This Red Dragon Pie was inspired by a recipe in the classic book Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen (BBC cookery series). Topped with creamy mash, the base is a rich mix of aduki beans – traditionally said to give you the strength of the dragon – and brown rice in gravy.
Red Dragon Pie Ingredients (serves six)
Aduki beans, 200g dried and soaked overnight or two tins of cooked ones
200g of rice (brown is best)
4 sticks of celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped
a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (or fresh, lots of parsley is great)
Potatoes, mashed with margarine and milk of your choice, for topping
Red Dragon Pie Method
Soak beans overnight if using dried ones. Place in a large pan, cover well with water, bring to the boil and let simmer for a couple of hours until soft. Throw in the rice about half way through cooking. Add more water if needed. Once it’s all nearly cooked add the vegetables and boil a pan of potatoes for your mash topping, quantity up to you. We do like a nice thick layer of mash.
Frugal Potato Tip
Leave those skins on! It saves waste and money to not throw away a section of potato. Just give them a good scrub and cut any gnarly or bad bits off and you’re good to go (compost those gnarlies!). The skins are rich in both fibre and vitamins too. For mashing we cut them up quite small to save having large bits of skin in the mix; they also cook faster that way, saving cooking fuel.
As the beans and potatoes cook , add the herbs, puree and yeast extract to the bean mixture. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir well. Drain and mash the potatoes with marg and milk. Place the bean mix in an ovenproof dish, if not already using one, and top with the potatoes. Easier if using cookware that transfers from hob to oven such as a Cast Iron Casserole – and bake in a hot oven (200C/400F) until nicely browned. Running a fork round the top of your mash gives it lots of nice little crispy bits to brown.
Thompson and Morgan have a seed sale on for the next 48 hours (time of writing 22nd October 2021 but they usually have good deals on)! Stock up on seeds for next year for £1. See the selection here and use code TM_TN2468W for the cheap price.
THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic while FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen.
The blend of dark events and romance in these stories is perfect for Autumn!
As the world opens up again
House sitting and/or pet sitting can be cheap ways to holiday. TrustedHousesitters have owners registered in over 130 countries, from townhouses in London to renovated farmhouses in Tuscany. For all our advice on holidays, days out, railcards, motorway secrets and more go here!
In case you missed it last time:
Use code FREE10 for £10 off at Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket. Not a discount store but they do always have some offers for pennies and there’s no credit checks or interest.
Making compost is a great way to reduce waste and nourish the soil. It also saves money if you are in the habit of buying ready made compost. And it’s easy.
Making Compost in Triple Bins
Above are our triple compost bins made from old pallets. They are the perfect size for hot composting (faster composting) as you want your pile to be 3 feet wide x 3 feet high to make sure it heats up in the middle. You can, of course, just make it in a pile or heap. The idea behind having three bins is to have one that you’re adding material to, one that’s being left to rot down (usually for 6 or 7 months) and one that’s finished and being used in the garden or pots.
What to Put in the Compost
kitchen scraps of raw vegetable origin (cooked food will moulder)
used tea bags
leaves and twigs
weeds that have not gone to seed
garden waste such as dead or finished plants
hair and nail trimmings
the contents of your hoover bag/bin
ripped up cardboard, the lower quality the better
You’re looking to get a good variety of layers in there to balance the nitrogen from green things and the carbon from brown things.
Doing It Wrong Can Be Right!
When we first started composting we did it all wrong in this container:
We used exclusively kitchen scraps which went a bit smelly and gooey. However, after about a year the goo did return to being basically soil and proved to be an exceedingly rich food for the plants. The ones that had a layer of this fertiliser in their pots or beds grew significantly larger than the ones that didn’t. So it can be done like that, even if you don’t want to use it for growing; it still reduces waste and returns veg scraps to the soil. The ground around compost bins always becomes beautifully rich, as you can see with the nettles above. And we don’t mean to knock the plastic bins – they can be very handy for smaller spaces.
We intend using the wee boxes at the base of our pallet bins above to grow squash in next year.
No Dig Potatoes
Another use for cardboard in the garden is to lay it down on the ground to prepare the soil to be used in a “no dig” manner. The grass will rot away and you’ll be left with bare soil. We’re doing it over winter for next spring’s growing. We’ll then lay the seed potatoes on the ground without digging and cover them in a thick layer of grass cuttings which we will replenish throughout the summer. Potatoes should grow well in that – we will report back!
Cheap Plants alert! The Secret Gardening Club is a free to join club for seasoned and beginner gardeners alike. They supply a huge range of high-quality plants at up to 70% discount. Subscribers can sign up and subsequently receive notification as soon as new stock is available.
The prices are so low due to their close working relationship with a number of reputable plant nurseries across the UK. They take any over-supply and pass the considerable discounts on to customers.
Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app.
Olio is a food sharing app that you can download to your phone to give or receive food in your local area. It does have a desktop version too. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app!
Thompson and Morgan have an amazing seed deal on: 10 packs for £10. Go here for the seed selection which contains over 300 types of fruit and vegetables, many usually costing £3.99 each. Offer ends midnight 25th of August 2021 or as long as stock lasts.
Use code TM_TAW61W at checkout to make sure you get the offer price for the seeds.
Making Money From a Website
We’ve updated this information on our make money page. Base it on something you’re passionate about and we’re sure you’ll fly!
These are cheap seeds from Thompson and Morgan, who have been selling plants and seeds since 1855. The quality is high, no dud seeds like occasionally happens with discount varieties. Go here for the seed selection which contains over 300 types of fruit and vegetables which should all be good for next year too.
Get packets of seeds for £1 each when you buy ten. Offer ends midnight 25th of August 2021 or until stock lasts.
Use code TM_TAW61W at checkout to make sure you get the offer price for the seeds. We did!