Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Chilli con Carne (with all the trimmings)

An absolute student classic. This chilli really doesn't need a fancy intro. The dish speaks for itself and is oh-so-good. Packed with good-quality beef mince, veggies and a few deliciously surprising store-cupboard seasonings, piled high with extras, this makes for the ultimate winter warmer. P.S. the trimmings are a must! 

Chilli con Carne

Serves 4

500g of Beef Mince
400g of Chopped Tomatoes
400g of Kidney Beans
300ml of Beef Stock
2 Carrots, grated
2 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons of Tomato Puree
1 Brown Onion, chopped
1 Red, Yellow or Green Pepper, chopped
1 cm of Dark Chocolate
1 tablespoon of Butter
1 tablespoon of Paprika
1 tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 teaspoon of Instant Coffee
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1 teaspoon of Oregano

  1. Heat a large saucepan, ensuring it’s hot, add in butter and allow it to melt.
  2. Once melted, add in chopped onions and fry on a high-heat for 3 minutes, until slightly translucent.
  3. Stir in chopped pepper and garlic. Fry for 2 more minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, adding in paprika, chili powder and cumin. Fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the mince and return the heat to high. Ensure that it is evenly cooked and browned for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Next, add in beef stock, oregano, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, dark chocolate and coffee. Stir and allow it to boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium, placing on the lid of the saucepan, and allowing the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, giving the contents a stir every now and then. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drain and rinse the beans. Remove the lid and add them to the chilli. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Remove saucepan from the heat once cooked and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow flavours to mingle. Better still, reheated leftovers the next day, will guarantee the ultimate taste-bud party.
  10. Serve with brown rice, sour cream, guacamole, squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle of cheddar cheese and chopped coriander. 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

4 ramekin dishes (or a small casserole dish)

Filling:
100g of Blackberries
2 Red Apples
4 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
60ml of Water
1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 tablespoons of Lemon Jucie
Pinch of Salt

Topping:
60g of Pecans
120g of Rolled Oats
4 tablespoons of milled Linseed or Flaxseed
60g of Salted Butter
2 tablespoons of Honey


  1. Preheat oven to 180oC and remove butter from the fridge, allowing it to reach room temperature.
  2. For the filling, peel and core apples. Cut into chunks and toss into a bowl with the lemon juice.
  3. Wash and add blackberries in with the apples, along with all the other filling ingredients.
  4. Mix together then place into a saucepan, allowing to simmer on low-medium heat, for 10 minutes.
  5. For the topping, in a food processor, roughly blend pecans and oats. Ensure not to mill them into a flour-like consistency. Think more small chunks, which will allow a lovely crunchy finish, once baked.
  6. Then add in butter, linseed/flaxseed and honey. Whiz together in the food processor for a few second intervals until until blended together with the oats and pecans.
  7. Once the fruit has cooked and softened in the saucepan, transfer into ramekin pots, topping them with the oat crumble mixture.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden on top. 
  9. Serve with greek yoghurt or, believe me, they're flavoursome enough to eat just on they're own.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Thai Curry Squash Soup

Autumn equals soup. Soup equals Autumn. You get the idea; soup is a staple during the colder months. This warming bowl of loveliness is perfect because it's silky smooth, but yet has quite the spicy edge. Perfect if you have the sniffles and want a big hit of flavour. It's also pretty great if you're perfectly healthy and well. Either way, everyone knows that wholesome soup is good for the body, as well as the soul. 

Thai Curry Squash Soup

Serves 4

1/2 Large Squash
250g of Carrots
1 Brown Onion
1 tablespoon of Butter
1.2 litres of Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon of Ground Coriander
2-3 tablespoons of Thai Red Curry Paste (depending on heat level preferred) 
Salt and pepper to season

  1. Boil kettle to have hot water for the stock.
  2. Chop onions and fry with butter, in a large saucepan for 5 minutes.
  3. Peel and chop, both squash and carrots, into bite-size chunks.
  4. Add coriander to sauce pan and fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Reduce to medium heat, add chopped vegetables and stock.
  6. Allow mixture to cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Once the vegetables have cooked and softened, stir in curry paste and ensure it's well mixed through.
  8. Blend the soup together until the entire mixture is smooth.
  9. Heat up the soup so that it is hot enough for serving.
Optional: Top with cooked quinoa, chopped spinach, natural yoghurt and pumpkin seeds (as pictured below) for a well-balanced dose of protein, as well as vitamin and minerals. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Apple and Plum Compote

Nothing beats sweet autumnal fruit; pears, figs, blackberries, plums and apples, especially when stewed. With a little heat, the fruit's natural sugars break apart and soften, to become a deliciously sticky compote. Perfectly teamed with Greek yoghurt and granola, or spooned unto a bowl of creamy oats. For this recipe, apples and plums do the trick for brightening up cold, dull mornings. Although, feel free to experiment with other seasonal fruits. 

Apple and Plum Compote

1 Red Eating Apple
2 Plums
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
1 teaspoon of Honey 
120ml of Boiling Water
  1. Peel and core apple. Chop into bite size chunks, as well as the plums.
  2. Place the fruit pieces in a saucepan. Add boiling water and simmer over medium-heat for 15 minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in vanilla and honey once cooked.
  4. Eat straight away, or can be stored in an airtight container, and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.