Spicy Beans

I love sharing recipes at festivals, this week I was at a local Chilli Festival at Eastnor Castle. Naturally I took some beans and enjoyed cooking them with a chilli or two!


I also made a herby Quinoa salad with wild garlic and some smoky sizzling fajitas. These were served in a fava bean flatbread.

To make the flatbread it’s a similar method to making a dosa. Mix 120g fava bean flour with 300ml of water, allow to stand for 30minutes. Heat a flat griddle pan and brush lightly with oil, Pour a ladleful of the mixture onto the hot pan and cook on one side then flip over and cook the other. This mixture makes five flatbreads.

Here is the recipe for the chilli

British Bean Chilli

1 chopped onion

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 fresh chilli chopped

200g cooked beans, whole fava, red haricot, black badgers,

1 tsp chipotle chilli paste

1 tin of chopped tomatoes/4 fresh tomatoes

½ tsp smoked dried chillies, optional

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion add the fresh chilli and garlic. Add the chipotle paste.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, and stir well.

Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add water as required. If you are brave add a little more dried chilli!

Bean Inspired!

As the International Year of Pulses draws to a close I continue to be inspired by beans. I am really enjoying Hodmedod’s bean flours. They are milled in Essex from British-grown beans, peas and quinoa.


The flours are naturally gluten free and protein packed. As well as pancakes and fritters, I’ve been using them to make flatbreads and crackers. Unlike a lot of gluten free flours, the flour works really well for pastry. Taste tests at my local health food shop, The Bran Tub, show that the bean pastry works in both savoury and sweet dishes.

I recently experimented with the yellow bean flour on my Christmas Cookery course. I made vanilla shortbread and mince pies using a combination of yellow bean and rice flour. Being packed with protein the pastry held together really well and there was no need for Xanthan gum. Both the doughs were easy to manage and gave a really tasty short texture.

Lizzy’s Gluten Free Shortbread

Gluten Free Shortbread

Gluten Free Shortbread

200g margarine

80g caster sugar

200g yellow bean flour

100g rice flour

extra caster sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150°/Gas 4.

Sift flours and sugar work the flour into the margarine.  Roll out to about 1cm thick and cut into shapes as required. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until crisp.

Dust with caster sugar and cool on a wire rack.

A customer who is gluten free attended and she was impressed with the flexibility of the pastry, she used it to make a mini chestnut and red pepper strudel and some pastry cases that with then loaded with a mushroom and almond filling and a tofu and caramelised onion filling.

Festive Savouries

Festive Savouries

Festive Smoky Bean and Squash Strudel

I’ve had a busy few weeks teaching the different Christmas cookery courses. It’s good having new inspiration for vegetarian main course dishes. I wanted to share a recipe which has been popular this year. I’ve enjoyed using the autumn squash and it’s good taking them through to Christmas. It also makes use of another favourite ingredients Hodmedod’s yummy black badgers also known as carlin peas. This dish is also nut free so suitable for gatherings where there may be people who are allergic to nuts.

Hope you enjoy it!
squash strudel
Smoky Bean and Squash Strudel

1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
200g roasted squash slices
150g cooked beans, e.g. carlin peas
½ carton of passata
½ tsp smoked paprika
extra virgin rapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
230g pack of ready rolled puff pastry (Jus Rol)
soya milk to glaze

Roast the slices of squash in the oven or in a heavy pan on the hob.

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion and garlic. Add the paprika and cook briefly.

Add the beans and passata bring to the boil, and stir well.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced.

Add the roasted squash to the pan and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 220°/Gas 7.

Roll out the pastry, place on a greased baking tray. Cut off a narrow strip to use for decoration.

Spread the cooled mixture on half the pastry and fold the pastry over to cover. Seal edges brush with milk and decorate with pastry strips or star shapes.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
festive squash