Three Bean Veggie Chilli

Monday, 18 April 2016
Three Bean Veggie Chilli

Chilli is one of my all time favourite meals. I love having it with rice and avocado, stuffed into wraps or pitta bread, over nachos, or just on its own. I always make it in big batches too so I have plenty to eat throughout the week or freeze for another day. You could also use different types of beans or add in other vegetables to change it up a little. 

Three Bean Veggie Chilli

You will need (serves 5-6):
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 large courgette
2 large carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 x 325g tin sweetcorn 
1 x 400g tin pinto beans 
1 x 400g tin kidney beans 
1 x 400g tin borlotti beans 
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes 
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup vegetable stock 
2 teaspoons herbs de provence 
1 teaspoon chilli flakes 
2 teaspoons cumin 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (half this if you prefer a milder chilli)
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon coriander 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method:
- Finely chop all the vegetables into chunks. 
- Fry the onion and pepper in a large pot in a little olive oil over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. 
- Add the garlic, carrots and courgette and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until the vegetables have softened. 
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, vegetable stock, herbs, spices and sugar and mix everything together. Leave to simmer over a low heat for around 90 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the sauce thickened. 
- Put the sweetcorn into the pot and mix well. Leave to simmer for a further five minutes. 
- Serve with whole wheat rice and sliced avocado.

Three Bean Veggie Chilli

Coconut, Pecan and Almond Granola

Thursday, 14 April 2016
Coconut, Pecan and Almond Granola

Sometimes, I like to not have porridge for breakfast. It doesn't happen often because I do love porridge a lot, but sometimes I do eat something different, which is where this granola comes in. Granola is summer's answer to porridge, for when you still want something really filling that will last you until lunch but don't want to eat a big bowl of hot oats. I love baking a big batch of this at the weekend and munching on it throughout the week (sometimes straight out the jar with a spoon...). It's so good with soya yoghurt or almond milk with lots of fresh fruit on top (bananas and blueberries are my favourite). You can also change it up depending on what you like - add different nuts, swap pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, pop in some goji berries or cranberries, there are just so many possibilities! 

Coconut, Pecan and Almond Granola

You will need (makes one large jar): 
2 cups jumbo oats 
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup flaked almonds 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup linseed
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
1-2 tablespoons date syrup, depending on preferred sweetness
3/4 cup sultanas 

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
- Combine all the ingredients, apart from the sultanas, together in a large bowl and mix well, ensuring that all the dry ingredients are coated in the coconut oil and date syrup. 
- Spread the mixture over two lined baking trays and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the granola doesn't burn.
- Leave the granola to cool and then mix through the sultanas and store in an air-tight jar. It should keep for up to a month but, trust me, it will be gone long before that! I'm lucky if a batch of this lasts me a week. 

Coconut, Pecan and Almond Granola

Curried Lentil and Spinach Pie

Monday, 11 April 2016
Curried Lentil and Spinach Pie

This pie was born after I tried my first ever vegan sausage roll. I don't remember the brand it was but it was the yummiest thing ever (I got it from Realfoods in Edinburgh for anyone local, aka, the best store ever). It was puff pastry with a curried lentil and spinach filling and it was so delicious so obviously I wanted to try and recreate something similar at home. The filling is made with three types of lentils, veggies and lots of herbs and spices and I used spelt flour for the crust but you can also use plain flour which works just as well. It serves four as a main meal - I usually just have a big piece with extra veggies on the side - but would serve six if you serve it with potatoes as well as veggies.

Curried Lentil and Spinach Pie

You will need (serves 4-6, depending on portion size): 
for the pastry 
2 cups spelt or plain flour
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup water 
a pinch of salt 

for the filling 
1 onion 
1 carrot 
2 cloves garlic
3 cups vegetable stock 
1/2 cup green lentils 
1/4 cup red lentils 
1/4 cup puy lentils 
2 handfuls spinach 
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 teaspoons herbs de provence 
3 teaspoons curry powder
ground pepper to taste 

Method: 
- Mix all the ingredients for the pastry together in a bowl using your hands until a dough forms. Leave this to chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
- Finely chop the onion and carrot and mince the garlic. 
- Fry the onion in a large pot over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot and garlic and fry for a further 2 more minutes. 
- Add the vegetable stock, lentils, tomato puree, herbs, curry powder and pepper to the pot and mix well. Leave to simmer over a low heat for around 30 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed by the lentils and you've got a nice thick filling. 
- Roughly chop the spinach and mix this through the filling. 
- Roll out the pastry into two large circles, one slightly bigger than the other. 
- Grease an 8-inch(ish) cake or pie tin with a little olive oil to stop the pastry sticking and then line the tin with the bigger of the two pastry circles, ensuring the bottom and sides of the tin are covered. 
- Add the filling to the tin and then use the other pastry circle to close the pie. 
- Remove any excess pastry from the sides and cut a few slits in the top to let the steam out as the pie cooks. 
- Pop the pie in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 35-40 minutes until it is golden brown and crispy.

Curried Lentil and Spinach Pie

Peanut Butter Cookies

Monday, 4 April 2016
Peanut Butter Cookies

I love peanut butter. A lot. I could easily, and sometimes do, sit and eat it out of the jar with a spoon. So, of course, I love experimenting with different ways to use it and get it into as many of my meals and snacks as possible. I baked these cookies a few weeks ago and have baked them at least three times since then because they are just so good and easy to make. They aren't your usual cookie consistency but I love the texture and how lovely and thick they are! The pumpkin seeds give them a nice crunch and you could also add sultanas or chocolate chips to mix it up a little. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

You will need:
1/2 cup ground almonds 
3/4 cup oats 
8 Medjool dates 
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter 
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds 

Method:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
- Pit the dates and soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften. 
- Add the ground almonds, 1/2 a cup of oats and the soaked dates to a food processor and mix until combined and the mixture is starting to stick together. 
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the peanut butter, 1/4 cup oats, and the pumpkin seeds and mix well. 
- Roll the mixture into balls and then flatten into a cookie. The mixture will make six good sized cookies. 
- Place onto a lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way.

Ps. Spreading more peanut butter on top of the cookies when you eat them makes them taste even better!

Peanut Butter Cookies