Fava Bean Dip

Fava beans or “Foul Mudames” have been a staple in my family household for as long as I can remember. They are so delicious and can be used in a multitude of ways. This time is an easy, vegan dip. A fantastic accompaniment to a scrumptious kebab, tabouli or just some bread to dip it into.

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin fava beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. In the dish of your choice drizzle a little extra oil on top along with a gentle sprinkling of paprika.

Mini Banana & Pecan Tartlets

I’d be lying if I said that I had a sweet tooth. I’m definitely more of a savoury flavour kinda gal. Having said that, when I fancy something sweet I devour it and satisfy those delicious cravings. With this particular recipe, as they are mini they are like little treats if you just need a quick sugar fix and they take hardly any time to bake; I know right, winning recipe right here! To make my tartlets I used the rim of one of my mugs, I know, we have to work with what we’ve got but trust me it worked just as well as using a cookie cutter. Depending on the size of your cutter of choice you may need to bake your tartlets either slightly less or more than I have suggested, keep a cheeky eye on the oven so that they don’t under or over bake.

Makes 6 tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful pecans
  • 1/2 tsp golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Using your cutter, cut out your tartlets, remove any off cuts and place on a baking tray. (Use the baking paper the pastry comes packed in.)
  3. In a bowl, mush the banana using the back of a fork, crush the pecans into small pieces. Combine in the same bowl along with the golden syrup.
  4. Scoop out (approximately) a teaspoon worth of the mixture and place into the centre of the pastry leaving a small border. Repeat on all pieces of pastry.
  5. Take a little milk and brush the borders of the pastry gently. Finally, sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the milk.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the borders have risen and are golden.

Best served warm with a cup of tea.

Date & Almond Drink

A combination of sweet, nutty, almost ‘caramelly’ flavours are just the way to go if you’re feeling a morning or after lunch sweet ‘pick me up’. An easy way of getting your sweet kick without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Cinnamon

Method

  1. In a blender add all the ingredients, including a light sprinkling of the cinnamon and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately in your favourite tumbler glass.

Artichoke Soup

Artichokes are just the absolute best vegetables! Definitely one in my top 5 and truly wish that it was more accessible. Having said that, finding tinned artichoke hearts aren’t as difficult to find and not too extortionately priced; another delicious staple to add to your pantry. This soup is just, next level easy, tasty and suitable for vegetarians and vegans too! Personally, I prefer the chicken stock and cream as it just makes the soup taste that little bit more indulgent but it is equally delicious using the vegetable stock.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 400g can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Single cream (optional)

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the shallot and garlic together until blistered and lightly coloured.
  2. Add the artichoke, season with salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and leave to cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Upon serving drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil or some single cream for added indulgence (optional).

Getting Those Greens

Can’t be asked? I hear you, we definitely all have those days where we can’t be bothered to get in the kitchen, cook and concoct something ‘delisicoso’ for ourselves. Sometimes I find it difficult to get those greens in my meals, which is why I have a cheeky stash of various veggies in my freezer, making life a little easier and making the following recipe incredibly simple and easy to make. A really good go-to if you need to get some of your 5 of a day in there. A foolproof, no fuss way to get those nutrients and can be mixed up with any other veggies you have hanging around that need using up. There are no quantities for this green mess as you can mix it up with the amounts that work for you.

Ingredients:

  • Edamame beans
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Take the frozen vegetables and place it in a pan. On medium heat, pour in some water to the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the water, season the vegetables with salt and pepper and transfer to your serving dish.
  3. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil.

Mushroomy Bulgur Wheat

Mushrooms are one of my absolute favourite vegetables. I won’t go a week without having it in at least 3 of my meals. They are so juicy and so versatile which I love and can be used in so many things. I know, perhaps, the picture doesn’t do it justice but, boy, this recipe not only is deliciously creamy in flavour but its 100% vegan and makes the perfect side dish or main meal. What I find brilliant with grains like bulgur wheat too, is that you can prepare a bulk amount and just divide it up for yourself and your partner or family members for the week, knowing that there’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 200g baby button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 130g fine bulgur wheat
  • 3 dried bayleaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Fry the garlic in the olive oil with the thyme and bayleaves on a medium heat for a 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Season with the black pepper and pour in the wine; cook until it evaporates.
  4. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Drop the heat to medium- low and add the bulger, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes or until the wheat is fully cooked.
  6. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil and fluff with a fork.

Herby Potato Soup for One

Lockdown has once again another appearance, some of us may welcome it with open arms and some are patiently waiting for the restrictions to be lifted.

Many of us are now working from home and finding time to cook amongst other commitments can be difficult. This recipe is brilliant if you have a number of things to do and you’re looking for something easy, nutritional, vegan and delicious to eat.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 dried bayleaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic, shallot, sage, bayleaves, thyme in the olive oil, on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, season with black pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock, mix and leave to cook for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Remove the thyme stalk and the bayleaves from the pan.
  5. Using a food processor or a hand blender blitz the mixture until smooth.

Best served hot.

Honey & Rum Glazed Gammon

As we all prepare for our Christmas celebrations. For many of us, a meat dish of sorts takes centre stage at our dining tables. This roast gammon dish brings a combination of both sweet and savoury, showcasing the saltiness that this particular part of meat brings to the table and balancing that savouriness with some tangy sweetness.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 900g unsmoked gammon joint, boneless
  • 2 medium size red onions, roughly cut into chunks
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 dried bayleaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp rum

For the glaze:

  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4.
  2. Remove the gammon joint from its packaging and leave for at least half an hour before starting the cooking process. Use a sharp knife to score the skin.
  3. Put all the vegetables and bayleaves in a roasting tray, pour in the olive oil and fry on the stove on medium heat until lightly browned.
  4. Deglaze with 2tbsp of rum, season with pepper and cook until liquid evaporates on a low heat.
  5. Add the gammon joint, placing it in the centre of the roasting tray. Take the rum and honey glaze and brush on the skin and on the sides of the meat.
  6. Pour in the stock and then bring to a gentle boil.
  7. Move the tray into the oven and bake for half an hour. Then glaze the skin again. Do this another 2 times every 30 minutes (Total cooking time 1 hour and a half).

Best served with roast potatoes.

Curried Parsnip Soup

This super creamy curried parsnip soup is the perfect combination of sweet, savoury silky deliciousness in one bowl. The aromatic flavours awaken your tastebuds and the added optional serving of single cream enhances its richness and makes the dish a little more indulgent.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium sized parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 medium curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Single cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Method:

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add all the seasonings, including the salt and pepper and mix.
  3. Then add the potato and parsnip and thoroughly mix again.
  4. Pour in the stock and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Remove from the heat and using a hand blender blitz the soup until silky smooth. If the consistency is too thick for your liking then add a splash of water to loosen it up.

Best served hot and with a small splash of single cream.