Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A vegetarian experience...

Something for the herbivores amongst us...

I know, it's not like me to make a meal that doesn't have any meat in at all, but I thought as meat can be so expensive, I'd better find some tasty meat free recipes.....Who knows I might end up being a veggie convert?!

Stranger things have happened, and this recipe for a delicious sweet potato and butter bean stew hasn't done the veggie team any harm.

Sweet potato and butterbean stew

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time 30 mins 


Sweet Potato, 450g peeled and cut into thick slices

Maple syrup 2 tbsp (optional)

Red onion x 1, finely chopped

cumin seeds x 1 tsp

Chopped tomato's x 1 can 400g

Butterbeans x 1 can 400g, drained and rinsed

Balsamic vinegar

A handful of Spinach leaves 

Greek style yogurt 150ml

Fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)

  1. Begin by boiling a large pot of salted water, add the sweet potato and maple syrup (optional) cook for 10 mins, until tender but not too soft, drain and set aside, keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a deep frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion, cumin seeds and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 mins until the onion is soft and translucent.

3. Tip the tomatoes in and a splash of balsamic vinegar, and cook for about 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

'Help meeee im wilting!'
4. Add the butterbeans, and simmer for a further 5 mins, then stir in a handful of spinach leaves. Cook for a couple more minutes until the leaves have wilted. 

5. Remove from the heat and transfer into an ovenproof dish. Top with the slices of Sweet potato.

6. pre-heat the grill to hot.

7. You can either top the stew with some yoghurt now and grill until golden, alternatively you can try drizzling some yoghurt on after the grilling to add a cooling contrast of flavour and temperature. 

8. Garnish with mint leaves (optional) and serve.


In the absence of meat this meal should cost you next to nothing. The most expensive items on the list was the maple syrup. However this was not essential so you can save yourself £1.50 there (you would probably only use 10p worth). 

  • The Sweet potato was 58p for 450g (LIDL) 
  • Red onion was 8p (ASDA)
  • Cumin seeds are 78p for a bag of 100g (ASDA) you would use 2g max, so thats only a couple of pennies. 
  • Spinach was £1 for a bag of 200g I used around 20ps worth. 
  • Chopped tomatoes are 31p a can (LIDL), 
  • ASDA balsamic vinegar is £1 for 250ml so that works out around 2-3p a splash. 
  • Butterbeans were 59p a tin (LIDL), 
  • and the Greek yoghurt was £1.58 for 1kg we used about 15p of Greek yoghurt  You can pick up a smaller amount for around 20p-25p per 100g in ASDA if you don't think you will use all of it.

Real spend of £4.84 (£6.34 with the maple syrup)
Cost of the meal £1.95 (£2.05 with the maple syrup)


So we best use up the spinach and Greek yoghurt, to get our monies worth!

My plan is to use Greek yoghurt in some future breakfast recipes, so that why I invested in a larger tub.

We can use the spinach in some future side dishes.

I hope this recipe inspires you to adventure into the meat-free realms, or at least take a short trip!


  1. Hi loving this blog. We host foreign students and are always looking for good, cheap recipes. Can you please clarify if you're doing food for 2 adults on £14/week (I.e £7 per adult per week) or if it's £14 per adult per week?? Both would be awesome!! Looking forward to the rest of the month!
    Mrs T

  2. Hi Mrs T, I've just discovered this site, from CAP, and can quote verbatim..
    'CAP area manager in Southampton.. ..told us that an average food budget for a CAP client was anywhere between £14 - £40 per week per person.' and 'the challenge.. live on a CAP food budget of £14 per week for one month.'!
    Looks Inspirational !!

    Graham : )

    1. Thanks! I knew I'd probably missed it somewhere in the posts/fb feeds! Going to give it a go!