Simple Stir-fry

I am on a restricted diet at the moment. Stir-fried vegetables and boiled rice have become a staple for lunch, and frankly, they’re so much nicer than a sandwich!


1 tablespoon *stir-fry oil £1.28/250ml

100g frozen stir-fry vegetables £1.11/500g (cheaper if you prepare fresh vegetables yourself)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce £1.03/150ml

1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional) £1.58/375ml

75g rice 40p/kg

Serves 1, 45p per serving


1. Bring the rice to the boil in a covered saucepan and let it bubble gently for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

2. After five minutes, heat the oil in a *wok over a high heat, until it is beginning to steam.

3. Add vegetables, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

4. Stirring, heat for five minutes or until *piping hot.

5. Serve on top of the rice.




*Stir-fry oil is a blend of sunflower oil, sesame oil, ginger oil and garlic extract. It is cheaper than sesame oil.

Ordinary vegetable oil will suffice (not olive oil).

A *wok is useful but not a necessity. A frying pan, or even a large saucepan, will do.

*Piping hot means literally steaming all over and all the way through. If food is not piping hot when first cooked you can give yourself food poisoning. I learned this the hard way when I was a teenager. I wouldn’t recommend it.


Corned Beef and Vegetable Medley

This little piece of deliciousness was created by me yesterday, when I wanted to make a tin of corned beef and some vegetables that were lying around my fridge into something edible. The result was not only edible but everyone asked for seconds!

You will need:

1 tablespoon *extra virgin olive oil £3/litre 

1 tin *corned beef, chopped into chunks £1.54/340g

1 onion, chopped (I use ready-chopped, frozen onion) £1/500g

6 salad tomatoes, chopped into eighths (i.e. big chunks) £1 for 6

4 sticks celery, chopped 89p/bunch

2 large peppers, cut into chunks £1.38/700g

3 courgettes, cut into chunks £1 for 3

carton passata 29p/500g

2 beef stock cubes 65p/100g

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce £1/150ml

£1.16 per person


1. Heat the onion gently over a low heat until soft and slightly golden (not browned, if you brown onions they become bitter).

2. Add the tomatoes, peppers, celery and courgettes and soften over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce and corned beef. Stir and heat gently for five minutes.

4. When the vegetables are softened they will become less rigid and will glisten. At this point, add the passata.

5. Heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.

6. Serve with boiled, mashed or baked potatoes, rice or pasta. Sprinkle with grated cheese if desired.



I like to use *extra virgin olive oil for the flavour but you could use vegetable oil, which would reduce the price per person.

*Tinned corned beef will slide out of the tin and cut far more easily if chilled first.