Beginnings

Nearly 30 years ago I met my future husband and moved into his home, I had been working in a factory but that came to an end and he being disabled couldn't find work so we spent a bit of time on a very low income from benefits. My mum had taught me to cook well but with a fiver to last us a fortnight I had to be inventive to feed the both of us and his two kids. So I baked and made my own recipes from cheap ingredients and we got by until better times came along. Eventually I forgot about budgeting so tightly and enjoyed collecting a vast array of celebrity chef cookbooks and I used the finest ingredients to cook restaurant quality meals and desserts.

However, as time went on everything seemed so out of control. The food budget spiraled as did my weight. I looked at my supermarket receipts and shrugged, there had to be a way to save money and lose weight. I already knew how to be a savvy shopper, using coupons and only buying goods when they are at there best price, shopping around and using the local market but it still made for an expensive food budget each month. It had to be those fancy cook books and their indulgent ingredients.

Inspired by stories I was reading about slimmers who had achieved their weight loss goals I started to cut down on and replace luxury ingredients like extra virgin olive oil for Fry Light. I dumped high sugar condiments like salad cream and ketchup for fat free dressings, english mustard and horseradish.

So here is the fruit of my labour. My favourite recipes that once boasted the finest ingredients pared down to their budget equivelents. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and trying out the recipes.

Why 'The Black Radish'? I come from a world where the internet was new and everyone had a username, real names were never used. I chose Raphanius as my username from the latin raphanus meaning radish. The black part? Simply my favourite colour.

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