LondonCooking gets frugal: 2 super fast 'cheat' cooking tips in the London downturn

Some extra-quick dinner tips which combine part ready food, part fresh ingredients – ah, Delia would be proud.
Come to think of it, it wasn’t Robert Peston, or even Niall Ferguson, but really Delia who predicted the downturn, with her How to Cheat at Cooking book last year, in a funny way. And like some kind of Norwich-based culinary Cassandra, she was roundly panned for it…


  • Co-op Margherita (ie – plain, cheese & tomato) ready pizzas are surprisingly good – much better than Sainsbury’s, for instance.
  • Buy one (or two – they were on 2 for 1 offer at my local!) then add your own fresh ingredients, eg – I fried some sliced mushrooms, added salt and oregano – hey presto!


  • Buy some ready ravioli, the type with mushrooms and cheese (available in most local supermarkets)
  • Slice and fry some pointed cabbage – in season at the moment, and beautifully sweet (not stinky, honest…) – these are currently available even at my tiny local Sainsburys – get them while they’re hot…
  • The ravioli only takes a couple of minutes to cook, since it’s ‘fresh’ – add the cabbage, and some olive oil (or butter if you prefer) – and you’re done!

If you’re short of time, or just can’t be bothered to cook, I find even combining ready & fresh ingredients makes me feel a lot better about myself than going the full-on ready meal route.

Buy Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking @

NB: I’m personally not a fan of instant mash, or canned meat… but needs must when the devil... you know the rest.