Chickpea goulash (paprika-spiced vegan chickpea stew)

Chickpea goulash (paprika-spiced vegan chickpea stew)

Chickpea goulash 2

I was recently lucky enough to visit Australia. I spent a week in Sydney and the second week in Melbourne, eating a lot of amazing food. One happy day in Melbourne, I discovered a gorgeous shop selling spices.  I spent quite a long time smelling the amazing aromas, and picked up a few treats, like an applewood smoked salt that makes everything taste unbelievable!

Their goulash seasoning smelt so amazing that I was inspired to create this recipe. It is SO tasty. It’s a vegetarian spin on a traditional goulash. Hungarian goulash is usually made with pork, so this version with chickpeas is a lot lighter, healthier and cheaper to make. I batch cook this as it freezes really well. You don’t really need anything else with it, as the chickpeas are so filling. You can serve it with soured cream or even grated cheese… but obviously if you’re vegan then use vegan substitutes.

You can sprinkle parsley on the top of this when you serve, but I love using the chopped leaves from the top of the celery instead. (No waste!)

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Ingredients (makes 4 portions)
– two onions, peeled and finely chopped
–  4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 celery sticks, sliced
– 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
– 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
– 2 bay leaves
– 2x cans of chickpeas, drained
– tin of chopped tomatoes

Optional – soured cream / vegan soured cream to serve

Method
1. Heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for a few minutes until softened and the onion is starting to turn translucent.
2. Add the bay leaves and paprika, plus salt and pepper. Stir together – this should begin to release a gorgeous smoky smell.
3. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and drained chickpeas. Stir everything together and leave to simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
4. Taste and season.
5. Serve with your favourite toppings

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Sweet potato mac and cheese (gluten free)

Sweet potato mac and cheese (gluten free)

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Last Christmas I got Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese recipe book, which has rapidly become one of my most used books. It’s full of amazing recipes for macaroni cheese and is so beautiful to boot. If you have any cheese-loving friends, I would highly recommend this as a gift.

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It’s made me play around with Mac and Cheese recipes, which has been fun! This one is definitely my favourite, not least because it is gluten free. Substituting the pasta for sweet potato noodles adds a delicious flavour and makes it slightly healthier…. although there’s still a LOT of cheese in this! I use a Lurch spiralizer, which I’ve always found to be a really reliable model.

If you don’t have a spiralizer, then you will just have to cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes and cook them for an extra 5-10 minutes before adding the cheese mix.
Or just buy a spiralizer!

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
– 1 tablespoon oil
– 1 teaspoon each paprika and thyme
– 300 ml milk
– 25g unsalted butter
– 25g rice flour (or other gluten free flour)
– 125g cheddar
– 75g Parmesan
– 100 g mozzarella
– 1 teaspoon English mustard
– salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

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Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and spiralize them to make thin noodles. Trim any really long noodles and toss with the oil, paprika, thyme plus salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes in an oven proof dish, moving regularly to make sure the edges don’t burn.
3. While the noodles cook, make your cheese sauce. Melt the butter over a medium heat and slowly stir in the flour. Cook out the flour for up to 4 minutes.
4. Warm the milk (don’t let it boil) and add this gradually to the butter and flour, whisking constantly. When it is all combined, cook for about 8 minutes, or until the the sauce has thickened.
5. Grate your cheese. You can do this by hand, but to be honest, I cut mine into large cubes and then chuck it in the food processor. So. Much. Quicker.
6. Add the mustard, cheddar and Parmesan to the white sauce and stir until all of the cheese is melted in.
7. Pour the cheeeeesy sauce all over the noodles, which should now be cooked through but a little al dente. Stir together, then spread the mozzarella over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Turn the oven to high grill and cook for 6-8 minutes until the cheese is molten and bubbly.

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Chorizo shakshuka eggs – the perfect brunch!

During the week, I have getting up and getting out down to a science. I want to maximise the time I get to spend in bed, so my morning routine is as quick as possible! However, I can’t function without breakfast. I get shaky and hangry if I don’t eat in the morning, which means I need a breakfast that is quick yet filling. Every morning, just before I leave the house I make a smoothie from frozen bananas, oats and milk (with a little cocoa in for good measure!) and drink it when I get to work. It’s time efficient and keeps me going until lunchtime. I use my amazing Kenwood 3-in-1 blender to make them, which even copes with frozen bananas. Awesome!

On the weekends though, I like something a bit different. A friend introduced me to shakshuka eggs at a brunch date a while ago, and this is my twist on the recipe. It isn’t traditional, but it is a super tasty one-pan dish made with inexpensive ingredients. It makes a delicious brunch and is easy if you have guests as you can just leave it to simmer.

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Ingredients (serves 3)
– one onion, finely chopped
– two carrots, peeled and diced
– 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
– 100g chorizo, diced
– roughly 6 button mushrooms, washed and sliced
– 1 teaspoon each paprika, ras-el-hanout and cumin seeds
– 400g tin of whole peeled tomotoes
– 1 tablespoon tomato puree
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 6 eggs
– salt and black pepper

– bread to serve

Method
1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and heat the onion and carrot for 2 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, then the chorizo, then the mushrooms. Stir each one in separately and cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are beginning to soften and the oil from the chorizo is coating everything nicely.

3. Add the spices and mix in. Enjoy the smell!
4. Pour in the whole tin of tomatoes and break them up with your wooden spoon (or I usually use a silicone spatula). Stir in the brown sugar and tomato puree.
5. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to the sauce to reduce, but if it gets too thick, add a little water to loosen it.
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6. Taste the sauce and season well.
7. Make a little hole in the sauce and crack an egg in. Repeat with the other eggs, spreading them evenly across the pan.
8. Either keep the pan on the hob or put it under a grill for roughly ten minutes until the egg whites are set. I like the yolks to still be runny – just cook to your preference.
9. Serve with plenty of bread to mop up the delicious sauce. You can garnish with coriander or parsley if you have some available.
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Gluten free pork, chestnut and mushroom stuffing

Gluten free pork, chestnut and mushroom stuffing

I absolutely love stuffing and have already posted a recipe for my ultimate pork, leek and roasted chestnut stuffing loaf.

This year, I’ve updated the recipe to make it gluten free. My original recipe used sausage meat,  but I couldn’t find any sausages here in Malaysia that didn’t include wheat flour… so I had to update the recipe. However, I did manage to find gluten free bread (which is good, because when I tried to make it myself the other week it was a total disaster). The bread I used made the mixture slightly dry, so I also used a beaten egg to bind it all together.

Just like with the original recipe, you can make it on the day, or you can make it advance. Just pop it in the freezer and it will keep for up to 3 months. It cooks really well once it has been defrosted. I recommend making it in a loaf tin so that it is easy to slice and serve.

Even if you’re not cooking for a crowd, I’d recommend making extra – the leftovers are amazing on sandwiches.

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
– 450g minced pork
– 150g chopped bacon
– 1 white onion, finely chopped
– 200g shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 100g gluten free bread crumbs
– 125g roasted, peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
– 1 teaspoon each of dried sage, dried thyme and rosemary
– 1 egg, beaten

Method
1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan (or use butter – it is nearly Christmas, after all!). Saute the bacon, onion, garlic and mushroom for 4 minutes until softened. Leave to cool.
2. Take a large bowl and mix together the minced pork, breadcrumbs, chestnuts and herbs. Once the bacon, garlic, mushrooms and onion are a little cooler, add them in as well. Mix the ingredients together really well with the beaten egg. Season.
3. Transfer the stuffing mixture into the loaf tin, pressing it in really well. You want it to be very compact.
4. At this point, you can wrap it very securely in cling film and freeze. To defrost, take it out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight. Ensure it is thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
5. To cook, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until all of the meat is cooked through. To serve, lift the stuffing out of the loaf tin (the baking paper helps with this!) and cut into slices.

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Gluten free lasagne (chicken lasagna with zucchini “pasta”)

Gluten free lasagne – chicken lasagna with courgette

Gluten free lasagne

This lasagne recipe is perfect for people avoiding gluten, as the pasta is replaced by layers of courgette. It’s also lower in calories than normal lasagne (although don’t worry, there’s still a very generous helping of cheese!)

The recipe is similar to my skinny chicken bolognese. If you want to try out that recipe, you can find it here.

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 200 g chicken mince
– 1 carrot
– 1 white onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 tablespoons tomato puree
– 200 ml passata
– 1 zucchinis
– 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary
– 125 g mozzarella, sliced
– 75 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Finely chop the onion, garlic and carrot (you can also do this in a food processor to make life easier).
2. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onions for about two minutes, then add the garlic and stir together until they begin to soften.
3. Add the carrot with the Worchestershire sauce. Stir together then cover and leave to sweat for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken mince and cook until the meat is white and firm. Pour over the tomato puree, passata and herbs and combine well. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste.
5. Use a vegetable peeler to peel long strands of the courgette. Stop when you get down to the seeds (you can also chuck this bit in the food processor and add it to your sauce).


6. Take a heatproof dish and spoon in a layer of the filling. Top with slices of courgette until you have covered the sauce, then place over half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Repeat with the sauce, courgette and cheese.
7. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

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Simple carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls

Simple carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls
Carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls (Twitter)

I really like the addition of the thin omelette rings added at the end of this recipe. It adds some protein and makes the soup more filling. It is one egg per person –  if you are scaling up the recipe for more than one person, do each omelette separately, one egg at a time. More than one egg will make a thicker omelette, and for this you need it to be very thin.

Whilst we are on the subject of thin, a mandolin or vegetable slicer will make your life much easier if you are making this recipe, because it will help you to make very thin slices of carrot. If you don’t have a mandolin, make sure you slice the carrot really thinly so it cooks quickly!

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Ingredients (per person)

– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
– quarter head of white cabbage, shredded finely
– 1 bowl of vegetable/chicken stock

Method
1. Place the sliced carrot and shredded cabbage in a pan with the stock.
2. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes.
Carrot cabbage omelette soup (2)3. Heat a little oil or butter in a medium-large frying pan. Pour the beaten egg in and swirl it over the pan to create a thin layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the egg is cooked and starting to colour. Take the omelette out of the pan and roll up.
4. Slice the omelette thinly. Test the soup and season to taste – the vegetables should be cooked but still with a little bite. Pour the soup into a bowl then place the omelette slices on top.

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