Budget Friendly – Red Lentil Dahl – (VG)

Chilly days call for a big bowl of nourishing goodness. And even when the cupboards seem bare, this spicy dahl can be whipped up with store cupboard staples. If you have some veg to use up you can roast it like my half butternut squash, or cauliflower, parsnips, carrots or beets.

You can go as spicy as you like here too with chilli flakes or fresh chillies. And amp up the garlic and ginger to ward off the winter bugs. So delicious and versatile and the perfect way to add more organic plants to your plate this January.

Lou x

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1/2 butternut squash
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 small white onion, diced small
    4cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 small leek – diced small, optional
    1/2 a fresh red chilli, finely chopped- or 1 tsp chilli flakes
    Spice mix: 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp Garam masala
    1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    250g dried red split lentils, washed and drained
    750ml veg stock
  • 1 tin chickpeas – drained
    Salt and pepper to taste
    More water to achieve desired consistency
  • To serve: plain yoghurt of your choice, fried curry or sage leaves, fresh chilli slices
  • To make it stretch further, serve with boiled rice and flatbreads.


Step 1: Preheat the oven 180ºc. Slice the butternut squash into semi circles, place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, a pinch of salt and roast until soft- about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Warm a wide pot on a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and gently cook the onions until soft. Then add the leek, garlic, ginger, spice mix, tomato paste, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste, stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the washed lentils and veg stock. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes then add the chickpeas and cook for a further 20 minutes. Stir the lentils every few minutes to make them soupy and creamy.

Step 3: Check that the lentils are cooked, adjust the seasoning if needed. Then serve with the cooked butternut squash slices, yoghurt, sage leaves and fresh chilli slices.

One Pot Tomato & Chickpea Spaghetti

This beautiful budget meal saves you time, money, water and washing up! It’s a regular weeknight supper for us and is popular with the whole family. As the pasta cooks with all the ingredients and absorbs most of the water, it releases starch and creates a gorgeous, silky sauce. This recipe is fuss free too, all you need to do is give it stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t stick, it’s so simple and honestly, so delicious! We have a really nice delivery of organic tomatoes from Holland in at the moment as our Irish ones are out of season.

You’ll need a wide, deep pan with a lid. A big stock pot would work too or even a wok. Something that your pasta can lay flat in.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 4 medium/large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 liter freshly boiled water
  • optional chilli flakes, cheese or capers to serve


  1. Gather and prepare all your ingredients and put a kettle on to boil with 1 liter of water.
  2. Place all the ingredients into the pan and pour over the freshly boiled water. Give the pan a stir with some tongs, then put the lid on and turn the heat up to high.
  3. As soon as the water comes back to boiling, remove the lid and stir again to loosen any bits of pasta trying to stick to the bottom.
  4. Replace the lid and after 2 minutes, stir again and replace the lid.
  5. Repeat step 4, twice. Now you should have cooked your pasta for around 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the heat off but leave the lid on for 5 minutes to allow it to finish cooking in the residual heat and the sauce to thicken up.
  6. Taste and add more salt or pepper if you need, I also like another drizzle of good olive oil. Serve in bowls with the topping of your choice. A sprinkle of chilli flakes, some salty capers or a generous grating of hard cheese perhaps? Enjoy!