Herby White Beans

Fantastic as a lunch meal for this absolutely glorious weather at the moment; finally some real good weather. Perfectly delicious straight off the stove or can be eaten later when chilled. A little cheeky tip, when you have removed the pan from the heat, smash some of the beans with the back of a spoon, as it provides an added texture and I find that it absorbs the juice for those bonus flavour bombs in every bite.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) white or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the olive oil for a minute.
  2. Add the beans and cook for a further minute.
  3. Season with black pepper, pour in the stock, mix thoroughly and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, parsley and lemon.
  5. Serve in a dish and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top.

Enjoy 🙂

Green Pepper Bulgur

Fresh, vibrant and flavourful is how I would describe this easy to make green pepper bulgur. Bulgur, a staple in my kitchen cupboard and a go-to for something quick to prepare, you’ll be eating your dinner before you know it. It is a fantastic way to get you into more lighter meals and to mix it up with different vegetables, keeping it healthy and adding different textures.

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 80g fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by preparing the bulgur according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Once the bulgur is prepared, fluff with a fork and add all the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper, mix well and serve.

One Pan Pork Belly & Chickpea Stew

Recently I have cut down a lot on how much meat I have been eating. I have definitely been having a lot more fish and vegetarian options in my diet as opposed to having meat. With a good bit of discipline I have been having meat only once a week and have actually really enjoyed not having as much as I used to. When my meat day comes along I really do think long and hard about what I would like to devour; I see it as a real treat. This time I made a pork belly and chickpea concoction, made in one pan which is just amazing cooking as there are less dishes to wash up. A succulent meal where the pork is so tender from the stock and its own deliciously rendered juices; a dish I believe will be revisited time and time again.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork belly slices, cut into bitesize chunks
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 100ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. On medium-high heat drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a pan, (not too much as the pork belly will produce a lot of its own oil as it cooks) add the meat, season with salt and fry. When the pork starts to brown and crispen pour in the wine and add the garlic.
  2. Cook until the wine evaporates and the pork is crispy.
  3. Add the oregano and chickpeas, fry together for a couple of minutes.
  4. Drop the heat to medium, pour in the stock and cook for 20-25 minutes. The juices will have reduced and thickened.

Best served hot.

Re-energising Soup

This week hasn’t been too great if I am quite honest. I haven’t been feeling all that well, my appetite completely disappeared and all I wanted to do was sleep. Drawing closer to the weekend I have managed to gain more energy and strength and so I thought I’d share the perfect recipe to give you that nutritional healthy boost you need after your body has had a rough few days. Personally for this soup I prefer my vegetables to have a bit of bite to them, do cook the soup for longer if you prefer them softer. Additionally, feel free to whiz this up in a food processor or hand blender if you fancy a smoother texture.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 dried bayleaves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the celery, carrot, courgette garlic and bayleaves in oil together for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Season with pepper, add the spinach and the stock and mix well. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Best served hot.

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.

Prawn Curry

Okay, I can’t even begin to tell you how damn delicious this curry is, it’s just pure, next level yumminess. Do excuse me while I just grab another serving…

What can I say, it looks good, it tastes good, what more could you want? I love the colours, it looks so vibrant and just so delicious. So simple and easy to make, the cooking time is short so you’ll have your meal ready in no time. I love the lime juice as it adds an extra ‘oomph’ and zestiness to the silky sauce and balances the sweetness of the coconut beautifully.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 165g raw king prawns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced into thin rings (seeds included)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the shallot, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then add the fresh chilli and tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the curry powder and pour in the coconut milk and give it a good stir.
  4. Leave to simmer on medium heat for 10-12 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  5. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Then squeeze the juice of half a time and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and cooked through.

Best served hot and with rice.

Sweet Potato Soup

Now that we have arrived in September I automatically get that overwhelming feeling that we getting closer and closer to the end of the year and forgive me for saying it… but Christmas! I associate this time and the next few months with the preparations for the end of the year and the slow change we make from summer into the autumn time. Before we know it the leaves on the trees will start to fall and the temperature will drop and soon we shall be referring back to those cosy jumpers and jackets that we are very well acquainted with.

To slowly ease ourselves back into those ‘winter warmer’ meals I have made this Sweet Potato Soup which is so flavourful, and currently brilliant to have as a light lunch with some sourdough bread. Fantastic for those who are still working from home but fancy that lunchtime heartiness instead of a cold dish.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 165ml coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (I used Knorr)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic, ginger and onion in the olive oil until lightly browned on medium-low heat.
  2. Then add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the sweet potato, tomato, coconut milk and stock cube and mix well for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the water and give it a good mix.
  5. Leave to boil on medium-low heat for 13-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and put the contents into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
  7. Put the soup back in the pan and give it a taste. Season with salt and pepper if required.

Best served hot.

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My First Bundt Cake!

I’ve never really had a massive sweet tooth, I am definitely a more savoury kind of girl; as I’m sure you’ve seen from my recipes they are more focused on more ‘main meals’ rather than sweets and desserts. To be honest, I don’t think I am very good at the whole ‘baking thing’, but hey, I do actually quite enjoy it and am willing to give it a go.

I was gifted a bundt tin a while ago now and hadn’t got round to using it. Of course, during this weird lockdown time I thought I’d do some experimenting and give it a whirl. For my first bundt cake bake I was quite proud of myself, it turned out better than I thought it would. I attempted to make a spiced bundt cake that consisted of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg-  delish, I know. There is definitely room for improvement though, I found that the spices were not as prominent as I’d’ve liked, the texture was soft but not as light (hence the icing to give it some added moisture) and the mixture rose a lot more than I thought it would; perhaps too much cake mix or baking powder. Considering the tin I have is smaller than the ‘standard’ sized bundt tins, the end result was bigger than I expected.

Now that I have given it a go I am slightly more confident to try again and to also try other bakes.

Hope you’re having a lovely friday 🙂

Carla x

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Vegan Chilli

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can mix up the bean and vegetable content; ideal if you have some leftover ingredients that need using up. A meat-free, hearty comfort food; perfect with rice.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large cup mushrooms, slice into chunks
  • 100ml water
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp ground allspice
  • 1tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  •  1/2 tsp cumin
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1tsp sugar (optional)

Method

  1. In a pan, put the olive oil, onion and garlic and fry on a medium heat until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Then add the carrot, sweet pepper, mushrooms and fry together for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the allspice, paprika, cayenne, oregano, a sprinkling of pepper and the beans and continue to cook and stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and the juice and the water. Stir and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes. If the chilli is quite dense in flavour then add the sugar to balance the flavour.

Best served hot.