Back of the cupboard cook-up

Posted by Alex on 14/04/20 in Recipes

The recipe has been designed to be as flexible as you need it to be. The point is to use up the odd things that you may have in your store cupboard. Add extras and swap ingredients as you feel. These were the ingredients that I had in my house.

Suggested running order

Make the batter, set to one side. Prepare the compote. Make the main. When the main is nearly ready, cook the pancakes. The whole process should take about 25 minutes.

Store Cupboard Stew!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients – this is what I had in.

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 carrots, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cabbage, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can of butter beans, drained
  • 4 pickled onions, halved
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 packet of ready to eat grains and beans, or flavoured rice mix.
  • 500 ml thin vegan gravy mix
  • 50g frozen peas
  • Fresh herbs to garnish – optional

*check as some varieties are not vegan


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the carrots and cabbage and gently fry for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the butter beans, onions, herbs and chilli flakes and mixed cooked grains or your flavoured rice mix. Give this a little stir then add the gravy and simmer for 10 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Your dish is nearly finished! For a little extra flavour have a look in the fridge to see if you have any open jar of chutney, perhaps some mustard or chilli sauce? Add a little for extra flavour.
  4. When your dish is cooked, add the frozen peas and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, in a large bowl with a few fresh chopped herbs on the top if you have them.

Chef's tip: This dish really is aimed at using what you have in. Many swaps can be made. If you have not got cabbage or carrots use sweet potatoes, cauliflower, peppers: really whatever you have in. If you don’t have any flavoured rice, and a handful of basmati or quick cook pasta. Do watch the liquid in the pan because you may need to top up from time to time. Finally, if you don’t have gravy, add the same amount of stock.

Pancakes with mixed fruit compote

If you don’t fancy fruit compote try serving with ice cream, tinned fruit, sliced bananas, or just sugar and lemon.

Preparation time: 2 minutes plus 15 minutes resting time

Cooking time: 2 minutes per pancake


  • 75g gram flour
  • 75g plain flour (in fact any flour will work, bread, self-raising, whole wheat etc.)
  • 300ml plant milk, I used oat when making this
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying the pancakes

Fruit compote

  • 200g frozen mixed fruit
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. To make the pancakes, mix both types of flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the milk, while stirring.
  2. When you have a smooth batter, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and set to one side for 15 minutes. This resting time will allow the flour to soak into the milk. Your batter will be a little thicker now, add a little extra milk if needed. The consistency should be slightly thicker than single cream/soya cream.
  3. In a nonstick pan, add approximately 1 tsp of oil.
  4. Allow the pan to warm up before adding a small ladle of batter. Tilt the pan to get an even spread.
  5. Cook for approximately 2 minutes before carefully turning over.
  6. Keep the pancakes warm until you have made a few and serve with the fruit compote.

To make the fruit compote

  1. Simply put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and gently heat. Simmer for 10 mins then set to one side.

Chef's tip: Any remaining batter can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. Alternatively, cook as many pancakes as the batter allows, cool, then wrap and freeze. This recipe works well for sweet or savoury toppings.


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