Tag Archives: cheap

veg of the week: BUTTERNUT SQUASH

nothing phallic about this at ALL
nothing phallic about this at ALL

Welcome back after what has been a long, sedentary Christmas and an exam week that has been less than fun for everyone involved. It’s a new term now, and I’m very excited about what the next 11 weeks will bring. However what has shocked me most about coming back to Exeter and getting through the slog of deadlines is realising that actually, it’s still very much winter and no, I still can’t wear a bikini and read outside. I’m still sneaking the heating on while wearing a coat and scarf and clutching at a hot water bottle, and using Eastenders as an excuse not to go out. Yup, it’s still winter.

There are ways of brightening up the days, though. Making the time to cook yourself something warming and homely is, I’ve discovered, one of them. This is why the butternut squash is my vegetable of the week: the pumpkin’s sexy cousin, the butternut squash is great because it’s versatile, filling, seasonal, and bright orange. It’s also cheap for the amount of squashmeat you’re paying for (usually about £1 for a medium variety). Its sweet, sweet nuttiness is great roasted in pretty much any dish from pie to pasta to salad, or blended in a wintry soup. It’s also got a host of health benefits: it’s rich in the natural antioxidant vitamin A, as well as vitamin C and fibre, and contains minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium. It’s basically a strong contestant for the king/queen of vegetables, but this week I’m blending it into a warming soup.


Easy spicy butternut squash soup (vegan)

Ingredients for approx. 4 meals

1 medium butternut squash

1 sweet potato

2 brown onions

2 garlic cloves

1 or 2 red chilli/s

2 vegetable stock cubes

1.5 litre water

2 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp olive oil

every day i'm bubbling
everyday i’m bubbling


  • Chop onions, garlic, butternut squash, and sweet potato.
  • Warm a large pan with olive oil. Chuck in the onions and garlic and brown them, then add the squash and sweet potato. Lightly fry.
  • Make up 1.5 litre of water with 2 vegetable stock cubes. pour over vegetables and bring to boil.
  • Add tomato purée, stir, and let vegetables simmer and soften.
  • When vegetables are soft and tender, add the freshly chopped chilli.
  • Blend in food processor.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle with chilli flakes to serve.
  • Enjoy your radioactive-themed soup for lunch or dinner and try not to feel at least 60% cheerier.
for a vibrant lunch choose the butternut
for a vibrant lunch choose the butternut

– BI


today i’m making: tofu & asparagus pad Thai

stir fry

I am a lazy cook. I watch my housemates lovingly stir their lasagna sauce or wait patiently while their hand crafted pies brown in the oven, and as a frequenter of the microwave, I am obviously a cheat and kitchen heathen. That’s why it’s so refreshing to come across a recipe for a meal that ticks all the crucial criteria: quick, relatively cheap, vegetarian (and vegan) friendly, filling, tasty, and easily adaptable for the solo chef. Using a hob also convinces my housemates that I am way more of a culinary wizard than I actually am. My recipe is adapted from the BBC Good Food website, and with a mere 30 minute package-to-plate time, it’s a winner for similarly tardy cooks. Stir fries are brilliant because they’re so flexible, and if you buy the ingredients for one, you’ll have them for days afterwards. My recipe here is for one person.



  • Flat rice noodles (enough for one)
  • 1 lime (save half for wedges to serve)
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or sunflower oil
  • 150g firm tofu, drained, patted dry as instructed, and cut into cubes
  • 5 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 spring onions halved and thinly sliced lengthways
  • A few handfuls of beansprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms*
  • Handful each coriander leaves and chopped salted peanuts, to serve

*I used these mainly because I needed to get rid of them– but that’s the beautiful thing about a stir fry! All (most) vegetables will find a home there.



1. Before anything else, drain and press the tofu. I used the Cauldron smoked tofu, and I recommend it for a more distinct taste.

2. Cook noodles according to packet instructions

3. Heat 1 tblspoon of sunflower/vegetable oil, and throw in the tofu, allowing to fry until golden brown (this should take around 6 minutes).

4. Add another tblspoon of oil before stirring in the asparagus until tender. Add the spring onions, garlic, beansprouts, and mushroom. Persistently stir for a few more minutes, adding a pinch of salt.

5. Add a squeezed half of lime, with a few tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, and chopped salted peanuts. Continue to stir for a few further minutes. Stir the noodles in with the vegetables.

6. Serve topped with coriander, with a few wedges of lime, and sweet chilli sauce to taste.

So simple, and so effective.

The fruits of my labour
The fruits of my labour