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Attention Tightwads

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It's Ramadan, so with a view to attracting Islamic punters both Sainsburys and Tesco (and possibly the other big chains, I haven't checked, as there are none particularly near me) are doing four for a pound on tins of chickpeas and chopped/plum tomatoes. The tins are from various brands but all the tomatoes seem to be Italian, and the chickpeas appear to be identical. It's well worth stocking up this time of year, if you've got the space. Also look out for the pots of minced garlic/ginger/mixture of both for a pound, very convenient for homemade curries.

I plan on going mental with the chickpeas especially, since I discovered how quick and easy it is to make hummous in the 'mini chopper' we bought from Lidl for a tenner:

1 tin chickpeas

a good slug of olive oil, maybe 2tbsp

a similarly sized squirt of lemon juice out of a plastic squirty lemon

1 large clove of garlic, roughly chopped

2 tsp light Tahini paste

2-3 tsp plain natural yoghurt to loosen it up

1tsp ground cumin (and a sprinkling of cumin seeds if you have them)*

Salt to taste, I reckon about 1/2 tsp is right

Then just blend to a smooth paste, taste, and add more salt/lemon/cumin if necessary. I reckon it tastes better if you stick it in the fridge for an hour to cool. Total ingredients cost is ~50p for about twice as much as you'd get in an 85p pot of ready made in the supermarket!

I've got this down to a pretty fine art now, takes less than 10 mins to do. I've chucked a couple of chillies from the plant on the windowsill into the last couple of batches which gives it a pleasing kick.

That is all, except: * big bags of cumin powder/seeds are also very cheap in the Ethnic Section.

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I find this is true of peas in general.

Aha! I did once find a butterbean at the top of one of my tins of chickpeas. Explain THAT!

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Making good home-made food yourself is nothing to do with being a tightwad......it means making something far better for less using your own time and facilites...time is money...and using what you save, to do/buy what you otherwise could not have bought or done...win.win.

Home-made hummous is the best ,quick and simple to make.

This is very well worth a try:

Basil and parsley pesto.......freezes well.

Enough for four but double up on it and freeze in ice cube trays for a fast meal at another time...great on freshly cooked pasta with grated cheese or a base for savory tarts, on pizza, mixed with rice, cous cous or bulgar wheat etc the uses are endless....grow you own herbs or make full use of the supermarket fresh growing herbs.....toasted sesame seeds can be used instead of pine nuts saving money but still good.

50g pine nuts, lightly toasted, 30g each or 60g total of basil and parsley leaves only, 1 garlic clove peeled and chopped, grated zest 1/2 lemon, 100-150 ml olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Toast pine nuts or sesame seeds in dry frying pan toss but do not over brown, remove and cool.

Blitz eveything except oil in a processor to a paste, then slowly pour in olive oil mix/blend, add some lemon juice to taste....enjoy. ;)

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Tomato and chickpea soup. ;)

Soups and curries are probably the route to super tightwad status... favourites are asparagus and leek and potato (only when said veg is down to 20p) but I will take whatever is down..... fresh coriander is another one that Tesco loves to slash to 10p and carrot and coriander is also delicious.

Point is fresh veg can be liquidised into soup and frozen or will keep longer once processed in the fridge....so you get your veg fix on sell buy veg for next to nothing.

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Having taught Islamic students they go all day without food or drink, getting increasingly irritable, and then at dusk they go bonkers.

So if anyone wants to recreate the spirit of Ramadan, don';t just concentrate on the food. You have to consider all the cigarettes smoked, amyl nitrate poppers, a good supply of porn (no burkhas) and some decadent western music.

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Tomato and chickpea soup. ;)

Don't knock it. They go nicely together - though better with other ingredients.

Leek, tomato and chickpea soup. Prepare by soaking the chickpeas overnight. Start cooking by vigorously frying up a big onion, chilli, herbs&spices to taste. Add the leeks while frying, before turning the heat down. Add veg stock, tomatoes (optionally tinned) and chickpeas, and leave to simmer for the best part of an hour.

Serve straight with sour cream, grated cheese, or similar. Or make a main course of it by serving on pasta!

Impossible to make too much: whatever doesn't get eaten can be frozen and will be delicious some other time.

[edit to add] But this really isn't the season. It's a dish for the colder months. Other soup recipes like pea and mint or tomato and basil are better for the summer -_-

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This is very well worth a try:

Basil and parsley pesto.......freezes well.

I've used half rocket / half spinach too. The only use for rocket, imo!

Walnuts are fine if you can't find pine nuts.

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Making good home-made food yourself is nothing to do with being a tightwad

No, but cleaning Tescos out of cans of chickpeas and tomatoes just because they're 8p cheaper than usual is...;) .

Did it go into the hummus?

No I scoffed it, though I daresay it would have been just fine...

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Aha! I did once find a butterbean at the top of one of my tins of chickpeas. Explain THAT!

It's either a bonus, or bad QA!

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We make this sometimes.

Chickpea and courgette stew

http://www.theskintfoodie.com/blog/a-chickpea-and-courgette-stew

serves 2-3

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 tin tomatoes (the best you can afford)

approx. 240g (cooked weight) chickpeas

2 tsps harissa paste (or to taste)

a goodly pinch of ground cinnamon

2 courgettes, quartered lengthways, then cut into 20mm wide chunks

3 plump garlic cloves, crushed

olive oil

salt + black pepper

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I don't think the chickpea offer is anything new... have seen it every couple of months or so. Very welcome though!

Anyone tried freezing houmous?

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We make this sometimes.

Chickpea and courgette stew

http://www.theskintfoodie.com/blog/a-chickpea-and-courgette-stew

Time to get the courgette recipes out....remember the courgette curry was rather tasty.

Chickpeas ~8p to 10p per 100g is the going rate......the sort of produce you can buy at the ethnic stores imported directly....all kinds of spices and pulses, oils and speciality foods......foods you wouldn't buy in a supermarket unless you were happy to pay the earth or buy to use later when the price is the right price....

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Soups and curries are probably the route to super tightwad status... favourites are asparagus and leek and potato (only when said veg is down to 20p) but I will take whatever is down..... fresh coriander is another one that Tesco loves to slash to 10p and carrot and coriander is also delicious.

Point is fresh veg can be liquidised into soup and frozen or will keep longer once processed in the fridge....so you get your veg fix on sell buy veg for next to nothing.

.....cucumber soup it is then.......and any good veg going on morrison managers special table........ :)

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