Slow cooked red bean, cashew and spinach curry

Looking for a protein packed curry? Here’s one I made in the slow cooker. With almonds and cashews, I thought as well as being mega-healthy, it would be mega-calorific, but after logging the ingredients into myfitnesspal, it’s only 329 calories per portion, so not bad at all. The best bit is the taste though – it’s by far the nicest curry I’ve made for a long time.

It does take a bit of cooking before it goes into the slow cooker but, believe me, it’s worth it.

cashew-and-spinach-curry

Red bean, cashew and spinach curry (serves 4)
Taken from Slow Cooking for Vegetarians

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
425g can of red kidney beans, drained
50g ground almonds
75g unsalted cashew nuts
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on High.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned.
  3. Add the spices, root ginger, chillies, and garlic and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans, almonds, cashew nuts and 300ml water and bring just to the boil. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir gently.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours until the ingredients are tender.
  6. When you are ready to serve, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, then serve immediately.
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Cashew-leek burgers with bulgur and lentils

I should have learnt my lesson last week when making burgers that they’re a bit of a faff. These took almost two hours to make (although the recipe says one hour – I’m a slow cook) and I really did think I’d spent two hours making something that was going to turn out to be a disaster.

The lentils and bulgur wheat didn’t absorb their water and although I could just about drain the bulgur wheat, the lentils were soggy and I thought there’s no way these burgers are going to firm up.

Still, I persevered, and they didn’t fall apart too much in the frying pan but even after they’d come out of the oven they weren’t that firm but they tasted okay and I could imagine them being great cold, stuffed into pitta bread with salad. Not a recipe I’m going to be making again though (not that I would need to for a while – there’s four leftover in the freezer)

cashew-leek-burgers

Cashew-leek burgers with bulgur and lentils (makes 8)
Taken from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way

75g brown or red lentils
50g bulgur wheat
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks, cleaned and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée
50g toasted cashews
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
50g toasted breadcrumbs

  1. Bring the lentils and at least 475ml water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and beginning to fall apart. Transfer to a baking sheet or mixing bowl to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 150ml water to a boil. Stir in the bulgur wheat with a pinch of salt, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for about 7 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and it evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and wipe out the sauté pan.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are completely softened and beginning to caramelise, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir to mix.
  6. Combine half of the lentils, half of the bulgur wheat and half of the leek mixture with the cashews, eggs, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly pureed but still slightly chunky. Add the puréed mixture and the remaining lentils and bulgur wheat to the remaining leek mixture in the bowl. Work in the breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.
  7. In a large ovenproof frying pan or non-stick sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6-10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
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Graze box

I cancelled my Graze box about eleven months ago when I moved house. Partly because I thought I’d save my money, partly because they kept sending me seeds and partly because I thought not having high calorie (albeit healthy and delicious) snacks delivered through my letterbox would be more conducive to losing weight.

But then I started seeing Tweets about flapjacks and focaccia topped with cheese and onion and I thought mmmmm, maybe I should get a box again, you know, just a one-off, just to have a look, not to commit myself to a weekly one, you understand.

And so I did. My box was duly delivered by my orange postman and inside the box were 7 fruits flapjacks, kalamata & amphissa olives in a med marinade, fiery cashews and west country cheddar, red onion and chutney focaccia.

Also inside the box is a napkin and a little personalised booklet giving you the nutritional information about each item, along with some vouchers to give your friends so they can get a free box, and when they sign up for a free box, Graze will give you £1 off your next order (or you can choose to give £1 to charity).

If you’d like a free box, go to graze.com and enter this code: 26RFNXZ3.

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