...for cold weather.
This evening we ate one of my faithful, reliable, frugal meals - lentil shepherds pie.
First, you chop an onion, and soften in a little oil. If you have any garlic, through some of that in too, but don't loose any sleep over it if you don't. Take a few handfuls of bright orange lentils (the dried kind, super cheap if you buy a big bagful from The world food aisle in a supermarket, even super cheaper from an ethnic food shop), and add them to the pan. Sometimes I add chopped carrot, or swede, or whatever else is in the veg rack. Sometimes I don't. Give it all a good stir, then add some liquid in the form of tinned tomatoes, water and a couple of stock cubes. If you have half a jar of pasta sauce lurking in your fridge, add that. If you feel like it, a squirt of brown sauce will do no harm at all. How about a couple of spoons of chutney, to empty the jar? Stir, and cook until the lentils are soft, and the sauce thickened.
Meanwhile, make the mash to cover your pie. Potatoes are the obvious choice, of course. Sometimes, a packet of instant mash will do. Doesn't have to be potato, though. Tonight it was parsnip and sweet potato, because that's what I had.
Put the lentil mixture into an oven proof dish (or two, if you got carried away and made too much. The second one can go in the freezer for next week, with or without mash topping). Top with mash. Some grated cheese and breadcrumbs might be nice, but not essential.
Either put the pie in the oven for a little while, or put it in the fridge then cook it tomorrow.