Fiery beetroot salad

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Why buy a ready-made salad pot when this one tastes far better, can be whipped up in moments and you have the satisfaction of homemade food? Beetroot can certainly divide opinion – when I was in primary school I distinctly remember beetroot being served with everything (and I mean those cold vinegary slices) – sausages and beetroot anyone?! It took me a long while to come to like those earthy red roots after that chilling start!

But I’ve really come round to the earthy vegetables. Such a fine colour, great in salads, make beautiful soup. This one’s a salad dish that’s sweet but sharp and punchy,  versatile and very simple.

Fiery Beetroot Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 4 beetroots, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp smokey chipotle Tabasco sauce, or other chilli sauce of choice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

– Mix together the vinegar, oil, Tabasco, sugar and salt
– Pour over the beetroot and spring onions
– Mix delicately so the spring onions don’t go completely red! Some redness is inevitable.

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Spicy Corn Salad

It’s the 4th July and in honour of my American readers I’ve decided to give a Brit’s take on a classic American meal – dairy, egg and nut-free of course. I’ve decided on spicy bean burgers, seedy ‘slaw, baked paprika fries and this zingy, spicy corn salad. This will be follow by apple pies or cheesecake – that important decision has yet to be made! All those recipes will follow, but for now it’s the Spicy Corn Salad – an ideal accompaniment to a BBQ.

Spicy Corn Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4 as a side

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • small handful of coriander, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

– Shave the kernels off the ears of corn.

– Preheat the olive oil in a frying pan.

– Add the corn, chilli, spring onions and a large pinch of salt. Saute for 5 or so minutes until the corn is cooked through (you may need to taste a kernel)

– Add the other ingredients (except coriander) and thoroughly mix.

– Pour into a decorative bowl and let cool.

– Once cool check the seasoning and stir in the coriander.

Lucky 7 Bean Chilli

The fridge is bare and I haven’t done a big shop for a while – too much time blogging, I think! So tonight calls for a real store cupboard supper, and what could be better than a beany chilli – surely far superior to any version with minced beef. Any readers out there with good chilli tips do let me know… I’m always keen to tweak recipes to make them even better. There are plenty of additions you could make: different spicing, smoked chillis, all of which would take this dish in a slightly different direction. In the meantime, this version is pretty good (more to the point it is what I had in stock) and works brilliantly with rice, a hunk of nice bread, or inside tortillas. I’d have added a square of dark chocolate if I hadn’t eaten it. Oops. This freezes well too.

Lucky 7 Bean Chilli (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled ( a must!) and chopped
  • 2 dried chillis
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 8 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 glass wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin borlotti beans
  • 1 tin/pack mixed beans
  • 1 tin sweetcorn
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • large dash of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tin balsamic vinegar
  • large pinch oregano
  • 1/2 tsp marmite (!)

-Sweat off the vegetable. When softened, add the garlic and dried chilli, cook out until fragrant.

– Stir in the spices and briefly cook out.

– Add the tomato puree, stir to coat the veggies, then add the wine. Deglaze the pan and reduce the wine until syrupy.

– Add the beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes. Plus 1/2 a tin of water.

– Stir in the seasonings, turn the heat down and cook for as long as possible (about 1 hour), making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan by stirring now and then.

– Check for seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, balsamic, worcestershire sauce as desired.

– Serve garnished with cheese (dairy-free if liked) and chopped coriander.