Living Below the Line – Paleo Style – Shopping List and Menu Plan

For my £5 I bought:

living below the line shopping

  • Sweet potatos x 3 – 50p
  • Squash 1/2 50p
  • Soya milk -(not pictured) 59p
  • Coconut cream 59p
  • Eggs 89p – I decided to save 11p and go for sad battery eggs instead of freerange.
  • Mince £1.48
  • Random veg bought from my fridge 45p

The ‘random veg’ is what I have leftover in the fridge, which is a leek, a manky bit of celery, a small carrot, some samphire, a small cooked beetroot and a bag of reduced capsicums. And I found a tomato in the street, it’s mine now.

Greens will be foraged wild garlic, nettles, dandylion leaves and garlic mustard, which is doing really well in the garden right now.

I also have some mint and lemon balm growing, none of which I planted so it won’t cost anything.  I also have horseradish which was here when I moved in 13 years ago.

Here are some meal ideas – I need 15 meals:

  1. egg baked in capsicum
  2. egg poached on boiled greens
  3. egg mixed into fried up capsicum and leek
  4. egg boiled with capsicum
  5. egg scrambled with leek and garlic mustard
  6. egg mixed into mashed squash to make a souffle
  7. mince patties with garlic mustard
  8. mince patties with garlic mustard
  9. mince patties with wild garlic
  10. mince patties with horseradish
  11. capsicum stuffed with mince
  12. mince patties with beetroot
  13. mince patties with herbs
  14. sweet potato oven fries in coconut cream
  15. sweet potato mashed
  16. sweet potato boiled
  17. squash mashed as a side
  18. squash oven fries with coconut cream

Living below the (poverty) Line – Whole 30 Paleo Style

On Monday I’ll be living on £1 a day for food for 5 days,

The idea came from the Live below the line challenge which is encouraging people to try to live on very little and be sponsored for it. I’m not doing that, firstly because I find it really embarrasing when friends ask me to sponsor them, and secondly because over my dead body is any money I raise going to a religious organisation. Not all the organisations you can raise money for are religious but I also wonder how much actually gets to the charity. Anyway, I digress. I’m doing this as a personal challenge.

The meal plans they suggest are pretty much junk food; cheap spagetti, value white bread, budget jam… and I’m sure this can be done with good food, and in a Whole 30 style, where meals are a palm sized bit of protein and the rest of the plate vegetables. No wheat, rice, grains, legumes, cheese or sugar. I am not a strict whole 30 er, my family are vegans and I just can’t eat meat 3 times a day so I do a sort of mixed vegi and normal whole 30 regime. I also slip into the occasional pizza and drink beer. Not ideal I know but better than I was eating before.

I can forage for wild garlic, nettles and dandylion leaves so greens are free, herbs are also free because there is a free herb garden in a local park. Mint and Lemon Balm are just popping up in the garden so there will be some form of tea.

I’ve bought 3 sweet potatos for 50p, a butternut squash for £1, 200g minced pork and beef for £1.48, sardines in tomato sauce for 24p and some free range eggs (2p more than sad battery eggs) for £1. I drink soya milk  because it regulates my hormones and a litre of that is 69p. I’m might go halves on a block of butter with a friend for 50p, I’m going to get veg from the 50p bags outside the veg shop and hope there are carrots and tomatos and maybe even a big bag of sorry looking avocados. It’s a tight budget.

From my £5 I need to make 15 meals, each with a reasonable bit of protein and greenery. There are 6 meals in the eggs, possibly 6 meals in the mince. So I’m short of protein. I’m going to ask the butcher if he has bones he would normally throw away and I can make soup and maybe get enough fat from the bones to be able to ditch the butter and get coconut oil instead.

Here are the guidelines from the site.

  • From the 29th April – 3rd May you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink.
  • This means you have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
  • You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.

Vegan Squash and Tofu Bake Recipe – Savoury or Sweet

This is an egg free variation of My Vegetarian Whole 30’s Pumpkin Pie recipe which is at the bottom of this page.

My version is incredibly versatile and foolproof.  I originally made it with sugar and spices to fill a pastry case but it sets on it’s own enough without pastry and is as nice like that. Bake it for longer and slower and it will be firmer.


Ingredients for the basic recipe:

vegan pumpkin pie recipe1

600g of any pumpkin or squash
200g firm tofu
25g creamed coconut

Turn the oven onto 180/160 fan, gas 4

Aga owners I have too much bitterness, venom and jealousy to work out where you would cook this, but basically all you are doing is drying it out and setting it, so not to hot.

  1. Peel and chop the squash and boil until soft.
  2. Add the tofu and coconut and whizz up until creamy.
  3. Add anything you want to the mix – loads of ideas below and decorate the top if you want.
  4. Oil a shallow cake tin and push the mixture in, flatten the top and drizzle with oil.
  5. Bake for an hour or until set.



squash_slice_3Use other root vegetables with the squash, celeriac works well with coconut, carrot, swede or sweet potato would be good too.

Add herbs or spices, oregano and rosemary or chilli and tumeric.

Handfuls of raw shredded kale or spinach or grated carrot and courgette added after the mix has been whizzed up will soften as it cooks. The picture shows red kale, spinach, courgette and carrots with salt and pepper waiting to be mixed in.

Try adding tahini and sprinking the top with sesame seeds.

I like to decorate the top of my slices with beetroot.

For a sweet variation add sugar, maple syrup or honey if you eat it and be generous with the pumpkin pie spice. It would also be nice with pecans on top.





My Vegetarian Whole 30’s Pumpkin Pie/Souffle (Whole30-style)

  • 1 15oz, can pure pumpkin
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 4 -12 eggs (depending on your preference.  I’ve been making with 12 to increase my protein)
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all together & pour in large pie pan or casserole dish. Bake at 350F for about an hour.
Whole dish (using 4 eggs) has 595calories, 27.5g protein, 21g saturated fat.  Each additional egg adds 70 calories, 6g protein & 2g saturated fat.
Whole dish (using 12 eggs) has 1155 calories, 75.5g protein, 37g saturated fat. – ¼ of this has 289 calories, 19g protein, 9.25g saturated fat. [I like to eat warm & top with unsweetened coconut flakes].

Not quite the Whole 30 – The Mostly Vegetarian version

If you saw my earlier post about the Whole 30 you will know that I didn’t get on with it. The idea is to eat loads of protein, a reasonable amount of fat and hardly any carbs – a bit different than my normal, mostly vegi, some fish and meat heavy on the pasta and bread diet. I gave up on day 10 with terrible stomach aches (apparently not uncommon if you are not used to eating loads of meat) and a taste of death in my mouth. Not fun.

Anyway, the good bit about the Whole 30 was that apart from the stomach and taste, physically I felt great, I dropped a few pounds and I had loads of energy. So, I’m trying a revised version with less meat but no grains or sugar.

There is a Whole 30 shopping list for vegetarians but it’s a bit vague about what legumes you can eat. It does say that these forms of protein are ok:


then there are some weird things I’ve never heard of like Natto and Kefir and Edamame which I’ve seen at Yo Sushi but not been terribly impressed with.

Then for second choice it says tofu and ‘various beans’.

A very helpful moderator on the very quiet  Vegi section of the Whole 30 forum said

“You can eat lentils and beans if they are soaked and rinsed before cooking to remove phytates. And finally in this area, you can use hemp or pea protein powder. You can find many of these foods in health food stores and at Whole Foods.
The soaking and rinsing process for beans is like 12 hours of soaking and several rinses.”

So, here we go;

Day 1

Breakfast – cabbage, courgette, carrots softened in butter with 2 poached eggs

Lunch – vegi soup with lentils (not rinsed to specifications), yeast flakes, yoghurt and a drizzle of oil

Snacks – all of my Graze box (oops) but way better than laying into the strawberry dessert I have in the fridge for my son.

Dinner – Vegi Thai green curry with more veg and lots of fresh coriander.

I’ve no idea how much I weigh as the scales are broken, I’ll go by clothes that fit me again if I lose any weight. And I’ll be looking on here for recipes that don’t contain too many bizarre ingredients – Until tomorrow……