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Cuban black bean soup

21 Mar

Cuban black bean soup

Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.

I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.

This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading

Roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing

7 Feb

Roast squash and chickpea salad

This roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is becoming a favourite winter lunch around ours.

It’s lovely served with the squash still warm from the oven, and keeps well in the fridge. I bring it back to room temperature before serving, and freshen up the seasoning. Continue reading

Sweet potato and black bean tacos

18 Nov

Sweet potato and black bean tacos

Sweet potato and black bean tacos are currently the “go-to” taco around here. Last year was all about fish tacos, but the tilapia I favoured has vanished from the fish counter, for one thing.

Also, we are make a conscious effort to have more meat-free dinners each week, and these are helping with that ambition.

Continue reading

Turkey white bean chilli

6 Nov

Turkey white bean chilli

This turkey white bean chilli is a lighter, fresher take on the rich, red chilli con carne I grew up eating – though the chipotle paste ensures it still packs a punch.

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Mung bean coconut curry

19 Oct

Mung bean coconut curry

Poor, unfashionable mung beans… While a number of ingredients have crossed the aisle from “health food” to mainstream (hummus, tofu), or even become trendy (quinoa, chia seeds), mung beans are not among them.

There is still something 1970s, socks-and-sandals, “knit your own yogurt” about mung beans (at least in their un-sprouted form). Or maybe it’s a name thing… if you were brainstorming names to market a new legume, I doubt “mung” would make the long list.

Having been a friend of the mung bean for years, I’d like to introduce them to a wider social circle. This mung bean coconut curry is a good place to start. Quick to make (mung beans don’t need pre-soaking), delicious, healthy and cheap, this curry is a winner.

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Bean salad with smoked paprika dressing

6 Aug

Bean salad with smoked paprika dressing

Having made many a bean salad over the years, I’ve pretty much settled on this version.

I love the combination of smoked paprika, honey and vinegar in the dressing, which elevates the prosaic bean salad to unlikely heights. Continue reading

Salade liègeoise

1 Jul

Salade liègeoise

After tasting her salade liègeoise this evening, my older daughter remarked that what she likes best about trying recipes from different countries is recognising adaptations of familiar dishes.

“Like this salade liègeoise, for example – this is just a salade niçoise for people who don’t have tomatoes.”

She’s spot on, and it really brought home to me one of the reasons I cook the way I do. It a way of engaging with the world, of opening a window into different cultures – “dining table” travel, if you will. Continue reading