What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Got nothing in the house for dinner? Think again

So often you might think there is not enough food in the house to make dinner. It’s time to get creative! You don’t always need meat to make a meal. Actually, a great way to be a bit thrifty and save money is to reduce the amount of meat that you eat each week. There are loads of tasty vegetarian recipes but one that I use regularly is for lentil burgers – for some reason I always have a random can of lentils in the pantry. These freeze well too and are great for a last minute dinner. I usually make them as a burger but you could always just serve them with a side salad or some rice.

1 tin of red lentils

1 onion sliced finely

1 tsp minced ginger

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

4 buns

Lettuce, beetroot and tomato

Natural yoghurt

1 tbsp sweet chilli

3 tbsp parsley, basil or mint (if you don’t have this, don’t worry)

Oil for the pan

1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with a cup of water, the onion and ginger. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. Set aside to cool (I usually put it in the freezer for a while).

2. Combine the breadcrumbs and egg in a food processor (or just mix with a fork). Add this to the cooled lentil mix and stir together with a wooden spoon. Wet your hands and form the mix into 4 large patties or 6 medium ones

3. Heat the oil on the pan and cook the patties over a medium heat for about 4 mins each side, or until golden brown. They may fall apart a little but will still taste good

4. Toast the buns. Mix the herbs, sweet chilli and the yoghurt to use as a sauce. Place the patty and the salad onto the bun, and finish with the yoghurt sauce.

A good habit to get into is to put your stale bread in a food processor, then freeze for when you need breadcrumbs. I just started doing this recently, as I was always using my fresh bread, which seems like a waste.

I would love to hear about any of your pantry meals that you've made lately!

1 comment:

  1. I keep a Fennel and Orange in my fridge for a delicious easy, quick and healthy salad. Slice the Fennel thinly, segment the orange, combine with some soy (or Tamari) and any juice from the orange....voila done!
    If you want, add bit of grated ginger to the soy and some slivered almonds on top for some extra crunch.