The Taste of Austerity

A Super Basic GF Grill

It's not gearing up to be the best year you've ever had. And chances are, you shouldn't be spending quite so much of that disposable income on eating and drinking out. That's right, out. We still think you should do it, just with your friend(s), in the comfort of your own home.

It's easy to eat out. It's even easier to order in. It's a little harder to stock your fridge with a few Waitrose Ready to Cook dishes for the nights you stay in, but it's possible. High in sodium and not that inexpensive, though. The best option of all (at least for one night a week) is to cook it yourself.

Sound daunting? It's doesn't have to be. With a few great recipes and a few additions to your kitchen, you'll be laughing - and easily justifying that magnum of Champagne you'd like to serve with your meal.

With that in mind, we begin an impromptu series with easy recipes that will bring austerity measures to your kitchen.

The George Foreman * Grill

Go and buy one immediately. They have super basic, inexpensive ones, ones that cook two different things on different settings, and a bunch of other stuff. Just get a basic one. Buy organic chicken breasts or grass-fed beef (or venison) steaks and some seasoning, stick them on for 7-10 minutes, and you're done. (You can also use your GF Grill to toast a sandwich or grill sausages.)

Roasted Vegetables

Most things are better in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and sweet potatoes are favourites in our house. And don't forget that sweet potatoes are a super food. We scrub them, cut them into wedges, mix with chopped red onion olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Into the oven for 20 minutes at 190C, and Bob is your satisfied uncle. Roast broccoli for about 15 minutes, and asparagus for 5-7, and zucchini for about 10. But don't serve two roasted vegetables with your chicken breast. Instead...

Frozen Peas

For real. They are the only vegetable we've found that tastes as good when cooked from frozen as from fresh. So if you're going the sweet potato route, make this your second vegetable. If you're going the roasted green vegetable route...

Mashed Potatoes

Who doesn't love them? And as an Irish friend said, you really can't go wrong with them. It's not like you can over-cook them. So, buy a potato masher and some yellow flesh potatoes (which have more nutrition than white), then peel them, quarter them, put them in a pot, add water so they're about three-quarters covered, and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Drain them, pour in a small amount of milk (if you want), a small amount of butter or margarine (if you want), add some salt and pepper, and voila. You are stoked.

Banana Splits

Banana slices and bit of Green & Blacks chocolate syrup over vanilla ice cream, and voila, you have a banana split. Skip the whipped cream since no one needs that after ice cream (especially with a magnum of Champagne).


* It is true. George Foreman has five sons, all named George. George Jr, George III, George IV, George V, George VI.

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