Over the course of 2014, I had found myself doing a lot of new things and being inspired to create new recipes, make dishes that can take me away from the everyday trudge of mealtime and keep eating after work just as enjoyable as eating at the weekend. Monday blues are no excuse to stick to beans on toast (not that there’s anything wrong with beans on toast!) purely through a lack of inspiration.
I have a few stalwart recipes that come to mind that tend to remedy this, however, This one in particular is fast becoming a favourite for me and my family! I have cooked this for a fair few people now and its always met with the same positive reaction, which makes me feel pretty confident that its something you guys will love. Its hearty, its healthy, and its full of ingredients that when put together, create a great ‘feel good’ kind of meal that is quite suitable for battling Monday blues, getting over the Wednesday hump or any day of the week you need a bit of a pick me up. Oh and don’t worry about not having time. It doesn’t take more than 5o minutes in total, So get somebody to help with the prep or chop your ingredients in advance to save time.
- 1 tbspn rapeseed oil.
- 4 Chicken breasts. Diced.
- 1 Chorizo ring.
- 200g Diced butternut squash.
- 100ml Red wine.
- 1 Tin chopped tomatoes.
- 300ml Good chicken stock.
- 1 tbspn Dijon mustard.
- 1 tbspn Paprika.
- 1 tbspn Turmeric.
- 2 Chopped sticks of celery.
- 2 tbspn Worcester sauce.
- 1 Can butter beans.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add oil to a large cast iron dish or saucepan on a low heat, add the oil, chorizo and celery. Fry for a few minutes until the chorizo releases its own oil and starts to brown.
- Add the chicken a move around the pan until the chicken starts to also take on the reddish brown colour from the chorizo. (About 3-4 minutes).
- Splash in the red wine, followed by the squash, tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next pop in the Dijon mustard along with the paprika and turmeric. Leave on a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
- A few minutes before serving add the butter beans and give them a good stir around. Put the lid on if you have one and leave them to warm through for a couple of minutes, turn the heat up if you wish to finish it off nicely. (Putting them in at the end retains their form better as they seem to escape their outer casings and disintegrate into the abyss otherwise)
- Serve with rice and enjoy being hugged from the inside. I use the easy micro bags of rice to save time and as a bit of a cheat.
There you have it! Its as easy as that to make and its worth every second. Packed full of all the good stuff you need to feel full and satisfied without neglecting your vegetables. The chorizo is just an added bonus to reward your obvious dedication to giving yourself something healthy to eat!
Give it a try, get creative and add your own twist to it and add fresh chilies or olives. Go crazy!
I tend to eat relatively healthy for the most part of the year, but when the winter slowly slides its cold, harsh, grasp around us I do crave something that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love a good soup or stew, especially when it’s on a lazy snowy weekend and its left in the slow cooker or the hob bobbing away like a tasty molten treasure chest waiting for me to discover it in all its bubbling loveliness. This time I’m using a different kind of meat, in the form of wild boar sausage, to give it a little bit of something different.
There are nearly an endless amount of possibilities when it comes down to stews and soups, you can put anything in them! Any vegetable you can think of can be paired with all sorts of meats and pulses that can create some really hearty, cockle warming fare to keep your lunches interesting throughout the week or feed the whole family on a chilly December night.
This week as always I’m bringing you a recipe that can be cooked and enjoyed by anybody. The essence of real home cooking is keeping it simple, enjoying what you’re doing and being happy with the end result when you create something fantastic! The recipe is adaptable enough, so if you fancy giving it an extra dimension drop some chopped chillies in there or add some diced chorizo for a little Spanish flare, but here’s the recipe for my ideal winter sausage casserole.
- 6 wild boar and apple sausages or good quality sausage of your choice (Try www.supremesausages.co.uk they are amazing!)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 300ml good chicken stock
- 150g butter beans
- 2 medium sticks of celery (finely chopped)
- 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (cut into small chunks)
- 200g diced butternut squash
- 1 whole diced white onion
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp. tomato puree
- 3 tbsp. red wine
- 3 tbsp. Worcester sauce
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp. rape seed oil
- 1 heaped tbsp. brown sugar
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
In a large saucepan add the rapeseed oil on a medium heat and add the sausages.
Lightly fry the sausages until browned on all sides, remove the sausage and add the garlic, bacon and onions, fry until it softens, around 2-3 minutes.
- When the garlic becomes aromatic and the bacon starts to brown (don’t let the garlic brown, keep it moving), add the red wine, Worcester sauce, tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika, brown sugar, beans, celery, squash, seasoning and the stock and stir well.
- Slice the sausage into even chunks and stir back into the mixture, keep the pan on the heat and partially cover. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes stirring regularly.
- Serve in a bowl with some toasted crusty bread, and a good helping of rice or pasta, topped with a few sliced black olives to make this crowd pleasing dish even more pleasing. Its good for the soul in these winter months to feed yourself some simple, fantastic food that makes you smile, with minimal effort to keep you in front of the TV watching your greys anatomy box set, sitting near the fire with the dog at your feet and the rain lashing the windows outside of your house. Whether your life runs at 500 miles per hour or you just want a quick fix, the recipe is perfect for you. Hope you enjoy it!