Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Will you BEAN my Valentine!

Italian Bean Bowl

Time taken: 20 mins
Ingredients: 2 veggie sausages, half a tin of butter beans, half a tin of chopped tomatoes, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a carrot, a stick of celery, a clove of garlic, some fresh basil, a teaspoon of sugar, oil, and salt and pepper.

Hi readers,
Good morning! I hope you’re well and you’ve had a wonderful start to your day, and a good start just to the week in general. It’s a big week! This is the week of looooove. Saturday is Valentine’s Day!

So, I realise Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. It enrages people year upon year. The idea of having a specific day for people to be loving and caring on… is an eyebrow-raiser. Every year people will say:
“It’s so American and commercial and fake!”
“Yeah, we’re going anti-Valentine’s and sticking a horror film on.”
“I’m a regular romantic I do this stuff all the time, so Valentine’s? It’s just another day for me.”
The complaining begins.

People get really divided. And face pressure to compete with other couples. And get nervous about what their partner might be expecting from them. And, generally speaking, wish Valentine’s would just go away.

But, I’m here to say, I like the idea of Valentine’s Day! You don’t need to do anything for it and we don’t need a day for love. But isn’t it just… nice? It’s nice to be reminded to treat those around you and show a little love and caring. How can that be a bad thing??

Readers, this weekend I’m heading home to Sheffield! HURRAYYYYY! It’s been a long while since I’ve been home now and I’m counting down the minutes until I can spend time with the family. Literally, I’m beyond excited to see them all.

And so this Valentine’s weekend I’m going to be spending time with my loved ones at home. No chocolates or roses coming my way this year, certainly no Fifty Shades, but I’m pretty happy all the same. And I hope that you all also get to show a little love this weekend, in one way or another… and that love comes back your way in return.

So, today I’m going to share with you the recipe for a very simple and quick-to-make, but really surprisingly tasty tea, which I cooked for myself a few days ago! Up in Newcastle, I’m running down my fresh food stocks a little, ahead of my visit home. So this recipe came about, readers, because I was getting creative and trying to throw a meal together from the ingredients that I had in my cupboard. I wasn’t expecting a lot!

But the Italian Bean Bowl was borne from my kitchen wizardry… and it tasted pretty fine! This is a warming bowlful of food made from very cheap ingredients, which fills you up to the brim. And requires MINIMAL cheffing expertise.

So, if you’re looking for some foolproof food to dish up for your Valentine this Saturday, to impress them with your culinary skills, maybe? Or you’re looking for a hearty bowl of food to remind you of home comforts, until you next get to visit family at home? This could be your Recipe of Destiny.

Here’s how to throw together your very own Italian Bean Bowl (like a mama make it!) in just ten easy steps:

1. Heat your grill.
2. Chop your cherry tomatoes in half, slice your carrot and celery, and chop your garlic up as small as you can.
3. Brush your veggie sausages with a little oil and pop them under the grill to cook.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Check the pack first because not all veggie sausages need to be oiled in order to cook. I was using Quorn sausages but you can use any kind that you like!
4. Heat some oil in a frying pan, and fry your carrot, celery and garlic for 5 minutes until your veg soften and begin to brown.
5. Add your cherry tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and sugar to the pan.
6. Stir it up! Season with salt and pepper.
7. Tip your beans into the pan along with a splash of water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, turn your sausages over in the grill so that their other sides can cook.
9. After 5 minutes, remove your sausages from the grill and chop them up into bite-sized amounts.
10. Stir into your bean mix along with the chopped fresh basil. Then serve your food up in a bowl!

And here’s a shot of my Italian Bean Bowl from the other night. :)
Suuuuuch a tasty bowlful of food. This Italian Bean recipe is one that’s very tomatoey and very rich, but really quite good for you, I believe! I count 4 of your 5-a-day of fruit’n’veg in this bowl, and only good carbohydrates in sight! Beans are filled sky high with protein so eating this bowlful for tea should power you on in into the evening for some night owl study work, or maybe charge you up for… some romancing.

Either way, I hope you find a new favourite recipe in this Italian Bean Bowl and that it inspires you to use up some of the tins that you have stockpiled in your cupboard, now that all the snow warnings seem to have passed.

Readers, feel the love this week and have some fun in your kitchens.

Date safely,


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