Sunday, 21 September 2014

Cooking the Bargains: Vegetarian Mushroom Recipe for One

Tips on Budget Cooking with Vegetarian Mushroom Recipe

mushroom recipe
Mushroom stew in taco
Alongside this tasty recipe for mushroom stew with tacos, I include tips on budget cooking. This low fat recipe for one has only 276 calories and costs only 59p! That's right, a tasty, filling meal for well under £1 when cooking the bargains. 

Everyone is feeling the financial punch and when you are cooking for one it can seem an impossible task to find ways to cut your food bill. After all, supermarkets encourage people to buy in large amounts. Often their bargains are 'Buy 3 get 1 Free' or large packs of foodstuffs which are useless for one person. But you can beat them at their own game by using up the bargains when they suit you.
In my article, How to cook for one on a budget, I said that budget cooking starts with frugal shopping. Supermarkets are geared to entice you in with daily bargains, knowing full well that once they have your attention, you are likely to buy more. The trick is to buy the bargains and NOT give in to impulse buying. Make sure you know what you are shopping for and resist the temptation to buy - "just in case".
portobello mushrooms
Portobello Mushrooms
So... go straight for the bargains. For example, to write this article I bought one packet of 4 large portobello mushrooms that were on offer for 69p. From these, using staples from my stock cupboard I made:
  • 1 made a mushroom stew I served in tacos
  • 1 made mushrooms and garlic with a bread roll
  • 1 was added to courgettes for a pasta sauce
  • 1 was added to a green salad I had with a baked sweet potato.

Let's start with 

How to Make a Tasty Mushroom Stew

This is a really great recipe that you an adapt to use in loads of ways:
for example 
  •  like here serve it as a wrap with tacos
  • serve it on a bread roll
  • serve it with potatoes and vegetables
  • place it is an oven-proof dish, cover with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potato and bake.
  • place in an oven-proof dish, cover with pastry and bake.

I love using these flat-cap mushrooms because they give the stew a lovely dark colour. 
The flour is used as a thickening agent - you can reduce the calorie content of this by using cornflour instead - you need to add this at the end though, not when I tell you in the instructions using plain flour. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1 onion, cleaned and diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 3 quarters pint vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large tacos
    cook time

    Approximate Preparation and Cooking Time

    Prep time: 5 min
    Cook time: 30 min
    Ready in: 35 min
    Yields: serves one


    How to make Mushroom Stew

    1. Prepare your vegetables: Clean the mushroom - I like to peel them but it isn't really necessary. Chop them into large chunks. Remove outer skins of onions and chop into small pieces.
    2. Heat vegetable oil in a small pan. Test by leaving one or two small pieces on onion in the oil. When they start to sizzle, add the rest of the onion and fry until soft and transparent.
    3. Add garlic and herbs and stir well to mix and cook for 1 minute.
    4. Add the mushrooms. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
    5. Add the flour to make a paste. Cook for one minute. 
    6. Stirring continually, add the stock so the flour is absorbed and there are no lumps in the sauce.
    7. Season to taste - I don't usually add extra salt as the stock cube tends to have quite a bit of salt in it.
    8. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the mushroom chunks are soft when prodded with a knife.
    9. mushroom stew in tacos
      Mushroom stew in taco wraps
    10. Make into a wrap with tacos and serve with green salad.
    If you prefer to use cornflour instead of flour - 
    • when the stew is cooked - 
    • in a cup, make a paste with 1-2 teaspoons of cornflour in water. 
    • Stirring all the time, add the paste to the stew until it begins to thicken.  

    Nutritional value and costs

    1 portobello mushroom
    1 onion
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon flour
    vegetable stock
    You can reduce the calorie count by using cornflour to thicken - add this at the end.
    More recipes coming soon so be sure to join me. 

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