Shopping my bare and empty cupboards. Making a meal out of literally nothing!

We got back from Greece on Tuesday night and it was my full intention to hit the supermarket as soon as it opened on Wednesday morning. We’d eaten the pantry and fridge bare beforehand, and we didn’t even have enough milk for my non-negotiable first coffee of the day.

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I picked up a couple of pints as soon as I woke but figured I’d do the big shop later. Well later never happened and instead I raided the freezer and made a very acceptable vegetable and noodle stir fry that night.

Yesterday was pretty much the same. It’s the school holidays and the mere thought of lugging both children around my local Aldi was enough to make me want to weep. So I decided to work my magic again. And, rather impressively, I turned this manky, three-week old cauliflower

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into this. My take on the Thug Kitchen’s cauliflower cream pasta with fresh herbs.

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You’ll need:

  • Enough pasta for 4 people
  • 1/2 head cauliflower broken into trees
  • 125 mls milk (1/2 cup)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a big handful of Parmesan
  • a huge handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • a smaller handful of chopped fresh basil

We have a herb garden so the herbs are easily accessible and there’s always a mouldy chunk of Parmesan as well as a slightly dried up lemon lingering in the back of our fridge.

You’ll do:

  • Boil the cauliflower until soft. I used a vegetable stock cube in the water to add more flavour
  • Stick the cooked cauliflower, milk, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan and parsley in the food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy. You can add more milk/oil if you want and then season to taste
  • Boil the pasta as per the instructions and when it’s cooked, mix the cauliflower purée through it
  • Top with a bit more cheese and the basil

It really couldn’t have been easier and it made such good use of a vegetable that truly was bin-ready.

To make our dinner even more of a winner, it took less than 20 minutes to whip up these flapjacks.

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Instead of the usual porridge oats I used some muesli (granola) that was opened probably about 3 years ago, a touch of butter, sugar and golden syrup. I used this recipe but slightly less sugar and syrup, only baked it for 15 minutes, and then cooled it in the fridge for a quicker setting time.

My plan is to keep going like this until Monday. And do you know what? I think I’ll just about manage it!

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