Tex Mex Chilli, Charred Corn and Pitta Chips

All the trimmings are what takes this from great to fantastic. It is still a quick dish to get on the table, the whole family will love. Add some chopped jalapenos if you want it extra hot.

Vegetarian Chili Tex Mex Style

Serves 4

½ tbsp oil

2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped

3 carrots finely diced

1 medium white onion finely diced

1 tsp each of cumin, sweet and hot paprika, chili and garlic salt

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tin tomatoes

1 tin lentils

1 tin mixed beans

 

Heat the oil, add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook lid on for 10 minutes. Add a splash of water if dry.

Stir in all the rest of the ingredients and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes until all the flavours are developed and delicious.

Serve the chili with charred corn, pitta crisps, rice of choice and some guacamole and sour cream.

Pitta Crisps

1 large pitta bread, cut into triangles and sliced horizontally

Brush with oil

Sprinkle over some ground cumin and paprika and bake in a hot oven for about 7 mins

Charred Corn

1 corn on the cob per 2 people

Cook in boiling water until cooked

Drain, brush with butter and char on a griddle pan

Cut in 2 and serve ½ per person.

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Spiced Rice and Roasted Veg with Harissa Dressing

Tasty, spicy, filling - a delicious plant based dinner which you can vary up to use what ever veg you like.

Spiced Rice and Roast Vegetable salad with Harissa Dressing

1 mug long grain rice

350ml stock

1 tsp chopped fresh garlic

1tsp chopped chilis

1tsp turmeric

200g chopped butternut squash

2 cooked red peppers chopped

3tbsp chopped herbs of choice, parsley, chives, mint, coriander etc

Mix the garlic, chili and turmeric into the stock

Heat the oil and add the onion and sweat until softening.

Turn up the heat, toss in the rice and toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Add the stock, make sure that it covers the rice, bring back to the boil, cover it and turn down the heat very low. Leave this to cook gently for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is ready.

Meanwhile, toss the chopped butter nut squash in a tbsp of oil, season well and roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes until done.

Chop the cooked red peppers and toss through the roasted squash.

Tip the rice out onto a large serving plate, make a small well in the centre and add in the roasted veg. Spoon over the harissa dressing and serve.

Harissa Dressing

2floz extra virgin olive oil

1tsp each of harissa and honey

1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

½ tsp of salt

1tbsp chopped fresh  mint and fresh parsley

Mix everything together vigorously to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

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Roasted Vegetables, Whole Wheat Pasta and Burrata

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Roasted Vegetable and Whole Wheat Pasta with Burrata

Serves 4

1 aubergine chopped

1 courgette chopped

1 large red onion chopped

1tbsp chilis in oil

1tsp chopped garlic

1tsp dried mixed herbs

2tbsp oil

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

8oz dried whole wheat penne pasta or similar

Oven at 170c

Toss the aubergine and courgette in a tsp of salt and set aside in a colander for a few minutes, drain any water which results.

Combine the chili, garlic, mixed herbs and oil in a bowl, then add the red onion, courgette and aubergine and toss well.
Roast for about 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. After 10 mins, add the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, cook the penne according to packet instructions, drain almost completely, add to a bowl with a little (2tbsp) of the pasta water, add in the cooked veg and combine well, Season to taste. Break up the Burrata and add to the bowl and stir gently. Spoon onto a serving plate, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.

 

Prune and Chocolate Bread

So quick and delicious, this makes a lovely breakfast or snack

Prune & Chocolate Bread

6oz each of plain white and wholemeal flour

1/2 tbsp light brown sugar

2tsp baking powder

1tsp bread soda

1tsp salt

2tbsp cacao powder

9oz soft prunes chopped

10oz butter milk

2oz melted butter

1tbsp treacle

1egg

Oven at 180C

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the prunes.

Mix all the wet ingredients together, make a well in the dry and add the wet into it, stir well to combine. This will resemble a wet batter. Pour into a lined loaf tin. Bake for about 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean.

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Summer Ice Pops

The recipes below make two each. For the fruit ones you simply blend and freeze which couldn’t be simpler.

Blueberry

150g Greek-style 0 per cent fat Blueberry yogurt

125g blueberries

Rasberry

125g raspberries

125g water

1 tbsp honey

Raspberry and Pomegranate

125g raspberries

125g pomegranate juice

1 tbsp honey

Coconut Protein Boost Ice Pop

330ml container of coconut and fruit juice of choice - I like coconut and pineapple
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
125g of chopped pineapple or mango (you can use any fruit you like, I just like this combo!)

Blend everything and freeze in molds.

Coconut Caramel Chocolate

100g dates

100ml light coconut milk

100g dark chocolate

These are more indulgent and will probably appeal more to adults than children.

Add the dates to a pot and just cover with water. Bring to the boil, turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook until very soft. Add the coconut milk, whizz to a paste and let cool, then pour into ice-pop molds and freeze. Unmold and cover in 100g melted dark chocolate.

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Spiced Sweet Potato & Carrot Veggie Burgers

Making a bean or veggie burger is really easy EXCEPT for one thing, they are delicate and can break easily when cooking them. The easy way round this is to freeze them and bake from frozen. If you are prepping for the same day, even 20 mins in the freezer will be your friend.

These are hot and zingy, full of flavor and really great for you full of fiber vitamins and minerals. Serve with a dressed green salad, ( I have been upping my fiber by eating one every day with dinner) some crunchy pumpkin seeds and a side of hummus to dip. Full on plant based deliciousness for the whole family.

Makes 6

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks.

1 tin of chickpeas net weight 240g

1 large tbsp chopped garlic

2tbsp chili in oil

tsp each cumin coriander and celery salt

2tbsp chopped fresh chives

2tbso chopped coriander

3tbsp sesame seeds

Steam or boil the sweet potato and carrot under tender then cool

Add it to a blender with the chickpeas, garlic, chili and spices and blitz, don’t turn it to baby food, you still want a little texture.

Tip it out into a bowl and add the chopped herbs and mix. Form into 6 patties, gently dip in the sesame seeds and place on a lined baking tray . Open freeze for at least 20 minutes, if not longer.

Bake from frozen at 170C for 20 minutes and serve with a dressed green salad and some hummus to dip.

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Spiced Cranberry & Oat Cookie

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These are made in the food processor and are a cinch to throw together. I use a homemade apple sauce as sweetener so there is no extra added sugar. They are still a biscuit though!

Oven at 170C

3 apples peeled cored and chopped

juice of 1/2 orange

175g oats blitzed to a flour

1 1/2 tsp mixed spice

80g butter

90g cranbererries

Cook the apple in the apple juice until it is soft, puree it and leave to cool

Add oat flour, spice, butter and apple sauce to a blender and blitz until it is like a thick dough. Add the cranberries and pulse a few times to combine.

Tip out on to a floured counter, roll out to 1 1/2cm thick and cut using a biscuit cutter.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Makes about 14

Spanish style beans and pilau rice

Spicy Beans and Pilau Rice

 The perfect plant based dinner full of flavour and easy to make.

Serves 4

½ tbsp rapeseed oil

2 red onions sliced finely

3 tins mixed cooked beans

1tsp sweet paprika

1tsp spicy paprika

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 tin chopped tomatoes

300ml passata

200ml hot vegetable stock or hot water

1 pinch saffron

3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

 Add the saffron to the water or stock and stir. Heat the oil and add the onions and all the spices plus a splash of water and cook lid on over a medium heat until the onion starts to soften. Add everything else and stir well to combine and cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat (don’t boil) until the flavours have combined. Taste and season as needed and serve with the rice.

 Rice

2 mugs rice Plus 3 ½ mugs water

1 stick of celery finely diced

½ tbp oil

2 large handfuls of chopped parsley

Heat the oil, add in the celery and cook over a medium heat until starting to soften

Tip in the rice and cook, stirring until it starts to crisp a little – about 3 minutes

Add the water and 1tsp salt, bring to the boil and then turn down to the lowest heat, and cook lid until the rice is done. You will see little dimples in the rice and all the water will be absorbed. Fluff it a little with a fork and stir through the chopped herbs and serve.

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Cranberry and Carrot Breakfast bake

Our flapjack recipe has traveled all round the world and this is an updated version with a few new ingredients. I love oats and their health benefits but you could not pay me enough to eat porridge so this way I get to enjoy the oats and as a snack it travels much easier than in a bowl!.

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Makes a large flat tray which I cut into 24

650g Oats

50g mixed seeds

150g grated carrot

150g cranberries

1tsp each of mixed spice and cinammon

180g butter

200g honey

200ml water

Add honey water and butter to a pot and melt gently

Add the oats, cranberries, seeds, carrot and spices to a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the middle and add the liquid and mix well until it is fully combined.

Tip into a flat baking tray, press firmly down (damp your hands and it is much easier) and bake at 170C for about 20 minutes until golden and cooked

Let cool slightly before cutting and then let cool completely. Delicious with some fresh fruit and yogurt or as is for a complete snack.