Three Bean Chilli

Super simple and tasty three bean chilli

Super simple and tasty three bean chilli

I love how it is so easy to make a batch of this three bean chilli and parcel it up for the week. Make lots and you'll find it is ideal for freezing, taking the stress out of dinner times! 

1 tblsp veg oil

1 large carrot, chopped into small dice

1 large stick celery, chopped into small dice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli (if using) finely chopped or 1/2-1tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tblsp tomato puree

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick, or piece of cassia bark

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp soy sauce

1 400g can of chopped tomatoes

1 pepper, small dice

100g each dried kidney beans, aduki beans and black eye beans, or a 400g can of each, drained

Handful of chopped coriander leaves and chopped scallions. 

  1. If using dried beans, soak and cook as recommended on the packaging prior to starting the chilli
  2. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and fresh chilli if using to the oil in a large wide pan on a medium hot heat and sweat until onions are translucent, about 10 mins
  3. Add tomato puree and stir for 30 seconds, then add the cumin, coriander, bay and cinnamon, smoked paprika and dried chilli if using. Stir fry for a minute.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped pepper and soy sauce, bring to simmer, cover and leave on low heat for 10-20mins, stirring occasionally, until veg is cooked through. Adding pepper at this step leaves a bit of crunch. If you like it more cooked add with other veg at step one.
  5. Add all the beans, stir, bring to simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until beans are hot. Keep an eye on it, add a couple of tblsp of water if it is a bit dry.
  6. Add chopped coriander leaves, chopped scallions and serve with a dollop of sour cream or some chopped avocado. Delicious!

Beetroot Burgers

Tasty vegetarian beetroot burgers!

Tasty vegetarian beetroot burgers!

There are fancier recipes out there for beetroot burgers, but I always like to try and keep things simple. I didn't weigh or measure as I was scrambling for time, so these are really just ‘guestimates’- sorry! But you are looking for a consistency where the burger will stick together, not too wet, not too dry. So here’s my version which made enough mini burgers to feed seven big ones and five little ones:

 

5 decent sized raw beetroots grated

2 large onions, finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

250g of ground almonds

A LARGE handful of coriander/cilantro ( because I adore it!), roughly chopped

Two large tablespoons of jumbo oats

Two free range eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper

Grate the raw beetroot into a large mixing bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently until they bind. Make into burger patties and leave in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes or so before cooking them. You can grill them, BBQ them or shallow fry them- whatever takes your fancy. Serve with some feta cheese crumbled on top, or crème fraîche, with salad or some roasted sweet potato fries.

Butternut Squash & Ricotta

Butternut squash is such a versatile vegetable, I love to roast it and use it as a base for soups salads and this simple hearty dish. This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Squash
  • 1–2 garlic cloves (unpeeled), lightly bashed
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
  • 100g ricotta
  • 30–40g thinly sliced parma ham/bacon lardons
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190 C /370 F/ gas 5. Peel and deseed the squash, then cut into chunks.

  • Put into a roasting dish with the garlic and a few thyme sprigs, if using. Trickle over the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 40–50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and starting to caramelise, giving it a stir halfway through cooking. Discard the garlic and thyme and leave to cool completely.

  • Put the roasted squash on individual plates or a large platter.

  • Dot the ricotta over the top. Tear the ham into shreds and scatter over the squash and ricotta. Tear the leaves from the rest of the thyme sprigs, if you have them, and scatter over the dish.

  • Season with pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, then serve.

Roast Chicken

I love to roast a free range chicken on a Sunday, we enjoy it, we then have some variation of the left over's in a curry or a chicken salad and I make chicken broth from the bones.

The best part? It is the EASIEST thing to make. I pop it in the oven then go and walk my dogs, when I come back the smells are amazing and I've worked up an appetite!

Ingredients

  • Whole Free range chicken
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. There’s no need to peel the vegetables – just wash and roughly chop them.

  • Put the vegetables and garlic into a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over. place the herbs inside the chicken and around the vegetables also.

  • Optional- rub a bit of honey or lemon juice on the bird.

  • Turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the oven. Cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. The vegetables will be full of juicy flavour and you can make mashed potato or roast potato to go with it.

  • Use the juices of the chicken and a little bit of the roasted vegetables left in the roasting tin to make the gravy- whizz it up add a splash of hot water if necessary et voila.

Serving Suggestion

Serve the chicken and  roasted vegetables  with some lightly fried green beans.

Spanish Omlette

This is one of the first things I learned to cook and I still love it to this day! It tastes even better as leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 500g new potatoes chopped into slices
  • 1 onion diced
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley
  • Optional extra: grated cheese
  • Optional extra: chorizo
  • Optional extra: asparagus
  • Optional extra: red peppers

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the potatoes and onion and stew gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are softened.

  • Strain the potatoes and onions through a colander into a large bowl (set the strained oil aside)

  • If you are adding the peppers/chorizo/asparagus- fry these now in the oil you used for the potatoes.

  • Beat the eggs separately, then stir into the potatoes with the parsley ( and your optional extras) and plenty of salt and pepper. (At this point if you are using cheese add it.) Heat a little of the strained oil in a smaller pan. Tip everything into the pan and cook on a moderate heat.

  • When almost set, invert on a plate and slide back into the pan and cook a few more minutes. Invert twice more, cooking the omelette briefly each time and pressing the edges to keep the cushion shape. Slide on to a plate and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

kitchen sink bread

This is a yummy and versatile staple. I make it about twice a week and eat it most days. It works for any meal!

I don't really measure, I just throw everything in, the key is to get a sticky consistency that holds together on your baking tray. The following will make one big loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 340g of whole wheat flour (if you prefer you can use a mix of plain and whole wheat)
  • 80g of oats 
  • 80g of Seeds of your choosing (I use a combination of sunflower / chia seeds / pine nuts / linseeds)
  • 1 tbl spoon of baking soda or powder
  • A sprinkling of salt (I use Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • 1 tbl spoon of honey or maple syrup

 

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C or 355 F.

  • Take a large mixing bowl and mix the whole wheat flour, oats, seeds, baking powder and salt.

  • Then mix together the dry ingredients with a spoon.

  • Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing as you go.

  • Depending on the types of seeds you use you will need less or more milk. The key is to bind the ingredients so that they hold together in a sticky wet-ish lump.

  • Dust flour on a baking tray and put the mixture in the middle of the tray. It should look like a big lump!

  •  Alternatively you can place it in a bread tin.

  • Let it cook for approx 35-40 min depending on your oven. You'll now it's ready when you stick a knife in it and the knife comes out clean and when you knock on the base it sounds hollow.

  • Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

  • This bread is super yummy and healthy- enjoy!

Serving Suggestion

  • Real butter & Raw honey.
  • A spread of Hummus and/or half an avocado, some chopped tomatoes, a little bit of chopped chilli, a little squeeze of lime juice and some coriander or bail or rocket. Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper – YUM!
  • Butter and a poached, boiled or scrambled egg with salt and pepper.
  • Wild smoked salmon, butter, squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Avocado/tomato/onion (or spring onion) and cheese ( good quality cheese) on toasted brown bread bring the ingredients and assemble at work.

You get the idea – this bread is so healthy and filling, one slice should be plenty!