Jewelled Chickpea and Red Pepper Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables

Sweet, crunchy pomegranate seeds sit alongside the sweet, sharp pomegranate molasses in this light chickpea and red pepper salad which makes a great side dish, accompaniment to bread & cheese or alongside a bigger meal or picnic. It really is simple, with no cooking and just a few ingredients, most of which can be kept in the cupboard to whip together at the last second. It's vegetarian and vegan as well, so perfect or everyone!
Today’s recipe is a chickpea and red pepper salad jewelled with delicious, crisp pomegranate seeds and dressed with a pomegranate molasses dressing infused with za’atar, which I knocked up in a hurry whilst trying to use up some leftovers. Yes, I genuinely had everything except the rocket knocking around in the cupboard. I keep an excessively large jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge and I was gifted a couple of enormous pomegranates along with a whole basket of other fruit and veg by my neighbours, after I cut down their trees for them (I had asked first). The Best Olive Oil in the UK? The basis of this dish goes back to an unassuming side street in Clerkenwell, a short stroll down the road from City University, the seat of learning where I study Food Policy. There exists an electrical store, a purveyor of junction boxes, consumer units…

Chunky Ginger and Black Eyed Bean Soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Today I'm making a vegan black eyed bean soup which is crammed full of healthy vegetables, making a chunky soup that will fill the emptiest of bellies but also bursting with bold flavours to satisfy the most demanding of taste buds. It's easy double or triple up the quantities to make ahead and freeze for next week's lunches.
About 10 years ago I lost a lot of weight. Over 4 stone to be exact, it also proved to be a turning point in the food history of my life, it was a time when seismic change occurred to some of my most deeply ingrained, English eating habits. Soup became my new lunchtime God, eschewing the bread it replaced, leading me to hunt high and low to find or create the perfect, filling, tasty soup. This vegetarian ginger and black eyed bean soup is my latest effort, and boy, it’s a good’un. Death of the Sandwich. I gave up eating sandwiches. That stalwart of the lunch table, which had filled my boots and nurtured me through my childhood, adolescence and twenties, into the tall, strong and fat man I became by the age of 30. Bread had been so integral to my life that I had barely chosen…

Chunky Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

A filling and sustaining chunky soup loaded with goodness and hearty ingredients. This chunky butternut squash and lentil soup is a meal-in-a-bowl which virtually becomes a stew as the liquid is almost entirely soaked up by the lentils, chickpeas and squash. The Indian influenced spices have come in to play, featuring a warming host of flavours which will warm your cockles even when the temperature's so cold that the central heating doesn't. It's so good that it's my lunch bowl for the next three weeks, yes, I've just made a triple batch of this, giving me a happy fridge and freezer full of lunchtime joy.
Today I’ve got a fantastically filling, Indian influenced, chunky butternut squash and lentil soup with chickpeas that will keep your tummy filled, your body fuelled and your cockles warmed throughout the coldest days of the winter. Fantastic India. I’ve just returned from a truly beautiful holiday in Goa, India, where I spent three weeks doing yoga, laying by the sea, reading and travelling across the width of the country to the eastern city of Ranchi, to visit my 93 year old, Canadian resident great uncle. I rarely see him, as we’re separated by 4,368 miles and the Atlantic Ocean, but we had both travelled to India for our Christmas breaks this year, so travelling a mere 1,200 miles across India to see him was the itinerant equivalent of popping down the road to meet for a coffee. We had a lovely time and I hope I’m still flying to the…

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.
Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…

Easy Thai Curry

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

A simple, easy Thai curry that's influenced by the cornerstones of Thai cooking, fish sauce, lime, garlic and chilli. This is a vegetarian or vegan recipe can also be made with fish or chicken, it's up to you. Whatever you choose it makes a spicy, creamy, aromatic dish that tastes and smells divine without having to bash away at a pestle and mortar.
Today my recipe is an easy thai curry, it’s a quick way to make a curry that’s got some of the signature flavours of Thai food but can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. It’s a vegetarian recipe you’ll find here today, however you can substitute chicken, fish or prawns for the tofu and still have a lovely, creamy, spicy Thai curry on your hands. Thai Thai. I remember my first ever genuine Thai curry, in a small cafe behind the Khaosan Road in Bangkok in the year 2000. I was amazed, I couldn’t believe what it tasted like. This was something new, something different, a way of using ingredients that set itself apart from any other cuisine I’d tried before. I fell in love with Thai food, something which is easy to do, becuase the use of chilli fire and coconut creaminess along with palm sugar sweetened…

Supergreen Wholegrain Miso Soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

An amazingly wholesome supergreen wholegrain miso soup rammed full of hearty, warming, nutritious wholegrains and micronutrients, it’s a fully rounded one-pot meal in a bowl that gives you all the energy you need to live a healthy, happy life. It makes the prefect vegetarian lunch or dinner meal soup for autumn and winter when the mornings are cold and you need something to look forward to, plus it's an easy make, you just need to leave it simmering away while you go about your life. Find the full recipe on lepetitoeuf.com
I hope you’re ready for the most wholesome, healthy, winter-warmer, one-bowl-meal of a recipe I’ve ever published. This recipe is packed full of supergreens plus it’s a wholegrain miso soup, taking the often light miso soup and making into a hearty, balanced meal soup. It even looks healthy! Just looking at this recipe makes you lose a few kilograms, making and eating it is the equivalent of visiting Lourdes whilst running a marathon and getting blessed by the pope. It’s like the 3 in 1 Cilit Bang of healthy soups. Inspired by my eternal search to create lunch recipes that are one-pot wonders and can sustain me through the afternoon, I pulled together all the things I wanted in a soup; healthy, filling, low fat, tasty, nutritious and piled them into a bowl. The result is this spectacular soup which I’ve just made four litres of, which will take care…