Young fresh fine green beans are a joy. I’ve been looking for a recipe to show them off and I think I’ve found one. Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry is a traditional recipe, which inevitably has many versions.
I’ve used what I believe to be a traditional spice combination, which is quite an unusual one, and I’ve thickened the sauce with ground sunflower seeds to make it a little richer.
The sauce is mellow, with a sharp background hit of cloves and fenugreek.
A simple soup, easy to prepare, and deliciously, heart-warmingly good. Cooking at its best: no-nonsense…no fuss.
This soup is back to basics: carrots, potatoes and onions…
… + a handful of lovely, delicate baby broad beans.
btw. I’m starting a new category: cooking for 1.
It might seem odd introducing a pot of soup that serves 4 as cooking for one , but I remember when I lived on my own I was always looking for ways of making batches of food so I didn’t have to cook everyday. This soup stores chilled very well because it contains no dairy.
Also, you can add something new when reheating a portion, such as a handful of frozen peas, some pre-cooked haricot beans, chopped spring onions or a small tin of sweetcorn.
All the fresh ingredients are, on this occasion, homegrown by me ( 🙂 ) , but they are readily available in the shops all year round. As you can see, there are very few ingredients! 🙂
A word for fresh herbs: they are just such a boon in the kitchen, and it’s really easy to grow them on a reasonable sunny window sill these days ( in fact a lot of them don’t like sun all day) … and they add flavour and fragrance to soups, stews, salads … etc.
I know the sun is shining somewhere … but it sure ain’t here in my bit of the UK! It’s grey, it’s wet, it’s cold and disturbingly unseasonable. When it’s like this in June, I always get the feeling it could go on all summer long…chilly rainy days…
Mid-summer’s day is upon us.. Difficult to believe, but the days will be getting shorter again… ????
But that’s just about OK … for now … because I did beans. I do beans a lot.
As far as I’m concerned, a bowl of beans is food for the soul.
This one is a modest, no-fuss, no-nonsense bowl of beans West African style.
Not many ingredients … and no faff at all … but an explosion of rich spicy flavours all the same.
Black-eyed beans are a great little bean. They’re small, and have a nutty earthy flavour and they don’t go too soft… and they don’t need too long a soak…
Here’s a link to one of my beany blogs with tips on beans (click image)
Tinned beans are fine for this recipe, but I prefer to soak and cook my own.
WEST AFRICAN BLACK-EYED BEAN STEW
t.b.h. this may well serve 3-4 …particularly if served with rice
but 2 of us ate the lot (after a long wet day gardening)
I had been wondering what to do with the cabbage in my veggie basket. I was thinking of stuffed cabbage leaves… because prior to that I’d been considering the grape vine that is now leaping into life over my garden shed and thinking that it would be nice to try stuffed vine leaves from scratch when the leaves get bigger….and that was but a short jump to cabbage leaves 😉 ….idle lateral thinking really…
Then I found a few recipes for stuffed cabbage leaves and they all looked a bit mid-winterish… and not what I fancied…so I carried on searching. Until I came across Okonomiyaki. I gather that Okonomi means ‘as you like it’ and Yaki means cooked.
You can put all sorts of things into it but one of the favoured ingredients is cabbage.
Now I think cabbage is a pretty under-rated vegetable. For many of us, that probably dates back to the days when a pile of wet, limp, soggy, yellowy-green leaves appeared on our plate accompanied by the instruction to ‘eat your greens’. Over-cooked boiled cabbage is rarely attractive…..
But there are lots of great recipes that put cabbages in a very different light. From curries to ribbons of lightly-steamed spring greens drizzled with vegan-butter and a pinch of salt, and from crunchy coleslaw to crispy kale, there’s a myriad of ways to make cabbage shine. And here’s another one. Because cabbage is a beautiful thing.
Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese Pizza or Japanese Pancake is really more of a frittata. Traditionally, it includes eggs, so I’ve taken a bit of liberty to veganise it: using chickpea flour, chia seeds and black salt.
There is also a special Okonomiyaki Flour that includes milled yam. I’ve used chickpea flour and mashed sweet potato……
But I’m pleased with the results. I shall be returning to Okonomiyaki again and again….
A Swedish invention, apparently a speciality in a Stockholm Restaurant in an area called Hasselbacken… and just a lovely way to spruce up an everyday baked potato!
They only take a few minutes to do …. with a sharp knife and a steady hand …. and they’re definitely worth it for all that extra crispiness on the outside and lovely mellow potato-ness on the inside … 🙂
You can of course omit the herby garlicky bit and have them plain with salt and pepper, or else scatter with grated vegan cheese for the final 10 mins. of cooking …or chopped spring onions might be nice…
Monggo is a traditional Filipino Mung Bean Stew. It has very few ingredients, which is just one of the things I love about it.
Less is more… so often… as this dish proves… it’s mellow, comforting and quite delicious. I decided to accompany it with some fresh, white, oat-milk bread rolls, which has turned out to be a lovely combination.
I love beans, and I’m discovering so many beautiful recipes from around the world….
When it comes to beans, they need a long soak and a slow cook. Every time. In the scheme of things, mung beans are small, and therefore very amenable… they only need a 12 hour soak, and will easily cook through in an hour and a half.
The bread rolls require just the minimum of effort, and, in total about 90 minutes somewhere warm to prove….
Ideally, Monggo needs Malunggay leaves – also known as leaves of the Moringa Tree, but here in the UK I’ve been unable to find them, and a common alternative is baby leaf spinach.
Traditionally the recipe may or may not contain meat, but I’m interested in a plant-based version of course. I’ve used carrots and celery to add an extra depth to the stock.
I hope you enjoy….
MONGGO + OAT-MILK WHITE BREAD ROLLS
Cook’s note: if you begin both the Monggo … (having soaked the beans for 12 hours) ..and the bread rolls at roughly the same time… they will be ready at the same time! Takes about 2 hours or so, but far less ‘active’ time …(tip: get the bread going first)…