Cooking on a Shoestring Budget – Session 2

Session Two – Mexican Night Offering Two Meals in One



  • Cooked black beans
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Sautee onion and garlic until soft. Add beans and tomatoes and simmer until liquid has reduced.  Add herbs and spices and simmer for a further five minutes. Squeeze in lime juice and stir through.


  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Bunch of coriander roughly chopped

Roughly chop vegetables. Sautee onion until soft.  Add courgette and pepper and sautee until courgette is cooked but crunchy.  Add salt, lime juice and coriander.


  1. Take a large wheat tortilla and lay on chopping board.
  2. Cover half with black beans and mexican vegetables.
  3. Sprinkle lightly with cheese
  4. Place a large, flat frying pan on low heat and put tortilla in the pan.
  5. Fold tortilla in half so that beans and vegetables are covered, and cook for 3-5 minutes until tortilla is golden and cheese has melted.
  6. Cut into triangles and serve with salsa.


  1. Take two mini flour or corn tortillas
  2. Fill with black beans and mexican vegetables
  3. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, onion and coriander. Add salsa and guacamole.
  4. Enjoy



  • 225g raw chick peas
  • 6 spring onions
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sprig fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Soak chick peas overnight
  2. Drain them and finely grind them in food processor
  3. Chop spring onion and fresh coriander
  4. Mix all ingredients in bowl
  5. Form mixture into small balls and deep fry in oil (180C).
  6. Fry until golden brown.

It is important to grind the chick peas as fine as possible for them to bind. I use a hand-held blender for this.


  •  2 tins of cooked chick peas
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs cumin powder
  • 3-5 tbs chick pea liquid
  • Salt to taste
  1. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid
  2. Combine all ingredients, except the liquid, in a food processor

Slowly add liquid until the hummus reaches required texture

Tips and pointers

  • Rapeseed (vegetable) oil is better for frying, as it smokes higher temperature, after which the fumes become carcinogenic.
  • Garlic and ginger cooked together neutralise their individual taste, and more than double in nutritional value.
  • Peel ginger with a teaspoon to have less waste. It is well known highest mineral content of vegetables and fruits contained within or just below the skin. Try to avoid taking off too much. Remember to wash thoroughly if opting to keep the skin.
  • Lime juice – great to bring our flavours in food as opposed to salt!
  • Tomatoes are good for men, which has been believed tcontain lycopean – thought to offset prostate cancer.
  • Vegetables are said to be better for colds and flus than fruits, as the sugary content of fruits doesn’t deter mucus.
  • Fresh herbs  can be a great and cheaper alternative to many different types of seasoning.

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