This lentil ragu is a firm family favourite. It’s quick and easy to make, full of flavour and nutrition (lentils are a powerhouse of fibre, protein, potassium, iron and folate) and it can be frozen in portions to use on busy days. I use this as a ‘base’ recipe but often add or switch the vegetables with the seasons. For example, the carrots can be swapped with swede, beetroot or squash, the mushrooms could be replaced with aubergine or crumbled walnuts. We usually stir it through pasta or layer it up in a lasagne but it also makes a great cottage pie when topped with mash and baked.
You can also tweak the seasoning and turn this Italian-style ragu into a Tex-Mex-style chilli non-carne! Just use chilli, cumin, coriander, bay, oregano and smoked paprika in place of the herbs, and add a drained tin of kidney beans and peppers to the mix too. This adaptable lentil ragu recipe is just thing to add to your repertoire for hearty family meals.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
approx 10 chestnut mushrooms, diced
1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1x 400g tin of green lentils, drained
2 bay leaves
1 tsp each: fennel seeds, thyme and oregano
optional splash of red wine…
salt and pepper to taste (roughly a tsp of each)
pasta to serve (100g dried weight per person) we stock a range of organic wheat, wholegrain and gluten free varieties
Gather and prepare your ingredients and find a large pan to cook your ragu in. Get a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Sauté the onion with the olive oil for roughly 6 minutes over a medium-high heat until softening and starting to take on some colour.
Then add the salt, pepper, fennel, oregano, thyme and garlic and stir for a minute to release and wake up the flavours.
4. Add the diced vegetables and sauté for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften and cook in their own juices. Then add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves.
5. Swirl the juices out of the tin into the pan by filling the tin with water. Then add the drained lentils and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is rich and delicious. You may need to add a splash of water (or red wine) to loosen the sauce if it is starting to look a bit dry. (This is a good time to get your pasta into the now-boiling water).
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Then stir through the cooked and drained pasta and enjoy! Serve with fresh basil leaves and an extra drizzle of good olive oil.
Soup weather is officially back and I’m not complaining! Soups are a fantastic way to get a whole lot of goodness into one simple meal. Probably at least once a week we have a soup and cheese toastie night. The simplest way to make a soup… whilst juggling the housework, homework, giving the dog a walk, firing off a few last emails etc… is to grab a tray, roughly chop up a good combination of veg, oil and season it well, and whack it in the oven. Then your surfaces are clear, all you have to do when it’s done is tip it into a big pot and blend it with some stock.
The carrots and fennel coming out of the farm at the moment are just stunning! So fresh and so full of flavour. And so often, what grows together, goes together! So here’s one of our seasonal favourites right now, a simple but super-tasty, carrot and fennel soup! Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 bulbs of fennel
6 cloves of garlic
1 leek (or 1 onion)
3 sticks of celery
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 litre of water (in the kettle, ready to boil)
cheese sandwiches to serve (I like to butter the outside and grill them when the soup is ready)
Turn your oven on to 200C and find a deep roasting dish.
Wash the vegetables, roughly chop them and place them in the roasting dish.
Peel the garlic cloves and pop them into the dish whole.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with a good couple of pinches of salt and a grind of black pepper. Mix well and then get the dish into the oven to roast. It should take about 30 minutes but keep an eye on it as ovens vary.
Crumble two veg stock cubes into a large jug and then add a litre of freshly boiled water. Stir to combine. Test the roasted veg for ‘done-ness’ with a knife. They should be soft and starting to take on some colour.
Scrape the roasted veg to a large pot, pour over the veg stock and blend until smooth with your stick blender. You may wish to add a splash more water to thin the soup out to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary with more salt or pepper.
Then grill the cheese sandwiches and reheat the soup on the hob. Serve and enjoy!
A lunchbox essential! Spread into a wrap or a sandwich, or packed in a little tub with some sweet, crunchy carrot sticks, everyone loves hummus! Hummus is not only delicious but incredibly nutritious too! Who knew this humble spread contains all of the following:
👉Chickpeas provide fibre, protein and essential, energy-giving carbohydrates. 👉Tahini is rich in healthy fats and minerals including copper, selenium, calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorus. 👉Raw garlic retains more beneficial compounds (like allicin) than cooked garlic. 👉Olive oil is a healthy fat and contains vitamins E and K and is rich in antioxidants. 👉Lemon is a great source of vitamin C.
It’s so easy to make your own hummus from scratch. Especially using our organic tins of cooked chickpeas. We also sell organic tahini, garlic, lemons and olive oil! Add some of our organic pantry essentials to your next veg order here.
1 tin of chickpeas
1 clove of garlic, peeled
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
optional extras like more olive oil, smoked paprika and sesame seeds to top the hummus
Drain your tin of chickpeas over a bowl to reserve the aquafaba. (You can use some of it in this recipe and the rest to make vegan meringues, mayonnaise or cakes. Use the search bar above to find our aquafaba recipes.)
Put the drained chickpeas into a food processor with the S blade attachment. Add the garlic, salt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil then pulse into a thick, rough paste.
Taste the paste and decide if you’d like to adjust the seasoning. Perhaps more lemon juice or salt?
Then loosen the paste into a creamy hummus by blending again with a couple of spoons of the reserved aquafaba or a couple of ice cubes. Ice cubes make a really fluffy, creamy hummus.
Spoon into a jar, tub or bowl and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat later. Homemade hummus should be eaten within 3 days.
One of my go-to weekday dinner solutions, for those hectic days when the juggle between work-life and family-life has left you reeling, is to roast a big tray of vegetables and then while that’s cooking decide what to do with it. I usually turn it into pasta sauce or soup with the help of my handy stick blender and add some extra protein with a drained tin of beans or lentils. There is always the option to stir the roasted veggies through rice or add them to tacos or a make a warm salad by tossing them through a drained tin of cooked pulses (our organic range from Bunalun is so handy). Roasting vegetables makes them sweeter and more delicious and our farm grown fennel and tomatoes are just *made* for pasta.
Like most of my recipes, this is a flexible affair. Make it smooth or chunky, don’t worry too much about the ratios of the different vegetables. Make do with what you have and if in doubt, add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Liz x
Ingredients (serves 4 generously)
2 fennel bulbs (roughly chopped, fronds kept to one side to use fresh as a herb)
250g tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1/2 a bulb of garlic (peeled and chopped)
1 onion (peeled and chopped)
optional extra vegetables like courgette, peppers, carrots…(roughly chopped)
olive oil for roasting – about 4 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fennel seeds
optional drained tin of green lentils
pasta to serve
optional chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil to serve
Turn your oven on to 200C and find your largest oven tray.
Roughly chop all the vegetables and scatter them onto the tray.
Drizzle generously with good olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
Use your hands to mix the vegetables, oil and seasoning well, then pop the tray into the oven to roast the vegetables while you cook some pasta (we stock a range of brilliant organic pastas, including gluten free varieties, which you can add to your veg order).
After 20 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and starting to caramelise. If you used a smaller tray then it will take longer and you should stir them occasionally to ensure they all catch some direct heat.
Carefully tip and scrape the roasted vegetables into a deep container. I like to use a sauce pot so that I can easily re-heat the sauce if needed. Then using a stick blender, blend the vegetables into a sauce. You can make it perfectly smooth or leave some texture and chunks, however you prefer it is fine! Or add some vegetable stock to loosen the sauce into a soup?
Add the chopped reserved fennel fronds if you like that fresh, aniseed flavour. For extra protein and fibre, add a drained tin of lentils or white beans to the sauce.
Stir through freshly cooked pasta and serve. I always put extra virgin olive oil, flakey salt and chilli flakes on the table too with this dish. Enjoy!
We are harvesting so much broccoli from our fields at the moment! Expect lots in your set boxes or add some to the ‘build your own’ box for a special reduced price. Broccoli is brilliant! Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid. A real Irish super-food! I’ll be steaming some batches to put in boxes in the freezer to add to loads of different meals. Here’s one of our favourite family meals that uses a lot of broccoli.
Bang bang chicken is a traditional Sichuan dish of poached chicken which is then ‘banged’ to shred it and dressed in a spicy sauce. It’s a refreshing dish served with julienned cucumber. This is my plant-based nod to that classic. Definitely not authentic, but delicious none-the-less. It’s really simple. Nutritious broccoli and black beans are drenched in a spicy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and then roasted. You can serve it with rice or noodles, or it’s delicious as a warm salad with spiralized courgette.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 heads of broccoli
2 tins of black beans
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp lime juice (or vinegar)
4 tbsp vegetable or toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari if you need gluten free)
6 garlic cloves
a big thumb of ginger
fresh red chillies to taste
6 tbsp sesame seeds
scallions, fresh coriander and extra chillies to serve
rice or noodles to serve
Preheat your oven to 200C and find a large roasting tray, or two trays if you don’t have a very large one. You want to be able to spread the ingredients into a single layer.
Trim as little as possible off the stalks of the broccoli. Just a sliver off the end is usually enough – those bits can go in the compost bin. Then cut the whole stalk away from the florets, slice it in half lengthways and then slice each half into long, thin strips. Put them in the roasting dish. Then cut the heads of the broccoli into bites sized florets and add them to the roasting tray too.
Drain the tins of black beans and add them to the tray. Then make the dressing.
Mix the soy sauce, oil, lime juice/vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Finely dice the chilli, garlic and ginger and add them to the bowl. Mix well and then pour the dressing over the broccoli and black beans.
Use your hands to mix the sauce into the broccoli and beans, then spread the ingredients out into a single layer. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and put the tray into the oven to roast for just 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
Meanwhile cook your rice or noodles and prepare the toppings. Slice scallions, coriander and extra red chillies.
Serve in bowls and enjoy hot or cold. We like to make an extra batch of the dressing with toasted sesame oil but without the raw garlic and ginger to drizzle over the finished dish too to make it extra juicy and spicy.
One pot suppers are my favourite types of suppers. Not just for the lack of pots and pans to scrub, although let’s be honest, that is the main reason, but also because it’s just so satisfying, pulling a dish out of the oven and onto the centre of the table and watching everyone tuck in. This baked orzo recipe, like pretty much all of my recipes, is super-flexible. Use it as inspiration rather than instruction and tweak it with any vegetables you have in your box this week. Orzo is simply rice shaped pasta. I often pop a drained tin of beans or lentils into the mix too for some added fibre and protein. Let us know how your version went in the comments.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions – diced
6 cloves of garlic – diced
roughly chopped vegetables of your choice (I went ‘Med-veg’ style and used – 1 aubergine, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 2 courgettes, 1 yellow pepper)
Babaganoush is similar to hummus, but made with aubergine rather than chickpeas. It’s softer, silkier and deliciously smokey! I always pop a few aubergines on the barbecue to make this dip. You can grill them in a hot griddle pan or roast them in the oven instead, but they won’t be as smokey. You’re looking to really blacken them on the outside and let them collapse and get silky soft in the middle. The blackened skin is then peeled off, then the flesh is blended (or mashed if you like more texture) with garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil. Here’s my recipe for one aubergine. Serve with grilled or raw veg, salads, on toast or with pitta bread strips to scoop it all up.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS? A pinch each of cumin and smoked paprika and some pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds for garnishing.
Grill or barbecue the aubergine until it’s completely soft inside and the skin is burnt and blackened.
Allow it to cool enough to handle, then slice it in half lengthways and scoop all the flesh out into a bowl to mash or blender to blend smooth. Scrape the skin carefully to get every bit of aubergine into the mix. Those bits nearer the skin have the best, smokey flavour.
Add the garlic (crush or finely grate first if mashing rather than blending), olive oil, tahini and lemon.
Blend or mash into a spoonable mixture, then taste and add salt and more lemon to taste.
Spoon the mixture into a small serving bowl and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and optional extras like pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds, smoked paprika, cumin…
Enjoy scooped up with flatbreads or toasted pitta bread and salads.
This simple curry is a brilliant way to pack in all those gorgeous seasonal greens we have been harvesting at the farm recently. It works equally well with spinach, chard, kale or even spring green cabbages. It’s a regular feature on our mid-week menu at home. Gotta love a simple meal that can be thrown together from a few affordable ingredients – which is also such a flavour bomb! Tweak the spices to suit your taste.
Serve it with wholesome brown rice to make it a meal. Our bulk bags of rice come in compostable bags, why not add some to your next fruit and veg order?
Ingredients (serves 4 generously)
1 tbsp vegetable/coconut oil
1 diced white onion
4 cloves of diced garlic
3 tbsp curry powder (or use a mix of your favourite curry spices)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
red chillies to taste, chopped
2 tins of chopped tomato
2 tins of chickpeas
salt and pepper to taste
200g or more of spinach/chard/spring greens
cooked rice, lime wedges and fresh coriander to serve.
In a large pan/pot, sauté the diced onion and garlic in the oil over a medium/high heat for about 10 minutes – or until they start to caramelise, soften and turn golden brown.
Add the fresh ginger, curry spices and chilli and stir to quickly toast them before adding any liquid.
Add the two tins of tomatoes and the drained chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and simmer together until rich and delicious.
About 5-10 minutes before serving, rinse and chop the greens then fold them into the curry. Once they are sufficiently wilted, serve in bowls with rice and lime and coriander to lift and brighten the curry.