Chickpea, Tomato & Olive Stew

Stew is synonymous with rich and heavy dishes that keep you full when you’re in need of a bit of a “pick me up” but this dish completely breaks down that stereotype. Undeniably there is a background warmth to the dish with the smoked paprika but the star is the combination of tomato, basil and the olives. Adding the olives and the basil right at the end of the dish keep them fresh tasting and allows the flavour to come through as soon as it hits your tastebuds. The herby olive goodness will bring a big smile to your face (it certainly did for me!) and is a combination you don’t want to miss.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 17- 20 pitted green olives
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the chickpeas and garlic in the olive oil and cumin for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the remaining seasonings and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the basil and the olives and cook for 5 minutes and then serve.

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.

Curried Black Rice & Lentils

I love mixing things up in the kitchen and getting all experimental. It’s the best form of cooking and just makes the ‘eating’ part even more enjoyable when the recipe works to perfection. I haven’t used much black rice in my recipes before so I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating this delicious ingredient, I hope you all enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

  • 100g red split lentils
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (400g) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g black rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and shallot together in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add the tomato purée and fry for a minute.
  3. Sprinkle over all of the seasonings and add the lentils and keep frying for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add the rice and pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock; mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and drop the heat to medium low and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Be aware to stir occasionally as the lentils will stick to the pan.
  6. Just before serving drizzle over the lime juice and mix.

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.

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 🙂

Asparagus Soup

So… we had a couple of days of pure heat, proper warm weather and then BAM we’re back to freezing our butts off! Standard British weather if you ask me. Thinking that the little snippet of more spring-like weather would take us nicely into those lighter meals completely turned tables when it started snowing on Monday. Taking advantage of the produce of this time of the month I decided to make a good, hearty soup; something to keep you nice and warm for the wintery weather we are having. I hope you all enjoy it 🙂

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 125g asparagus tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic, shallot and sage in the oil for 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper (medium heat).
  2. Add the potato and asparagus and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock, mix well and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  4. In a food processor or using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth, add more water if the consistency is too thick for your liking. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil when serving (optional).

Enjoy!

Jo Jo’s Peri Peri. Richmond

Has been a cheeky go to during the odd, random day that I have been having meat. There’s just something about Jo Jo’s that is just so delicious that when I think of a take away my thoughts go straight to this tasty joint.

On numerous occasions when I have ventured through Richmond I have passed Jo Jo’s Peri Peri and there have been countless times when I have seen a queue of people outside waiting for food. This to me screams, ‘it’s got to be good’, and ‘I need to try this’. On the whole, I generally lean towards a good ol’ trusty Nandos when I’m in the mood for peri peri flavours but after having a cheeky scroll on Deliveroo and seeing its high ratings I thought… lets give this a cheeky go.

Since my first experience of Jo Jo’s, which has happened during lockdown round 3 I have placed a fair few orders with them and every time has been a real joy to indulge. So far, (I say so far because I’ll probably be ordering it again at some point soon) I have tried the hot, medium and lemon and herb sauces which are used when cooking the chicken. Out of these 3 my favourite is the medium, which I found tasted hotter than the hot and brought the most flavour to the ol’ palate. The lemon and herb was nice but didn’t quite hit those ‘tasty buds’ that I was looking for.

One thing I really liked with Jo Jo’s is that they package the chicken in these foil-lined food greaseproof paper bags which keeps in the heat of the chicken allowing it to stay moist and delicious. Additionally, they are generous with the peri peri sauce. I am here for the saucey sauciness, please don’t be handing out dry chicken, it’s just not the way forward.

Gosh… all this chicken talk, I think I know what I’m having for dinner. If you’re local, definitely try this place out!

Simple Sautéed Prawns

British Summer Time kicks off from tomorrow getting us straight into those summer vibes, please believe…. I cannot wait for the longer summer days and hot weather. Like last week, here is another really simple, light and delicious recipe to get you into those more lighter meals. Additionally, as we are slowly getting out of lockdown and approaching freedom, many of us shall be returning to offices and places of work and so getting back to our cooking routines when we may have had more time at home makes this recipe even more special. A tasty meal in less than 15 minutes, what more could you ask for?

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 185g raw king prawns
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive spread
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Basil, a couple of leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. On medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the olive spread until lightly softened.
  2. Pour in the wine and the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until the wine has reduced.
  3. Add the prawns and cook for 4-6 minutes or until cooked through and piping hot.
  4. Sprinkle over the chopped basil and mix.

Serve immediately with some bread or a portion of rice.

Baked Sea Bass & Asparagus

Asparagus screams spring time to me. I love the preparations for spring time, seeing the new plants and flowers starting to bloom once again just gets me so excited for the warmer weather and the longer, sunnier days. Additionally we slowly start to move away from the heavier more richer foods and start having lighter meals. Starting with this: baked sea bass and asparagus is a deliciously light meal packed with such simple but tasty ingredients. I really enjoy baking fish in foil, it just keeps the meaty part so soft and moist. By tightening the foil it traps all the juices and the aromas inside so when you open it up after removing it from the oven it just awakens those tastebuds and other senses to the deliciousness you’re about to experience.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 100g asparagus tips
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole or chopped (depending on how intense you prefer the flavour to be)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
  2. Place the sea bass in the centre of a large sheet of foil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Then add all remaining ingredients to the foil and seal it up tightly.
  4. Place the foil parcel onto a baking tray and put in the oven and leave to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Best served hot and with a side dish of boiled or roast potatoes.