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Cheap and Easy Vegetarian Cooking For One: Leek, Potato and Philly Cheese Recipe

Updated on January 4, 2017

Leeks and Potatoes


Easy, peasy recipe

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of Leek, Potato and Philly Cheese Recipe

Cheap food: Healthy food

As the economic crisis bites hard, we are all looking for ways to have a healthy diet that doesn't cost the earth. Vegetarian dishes are in general cheaper and healthier than many red meat dishes so even if you are not a vegetarian, consider have a few more meat-free days each week. You will find them much easier on both your health and your budget.

This is a quick and easy recipe that is tasty and uses ingredients that are easily affordable. The soft cheese provides protein and fat, both health necessities in every meal. In addition, once you have made this dish with the tender white flesh of the leek, you can use the tops and the outer leaves off the leeks to make a healthy soup. I've included an easy soup recipe here too.

In a bid to manage household budgets, many people are now considering growing at least some of their own vegetables. Both potatoes and leeks can be grown in containers on a patio if you don't have a garden. The advantage is that grown in grow-bags or containers, potatoes tend to be pest free and have smooth skins because of the lack of lime in the soil. Then, an added bonus, leeks tend to repel insects.

COST = £1.44 - CALORIE COUNT = 175.

Potato, Leek and Philly Cheese


Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: for 1 or 2 people for £1.44p


  • 1 medium sized leek, use the meaty white part and keep the tops and outer leaves for soup
  • 125 grams small new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons light philadelphia soft cheese, or similar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper

Steam - don't boil!

Steaming vegetables are much healthier for you. When you cook them in water a huge amount of nutrients leak into the water - you know, that bit you throw away. On the other hand steamed vegetables retain most. You can of course invest in a steamer but I personally find them a pest - you have to store them some place and dig them when you want to use them, then they are not always easy to clean. I much prefer my expanding fan steamer insets. Because they expand, they fit any size of pot.

Easy Steamer insert

Amco Stainless Steel Collapsible Steamer
Amco Stainless Steel Collapsible Steamer

You can convert any pan into a steamer using this handy insert. Because it is fan-shaped it will adapt in size to fit any pot. Tiny feet on the bottom hold it above the level of the water for best result. I wouldn't be without mine!


Preparations and Instructions

  1. Clean the leek, cut off the top and removed harder outer leaves so you have the white meaty part. Set aside the top and outer leaves to make a cheap soup later. Ensure there is no dirt left in the leek by making a slit in the top, fanning out the layers and running under cold water. Cut the nice white 'meat' into rounds.
  2. Scrub new potatoes under running water. Leave the skins intact. If Cut larger ones into two pieces and leave the smaller ones whole.
  3. Crush 1 clove of garlic.
  4. Portion out 2 tablespoons of soft cheese.
  5. In a small saucepan steam the potatoes. Add salt if preferred. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes soften.
  6. In another pan steam the leeks. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until softened - should be about 12 minutes. I use fan steam inserts which make life easy but use a steamer if you prefer.
  7. Drain both potatoes and leeks and let them dry slightly over very low heat. Do not allow to stick to pan. Combine them in one of the pan.
  8. Over a very low heat - add the soft cheese and garlic and stir in completely. Heat through until the cheese is perfectly melted.
  9. Serve with a green salad.

Cost Breakdown

new potatoes
light phiadelphia cheese
I also made a light leek and potato soup with the left over leeks, a potato, an onion and a stock cube

Approximate nutritional values in this recipe

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 portion
Calories 175
Calories from Fat45
% Daily Value *
Fat 5 g8%
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 6 g12%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.



Where do you stand?

are you a philly fan - or soft cheese fan.

See results


This is a healthy filling meal with very low fat content so is great if you are weight conscious. You can change it up by adding different herbs to the cheese or by changing to a cottage cheese instead. You just need to watch that doesn't curdle as you heat it up.

If you have a bit more time, transfer the mixture to an oven-proof dish and top with toasted oatmeal or breadcrumbs and cheese and grill until the top is crisp. That will add about another 20 minutes to the cooking time.

Simple Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

As you will know by now, I never waste a thing! So those harder outer leaves and the tops I took off the leeks when I prepared them come into use for a tasty soup. I don't use any fat in preparation so it is very low in calories but high in nutrients. Don't underestimate how many minerals and vitamins are in the green leafy part of leeks.

You will need:

the tops and outer leaves of 3 leeks, washed and chopped up

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1/2 pint of vegetable stock/broth

1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs

Salt and pepper to taste


Put all your ingredients into a saucepan.

Bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are completely soft.

Use a hand blender (stick blender) to create a smooth soup.

Serve hot with crusty bread.

Calories and Cost of Leek and Potato Soup

stock cube
Remember I used the top and outer leaves of the leek in the earlier recipe

© 2014 Ann

Review - come in and let me know what you think

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    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I hope you enjoy this one Valerie.

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      :) that's what I am about since I am not officially a pensioner

    • profile image

      valerie bradley 

      4 years ago

      As lifelong vegetarian I love the recipes.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image


      4 years ago from Kansas

      You can't beat cheap, healthy, and tasty too.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      How neat! Thank you, so much, for sharing this information! ;-)

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      They are a member of the onion family Gods Provision - very tasty and they go well with just about anything - they are wonderful in soups.

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      hope you enjoy it Nancy

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've used cream cheese in my mashed potatoes, but hadn't thought of this way. I'm trying to cut down on my meat intake the past couple years, so I'm always looking for great vegetarian recipes. Thanks for this.

    • Gods Provision profile image

      Jeremy n Michelle 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Yes. I will have to look into them.

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      yes it is good to get away from red meat suziecat - good luck with it all

    • suziecat7 profile image


      4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I'm trying to go more vegetarian every day so this recipe will help. I don't eat red meat but am now trying to wean myself off chicken. Thanks for the recipe.

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England


    • Gods Provision profile image

      Jeremy n Michelle 

      4 years ago from Texas

      I've never actually cooked a leak... or eaten one. What do they taste like? Or should I ask... how do they taste?

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      they are so versatile aren' they? especially when you grow your own! ;)

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      4 years ago from London

      Love leeks. I usually sauté them and top with a white sauce. I must try your recipe.

    • TheWritingnag profile image

      Writing Nag 

      4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yum, I'm a big fan of leeks and potatoes so I'm sure this will be delicious! I agree the photo of the leeks is beautiful.

    • savateuse profile image


      4 years ago

      Healthy and tasty! Perfect :)

    • annieangel1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      thanks Merrci and Frischy - I confess I am a lazy cook but I love tasty dishes and this really works without a lot of effort.

    • Frischy profile image


      4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      This sounds delicious! I am definitely adding this to my collection of recipes to try.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I will have to try this--never used cream cheese on potatoes. Love the leek photo, btw!


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