For dinner tonight, we had what is a favourite meal for Mr Chilli and I – hummus, pittas and salads. The components vary a bit – often I’ll include a green salad, sometimes a garlic mayo dip – but whatever is included, it’s always delicious.
Tonight, I kept it relatively simple and just made:
- two flavours of homemade hummus (recipe here – half was topped with za-atar spice mix and the other half with paprika)
- a couscous salad with dried cranberries
- spicy roasted veg
- homemade brown pittas
Not including the hummus, as I didn’t cost that recipe when I posted it, this meal cost around £1 per serving – so even including the hummus it’s pretty cheap for a tasty, healthy meal.
Homemade pittas (makes four, but is easily doubled)
I’ve only made white pittas before, based on the recipe from The Takeaway Secret by Kenny McGovern. This time I decided to experiment and try out a brown flour version – mostly because it’s healthier but also because I’m running low on strong white flour. They were delicious and we both actually preferred them to the normal white ones.
- 200g strong brown flour 17p
- 1/2 tsp easy bake dried yeast 4p
- 1/2 tsp sugar (less than 1/2p)
- 1/2 tsp salt (less than 1/2p)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil 5p
Mix the dry ingredients together, add the oil and mix again. Pour in around 150ml hand-hot water slowly – you may need a little more or less to get the right consistency. Knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes and leave under the upturned bowl to rise for around an hour in a warm place.
Cut into four pieces and roll each out into an oval shape so it looks like a pitta bread. Preheat oven to 220C and leave covered for 15-20 minutes.
Bake for around 8 minutes until golden and puffed up. Cost 27p for four or 14p per serving of two pittas,
Spicy Roasted Veg
Not sure this qualifies as a recipe, but here’s what I did:
- 100g chantenay carrots (these were free from my garden, forgotten and overwintered in a pot, and a very pleasant surprise when I did some gardening today), chopped in half
- 1 small green pepper, chopped into eight pieces 35p
- 2 tiny courgettes, chopped into large chunks 21p
- 100g roasted butternut squash (what was left from my tub in the fridge) 18p
- 1 tbsp olive oil 10p
- 1 tsp spices or spice mix, whatever flavour you like – I used Ras El Hanout spice mix) varies – I’ll guess at 15p
Preheat oven to 200C. Mix everything except the squash on a baking tray and season with salt. (If you’re not using any pre-roasted veg, mix everything together). Roast for 20-25 minutes, until everything is nearly tender. Add the squash and cook for another 5 minutes, until it’s heated through. Cost 99p and made enough for the two of us with a little extra for lunch tomorrow.
I usually add pistachios to this dish but didn’t have any in today. They make this salad so much better that I’ve added them in the recipe below. If you don’t have pistachios, you could use toasted pine nuts or cashews or almonds or walnuts, or alternatively add some chopped up feta.
- 100g plain dried couscous 14p
- 1 tbsp olive oil 10p
- 1 tsp oregano 6p
- 1 tsp mixed spice 6p
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli 3p
- 50g dried cranberries 30p
- 50g pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped 45p
Add the couscous to a big bowl with a big pinch of salt (very necessary! Couscous is an incredibly bland food when not well seasoned) and the olive oil, Add a coffee-mugful of boiling water and cover with a teacloth. Leave for 15 minutes.
Remove the cover, fluff with a fork and add the nuts, fruit and spices. Mix well and add salt to taste. Cost £1.14 and made enough for three servings when served with the other things, so 38p per serving.