Mexican bean balls in a spicy-sweet sauce

These red kidney bean balls in sauce are fantastic serve with rice and topped with some grated cheese.

Mexican Bean Balls in Spicy-Sweet sauce (serves 2-3)

IMG_1228

Bean balls
400g tin of Red Kidney Beans, drained.
2 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs
1 egg
5 spring onions
1 tsp dried oregano

Sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
400g passata
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 heaped teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 large sweet potato, cut into small chunks, optional

1. Start by making the kidney bean balls. I usually cook them in the oven, but you could fry them if you prefer. If you’re baking them, preheat the oven to 180°C. In a food processor, pulse together all the ingredients for the bean balls. Roll them into walnut sized balls. Bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes (or fry them).

2. Meanwhile, you can start making the sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan until soft. Add the passata, sugar, chilli powder and paprika and stir well. For a more substantial sauce add some chopped sweet potato chunks. Cover the sauce and allow to simmer away for 20 minutes. Stir through the coriander.

3. To serve, top the cooked balls with the sauce. This is great served with rice and a topping of cheese.

Advertisements

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

When you have a food blog, you want to add recipes that are delicious, but they also need to look good in a photograph too. I’m not the best photographer (and when I’ve made something I generally just want to get on with eating it, not spending ages photographing it!). I’ve also found that some dishes just don’t look great. This recipe is one that is tasty, but just not pretty to look at.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne (serves 2-3)

1/2 large butternut squash, chopped into 1cm cubes
2 small onions, chopped into 2cm chunks
Olive oil
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tsp Italian dried mixed Herbs
150g Spinach (I often use frozen)
100g butter
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
100g plain flour
Ground black pepper
650ml of milk
10 lasagne sheets (fresh is good if you want it to cook quickly, but dried sheets are fine if you don’t mind waiting longer for your lasagne to cook)
50g vegetarian Parmesan style cheese

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Roast the Butternut Squash and onion, drizzled with oil, in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through.

3. Heat the tomatoes, herbs and spinach together in a pan to make a rustic sort of tomato sauce. Stir in the butternut squash and onion.

4. Make the white sauce by melting the butter with the sage leaves. Add the flour and the ground pepper, to taste, and whisk to form a smooth paste. Allow to cook for a further minute. Slowly add the milk a splash at a time, whisking into combine before adding more milk. Put the sauce to one side.

5. Assemble the lasagne by layering the sheets of pasta, tomato sauce and the white sauce. Top the lasagne with the vegetarian parmesan.

6. Bake for 25 minutes if using fresh lasagne sheets, or around 45 minutes if you are using dried pasta.

I’ve also found that I can make an allergy friendly version of the white sauce using dairy free spread (Vitalite), gluten free plain flour and a milk substitute (Koko). In this instance I would also use dairy free cheese instead of the vegetarian parmesan.

Avocado and sweetcorn salsa

It’s raining and grey here in Yorkshire so I needed some food that is full of sunshine to cheer me up. This is a Mexican inspired recipe that’s easy to throw together.

img_0791

Avocoda and Sweetcorn Salsa (makes one small bowl full)

225g canned sweetcorn, drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered, and de-seeded if you don’t like the insides like me!
A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.  Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.

Fresh coriander is a good substitute for basil.

This is also nice mixed with cooled pasta shapes to make a pasta salad for lunch.