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A Budget Rice Supper

Updated on June 10, 2015
A budget rice supper
A budget rice supper | Source

A recipe fro when there's nothing in the fridge...

Well, not exactly nothing but you know what I mean. Life is busy. Grocery shopping doesn't always happen on schedule. Or ... the you've just had to pay a hefty auto repair bill or your property tax ...

There are many reason why you might look into the fridge, shake your head and wonder what to make for supper. The last time this happened to us (auto repair bill) this was the result and it was so tasty that we now have it regularly - just in case the car's transmission makes us impoverished again.

Rice is so inexpensive and so easy to cook.It's so very adaptable too. It's the first thing I think about when I want a budget dinner that can be prepared quickly.

This makes a lovely meat free dinner but is also delicious as a side dish. I've also served this dish to over thirty people as part of a buffet - it's so very adaptable.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: At least 2


  • These are all the ingredients I could rustle up:
  • Half a cup of basmati rice
  • One cup of water
  • One egg
  • One tomato
  • A few button mushrooms
  • A handful of black olives from a jar
  • A handful of frozen peas from the freezer
  • A little olive oil
  • Half a teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • A little butter (optional)
  • You can, of course, vary the ingredients depending on what you have in stock:


  1. Put the water on to boil.
  2. Whilst the water is boiling, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped mushrooms to saute gently.
  3. When the water is boiling, put the tomato into a slotted spoon and plunge it into the water briefly. This will make it easy to remove the skin. Remove the seeds too and chop the flesh.
  4. Add the turmeric and butter (if you're using them) into the water and stir. Add the rice, stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 8- 10 minutes (the pack will have exact times).
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the mushrooms and heat through. Add the frozen peas and sliced olives. As soon as they are warmed, put them in the pan with the rice which will now be cooked, distributing the vegetables evenly within the rice.
  6. Beat the egg with a little water. Add a little oil to the skillet and make a thin omelet. When cooked, slice the omelet into ribbons. Add these to the rice & vegetable mix, heat through and serve.

Eating on a budget

Why is it that I'm always trying to dine on a budget? Well first of all,I was brought up that way. My mum had been a teenager during the war - the time of severe food rationing - so budget cooking was second nature to her.

My first venture into cooking away from the family home was as a student on the notoriously low student grants of the 1970s in England.

Old habits die hard.

Food is so important and sometimes it's definitely worth spending a little extra to get better quality ingredients but there are still many ways in which you can cut the costs of your food bills.

The book you see below is the first cookbook I ever bought (it was in those student days) and it paid for itself over and over again. It's full of delicious recipes and incredibly practical advice that we all can learn from.

The Paupers Cookbook
The Paupers Cookbook
I first read this book when I was at college and trying to eat reasonably well with a tiny budget. I discovered that actually I could eat VERY well, with a small amount of money and the recipes here. The book was recently updated to make the most of the foods available today.

One of the most useful purchases I ever made for the kitchen is this set of bowls. I use them as mixing bowls (such as for the eggs in the recipe above), as an impromptu double boiler and,because they have tight fitting lids, for storing foods in the fridge.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, 3 Piece
Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, 3 Piece
These are simply brilliant. I use these for mixing but also as a double boiler to keep food warm or make foods that need to be cooked gently,such as scrambled eggs.As a bonus, they have tight fitting lids which means that I can also use them for storing foods. Perfect.

© 2014 Jackie Jackson


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