Tag Archives: paprika

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas


Snack attack!

I’ve been wanting to make roasted chickpeas for a long time. Today was finally the day. I don’t think you can claim these are massively healthy – the oil and salt take care of that, but they’re high fibre, full of protein, full of flavour and you know exactly what’s gone into making them. And they’re really easy as well.

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400g tin of chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
Add the chickpeas and the other ingredients into a bowl and stir thoroughly until all the chickpeas are coated with the mix.
Spread evenly over an oven tray.
Put in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Take out of the oven and stir the chickpeas around so that they will cook evenly.
Put back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more.
Leave to cool and serve with the film or TV sport of your choice.

Edit & NB I’ve been asked questions about timings on this. This recipe very much depends on your oven, if the timings here don’t get the chickpeas as crispy as you’d like, add an extra 5 minutes at a time until they are. Remember they will crisp up a bit more as they cool down. I’m sorry, this is one recipe where you’ll just have to experiment to see what works in your kitchen.

Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff


Mushroom Stroganoff is one of those dishes that define an era, much in the same way that black forest gateau and prawn cocktail do. In the days before goats cheese, mushroom stroganoff was a perennial vegetarian option on menus. But, in common with its menu mates, when it’s done well it’s a dish worth eating.

The secret to this is the stock you use – Italian porcini mushroom stock. You can find it in some supermarkets and delicatessens. It’s worth your time seeking it out and buying it when you find it. It adds an intense mushroom flavour to stroganoff and, indeed, mushroom risotto as well. If you can’t get it, then vegetable stock will do.

Mushroom Stroganoff photo DSCN1111_zps03d0c710.jpg

1 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp white wine
1/4 tsp english mustard
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
few rasps of nutmeg
150ml mushroom stock
100ml coconut milk
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Sweat the onion and garlic in a large frying pan.
When they have softened, add the mushrooms and turn up the heat a little.
When the mushrooms have taken on a little colour, add the white wine and let it bubble down.
Then stir in the mustard, paprika and nutmeg.
Cook the mushrooms in the spices for a minute and then add the stock and coconut milk.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the stock has reduced by at least half.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with the parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 2 with rice

Recipe: Pepper Sandwich


I don’t know about you, but I rarely think about cooking something to go in a sandwich. Sandwiches are, for me, something that is made from cold ingredients and leftovers. But I was inspired by finding out there was such a thing as a Chicago Pepper and Egg Sandwich. It sounded unlikely coming from one of the big meat-packing cities of the USA, but apparently it is a thing.

Problem was, when I came to make it, I didn’t have any eggs to hand. But I didn’t let that stop me. This is a nice, juicy sandwich filling. If you wanted to make it more substantial you could spread some hummus on the bread before adding the fried peppers.

Peppers Sandwich photo DSCN0966_zps52ca03ec.jpg

2 peppers (mixed colours best), sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 baguette

Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the peppers and onion.
Cook gently on a low to medium heat until the peppers are softened and slightly blackened.
Add the garlic and the smoked paprika and cook through for another five minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve on a split baguette with a squirt of lemon juice over the top.

Serves 2

Recipe Tryout: The Guardian’s ‘Perfect’ Bean Burger


The Guardian has a regular food feature – “How to cook the perfect…” where Felicity Cloake tries out several versions to find the perfect way to cook a particular recipe. Recently, it was the turn of the perfect bean burger.

It sounded good so I thought I’d give it a try.

Felicity’s ingredients are as follows:
200g potato, peeled and diced
50g podded broad beans
400g cooked black beans
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
Vegetable oil, to fry
1 onion, finely diced
½ red pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ jalapeno or other mild chilli, finely chopped
1 chipotle chilli in adobo, finely chopped, or 2tsp smoked paprika
Juice of ½ lime
Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2tbsp cornmeal, to coat

The instructions are (in short)
Boil the potato and mash it.
Simmer the broad beans, remove their skins and mash them lightly.
Add the black beans, toasted cumin & coriander seeds and mash it all together.
Fry the onion, pepper and garlic, add to the mix when cool.
Stir in the other ingredients.
Form into patties and leave to firm up in the fridge.

I didn’t have any jalapeño or chipotle chilli, so I stuck to the paprika. I didn’t have any cornmeal, either, so that got left out.

My burger looked like this:

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My initial impression was that there was far too much paprika. 2 tsp is too much for that amount of mix. I would start with 1/2 tsp and add more from there. This is especially true for Sainsbury’s Smoked Paprika which is also very hot. I didn’t put any chilli in and it was nearly too hot for a friend of mine to finish. Be careful and taste as you go along.

I hoped that I’d found a bean burger recipe that would stick together, but these didn’t. We did them on tin-foil on a barbecue and didn’t dare turn them.

They were certainly flavourful, but really all you could taste was the paprika. I’ll do them again, but this time with much more caution on the spices.

Recipe: Easy, Spicy Barbecue Sauce


The sun is out, it’s barbecue season. It’s the time when you can’t walk down a street on a weekend without being assaulted by the smell of some hapless, dead animal being charcoaled to an inch of its afterlife. It can be tough going for vegetarians as well. Friends who have watched you order vegetarian food in restaurants all year without commenting can suddenly develop an urge to wave their bottulism- sorry- burger in a bun under your nose.

However, I have a way of mitigating the whole situation. I have a great spicy, barbecue sauce that, if you take it along to a friend’s place, will do much to ease your path through the bbq nightmare.

I’ve based my recipe on one for Kansas City style sauce which calls for ketchup. I love ketchup but I didn’t really want to start a recipe with 250ml of it. I substituted passata instead. It also calls for 1 tablespoon of chilli powder. I think that’s going to make it a bit hot for most people’s taste, so I’ve suggested 1-3 tsp so you can get the heat you’re comfortable with. You can use any type of vinegar in this sauce, but I think it works best with good old malt vinegar and there aren’t many recipes where I’ll say that.

This is sweet, sour, smokey, hot and really moreish. The picture shows this on grilled tempeh, but it’ll transform the blandest of carbonised veggie burger or sausage. You can even share it with your meat-eating friends if you like!

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2 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml passata
4 tbsp malt vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1-3 tsp chilli powder, according to taste

Sweat the garlic in a little oil in a saucepan.
Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt.
Simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced by half.
Let cool.

This will make about 150ml of sauce.