Vegan Pinto Bean Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Vegan pinto bean stuffed pepper

This vegan pinto bean stuffed peppers recipe is loosely based on the Chillies Stuffed With Beans recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s vegetarian cookbook River Cottage Veg Everyday! Although Hugh’s version would undoubtedly be better than mine, his recipe involved grilling and peeling chillies and there is no way I could ever be arsed to a) peel a chilli pepper; or b) stuff something that small, so I bunged a couple of peppers in the oven and stuffed those instead.

The pinto bean stuffing is pretty much the same as Hugh’s except I left out coriander and cumin because I’m not keen on coriander and every time I use cumin, The Meat Eater says it tastes of farts and I wasn’t in the mood for any stupid talk like that (by the way, in case you’re wondering, The Meat Eater is 44, not 4).

I loved the bean filling in these peppers – it’s not dissimilar to baked beans in tomato sauce – and I also thought it would make a good sandwich filling. The Meat Eater didn’t enjoy it as much as I did but I think he was in a moany mood as he also complained about having a green pepper and not a red one (even though I offered to swap) and said the peas were too chewy.

Next time, I’ll tell him to rearrange this sentence: dinner your make own fucking

Vegan Pinto Bean Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • 2 red or green peppers, deseeded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g tomatoes, halved
  • 400g tin pinto beans (or other beans of your choice)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put the peppers on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes at 200C until tender and the skin is slightly browning
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots and garlic for a couple of minutes, until soft
  3. Grate the tomatoes into the pan, and discard the skins
  4. Remove from the heat, add the beans and lightly mash with a fork, leaving plenty whole
  5. Add the paprika and season with salt and pepper
  6. Stuff the bean mixture into the peppers and return to the oven for another 20 minutes


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Veganuary: Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart

Vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart

Hallelujah – I cooked something that wasn’t stodge! This vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart is something I’ve cooked before, at least a variation of, anyway. Usually when I make it, I cover it in cheese, like I’ve done previously on my leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart, mushroom, leek and mozzarella tart, and my courgette and tomato tart.

I’ve got to admit, I had a bit of a pang when I took both mine and The Meat Eater’s tarts out of the oven, and The Meat Eater’s was covered in bubbling, oozing Cheddar but the pang faded as soon as I started eating.

This vegan tart is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge – you can substitute the leeks, mushrooms and spinach for whatever you have to hand.

Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • Two-thirds of a 375g pack of vegan ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the leeks for about 3 minutes
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary and fry for another 3 minutes
  3. Add the spinach and stir until wilted
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Cut the pastry in half so you have two rectangles
  6. Score a 1cm border round each rectangle of pastry and top with the leek mixture, keeping within the border
  7. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes


Veganuary Day 12 – Lunch

Warburtons Thin salad sandwich

Yesterday’s lunch was a Warburton’s Thin with spinach, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, hummus and vegan mayo. Do you like my new plate? I got it in Tesco for £3. It’s almost as nice as the penguin slippers I also bought (£6).

penguin slippers
Gratuitous pic of penguin slippers

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Recipe: Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry

Vegan sweet potato, chickpea and coconut curry

I mentioned last week my energy levels had slumped, so I googled to see which foods were good for energy. Among those mentioned were:

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin D and, as we all know, at this time of year when summer’s coming to an end and there’s a lack of sunlight, our energy levels can crash, along with our mood. The Vitamin D in sweet potatoes will boost your energy, along with the natural sugars it contains which are released slowly into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels balanced.


Chickpeas are a source of manganese which is important in energy production. So if you ever needed an excuse to eat more hummus, here it is. You’re welcome.

Coconut milk 

Although coconut milk has a high level of saturated fats, those saturated fats are mainly short and medium chain fatty acids which are not stored by the body as fats but provide instant energy to the body.


Tomatoes have a high content of biotin which is also known as Vitamin H which is, confusingly, part of the B complex group of vitamins. But, you don’t need to worry about that (unless you’re doing some kind of medical degree which requires you to know about these things) – all you need to know is that B vitamins help the body produce energy.

So, I had a list of healthy ingredients and, faced with these ingredients, there was only one thing to make – a curry. And not just any old curry but a creamy vegan curry that raised my energy levels and gave me a natural boost.

Maybe I should have called it Sunshine Curry.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1" chunks
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Salt to season
  1. In a large saucepan (or Tefal wok, like I use), heat the vegetable oil and fry the onion for a few minutes, until softened
  2. Add the garlic, chili, and ginger to the onions, along with the dried spices and fry for another couple of minutes
  3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk and the sweet potato and bring to the boil
  4. Turn the heat down, season with salt, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Remove the cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes
  6. Serve with Basmati rice



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Recipe: Marinated and Grilled Tofu In Pitta Bread

Marinated tofu

A lot of people don’t know what to do with tofu. I’d have included myself in this group of people until just a few months ago, but now it’s rare for me not to have a packet of tofu in the fridge or freezer (tip: tofu is firmer if you freeze it first, then defrost it). I’ve even started to have it for lunch on an almost daily basis, usually marinated and grilled on my George Foreman grill, as it’s just so easy and tasty.

Tofu is bland by itself, so it’s best when as much water as possible has been squeezed out of it (just wrap it in kitchen towel and squeeze, or press between two plates with something heavy on top) and marinated for a few hours.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been marinating tofu in the gorgeous lime and chilli dressing from Scarlett & Mustard a friend sent to me but you can use whatever you’ve got handy – in the past I’ve used BBQ sauce, Peri Peri sauce, liquid smoke and sriracha, and even a combination of all of them.

Just cut a chunk of tofu off the block, squeeze the water out, generously coat in your marinade and leave the tofu to soak up the flavours for a few hours. Bake, grill or put in a George Foreman grill for about 10-15 minutes until the outside has crisped up a bit. I put my tofu on top of a toasted pitta bread stuffed with rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and loads of homemade hummus.

Alternatively, prepare the tofu the same way, but chop it up and have it in a wrap instead.

Marinated tofu wrap

Marinated tofu wrap

What do you like doing with tofu?

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Tofu Escalopes With Salsa

Tofu Escalopes with Salsa


I’ve never been successful cooking with tofu. In fact, the last time I attempted a tofu stir-fry, it ended up in the bin. Restaurants seem to manage to make it so it resembles actual food and not a gungy spongy lump of tasteless splodge but whatever their technique is, it has so far eluded me.

Until now, that is. Recently, I’ve read on various blogs and Facebook pages about people pressing tofu to squeeze all the water out of it. Pressing techniques ranged from using a fancy press to using a plate with something heavy on top. I chose the ‘plate with something heavy on top’ technique.

I placed the tofu (it had been frozen and defrosted first, as freezing also helps to make it firmer) on a plate, placed another plate on top of the tofu and placed two heavy cookbooks on top of this and left it for about an hour. Some water had indeed been squeezed out but, on prodding it, there was a lot of water still in the tofu so I pressed down harder and squeezed more out of it. Even after pressing down and pressing down, the tofu still seemed a bit waterlogged but it was certainly a lot firmer than it had been and I decided it had got to the ‘it’ll do’ stage.

‘It’ll do’ certainly did, as the tofu, once cooked, was the perfect texture and not in the slightest bit gungy or spongy. It was, despite being marinated, a bit bland – next time I’ll coat it in some barbecue sauce or something similar before dredging it in breadcrumbs.

I can’t believe I managed to cook tofu successfully and I’ll definitely be using the pressing method again.  Although I served two per person, they were filling and I reckon one would be enough.


Tofu Escalopes with Salsa (makes 6)
(recipe adapted from Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes)

1 block tofu, sliced into 6 slices
2 eggs
75g Japanese panko crumbs
5 tbsp sunflower oil
salt and pepper


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves


100g drained tinned haricot beans
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 tbsp bottled jalapeno chillies, drained and chopped
1 handful of coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and season well. Put the tofu in a large, shallow dish, spoon the marinade over and spread over both sides. Leave to marinate, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa together and leave in the fridge until serving.
  3. Beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate shallow dish and season. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Dip the tofu slices into the egg and then the crumbs until coated all over, then fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the salsa.
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Veggienomics Cookbook: Linguine Carbonara With Crispy Capers


Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes is a cookbook designed to help you cook delicious money-saving vegetarian meals. Nicola covers what you should keep in your storecupboard and tips on getting the most out of your freezer, along with hints on foraging and growing your own veg.

The recipes are divided into eight chapters: basics and accompaniments, tin of beans (and other pulses), pack of pasta (and noodles), sack of rice (and other grains), bag of nuts (and seeds), carton of eggs, slice of cheese (and other dairy) and box of veg. There are plenty of full-page colour photographs to accompany lots of the dishes.


You needn’t worry the recipes are all basic though – take this linguine carbonara with crispy capers for example that I made last night. Beautifully rich and creamy (my capers didn’t go crispy though).


Linguine Carbonara With Crispy Capers (serves 4)

400g dried linguine
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp bottled capers, drained, rinsed and patted dry
40g butter
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g vegetarian Parmesan cheese, grated
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chopped oregano leaves or 2 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta following the pack instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the capers, turn the heat down slightly and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Add the butter to the pan and when melted, stir in the tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until softened, taking care that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Mix three-quarters of the vegetarian Parmesan into the beaten eggs. When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer it to the frying pan and reserve the pasta water. Take the frying pan off the heat and quickly pour in the egg mixture. Using tongs, turn the linguine so it becomes evenly coated in the egg mixture, which should thicken without scrambling. Add 2-4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water, if needed, to keep the pasta moist and to give a glossy sauce. Serve seasoned with pepper and sprinkled with the remaining vegetarian Parmesan and oregano.
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Tomato rice soup with haricot beans (vegan)


The other day, I made a soup so disgusting I had to throw it away. It was a dal soup from a Rose Elliot cookbook and the recipe called for water, not stock, and this made me dubious. But, you know, it’s Rose Elliot; I thought, ‘it’s okay, Rose knows what she’s doing’. She didn’t in this case, I can tell you. It was vile.

Today’s soup is from the mighty Veganomicon cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This also called for water not stock but I thought, ‘ha, not being fooled again’ and ignored Isa and used stock. Actually, I ignored quite a lot of her instructions as she does tend to make things more difficult for herself (and therefore more difficult for the lazy cook) and so I didn’t roast any garlic and I used Basmati rice,  not long-grain brown rice (she said short grain rice doesn’t like tomato broth, but it turned out fine). Because Veganomicon uses US terms and measurements, I had to spend three hours on Google finding out what a 28-ounce can of tomatoes is in English. Apparently it’s two of our usual size ones. They also call haricot beans, navy beans, which is a bit odd when they’re a kind of beige. Maybe the marketing bods didn’t think ‘beige beans’ would sell well.

I’m going to post what I used and how I did it; if you want to know how the expert that is Isa did it, you’ll have to buy Veganomicon. You should buy it anyway, it’s fab, although a lot of the recipes have a lot of ingredients, have a lot of steps and take a lot of time.

This is in no way a ‘drink soup with one hand while mousing around the internet with the other’ soup. You’ll need a spoon to drink it with, possibly even a knife and fork.

Tomato rice soup with haricot beans (serves 4)
(adapted from Veganomicon)

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup Basmati rice (or other rice)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and black pepper
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
450ml vegetable stock

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  5. Add the beans and heat through.
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Quorn Meat Free Swedish Meatballs with Tomato and Spinach


After making the Mexican Vegan Crustless Quiche yesterday afternoon, I had half a bag of spinach left over and spinach is always good to add to a pasta dish (or a curry dish for that matter) for a bit of greenery goodness.

Quorn Meat Free Swedish Meatballs with Tomato and Spinach (serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 bag frozen Quorn Meat Free Swedish Meatballs
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 or 3 large handfuls of spinach
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

  1. Cook the Quorn as instructed on the packet and leave to one side.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Tear in some fresh basil.
  5. Stir in the spinach.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the Quorn and heat through until the spinach has wilted.
  7. Serve with spaghetti and garlic bread (or whatever you like).
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Vegan Monday: aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry


Hooray, it appears I made it successfully through a Vegan Monday for a change. No lip balm or hot chocolate slip-ups this time. I had fruit for breakfast, mulligatawny soup for lunch and a vegan chocolate peanut butter bar as a snack along with my vegan hot chocolate.

And also for a change, I made a proper dinner and didn’t just heat up a frozen burger-type product and serve it with chips and beans.

Go me.

Aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry (serves 4)
(Adapted from Easy Vegan)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, chopped into large chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, grated
250g cherry tomatoes
6-8 curry leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato puree
125g red lentils

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and add the aubergine. Cook the aubergine until it darkens and the oil it’s absorbed seeps back out, about 10 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the pan and set to one side.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften and collapse, then remove them from the pan and set aside with the aubergine.
  3. Add the curry leaves and cumin to the pan and cook for a few minutes, as the curry leaves pop and crackle. Add the chilli powder, tomato puree, 500ml water and the lentils and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but retain some bite. About 5 minutes from the end, stir in the aubergine and tomatoes and heat through.
  4. Serve with basmati rice.
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Aubergine and pasta bake

The Meat Eater looked at his plate and said ‘this looks suspiciously vegan’. Huh? It was covered with cheese and not the slightest bit vegan. The boy is paranoid.


It’s a recipe adapted from Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian. The only bit I adapted was where she uses wholemeal auelli; I used non-wholemeal pasta (as I get moaned at if I use wholemeal despite the taste and texture being identical) and spirals, not auelli (as I haven’t a clue what auelli looks like and anyway, I had spirals in the cupboard).

Also, I didn’t fry the aubergine slices as that’s too fiddly and takes too long. Instead, I brushed some oil over them and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Oh, and I used a large can of tomatoes, not 225g.

I didn’t use an egg, either.

And I only used one onion, not two.

Okay, I adapted it quite a lot.


Pasta and aubergine bake (serves 4)
(Adapted from Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian)

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
450g aubergine
75g pasta shapes
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp dried oregano
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Fry the onions in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes.
  2. Slice the aubergine into thin rounds, brush with oil and bake in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes, until tender.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and drain.
  4. Mix the pasta, tomatoes, ketchup and oregano with the onions and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the aubergine slices in the base of a greased shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon the pasta mixture on top, cover with the rest of the aubergine slices and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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