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bace beanballs

VEGAN

“Serve these scrummy beanballs on top of pasta with a simple tomato sauce and you have yourself a complete protein meal. Alternatively serve them hot or cold in pitta breads stuffed with slaw and chilli sauce. If you want to make them gluten-free check out Novo Farina. They make these amazing crumbs from pea flour which result in these gorgeous light textured beanballs.”

SERVES: 4   PREP TIME: 15 MINS   COOKING TIME: 15 MINS

Ingredients

For the beanballs:

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

100g Novo Farina pea crumb (use breadcrumbs or rolled porridge oats instead)

1 heaped tblsp pea flour (or plain flour)

20g sunflower seeds

20g vegan cheese, grated (or parmesan cheese)

1 tblsp yeast flakes (such as Engevita)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

For the tomato pasta sauce:

1 tblsp oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

400g tin tomatoes

1 tsp powdered stock

1/2 tsp sugar

Method

To make the beanballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Place the beanball ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.
  3. With floured hands take heaped teaspoon-fulls of the mixture and roll into golf-sized balls. The mixture will make about 20 beanballs.
  4. Place on a greased baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 mins.

To make the tomato pasta sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the garlic and fry for a few seconds before adding the tomatoes.
  2. Add the stock and sugar then cook for 10 mins.
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red haricot bean & cashew nut loaf

VEGAN

“This bean and nut loaf is simple to make and really tasty. Serve it as a Sunday roast alternative or with a selection of different salads. The coconut yoghurt and chipotle sauce is a delicious accompaniment. The ground flaxseed and water combination is a great alternative to egg for binding ingredients. If you want to make this loaf gluten free check out Novo Farina. They have some brilliant products including crumbs made from pea flour which can be used for a breadcrumb substitute”

SERVES: 4   PREP TIME: 15 MINS   COOKING TIME: 55 MINS

Ingredients

For the loaf:

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

50g breadcrumbs

150g cashew nuts, chopped

1 tblsp yeast flakes (such as Engevita)

1 tblsp ground flaxseed & 3 tblsp water (or 1 egg)

1 tsp chipotle paste

20g sunflower seeds

For the coconut yoghurt & chipotle sauce:

2 tblsp coconut yoghurt

1 tsp chipotle paste

1/2 lemon, squeezed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Start by combining the flaxseed and water. Let is sit for a few mins until it gels.
  3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (roughly 22cm x 12cm by 6cm deep).
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and add the flaxseed mixture once it’s ready. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
  6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 55 mins.
  7. To make the sauce combine the coconut yoghurt, chipotle paste and lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve alongside.
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venison sausage & bean casserole with chestnuts

“A great dish for entertaining. It’s so easy to make but tastes like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Adding baked beans with benefits makes for a deliciously flavoured sauce which thickens the dish without the need for flour and butter. You could use ordinary pork sausages but venison is a good lower fat alternative with great flavour and provides a bit of luxury. Serve with a pile of fluffy mash and some greens.”

SERVES: 4   PREP TIME: 20 MINS   COOKING TIME: 40 MINS

Ingredients

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

1 tblsp oil

8 venison sausages

280g shallots

120g bacon lardons

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200ml white wine

1 bay leaf, 1 sprig thyme

200g button mushrooms

180g whole chestnuts (roasted & vacuum packed)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the venison sausages. Brown on all sides and remove to a plate.
  2. Peel the shallots and keep whole.
  3. Brown the shallots and bacon lardons in the pan and then add the garlic.
  4. Pour in the wine, return the sausages to the pan and add the herbs. Season with pepper.
  5. Simmer for 20 mins.
  6. Cut the whole chestnuts in half and add to the pan with the mushrooms and pot of baked beans with benefits.
  7. Simmer for 15 mins then serve.
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butternut squash & carlin pea soup

VEGAN

“I love roasted squash soup but when you add a pot of aromatic peas with perks it adds extra layers of flavour, texture and protein. The peas have a distinctive nutty flavour and combine beautifully with the sweetness of the squash. I’ve topped the soup with fried cavolo nero and my new favourite ingredient – smoked quinoa from Hodmedod’s.”

SERVES: 4   PREP TIME: 15 MINS   COOKING TIME: 40 MINS

Ingredients

1 pot of aromatic peas with perks

1 butternut squash

2 tblsp oil

1 onion

1 tsp chipotle paste

1 litre veg stock

Garnish options:

50g smoked quinoa (cooked as per packet instructions)

Cavolo nero leaves, finely chopped and stir-fried in oil

Coriander leaves, toasted seeds, coconut yoghurt , chilli oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Cut the butternut squash into chunks (leaving the skin on), coat with 1 tblsp oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 mins.
  3. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the onion. Saute gently for 5 mins. Add the chipotle paste, butternut squash and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.
  5. Blend the soup using a stick blender or in batches in a liquidiser.
  6. Return to the pan and add the aromatic peas with perks. Bring to the boil again.
  7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favourite toppings.
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lasagne with red bean benefits

“In a conscious effort to reduce our meat consumption I add beans or lentils to everything! This is a real family favourite. Follow my recipe here or just add baked beans with benefits to your usual ragu sauce to add a really lovely depth of flavour and extra nutrition”

SERVES: 6   PREP TIME: 30 MINS   COOKING TIME: 40 + 30 MINS

Ingredients

For the ragu:

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

1 tblsp oil

500g beef mince

175ml red wine

400g tin chopped tomatoes

½ tsp oregano

1 tblsp tomato puree

1 beef stock cube

For the white sauce:

50g butter

50g flour

550ml milk

50g parmesan, grated

For the lasagne:

75g mature cheddar cheese

12 sheets lasagne

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mince then fry until browned. Turn up the heat and pour in the wine and bubble until reduced. Add the tomatoes, baked beans with benefits, tomato puree, oregano and beef stock cube. Half fill the tomato tin with water and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 40 mins.
  2. For the white sauce melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir to cook for a minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until thickened. Stir in the parmesan and season.
  3. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6. Layer up the lasagne in a baking dish, starting with a third each of the ragu, pasta and then white sauce. Repeat twice. Top with the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins until bubbling and slightly brown on top.
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red haricot bean & cheese rolls

VEGETARIAN

“These amazing little bites of bean and cheese-filled pastry rolls are divine and require very little preparation. They’re great for parties, picnics and lunch boxes.”

SERVES: MAKES 24   PREP TIME: 10 MINS   COOKING TIME: 25 MINS

Ingredients

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

1 Jus-Rol puff pastry sheet (320g)

80g porridge oats

50g cheddar cheese, grated

Milk to glaze

Method

  1. Remove the pastry from the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  3. Grease a baking sheet.
  4. Empty the baked beans with benefits into a bowl then add oats and grated cheese. Stir to mix.
  5. Unroll the pastry (leaving it on the paper provided) and place it on a worksurface in a landscape position. Cut horizontally through the middle of the pastry.
  6. Take half of the bean mixture and spread it evenly in a sausage shape down the middle of the length of one of the pastry strips. Brush the edges of the pastry with water then fold the pastry over the bean mixture. Press to seal. Cut into 12 individual rolls. Snip the centre of each to let the steam escape and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remainder of the bean mixture and pastry strip.

Brush the rolls with milk and place in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown.

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mini parma ham, pea & feta frittatas

“Impress your guests with these delicious little morsels. They’re so easy to make and are perfect for a party, picnic or lunch boxes. You can use prosciutto, serrano or parma ham slices. Turn this into vegetarian frittatas by omitting the ham but grease the tin holes very well or line with plain paper cases”

SERVES: MAKES 12   PREP TIME: 10 MINS   COOKING TIME: 15 MINS

Ingredients

1/2 pot of popping peas with perks

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon oil

6 slices parma ham

3 eggs

50g feta cheese (1/4 block)

¼ tsp dried mint

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Grease a 12-hole bun tin with oil or butter.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, a pinch of salt and sauté gently for 5 mins.
  4. Using scissors cut each ham slice into 4 pieces. Place 2 pieces into each bun tin hole covering the base and sides.
  5. Beat the eggs in a jug and add ½ pot of popping peas with perks, the cooked onion, feta and mint. Season with pepper
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared bun tin.
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 15 mins until very slightly brown on top.
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vegan red haricot bean & seed rolls

VEGAN

“These bean and sunflower seed rolls are so delicious and super easy to make. Everybody loves them. Add as much chilli as you dare! You can change it up a bit with fresh chopped chilli instead of flakes or use chipotle chilli paste”

SERVES: MAKES 24   PREP TIME: 10 MINS   COOKING TIME: 25 MINS

Ingredients

1 pot of baked beans with benefits

1 Jus-Rol puff pastry sheet (320g)

80g porridge oats

20g sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon yeast flakes (such as Engevita)

½ tsp chilli flakes

Method

  1. Remove the pastry from the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  3. Grease a baking sheet.
  4. Empty the baked beans with benefits into a bowl then add oats, sunflower seeds, yeast flakes and chilli flakes. Stir to mix.
  5. Unroll the pastry (leaving it on the paper provided) and place it on a worksurface in a landscape position. Cut horizontally through the middle of the pastry.
  6. Take half of the bean mixture and spread it evenly in a sausage shape down the middle of the length of one of the pastry strips. Brush the edges of the pastry with water then fold the pastry over the bean mixture. Press to seal. Cut into 12 individual rolls. Snip the centre of each to let the steam escape and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remainder of the bean mixture and pastry strip.
  8. Place in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
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carlin pea, chestnut & cranberry loaf

VEGAN

“Making a nut loaf is normally a bit of a faff but not this recipe. It’s so simple to make and utterly delicious. The flaxseed and water combination is a great alternative to egg for binding ingredients. Play around with the seasoning. You could use chipotle paste or curry paste instead of harissa”

SERVES: 4   PREP TIME: 10 MINS   COOKING TIME: 50 MINS

Ingredients

1 pot of aromatic peas with perks

115g breadcrumbs

180g whole chestnuts (roasted & vacuum packed)

1 tblsp yeast flakes (such as Engevita)

1 tblsp ground flaxseed & 3 tblsp water (or 1 egg)

1 tsp harissa paste (or I used 2 tsp A De Piff Karamo Jerk Seasoning)

45g cranberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Start by combining the flaxseed and water. Let is sit for a few mins until it gels.
  3. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (roughly 22cm x 12cm by 6cm deep).
  4. Roughly chop the chestnuts
  5. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and add the flaxseed mixture once it’s ready.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
  7. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 mins.
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My top 10 must have ingredients

Do you want to make mealtimes a breeze and eat a bit healthier with some plant-based protein and lots of veg? Then grab yourself some pots of bace, pop them in the fridge and fill up your store cupboard, fridge and freezer with my top 10 must haves.

1. Pearled spelt

When I’m making a risotto (see my recipe for easy peasy risotto) I often use pearled spelt instead of rice. Sometimes I might even do half and half. I buy the Sharpham Park organic pearled spelt. It has a delicious nutty taste, it’s high in protein and fibre and is a good source of slow release energy. The Roman Army apparently called it their ‘marching grain’.

2. Crème fraiche

Great for stirring into curries, soups, pasta sauces and perfect for turning down the heat in an overly-spiced chilli. My children love it spread onto tortilla wraps with avocado, baked beans with benefits and grated cheese. I make my own coleslaw with shredded red cabbage, sliced red onion, grated carrot and half crème fraiche half mayo. Using crème fraiche makes for a lighter coleslaw.

3. Frozen chopped spinach

A brilliant veg to keep in the freezer which I add to curries, soups and omelettes. They come in handy cubes and can be added directly from frozen.

4. Harissa paste & Curry paste

I love the flavours in harissa paste, the main ingredient being red pepper with chillies, garlic, cumin, paprika and more. I add it to omelettes, frittatas, soups, nut roasts and middle eastern stews. You can turn an ordinary dish into something quite exotic, warm and spicy.

I wish I had time to make my own curry pastes but sadly I’m rather busy so I buy a good quality curry paste which I always have to hand in my fridge. You can add as little or as much as you wish, depending on your heat tolerance. Try one of my easy curry recipes using aromatic peas with perks as a base. It makes a fantastic curry with very little effort. Quicker, cheaper and far healthier than ordering a takeaway!

5. Roasted seeds

The Munchy Seeds brand prepare these lovely pots of tasty savoury seven seed mixes. The seeds are perfect for sprinkling on top of salads, soups, chilli or my very special baked beans with benefits. They’re crammed full of minerals, vitamins, protein and fibre. A great little snack too.

6. Infused oils

I use Crush cold pressed rapeseed oil for making my products. It’s grown, cold pressed and bottled in Norfolk. They do some lovely infused oils. My absolute favourite is the smoked chipotle chilli infused oil. It’s a taste sensation when drizzled over popping peas with perks. I also love a slice of toasted sourdough, smothered in baked beans with benefits, topped with poached eggs and a drizzle of smoked chipotle chilli oil – absolutely delicious!

I also keep Yare Valley oils in my store-cupboard. Another great local cold pressed oil with a range of lovely infusions. The dill flavoured oil is delicate so perfect for dressing a light summery salad. I also love their madras flavoured oil for drizzling over crunchy mixed salads which I serve with my meat free Monday curry.

Rapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and contains omega 3, 6 & 9 plus vitamin E.

7. Bouillon powder (powdered stock)

This powder makes an instant stock so perfect for adding to any of my bace pots to turn them into a super quick soup. I buy the vegan, lower salt version. It’s available in all good supermarkets and is a must store-cupboard staple. You can even turn it into a delicious hot drink.

8. Chutneys

Having a jar of interesting chutney on hand will perk up a cheese sandwich and works a treat alongside a curry but it’s also great as an ingredient. Add a little chutney to curries, soups and casseroles. I swirl a dollop into yoghurt to make a spicy dip and spread it on toast under cheese and then melt under the grill. I love Candi’s Chutneys. She hand-makes every jar using local East Anglian ingredients. My favourite is spiced carrot chutney. It works beautifully with our aromatic peas with perks. Just pile the two delicious ingredients on top of naan bread and devour.

9. Tinned plum tomatoes

I add tomatoes to curries, chillies, soups, pasta sauces and baked pasta dishes. Cooked tomatoes are a great source of lycopene (an antioxidant) which has fantastic health benefits. I prefer plum tomatoes instead of the chopped ones. The chopped ones can sometimes look a little insipid. I work on the assumption that they keep the best plum tomatoes whole and chop up the rest.

10. Bread

I keep my bread in the freezer and just take out slices when I need them. More about that below. I’m always conscious of preventing food waste so I keep the ends of the bread and blitz them into breadcrumbs for coating fishcakes or topping baked pasta dishes. I also turn the bread ends into croutons. Just cut the slices up into bite sized pieces, drizzle them with oil and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins. Store them in an airtight container and use to top soups and salads or just eat them as a snack.

So, getting back to frozen bread – did you know that toast made with bread taken directly from the freezer contains more resistant starch? This means that your body gets far fewer calories from the bread as the resistant starch feeds your gut bacteria, rather than feeding you. Amazing! Check out this article The Truth About Carbs.

On top of these items I always have a well-stocked fridge full of fresh veg and salad to turn into crunchy side salads and accompaniments to my bace meals and snacks. #VegPower #LovePulses