This plant based ragu is delicious, nutritious and has a gorgeous texture. The earthy sweet beetroots, wholesome lentils and crunchy, nutty walnuts all mingle perfectly to make a really delicious, vibrant pasta sauce. It is wonderful in layers in a lasagne too. If you are not a fan of beetroot, simply swap it for mushrooms and carrots. We do have a lot of brilliant beetroots coming out of our own fields now though, so this recipe is a great way to enjoy this locally grown, seasonal vegetable. Beetroots are brimming with goodness – iron, potassium, antioxidants and more!
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
250g beetroot, finely diced
150g raw green/brown lentils, rinsed (or use two tins of cooked lentils)
100g walnuts, crushed/crumbled into lentil sized pieces
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 glass of red wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
500ml vegetable stock
In a wide, heavy bottomed pan, on a medium heat, cook the onion, celery and beetroot with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir often and after around 8 minutes, the vegetables should be softened.
Then add the lentils, walnuts and flavourings (the garlic, capers, fennel seeds, bay leaves, oregano, chilli and thyme). Stir and cook for a couple of minutes to wake up the flavours in the seasoning. Then add the glass of wine and let it bubble until it is nearly evaporated.
Pour in the tin of tomatoes, the tomato puree and the vegetable stock and pop the lid on the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the sauce is rich. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and keep an eye on the liquid levels, you may need to add a splash of water if it starts to look dry.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper and serve over freshly cooked pasta. Enjoy!
Growing up we always had baked and filled potatoes or mushrooms but never beetroot. In fact beetroot in our house usually came pickled in a jar. Beetroot usually gets the job as side veg but here it’s the star of the show.
Beetroots are an all year round veg, hearty and filling and full of goodness. If you get nice big beetroots in your box why not give this recipe a go. It’s sweet from the beets and salty from the feta and toasty from the spices. topped with crunchy walnuts its a complete meal.
This stew is so hearty and delicious. The depth of flavour from the combination of sweet beetroots, earthy mushrooms, nutty lentils, red wine, garlic and herbs makes a really memorable dish which you’ll be making over and over again. This meat-free version of beef bourguignon packs just as much punch in the flavour department, as well as many more nutrients. Lentils are cheap and nutritious, bringing lots of fibre, protein, B vitamins and iron to your plate. Our Irish beetroots are rich in antioxidants, folate and nitrates. Mushrooms contain many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too. All in all, you can be assured that this plant based version of the classic French stew is doing you good.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 large red onion, roughly diced (shallots or white onions work fine here too)
1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated & peeled
250g mushrooms, halved or quartered
300g beetroot, scrubbed & roughly diced
a generous drizzle of olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
200g green lentils, rinsed
3 bay leaves
5 sprigs of thyme
250ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp capers
mashed potatoes to serve
In a large pot, mix the onion, garlic, beetroot and mushroom, then oil and season with salt and pepper. Now, if you have the oven on, you can roast these ingredients for around 20 minutes until they are just soft and starting to take on some delicious caramelisation. If you’d rather not put the oven on, you can sauté these ingredients on a medium heat on the stove top instead.
Now place the pot over a high heat and add the lentils, wine, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and capers. Stir for a few minutes to cook out the wine and then add the vegetable stock. Cover the pot and turn down to simmer for 20 or 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils don’t catch and add a splash more water if needed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Then serve with creamy mashed potatoes and some seasonal greens. Enjoy!
Embrace the new harvests of autumnal vegetables and make this hearty beetroot bean-burger alongside chips made from carrots, parsnips, potatoes, swede, celeriac… We still have our own grown tomatoes and lettuce available too to add some crunch and freshness to your burger. This really is the best time of year for Irish vegetables with an abundance of summer and winter veg available at the same time.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
50g porridge oats
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling over the chips)
250g raw beetroot, finely grated
50g or so of chickpea flour
root veg of your liking (eg potato, carrot, swede, parsnip, celeriac) cut into chips and seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil
burger buns, salad and sauces of your choice eg mayonnaise, ketchup, lettuce, pickles, tomato, onion, cheese slices…
Turn your oven on to 200C and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.
In a mixing bowl, squish together the beans, oats, beetroot, seasoning and olive oil. Your clean hand is the best tool for this. The mixture will most likely be quite wet and sticky at this stage. Add chickpea flour (or more oats), a couple of tbsp at a time and keep squishing until you achieve a texture that is reminiscent of minced meat and is able to form into patties. I used around 50g of chickpea flour but depending on the juiciness of your beetroots you may need more or less.
Divide the mixture into 4 and shape into neat patties on one side of your baking dish. Spread the root veg chips on the other side and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until both the chips and the burgers are cooked through.
Assemble the burgers into buns with your favourite toppings and sauces and enjoy with the chips on the side.
Big beautiful earthy beetroots full of flavour, sweetness and goodness! If you’re not familiar with cooking them from raw then cook them like a potato. Steam, boil or roast and you won’t go too far wrong.
Steaming beetroots is a great way to lock in the nutrients and a gentle way to cook your beetroots. When they pierce easily with a knife they are ready. Cool and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to make this hummus.
The colour of this hummus was gorgeously pink and vibrant!
Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, as a side on a mezze plate, as a dressing with a lentil and goat cheese salad or a topping on an open sandwich with roasted veg.
Begin by cooking the raw beetroots. Wash the beetroot and cut the tops off, keep the skin on if you wish. Quarter and steam in a pot for 40 mins, or until they piece easily with a knife. (I have a powerful blender so I keep the skins on for this recipe, peel if you wish)
Cool the beets and store in the fridge until you are ready to make the hummus.
Once cooled add the beetroot to a blender along with the drained chickpeas, grated garlic clove, lemon juice, tahini, oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Blend the hummus until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
To make the tortilla chips and toasted sesame seeds.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Have a couple of large baking trays at hand.
Simply cut the tortilla wraps into triangles. Do this by cutting the wraps in half. Then quarters then eights.
Lay the triangles on the trays, space them out so they don’t overlap.
Spray or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika.
Toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, keep a close eye on them. When they are lightly toasted they are ready.
To toast the sesame seeds put them on a tray and toast for 5-10 minutes until golden.
Add the beetroot hummus to a bowl, top with toasted sesame seeds, if you wish and the toasted tortilla chips.
A warm salad for those chilly last summer days. Any leftovers can be packed up for lunch the next day too. We love adding beans or lentils to as many meals as we can. Pulses are affordable, nutrient-rich powerhouses and the crops are very planet friendly too. A win, win, win! Do you include lots of pulses in your diet?
Get a rainbow of vegetables delivered plastic free to your door here!
Ingredients (serves 2 as a big lunch or 4 as sides)
For the roasted roots:
3 beetroot, scrubbed & chopped into bites
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into bites
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fennel seeds (or use caraway, cumin or any herb/spice you prefer)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey/maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
For the sautéd chard:
7 or 8 large rainbow chard leaves
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tin green lentils, warmed and drained
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
Turn your oven on to 200C and find a deep baking dish.
Tumble your chopped carrots and beetroot into the baking dish. Add the olive oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, honey, salt and pepper and mix well. Place the dish in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or so until just tender.
While the roots are roasting, prepare the chard. Use a knife to separate the stalks from the greens. Cut the colourful stalks into bite sized pieces and place in a frying pan with the chopped garlic, oil, slat and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until tender. The roughly chop the greens and add to the pan with a small splash of water. Stir for a few minutes to steam-fry and wilt the greens.
When the roasted roots are cooked to your liking, remove the dish from the oven and stir in the mustard, lentils and chard. Serve warm or cold.
Beetroots grow very happily in Irish soil. They are earthy and sweet and juicy and full of flavour. You can boil, steam or roast them to eat as a wholesome side veg, to make into a puree or beautiful pink hummus. I love to grate them to use raw in a salad or they go perfectly in these tasty fritters accompanied by the grated carrot.
You can whip these fritters up in about 20 minutes. I recommend using the fine side of your box grater, they cook quicker that way. Eat them solo or add some crunchy chickpeas, local leaves and a tahini dressing to make it a meal.
By seasoning with salt and pepper you get the real taste of the vegetables. When you use quality ingredients the natural flavours shine through.
Open the can of chickpea and drain really well. Tip: You can reserve the aqua faba (chickpea juice) to make a sweet dessert like pavlova.
Pour the chickpeas onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Using kitchen paper dry the chickpeas really well.
Make up the spice mix by adding the paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Mix with a spoon. Then sprinkle over the chickpeas. You can add more salt later if needed.
Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Check and shake the tray every 10 minutes.
The chickpeas will be crunchy when you’ve roasted them. They are best eaten on the day they are roasted but if using the next day pop in the oven again for 10 minutes so they are warm and crunchy. Keep them in an air tight jar in your cupboard.
For the fritters:
Begin by peeling and grating the beetroot and carrot, use the fine side of the box grater. Tip: Hold the raw beetroot with kitchen paper so your hands don’t turn pink. Add to a mixing bowl.
Finely chop the scallions and add this to the bowl. Crack in the egg, add salt and pepper, sprinkle in the flour. Fold all the ingredients together.
Warm a non stick frying pan on a medium heat, lightly oil. Add a spoon of the beetroot mix and flatten with the back of the spoon, cook 3 fritters at a time. Fry for a couple of minutes and flip and cook for a few minutes more. Remove with a spatula onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the rest of the mix.
For the tahini dressing:
Simply add the yoghurt, tahini, lemon zest and juice, maple syrup or honey, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well with a spoon.
Add some washed green leaves to a serving bowl, add 2-3 fritters per portion. Scatter on the chickpeas, dollop over the tahini dressing, peel some cucumber ribbons and bundle on tip and add a swirl of olive oil.
This nutritious, protein-rich, falafel-like mixture is so handy for making things like burgers and meatballs and of course it makes delicious fillings for wraps. You can flavour it with whatever herbs or spices take your fancy and colour it (and add sneaky veg) with any vegetables you like too. I felt like making some multicoloured balls as Easter ’eggs’ to have for a pastel coloured Easter lunch this week. Nestled in a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus and drizzled with a spring pea salsa. You could serve it with roast potatoes, gravy and trimmings for a Sunday roast too.
3 tins of chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
12 tbsp porridge oats
1 tsp turmeric
3 tsp ground coriander (or any spice you prefer)
2 cooked beetroots
3 cooked carrots
6 large kale leaves, chopped, cooked and squeezed to remove water
a couple of handfuls of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
extra olive oil for brushing and baking
Drain the chickpeas and tumble into 3 bowls. Add 4 tbsp of porridge oats to each bowl.
Finely dice the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and golden with the olive oil. Divide amongst the three bowls.
To each bowl, add a tsp of salt and grind black pepper to taste. Add a tsp of ground coriander to each bowl too if you like, or another spice or herb of your choice.
Put the cooked carrot in one bowl (along with a tsp of ground turmeric for bright yellow colour), the cooked beetroot in one bowl and the kale and parsley in the last bowl. Now you are ready to blend the mixtures.
In a food processor, first blend the yellow carrot mixture. Tip in the contents of the bowl with the carrots and pulse the mixture together until you reach a rough, sticky mixture. Scrape it out, back into the bowl, then repeat with the green kale mixture then the pink beetroot mixture. If any of the mixes seems a little wet, add an extra tbsp or so of oats and blend again. If it is too dry, add some olive oil or lemon juice to the mix or some extra vegetables.
Pre-heat your oven to 200C and line a large baking try with baking parchment. Then squish and roll the mixture into small, colourful balls – or make layered balls like I did with the yellow mix in the middle, then carefully wrap a layer of pink beetroot mix and finish off with the green outer layer. TOP TIP: use wet hands to avoid frustrating stickiness. just keep a bowl of warm water on the work bench and wet your hands when they start to get a bit sticky.
Brush the balls with olive oil and put them in the oven to bake until hot through and golden and crispy on the outside. Timings will depend on the size of your balls so just keep an eye on them.
Serve however you like but they definitely need a sauce or gravy. This time I served them with creamy mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and a pea salsa (I just blended a mug of peas with about 4 tbsp of capers and a splosh of the caper vinegar, a handful of chopped dill and a generous drizzle of olive oil).
Wouldn’t this pretty pasta be perfect for Mother’s Day? It takes a little more effort than our usual recipes but the ingredients are few, simple and affordable (using our ingredients at the time of writing this blog, this cost €5.64 to make 30 pieces).
Ingredients (makes around 30)
~ pasta • 300g fine flour • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp salt • 150ml water • parsley leaves
~ beetroot tofu-ricotta • 200g extra firm tofu • 1 small cooked beetroot • 1 clove of garlic • the juice of 1/2 a lemon • 1 tsp salt • 5 tbsp olive oil
~ 1/2 jar of pesto to serve
Mix the pasta ingredients (except the parsley) into a shaggy, quite dry dough then knead it very well into a firm, smooth dough. This should take around 10 minutes of kneading. If your dough is too dry, wet your hands occasionally whilst kneading to incorporate just a little extra water. Rest the ball of dough in a bowl covered tightly with a damp tea towel.
Blend all the beetroot ricotta ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or lemon.
Roll your pasta dough out on a lightly floured surface. Once you have a large oval/rectangle, arrange some parsley leaves on one half and fold the pasta over. Now roll again into a very long strip, just over double the width of the size you want your ravioli. Get it as thin as you can – you should be able to read a paper through it.
Space teaspoons of the pink ricotta along one side, wet the other side to help it stick, then carefully fold the pasta over the ricotta blobs and use your fingers to seal around each one. Use a knife or pasta wheel to cut the ravioli and save any off-cuts, they are just as delicious!
Drop the fresh ravioli and off-cuts into boiling water, cook until soft but still with bite (around 3 minutes or so – test an off-cut) then scoop out with a slotted spoon, dress with pesto and serve!
We have been focusing on heart health this week and creating recipes specifically designed to boost the health of our hearts. Have a read of our blog here outlining the 5 foods to include in your diet to boost heart health. Leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes and antioxidant rich foods are all powerful ingredients in the fight against heart disease. Using this information, we have started making these balanced ‘heart health bowls’ regularly. They are so easy to put together and so delicious! There are endless combinations you can make yourselves, but this formula for a balanced bowl ensures you are hitting all five food groups. Do you have any good combos you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.
seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic, herbs or spices to taste)
Cook your wholegrain according to package instructions. Most grains cook with a 1:2 grain:water ratio.
Cook your beans or lentils or use a ready cooked tin for ease. I like to drain the tin of beans/lentils and warm it up in a pan with some olive oil, garlic and tomatoes, simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
Cook your leafy greens and antioxidant rich foods, or serve them raw if you prefer. I usually lightly steam kale and roast beetroot, but in summer I prefer a cold bowl so use salad leaves, raw grated beetroots, shredded cabbage or a handful of berries in the bowl.
Plate up and add some nuts, seeds or other essential healthy fats. Construct your bowls with a combination of the grains, greens, beans and beets and top with some toasted seeds or nuts or a generous drizzle of good olive oil. You can add healthy fats in the form of a dressing too. Try mixing tahini, lemon juice, olive oil etc or a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.