Winter food inspo

Hi Blenders,

Just thought I’d share a few meals I’ve made in the last week. From vegan to meat (but still plant-based), there’s something for everyone in here I think.

1. Quick and easy Moroccan inspired roasted chickpeas with veggie rice

I made this when I was just back from holiday and only had cupboard/freezer foods. Drain a can of chickpeas and dry on paper towel. Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric. Add the chickpeas and coat well then spread out on a baking tray. Roast at 230 degrees for around 20 mins until brown and slightly crisped.

Meanwhile sauté 1 clove of chopped garlic in a little olive oil. Add 1 cup each (approx) of frozen corn, peas and broadbeans and cook until heated through. Add 6 dates (chopped into quarters) and a bag of ready made rice (I used brown rice/quinoa mix but you could also use around 1-2 cups of any type of cooked rice). Add in a tablespoon each of toasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Season of preferred and serve topped with the roasted chickpeas. It made 3 serves for us.

2. Vegetable pasta in a pesto cream sauce

This one is also very quick and similarmy to the recipe above, you could substitute the veg if preferred/needed.

I started by boiling the pasta and chopped the vegetables during this time. I put in one clove of chopped garlic, half a punnet of cherry tomatoes (halved) and a bunch of asparagus chopped into 3cm lengths.

Once the pasta is done, empty into a colander/strainer and use the same pan to heat a little olive oil. Cook the asparagus until starting to brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add about a tablespoon (heaped) of pesto and a can of evaporated milk. Add the pasta back in and stir well to heat. Add a little chopped bocconcini and heat gently. This made 2 serves for us but could make the sauce go further by adding extra pasta, veggies and cheese.

3. Vietnamese fish curry

This is one of my favourite recipes of all time which you can find here:

4. Chicken and vegetable soup

I made 4 serves using 1 onion, 500g of chicken thigh fillets, 1 bulb of fennel, 1 parsnip, 1 swede, 5 carrots, 6 sticks of celery, 500ml stock (plus extra water), about 1/2 cup white wine and a tablespoon of maple syrup.

Start by chopping all of the ingredients. Brown onion in a little olive oil then add the chicken and brown slightly. Add the vegetables and white wine and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Add the stock and enough extra water to cover. Stir in the maple syrup. Simmer for around an hour. Taste and season if needed.

We served with a wholegrain bread roll.

5. Thai red chicken curry

For 4 serves use around 500 g chicken breast, chopped. Brown the chicken and some onion in a pan, add a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste and stir until fragrant. Add a can of coconut milk and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add any veggies you want - I used green beans and carrots and simmer until veggies are cooked. Add approx a tablespoon each of lime juice and fish sauce with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Served with brown rice.

6. Pork and tomato soup

I started by browning a chopped onion, 2 slices of bacon (meat part only, chopped) and 2 pork loin chops (diced). Add in chopped veg - 4 beets, 2 parsnips, 1 bulb of fennel, 3 carrots, 4 sticks of celery. Mix in a can of tomatoes and cover with stock (I used chicken). Simmer for approx an hour and serve with wholegrain bread.

As you can see, I have a real thing for fennel in soups at the moment! Most of these recipes are totally adaptable so you can easily make changes to the ingredients - especially the meat, seeds, vegetables used.

What kind of things are you all cooking this winter? (Or summer in the Southern Hemisphere!)