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.

Pan Fried Butter Beans

Happy New Year to all!!!
It’s 2022 and the start of a fresh new year. Time to set some goals and make this our best year yet!
Kicking it all off with this simple butter bean recipe, fantastic after the last week or so of heavy and rich meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can butter beans (drained)
  • 8 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 dsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and chilli together on medium heat until the garlic is lightly browned.
  2. Add the beans and tomato along with all the seasonings and cook together for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes are blistered and have released their juices.
  3. Drizzle over the syrup and mix, leave to cook for another minute and then serve.

Best served hot.

Mustard Beef Casserole

A recipe filled with deep flavours, highlighting the richness of the beef as it slow cooks for 3 hours becoming tender and juicy. Fantastic if you have leftover or off cut pieces of beef that need using up. The gravy is an absolute winner in this dish and is so delicious with fluffy and crispy roast potatoes.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 380g beef shin, cut unto chunks
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 250g frostier mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 dsp wholegrain mustard

Method:

  1. Start by coating the beef in plain flour.
  2. On medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the coated beef into a deep pan. Fry for 5 minutes or until browned and sealed. Then remove the beef from the pan and place on a plate.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and shallot. Fry together until translucent.
  4. Add the mushrooms and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes allowing the water contained to be released.
  5. Put the meat back in the pan along with 50ml of white wine and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and the remaining 100ml of wine and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and add the worcestershire sauce. Mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
  7. Just before serving, mix the mustard and cream together in a separate bowl. Then mix into the casserole and serve.

Best served with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Bacon wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese & Almonds

‘Tis the season for the indulgence and the time of the year where you can have all the naughty foods and truly enjoy those deep and rich flavours. These small bites of pure heaven are the perfect festive snack or starter and a real treat.
For this recipe smoked bacon was the port of call for me as it provides a more balanced sweet and savoury contrast. However, they are just as delicious using unsmoked.

12 dates

Ingredients:

  • 12 medjool dates
  • 6 bacon rashers
  • Flaked almonds
  • Stilton blue cheese
  • Golden syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 170 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut the dates lengthwise (not all the way through) and remove the stones.
  3. Take around a 1/4 teaspoon of cheese and stuff the dates. Then take 2-3 almond flakes and place inside too.
  4. Cut the bacon rasher in half and wrap around the date. Make sure to keep the wrap around part of the meat at the bottom so that it won’t fall apart when cooking. Place each date on the baking tray.
  5. Drizzle over a small amount of golden syrup and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crispy.

Enjoy! 🙂

Courgette Soup

It’s the last weekend in November and let’s be honest, December is going to be one busy month. There’s always so much going on this time of the year, I can’t lie, I’m struggling to find the time to do anything at the moment there’s just so much going on. A lot of rich and tasty food is going to be enjoyed next month so this is a lighter option to balance out all the heavier or more decadent meals that we are about to consume. A delicious winter warmer that contains a mild but flavourful kick of a little summin summin that’s not quite a curry but brings those packets of warm hearty flavours.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 2 small chilli’s, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium potato, cut into small chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 can (400g) coconut milk
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. In a pan, start by frying the garlic and ginger together in the oil for 1-2 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the courgette and potato and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring ocassionally.
  3. Season with the curry powder, salt and add the chilli and continue frying for a couple more minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, stir, cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes (or until the potatoes are cooked through.)
  5. Remove from the heat and blitz using a food processor or hand blender. Drizzle over the lime juice, mix and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Oyster Mushrooms with Bacon and Walnuts

There’s something about this combination that screams FLAVOUR. Real, deep flavours that are so powerful and delicious you don’t even need any seasonings to jazz it up.

Ingredients:

  • 100g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 dsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Small handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Start by frying the bacon lardons on medium-high heat; this will take some time. Cook until the fat has rendered and the meat starts to crispen.
  2. Add the garlic and and cook until both are crispy; then remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
  3. Using the same pan, cook the mushrooms on medium heat in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Put the bacon and garlic back in the pan and cook together for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve in the plate of your choice. Sprinkle over the basil and walnuts evenly and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

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.

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 🙂

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Serves 1-2

As if we are at the end of October! I feel like the time is just flying away at the moment and there are so many things to do. It’s so important that at busy times we remember to take some time to have some good, simple and honest food. I love this gem of a recipe, it’s so easy and so tasty. This is a deliciously sweet and warm plate of heaven to bring you some joy for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 dsp seed mix
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°
  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking tray and sprinkle over some smoked paprika. Drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly charred and cooked through. (Mix the squash half way through cooking)
  3. Make the dressing by mixing all other remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Once the squash is cooked, place in the dish of choice and drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle over the seed mix evenly and serve.