Whatever it is about putting something hot in a bun with some salad and sauce which makes some delicious magic happen, we can’t get enough of it! But you don’t always need to turn to meat or fake meat to make that happen. These Mushroom […]
I am lucky enough to have a friend who embraces veggies and throws together meals with them so well I want to recreate their fantastic flavours as soon as I return home. And this Italian Kale Stew came about as a direct result of a wonderful afternoon at her house. And finding some fresh full-stem kale at the local farm shop which I just had to have.
While I have called this a stew, it could also be termed a very full broth, although I think the chew factor always changes something from soup to stew! It’s just perfect for the winter as it is hearty but certainly not stodgy or unhealthy. In fact the high vegetable content, especially the kale which is packed with filling fibre but zero calories and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and a number of minerals many of us are deficient in, is perfect for keeping you feeling in tip-top condition this winter and balancing the approaching Christmas excess. The beans add protein and make it a satisfying meal. And it’s such a cheap dish to make it’s perfect for both saving money and losing the extra Christmas pounds in the New Year.
I like to serve this with fresh bread, to mop up the juices, or a homemade quiche but it’s just as yummy on its own.
Italian Kale Stew
- Splash of oil or water
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons mixed dried Italian herbs or dried oregano
- 300g kale, hard stalks removed, sliced
- 400g tins of beans, for example black eyed, flageolet, borlotti, cannellini beans
- Step 1 Place the oil/water, carrot, onion, garlic, celery and kale into a large saucepan and cook with the lid off for 5mins, add a little water if it starts to stick.
- Step 2 Remove the lid and if using add the red wine, cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat then add the tin of tomatoes, herbs, the vegetable stock, tomato puree and kale.
- Step 3 Bring to the boil and simmer for 10mins with the lid on.
- Step 4 Remove the lid and simmer for another 5mins or until all the vegetables are just cooked before adding the drained tins of beans.
- Step 5 Cooks for a few more minutes so the beans are heated right through then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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When you don’t eat meat the quest begins to find the ultimate filling for a ‘burger’. Because it’s something I don’t eat out really, I really want to make the perfect burger at home. Texture is as important as taste in this situation because it’s all very well when it tastes brilliant but no good if it slops out the side of the bun and drips all over your hands. So while you want it dry enough to stay together and in shape, you also need a burger which is moist and lovely.
As you might be able to tell I am a fan of Indian flavours and wanted a burger to compliment my rich Indian Style Tomato Chutney. This is what I came up with and to be honest I love it so much I made it two days in a row! It’s classic curry flavour is complimented by the kick of chilli but you can adjust that to taste by adding more or less than stated here.
It is important to allow the burgers some fridge time. This helps them hold together when you initially start frying them. The beauty about these is they are brilliant made in advance so get them done the day or morning before you need them. Then you can simply fry and build your bun while they are cooking.
I have used two types of tinned bean here for their different textures and that also boosts the nutritional value of the dish too. The kidney beans are a must but instead of the black-eye beans you could add another of your faves. Let me know how they work in this recipe.
Tinned beans are a dream if you are looking for a high nutrient but low cost ingredient. There is no need to buy a premium range for this recipe, the economy bean lines are just as good. These burgers come in at around £1-£1.20 so as little as 25p a portion.
Curried Bean Burgers
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained
- 1 tin black-eyed beans, drained
- 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 15g fresh coriander, chopped, leaves only (about half a supermarket size pack)
- 30g fresh or frozen breadcrumbs
- oil for cooking the burgers
- Step 1 Soften the onion in the oil, do so on a low heat so that it doesn’t brown.
- Step 2 While the onion is cooking mash the beans together well. Add the chopped coriander and breadcrumbs and combine well.
- Step 3 When the onion is cooked add the garlic and fry for a minute or so. Then add the curry powder and chilli flakes and fry together for about a minute.
- Step 4 Add the onion and spice mix to the beans and mix well.
- Step 5 Divide the mixture into four and form a ball, then flatten a little to make a patty shape.
- Step 6 Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30mins.
- Step 7 To cook, heat some oil in a frying pan and make sure it’s coated the base of the pan completely.
- Step 8 Fry the burgers on a medium heat for 7-10mins then flip onto the other side.
- Step 9 Serve with all the trimmings!