A Cooking on a Bootstrap meal plan

I waited a long time for Jack Monroe’s new recipe book to arrive. Well over a year! By the time Cooking on a Bootstrap hit my doormat, I had pretty much given up on the hope of ever seeing it. It came a few months ago and to be honest, after a quick flick through, the recipes didn’t inspire me and I haven’t tried any. This week I am going to give it a chance and do a Cooking on a Bootstrap meal plan!

Looking for inspiration

I’m not sure why I haven’t greeted this new book with as much enthusiasm as I did Jack’s first one, A Girl Called Jack. This is still one of a handful of cookbooks that are my go-to sources of inspiration. It isn’t that she became vegan during the writing of the book and so there are very few meat recipes. I have become vegetarian since I signed up on Kickstarter to help fund it. Partly it is just circumstance. In a bid to sort my IBS I no longer eat mushrooms and eat just a few types of pulse in small quantities. Both are  staples in Jack’s recipes, as they are for any frugal cook.

Nevertheless none of the above is Jack’s fault so I figure I should at least make an effort to try some of the recipes. Not all of the below are from Jack, so I have asterisked those that are.

My Cooking on a Bootstrap meal plan


Self-love stew. This is a mix of root veg, chick peas and white fish. Sounds interesting! *


A roast. Probably chicken, with nut cutlets for me.


Parsnip mac and cheese. This is pretty much what it says on the tin. I am not sure about parsnips combined with pasta, but will give it a try.*


Sausages with sweet potato mash and peas.


Spaghetti alla puttanesca. Basically spaghetti with a tinned sardine tomato sauce. I make this type of dish quite often.*


Smoked mackerel kedgeree. I have made a similar rice, egg and fish dish in the past with kippers. *


End of the week, so it needs to be easy. Probably left over kedgeree if there is any or an omelette with salad.

So that’s this week’s meal plan. What are you cooking?

Cooking on a Bootstrap is published on 23rd August and is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

This week I am linking up with Katy Kicker and the Organised Life Project. If you want more ideas on meal planning and saving money, take a look at their blogs. For more of my frugal recipe ideas, see here.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Thanks!


14 thoughts on “A Cooking on a Bootstrap meal plan

  1. Hello, Jane … I would have to be in dire straights to try any of these, I’m afraid. My larder (aka food cupboard, for it’s not a real larder) would have to be much depleted and I’d be scraping the barrel (literally, ha ha). OK, these would keep you alive, but would they taste good? I recall once (and it was once!) making cottage pie a la Nigel Slater, using sweet potato (which isn’t potato at all, of course) instead of the humble spud, and it was disgusting. Not Nigel’s fault; maybe his taste buds are very different from mine! And I once bought a jar of puttanesca sauce that a friend had recommended and it almost took the roof of my mouth off. It sounds to me that desperation set in as Jack embarked on this book. I have heard of her original book, and of course, publishers always want a follow-up but, sadly, follow-ups are seldom as good as originals. I will be interested to hear how you got on with the recipes. But thank you for making a meal plan and trying out these recipes on our behalf as much as your own.
    Margaret P

  2. I feel your pain (literally) with the IBS. So many frugal recipes involve beans and pulses and other veg that I can’t eat with mine.
    I have tried the fodmap diet and like you I avoid beans and lactose and limited mushrooms amongst others (I have brought wheat back in though which is good as GF is expensive)

  3. I love Jack and although I don’t have any of their books (I’m trying to get rid of stuff, not buy more) every recipe I’ve tried has been extremely good. I especially like the soda bread recipe. It’s quick, easy and almost free!

    Your meal plan sounds great. Enjoy

  4. I am eating a low carb diet at the moment and mainly 2 meals a day so it has simplified cooking a lot. I tend to eat a cooked meal with meat, egg & vegetables at around 11am and then a big salad with a protein at around 6pm. Yesterday I cooked a couple of different batches of vegetables and roasted some chicken breasts so the chicken & veggies will be added to salad greens for 3 dinners. I’ll have corn beef hash with vegetables and an egg for breakfast the next two days then have a couple of days with yogurt & fruit – then go back to bacon and egg with 2 or 3 servings of vegetables. I’ll pick up more salad greens on Wednesday and have salad with fish one day and shrimp another day later in the week. I like to keep things simple in the Summer so don’t mind repeating meals during the week. It gets so hot that you really do have to take that into consideration. I have taken a look at some of Jack’s recipes on her website but since I don’t eat a lot of carbs – even pulses these days – I wouldn’t use too many of them. I treat myself to pasta maybe once every 6 weeks and do like “all puttanesca” so will keep that in mind. I just saw a kedgeree recipes using cauliflower instead instead of rice so might give that a try next week.

  5. The smell of canned sardines and herring makes me wretch. The smell of canned herring triggered off my morning sickness in my last pregnancy.

    IBS? For me eliminating kiwi fruit and fresh banana has saved my hours of pain. The tiny seeds caused my diverticulitis to flare up.

    Meal planning is kind of iffy in my house. My husband is retired and likes to think he is the cook. I still work full time, so I shop with meals in mind and then wait to see what mischief he gets up to. He loves to make Tacos of all things! But you can’t complain if you don’t cook it.

  6. It sounds like you have a tasty week of meals planned….I love the sound of the stew and the Parsnip mac and cheese sounds interesting. I love parsnips but wouldn’t have thought of putting them with pasta.

  7. I loved Jack’s first book and use her recipes quite often, but I don’t fancy some of these.
    I use sardines in fish cakes which I like, and I am partial to sweet potato mash. Also, I recently see a marmite loaf on Jack’s blog and will definitely be making that.
    Parsnip is my favourite veg. I make a bake with potato, roast parsnip and apple. Yummy!

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