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.

Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

The real trick with this dish is actually the quality of the products that you purchase. For this particular recipe it isn’t the seasonings that are the winner it’s the main ingredients themselves that make this so delicious. When you pop to your local supermarket add a few extra pennies to the mozzarella you buy, make sure it’s a good quality and not the ‘everyday value’ type (those always have little to no taste). Pick out the best avocado and baby vine or plum tomatoes that actually come on the vine. These particular aspects make this so important to making this dish so delicious as it showcases the most delectable flavours and keep you wanting more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 mozzarella, drained
  • 8 baby plum or baby vine tomatoes, quartered
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Take a plate or dish you wish to serve with. Evenly distribute the avocado and tomato pieces on the plate.
  2. Either slice or tear the mozzarella and spread across the dish.
  3. Season with a little sprinkling of oregano, salt and black pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil and 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 ☺️

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.

Baked Pork Belly, Asparagus & Butter Beans

Those winter warmer meals are definitely the way forward now. Those colder wintery nights just invite juicy, hearty meals with simple and delicious flavours. The added butter beans brings a deeper and more enhanced flavour as it absorbs all the meaty flavours making it more delectable. A real treat for dinner packed with simple flavours providing maximum satisfaction.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork belly slices
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 125 asparagus tip, cut into chunks
  • 215g butter beans, drained
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole.
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°.
  2. On the stove, start by frying the leeks and garlic together with the olive oil in the baking tray until lightly browned.
  3. Add the beans and fry for a minute. Sprinkle over the the oregano and evenly distribute the the asparagus chunks.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and place the pork belly on top. Season generously with black pepper. (The meat should not be submerged in the stock. Around half should be covered in the stock so the meat remains juicy and the other half exposed allowing the pork to become browned and crispy).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pork is crispy.

Best served hot.