Broccoli and Celeriac Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-50 mins (*Dependant upon skills or the number of kitchen helpers!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and (per serving) is low in salt, sugar and sat fats! 

Two terrific veggies and one fantastic soup! It’s hearty, wholesome and delicious without a lot of hassle or expense. These seasonal vegetables make a great combination, but we have thrown in some tender haricot beans (aka navy beans!) for some extra satiety and texture. Fresh chives and some fragrant lemon thyme also really help bring this soup alive!

Having never previously cooked or prepared a celeriac root (which is also known as celery root) before, we didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a wonderful vegetable; cutting into releases a lovely celery aroma! Preparing it is not that difficult (it’s just as easy as cutting up a potato!), although to look it you would think it would be your worst gardening/kitchen nightmare! It’s good to note that you will lose about a quarter to a third of the weight after the top, bottom and outer skin is removed; it will depend upon on your skill level and/or kitchen utensil you decide to use. We have upped the quantity of celeriac than we have originally used for this reason, but also adding a little more of this delicious vegetable wouldn’t hurt either! 

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Per serving (and based on our recipe!), this soup contains  about 4.4 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
  • Celeriac makes a really tasty mash, but also roasts really well! It can slightly discolour once it’s cut, but you can fix this by putting it into a bowl of ‘acidulated water‘. Consider it for your next Sunday dinner or the festive season ahead! If you do not enjoy celeriac, try replacing it in this soup for some turnip instead!
  • Broccoli is so versatile and is packed full of plenty of wholesome nutrients: vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (just to name a few!). Try adding it to casseroles or bakes, soups or stews, stir fries, salads, as part of a baked potato topping (‘cheezy’ broccoli anyone!), curries, pasta dishes or as some raw crudities in your next party spread! For those that love smoothies, add a few (fresh or frozen) pieces to your next drink- it’s delicious! 

For some more broccoli madness, check out this recipe that we made last year!

Happy cooking and have a lovely weekend everyone! 🙂

 

 

Yes, we cheated and used some tinned beans this time! 😛  You’ll also notice that we tossed in some spinach right at the end (only because we had some available), but do not feel obligated to use it.

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++800g  Broccoli Head
+++++++++++800g  Celeriac Root
+++++++++++260g   Banana Shallot (or White Onion)
+++++++++++1           Bay Leaf
+++++++++++1.75L    Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required or use Water )
+++++++++++            Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++2g        Mild Paprika
+++++++++++10g      Fresh Lemon Thyme
+++++++++++10g      Fresh Chives
+++++++++++60g     Fresh Baby Spinach (*optional)
+++++++++++390g   Cooked Haricot Beans (approx. 2 tins or 200g Dried & Cooked)

 

 

Directions

Prepare the broccoli. Chop the bottom of the stalk off. Remove the florets from the remaining stalk. Roughly chop all of the stalk. Transfer all of the broccoli (and stalk) into a bowl of water and allow it to soak. Drain. Tip: The stalk has a lot of flavour and nutrients too, don’t be tempted to bin it! #reducefoodwaste

 

 

Prepare the celeriac. Wash it. Slice the top and bottom ends off. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the remaining skin or roughly slice it off with a large knife (a lot like you would remove the skin off of a pineapple!). Tip: Using a vegetable peeler will preserve more of the vegetable!

 

 

Chop the celeriac into cubes. Peel and halve the shallot and/or onion.

 

Tip: If you are a speedy chopper an/or have a slower heating electric hob, consider heating the water whilst you prepare the vegetables!

 

Heat a non-stick pot of stock with 1.75L of water and a bay leaf over a medium heat. Bring to boil. Add vegetable stock. Whisk to dissolve. Add the broccoli florets and stalk, celeriac, onion, paprika and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover with a lid. Simmer and cook for about 8-10 mins or until tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. In the meantime, wash the thyme and chives. Remove the thyme leaves from its stem and roughly halve the chives.

 

 

If you do not have a stick blender, transfer the soup (in batches) into a blender. Add the herbs. and spinach (if you are using it). Puree until smooth. Transfer it back into the pot or plastic container (as appropriate). Repeat until all the soup has been processed.

 

 

Drain, rinse and add the beans into the soup! Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary.

 

 

Gently reheat over a low-heat if required.

 

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh chives, red chilli flakes, tahini, soya yoghurt, fresh black pepper or anything else that takes your fancy! This also tastes great when paired some warmed crusty wholemeal bread or cheeky nut butter toast! 😀

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers an in air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze in a container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

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Fennel, Garlic & Lemon Pasta [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Roasting tin, silicone mat, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan, mixing bowl, cheese grater, manual juicer, salad tongs

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in salt, sugars and sat fats!

Fresh, simple and within forty minutes you’ll have a delicious pasta dish ready for the whole family to enjoy!

As we’ve mentioned before, we think that sometimes the best pasta dishes are the ones that contain only a few ingredients. This recipe comprises of some crisp, fresh and almost sweet and ‘licorice-y’, fennel (which is a cheap, tasty and nutritious addition to any meal!). We’ve also added some sweet and creamy roasted garlic, shallots, lemon and a little parsley for the perfect combination of flavours. Served on some hearty wholemeal pasta and topped with a tasty breadcrumb topping for some added crunch and additional depth of flavour! 

It’s good to note we have advised slightly more fennel and garlic than shown in our pictures! Also, if you’re someone who generally does not enjoy the taste of fennel, don’t be alarmed, we promise that you’ll love this one! Roasted fennel has a completely different taste to that of fennel tea or flavoured food items (if it didn’t, Alex would be the first one to leave the dinner table in protest!). 

Happy hump day and cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++120g       Banana Shallots
++++++++++++++++++100g      Orange Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++400g      Fennel Bulb
++++++++++++++++++20g        Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp    Olive or Garlic Infused Oil
++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++20g        Panko Breadcrumbs (or GF version if required)
++++++++++++++++++220g      Wholemeal Spaghetti (or GF if required)
++++++++++++++++++20g        DF Cheese (or 1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast)
++++++++++++++++++10g         Flat Leaf Parsley
++++++++++++++++++1              Lemon
++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Asafoetida
++++++++++++++++++               Saffron

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some kitchen foil (if necessary).

2. Trim the ends off the shallots. Wash, remove the stem and core and then thinly slice the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends and then slice the fennel (thin or slightly chunky!)

3. Place the shallots, bell pepper, fennel and garlic into the roasting tin. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of olive oil (or spray with some low-cal cooking oil instead). Toss to coat. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper (or to taste). Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 20-25 mins or until softened and lightly crispy. Remove. Allow to cool. Tip: The garlic might be finished at 15 mins (just remove it and set it aside)!

4. In the meantime, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Spray a little low-fat cooking oil. Add the breadcrumbs. Gently fry until lightly browned and toasted. Remove from the heat. Transfer into a bowl.

5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

6. Grate the cheese (if using). Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem; roughly chop them. Wash the lemon; grate some zest and then juice it.

7. Place the cheese (or nutritional yeast), ½ tsp asafoetida and about 8-10 strands (or a pinch) of saffron into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper. Mix until combined. Tip: Your breadcrumb topping is now complete!

8. Remove the skin from the garlic and shallots and discard. Finely chop the garlic and then slice the shallot into strips. Tip: Use some kitchen scissors to quickly cut away and remove the shallot skin!

9. Place the pasta into a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, parsley, lemon zest and juice (as much lemon juice and zest as desired) and some oil (we added garlic oil!). Season it a few grinds of  black pepper. Gently toss until thoroughly combined.

10. Transfer onto two serving plates. Top with the breadcrumb topping and garnish with additional parsley and/or lemon slices (if preferred).

Enjoy!

 

Tip: For some additional protein, calcium iron and zinc and crunch, add some toasted pine nuts!

 

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Smoky Roasted Tomato & Chickpea Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 60mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and sat fats! 

Warming up with a bowl of soup this time of year is truly one of life’s little pleasures. If you love soup as much as we do then you’re in luck (as we have plenty to choose from)! For inspiration, check here!  🙂

Nearly a year ago we introduced you to a delicious roasted tomato and basil soup (with lentils)! As we approach soup season and sadly the end of the UK tomato season once again, we decided to revamp our tomato-based soup. The result: dancing taste buds and another easy recipe for everyone to prepare!

Yes, this soup really made an impression on us, so much that we are having it again this week!

So go on and enjoy a bowl full of beautifully roasted and smoky tomatoes, sweet red onion, green bell pepper, garlic and tender chickpeas. It goes great when served with some warmed pitta bread, perfect for soaking up of all of these delicious flavours right until the end!

Tip: The smoked paprika really does amplify the flavour of the roasted tomatoes, so if you can, purchase a high quality brand (as it really will make a difference in this case)!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++800g            Salad Tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++180g             Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++220g            Green Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++8g                 Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++4-6g             Smoked Paprika
++++++++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp           Maple Syrup
++++++++++++++++++++                     Salt & Ground Black pepper
++++++++++++++++++++240g            Cooked chickpeas (approx.1 tin/in water)
++++++++++++++++++++400ml          Vegetable Stock (low-salt/ GF if required)

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat (if necessary); our tin was looking a little shabby so we had no choice!

2. Wash, remove the stems and then halve the tomatoes. Peel and chop the onion into wedges. Wash, remove the core, deseed and then roughly chop the bell pepper.

3. Place the tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting tin and then arrange the onion, bell pepper and garlic around the them. Sprinkle over 2g of the smoked paprika. Drizzle over the olive oil and maple syrup. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

 

4. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until softened and slightly crispy around the edges. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

5. Drain and wash the chickpeas. Peel the skin from the garlic clove and then discard it.

 

6. Place the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, all of the cooking juices from the tin and 200ml of vegetable stock into a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Quick tip: You can use the remaining vegetable stock to help gather any remaining bits of purée veggies from your blender. Just add, pulse and then pour into the container or pot with your existing soup.

 

7. Pour into a resealable and air tight container (if meal prepping!) or non-stick pot.

 

8. Add the chickpeas, remaining vegetable stock and the remaining smoked paprika (depending on your taste). Stir until combined. Taste and season it as necessary.

 

9. Place the pot over a medium-low heat and reheat until warm (if applicable).

 

10. Ladle the soup into a bowl, garnish with some plain/unsweetned soya yoghurt and chives (if desired) and serve with a warmed wholemeal or GF pitta bread !

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Walnut Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves 6-8
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 80-120 mins ( *Dependant on skill or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, 2*baking trays, silicone mat(s) (or kitchen foil), veggie peeler, mixing bowl, blender, resealable container (*optional)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, omega-3+6, calcium, iron, potassium and per serving (based on six servings) is low in salt, free sugars and saturated fats. 

It’s now officially Autumn, so we should all be making the most of this season (and our local markets!) by sourcing some of nature’s delicious squashes and root vegetables (just to name a few!); all of which can be enjoyed in some hearty, healthful and flavourful soups, stews, warm salads or casseroles!

This soup has some beautifully roasted butternut squash, apple and banana shallots, giving it a delicious and satisfying natural sweetness. A dash of chutney, nutmeg and walnut oil really help to round things off, providing a tasty, wholemeal and seasonal feel. Enjoy it on its own or with some warmed wholemeal pitta bread! 

We used some swede (as we had some to spare!), but it became a tasty ‘background note’ to this soup. Butternut squash is always a winner in our book, but if preferred, substitute it for some pumpkin, acorn squash or sweet potato instead. Please check out some of our other soup recipes here for more tasty, seasonal and satisfying recipes!

Happy Cooking everyone! 😀

 

NB: We did not end up using the maple syrup and we used one more apple than shown here!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++200g       Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++++++++++++                Low-Fat Oil Spray
+++++++++++++++++++++580g       Swede
+++++++++++++++++++++640g       Braeburn Apples
+++++++++++++++++++++30g         Plum & Apple Chutney (GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.8kg       Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++3g            Dried Sage
+++++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1-2g        Ground Nutmeg
+++++++++++++++++++++3 tsp       Walnut Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++                Walnut pieces, chopped and/or toasted (*optional)

 

Directions

Trim the ends off the shallots and discard. Place the shallots and garlic onto a lined baking tray. Spray and coat with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Wash, peel and then chop the swede into cubes. Wash, peel, remove the core/seeds and chop the apple into rough pieces.

Normally we wouldn’t peel our apples, but the skins can give an unwanted bitterness to the soup!

 

 

Place the swede into a large mixing bowl. Add about ¼ of the quantity of chutney. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Mix to coat.

 

 

Place the swede and apple onto the same baking tray as the shallots and garlic.

 

Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Line another baking tray with some parchment paper.

 

In the meantime, peel, trim the ends, deseed and then chop the squash into 1 inch cubes.

 

 

Place the squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chutney, 3g dried sage and 2 tbsp of olive oil (alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil). Mix to thoroughly coat.

 

 

Transfer the squash onto the lined baking tray, spreading it as evenly as possible.

 

 

  • Place the baking tray with the swede and apple mixture onto the lower oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until tender and slightly crisp around the edges; turning the mixture and rotating the tray in the oven at least once.
  • Place the baking tray with the squash onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until tender and slightly crispy around the edges; turning and flipping the squash at least once.

Our roasted veggies! Remove and allow to cool for at least 5-10 mins.

 

 

Once cooled, peel the skin off of the shallots and garlic. Transfer the vegetables and apple (in batches) into a blender along with a little of the vegetable stock and/or water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Alternatively, transfer the mixture (and liquids) into a large non-stick pot and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

 

 

Transfer the puréed vegetable mixture into a large and resealable container or a large, non-stick pot (if applicable). Repeat until all of the vegetables have been puréed. Add any remaining water, 1-2g nutmeg and 3-4 tsp walnut oil. Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary. Reheat the soup over a low heat until warm (if applicable).

NB: If a thinner soup is preferred, add more water than we have previously advised! Ours went into this plastic tub; the joys of meal prepping!

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and/or some walnut pieces and fresh chives (if desired) and for the extra hungry, serve with a piece of warmed wholemeal pitta bread!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 4 days. Alternatively portion and freeze the soup in several resealable and air tight containers (do not overfill); defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated:19/02/16

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Soup w/ Pearl Barley

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep: 30-60 mins (*Dependant on skill and desired serving size.)
Cooking time: 4-7 hrs (*Dependent on SC setting.)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, magnesium, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and saturated fats!

This is a great autumnal or winter vegetable-based soup. It’s easy to execute and adapted not only to the season but your taste buds! Our variation contains a great blend of herbs and some delicious (chunky) veggies! 

The peas and pearl barley provide a great source of protein, but feel free to swap them for your favourite type of legume, pulse and/or grain; smoked seitan or tofu would also make a tasty addition! Diet permitting, you could add a little lean beef or chicken (we think that this could also work quite well!). 

We cooked the pearl barley separately and would recommend doing so, unless this is only going to be served as ‘one meal’. We have found in the past that the pearl barley keeps absorbing liquid… so your next day leftovers will be more barley than broth! :/

You’ll find that we initially kept the liquid to a minimum; we were waiting to see how much water was given off in the first 3 hours before adding any more! However, we have advised for everyone to add all of the liquid at start of the cooking process. 

Quick Food Fact: Per serving (based on 10 servings!), this soup provides you with about 3.3 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

We used 1/2 the swede and 1/4 of the cabbage shown here; fresh thyme and rosemary not shown here.

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print version? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Wash and then chop the potato into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and quarter the parsnip. Transfer the potato and parsnip into a slow cooker.

 

 

Wash, peel and chop the swede into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and slice the carrot; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

The only root vegetable we peeled was the swede; it’s time saving, but it also adds some extra nutrients to the soup (just remember to give your veggies a good scrub first)!

 

 

Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Peel and dice the garlic; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

 

 

 

Wash and roughly slice (or shred) the cabbage leaves. Wash the parsley; remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the rosemary sprigs from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the thyme leaves from its stem.

 

 

Add the cabbage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, black pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt  into the slow cooker. Add the pearl barley (if applicable*).

*See above notes.

 

 

Prepare the stock. Pour in the hot stock and some (just boiled) water. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heating setting for about 3.5 hrs or on a low heat setting for 7-8hrs instead.

 

 

When there is about 40 minutes of cooking time left, defrost the peas. Add the corn flour to a small dish with equal parts water; stir into a paste to form a ‘slurry’. Add the peas into slow cooker. Whilst stirring, pour in the slurry. Stir until dissolved and combined. Cover with the lid. Cook for a further 40 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions.

Ours took 30 mins to cook. NB: We lightly oiled and seasoned the leftover pearl barley to prevent it becoming one, big flavourless blob!

 

 

Stir and season the soup to taste before serving.

 

 

Serve warm. Place some pearl barley into a large serving bowl (if applicable). Ladle the soup over the barley. Stir together. Garnish with some parsley (if preferred).

We served ours with some tasty spirulina-based bread! 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

Plant-Based Paella

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-45 mins (*Dependent upon the rice used!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, large frying pan or paella dish, frying spatula, measuring jug, a large sheet of aluminium foil, large pot, large bowl

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and (per serving) is low in added sugar, salt and sat fats!

It feels like the beginning of summer (at least in the SE of England!) has finally arrived and what better way to embrace it than to fill your kitchen with the delicious aromas of Spanish cuisine! …or in this case, our tasty and healthful paella!

Personally we not only love the taste, but the way that this dish is pronounced: “pah/EH/yah”! Even the sound brings a smile to our face! It’s certainly a dish not to feel intimated by; anyone can create this at home!

Paella is a dish that was named after its cooking pan (and not a reference to its ingredients) and began its origin by being prepared and consumed by the workers and labourers of Valencia (a town in Eastern Spain)(¹). It’s now appreciated by many worldwide (for its delicious flavours and minimal preparation- only to name a few!) and has been adapted to suit any diet or budget! We kept the cost of ours to a minimum; the most expensive item was the saffron… but that’s no surprise!

What constitutes an authentic paella is debatable (obviously ours is not!) however, the Spanish are very passionate, especially about good food and that should be respected. Nonetheless, you can’t escape the fact that this is a dish where anything goes… and however you decide to prepare yours, just remember to keep it vibrant, tasty and memorable!  

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Quick Food Facts:

  • We used brown long grain rice, but traditional paella rice (bomba) will undoubtedly cook much faster! But as we’ve mentioned previously regarding brown rice…”nutritionally speaking it provides longer term energy and greater satiety”!
  • We own an authentic paella pan but it’s unfortunately too big for our current stove top! 😦 If you have the means, this pan can make all the difference to your paella; it helps to create that delicious crust (socarrat) at the bottom of the dish!  
  • Our paella uses a variety of veggies that are now in season; delicious asparagus, carrots, peas and spinach* (*if you decide to follow our lead; we served ours with a bed of it)! 
  • This dish provides you with about 4 portions (per serving) towards your 5-A-Day! #youcanneverhavetoomanyvegetables

 

 

Ingredients

NB: Adjust the water and stock measurements according to the instructions on your rice packet! We didn’t use true wine,; there was no alcohol in it, it was more like an ‘extract’!

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

 Peel and dice the garlic and white onion. Wash, remove the core and then chop the bell pepper into small cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and roughly chop the carrot. Wash, remove the stem and halve the tomatoes. Wash and dry half of the quantity of the thyme and parsley; remove the leaves from their stem and finely chop (you’ll prepare the rest later on).

 

 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan ( or paella dish) over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper and carrot. Stir to mix. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened.

 

Add 125ml wine (if using, or just use more stock instead). Stir through. Allow it to simmer for 1-2 mins or until evaporated.

 

 

Add 250g rice, 320g cooked legumes, 100g peas, 3g thyme and 4g parsley. Stir to combine.

NB: 320g of cooked legumes =about 1.5tins or 160g dried. We cooked a variety overnight and used approx. 180g cooked chickpeas and 140g of cooked red kidney beans.

 

 

Add 350ml stock, 220ml water, 20g tomato purée, saffron (as much as preferred) and 2g smoked paprika. Stir together.

Use as much or as little saffron as your heart and/or wallet desires… (but you definitely don’t need to use more than a pinch)!

 

 

Add the cherry tomatoes. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

 

 

Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook it for 20-30 mins or until the rice is cooked* (*refer to the packet instructions). Remove from the heat and dispose of the foil.

Tip: Ours took approx 30 mins to cook (and we added a bit more water halfway through); as we’ve mentioned, it’s really dependant on the rice you decide to use! NB:Your rice should be tender but never mushy!

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the rest of the thyme and parsley. Drain and rinse the olives. Wash and trim the tough/bottom ends off of the asparagus. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash the lemon (chop it into wedges or slices!).

 

 

Meanwhile, place a large pot full of cold water over a medium-low heat. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 mins or until just tender (where they just begin to bend!). Remove from the heat. Drain. If desired, transfer the cooked spears using a slotted spoon or serving tongs into a large bowl of cool water.

The idea behind this is to help cool the internal core (to prevent them from cooking any further)…helping them to maintain their vibrant green colour as a result! You could use ‘ice water’ but risk serving cold asparagus!

 

 

Now transform your dish!

 

 

 Garnish the paella with the olives, asparagus, lemon and remaining herbs. Serve the paella from the table for the whole family to enjoy!

 

 

 

Transfer the paella into a large serving bowl with any other desired veggies!

We served ours over a bed of spinach!

 

Enjoy!

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

 

 

If preferred…

    • Feel free to experiment with your perfect vegetable and flavour combination!
    • This is a healthy dish, but want to further reduce the fat content, just use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil.
  • Use your favourite type of rice (but we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice!).
  • Try using a different type of legume (a dry or tinned variety), some lentils, or maybe tofu or tempeh instead! If your diet permits, add a fresh medley of fish and/or seafood!

 

History Source:
1. The Paella Company