"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Tin Can Cook - Creamy 'Chicken' Soup

While visiting my family, I got Jack Monroe's Tin Can Cook Cookbook and went a little crazy making a few of their recipes.

Jack Monroe is an incredible human being. She struggled through severe poverty with her young son for several years. During those years, she blogged about her experiences and her efforts to fed her child. Eventually, she caught the attention of the media and was approached to write a cookbook. They did.

While the cookbook was a "success", Jack still struggled in poverty. Since then, she has written several cookbooks including Tin Can Cook Cookbook. This book is special because Jack wrote it for others who have to survive on food bank donations. He also started a GoFundMe account so her followers could donate money to purchase the cookbook for food banks in the UK.

The GoFundMe account has purchased 1000s of cookbooks for several foodbanks and their clients.

Creamy Chicken Soup
(Adapted from: Jack Monroe's Tin Can Cook, Creamy 'Chicken' Soup)

I loved the idea of this soup. It sounded easy, healthy, and tasty. But, sadly, I could not find pease pudding. So, I sorta learned how to make it by accident.

DIY Pease Pudding

Because I could not find pease pudding, my sister got me a small bag of split yellow peas.

I had no idea what to do next, so I put some in a bowl, covered them with water, then put the lid on the bowl and stuck them in the frig.

I went back to the frig several times to add more water as the peas did soak up the water but the peas remained hard.

The next day, I decided to put the peas in a pot, cover them with water and, bring them to a rapid boil on my sister’s gas stove. Then, I reduced the temperature to simmer.

At first, the pot boiled over with a white foam. I was not expecting this. I spooned off the foam and continued to simmer the peas.

After over an hour, the peas finally became mushy and the water got thick.

I did add some turmeric but I actually liked it plain.

I wasn’t ready to make the soup, so I poured the mixture into a bowl with a lid, let it cool, then added the lid and put it in the frig.

Creamy Chicken Soup
Again, I noted metric conversions and my substitutions.


Estimated measurements for milk and bouillon

220g Pease pudding, 220g = 8oz
-I actually made a whole lot more, see picture

1 can Hot Chicken bouillon est 14oz
-I used 1/2 a chicken bouillon and a 1/2 can of LO creamy chicken soup

Consider a vegetable bouillon cube to keep soup vegetarian.

1 can Milk est 8oz
-I eyeballed the amount of milk because I had used a lot of pease pudding. I added enough milk to make the mixture soupy.

1 Tbspn Garlic paste
-I used a Tspn of minced garlic

I added 6-8 dashes of an onion and herbs spice
I added about a cup of minced cooked chicken, optional.
Black pepper, optional

Remember, other than the chicken bouillon cube, the original recipe did not have any chicken.


Add pease pudding to medium sized pan.
Add creamy chicken soup.
Add bouillon.
Add 1/3 of milk.
Add minced garlic.
Stir and mix well.
Cook on medium on hotplate.
Stir vigorously to make the mixture smooth.
Continue stirring
Gradually add remaining milk.
Add chicken bits.
Reduce heat to low, so milk does not boil.

Before serving, I increased the temperature to get soup warm-hot just before serving.

When serving season with ground black pepper.

Jack Monroe



Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tin Can Cook - Warm Potato Salad with Anchovy Mayo

Myself and my nephew, I think, are the only ones in the family who like anchovies.

I was thrilled to see Jack Monroe's (https://cookingonabootstrap.com) recipe featured anchovies.

While at my sister and her husband's house on a recent visit, I tried several of Jack's recipes but I ended up eating them all because they did not appeal to others. I thought they were great.

This recipe took some time to make because it took time to smash, crush, separate, divide and mash the anchovies in the mayo amid many interruptions. I had to put the mixture in the frig, two or three times before I finished "creaming" the anchovies into the mayo.

Also, working in someone else's kitchen, sometimes you have to improvise. At first, the only "lemon" I found was a spice called "Lemon Pepper", so I used that. Then, I found a slice of lime in the frig, and used that, too. So, while my anchovy with mayo sauce was lemon-limey, I thought it came out great.

Again, I show the conversions from metric to ounces and my substitutions.

Tin Can Cook - Warm potato salad with Anchovy Mayo P81


1 50g can anchovies, drained 1.76oz
I used a 2oz tin of anchovies.

100g mayo 3.527oz
1 Tbspn = .625oz
I used three heaping Tablespoons of mayo.

1 Tbspn lemon juice
I used a generous dose of "Lemon Pepper" and a good squeeze from a slice of lime.

1 500g potatoes, drained, cut in half, 500g = 17.63oz
I used a 14.5oz can of potatoes.


In a bowl or a medium container with a lid, add anchovies and mayo.
Mash with a fork and stir well.
Add lemon juice or other citrus flavors.
Cover and place in frig.

Pour potatoes into saucepan.
Cut potatoes in half.
Add water to cover.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer.
Simmer 4 minutes to warm all the potatoes.
Remove pan from hotplate, drain potatoes.
Place potatoes in a bowl.
Pour anchovy mayo over potatoes.
Stir gently to coat potatoes.

Serve hot or cold.

Note: I made a lunch from leftovers that included: a fried egg and fruit from breakfast, pork and beans, Jack's Chickpea, Bread and Spinach dish, and a serving of Jack's Warm Potato Salad with Anchovy Mayo.

This recipe could be #GERD-friendly if other flavorings were substituted for the "spicy or acidic" flavorings.

Friday, August 9, 2019

So sorry, blogger has changed the layout of my blog and I can't fix it.

Update: it appears the system recorrected itself and now things are "normal." Whew!

Thanks Blogger.com

Tin Can Cook - Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

I am enjoying reading Jack Monroe’s latest cookbook, Tin Can Cook. This is the first of several recipes I am going to try.

It is always an adventure to try and make a recipe.

BTW, I love the name of the recipe and the fact it is a no bake or cook recipe.

When I was in the states visiting family, going grocery shopping, is often a catch as catch can affair because I use public transit or join family on their trips to the grocery.

After a family event, my sister stopped by a grocery store. As we shopped, I tried to be quick. What did I need to make Jack’s Carrot Cake Overnight Oats?

Besides buying cans of carrots, I had asked my sister to pick up some oats. Back at the house, as I began to gather the ingredients to make this recipe, I realized she had selected quick oats, so I was not sure how they would work.

Note: I converted the metric measurements to ounces.

Tin Can Cook - Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
(No Bake)


1 can carrots, drained, 200g = 7.05 oz
My can was 14.5 oz, so I used roughly half a can.

Milk 250ml = 8.79 oz
I used Lactose-free milk

Oats 70g = 2.49 oz
Raisins 70g = 2.49 oz
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbspns Sugar, optional


In a medium-size container with a lid, add carrots.
With a fork, mash carrots.
Add milk.
Mix and mash carrots in the milk
Add oats.
Add raisins.
Add cinnamon and sugar.
Mix well.
Affix lid.
Chill overnight or 8 hours to allow oats to soak up milk and swell up.

Serve with a splash of milk or cream.

The recipe turned out great. Now, I have another oats recipe including the "Worts" recipe.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Tin Can Cook - Chickpeas with Bread & Spinach

I got Jack Monroe's Tin Can Cook Cookbook!

I love everything about the book, the cover art, the back cover blurb, the layout, the typefaces, the paper, and, of course, the contents.

One thing you can say about Jack is she gets things done.

In the book, Jack explains that when she was on welfare, she often used food banks to feed herself and her son. During those times, she wished she'd had recipes for the items she was given. After Jack found her niche in developing recipes for people living in poverty, she wanted to write a cookbook with recipes for the types canned foods people receive from food banks. She did.

Jack also created a GoFundMe account so her readers could contribute to the fund to purchase cookbooks for the food banks in the UK. Go to @bootstrapcook and see where thousands of Tin Can Cook Cookbooks have gone.

On a recent family visit, I had planned to make several recipes from Jack Monroe’s Tin Can Cook Cookbook. This is one of them.

I would call it Bean and Spinach Goulash.

This is a very forgiving recipe. As Jack notes, you can use a variety of other beans.

In this recipe, I list the ingredients and quantities as Jack has noted but I also include the ingredients and quantities I used where I made substitutions.

I also show the conversion from metric to ounces.

Tin Can Cook - Chickpeas with Bread & Spinach P61


1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or kidney or cannellini beans, 400g = 14.10oz - 
I used a 15oz can
4 Tbspn olive oil
2 Tbspns garlic paste, I used 1 Tspn minced garlic
1 Tbspn paprika
1 Tbspn ground cumin or gram masala
100g bread chunks, 100g = 3.5oz, I used 4 slices from various bread loaves
1 400g can spinach, drained or frozen, 400g = 14.10oz, I used a 15oz bag of frozen spinach.
1 400ml vegetable stock, 400ml = 13.5oz, I used 1 vegetable bouillon cube in 14oz of water.
S/P to taste


Put bouillon cube in 14oz of water.
Heat water for 1 minute in microwave on high.
Tear bread slices into bite-size pieces.
Drain and rinse beans.


Pour beans into a large sauce pan.
Add oil.
Add garlic and spices.
Stir well.
Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Stir occasionally to avoid ingredients sticking to pan.
I added a bit of the vegetable stock to prevent sticking.
Add bread chunks.
Add spinach.
Stir well.
Add vegetable stock.
Season with s/p to taste.
Stir well.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer.
Simmer 20-30 minutes.
Enjoy hot or cold.

Notes: When I make this again, I will use 1/2 a bouillon cube. I liked the multigrain bread.