Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chloe Likes To Eat

Well, it's been a little while hasn't it! I've eaten a lot of yummy things in 2013 (and that was just the Christmas goodies...) and I haven't had a bad start to 2014 either- T made my Thai Fish Curry at the weekend and it was a perfect Saturday night treat.

Today's offering is one of my favourite slow cooker recipes, and it's a blessing for days like every single one of the last 2 months at work the last couple where I've been flat out at work, training hard (although don't even ask how the high winds are ruining my 300km challenge) and I want quick and easy, filling and nutritionally sound dinner for two.

Looks good right? I've made this so many times and with so many variations and tweaks, that I'm struggling to remember what it was originally called- I've a suspicion it might have a Mexican Bean Stew.... In any case this is all standard cupboard/fridge fare in our house, and it's a pretty cheap dish too.

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1 tin of chickpeas
1 tine of chopped tomatoes
2 red onions
1 yellow pepper
garlic
smoked paprika
chilli powder
tomato purée

Rough chop the onions and pepper, brown them off in a pan, crush in the garlic and dump in the chickpeas.

Add in the smoked paprika- I'm generous with mine because I love the flavour- but you're the one eating it, not me, now's a good time to shove in a generous dolop of tomato puree, the chilli powder and any other seasoning such as salt and pepper to taste. Give it all a bloody good stir.

Dump in the tinned tomatoes, stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low for 10 mins so every has the chance to simmer and reduce a little.

Serve over a baked potato, with rice, as it comes or with some fresh bread. The more observant among you will notice I mentioned the slow cooker earlier, and so obviously, there's a few variations... I tend to leave peppers or any other vegetables except for the onions out whilst I follow the above, and add them when I shove the whole lot, along with half a carton of pasata into my slow cooker- so everything keeps a little crunch. Cook on low for approximately 5-6 hours.

Mexican Inspired Chickpea Bean Stew Paprika Cheap HEalthy Food

The other great thing about this- it's quite easy to find alternative ingredients or change it up to suit what's lurking in the cupboard- tinned three bean mix works quite well apparently (I'm not a fan), kidney beans, butter beans or sweet potato would all work in this, and veg wise- that handful of French beans, a few mushrooms, and in the slow cooker- carrots are personal favourites. You could also add quorn, chicken, lamb or sausages (don't knock it until you've tried it) to bulk this out and/or build some more protein in.

Would love to know if you give the a whirl, or if you have any great variations. This version is served over a half baked potato with leftover cabbage that has been thrown through a pan with a half pack of leftover lardons. Stir on high heat until the lardons crisp, FYI.
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