Living Below the Line – Day 1

Posted: April 29, 2014 in food, poverty
Tags: , , , ,


I woke up with a slightly thick head today, after indulging in my last beers for a week. Normally that would be the cue for a bacon sarnie, strong coffee and a can of red bull…

…but not today. A pint of cold tap water it is, then. At least I don’t have to trek 5 miles to the nearest well for clean water, unlike millions less fortunate than ourselves. Anyway, I’ve always been fond of a nice dhal, and thought it would be a tasty and quite filling way to kick off the week of living #BelowTheLine. So this was brunch:

Split Pea Dhal

Yellow split peas (125g) – 13p
1/4 Onion – 5p
1 Clove Garlic – 2p
1/4 Lemon – 4p
1/3 Chilli – 2p
Sliver of Ginger – 2p
1 Stock Cube – 2p
Plus a handful of parsley from the garden and a pinch of cumin

Total Cost – 30p

Of course, that doesn’t include the cost of fuel for cooking, something that is a major consideration for those living in poverty. However, the rules don’t expect us to figure out a portion of our gas bill, so I’ll set that consideration aside for the duration. There’s not really a recipe, as such – you just soak the split peas overnight, and boil them up with garlic, onion, ginger, cumin and stock cube. Squeeze the lemon juice in just before serving, and garnish with chilli, parsley and lemon zest. We don’t need to let presentation slip, just cos we’re on a budget 🙂

It was pretty tasty and quite filling, and got me through to 7pm without much of hunger pang. I considered my motley collection of ingredients, and decided on a simple bowl of spaghetti dressed with some tinned tomatoes, again using some garlic and chilli for flavour, and a herbs from the garden.


Simple Spaghetti

Dried Spaghetti (150g) – 6p
1/4 Onion – 5p
1 Clove Garlic – 2p
1/3 Chilli – 2p
1/3 Tin Tomatoes – 7p
Plus a handful of rosemary and oregano from the garden

Total Cost – 22p

Again, simple but quite tasty, and filling enough to get me through…

Sponsor me please!


  1. oliviaslowey says:

    I’m attempting the challenge too, and I have to say your recipes look much more appetising than mine!

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