Butternut Squash, Kale Bean and Chorizo Stew

Feeing hot hot hot! I’ve really enjoyed the heatwave so far but now my birthday is done I’m starting to crave jumpers, drizzle and Christmas. Anyone else?

I made this stew as a bit of an antidote to the many pieces of BBQed meat we’ve had recently. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes you just want something vegetabley. If you’re a long time reader (cough, stalker) of my blog you’ll realise I’m obsessed with butternut squash and love thinking of new ways to cook with it, so this was my go-to base for this yummy stew.

Chop your squash up BIG for best results and make sure you use a decent chorizo with a bit of character, not those bland ones. Beans wise I went for a tin of mixed taco beans from Tesco which come in a spiced sauce, but you can use any you like and just add more chopped tomatoes if needed. And obviously if you’re veggie, leave out the chorizo!

Recipe after the jump!

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Nasi Goreng with Crispy Shallots

I would never have really thought of making this dish, but when UK Shallots tweeted me asking to create one of their recipes, I couldn’t say no. This was the recipe they sent me and it it was so delicious Gary even said he’d pay for it in a restaurant!

All the ingredients arrived in a delightful little orange cool bag which Nippet now seems to be obsessed with.

Anyway unwrapped, here’s everything that I used. Ooh, Waitrose!

How cute is the shallot with the eyes!! I couldn’t bear cutting him up, so he’s still hanging out in our kitchen.

The original recipe is vegan, but we fancied some meat this weekend so we added in some pork that I’d marinated for a few hours in soy, honey, chilli and a little bit of garlic. You could very easily leave this out though and still have a totally yummy vegan meal.

The only thing I struggled with was getting the shallots crispy, the recipe said to fry until golden brown and they would crisp as they cool. Sadly mine never crisped despite almost burning most of them (maybe I over oiled?) but they were still really nice. Shallots are such a staple in our house, I tend to buy them more than onions as they’re so versatile and also because they’re small they’re great if you’re cooking for one.

Find the recipe here!

Disclosure: I was gifted the ingredients for this post by the lovely UK Shallots.

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Mushroom and Lentil Stew

Lentils are such a staple in my cupboard! They’re so good for bulking out a meal. I love mixing the green and red ones so that you have some that retain their shape and some that sort of drift into thick sauciness. Plus you can flavour them with whatever you like! Mushrooms are a great shout as their earthy savouriness really comes to the foreground of this one.

Put an egg on this and it’s brunch. Have a slab of bread and a bit of cheese on top and it’s dinner! It’s the ultimate versatile, make in advance and throw in the fridge meal.

I used a mix of dried porcini mushrooms and normal chestnut mushrooms but you can just use whatever you have lying around. I also used chicken stock because I’m a meat eater, but if you wanted to keep this plant-based just swap out for stock of your choice (and obviously leave off the egg).

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Veggie Packed Lunch Noodles

I make this recipe so often I couldn’t believe I haven’t blogged it before! These noodles are amazing for weekday lunches, they keep really well and actually taste better for a few days marinating in the fridge! I like to make a big batch and portion out into tupperware for the week.

This is completely veggie but you could add in some leftover meat if you wanted to. There’s plenty protein in here anyway if you’re counting your macros, the egg noodles, shredded egg and edamame are all high protein foods.

One thing I love about stir fries are the colours, especially using lots of fresh veg! How pretty does this pan look? Recipe after the jump!

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Crispy Kale Chinese ‘Seaweed’ in the Air Fryer

I just love getting seaweed with my Chinese takeaway. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s SO GOOD. I couldn’t believe it when I tried to make some crispy kale in my air fryer and managed to recreate the exact same food – same taste, same texture, same everything!

crispy-kale-chinese-seaweed

I don’t know if the picture does it justice but honestly this is life changing. You have to try this if you have an air fryer and you love Chinese food. If you don’t have an air fryer, I have no idea how it would turn out in an oven, but you could give it a go on a baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid sticking, I just don’t think the results would be as crisp.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 bag kale (yes really, it shrinks!)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Soft brown sugar

Take the kale and remove any stalks, this is really important. You just want the green fluffy leaves. Get them all together on a chopping board and go over them with a knife so they’re finely chopped. Take the sesame oil and salt and rub all over, they really only need a tiny bit of oil or they will go soggy. Pop in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes on 180 degrees and voila! Toss them in the brown sugar and serve.

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Hearty Green Lentil and Chickpea Soup

After the Christmas indulgences, I’ve been trying to stick to a vegetarian diet for as long as I can in January. I’m finding it really easy so far, there’s just a bit more thinking to be done about where I’m getting my protein from. Lentils and chickpeas are both great sources though so I though why not bang them both together in a soup!

Soup is a broad term here as this came out REALLY thick. I think I over-lentilled. So unless you’re feeding a small army, don’t put half a packet of green lentils in like I did. Maybe just 100g or so. But if you do make too much, the good news is this will freeze really well!

See? Not that soupy. But still really delicious! It’s super cheap to make too, you probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard. I used carrots, peppers and onion as my veg but you can use whatever you like! It’s also completely vegan (just make sure you check your stock cubes).

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Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’ Stir Fry

Growing up we had a fairly fixed weekly meal plan. Soup Mondays. Fish Tuesdays, baked potato Wednesdays and ‘ricey thing’ Thursdays.

What is a ricey thing? You ask (rightfully so). It can be a number of things – this dish is also known as ‘tuna, rice and all things nice’. The beauty of it is that it can be anything!  The constants are rice, tuna, an egg and soy sauce. The rest can be up to you, and whatever you have leftover in the fridge. Some rules though: tomatoes aren’t quite right. Aubergines haven’t been successful in the past. And stay away from potatoes unless you’re into double carbs. Apart from that, the pan is your oyster.

Growing up the vegetables for this dinner would be chopped the night before and left in containers in the fridge, layered in the order they would need to hit the pan. Like all stir frys, you need to make sure you add the hardest vegetables first to get them cooking, so that it all cooks evenly.

This particular version featured carrots, cabbage, red peppers, onions, peas and mushrooms.

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Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Fritters

I don’t know why I decided to make these on a Monday night, after a full day at work and a gym session, it just happened. I definitely didn’t think they’d take long to make, and truth be told they don’t, but it’s really hard to make a small amount of mix, and then you need to factor in cooking it all. This recipe made around 18 fritters.

These babies were the solution to a food problem: a lone, large cauliflower taking up too much space, and two sweet potatoes in the cupboard that just needed some love. I knew there must be a delicious way to combine cauliflower with sweet potato, and it turns out, it’s this. Keeping the mixture quite wet means that you get lovely crispy bits of potato that extend past the fritter itself making it almost like a baji. Alternatively if you wanted something more like a pancake you could keep adding more flour until you get a sticky consistency.

Make sure you have a good hour set aside, a decent food processor or grater and lots of cloths to wipe up with. Let’s get frittering!

 

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