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Energy cost: 15 pence, Prep time: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Stuffed jacket potato with chestnut mushrooms, leek, smoked cheddar cheese and Arran mustard

This is a very easy dish to prepare and cook; it can be made quickly and very economically using the microwave. Using big flavours like chestnut mushrooms, leek and smoked cheese give the dish real flavour, and with the addition of the Arran mustard, this potato has real punch for cold winter nights.   


4 jacket potatoes 
1 tub chestnut mushrooms 
1 leek 
200ml milk 
25g butter (unsalted) 
10g plain flour 
2 tbs flat parsley (chopped) 
2 tbs spring onions (sliced)
50g smoked cheddar cheese (grated)
Arran mustard


1. Make sure the potatoes are nice and clean. Prick them several times with a fork and place on a plate. 
2. Cook on full power in the microwave for 10 minutes. Turn over and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Times may vary depending on the microwave or the size of the potato. 
3. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and then chop in top 1 cm slices and wash in cold water. Make sure the mushrooms are clean and then slice. 
4. In a hot frying pan add a little oil and then add the sliced mushrooms. Try and keep some colour to the mushrooms as this will add loads of flavour to the dish. Always keep the pan nice and hot as it will also be quicker to cook, reducing the energy you use.
5.Once the mushrooms have some colour, add the chopped leeks. Reduce the heat, add a little butter and wilt down the leeks. Turn the heat off after two minutes and allow the residual heat to finish the cooking. 
6. Gently warm the milk in the microwave. Melt 10g of butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the warm milk, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. 
7.Add two thirds of the grated smoked cheese, Arran mustard, mushrooms and leeks. 
8. Stir well and cook for two minutes, then remove from the heat. 
9. Halve the potato and scoop out the flesh, leaving the potato skin intact. 
10. Mash the potato and add to the leeks and mushrooms. Finish by adding the chopped parsley and spring onion. 
11. Divide the mixture between the eight half potato skins. Top with the rest of the smoked cheese and cook in the microwave until the cheese has melted. 


Serves 4, Energy cost: 3 pence, Prep time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 30 mins

Braised shoulder of lamb with button onions root vegetables and Ayrshire bacon

I look forward to the winter so that I can have dishes just like this one. It would traditionally be cooked in the oven for hours, but that method uses a lot of energy. My suggestion for cutting down on the costs while retaining all the taste and flavour is to bring back a kitchen classic, the pressure cooker. Modern pressure cookers are very easy to use, and don’t make all the scary racket that I remember coming from my mum’s kitchen when I was growing up. The advantage of using a pressure cooker is that it is 70% quicker than conventional cooking methods therefore 70% more cost effective to use.


400g diced lamb shoulder 
100g Ayrshire bacon or pancetta (diced) 
2 shallots (diced) 
1 large carrots (peeled and diced) 
2 sticks celery (peeled and diced) 
½ leek (washed and diced) 
150g baby potatoes (halved) 
2 cloves garlic (crushed) 
50g tomato puree 
2 sprigs rosemary 
100g button onions 
20g flour 
1 litre lamb or chicken stock (you can use a quality cube) 



1. In your pressure cooker, heat a teaspoon of oil. 
2. Dust the lamb lightly in the flour, (the flour will help thicken the sauce) when oil is hot add to the pan and brown well on all sides. 
3. Take the lamb out of the pan, and put to one side. 
4. Add Ayrshire bacon, (pancetta or dry cure bacon would work as well), brown nicely, and then add the diced vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes without colour but softened. 
5. Add the tomato puree and the crushed garlic. (Adding the garlic at a cooler stage of the cooking avoids burning it and spoiling the dish) 
6. Add the halved baby potatoes. 
7. Now add lamb back to pan and then the stock. 
8. Add the rosemary and the button onions. 
9. Place the lid onto the pressure cooker. Once you have the cooker up to pressure, turn the heat down low to maintain the pressure. 
10. Cook for 20 minutes, open the pressure valve and release the steam. 
11. Test the meat to make sure 


Serves 4, Energy costs: Under 1 pence, Prep time: 1 min, Cooking time: 5 mins

Bramble and heather honey sorbet

This is a very simple and quick recipe, a fantastic dessert for a winter gathering. As it only uses a food processor for a few seconds the energy costs are minimal. It also works well with all soft fruit.


500g brambles (frozen) 
250ml natural yoghurt 
1 lime (juiced and zested) 
75g heather honey 


1. The day before you want to make this recipe, place the berries into the freezer. 
2. Once the fruit is frozen place into the food processor with the lime juice and zest, the heather honey and lastly the yogurt. 
3. Once this is all nice and smooth you have the most refreshing healthy dessert. 
4. This can be served with some fresh berries and topped with some more heather honey.