Vegan Kale and Chickpea Curry

Winter at the Cortijo: Vegan food for the olive harvest

At certain times of the year when there’s not much growing except kale and cabbage, it’s good to have some different recipes for what to do with kale.

For a good part of the year, we have volunteers coming to stay with us to help us with the farm and most of them come through Workaway. Our first ever workawayer was Tiffany from New Zealand. This recipe for a vegan kale and chickpea curry popped up on her Facebook feed the other day – I think it was posted by her mum.

The original recipe is taken from the Cooking Light website with a few modifications: as I was cooking for 6 people, and we’ve got masses of kale, I used a large bowl of chopped kale (almost an entire colander), more chickpeas and different spices.

Vegan Kale and Chickpea Curry
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large bowl of chopped kale
  2. 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  3. 1 large red pepper, roughly chopped
  4. 2 x 400g jars cooked chickpeas
  5. 1 can coconut milk
  6. 3 heaped tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  7. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  8. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon chill powder
  10. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  11. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  12. 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  13. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  14. 1 lemon, juiced
  15. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the red pepper and continue to fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the garlic and ginger.
  3. Sprinkle over the spices and heat for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. Add in the kale and mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and let the kale wilt down.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter.
  7. Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and heat to a gentle simmer.
  8. Cover and leave for about 15 minutes.
  9. Squeeze over the lemon juice.
Notes
  1. Serve with brown basmati rice.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Vegetable Paella with Tofu

This take on a vegetarian paella used chunks of firm tofu that have been marinated in soy sauce, and also butter beans and green beans as well as the usual paella base ingredients (onion, green pepper, red pepper, garlic, tomato, etc.).

Vegetable Paella with Tofu
A delicious take on a vegetarian paella made with tofu and beans.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  2. 1 large red pepper, diced
  3. 1 green pepper, diced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1 block firm tofu, cubed and marinated in a couple of spoons of soy sauce.
  6. 2-4 tomatoes, chopped
  7. 1/3 cup of paella rice per person
  8. 400g can of butter beans
  9. handful flat green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 2cm pieces
  10. vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Heat some oil oil in a paella pan.
  2. Fry the onion, red pepper and green pepper until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, before adding the chopped tomatoes.
  4. Mix well and fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Sprinkle over the rice and stir well.
  6. Add the butter beans and green beans.
  7. Pour over the vegetable stock and cook until the rice is almost cooked.
  8. Remove the tofu from the soy sauce and scatter over the top.
  9. Mix the remaining soy sauce with water and sprinkle over.
  10. When the rice is just cooked, remove from the heat.
  11. Cover and leave to rest for 5-7 minutes.
  12. Serve with garlic mayonnaise.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Cocido (Spanish pork and chicken stew)

Cocido is a traditional beef, chicken and chickpea stew from Madrid. It is similar to the French “Pot au feu”, where all the meat and vegetables are cooked together and then eaten separately, with the liquid served as a starter and the meat and vegetables as the second course.

The recipe is based on one by Carlos Arguiñano (see this page for his Spanish version).

Cocido
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 300g chickpeas, soaked for at least 24 hours
  2. 300g pork, cut into chunks
  3. 1 chicken thigh
  4. chorizo
  5. strip pork belly
  6. morcilla de cebolla (Spanish black pudding made with onions)
  7. 1 ham bone
  8. 1 white bone
  9. 1 large onion, chopped
  10. 2 carrots
  11. 3 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  12. 1/2 white cabbage, shredded
  13. 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  14. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and gently fry the onion until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the meat and bones (except for the chicken, chorizo or black pudding) and 2.5 litres of water.
  4. Season with salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the chickpeas, put on the lid and bring up to pressure.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Run the cooker under a cold tap to reduce the pressure.
  8. Open and transfer some of the cooking liquid to saucepan.
  9. Add the shredded cabbage and the chorizo and morcilla to the pan with cooking liquid and cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Add the potato and carrot tot he pressure cooker.
  11. Bring back up to pressure and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve.
Notes
  1. Cocido Madrileño is traditionally made with beef, chicken, pork belly, black pudding, chorizo and bones, For this non-traditional version, I used pork, chicken, chorizo and meat bones. Mercadona sell a chicken and pork pack for this type of stew that includes the meat and different types of bones that you need.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Pork stew

Pork Stew
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 500g pork, chunky pork ribs
  2. 1 onion, coarsely diced
  3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1 large red pepper, coarsely diced
  5. 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  6. chorizo, sliced
  7. 1 chilli pepper, sliced
  8. green beans, optional (it's just that they're in season at the moment)
  9. 500g butter beans, soaked for at least 48 hours
  10. 3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into pieces
  11. vegetable stock (1.5 litres of water and 2 stock cubes)
  12. salt and pepper
  13. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat some olive oil in a pressure cooker.
  2. Gently fry the onion on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and fry until soft.
  4. Add the sliced chorizo and fry until the onion and pepper have taken on the red oil released from the chorizo.
  5. Add the chopped garlic and stir well for a minute or so.
  6. Add the chopped tomato,
  7. Tur up the heat and stir until the tomato has reduced.
  8. Add the pork pieces, chilli, butter beans and potato and mix well.
  9. Add a teaspoon of salt and season with ground black pepper.
  10. Pour over the vegetable stock so that there is slightly more liquid than ingredients.
  11. Leave the pot uncovered and bring to the boil.
  12. Add more water if necessary.
  13. Cover and bring the pressure cooker up to the 2nd level of pressure.
  14. When the cooker is at pressure, time for 60 minutes.
  15. Serve with salad and garlic mayonnaise.
Notes
  1. If you prefer a thinner stew, use potato pieces.
  2. If you would like a thicker stew, coarsely grate 2 of the potatoes and cut the third one into pieces.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Courgettes 2018 – Recipe for courgette fritters

COURGETTE SEASON 2018

So the 2018 courgette season has arrived and I’m enjoying trying out new recipes to find different ways of preparing them. I prefer to pick them when they are still quite small. That way you can use several at a time when they are at their best for a side dish rather than waiting until they are the size of marrows. There are always some that get away but I’ll slice these lengthways and give them to the chickens so that they can peck out the seeds.

FAVOURITE COURGETTE RECIPE

My all-time favourite way of preparing courgettes is to slice the small courgettes into 2cm slices. Fry them in a covered pan with some extra virgin olive oil. Turn every so often so that they lose their liquid and catch a bit of colour on each side. After 10 minutes or so, toss in a knob of butter, grind over some black pepper and squeeze over some lemon juice. Delicious.

DIFFERENT RECIPES

My challenge each year is to find some new and interesting recipes to use up the abundant crop.

The first recipe I tried didn’t salt the courgettes first which proved to be a messy mistake. In the second one I salted the grated courgette and left for an hour before squeezing the water out.

This recipe is adapted from Felicity Cloake’s “How to cook …” column in the Guardian “How to cook the perfect courgette fritters“.

The second recipe worked a lot better and I’d use this technique again in the future.

Here is the recipe.

Courgette fritters
Serves 2
A simple recipe for courgette fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium-sized courgettes, coarsely grated
  2. 1 small salad onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 handfuls of grated cheese
  4. 2 tablespoons self-raising flour
  5. 2 tablespoons polenta
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put the courgette in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and mix well.
  2. Leave for about an hour and then transfer to a colander and squeeze out the water.
  3. Add the onion and egg and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat some oil in a frying pan.
  6. Put in sponfuls of the courgette mixture and fry on a high heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Flip the fritters and fry for a further 3 minutes on the other side.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/