Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

Monday, 25 July 2016
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

I make chilli a lot and so I love coming up with new flavour combinations to keep it different while still being the same, if that makes any sense. Sweet potato and black bean is my latest creation and it is so good! The sweet potato makes it a little sweeter than usual (of course), but the spices still give it that fiery chilli kick. I'm also really into black beans at the moment, which make a nice change from the usual kidney beans you tend to find in chilli.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

You will need (serves 3-4): 
1 large sweet potato
1 x 400g tin black beans 
1 large carrot 
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1 onion
2 cloves garlic 
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (made with 1/2 stock cube)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried chillies
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence 
1 teaspoon oregano 
ground pepper to taste

Method: 
- Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. Peel the sweet potato and carrot and chop into chunks. 
- In a large pot over a medium heat, fry the onion and garlic in a little water for 3-4 minutes until softened. 
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot (except the sweetcorn) and mix together. 
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes. 
- Stir through the sweetcorn.

I served it with some fresh homemade guacamole, which is super easy to make and so much tastier than buying a supermarket one. I just mashed up one ripe avocado and then added a little lemon juice, ground pepper, salt and chilli flakes - yum!


Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

Monday, 11 July 2016
Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

This is a bit of a strange recipe for me because I don't really like mushrooms. It's a bit odd, I do like the taste but I don't really like the texture of them so they aren't something I often buy or eat. However, a little while ago I had a chickpea and mushroom burger while eating out and it was so delicious that I was determined to try recreating it at home. I've tried making veggie burgers a few times before but they never seem to turn out just how I want them to, that was until I tried these ones - maybe mushrooms were the missing ingredient all this time?

Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

You will need (makes 6 burgers): 
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
200g (around 2 cups) baby mushrooms 
1/3 cup sweetcorn
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or two minced cloves)
1/2 teaspoon dried chillies
a sprinkle of salt and pepper

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Add the oats to a food processor and pulse into a flour.
- Add all the other ingredients into the food processor and pulse until broken down and combined, but not completely smooth - the burgers work best when the mixture still has some texture to it. You can add extra oat flour if you find the mixture is too wet. 
- Shape the mixture into six burgers and place onto a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way.

Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars

Monday, 4 July 2016
Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars

Fruit crumble, in a bar - the dream! I love fruit crumble a lot but it's pretty impractical for when you want to take it on the go, which is where these bars come in. I've wanted to try creating something like this for ages and had the idea written down for a long time before actually giving them a go a few weeks ago. They did not disappoint. I feel like fruit crumble is quite an autumnal thing, something comforting and homely to put a smile on your face during the dark and cold nights. These bars feel much more summery though with the raspberry and coconut flavour combo. The recipe is really easy and you don't need that many ingredients, in fact, the bulk of these bars is simply made up from oats (because oats are life) and raspberries.


Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars


You will need (makes 10): 
for the crumble
3 1/2 cups oats 
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (hard)
3 tablespoons soya milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

for the jam filling 
2 cups frozen (or fresh) raspberries 
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
3 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon chia seeds 

Method: 
for the crumble
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  
- Put 2 1/2 cups of the oats into a food processor and pulse into a flour. 
- Add the coconut oil, sugar, desiccated coconut and vanilla into the processor and pulse until the mixture starts to clump and stick together.
- Stir in the remaining cup of oats and ensure they are well distributed in the mix. 
- Line and grease with a little coconut oil a baking dish (the one I used was 22cm x 14cm) and add about two-thirds of the crumble mixture to this. Press down on the mixture to create a firm and even base layer for the crumble bars. 
- Place the base in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, leaving the rest of the crumble mixture to the side. 

for the jam 
- While the base crumble layer is baking you can make the jam for the middle. Put the raspberries, maple syrup and water together in a pot. Place this over a medium heat until it begins to boil and then reduce to a low heat. 
- Allow the jam to simmer for 6-8 minutes and while it is cooking, press the raspberries against the side of the pot using a wooden spoon to break them down a little. 
- Add the chia seeds and stir through. Leave the jam to simmer for a further 10 minutes until it has thickened. 

to make the crumble bars
- Once the base has been in the over for around 20 minutes it should be starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and then add the raspberry jam on top, spreading evenly across the whole base. 
- Add the rest of the crumble mixture on top of the jam layer and gently press down on it with a spoon so the crumble sticks into the jam - this makes the bars a little less crumbly and more solid. 
- Pop the bars back into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the crumble topping is golden brown.

Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars