Butterbean and Sweet Potato Stew

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So it is November which means it is stew season. Spikey plays in the garden in summer evenings but is not so keen to do so in the dark evenings and instead entertains himself indoors – he has just had a mad burst of energy and has completed at full speed  a series of shuttle runs between the front door and the back door. When he does this in the garden he goes so fast that he often rolls over on the turn……

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Anyway, stew season and there are so many tasty and warming stews to make this time of year. My current favourite is a made up recipe with butterbeans, sweetpotatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, mushrooms, onion, garlic and some chilli just to give it a bit of a kick.  The orange and yellow colours in this stew are great and I like to add  some contrast to the colour by serving it with some broccoli.

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Butterbean and Sweet Potato Stew  Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1 small red chilli

6oz mushrooms

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

2 medium sized carrots

1/2 pt vegetable stock

1 400g tin of butterbeans

1 198g tin of sweetcorn

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli. Saute these ingredients and chop the mushrooms and add, peel and finely chop sweet potato and carrot and add. Pour in the stock bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (or until carrot and potato getting soft).Next drain and rinse the butterbeans and sweetcorn before adding them and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.  Serve with scones (see previous blog for recipe) and seasonal vegetables.

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Healthy Hummus

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Chickpeas are awesome as they are a source of protein and have a good iron content as well.They are such a versatile legume – sprouted chickpeas make an excellent addition to a salad and Mum makes an ace farinata using gram  (chickpea) flour. Generally I use chickpeas in soups, stews, curries, tagines, falafel and of course hummus. No vegan blog is complete without a recipe for hummus :-).

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 I usually buy dried chickpeas and cook a large batch of them as I like the fresh nutty taste and texture which you don’t get with tinned ones. I freeze the spare chickpeas as it is always handy to have a supply in the freezer. My hummus has quite a firm texture so if you like a more runny texture just add some water (or go and buy some in a supermarket!). You can experiment with different spices and my friend Rachel makes a fab hummus with a great balance of spices. In the past I’ve substituted the chick peas for canelli beans or butterbeans which makes a nice change and I did go through a phase of making sweetpotato hummus (http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/10/falling-for-sweet-potato-hummus-2/)

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There are lots of great ways to serve hummus you can serve it is a dip with crudities or have it as a topping on a jacket potato. My favourite accompaniment for hummus is to eat it with a whole grain like Quinoa and lots of salad

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Healthy Hummus  Serves 4

1 tin of chickpeas (or 125g uncooked weight – soak overnight, boil for 10 minutes and simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of tahini

4 tablespoons of lemon juice

Cayenne pepper to garnish

This is really easy to make – just whizz up all the ingredients in the food processor. Chill any leftovers – it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.