If you have not already done so, please consider giving to "The Trussell Trust" - I have set up a just giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/OnePoundADay.

Microwaved Hotpot! January 20th

Despite not having an oven available to me in which to cook a hotpot, I decided to follow an earlier recipe suggestion, but attempting to cook myself a hotpot in the microwave oven.

I also ponder some advice from Sue regarding the "bacon blindness" I experienced yesterday.

How today's 1.00 was spent:

Porridge 0.17

Scrambled Eggs 0.37

Lentil Hotpot 0.46

From the mailbag

If I am honest, I hadn't properly shaken the bacon lust I had developed yesterday by lunchtime. An email from Sue could not have come at a better time.

Re your current 'bacon dilemma'.

If I was you I would sit and menu plan, find out if you can eke out what you have in store already to almost cover every day of your remaining challenge, if you can go for the bacon and REALLY enjoy that bacon butty and the other uses for the meat.

If you can't you will HAVE to be strong and resist and simply buy enough of what you can afford to plug the gaps..

Sue - via contact form

A well timed intervention Sue - thanks. Whilst thoughts of a meal-by-meal plan still make me think of the "meat product" that shall not be named, I've decided to try to "see out the week" on sensible meals with current stocks - albeit with an eye to reserving some food for next week. I'm hoping that by deferring my decision making, I can make a better choice - after all, if I screw up, I still have sufficient cash to buy some rice and lentils, and enjoy them with porridge and minestrone.

Lunch

Today I opted for a lunch of scrambled eggs on toast - topped with a thawed cube of sauce. It's a tasty combination. I used half a bread roll, which turns out to be cheaper than a slice of the speciality bread. The speciality bread now seems a little bit of an extravagence.

Ingredients Scrambled Egg on Toast.

ItemCost
50ml milk3p
2 Eggs24p
1/2 Bread roll7p
1 Sauce Cube3p
Total0.37

Dinner

After dreaming of lentil hotpot for what seems forever, tonight I put it into action. Aware that the microwave will cook very differently, I pre-cook the potatoes and lentils.

Ingredients Lentil Hotpot

ItemCost
50 g lentils10p
4 new potatoes16p
1 onion7p
1 garlic clove2p
100g frozen veg9p
1/2 Stockcube2p
Total0.46

The end result lacks the crisp potatoey crust I normally associate with a hotpot, and there is a lot of water form the stock remaining in the bowl. The flavour, and the cooked veg however, satisfies my appetite, leaving me full and content.

Conclusion

The microwaved hotpot was a bit of a leap in the dark, as I didn't have much of a recipe to go on

Perhaps I should have taken a prompt from the google results of microwaved hotpot and paid heed to the jewellery making kits taking the top slots of the search results.

Failing to prepare the hotpot, however, would have been a mistake. Whilst I am now firmly of the opinion that hotpots should be cooked in the oven, rather than the microwave, the flavour combinations were fantastic. I look forward to preparing delicous, oven cooked, lentil caseroles in the future - another recipe that will live longer than this challenge - thanks Tracy!

Totals to date

Cash Spent29.46
Value of Food Consumed:18.92
Waste0.09
Cash to spend:1.54
Days Remaining:11