LBTL Day 3

Today I was working at home so managed to have my breakfast (toast and margarine, 7.5p; cup of hot water, free) at my desk and while it was still fresh!

My plan for today’s lunch was Lentil Pate, but while I was cooking it last night I decided to whizz it all up in the blender to give a smooth consistency, and it ended up rather like hummus. I had it with some dry toast and some slices of red pepper and onion and it was rather good, despite containing no olive oil or tahini. I am including some notes on the method here in case I make it again (or someone else may even want to try it!). I would normally use oil but I could not afford it on my budget.

Mock Hummus

Makes 2 generous portions:

100g red lentils

10g margarine

Half a medium onion, finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

Half tsp ground cumin

1 large clove garlic, crushed.

Rinse then cook the lentils on a low heat with the pan lid on in a minimum amount of water; cook carefully without stirring, so that the lentils are cooked and dry and almost fluffy, with all the water absorbed; keep checking and top up the water by a small amount as necessary.

Fry the onion in the margarine until starting to caramelise; turn off the heat and add everything else plus some salt & pepper to season.

Spoon into the food blender and whizz it up until smooth.

Cost per portion: 32p (including 2 rounds dry toast, plus some red pepper and onion slices to garnish).

Tonight’s meal was (value) Spaghetti with a Lentil & Veg Sauce. This is the last thing I need to cook this week as  previously made dishes will be coming out of the fridge and freezer to take an encore for the rest of the week. It was tasty and filling – M had Parmesan on his and I tried not to notice!

I’ve just realised I’ve mentioned three pieces of kitchen equipment in this post that I take for granted and have certainly made this week’s challenge a lot easier, and that anyone living in poverty probably wouldn’t have access to. As well as thinking about food and cooking this week I have been reflecting on why I am doing this and what it must really be like to live in poverty – I think I will post about this at the end of the week.

Spaghetti with a Lentil & Veg Sauce

Makes 2 generous portions.

150g spaghetti

10g margarine

1 medium onion

200ml passata

2 cloves garlic

50g lentils

65g mushrooms

90g peppers

Pinch mixed herbs, half tsp Marmite, salt & pepper.

Cost per portion: 41.5p

NB I am now watching Secret Eaters (C4: This groundbreaking new series about the psychology and science of eating scrutinises the eating habits of overweight families by putting them under 24-hour camera surveillance) out of some sort of perverse curiosity! And it’s not making me feel hungry at all!

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at:


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