MOST kitchens are full of cookery bibles from the likes of Delia, Jamie, and Nigella.
Now a Croydon woman has produced a food book of her own, but one with a difference – as the ingredients are all obtainable from food banks.
Amateur cook Hortense Julienne, 38, took on the culinary project for Lent and completed the book in 40 days and 40 nights.
The Bank Cook, which is now available via her blog, contains more than 20 budget recipes to help food bank users make the most of their ingredients.
Hortense, who lives in central Croydon and works for a media company, said: "I absolutely love cooking and I love food because I come from a French background where food is obviously very important.
"I think people should be able to eat well however much money they have, so hopefully this will give people a bit of guidance."
The devout Christian would like Croydon Council or local companies to help with the printing and distribution of her book, currently only available as an online PDF file.
"I need this to be in the hands of the people who need it," Hortense added.
"It is vital we support people with food banks. When there are so many people homeless, food banks are stopping people from becoming homeless as well."
Recipes in the book range from household favourites like chilli con carne and beef casserole to more unique creations such as stuffed aubergines with peanut butter sauce and corned beef pizza.
Hortense said: "The corned beef pizza just came from me looking at what I had in and seeing what I can make from it. It's always random.
"I live on my own and the recipes are typically for four or five people so I would bring the leftovers in for my colleagues and to my church. They were all very kind about the food.
"It's about making the most of what you have got."
Hortense's top tips for saving money with your weekly shop are to go out after 8pm when stores start making reductions and to avoid any 'buy one get one free' offers.
Earlier this month, the Mail on Sunday printed an investigation in which its reporter appeared to lie to a food bank to expose how easy it is to exploit them.
Hortense said the report was "unfortunate" and that 99 per cent of food banks users were genuine. "The man had a job to do and I was sad that he had to lie as part of his job," she said.
"There are a few people who exploit the food banks but the way I look at it; it's like racism. There will always be racists but most people are not like that."
To read Hortense's book, visit thebankcook.files.wordpress.com