Tag Archives: healthy

Mushroom Dahl

Mushrooms are full of the good stuff in food that keeps you healthy, lots of vitamins and minerals along with fibre and protein. Add that to all the benefits you get from lentils (especially as a vegetarian or vegan) and you’ve got a bowl of super goodness in this mushroom dhal. Not to mention it’s packed full of flavour. Don’t let the many shades of beige put you off!

A few weeks ago, the children and I had been suffering from the lingering after effects of a cold and Ste wasn’t feeling too great. I would normally whip us up a batch of cream of mushroom soup when the germs strike, but it was wasn’t appealing in the heat of a Caribbean summer. As I’ve been experimenting with curries lately, it made perfect sense to combine this with the mushrooms I’d bought as part of our cold cures. I’m still learning to cook dhals and mostly have to follow other people’s recipes but this one is 100% my own and I’m mighty proud of it.

As long as you remember to rinse and soak the lentils earlier in the day or even the night before (to reduce cooking time), you can have this ready in no time at all and as always with curries, it tastes amazing the next day as leftovers.

Mushroom Dhal

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g split red lentils
  • 100g moong dahl
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 4 kashmiri chillies
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the lentils several times, swirling in the water to loosen, then cover with water and soak for at least an hour. (This will reduce the cooking time)
  2. Once soaked, put the lentils into a large pan with the chopped onion and the litre of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Stir often and skim off any foam that forms on the surface of the water.
  3. Whilst the lentil are cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium to high and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle, stir in the tandoori masala, turmeric, amchoor powder, garam masala, chilli powder, tomato puree, bay leaves and kashmiri chillis. Cook for a minute.
  4. Add your garlic and mushrooms and stir to coat in the spice mixture. Stir in the diced tomato and cook for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  5. Stir your mushroom spice mixture into your cooked lentils on a low heat. If the dhal is a little dry, stir in 2 tbsp of water and cook for 1- minutes. Put a lid on the pan and remove from the heat until ready to serve

Serve with basmati rice, warm chapatis or potato tahdig as I did.


Enjoy!

Five Bean Chilli

A delicious full, rounded flavour full of protein, iron and fibre. A perfect comfort food with a bowl of fluffy rice for cozy evenings in, filling for tacos or a topping for jacket potatoes. Just what the vegetarian ordered.

Winging it is how I’d describe how I make chilli most of the time. I don’t follow recipes, never use the same ingredients and just throw in whatever’s in my spice collection at the time. I thought it was about time I made a consistent, repeatable recipe that I would be proud to share.

Something wasn’t quite right with the taste while I was experimenting and I just couldn’t work out how to bring out the flavours to enhance that umami flavour that I crave in these types of dishes. In the end I took inspiration from my favourite vegan gravy recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (I’ll link it below) and used three tablespoons of strong columbian coffee. My mouth is watering just thinking about the final dish.

This will serve 6 to 8 people and freezes really well too. If you want a spicier dish just double the chilli powder to 2 teaspoons.
Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
small bunch of kale, chopped

2 cups dried great northern beans, soaked overnight
1 tin pinto beans
1 tin blackeye beans
1 tin baby butter beans
1 tin black beans
1 tin tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp marmite (yeast extract)
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 vegetable stock cube
3 tbsp strong filtered coffee or espresso

Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and cook the onion and celery until softened. Add the garlic and carrots heat for a few minutes. Next add the peppers, tomato and chilli and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Drain the beans, add to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato puree, the add the spices, salt, pepper, marmite, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle in the stock cube, stir well and simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile brew the coffee. Remove the chilli from the heat a stir the coffee through. Serve immediately or cover and reheat gently once you’re ready to eat. I prefer to make this earlier in the day or at least a couple of hours before we eat to allow the flavour of the spices to marinate and come through.

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Enjoy!

My favourite gravy – Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s Vegan Gravy

n.b. we are northern and as far as I can tell this goes hand in hand with the amount of gravy you prefer on your dinner. If you can relate to this, I recommend you double this recipe if feeding more than 2 gravy loving friends.

SW Syns Update

If you follow the recipe as it is and serve 8 It should be 1 syn per serving.

However, substitute the olive oil for fry light and the tin of tomato sauce for a tin of tomatoes or plain passata and you’ve got yourself a delicious and filling syn free meal 😊

Guacamole

For years I would ask for no guacamole on my nachos if I was eating out and assumed I didn’t like it, until I made it myself. It is nothing like that green gloop in a squeezy bottle from the supermarket. I don’t even like plain avocados, but I LOVE this guac.

You could probably use any type, but I always use haas avocados, preferably organic if I can find them.

Ingredients

2 ripe haas avocados
1 small plum tomato, de-seeded and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
small bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 lime

In a pestle and mortar, add half of the onion, half of the chilli, salt and garlic and grind until a gloopy paste.

Half the avocados, remove the stones and scoop the flesh out. Mash with a fork until almost smooth or leaves some chunks if you prefer. Add the tomato, onion, chilli, coriander, pepper and the pestle and mortar mixture.

Squeeze in the lime juice and combine well. The guacamole is ready to eat immediately. The fresher the better, although it will keep in the fridge for 24 hours at the most.

guac

Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Salsa

I make this salsa for burritos, tacos, nachos, loaded fries, as a jacket potato topping, to go with salad and probably loads of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. It’s super easy, all you need is a knife and a chopping board.

Ingredients

6 plum tomatoes, chopped and de-seeded
1 red onion, finely chopped
10 jalapeno slices, finely chopped
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 limes

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, with the juice of both limes.

To get the most juice that I can, I squeeze the using the legs of a nut cracker/garlic crusher.

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Pop into the fridge for at least 20 minutes to marinate, although I find an hour is perfect if you have the time.

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Enjoy!