Mexican Bean Stew


Mexican Bean Stew (2)

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel a bit tired and sluggish, and like you probably need to pump your body full of good things? Well, this is the most delicious remedy! It’s full of beans, grains and vegetables (and topped with a healthy portion of dairy too – optional of course!).

I didn’t fancy making this dish today. I had a lovely griddled pork chop dish planned, but on getting home from work realised my pork chops were a bit old! However, once I threw this together I was glad I did. It’s full of deep, earthy Mexican flavours and really is the most simple way of injecting good stuff into your diet.

This will serve 3-4 (just increase the amount of beans and chopped tomatoes if you want to serve more) and takes 30 minutes to make.

Mexican Bean Stew (1)

Mexican Bean Stew

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 small glass red wine

1 x 400g tin black beans

1 x 400g tin black eyed beans

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 yellow peppers

150g quinoa

1 large handful fresh coriander

Soured cream and grated cheddar, to serve

1. Chop the onion and garlic and put in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the paprika, cumin, ground coriander and cinnamon. Stir well, then tip in the red wine. Allow to bubble down.

2. Add the black beand and black eyed beans (with a little of the water from the tins) and chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the chopped yellow peppers and quinoa. Add a little water if it’s too thick, and bring to the boil. Let it simmer gently for approximately 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked.

4. Turn off the heat and stir through the chopped coriander. To serve, top each bowl with a little grated cheese and a dollop of soured cream. Enjoy the health kick!

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Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos


Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (3)

I’m revisiting an old favourite tonight; beautiful, smoky tacos are just the treat we need on a hump day in a miserable, cold week in February.

I first published this recipe as my Sumptious Smoky Tacos, but firstly, I fancied them again tonight, and secondly, I thought it was about time the recipe got a little makeover.

These tacos have always been extremely popular, and when you taste them, you’ll see why. They have deep, smoky flavours associated with slow cooking but are ready in less than half an hour – what’s not to love?

You can serve the tacos with any mix of sides you like – pile them up! But I served mine with avocado and lettuce (for a bit of health) and soured cream and cheese (because I like them!).

If anyone has the knack of eating tacos with your hands, please let me know! I feel a bit ridiculous eating them with a knife and fork!

This will make enough for 8 tacos and takes 30 minutes max to make.

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (1)

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

500g lean pork mince

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsps smoked paprika

380g tin black beans

500g passata

Small bunch chopped coriander

To serve:

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 iceburg lettuce, chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

50ml soured cream

8 taco shells

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the chopped red onion. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the pork. Cook until browned, then stir in the cumin, ground coriander and smoked paprika.

2. Stir in the passata and drained black beans, put a lid on your pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in your chopped coriander and season to taste.

4. To serve, arrange the avocado, lettuce, cheese, soured cream and pork on the table with the taco shells and let everyone help themselves!

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (2)

Vegetable Enchiladas


Vegetable Enchiladas (1)

Yum! Who doesn’t like enchiladas? They’re like the Mexican version of lasagne! They are perfect for cold weather, because they’re the ultimate comfort food. Anything baked in the oven is wonderful when it’s cold outside.

We looked through the cupboards yesterday and came across some tortilla wraps which were about to go, and were delighted when we realised that to use these up, we could make this.

I’ve only ever made chicken enchiladas before, but seeing as it’s still January and so we should technically be on a health kick, I’ve made this version completely vegetarian, and contains loads of different veggies which makes it fairly good for you – you could almost get your 5-a-day from this dish!

If you like these, try my Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni!

This takes around 45-50 minutes to make, and will serve 2-3 (more with a side salad/dishes)

Vegetable Enchiladas (2)

Vegetable Enchiladas

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

200g button mushrooms

1 yellow pepper

2 courgettes

2 tbsps tomato puree

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

6 flour tortilla wraps

400g tin chopped tomatoes

30g cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

20ml soured cream

1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the sliced onion, halved mushrooms, sliced peppers and sliced courgettes. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until starting to soften, then stir in the tomato puree, smoked paprika, cumin and cinnamon. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

3. Lay out your tortillas. Place a spoonful of the veggie mixture into the centre of each one, then fold them up as you would a fajita. Lay the wraps side by side in a large oven proof dish.

4. Pour the chopped tomatoes over the wraps. Try to do it evenly, but don’t worry if they don’t reach the edges. Top this with an even layer of the grated cheese and chilli flakes.

5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tortillas are crisp at the edges and the tomatoes are hot and bubbling.

6. Enjoy with a dollop of soured cream, and some sliced spring onions if you fancy.

Tomato Salsa Tostados


Tomato Salsa Tostados (1)

Mexican food is fantastic – I’m sure everyone agrees with that, and who wouldn’t want an evening meal which tastes like nachos but is much better for you? These tostados are bright, tasty and you can easily omit or limit the amount of cheese and soured cream to make them seriously healthy. I’m too much of a dairy fan to do this though.

If you haven’t made tostados before, do it! They’re like little pizzas on a tortilla, and you can use any toppings you like. I love these ones because they embrace Mexican flavours – but you don’t need to do that at all – you could easily make Greek ones with black olives and feta, or you could use any of your favourite pizza toppings.

These ones are surprsingly filling because of the avocado, and so I don’t think you need any meat. If you really wanted to add some, you could top with some cooked chicken breast.

These tostados will be ready in 20 minutes, and will serve 2.

Tomato Salsa Tostados (2)

Tomato Salsa Tostados

2 tortilla wraps

2 tbsps olive oil

1 onion

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin borlotti beans

1 handful coriander

1 yellow pepper

2 tsps smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

20g grated cheddar

20g soured cream

1 avocado

1 spring onion

1 red chilli

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Place the tortilla wraps flat on a baking tray (use 2 if you need to), drizzle with half of the olive oil and bake in the oven for approximately 5 minutes until starting to crisp. Remove from the oven.

2. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a saucepan. Chop the onion and add to the saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the chopped coriander stalks (reserve the leaves for later).

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, borlotti beans, sliced yellow pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thick.

4. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the tortillas, as you would a pizza sauce onto a pizza base. Top each one with grated cheese, then put back in the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden.

5. Top each tostado with a dollop of soured cream, sliced avocado, a handful of coriander leaves and some sliced spring onion and chilli. Enjoy!