Soy & Honey Marinated Tofu with Stewed Bean Sprouts

I really went off tofu for a while. I had a bad experience where I got really horrible indigestion after it, and labeled myself as fully intolerant to it. And then I missed it, so I tried it again, and now it’s fine. I’m back on the tofu train. Choo choo!

This was a spur of the moment recipe inspired by Chinese new year last week, it had been a while since we cooked anything with Asian vibes and I was craving something salty and sweet. It was really easy to do, but I would stress that the longer you can marinate the tofu for as long as you have available. The day before would be best, or the morning of the day you want to eat it. It really does need time to absorb the flavours!

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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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Quorn Keema – Curried Mince with Peas

I love to order keema in Indian restaurants and it’s one of my favourite curries. I usually have lamb, but I spied some Quorn mince in our freezer and decided to replicate a veggie version! How hard can it be? Turns out not very!

So just a side point that I don’t pretend to be a curry aficionado, by any stretch! Maybe this isn’t technically a keema and maybe my order of ingredients is wrong but what it is, is delicious. I only started liking and cooking curry a couple of years ago so I’m still finding my way around the techniques and ingredients. The great thing about this version is that the two key things are probably already in your freezer!

A word of warning – it’s a good idea to add your peas at the end! Silly old me prepped this in advance and you can see the colour difference from when I first added them to the pan to now! If you want nice bright peas, wait til the end to add them in. No need to defrost either, just pour those bad boys straight in.

I ate this with garlic naan and yoghurt but you could enjoy it with rice, even turn it into a bit of a biriyani style dish by adding the rice straight into the curry with a bit more water.

See how less green these peas are? Add them at the end!!

Recipe after the jump!

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Smoky and Spicy Aubergine, Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

In Leeds this weekend we’ve had every weather under the sun – snow, sleet, rain, hail, wind. It’s been freezing!

Unfortunately today I actually had to leave the house to go into town to do some errands and have my contact lense check up. When I got back I was soaked through, freezing, and still had a list as long as my arm of things to get done (who doesn’t love a productive Sunday)?

Anyway, food obviously came first. I was inspired by a meal my friend Laura cooked for me a few weeks ago – I think it was a Joe Wicks recipe she had followed or adapted. I’m personally not a huge fan of his recipes (they always sound so bland???) but this got me thinking about aubergines. In a stew. Maybe with some chickpeas.

This is very much a ‘chop it up, throw it in a pan, several hours later will be delicious’ dish. Great for a chilly, busy Sunday afternoon. If you don’t have a slow cooker it would be just as nice in the oven for a couple of hours.

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Tofu Saag Style Curry

This recipe combines two new things I’ve started to like and now LOVE this year! Tofu and Indian dishes. This dish is loosely based on a gorgeous paneer dish I had at my friends wedding this year for the first time and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. 

The cheese version was a lot more creamy, but the addition of coconut milk to this healthier tofu version does make it feel really indulgent. Make it as spicy as you like by adding more chilli or curry powder. I also used frozen spinach because it’s just handier to keep in the freezer – it also goes to a nice cooked-down texture quicker than fresh and you can use more of it.

Tofu saag style curry

Serves 2 

  • 5 pats of frozen spinach
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1/2 block of pressed tofu 
  • 200g or 1/2 tin of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger (fresh or dried)
  • 3 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 200ml or 1/2 can coconut milk 
  • Vegetable or rapeseed oil, for frying

Slice the tofu into small chunks and place in large frying pan. Brown on all sides in a splash of oil and then set to one side. Next, finely chop the onion and soften in a little oil until translucent and browning slightly. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. 
Meanwhile put the spinach in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes or simply heat through in a delegate pan. Once defrosted, drain thoroughly and squeeze out all the excess water. 

Combine tofu, onion and spinach together and add chopped tomatoes and spices. Cook through for a further 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes slightly reduced and then add the coconut milk. Heat through gently for another 2-3 minutes and then serve and enjoy! Goes great with rice and/or a naan. 

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Smoky Chilli Chicken Stuffed Peppers

So last week I ended up eating Mexican food like three days in a row. We made these, had left overs still in stuffed peppers, AND leftover chilli mix, AND then I went out for Mexican food with friends. Crazy. Or as they say in Spanish, loco.

Let’s get down to it. These stuffed peppers are gorgeous and really filling! Eat them with a bit of salad and it’s a well balanced, tasty meal. You could omit the chicken if veggie, or throw in some chorizo to make it even meatier. Be warned, it’s hard to make a small amount of the filling so be prepared to have leftovers! It’s also a good way to use up cooked chicken if you have some.

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Chorizo, Sausage and Bacon Spicy Rice

I’m not a big meat eater, and I know processed meat is meant to be soooo bad for us, but don’t you just have days where you want to gorge on meat? Just me?

Most of the recipes I make can be easily made vegetarian, as I don’t eat that much meat as a rule, I kind of grew up learning it was a “weekend treat” rather than something eaten mid week and it’s so expensive these days. This is one you really can’t make vegetarian, sorry veggie friends!

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Spicy Quorn Vegetable Chilli

I made this after a long country walk this weekend which had me craving winter – warm hats, rosy cheeks open fires and heart-warming food. I figured I can’t change the weather but I can change the food, so this warming dish was put on the table.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m by no means a vegetarian, but I do love me some Quorn mince every now and then. It’s cheap, it’s lean, it’s quick to cook with.

The great thing is this chilli can really take as long as you want it to – from 40 minutes to 2 hours! If you have the time, it’s worth leaving in the oven for a while to get all nice and reduce down, but if you don’t have a spare 2 hours it’s lovely from the hob. You can use any vegetables you like but I like to make sure mushrooms are in there, they add an extra meatiness.

quorn-chilli

quorn-chilli2

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Black Bean, Chorizo and Sweet Potato Chilli

It’s taken me ages to find black beans. They’re like the unicorn of UK supermarkets, yet they seem to be readily available in the US. Pretty much every supermarket I go in I like to take a quick wander down the canned vegetables isle but no luck, until I came across them in the ultra posh Booths in Ilkley and was so giddy I immediately bought two cans even though they were an eye-watering £1 each. That’s pricey for beans, come on.

Anyway. The first thing I’ve made with these is this chilli, it felt like most natural dish for them but I definitely want to try using them in stews, maybe with some beef, y’know… Anyway, this was gorgeous. The sweet potato and spicy chorizo work so well together, and then the beans added a really savoury bulkiness that meant you can comfortably eat this without a carby side. Or you can if you want. Either way it’s really good.

I find when you cook chorizo for a long time, it can loose its texture and taste and kind of go to mulch. So this recipe puts half the chorizo into the pan at the start, and then adds the remaining half at the end, so you can get the flavour payoff of the slow cook without losing the nicer texture.

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