A simple and soothing red lentil dal is a staple in our house. It’s a winner on so many fronts from the cheap, nutritious ingredients to the ease of the recipe. We love how flexible dals can be and how delicious they always are. There’s something textural about red lentils that makes every spoonful a delight.
This recipe is very flexible so please feel encouraged to make it your own. Sometimes we make it with a tangy tin of tomatoes, sometimes with a rich and creamy tin of coconut milk, depending on our mood. But we always have some fresh, seasonal, Irish, organic vegetables simmered in with the lentils! This week we used delicious kuri squash pumpkins which are back in stock now (as of when this blog was written) but you can use whatever veg you fancy. Some of our other favourites for dal are cauliflower, aubergine, sweet potato and carrots. Share your favourite variations with us in the comments or over on our facebook community group. We love swapping recipes over there.
Don’t forget to order your organic fruit, veg and groceries here, we deliver nationwide.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 a squash/pumpkin (like butternut or kuri squash), diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tin chopped tomatoes
an optional tin of chickpeas, drained
a small mug of red lentils, rinsed
salt, pepper & chilli to taste
rice, lime & coriander to serve
In a large, heavy bottomed pan, sauté the onion and garlic with the oil until soft and golden brown. Over a medium high heat this should take around 10 minutes.
Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir fry for around 3 minutes to toast them and bring out their flavour before adding liquid.
Now add the diced squash, rinsed lentils, tin of tomatoes, (optional tin of chickpeas), turmeric and ginger. Fill the tomato tin up with water twice, emptying it into the pot.
Season well with salt and pepper then simmer, stirring often until the lentils are cooked through. You will probably need to add some more water as the lentils soak up the liquid.
When the lentils and squash are cooked through (after around 20 minutes) and beautifully soft, taste and adjust the seasoning if you like with more salt. Add a squeeze of lime for acidity and some chilli flakes for heat if you like.
Serve in bowls with rice (and optional other curries – we had a sort of lazy saag alloo which was just roasted potatoes with curry powder and some wilted spinach folded through) or just as it is with some bread. It’s delicious loosened into a soup too!
Halloween is long gone but pumpkins are still very much in season. Want some extra-flavoursome pumpkins? Add a few of our kuri squashes to your next order. But, if you’ve got some decorative pumpkins with tough skins that still need eating, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and roast until soft. Then scoop out the flesh and make this tasty risotto. Risotto is the perfect one-pot, soothing, feed-a-crowd, mid-week-meal don’t you think?
Ingredients (serves 6)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, peeled and diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp thyme
400g risotto rice
the juice of a lemon or a large glass of white wine
700g roasted pumpkin
2 stock cubes dissolved in 1 lite of just-boiled water
salt and pepper to taste
nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds and more olive oil to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a wide, heavy bottomed pan/pot.
Add the diced onion and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon until soft and starting to turn golden brown.
Then add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme and stir until fragrant.
Pour the rice into the pan and stir to coat it in the flavours and fat. Then add the lemon juice or white wine. Stir for a minute or so until the pan is nearly dry again.
Start adding the vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, stirring pretty constantly until the stock is nearly all absorbed before adding the next ladle.
Once half the stock is used up, add the roasted pumpkin and stir it in with another ladle of stock. Use the back of the wooden spoon to smoosh the pumpkin into a rough purée as you go. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked through and creamy. You may run out and need to add water.
Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper. Then serve with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of good, peppery olive oil.
Here are some fiendishly fun and easy ideas for your Halloween table. There is a 100% guarantee that there will be a LOT of sweets being guzzled at the weekend, so this table is a fun way to balance out all that sugar. Delight and disgust your guests with this grisly spread of ‘finger food’. See what I did there?
This is so fun to make with the kids: – Peel clementines and poke little slivers of celery through the centre to make ‘pumpkins’. – Use pumpkin seeds to make the faces on banana ghosts. – Make apple monsters. Cut apples into quarters and remove the core. Then carefully cut a wedge out for the mouth. Fill with nut or seed butter, sunflower or pumpkin seed teeth and eyes and return a bit of the apple for the tongues. To stop the apples turning brown, rub the cut sides with a wedge of lemon. – The kiwi Frankenstein’s monsters are so cute. Carefully peel off the bottom 2/3rds of the kiwi leaving a head of ‘hair’. Poke thin celery sticks into the sides for bolts and use pumpkin seeds to make the face.
Green Skeleton Man
Pumpkin Puke (Hummus)
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained (reserve the aquafaba for another recipe)
250g roasted pumpkin (use a kuri or butternut squash for extra flavour, or use up the flesh from a carved pumpkin)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp tahini
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp ground cumin (optional)
1 heaped tsp of salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 ice cubes
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil and ice cubes into a food processor and blend until pretty smooth.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or lemon juice.
Then add the ice cubes and olive oil and blend again until silky smooth. The ice cubes are a secret ingredient which really helps lighten and whip the hummus into a gorgeous texture.
Keep the hummus in a container in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It should last for 3 days maximum.
Here’s how to make 16 pizza fingers:
500g spelt flour
7g quick yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
325ml warm water
16 sticks of cheese
Mix the ingredients above into a sticky dough then knead on a clean work surface until smooth. You may need to add an extra dusting of flour if your dough is too sticky to handle.
Form into a ball and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size – depending on the temperature in your kitchen, this should take around 1 hour.
Divide into 16 even balls. Turn the oven on to 200C. Find a large baking tray and line it with baking parchment.
Stretch each ball of dough into a rectangle. Smear a 1/4 tsp of tomato purée along the middle then add a cheese stick. Fold the dough around the cheese and pinch to seal. Roll the parcel into a finger and pop it seal-side-down onto a lined baking tray. Repeat with all the balls of dough.
Then dip the almonds into tomato purée and stick them on the ends of the doughy fingers. Use a butter knife to make knuckle marks.
Then pop the tray into the hot oven for 20 minutes or until the fingers are golden brown and cooked through. Serve with a simple tomato dipping sauce (recipe below).
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Italian style herbs (I use a bay leaf, a few fennel seeds and a pinch of dried oregano)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion in the oil until soft and starting to take on some colour. Add the garlic and herbs and stir until very fragrant. Then add the tin of tomatoes and season well. Simmer until the sauce is rich and delicious. At least 10 minutes but the longer the better. Alternatively use pesto as the dipping sauce or a jar of ready made pasta or pizza sauce. We stock a few option in the shop which can be added to your veg order.
Well, it is that time of year when you can legitimately have some fun with your food. As well as putting pumpkin in everything, let’s make our food a little spooky too! This pumpkin pasta sauce is a doddle, just bake it in the oven while you get on with something more important – making an elaborate Halloween costume perhaps? Then either serve the pasta and sauce as they are, or if you want to go the extra mile, bake some meatballs (my plant based recipe is below) and top with sliced cheese and olives to make them into eyeballs.
I’ll be sharing some other Halloween food inspo soon, but I would love to know your Halloween classics. Let me know in the comments.
Pumpkin Pasta Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)
1/2 a kuri squash pumpkin (or butternut), gutted and diced
6 cloves of garlic to ward off the vampires, peeled
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
500g dried pasta
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Find a deep baking dish.
Tumble the diced pumpkin/squash and peeled garlic cloves into the dish.
Drizzle generously with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands then bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the dish from the oven, mash the vegetables with a fork then tip in the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Season again with some extra salt and pepper to taste.
Stir well then return the dish to the oven for another 20 minutes or so until hot and bubbling. Meanwhile cook your pasta in boiling water according to the instructions on the packet.
Drain the pasta and stir it through the hot sauce. Enjoy as it is or with meatballs, cheese slices and olives (see below for my vegan meatball recipe).
Vegan Meatballs Ingredients (makes approx 40 small balls)
50g nuts (walnuts are brilliant here but any fatty nut will do)
50g pumpkin or sunflower seeds
150g porridge oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 onion & 4 cloves of garlic, diced and fried in a little olive oil until soft
2 tins of cooked lentils, drained
4 tbsp olive oil
a handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
You will need a food processor with an S blade attachment. Pulse the nuts and seeds first until they resemble course flour.
The add the remaining ingredients and pulse together, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally, until you have a thick, rustic paste. Don’t over-blend, it’s nice to retain a bit of texture.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, pepper or herbs.
Then form the balls by squishing a small amount of the mixture together using your cupped palm and fingers. Gently roll between your palms into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Toss with a little vegetable oil and bake until hot. Around 20 minutes at 200C is sufficient, these veggie meatballs can get a little drier than their meaty counterparts so be careful not to overcook. Turn the meatballs halfway through cooking. Serve in pasta sauce or with mash and gravy.
Overnight oats are so creamy and delicious, they fill you up and feel a bit special. Make these and give your past self a pat on the back in the morning! This autumnal version is probably my favourite. A creamy and sweetly-spiced pumpkin and cashew cream layer topped with an apple, oat, chia and pumpkin seed layer. I eat mine with a dollop of natural yoghurt on top.
Overnight oats last well in the fridge for 3 days. Mix up the ingredients and layer them up in jars or glasses and that’s breakfast sorted for a few mornings. This recipe makes 6 portions. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share your recreations with us in the comments or over on our friendly communityFacebook group.
Ingredients (serves 6)
Pumpkin Cashew Cream:
500g kuri squash pumpkin (or sub with butternut squash or similar)
100g cashew nuts
6 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Apple Overnight Oats:
180g porridge oats
3 tbsp chia seeds
6 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 apples, grated
500g milk (any milk you prefer)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
Yoghurt to serve
Chop the kuri squash into bite sized chunks, no need to peel but do remove the seeds, and roast at 200C until soft. This usually takes around 20 minutes.
Spoon the cooked squash into a blender with the rest of the Pumpkin Cashew Cream ingredients and blend into a smooth, thick cream. Taste and add more maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter.
Mix all the Apple Overnight Oats ingredients in a large bowl.
Divide the pumpkin cream between 6 bowls/glasses/jars. Top with the apple-oat mixture.
Cover the portions and refrigerate overnight (or eat right away). They should stay fresh for 3 days in the fridge.
Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Scoop down to get a bit of both layers in each bite!
Celebrate the season with this warmly spiced, toasty, nutty granola. Our newly harvested kuri squashes are so delicious. Sweet, nutty and buttery, everything you want from a winter squash. Add some to your next order here, we anticipate they’ll be flying out of our packing shed. We also stock organic oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, olive oil, nuts, linseeds and pumpkin seeds in compostables bags…everything you need to make this recipe. Liz x
500g porridge oats
200g pumpkin seeds
200g chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts this time, pecan nuts would be amazing)
400g-ish of kuri squash, chopped and de-seeded (half a medium squash)
250ml maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) – add more if you prefer a sweeter granola
250ml olive oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp each of ground nutmeg and cloves (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200C and roast the chopped squash until soft (approx 20 minutes). Then turn your oven down to 150C.
Place the roasted squash into a deep bowl or jug with the maple syrup, olive oil, salt and spices. Blend until smooth with a stick blender.
Measure the oats, nuts and seeds into a large mixing bowl then pour over the spiced squash puree and mix well. Taste and add more syrup or spices if you like it sweeter or spicier.
4. Spread the mixture out onto large, lined baking trays and bake until crispy and golden. This can take over an hour depending on your oven. Keep an eye on the trays. Remove them from the oven every 15 minutes and stir the granola so that it gets evenly toasted.
5. Allow the granola to cool completely on the trays before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy with yoghurt or milk for breakfast or serve on smoothie bowl or ice cream… Homemade granola stays fresh for 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.
Gnocchi are easy to make but they do require a bit of time and a fair few steps. So save this recipe for when you have the time to really take your time and enjoy the process. These colourful autumn gnocchi are made with an exciting new harvest on the farm, uchi kuri squash, and our beautiful beetroot.
Serve simply sautéd with butter, garlic, herbs and kale, or make a rich tomato pasta sauce to pop them on. Here’s a 30 second video to show you the process, otherwise, read on below. Liz x
Ingredients (serves approx 8)
a small winter squash like our uchi kuri (or sub with a butternut squash)
8 small beetroots, or 4 large
salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
plain flour (or a gluten free plain flour blend) – amounts vary, see method below
6 cloves of garlic
6 sprigs of rosemary (or sage?)
enough butter (or more olive oil) to sauté
8 leaves of kale (sub with beetroot leaves if you have any fresh)
a few handfuls of hazelnuts (we sell compostable bags of organic hazelnuts here)
Preheat your oven to 200C and get two baking dishes ready.
Chop your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into chunks and put it into one roasting dish. Scrub the beetroots and chop them into chunks too. Put them into the other dish. No need to peel either of these lovely, organic vegetables.
Season both dishes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Then get them into the oven to roast until soft. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes, just keep an eye on them.
Allow the roasted veg to cool a little, then blend the squash into a purée. Taste and slightly over-season with salt. It needs to be a little too salty as you will be adding a fair bit of flour next.
Add 4 large serving spoons of plain flour to the food processor and gently pulse the mixture together. Be very careful not to over-mix as this can make the dough tough. I do this in a large food processor with the ‘S’ blade attachment, but you can use a stick blender to purée then just fold in the flour in a large bowl. Add more flour as needed (amounts vary as different vegetables have different water content) until you achieve a soft dough.
Scoop the dough into a bowl, then repeat the process with the beetroot. You will probably find that the beetroot dough needs less flour.
Cut the dough into manageable portions. Generously flour a clean work surface and roll the dough into thick snakes. Cut the snakes into bite size pieces.
Gently roll each bite over a ridged gnocchi board or the back of a fork. Place the gnocchi onto large, floured plates or trays.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Then drop the squash gnocchi in, in small batches. Boil briefly, just until they start to rise to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place in a tray, ready to sauté. Repeat this process until all the squash gnocchi are boiled, then do the same with the beetroot. Do the beetroot AFTER the squash so that the squash gnocchi don’t get stained pink.
At this point you can space out any gnocchi you won’t be needing right away on a tray and freeze. When they are frozen solid they can be tipped into a box in the freezer to use another day.
Gnocchi can be sautéed, roasted, boiled, baked in a sauce… I think they are best sautéed in butter or olive oil and winter herbs. Get a large frying pan on the hob with a very generous knob of butter, tumble in as many gnocchi as you like and sauté until hot and starting to take on some colour.
Add torn kale leaves, sliced garlic, rosemary and chopped hazelnuts to the pan and cook until the kale has wilted and the nuts are toasty. Season as needed and serve.