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.

 

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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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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Warm Cauliflower and Carrot Salad

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If there is one piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to improve their health and wellbeing it would be to eat more vegetables. Most people I meet would struggle to meet the recommended 5 servings a day nevermind the now updated 7 servings. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, fibre which is so essential for good gut health as well as keeping you feeling full at a relatively low caloric bang.

Serves 4-6 a a side

1 large head of cauliflower in small florets

2 large carrots peeled and cut into 4cm pieces

2tbsp oil

1tsp celery salt

Heat the oil gently, pour over the veg and season with the celery salt

Roast in a hot (180C) oven for 15 minutes

Scrape into your serving bowl and toss the dressing over, sprinkle with 2tbsp of the dukkah and serve.

Dressing

4tbsp natural yoghurt

zest and juice of half a lime

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1tsp Dijon mustard

Mix everything together

Dukkah - This makes lots extra, store in an air tight tub and use for salads or soup toppings

2tbsp pecans

2tbsp cashews

2tbsp sesame seeds

1tbsp pine nuts

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp smoked paprika

Toast the nuts and seeds until golden - you can do the pecans and cashews on the same tray, Blend them until in small pieces, not obliterated

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds and grind in a pestle and mortar

Mix all the nuts seeds and spices together

Season with some salt to taste and store in an airtight container

Wilted Kale , Fried Chilli and Garlic plus a vegetarian bean Goulash

Wilted Kale, Fried Chili and Garlic

2 cloves of garlic finely sliced

1 heaped tsp of chilis in oil

250g Black Kale, stalk removed and chopped

Put the kale into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes

Meanwhile heat 1/2 tbsp oil and fry the garlic and chili for 1 minute

Tip in the kale, add a pinch of salt and stir fry and serve

Vegetarian Bean Goulash

Serves 6

1tbsp oil

1 large white onion chopped

2 red peppers chopped and deseeded

4 carrots peeled and chopped

2 tins of beans of choice rinsed and drained

3 garlic cloves crushed

2tbsp tomato paste

1ltr veg stock

100ml red wine

1heaped tsp each of sweet and hot paprika

2 bay leaves

1tbsp red wine vinegar

1tsp salt

1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

Fresh chopped parsley and sour cream to serve

 Heat the oil and add the onions, peppers, garlic, carrots and cook until softening – add a little water if needed.

Tip in the tomato paste, the paprika and salt and stir to combine. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes over a high heat then add the stock and the vinegar. Add the drained beans to the pan and bring to a simmer then cook for about 45 minutes for deliciously tender. Add the sweet potato for the last 30 minutes and continue to cook until ready.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle over the parsley and a dollop of sour cream and serve.

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Mexican Style Vegetarian Curry

This warming, spiced vegetarian lentil dish packs in goodness and is filling too. It can be topped with quacamole or a poached egg if you want to add more substance and the curry paste which I use as a base is quick to assemble and can be used for loads of other dishes.

Curry Paste

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2 dried chilies (Adobo and Guajillo are a nice combo and not too hot) reseeded and rehydrated in 100ml hot water

4 cloves of garlic

1tsp mixed herbs or epazote if you have it

1tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

2tbsp tomato puree

When the chilies are rehydrated simple blend everything including the water. The paste is ready to use and can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Mexican Style Vegetarian Curry

200g lentils of choice

3tbsp flat leaf parsley

Rinse the lentils then add to a pot, cover with water, add a tsp of salt and bring to the boil, skim off any scum which forms and then simmer gently until cooked. This varies from lentil to lentil but usually about 20 minutes. Reserving about 1/3 of the liquid, drain the lentils.

Tip the curry paste into a pan and heat gently, dont allow it to dry out. Add the lentils and reserved water into the paste, stir well to combine and then cook for about 7 minutes to cook out the paste and enable the lentils to take on all the flavours.

Stir in the chopped parsley and serve as is or with some quacamole or a poached egg.

Cauliflower Couscous with Rosted Veg & Green Goddess Dressing

A delicious meat free meal or a tasty side with a piece of fish or chicken

Serves 4

1 medium heat of cauliflower taken off the stalk in medium sized florets

1tsp turmeric

1tsp Gormez Sabzi or mixed herbs

1 tbsp oil

In 2 batches add the cauliflower to a food processor and process until it is like large grains of rice. Do not obliterate. Add to an oven proof dish into which you have added the oil. Stir through the herb and turmeric and season well.

Roast for about 15 minutes, stir halfway through.

Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes when add 2tbsp each of chopped fresh herbs Chives, Flat Leaf Parsley and Mint.

Serve with your roasted veg of choice and some Green Goddess Dressing - Below.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
3 Handfuls each of basil mint and flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
3 spring onions peeled and roughly chopped
1 avocado peeled and stoned
2 cloves garlic finely mashed
2 tsp anchovy paste
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Blend everything in a processor.
This will keep for about 4 days in the fridge.

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