Quick, easy, healthy – Spiced chickpea & spinach stew

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I never made a conscious decision to eat less meat and I don’t class myself as a vegetarian at all, but slowly over the past few years my diet has become 90% veggie. When I first moved out from home as a working adult and got into cooking, I started making more vegetarian dishes because they were cheaper, often quicker and I didn’t like cooking with meat. I hate chopping it and dealing with it raw, and actually I didn’t miss it when I ate it less.

As if anyone else needs to rave about chickpeas or talk about how good they are a veggie meal staple, but I’m gonna do it anyway. I LOVE THEM. I love chickpea curry more than any other curry these days and I make it frequently- but perhaps too frequently. I decided to try something different with them and take a break from the chickpea and lentil dhal I was having a relationship with (a very committed, happy relationship) and this was born.

I tried to base this on a recipe I found online but then couldn’t find it again to copy when I was in the kitchen, so I just chucked in whatever I fancied and it tasted heavenly.

Ingredients:

1 onion chopped

400g canned chickpeas (drained and washed)

400g chopped tomatoes

25ml water

One big handful of raisons

1 tsp of cayenne pepper (or two if you like things really spicy)

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp coriander ground

A shake of basil

Two big handfuls of fresh spinach

Some grated beetroot (I put about 50g in because it’s an easy healthy extra, but you could use more or none)

1 roasted and chopped tomato

Method:

Roast a tomato for about ten minutes on a low heat in the oven.Brown the onion for a few minutes with a splash of oil, then mix in the cumin, coriander and cayenne. I also add a pinch of salt but you don’t have to. Mix this up for 30 seconds, then add in your chopped tomatoes and water and chuck in some basil. Chop your roasted tomato up small and chuck it in (I think roasted tomatoes make everything taste better) and let everything simmer for about 4 minutes.

Then chuck in the raison, spinach and beetroot and leave to cook for another 10 minutes on a low heat. It should thicken slightly, but should keep a liquidy bast. I served mine with toasted pitta bread but this would go with rice too.

I doubled all of these ingredients and got 5 portions out of it- it’s perfect for batch cooking for your lunch. ENJOY.

 

 

8 things I want in my kitchen

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The closer I get to actually moving, the more I keep letting myself look at homeware. One of the only rooms we have stuff for is the kitchen, so it feels easy to just build on that rather than face facts that we have other entire parts of a functioning home missing. These are all the fruits of random phone shopping on the train this week, apart from the teapot, which I found in Westfields. I’d never heard of  T2 before stumbling upon it a few weeks ago but I can see myself getting VERY well acquainted. If you know of any other places that sell homeware that I can browse online during my train strike fun times, link me up.

1) Printed porcelain mug – H&M – £4.99

2)  Stripe gold rim mug – Matalan – £3.00

3)  Salter vintage scale – Dunelm – £16.99

4)  Skyscraper coasters 4 pack – H&M – £1.99

5)  Leaf salad servers – H&M –  £12.99

6)  Agate bottle opener – Anthropologie – £16.00

7)  Dazed & Dazzled teapot – T2 – £46.00 Salter vintage scale

8) Denby halo cereal bowl – Dunelm – £8.99

Easy peasy gingerbread men for your leftover Christmas sweets

 

 I’m currently sitting surrounded by food. There’s food everywhere-mostly sweets and chocolates. The whole ‘eating for sport’ that we do over Christmas is fine and I love it as much as the next person. There’s few things in life as good as having a nice bowl of salt and vinegar crisps and a chocolate santa chaser for breakfast. However, if you have endless tubes of sweets and packets of chocolates that you’ll likely still be getting through come easter- MAKE GINGERBREAD.

I mean, what better way to use up sweet treats than just making more sweet treats? Also gingerbread is not just for Christmas and to be used as an Instragram post throughout December. It’s bloody delicious AND easy to make. Like, you can’t really go to wrong- apart from burn two feet like I did.

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LEFTOVER CHRISTMAS SWEETS GINGERBREAD MEN ARE GO.

Ingredients:

350g plain flour, 1tsp baking powder, 3 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 130g butter, 175g brown sugar, 1 egg, 4 or 5 big glugs of golden syrup.

Measure out your dry ingredients and sift the flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon together, mix them up a bit and put your butter in the microwave for 15 seconds, then add this too. Use a hand blender (or full on food processor if you’re that way in inclined) and mix it all up.

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Keep mixing until it’s breadcrumby (technical baking term) and you’re done with the dry powdery bits. Crack your egg in a separate bowl, add in the syrup and beat together.

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Once you’ve combined the egg-syrup mixture with the dough, kneed it all together and then take it in giant clump, wrap it up in some cling film and put it in the fridge. About ten minutes is enough time. Don’t leave it too long or it becomes too stiff to roll out properly.

Flour your work surface, roll out the dough to an even thickness (not more than 1cm if you can judge that accurately) and then cut the little fellas out- AND BAKE. About 12 minutes on 180 degrees, but keep them in a little longer until they feel harder in the middle if need be.

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Decorating gingerbread is almost as good as eating them, at which point you won’t want to because you’ve spent all this time crafting them and creating hair and outfits out of icing. But the point is- ice them up and chuck allll those leftover sweets on top.

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