4 bean and sweetcorn chilli

A really speedy dish using store cupboard ingredients. If large tins are used…serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 tin pinto beans               1  tin cannellini beans

1  tin kidney beans           1  tin butter beans

1 tin sweetcorn                 1 onion chopped

1 carton passata                1 tsp paprika

1 tsp mild/hot chilli powder ( depending on preference)

1 tsp ground cumin         Olive oil for frying

Method:

Fry the onion until soft. Add the spices and stir thoroughly for 1 minute. Rinse and drain all the pulses. Add pulses,  sweetcorn and passata. Cover and leave on a low heat to heat through and allow spices to infuse.

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Chick pea and lentil stew

This is a really quick dish to make and is delicious on its own or with crusty bread and a salad or baked potato.

Ingredients:

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Can of chick peas – drained

Small butternut squash peeled and cubed

Onion – finely chopped                 Olive oil

2 cups of red lentils                        1 tsp ginger

Carton of passata                            1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp turmeric                                  500 ml vegetable stock

Method:

Fry the onions until soft. Add the spices and heat for another minute. Add all the other ingredients and simmer until the lentils are soft.

 

Vegetarian /vegan pie – ‘cottage’ pie made with mushrooms

Don’t let the title deter you if you are a meat eater. My husband, who thoroughly enjoys eating meat, really likes this dish – always goes back for another helping – and frequently requests it.

Preheat oven to 190C / Gas mark 5

Ingredients:

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1 large onion – coarse chopped

1 large punnet of Chestnut mushrooms – chopped in half

2 cups of red lentils

1 large can of chick peas – drained

5 tbsp red wine vinegar

Small jar of sun-dried tomatoes

5-6 sweet potatoes

Coconut oil for frying

3/4 – 1 pint of vegetable stock

Grated dairy / vegan cheese – optional

Black pepper – optional

Method: 

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes – cover with water and boil until cooked. Drain and mash.

Fry the onions in the coconut oil until soft. Add the mushrooms, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, lentils, vinegar and stock and simmer gently until the lentils are soft adding more stock if required. The mixture should be of a thick consistency.

Put the mixture in to an oven proof dish and top with mashed potato.Sprinkle with grated cheese and black pepper. Place in the oven for 25-30 mins until heated throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venison Casserole

A rich casserole – further enhanced by the addition of dumplings. Perfect for a slow cooker / Aga.

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Ingredients:

500 g venison – diced into bite sized chunks                           Olive oil for frying

1 large onion – coarsely chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

2/3 tbsp plain flour (I use gluten-free)

2/3 tbsp redcurrant sauce / jelly (cranberry tastes equally as good)

Red wine – 1 cup full

Water

Method:

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Fry the onions and venison for a couple of minutes to soften the onions and seal the meat

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Add chopped carrots

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Add flour and stir thoroughly

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Add wine, redcurrant jelly / sauce and sufficient water to cover the ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all ingredients are in the pan pop the lid on and put in the oven and cook on a low heat for a couple of hours  – the longer the better (I leave it in the bottom oven of the Aga all day). One hour before serving increase the temperature of the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 180 C and then after half an hour remove the lid (and add the dumplings) to allow the gravy to thicken.

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Chilli with a hint of chocolate 

On a cold evening nothing warms me through like a steaming bowl of chilli. It can be made really quickly, freezes well, tastes even better on the second warm up and fills the house with wonderful aromas.  I always add chocolate to my chilli dishes….the Aztecs were on to something 🙂

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil                 1 large onion – chopped             500 g lean mince

400 g can chopped tomatoes    410 g can red kidney beans – washed and drained

1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder     1 tsp paprika    1 tsp ground cumin

5 squares of dark chocolate

Method:

Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan. Add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the mince and stir untill browned. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and spices and stir thoroughly. If the mixture seems dry add half a tin of water. Before putting the chilli into the oven to finish cooking add the chocolate  and stir until melted.

Serve with rice and a bowl of melted cheese laden tortilla crisps.

Vegetarian chilli

This is my go to speedy chilli dish. One pot does the cooking so limited washing up – always a bonus. Have played around with my spice mix and this is a moderate chilli- the addition of the cayena guindillas do give it an additional punch so can be omitted. Chewing on a hidden gem does give your tongue a bit of a zap!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut oil       1 white onion – chopped

1 pepper – deseeded and chopped

250 g of vegetarian mince

1 large can of kidney beans – washed and drained

1 large can of chopped tomatoes      1 can of water

5 guindillas chopped (optional)

Spices: 2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of raw cacao powder

Method:

Saute the onions and pepper until softened.

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Add the vegetarian mince and stir until heated through.

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Add the tinned tomatoes and kidney beans.

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Stir through and fill the tomato can with water and add to the mix.

Add the spice blend, stir thoroughly, cover and allow to heat through thoroughly.

 

 

 

Pork and apricot casserole

This is a recipe I have made for years but more recently seem to have forgotten how wonderfully well the flavours go together. Having dug around in the freezer during an ‘eat from the freezer’ week (is it only our house or does everyone have a freezer purge / food amnesty once in a while?) I located four pork loin chops. I love making a casserole – very little preparation and the Aga does the rest. An ideal dish for a slow cooker.

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Sometimes I put an assortment of ingredients in to a casserole and then serve with simple vegetables. This casserole lends itself to simplicity – 3 flavours: onions, pork and apricots. It is then scrumptious with roast potatoes, honeyed carrots etc.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large white onion  – finely diced

4 pork loin steaks – cut in to large pieces

1 large tin of apricots or 6-8 dried apricots cut in to chunks

Gluten free plain flour        Olive oil – 1 tbsp    Water

Salt and pepper to season

Method:

Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onions. Add the pork steaks and seal both sides. Add a couple of tbsp of flour and mix well. Slowly add water, stirring continuously until a thin gravy is created. Add the apricots and seasoning. Ensure the steaks are covered in liquid. Cover and place in the oven on a low heat for a couple of hours or until the pork is tender.

This dish also works well with prunes instead of apricots.