Frugal Living

Cheap and easy, family friendly recipes that can be made in bulk, repurposing ideas, make not waste projects, cheap and easy ideas for things to make for your home and children.

Nettle & Ricotta Cannelloni


Nettle Cannelloni  

Having never eaten nettles before - well lets face it, it doesn't sound appetising - I approached this recipe with trepidation. I used to buy a lovely spinach and ricotta cannelloni down at the supermarket and thought that as nettles were supposed to be a good substitue for spinach I would give it a go, especially with the surplus ricotta I had in the fridge after our cheese making episode.

Bizzarrely it tasted quite nice. The only thing that let it down was pre-bought gluten-free pasta sheets, which I have never used before and am unlikely to ever buy again. I also used equal quantities of ricotta and nettles to make the filling, on hindsight I should have used less nettles as they are much more strongly flavoured than spinach.

There are no weights or measures to this as it was an experiment, now I know it works I may weigh it all out next time I have a go at making it.

To make the cannelloni you will need pre-cooked lasagne/pasta sheets, tomato sauce, nettle & ricotta filling and some grated cheese to spinkle on the top.

Tomato Sauce

Heat together passata, garlic, oregano and basil in a small sauce pan. Warm thoroughly without boiling.

saucepan of tomato sauce Mixed tomato sauce

Nettle & Ricotta Filling

Mix together equal quanities of cooked nettles and ricotta.

Nettles & Ricotta Cannelloni filling

To Construct The Cannelloni

  1. Roll the filling in the pasta sheets and place them side-by-side into an oven proof dish.
    rolling the cannelloniCannelloni in the dish
  2. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle with grated cheese.
    Cannelloni ready to bake
  3. Bake in pre-heated oven (160c) for 25 minutes.
    finisshed dish
Posted by OneProudMomma at Saturday, July 31, 2010 6:11 AM

12" Bacon & Cheese Flan


This flan can be eaten hot from the oven or left to go cold. One flan is just enough to feed my family consisting of 2 adults, 2 teens, 1 pre-teen & 2 toddlers when it is served with chips or potato wedges and a salad.

Bacon & Cheese Flan & Salad  

Quantity 6 slices
Total Cost £2.96
Price Per Portion 49p

These costs are based on shopping at Tesco and making your own pastry for the case. I always buy whichever strong cheese is on offer at the time. Although it is too strong for the children to eat I find that I need less of it in my baking to flavour the food, so it saves me money long term! Also, I don't buy my eggs from Tesco I buy them straight from a local farm so they only cost me £3.30 for a tray of 30 large eggs, unfortunately not many people have that luxury so I included the Tesco price for the eggs (it works out nearly 10p per portion cheaper using the farm eggs!)

12" pastry case (uncooked) 20.5p
McLellands Seriously Strong White Cheddar (500g) £2.50
Cooking Bacon (500g) £1.14
Big & Fresh Eggs Box Of 10 £2.08
Creamfields 0.75% Milk 3ltr £1.25
Saxa White Pepper 25g 27p
Tesco Value Mixed Herbs 18g 19p


Ingredient Metric Measure
12" pastry case (uncooked) 1 case
mature cheddar cheese 100g
chopped bacon bits (fat removed) 500g
large eggs 5
milk approx 150ml
ground white pepper large pinch
mixed dried herbs 1 teaspoon


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a 12" flan dish with pastry - click here to view the instructions - but do not cook the pastry case.
  3. Finely grate the cheddar cheese and set aside for later.
    Grated Cheese
  4. Trim the fat from the bacon and chop it (I find it easier to cut the bacon with kitchen scissors). Fry the bacon until it is cooked through and dry.
    cooked fried bacon pieces
  5. Beat 5 large eggs into a jug and enough milk to make it up to 500ml - usually about 150ml. If the level is much lower than 500ml add another egg.
  6. Add the herbs and pepper to the egg and milk mixture and beat together.
  7. Cover the bottom of the pastry case with the bacon and then sprinkle all the cheese over the top.
    cheese and bacon in pastry case
  8. Pour the egg and milk mixture all over the filling, making sure the bacon & cheese is covered.
    uncooked flan
  9. Place in the hot oven and bake for 40 minutes.
    Bacon and Egg Flan
  10. Serve either hot or cold, with salad and potato wedges or chips.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Sunday, July 18, 2010 10:50 AM

Bulk Plain Pastry Recipe


This is a very simple, very versatile, shortcrust pastry recipe. It is not flavoured in any way so it can be used for savoury and sweet dishes. The quantity given below is enough for approximately 48 jam tarts or 2 large (27cm/12") flan cases.

The pastry doesn't have to be used all in one go, you can store some in the fridge or even freeze it. I tend to use it all in one go though, making 1 large flan and 24 tarts.

Mince Tarts

Quantity 48 tart cases 2 flan cases
Total Cost 41p 41p
Cost Per Case 0.85p 20.5p

Costs based on shopping at Tesco and spending

Tesco Value Plain Flour (1.5kg) 43p
Tesco Value Baking Margarine (250g) 44p
Tesco Value Table Salt (1kg) 23p


Choose either metric or imperial for your measurements, but don't mix and match!

Ingredient Metric Imperial
Plain Flour 350 g 12 oz
Baking Margarine 175 g 6 oz
Salt 2.5 ml 1/2 tsp
Cold Water 60 ml 2 fl oz


  1. Preheat oven to 180c (350f, gas mark 4)
  2. Grease the tins / flan dishes you intend to use.
  3. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
    Flour and Margarine Mixed To Resemble Breadcrumbs
  4. Mix in enough cold water, until the mixture resembles a soft, pliable dough.
    Pastry dough
  5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut into the required shapes for the tins/dishes being used.
    Tart casesFlan dish
  6. If you require a baked case, line the pastry with greaseproof paper before filling with baking beans. If you do not have baking beans use a dried pulse or rice.
  7. Otherwise place your filling in the pastry cases and bake in the oven.

The length of time in the oven will depend on what you are baking. The large empty flan dish will take around 25-30 minutes, the little tarts filled with jam or mincemeat will take around 15 minutes.

Posted by OneProudMomma at Tuesday, March 09, 2010 2:11 PM