This grew from a recipe I had years ago and developed to suit my tastes and those of my family, as well as my purse!


You will need:

4 peppers, a mix of red, orange, green or yellow, sliced into strips roughly 1cm x 5cm £2

1 onion, finely chopped 15p

1 tin chopped tomatoes 31p

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 6p

1 tsp paprika 9p

1 tsp cayenne pepper 9p

1 tsp garlic granules 3p

1 tsp dried mixed herbs 4p

1 stock cube 10p

black pepper, to taste

56p per serving


1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion.

2. Cook the onion until soft, shiny and waxy.

3. Add the pepper and heat through until the pepper begins to wilt.

4. Add seasoning.

5. Add the tin of tomatoes.

6. Simmer gently, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened.

7. Serve with rice, jacket potatoes or pasta, or as a vegetable side dish to accompany fish or sausages.

8. Enjoy!



To de-seed a pepper: using a small, sharp knife cut off the top of the pepper about 1.5cm from the top. Reach inside and pull out the centre, seeds and soft white flesh. Remove any remaining seeds with your fingers. You can then slice vertically, for pepper strips, or horizontally, for pepper rings.

Peppers can be used to add sweetness and remove tartness from a tomato-based dish (especially when using tinned tomatoes).


Spinach, Bean & Tomato Pizza Pasta

My son, who is dairy free, takes a hot lunch to school inside a thermos flask. He adores pasta so it’s often pasta with something else. I came up with this which I served with his pasta, and then used the same recipe to make a gorgeous pizza topping.


1 onion, chopped, 10p

1/2 red pepper, chopped, 16p

100g frozen spinach, 14p

1 tin baked beans, 25p

1 tin chopped tomatoes, 31p

1 tsp garlic granules, 10p

1 tsp dried mixed herbs, 5p

1 stock cube (I used a beef stock cube but any will do) or 1tsp marmite, 15p

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (for flavour – but any vegetable oil will do), 15p

Serves 4

Total = 35p per portion


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add  onion and pepper and cook over a low to medium heat until softened and glistening.

2. Add the spinach and cook for another minute or so, stirring gently.

3. Add the baked beans, chopped tomatoes, herbs, stock cube and garlic.

4. Heat through until bubbling.

5. Reduce heat and simmer gently until reduced*.

6. Use as a pasta sauce or add to a pizza base and sprinkle sparingly with cheese of your choice (I used lactose free and soya cheeses).



When cookery books and TV chefs use the term ‘reduced’, what they mean is that whatever you’re making has lost some of its moisture through steam, and as a result the mixture has thickened. If you let it bubble gently, stirring regularly to prevent sticking or burning, it will reduce nicely.