University student Ellie loves food and is always looking for ways to eat healthy while sticking to the budget that is living as a student. She believes there is life beyond beans on toast and wants to raise awareness that take-away and ready-made meals are more expensive than making a recipe from scratch.
So, picture the scene: a summer evening at a family barbecue, tables littered with various buffet foods, and my cousin announcing that he'd brought the oh-so-delicious tuna-crisp-bake-thing that I'd fallen in love with the year before. Sound perfect? One problem: I'd made the jump from a pescatarian to a fully-fledged vegetarian during the space of that year. Despite the abundance of foods that I could eat, I couldn't resist. I ate the oh-so-delicious tuna-crisp-bake-thing.
Now, a few years down the line and the memory of that delightful taste slipping further away, I like to think I'm less fickle. After all, it's not fair on the fish - more than half of tuna species are at risk of extinction. So, I decided to try to recreate this recipe with a tuna substitute and, after a bit of research, I settled on chickpeas. They're cheap, easy to find and have a high protein content, something especially important for people who don't eat meat.
I won't lie to you; the tuna one is better. However, it's a small sacrifice to make for the sustainability of multiple species. But you can substitute the chickpeas for anything with the same sort of consistency; I might try tofu next time - the choice is yours!
Cost: £3.48 as served; £4.91 as purchased
- 10 - 15 people
- tin - chickpear
- 2 - medium onions
- 4packets - plain crisps
- 2 - medium eggs
- 350grams - cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Crush the crisps and place into a large mixing bowl.
Drain the chickpeas and blend or, alternatively, crush by hand.
Chop the onions and heat in a pan until soft.
Grate the cheese.
Add the prepared ingredients to the crisps and stir.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, add to the mixture and stir until combined.
Place in an ovenproof dish, approximately an inch thick, and bake until golden brown.
• Blend the chickpeas in small amounts to prevent clogging around the blade.
•Try tofu – fry and then slice finely to replicate the effect of tuna flakes.
• Cut into chunks and put them in a plastic container – you can keep it in the freezer and just get out a piece when you like.