This recipe was born one chilli (get it?) January night, when I was craving a rich hearty chilli con carne, but a) had no mince in the house and b) could not muster the effort to go to the shop. So I delved instead into the kitchen cupboard reserves of tinned beans, topped it up with some veggies, added tomatoes, spices, and chillies, and was extremely pleased with the result. (Especially as I had enough over for 2 lunches!) It’s rich, smoky and satisfyingly savoury, despite all the lovely sweet veggies. I even convinced a very reluctant fiancé that it’s good! (With a little encouragement and a LOT of cheese. But you can’t win em all!) In fact, I was so pleased with the flavour that I didn’t miss the meat at all, and aside from what you serve it with (yogurt or cheese), it’s not only a vegetarian recipe, but a vegan one too! A very happy coincidence, as I want to start making some better choices about the food I eat. So naturally, I felt obliged to share this little discovery with you all – and I’d love to know what you think!
In the winter, all I want to eat is comforting, hearty food, and especially over Christmas, I probably eat a little too much of it! In January I still want the comfort and to feel full, but with a bit of health and a lot of veg thrown in. It’s a great way to recover from the over-indulging, and I always feel better when I eat better. I don’t know if that’s psychological or not, but it’s true! There are lots of different recipes to choose from, but these are 3 of my staples which I fall back on time after time. They all pack a huge veggie punch, and don’t feel like diet food either! I’ve included a stir-fry, soup and curry recipe. The stir-fry is quick and easy to cook, perfect for staving off any Chinese takeaway cravings. The carrot soup is warming, and ideal to cook in a batch so there’s some for lunch the next day (or the whole week!) too, and a veggie curry which is one of my favourite Friday or Saturday night treats, and much healthier than ordering in.
An alternative to turkey, and the star of and Christmas supper or Boxing Day Buffet, this honey and mustard gammon really is a showstopper. In my parents’ house, we have always had turkey or chicken on Christmas day, but whenever we were hosting the wider family for Boxing Day tea, there as always ham home-cooked ham in the buffet line up. While it was intended for Boxing Day tea, we always cooked it and ate it for dinner on one of the days before Christmas, usually the 23rd or 24th December. Freshly cooked, hot, and served as a roast with potatoes, vegetables and gravy, this has become one of my favourite winter dishes, and is an essential part of Christmas.
The ultimate savoury taste of a steak and ale pie I difficult to beat, I love it best when freshly baked: puff pastry layers crackle under the knife, and dark, sticky gravy oozes out onto the edges of the pastry. I love chunky steak, sweet carrots and earthy mushrooms. I love rich saucy gravy edging slowly across my plate, muddling with muddling with creamy, buttery mashed potato. Drooling yet? I am.
Meat-Free Monday recipes which still feel hearty and filling - you won’t miss the meat! Mushroom & Ricotta Tart, Stuffed Peppers & Veggie & Lentil Bolognese.
With leaves changing from lush green to burnished gold and silky conkers litter the ground, I can’t help but look forward to cosy nights in with hearty, comforting recipes to fill my belly as I countdown to Christmas. When the weather turns cold, my birthday month (September) is over and the mornings and evenings get darker, all I want to eat in the evening is a bowl or plate of something comforting.
This rich sauce is a perfectly indulgent combination of cream and sweet wine, threaded with earthy mushrooms and fresh thyme. Delicious! – if I may say so myself. I try to stick to healthy food during the week, and save treats for the weekend, but sometimes, only luxury will do: a simple but delicious combination of steak with chips. All it needs is the perfect sauce to finish it off – and perhaps a few greens to add some vitamins…
Perfect either a finger-food snack, or an accompaniment to dinner, these yummy potato wedges are easy to make, and so worth the wait! The combination of sweet, smoky paprika and a hit of chilli are incredibly moreish.
This food hero just keeps on giving: when you heat it up the next day, it somehow tastes even better than the night before! Perfect for planning ahead, for when you don’t have time to cook, and for preparing lunches too!
How many times have you decided on a recipe last minute, only to discover you haven’t got 60% of the ingredients? Be ready to cook on any occasion with my kitchen cupboard essentials.