Recipe | Spicy bean and lentil chilli

Chilli is a classic dish, which is quick and easy to whip up. This is my interpretation.

When eating vegan it is important to eat a range of protein sources across the day to get as many different amino acids as possible. In this recipe there are 3 different types of pulses and I served it with brown rice, which are all sources of protein.

Getting iron is also something important to think about and you will absorb more iron from your food if you eat it alongside vitamin C. Lentils and beans are good sources of iron, and the tomatoes, peppers and lemon in the recipe will help maximise absorption.

This recipe can also be served with tacos, in tortillas, with nachos, with salad or veg…so it is versatile

It’s particularly delicious topped with coconut yoghurt and jalapenos

Ingredients:

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1tsp medium spice dried chilli flakes (or equivalent amount of fresh chilli – add more if u like extra spice)
  • 1tsp mashed/chopped garlic
  • 2tsp mashed/chopped ginger
  • 3tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1.5tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp mixed herbs
  • 2tsp stock powder/2 stock cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml passata
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g mushroom, sliced
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp dried red lentils
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin of other bean of your choice. (I used black beans)

Recipe

  • Add a tbsp or so of oil to a pan and turn on the heat. Add the cinammon, cumin seeds, chilli, garlic and ginger, and fry for 30 seconds

  • Add the onion, pepper and mushrooms and stirfry for a further 4-5 minutes until the onions and peppers start to soften
  • Add the other spices (ground cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, mixed herbs) and stock and mix into veg

  • Add the lentils and beans, 1tbsp tomato puree, tin of tomatoes, 200ml of passata and 300ml of water and stir well

  • Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer with the lid on for 25-30 minutes. Stir every few minutes to make sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. If it becomes too dry, add more water
  • After 30 mins, or when the lentils ate cooked, add the lemon juice, some ground pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Serve with rice and with toppings of your choice

Vegan brocolli and “blue cheese” soup

Being vegan does not mean having to miss out on your favourites; this is my take on the old classic, brocolli and blue cheese soup.

There are many good tasting vegan cheeses out there. I used the blue style cheese by Mouses Favourite – “CamBlue” which is cashew based.

There are many vegan blue cheeses out there. Mozzarisella, Nutcrafter, Vegusto, are my favourite that do blue cheese varieties, but theres many out there and some available from most mainstream supermarkets these days

(Always check the ingredients as many are made from nuts, coconut or soya or other allergens)

Ingredients:

  • 7/8 large brocolli florets, chopped into small pieces – keep the little green bits that fall off; they are tasty and add colour
  • 150g potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks, approx 1cm across
  • 1pint veg stock
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp savoury yeast flakes (I use Engevita with added B12)
  • 30g blue cheese alternative, chopped or grated

Method:

  • Add the onion and garlic to a oan with a small amount of oil and fry for a couple of minutes, just to soften slightly
  • Add the brocolli and potato
  • Fry again for 2minutes or so
  • Add the stock, yeast flakes and herbs and season with pepper to your own taste

  • Simmer for approximately 30mins until the soup has thickened and the potato and brocolli have broken down to smaller pieces and softened
  • Add extra water if it is needed while it cooks – the amount you will need will vary depending how fast you simmer as this will have an effect on how much evaporates
  • Add the cheese, stir until its melted
  • Serve with some nice crusty bread 😋

Easy tomato soup

Tomato soup is such a satisfying and simple dish, especially in the cold winter months… here’s how I make mine

Its not too rich, and the flavours are fresh and subtle

This recipe will make 3-5 bowls, depending how hungry you are 😉

Ingredients

  • 1000g vine tomatoes/ approx 10-12 tomatoes
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped into quarters
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes or equivalent
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 3 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml tomato passata
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 large/heaped tsp chopped rosemary

You will need:

  • A blender

Method:

  • Wash the tomatoes and put them in a large saucepan- no need to chop them as the soup will be blended
  • In a separate frying pan, dry fry the cinammon stick and star anise for 30secs to 1 min to release the aromas
  • Add these to the pan with the tomatoes and add the garlic clove, onion, ginger, mustard seeds and herbs

  • Add water, freshly boiled, to a level which almost covers the tomatoes
  • Add the stock cubes, orange juice and simmer for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, remove (but save) the star anise and cinnamon stick and blend the soup to a smooth consistency
  • Return to the pan
  • Add back the star anise and cinnamon stick
  • Add the 3tsp Apple cider vinegar, 150ml passata, 2tbsp tomato puree, 1tsp rosemary and some black pepper.
  • Simmer again for about 30 minutes
  • Take out the cinammon stick and star anise
  • Its now ready to serve!
  • I like my tomato soup a bit runny. If you like it thicker, gradually add cornflour mixed with cold water until its the consistency you like

Fresh fruit sweet and sour sauce

My secret recipe for sweet and sour sauce. Its not bright pink or really sweet, but its much healthier and the flavour is much fresher than from a jar or takeaway.

Its made from fresh fruit and chinese spices, and has much less sugar and salt than a takeaway version. It has a fresh orange fruity flavour, with lovely aniseed undertones. Plus its really simple to make!

I’ve just given the recipe for the sauce here, so you can add it to whatever stirfry that you like. I sometimes add it to crispy roasted cauliflower, which is sooo good! (I am obsessed with roast cauliflower dishes)

In a pan mix together:

  • juice of 2 large oranges
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 2 small or one large sliced or chopped garlic clove
  • 1 large tsp chopped or mashed ginger
  • 2 star anises
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tbsp white sherry
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 large tsp / 1 crumbled cube of stock

(If you like spice, add half a chopped chilli)

  1. Heat til it comes to the boil, then turn down and simmer. Stir occasionally.
  2. Simmer until reduced by about a third
  3. Fish out the star anise and cloves.
  4. If its not as thick as you would like, slowly add cornflour mixed into cold water, mixing all the time.
  5. Add a tbsp of the mixture, mix until it stops thickening.
  6. If not thick enough, add a tbsp more….And so on until its the consistency you like.
  7. Add to your favourite stirfry, and enjoy