Prague, Czech Republic

This week I thought I’d mix it up with something a little different from a recipe and showcase some of the foodies that I had the pleasure of eating in a recent trip to the beautiful Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.

To choose a favourite dish or place to eat is pretty much impossible. The showcase below is just the tip of the iceberg for what Czech food has to offer; rich Ghoulash, Trdelnik (or “Chimney Cake”) cooked over coals and covered in cinnamon sugar, the variety of flavours in the numerous beers (not even exaggerating, most menus had more beers than food!), the quality of the Veal and Beef highlighted in carpaccio on every menu – I could go on but never do justice to the flavours.

Miso Haricot Soup

Right now miso paste is my favourite ingredient in the pantry. It lifts every dish with its umami taste and this soup is no exception!! Warm, hearty and unbelievably tasty – this soup is a winner!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can haricot beans, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the miso paste and fry for a further minute, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the beans, season with the pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock, mix well and cook for 10 minutes and then serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Lemon Broccoli Rice

This recipe is really handy if you have some leftover rice from a previous meal or if you have those stir fry rice pouches you can get from the supermarket. A brilliant way of having a good meal without it taking much time. Additionally with this recipe if you are using leftover rice you can keep it at room temperature instead of heating it up; otherwise cook until piping hot.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked/ leftover rice
  • 1 lemon
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan for a few minutes until lightly golden, then remove the nuts and place to one side.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, the zest of the lemon and the juice, basil, 1 tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.
  3. Place the broccoli in the pan along with the remaining olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium- high heat, stirring occasionally. (Try to not over cook the vegetable as the added bite brings a delicious texture to this dish). Then remove the broccoli from the pan.
  4. Add the rice and cook until piping hot.
  5. Then put the broccoli back in the pan with the rice and drizzle over the lemon dressing, mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Serve and sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy ☺️

Lentil & Kale Stew

Some of you may have noticed that I accidentally published this a couple of days ago…this recipe article was no way near ready and was missing a fair few things…. Oops? Anyways, here is the completed version with pictures and all. A simple and easy way to have a healthy meal, balanced with veggies and delicious earthy and almost citrusy flavours; hope you all enjoy! ☺️

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 75g red split lentils
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 50g kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic, shallot, carrot, celery and bay leaves in the oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato purée, lentils and season with black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Leave to cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through.
  4. Add the kale, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Serve on its own or with a portion of rice or some sourdough bread.

Sticky Spicy Aubergine

Aubergine has been a constant in the kitchen, even as a child I grew up eating aubergine weekly. It’s such a beautiful and delicious vegetable that should be praised and given the credit it deserves. Though it has constantly been a winner in my family recipes I wanted to mix it up with these sweet and spicy flavours that really brings out the deliciousness of the aubergine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine, halved and sliced into batons
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds, for serving

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the aubergine in two tablespoons of sesame oil on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until softened and browned.
  2. While the aubergine is frying, take a small bowl and mix the garlic, chilli, syrup and oil together thoroughly.
  3. Pour the sweet and spicy mixture over the aubergine and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Delicious as a side dish or with some slow cooked meat.

Bean & Pepper Salad

A filling lunchtime meal, packed full of flavour and so simple to make. There’s something about beans and pulses for veganuary that are an absolute winner. Guaranteed flavour, filling and wholesome.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 sweet Ramiro pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by draining the cannellini beans and rinse them thoroughly.
  2. Place the beans, pepper and parsley in a bowl and mix.
  3. In a separate and smaller bowl mix all the other ingredients, including a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  4. Drizzle over the beans, pepper and parsley, mix again and serve.

Enjoy ☺️

Sweet & Spicy Broccoli Soup

The perfect balance of sweet and spicy; a flavourful and warming soup.

Ingredients:

  • 375g broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 650ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

Method:

  1. On medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the sesame oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chilli flakes and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the broccoli and the soy sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth.
  6. Drizzle in the golden syrup, mix and serve.

Enjoy ☺️

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew

The huge temperature drop has not gone unnoticed this week, it has been so cold! Fortunately this hearty, vegan recipe is the way to go for the perfect comforting and flavourful dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (400g) black beans
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized shallot, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 handful fresh spinach

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and shallot together in the olive oil on medium heat until softened and translucent.
  2. Add the sweet potato and all the seasonings and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then add the beans and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the stock, cover and drop the heat to medium-low. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Remove the lid and add the spinach, mix and leave for 5 minutes and serve.

Best served hot.

Mustard Beef Casserole

A recipe filled with deep flavours, highlighting the richness of the beef as it slow cooks for 3 hours becoming tender and juicy. Fantastic if you have leftover or off cut pieces of beef that need using up. The gravy is an absolute winner in this dish and is so delicious with fluffy and crispy roast potatoes.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 380g beef shin, cut unto chunks
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 250g frostier mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 dsp wholegrain mustard

Method:

  1. Start by coating the beef in plain flour.
  2. On medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the coated beef into a deep pan. Fry for 5 minutes or until browned and sealed. Then remove the beef from the pan and place on a plate.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and shallot. Fry together until translucent.
  4. Add the mushrooms and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes allowing the water contained to be released.
  5. Put the meat back in the pan along with 50ml of white wine and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and the remaining 100ml of wine and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and add the worcestershire sauce. Mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
  7. Just before serving, mix the mustard and cream together in a separate bowl. Then mix into the casserole and serve.

Best served with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Mixed Mushroom Medley

Serves 2-3

I absolutely love mushrooms in all its shapes and forms, its delicious umami flavours that are meaty bring a delightful contrast to the sweetness that is the sauce. Just as tasty on its own or as a side dish to some roasted lamb or vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 300g closed cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. On medium heat fry the mushrooms in the sesame oil for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, golden syrup and a generous amount of crushed black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well.
  4. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, the sauce will have reduced and thickened.
  5. Drizzle over the lime juice, mix again and serve.

Enjoy 🙂