The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 35

As I seem to have lost a day in all of this I am posting the Soya bean recipes together.  Truth be known they were combined together in an epic day of frenzied bean curd activity, that took me way off my usual kitchen path.

Item to be used up:  Dried Soya Beans, Tempeh starter kit

This starter culture went out of date last May, so this will be more of an experiment than a sure fire thing.

Cookbook: I owe this recipe to the following website:

Recipe: Tempeh

  • Soya Beans
  • Tempeh starter
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

You will also need to take a great holiday in a very sunny place for a few weeks, or like me use a de-hydrator.

  1. First of all you may choose to hull your beans.   Most people seem to think that you get better results if you do.  To do this you can crack them through a hand mill on a loose setting as I did.  Alternatively you can soak the skins off them (see next stage).
  2. Soak the beans for 6-18 hours
  3. If you are using whole soy beans you need to split them by squeezing them in a kneading motion.  This, I have read can be painstaking.
  4. Stir the beans gently as this will cause the hulls to rise towards the surface where they can be poured carefully away using a strainer.  Add more water and repeat until most of the hulls have been removed.  (This took me about half an hour and became quite therapeutic and Zen. I wonder now if I could have skipped to the next stage and spent less time, with more success.)
  5. Put the beans in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them.  Add 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and boil for 30 minutes. Skim the surface to remove any more hulls as they rise.
  6. Strain the beans and return to the pan and ‘dry’ the beans by stirring continuously over a low heat for 5 minutes.  Dryness it seems is imperative for tempeh culture success.
  7. Leave the beans to cool to below 35°C.
  8. Mix in 1 teaspoon of Tempeh starter.  Stir well to ensure even distribution.
  9. Place in glass dish.  I have tried my plastic bean sprouter as it seems to have holes that others have suggested will ensure even ventilation.  I could not bring myself to use the suggested plastic bag with holes punched in it.
  10. Put into a dehydrator 88°F (31°C). Leave for 24-48 hours.  But keep a check as the heat may need to be turned down or off as the mycelium start to flourish.
  11. Switch off the dehydrator and leave for a further 24 hours.  The mycelium will produce their own heat by this stage and continue to grow producing a whitish moulds or a black one.  Anything different and you probably have the wrong spores developing.
  12. Enjoy your tempeh.


The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 33

Now yesterday I believe that I promised Tempeh as today’s offering.  Well it involved a bit more than a few beans, water and a cooking pot.  Well actually not a lot more than that but time:  18 hours of soaking.  So today I shall be making tempeh and also hopefully tofu.  Reading ahead I feel that time may still not be on my side as I think that they both need straining and or de-hydrating, so bear with me please and shall write them up for you in the next couple of days.  In the meantime here’s my next idea for some other random ‘extra’ items.

Item to be used up:  Dessicated Coconut, Sesame Seeds, Golden Syrup






With a bit more time and creativity I reckon I could have got rid of my crystallised ginger too.  This time however, having spent rather too much time in my own head, I have decided to be true to the recipe book, as it is that kind of book.  Well I’m grateful for offloading the golden syrup at any rate.

Cookbook: Duchy Originals Cookbook

Recipe: Ginger nuts

  • 150g light muscavado sugar
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 15g dried ginger
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 200g plain flour
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C
  2. Combine the sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and desiccated coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the golden syrup and butter together in a pan and combine with the above ingredients
  4. Add the flour and stir into a thick paste.
  5. Pick up a bit of the dough with a tablespoon and roll into a ball.
  6. Place the balls of biscuit mix on a baking tray, quite well spaced because they will spread during cooking.
  7. Bake immediately for 15 minutes, you don’t want the biscuits to brown.  If they do, you are cooking them to long or on too high a heat.
  8. When the biscuits come out of the oven they are a little flimsy so let them rest for a minute or two before you transfer them to cool on a wire rack.

In my usual random manner of self denial of something or another, I have decided to give up sugar, chocolate and over the top (completely at my discretion) fat for lent.  Despite bending the rules a little after receiving a glorious bottle of Verve Cliquot for Valentines day from my gorgeous husband, (having insisted that as I rarely drink these days I am going to make each occasion really worth it!), I have stuck to my guns on the more obvious (golden syrup) versions of sugar.  So I cannot comment on how good these are.

My tremendous and ever optimistic son spoke most highly of them, although his having a hand in making them might have coloured his judgement.  Tomorrow he has to pack a Red Riding hood picnic basket for school, so these will be eaten by the class (unless sesame seeds are, as they should be, in the nut allergy classification), in which case they will hurtle home again for me to try to resist once more.


The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 32

Item to be used up:  El Paso Enchilada Spice Mix, Refried Beans

This is one of those random packets that I hope i am not alone in finding in my cupboard.  Who knows how it got there, or even how long it has sat, opened in there for.  Given the issues surrounding heavy metals in spices I am unsure as to whether I should even be using this suspect package.  I say bah let’s give it a go, in the name of Chimichangas, whatever they may be.
Cookbook:  This is out of a packet.  No messing.  Give me a break I am just back off holiday, with a mountain of washing and in it, somewhere, my camera charger.
While I am clearly off the wholefoods beaten track I will also confess to using Quorn.  A product that was my staple for years.  I now prefer to use just vegetables or mushrooms.  However, while dodgy packets abound, in for a penny, in for a pound.
Recipe:  Burritos, Quesadillas, Enchiladas, Chimichangas, Tortilla wraps.
Having joked that we will be having the conversation about which form of Mexican dish we are currently eating, aren’t they all the same thing?  My brother went on to explain the nuances of each of these dishes in great detail, down to the crispy cheese topping on top of whichever that one was.  Honestly one day later and it’s gone again from my head.
  • Wholewheat Tortilla Wraps
  • Brown Rice
  • Tin of re-fried beans
  • Packet of Old El Paso Spice mix, or much better your own perfect blend of chilli, paprika and other powders (organic of course)
  • Quorn mince or mushrooms
  • 2 onions
  • Tin of tomatoes
  • Tin of kidney beans
  • Peppers, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream if you wish
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese, grated (if you must)

My brother also kindly donated a jar of salsa, which I sniffily refused, he then left behind half eaten and I now have to come up with another recipe for.

  1. Cook the rice for 40 mins
  2. chop the onion and fry for 5-10 mins in some water, add the quorn, spice mix, kidney beans and tomatoes and heat through
  3. heat the re-fried beans in a saucepan
  4. warm your wrap in a large frying pan
  5. layer the wrap with strips of quorn mixture, re-fried beans, lettuce leaves, sour cream and peppers.
  6. Add the rice to the strips, or eat it alongside the wrap.  Of course you can leave the wrap out completely and opt for the less challenging just rice option.

Honestly tastes better than it looks.

I really like serving this kind of dish when there are plenty of people diving in.  It feels great having loads of different pans and dishes, pots and sauces lying around the table and everybody helping themselves.

I also think that it is a great way of cutting down how much meat is eaten at a meal.  I am vegetarian and so my recipes here are just so.  However I also cooked a chicken version and managed to spread one chicken breast between 3 meat eaters.  Such is the beauty of tins of re-fried beans, brown rice, peppers and salad.

Having been happy snappy with the camera, taking holiday pics of the children frolicking, I have to say that these were the last of the photographs that I eked out of the camera.  Technical difficulties are clearly going to be the theme this week, so bear with me for tomorrow’s making Tempeh recipe, which should it seems be full of photographs.


The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 31

My apologies for the technical difficulties and half term issues that have contributed to a late posting.  I have also noticed some previous posts lacking obvious details, such as the ingredients and method. Ha Ha.   I shall rectify this as soon as I can.  Sorry again.

Item to be used up:  Marzipan, Date Paste

Cookbook:  I adapted this recipe to suit my ingredients and a UK conversion from the following recipe at
Read more at:


Recipe: Marzipan and Date Bars

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g pack date paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 75g cup plain wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 150g oats
  • 175g marzipan
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C
  2. Blitz together the butter and sugar in a food processor, then add the egg and the dates.
  3. Then add vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and oats.  Blitz again.
  4. roll out the marzipan to fit a square baking tray or dish, about 20cm by 20cm
  5. Press half the date mixture into the baking dish.
  6. Layer the marzipan on top
  7. press the other half of the date mixture on top of the marzipan to sandwich it in.
  8. Bake uncovered for 30 mins
  9. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

My gracious son suggested that they tasted of almond croissants.  They were not exactly wolfed down though and the poor boy has been left to finish the rest, hard and old, days later.

The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 30

Item to be used up:  Lime Pickle, Mango Chutney
Cookbook: Dehlia’s How To Cook, Book 1

Now I made myself promise not to use the same cookbook twice.  But nowhere did I write it in my rules.  As this book is no longer in print I am going to unabashed use it once more, simply because this dish was fabulous.  Well done Dehlia.

Recipe: Egg and Lentil Curry with Coconut and Pickled Lime


Recipe to follow.

The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 29

Item to be used up: Mustard  (Lots of it.  I think that my challenge may well fail due to the sheer volume of jars in my cupboards and have you seen the size of this one!, very soon it will be mustard with everything) and Tabasco Sauce (I needed this in an earlier recipe and couldn’t find it when the time came.  As the cupboard stocks are getting thinner, it re-emerged, annoyingly from the depths.)

Cookbook: My own recipe

I had to come up with something for the packed lunches after I failed to stay in stock of bread again.  The children love this kind of variety, something different from Marmite sarnies. It just takes a bit of getting in gear first thing in the morning, when having to adlib and still reduce further those cupboard stocks. 


Recipe: Cheddar, Mustard and Tabasco Cheese Straws

  • 200g wholemeal plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated (Use more than this as mine were not cheesy enough)  I have also seen recipes that additionally use Parmesan on top, which would also be great (If vegetarian).
  • 1 large teaspoon mustard.  Most recipes call for mustard powder.  I do not need to get rid of the powder so must instead spend a while trying to stop this sticking together when mixed in.
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce…well as much as you think that you might get away with while trying to use it up.
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Rub the butter into the flour until like breadcrumbs
  3. Stir in the cheddar, the mustard and the Tabasco sauce.
  4. Add the milk and mix together until it comes together in a ball.
  5. Roll out on a floured surface.
  6. Cut into thin strips
  7. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them.

Thumbs up for these.

The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 29

Item to be used up: Asafoetida, Evaporated Milk,



Cookbook: 50 Great Curries of India, by Camellia Panjabi
Recipe: Chickpea Curry followed by Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream)

Chickpea curry

  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 3 large onions
  • 15g fresh ginger
  • 15g garlic
  • 250g tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon leaves or bay leaves
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 65ml oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon dried mango powder
  1. Soak the chick peas overnight in 5 cups water
  2. Chop 2 of the onions and reserve.  In a food processor, puree another onion with the ginger and garlic.  Puree the tomatoes separately
  3. Place the soaked chickpeas and the soaking water in a pressure cooker or ordinary cooking pot, with the last chopped onion, the black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon or bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and the asafetida.  Bring to the boil.  Cook for 20 mins in a pressure cooker or if using an ordinary pot, for at least 50 minutes.  Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. In a separate cooking pot, heat the oil.  Add the reserved chopped onion and sauté for 25 minutes or until brown.  Add the pureed onion ginger and garlic mixture and sauté for 10 minutes (If using tinned chickpeas, add now and fry with the pureed onion).
  5. Add the turmeric, garam masala and coriander powders, pepper and mango powder and stir thoroughly.  After 1 minute add the pureed tomato and sautee for a few minutes.
  6. Add the cooked chickpeas and stir gently.  Add the water in which the chickpeas were cooked (you can strain away the spices since their flavor is already extracted) and cook until tender.  Add salt to taste at the end of cooking.

This recipe makes a hearty curry, however I felt that it was best when eaten with yogurt and coriander.


I have been really excited about making this one as it has been on my list of things to try for ages, well since I first tried the heavenly taste of kulfi in an Indian restaurant in my teens.

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 2X 450g tins evaporated milk
  • about 12 strands saffron
  • 3 tbls double cream
  • 2 leaves silver leaf, to decorate (optional).
  1. Add the sugar and cardamoms to the milk in a heavy based saucepan and cook over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of pan continuously.  Remove from the heat.  Remove the cardamoms and add the saffron.  Mix well and leave to cool.  Then stir in the cream.
  2. Fill the kulfi moulds or pour the mixture into ice-cube trays.  Freeze for 4-5 hours.  Frozen kulfi keeps in the freezer like ice cream.
  3. To remove from the moulds, dip each into hot water and press out the kulfi.   Decorate with silver leaf, especially for festive occasions.

I halved the recipe as I only had half the amount of evaporated milk.  It still made enough mixture to fill 6-10 small ice lolly makers.

My limited success with getting the kulfi out of the ice cream moulds can clearly be seen here.  The children had already eaten their very successful lollies, with sticks by the time I took this photograph.  As you can see this may not be attempted first off at a dinner party.

Delicious though.

Note that I didn’t go with the silver leaf ornamentation.  As you can see I am still trying to get rid of my lavender flowers.

The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 23

Item to be used up: Food colouring, Peppermint oil and Rye flour


Cookbook: Home made, internet inspired recipe
Recipe: Play Dough

Well I didn’t say that you had to eat it.  With food colouring to get rid of and blue at that, it seems that the only right thing to do is to keep it inedible.

Things seem to have improved a bit on the recipe front since I first made this, so many years ago.  Back then I remember making it on the stove, waiting for that satisfactory moment when the sticky goop all forms together.  Now there are ways to use boiling water instead.

There have been some incredibly inventive additions too, such as peppermint oil (which I was delighted to stumble upon as I have some left in my cupboard to say goodbye to).  Also glitter really jazzes things up, especially if your colour is a bit dodgy like mine, due to using (up) Rye flour, or wholegrain rather than bleached white stuff.

I have even seen people use eucalyptus oil to give to children to play with when they have a cold!

Of course there are all manner of shapes of cutters and things that you can stick into the play dough too.

For more incredible ideas and images visit this site:

Play dough for me has to be home made.  It quadruples the amount of enjoyment that the children get from spending time with you.  First they get to squirrel around in the cupboards trying to find the white stuff that we call salt (my youngest came back with flour, sugar and dessicated coconut (while I was looking up recipe), before I helped her to find it in the shopping bag that I had failed to unpack the night before).  Secondly they get to weigh out and measure all of the different ingredients. Then they get to mix, stir and knead the dough.  Then they can create to their hearts content.

I kind of ended up making this recipe up as the conversion from American cups to grams did not work at all, hence the weird quantities.

  • 250g ( 1 cup) plain flour (plus more to get the right consistency).
  • 135g (1/2 cup) salt
  • 200g (1 cup) boiling water
  • 2 tbls cream of Tartar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Few drops of food colouring (optional)
  • Few drops peppermint oil (optional)
  • Few shakes glitter (optional)
  1. Mix together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl or glass try to dissolve as much of the salt as you can in the boiling water by stirring it all in. Add the oil and food colouring (unless you want to divide the mixture up first to use different colours in which case add the food colouring at the end, before kneading).  Then pour over the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead well until mixture is smooth about 10 mins. You might need to add a bit more flour or water until the consistency is smooth but not sticky.
  4. Store in a plastic bag or tub in the refrigerator.


The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 26

Item to be used up: Organic, Ground Coffee

Now I gave up drinking coffee years ago so there is only one other place for this baby.

Cookbook: Natural Nutrition Techniques/The Art of Natural Nutrition by Barbara Wren. 

This is not a cookbook but a workbook from my college; The College of Natural Nutrition, run by Barbara Wren.  I am currently studying a life-changing correspondence  course called “Cellular Awakening” with the college.

Recipe: Coffee Enema

O.K. I agree, not technically a recipe but a fantastic detox.

What does a coffee enema do?

The pharmacologically active part of the coffee is absorbed into the hemorrhoidal vein (within the colon) and is transported through the portal system into the liver.

When the coffee arrives, it causes the liver to contract and squeeze its toxic bile out through the common bile duct into the duodenum and then out through the rest of the digestive tract.  This contraction clears the liver and leaves it in a much better state to continue with its detoxification role.

When should I apply a coffee enema?

Coffee enemas are extremely useful when a detoxification programme is under way.  They will help accelerate the liver’s ability to detoxify and therefore will reduce any risk of overload resulting in auto-intoxication.  They can also be implemented in acute liver problem (e.g. migraines) to decongest and bring about a quick resolution.

You do need to be very careful with this technique, as it is one of the easiest to misunderstand.  Coffee enemas do cause some loss of electrolytes  (Ca, Mg, K and Na), which can cause stress in some cases.  If overused or used in the wrong situation, people can feel stress within the kidneys and adrenals due to this diuresis.

As coffee enemas have profound effects, we always recommend that they are used within a supervised programme.

Do not use this technique if there is a prolapsed organ in the pelvic area or haemorrhoids are a problem.

  1. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of organic ground coffee into a non-aluminium saucepan
  2. Pour on half a pint of filtered water and bring to the boil(leave uncovered)
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes (leave uncovered)
  4. Sieve into a 2 pint jug
  5. Make up the required  volume (one and a half to two pints) with filtered water, being sure to test that the fluid is at body temperature .

Follow  instructions in How to Do An Enema

  • Timings – hold for 15-20 minutes, and then expel.
  • What are the effects?
  • Often on completion of this technique various symptoms due to toxicity will be relieved.
  • For example:
  • People often feel very clear headed
  • People often feel much less toxic – clear vision, clear thoughts and better mood
  • Aches and pains are often reduced
  • Any nausea disappears
  • Coffee enemas have been used by “The Gerson Cancer therapy” for decades due to their ability to help the body remove toxicity rapidly when  tumours are breaking down.

How to do an enema

You will need:

  • a gravity feed enema bag or bucket
  • a two pint jug
  • the fluid to be used (dependent on type of enema used, here it is organic coffee made with filtered water-good quality is essential.
  • a pillow
  • something to protect the floor – a plastic sheet or plenty of towels
  • lubrication (oil)
  • a hook (or door handle) on which to hang the enema bag
  • a clock for timing
  1.  Prepare the enema fluid as described.
  2. Assemble your enema kit as per instructions.  Select the smaller nozzle (the larger one is for vaginal douches).
  3. Hang the enema bag on the hook so that the bottom of it is about 1 metre above the position you will lie in. (I learnt this 1 metre rule the hard way in a hilarious one hand holding up the bag, one holding the nozzle in place scenario where nothing happened…not enough pressure of course, so the door handle it is now, with me on the floor next to it).
  4. Pour the enema fluid into the bag having first checked that the nozzle is closed.
  5. Release the air in the tube by opening the nozzle and lowering the nozzle gently until some fluid runs through.
  6. Lubricate your anal area
  7. Prepare the floor area (with protective material) and then lie down on your back with your knees bent, or if preferred lie on your right side.  The pillow should support your head.
  8. Insert the nozzle(small one) into your anus.
  9. Open the tap and allow the fluid to gently enter.  Massage your abdomen as the fluid is entering.  I always find that the very last bit of liquid in the tube will not go in.  I have decided that this is due to the gravity fed system at this point not having enough downward pressure, so don’t spend ages, like me waiting to remove the tap.
  10. Hold the fluid for the required time (as described by different enema types).  Although many struggle to hold an enema – so save your floors and make sure that you get to the toilet before it is too late, rather than try to get to the time suggested.  I still find that I have good days and bad days with this.  I also find that completely relaxing with the light off and lying right down as if to doze, helps.
  11. Massage your abdomen if you experience problems with wind.
  12. On completion move (swiftly) to the toilet to evacuate the enema.
  13. Give yourself plenty of time to fully evacuate the enema before heading out to work or picking the kids up from school.

I tend to do my coffee enemas in the evening once the children are asleep and I can relax fully.  I don’t find that the coffee taken in enema form causes any caffeine issues, such as keeping me awake.

For more information on different types of enemas look it up in my techniques section.

The Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 25

Item to be used up: Semolina,  Saffron

Cookbook: Internet Inspired, from Pataks recipes:

Recipe: Shira or Saffron Semolina Pudding

Now I have a huge bag of this to siphon out of my cupboard so note that I will also be mixing it with milk and serving it up for breakfast in that good old school dinner tradition of ‘just eat it you won’t get anything else’.

Here is a more divine way of presenting it:

A delicious dessert and great follow up to an Indian meal. This semolina uses saffron, which is considered the most precious of all the spices. The nutty and rich flavours of this pudding are really something.

Can I just say that they said that this is a recipe for 4 people.  I never bother to make that assumption, they just have no idea how much I can eat.  That said I may well double the quantities – there are six of us you see.

  • 1½ tsp ghee or veg oil (again I am going to use water instead of oil)
  • 16 raisins
  • 12 cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp semolina
  • 75g unrefined caster sugar
  • 300ml full-fat milk
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • toasted flaked almonds, to garnish
  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the raisins and nuts and cook for two minutes.  Add the semolina, turn down the heat, then cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Stir in the sugar and mix well.  Add the milk and saffron and cook over a low to medium heat, whisking well, for 4-6 minutes, until the semolina is soft and thickened.
  2. Serve hot, decorated with toasted flaked almonds.