Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

Here’s a food post – sorry, I do realise it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve been too busy to cook these days!

I thought I’d write about this vegetarian curry, which is low in calories but contains plenty of vitamins and a fair amount of protein from the chickpeas – and it’s dairy-free, which is always a plus to me, as I am dairy intolerant (in spite of all those recipes on this blog that contain dairy, which I find difficult to resist to, sometimes).

This recipe is for two people.

Chickpea curry

What you’ll need:

  • 160g or slightly less than a cup of brown rice
  • 2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 can (400g) of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tsps of curry powder
  • 2 tsps of ginger powder
  • 1 can (140g) of chickpeas, drained
  • 4 balls of frozen spinach (or about 100g of fresh spinach)
  • A few leaves of fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish

 Preparation:

Wash the brown rice thoroughly and add it to a pot with water – I usually go 1 part rice, 2 parts water. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, the water should have been fully absorbed so just cover it and let it steam. This is my way of cooking brown rice, but everyone has their own method.

While the rice is cooking, chop the onions and garlic very finely and shallow fry them until lightly golden. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and your spices. I added about 3 teaspoons of curry and 2 of ginger, but feel free to adjust it to your own taste, and, if you prefer, go ahead and use fresh chillies and ginger instead. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about five minutes. Add the chopped green pepper to the sauce pan – make sure you cut the pepper into fairly small cubes, about ½ inch – and the drained chickpeas and pour enough water for all the ingredients to be covered. Now cover and let simmer another 15 minutes, making sure you stir the contents regularly. Add your frozen spinach to the mixture and cover the pan, letting them defrost for about 15 minutes. If you add fresh spinach, just wait until they wither. Now check for salt and serve it over the brown rice, topped with the coriander.

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Savoury Fruit Salad

Last Saturday was very warm and sunny here in London. There was no way I was going to  have a proper lunch, so thought I’d make a salad. Put together a few ingredients and then realised that yep, they were all fruit, rather than vegetables: orange, avocado and tomato. It’s a fruit salad!

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I dressed it very simply with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, Maldon salt and white pepper.

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It’s summer!

Hot + Hearty Vegan Soup with Barley and Vegetables

I made this soup for lunch on a cold, wintery day when I had loads of random ingredients at home and really had no idea what to cook. I decided to throw all of these ingredients together in a soup and took a few pictures, just in case the experiment turned out well – and it did!

This soup is probably the healthiest thing you’ll ever eat, and yet it’s delicious. Use whole barley rather than pearled, as the former has all its vitamins and minerals intact and, therefore, is higher in iron, protein, calcium and fibre. The barley gives this dish a hearty, creamy texture which is normally hard to recreate without dairy products. Try it and tell me what you think. These doses serve one ravenous person or two light eaters.

What you’ll need:

  • 80 gr whole barley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • A handful of medium size mushrooms
  • ½ mushroom stock cube
  • A couple of glugs of hot sauce
  • A pinch dried coriander (to garnish)

Rinse the barely and bring it to the boil on a high flame.  Once it boils turn down to a simmer and cook for about an hour (or until it’s soft), as the whole barley takes a lot longer than the pearly type. In the meantime chop the garlic and onion to a mince and lightly sweat them with the hot oil in a sauce pan for a few minutes. Add the chopped pepper, tomato, mushrooms and minced stock cube. Cook them for about ten minutes or until the pepper softens up. The tomato will let out some water, in which the stock will dissolve. Add the boiled and drained barley to the pot of veggies and simmer for ten minutes, so that all flavours join together. Check for seasoning, although the stock should have made the soup flavoursome enough. Add the hot sauce (I go for plenty) and garnish with dried coriander leaves.

Serve by itself or with a buttered slice of toasted granary bread!