Budget Friendly – Red Lentil Dahl – (VG)

Chilly days call for a big bowl of nourishing goodness. And even when the cupboards seem bare, this spicy dahl can be whipped up with store cupboard staples. If you have some veg to use up you can roast it like my half butternut squash, or cauliflower, parsnips, carrots or beets.

You can go as spicy as you like here too with chilli flakes or fresh chillies. And amp up the garlic and ginger to ward off the winter bugs. So delicious and versatile and the perfect way to add more organic plants to your plate this January.

Lou x

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1/2 butternut squash
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 small white onion, diced small
    4cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 small leek – diced small, optional
    1/2 a fresh red chilli, finely chopped- or 1 tsp chilli flakes
    Spice mix: 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp Garam masala
    1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    250g dried red split lentils, washed and drained
    750ml veg stock
  • 1 tin chickpeas – drained
    Salt and pepper to taste
    More water to achieve desired consistency
  • To serve: plain yoghurt of your choice, fried curry or sage leaves, fresh chilli slices
  • To make it stretch further, serve with boiled rice and flatbreads.


Step 1: Preheat the oven 180ºc. Slice the butternut squash into semi circles, place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, a pinch of salt and roast until soft- about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Warm a wide pot on a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and gently cook the onions until soft. Then add the leek, garlic, ginger, spice mix, tomato paste, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste, stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the washed lentils and veg stock. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes then add the chickpeas and cook for a further 20 minutes. Stir the lentils every few minutes to make them soupy and creamy.

Step 3: Check that the lentils are cooked, adjust the seasoning if needed. Then serve with the cooked butternut squash slices, yoghurt, sage leaves and fresh chilli slices.

Quick & Easy: Butterbean Red Thai Curry

Delicious, easy, nourishing, and packed with plant power! We love this one pot dish and we think you will too!

The organic red Thai curry paste has all the aromatics added already and is a quick way to pack in the flavour.

Feel free to add some steamed rice or quinoa to make this dish go further. Its so tasty for lunch or dinner and your gut will be delighted with all the organic veggies in there.

Make sure you add it to your meal plan this January.

Lou x


  • 1/2 butternut squash , peeled and chopped into small cubes
    1 tin of coconut milk
  • 3/4 tin water
    1.5 tablespoons of red Thai curry paste
  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 large handful of washed spinach


  • Step 1: A wide pot works well for this, add the diced butternut squash, the red curry paste, coconut milk and water. Simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Step 2: Next add the cauliflower florets and the butterbeans, stir to coat in the sauce and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. Check that the squash is soft, the cauliflower should be cooked but not to mushy, then take the pot off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3: Stir through the spinach and serve.

One Pot – Leek and Mushroom Risotto (VG)

Slowly cooked risotto is deliciously creamy and comforting especially on a crisp cold day in January. After the costly pinch of Christmas its great to have a few dishes that are easy on the pocket yet packed of flavour.

This is a plant based version, made with plant based butter and cheese.

Sweet Irish leeks are one of my favourite vegetables and they are the perfect partner to vitamin D rich Irish mushrooms in this one pot meal.

Gradually adding hot stock to the rice will create a perfect bowl of risotto. It’s always worth the effort.

Let us know if you try it we love to hear from you.

Lou x

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1 punnet, 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 medium leek, cleaned and finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 250g arborio risotto rice
  • 1 litre of hot vegetable stock (substitute 100ml stock for dry white wine if you wish)
  • juice 1/2 a lemon
  • A big knob of butter (30g), use dairy or non dairy
  • 1 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil
  • grated firm cheese to finish, use dairy or non dairy
  • optional topping: a handful of chopped fresh parsley


Step 1: Heat 1 litre of stock in a pan and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in another pan, sautè the diced onion for 5 minutes in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then add in the diced leeks and cook to soften. Next add the grated garlic and mushrooms cook for a further 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

Step 3: Stir through the rice. (If you want to add white wine add it now) Pour in a ladle of stock, stir gently and once all the liquid has been absorbed, pour in another ladle and repeat until the rice is al dente, or cooked to your liking. Continue stirring the rice so the starch is released and it becomes creamy.

Step 4: Stir through the nutritional yeast, butter, grate in some firm cheese and finish with lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve with fresh chopped parsley, black cracked pepper and a good extra virgin olive oil.

Quick Chickpea Masala

This rich, delicious and nutritious chickpea masala is a staple in our Indian-food-obsessed house. It’s thrifty, using just a few tins, a tbsp of spice blend, onion and garlic, and is fairly quick to put together. You could definitely make it in a slow cooker too if you like. I would not claim that this is an authentic chana masala recipe from the north of India, but this simplified version is the way we like to make it. I love making my own fresh and fragrant spice blends and have included my garam masala recipe at the end of this blog, but of course you should feel free to use a ready made blend or if you cant find one you can even substitute with curry powder. Garam masala is intensely fragrant, with warm and sweet notes, not really like the western invention ’curry powder’ which relies on turmeric and fenugreek for that classic ’curry’ fragrance, so if you do make a switch, it wont be a masala as such, but it will still be a gorgeous chickpea curry. No stress, either way you will really enjoy it with rice or flatbreads and coriander.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or coconut oil or ghee)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala (see recipe below or use ready made)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of full fat coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander and cooked rice or naan bread to serve


  1. Use a blender or smoothie maker to blend the onion and garlic into a paste. Fry the paste in a heavy bottomed pot with the oil and garam masala until browned. Over a medium heat, this should take around 8 minutes. Keep stirring, the spices and onion mix will start to stick on the bottom of the pot, that is a good thing. Simply loosen all that flavour with a splash of water and scrape up and stir into the sauce with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the tomato purée, then briefly blend the tin of tomatoes and add that to the pot too. Simmer and stir for around 5 minutes to reduce this gravy.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them into the tomato gravy along with the solid coconut cream from the top of the tin of coconut milk. Season with salt to your taste, then simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the masala has thickened up and the chickpeas have absorbed the delicious flavours.
  4. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander over rice or scooped up with naan breads. We also like ours served with a potato, cauliflower and kale side dish, recipe for that coming up next!


Garam masala is an intensely fragrant, warm and sweet, Indian spice blend, essential in many Indian recipes. There are many different regional (and household) variations and this is mine. Use it in the chana masala recipe above or to add extra flavour to your next pot of dal. It’s also a gorgeous rub or seasoning for anything you’d like to roast in the oven or grill. Garam masala fries are amazing!

Measure these whole spices into a small blender or spice grinder and grind into powder:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp cardamom seeds (or whole pods)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds

Then add these ground spices and blend again to evenly combine:

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder

Store in a clean, dry, airtight container and don’t forget to label it. I like to reuse jars for my spices. It is best to make small batches and use whilst fresh, within 6 months.

Butter Tofu – Curry

This is one of our favourite twists on an Indian takeaway. The traditional North Indian dish is ‘butter chicken’ and it’s all about that rich, creamy and buttery tomato gravy. It’s mildly spicy and savoury, popular with the whole family. This is the perfect store-cupboard supper too, just the thing for those days when you’re running low on fresh ingredients.

We have replaced the dairy in the traditional recipe with Naturli butter and creamy coconut milk. And in place of chicken, our extra firm blocks of organic tofu. We also love this recipe with cauliflower, chickpeas or chunks of aubergine or mushrooms in place of the tofu. Whatever you decide to cook and fold through this mouthwatering sauce, you are guaranteed to lick your plate clean. It’s that good!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)



  • 6 heaped tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 600g extra firm tofu, drained and cubed (or sub with cooked chickpeas, cauliflower florets or cubed aubergine or mushrooms)
  • 50g butter


  1. Start with the sauce. Put the onion, garlic, spices and seasoning into a blender and blend into a thick paste. Fry the paste in a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan with the butter for 10 minutes or until dark brown and very fragrant.
  2. Empty the two tins of tomatoes into the blender and blend them until smooth too. Add to the curry paste and simmer and stir for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is rich and slightly reduced.
  3. Add the tin of coconut milk, stir and taste for seasoning. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the rice and tofu.
  4. Drain your blocks of extra firm tofu and cut into bite sized cubes. If you are subbing with vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces and dunk in milk. In a wide bowl, mix the cornstarch, turmeric, salt and pepper. Tumble the tofu into the bowl and use your hands to mix well and ensure each piece is coated in the seasoning. (If you are using vegetables, dunk the veg in the milk first then roll in the seasoned cornstarch).
  5. Heat up a large frying pan (or two) and add the butter. When it starts to melt, add the coated tofu (or vegetables) and cook on a medium-high heat until crispy and golden on the bottom. Then carefully turn the pieces to cook on the other side. Keep turning and cooking until the tofu (or vegetables) is golden brown, hot and crispy.
  6. Fold the cooked tofu (or vegetables) through the warm curry sauce and serve with basmati rice and chopped coriander.

George, Florence & Veganuary

It’s been a wet, windy and cold start to the year, the water levels in the fields are high. We have been lucky enough to have harvested enough of our key root crops like parsnips before Christmas so we do not have to go out into the muck for them in the last couple of days. It would have proved difficult.

The crops are looking pretty good all things considered, we have some amazing new produce coming in from the fields next week. The purple sprouting broccoli has been flourishing over Christmas and we intend to harvest quite a bit of that for next week. We also have the first new mixed salad, it seems crazy to think it is ready but it is. We will harvest this from our own tunnels starting next week too.

It is difficult to manage all the produce around this time of year especially as we shut down for a week and everybody gets a well-deserved break and we do end up with some waste veggies despite our best efforts. Today it was my job to traverse the muddy fields with a bucket of waste veggies to feed our two rescue pigs, they were waiting and snorting and they always seem very excited about the prospect of food. George and Florence seem content, they don’t like the cold, but they do like their bellies to be scratched, they like roaming in the trees and rolling in their straw bed that they keep meticulously clean, they do not like the rain. Florence is very adventurous and constantly breaks out in search of what, I am not so sure. But I think conversation with George seems not to be up to scratch and she goes in search of more stimulating company!

Pigs are the ultimate food recyclers, but the myth that they will eat anything is far from true. I have learned that like our children, they tend to keep away from broccoli and kale! This I guess is fortuitous as whenever Florence breaks out, she wanders through fields of kale and never touches a bit! They definitely have their own little personalities, and they like to have the freedom to roam and to have access to decent straw bedding. As regards Florence and George they will grow old together on our farm provided of course George’s level of conversation improves!

But whether you eat meat or not, I think there seems to be some consensus that the factory farming of animals is wrong, it does produce cheap meat, but I wonder at what real cost to us as a society and to our health? I have found it interesting that my dad who has been a staunch meat eater all his life, has now changed his diet to mainly vegetables, not on ethical grounds but because he felt it was better in general for his health. He still eats meat, that is his decision and I certainly respect that.

Veganuary can cause all sorts of heated discussion, but I guess it is a personal choice, it is up to each individual whether we choose to eat meat or not, or choose to reduce the amount of meat we eat or not. But one thing that we all know for sure is that eating more fruit and vegetables can only do us good. With that in mind I look forward to next week to our own freshly harvested mixed salad and some gently stir fried purple sprouting broccoli with a dash of sesame oil.

Thank you for choosing the very best food and letting us deliver it to your door.


Back to Basics – Vegan Swaps

These days it is easier than ever to make plant based swaps. Here’s a quick summary of simple switches to help you on your Veganuary journey. We stock the best organic groceries in our vegan section to make it easy for you.

MILK is one of the easiest switches to make. There are lots of delicious options out there. Our favourite is oat milk as it has a fairly neutral but gorgeously creamy flavour and texture. It also happens to be the most environmentally friendly option.

BUTTER is easy to switch too. We have a few organic options which (unlike most dairy free spreads) do not contain palm oil. A couple of soft, spreadable ones, Cocovit and Natruli, and the most amazing Naturli Butter Blocks.

CHEESE is a little trickier but not impossible. Dairy cheeses contain casein, an addictive property which makes cheese very hard to give up. But there are more and more delicious vegan cheeses on the market and we are proud to stock some of the best in the world. Have a look at our range here. We also stock nutritional yeast flakes which are tangy, salty and delicious! sprinkle them over pasta like parmesan or over popcorn, or stir into a vegan béchamel sauce for that essential cheesy favour.

EGGS are tricky, but not altogether impossible, to replace if you want them boiled, poached or fried. But scrambled silken tofu is surprisingly similar to soft scrambled eggs. It’s all in the seasoning. Replacing eggs in baking is easy. Follow tried and tested vegan cake and pancake recipes on our blog. Sometimes eggs are simply replaced with raising agents and plant milks, sometimes they are replaced with mashed bananas, apple sauce, milled chia or linseeds. Egg whites can be replaced with aquafaba, the liquid from a tin of chickpeas.

MEATS won’t be missed if you make sure your meals are well balanced with proteins and fats from beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Meat isn’t missed at all if you cook traditional meat free recipes of course, but we all crave the food we have grown up eating. So replace mince with green or brown lentils and crumbled walnuts to make your bolognese saucesshepherds pieschillies etc – it’s all in the seasoning. Replace diced meat in stews and curries with beans and chickpeas or diced tofu. For pulled pork try replicate the texture with jackfruit, pulled mushrooms or aubergines. If you’re craving a steak, try a juicy vegetable steak made from a thick slice of cauliflower or celeriac or a couple of big, roasted, meaty portobello mushrooms. For roasts, burgers and sausages try making nut loaf or beetloaf and shaping it to your needs. For fish try firm tofu, score it thinly and marinade in lemon juice and seasoning, wrap with some nori seaweed, dip in batter or breadcrumbs and fry or bake. 

Swede, Kale & Coconut Dal with Curried Parsnip Fritters

A page from my illustrated cookbook, available to buy from Green Earth Organics shop here.

Dal and fritters are staples in our house. The dal is especially useful to have in your repertoire for those days when you are low on fresh veg just before your next veg box arrives. And of course bulking out a dal with whatever seasonal veg you have is always a good idea. I like to make it with a tin of coconut some days, usually in winter when the weather calls for something rich and creamy, and with a tin of tomato on other days when I want it lighter and tangy (as in the recipe illustration from my book above).

My fritters are not dissimilar to onion bhajis. Here with curry spices in the gram flour batter they go particularly well with the dal and you can add whatever shredded veg you have around – cauliflower, squash, carrot etc. Fritters also make great sandwich fillers or burger patty alternatives and of course they don’t have to be curry flavoured, add whatever herbs and spices you like to make them your own. I love courgette fritters with fresh herbs in the summer, squash chilli and sage in autumn, celeriac, preserved lemon and parsley…the possibilities are endless.

As always, let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group if you make this recipe. We love to see our recipes leave the screen. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family.

Happy cooking! Liz x

Ingredients for the Dal

  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • an onion or leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp each: brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, salt and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to taste
  • 1 mug red split lentils
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • curry leaves (if you can get them fresh/frozen that’s best, if not dried is fine)
  • 1/2 a swede
  • a few handfuls of kale
  • lemon/lime juice

Ingredients for the Parsnip Fritters

  • 2 mugs of gram flour
  • 2 mugs of water
  • 1 tsp each: salt, pepper, nigella seeds, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli to taste
  • 3 parsnips
  • vegetable oil for frying


Dice the onion or leek and soften it in a large pan on a medium high heat with the oil.

Add the cumin and mustard seeds and stir to toast them until fragrant. Then add the ground turmeric, ginger and fenugreek and stir to briefly toast for just a few seconds.

Add the mug of red lentils and the diced swede and stir to coat them in the spices. Then add the tin of coconut milk and two tins of water to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and add the curry leaves (if you have them – buy online or at specialist Asian shops) and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to infuse while the lentils and swede cook.

Bring the pot up to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the lentils and swede are cooked through.

Meanwhile get the fritter mix ready. Whisk the gram flour, spices and water together into a smooth batter. Then grate the parsnips and add them to the batter. Stir well to coat all the grated parsnip with the batter.

Heat a frying pan with a generous slick of vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry whatever sized dollops of the fritter mix in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. It’s better to cook them slowly if they are large so that they don’t end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Raw gram flour batter can be a little bitter.

Stir chopped and rinsed kale through the dal about 10 minutes before serving. Serve the dal and fritters in bowls with Indian chutneys and optional rice, popadoms etc.