Crispy Bean Bake

Mixed pulses and kale baked in a tangy, mildly spiced sauce with a coriander-infused topping

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An easy way to pack a load of goodness into a mid week meal. I used some of my favourite warm spices to make this cosy dish on a dreary evening. The beauty of it was that most of the ingredients were things that I already had in my cupboards!

INGREDIENTS (4 portions)
•1tbsp olive oil
•1/2 onion, roughly chopped
•1 garlic clove, crushed
•1 tbsp tomato purée
•1 tsp ground cumin
•1 tsp paprika
•1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground ginger
•1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•Pinch of chilli flakes
•1 can of chopped tomatoes
•1 can of red kidney beans, drained
•1 can of butter beans, drained
•1 can of chickpeas, drained
•A large handful of curly kale chopped, stalks removed
•salt and pepper to season

For the topping
•100g breadcrumbs
•1 tsp olive oil
•1/2 tsp ground coriander
•1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Method
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180c. In a large pan, heat the oil and gently sauté the onion and garlic. Stir in the tomato purée and add the spices.
2) Pour in the canned tomatoes, stir and allow the spices to cook with the sauce for 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to get a little dry, add a drop of water. Add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the kale and seasoning. Leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

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3) Transfer to an oven dish. To make the crispy coriander topping, simply mix the ingredients in a bowl before generously scattering on top of the bean mixture.

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4) Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I served it with a quick and easy squash and sweet potato mash. To make, simply boil roughly chopped squash and sweet potato chunks until soft. Drain then return to the pan, mixing with a knob of vegan butter, a splash of soya cream and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Blend until a thick, smooth texture of mash has been formed.

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Heaven!

Slow-Cooked Vegetable & Quinoa Stew

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Being away last weekend meant that I couldn’t create a big batch of healthy vegan food to sustain me during the forthcoming week! Needless to say, I grazed on some not-so-healthy options and yesterday decided that it was time to get back into my weekly routine.

I thought a stew would be a convenient way to pack in as many vegetables as possible and it seemed an appropriate choice now that the colder weather has finally descended upon us. I was contemplating whipping up sweet potato mash to compliment it but opted to bulk it out with protein-packed quinoa instead.

The ingredients below made enough for a HUGE pan-full of stew. I’ve had two portions so far and I estimate I’ll get at least another four portions out of it!

INGREDIENTS
•2 tbsps veg oil
•1 large onion, chopped
•3 cloves of garlic, crushed
•3 celery stalks, chopped
•1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
•3 carrots, peeled and chopped
•2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
•The leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
• 1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tin of butter beans
•1 tin of chopped tomatoes
• 200ml red wine
•1l veg stock
•200g quinoa
•1 Bay leaf
•2 courgettes, sliced into circles
•200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
•Salt & pepper to season

Method
1) Heat the oil and gently sweat the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the next 10 ingredients and pour in 700ml of stock, setting the rest aside for later.
2) Add the quinoa, bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer gently for 35 minutes. Stir occasionally; the dish will dry up as the quinoa expands so keep adding the remaining stock when necessary.
3) Add the courgettes, mushrooms, salt, pepper and more stock if needed. Continue to cook low for 20 minutes or until the courgette has softened. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and serve.

It sounds a lot to do but was actually really easy to make and just about any combination of vegetables can be used. I served with warm, crusty bread for a cosy feel.