting (more farmers market experience) and will definitely order form them for a dinner party or Christmas. Slight niggle with them was the amount of packaging – kept everything safe but filled my green bin with packaging! 

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Filed under Cheap, food, Shop, Uncategorized

happen upon round up

So this week Happen upon has happened upon

  • frozen roasted peppers – should be good for soups (waitrose)
  • frozen grilled aubergine slices – (asda)
  • Lauden chocolates at the farmers market – yum yum
  • Loose birds free range chicken – harome North Yorkshire
  • Midnight Bell – new pub and brewery
  • Sloe Whisky – by sloe motion mmm delicious

more tasty treats next week


Filed under food, Homemade, Uncategorized