Tag Archives: vegetarian

Pepper, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Pepper Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Pepper, Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Image: http://www.alittlethoughtforfood.com

I fancied cooking something vegetarian for a change, this tasty one pot dish is quick and easy to prepare and is substantial enough to fill a hole in anyones appetite. It’s only about 170 kCals per portion too.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 2.5 cms Root Ginger, peeled
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 mixed peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin of  Chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bag of Spinach, (200 – 250gms)


  1. Whizz the Garlic, Chilli and Ginger in a blender until it forms a paste, (you can substitute paste versions of these instead and use as directed on the tubes\jar)
  2. Heat the paste and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, until it becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle (be careful not to burn the paste or it will become bitter)
  3. Add the onion and peppers and fry for a few minutes, util the onions start to become translucent)
  4. Add the spices and tomato puree and cook for a few moments
  5. Add the Chickpeas, and Chopped Tomatoes plus a splash of water and simmer for 10 mins.
  6.  Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until it’s wilted, then stir through the curry.

Serve with some plain boiled rice and a Naan or Chapati and enjoy this healthy delight…..

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently




Pasta Bake

Pasta Bake

I first saw this recipe in a television advert for Sainsburys many years ago, it had a voice over by John Nettles back when he was in ‘Bergerac’.  I suspect Jamie Oliver was still in school at the time!

Anyway, I’ve kept it as true to the original as possible, with only the addition of meatballs made from sausages. Leave them out for a vegetarian version and use Gluten Free Penne Pasta for a Gluten Free version (just cook the pasta fully before adding to the sauce and baking.

Use a good fresh sausage to make your meat balls, I like Sainsburys Sicilian Style(Gluten Free) or Pancetta & Parmesan. Any Italian style fresh sausage would work tho.

Serves 4


  • 2 Pack Mozzarella, cubed
  • 400g Fresh Italian style sausages, skinned and rolled into small meatballs (you should be able to get 2 per sausage)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 X 400g tin of Peeled Plum tomotoes
  • 150g Parmesan grated
  • 2 tbls Tomato Puree
  • 1 tbls Olive Oil
  • 300g Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 tsps Mixed (or Italian) Herbs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C(180c Fan Oven)
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water.
  3. Heat pan and add oil and fry sausage balls until the are browned, add the garlic and fry for a moment or two being careful not to let it burn (or it’ll become bitter)
  4. Add tomatoes, herbs, puree, half Mozzarella, parmesan to the meatballs in the frying pan.
  5. Bring tomato mixture to the boil and simmer on a low gas until pasta cooked.
  6. Drain Pasta and put into oven proof dish, pour over tomato sauce and stir.
  7. Sprinkle over rest of Mozzarella and a touch more Parmesan
  8. Bake in oven for 10 Min or until cheese has melted and is golden

For a Spanish take on this recipe replace the sausage meatballs with 150g roughly chopped Chorizo, it’s smoky paprika flavour works well with in the tomato sauce too….

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

This is a classic Italian soup, full of many different textures and vegetables. But it’s also a little bit more than a soup – it’s almost a main course that you can eat with crusty bread for lunch. The idea behind most soups is to cook them as quickly as possible to keep all the freshness in. This dish is a prime example of needing to cook all the ingredients gently first in the oil and then adding the stock while it’s boiling. This way you’re not stewing it for hours and losing all the goodness out of the vegetables. The thickener of this soup, although it’s got tomato purée and all the vegetables in there, is the starch from the pasta, so don’t panic if the soup looks a bit thin at first.

Serves 4 and it’s Gluten Free too!


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 250g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small swede, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g spaghetti (use you favourite Gluten Free spaghetti, for a gluten free version of this recipe. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly dependant on the time your particular brand takes to cook)
  • ½ a Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 400g Tin of White Beans in Water (ie Cannellinni or Flagolet)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pesto


  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and lightly sauté the onion, garlic and rosemary until softened.
  2. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook without colouring for 3-4 minutes until the fat begins to come out.
  3. Add the carrot, swede, celery and leek and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Season the vegetables while they’re cooking in the pan.
  4. Add the tomato purée, stir, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  5. Add the hot stock. Turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Put the spaghetti into a clean tea-towel and roll it up so you’ve got a sausage shape. Hold both ends tightly, then tap it over the edge of a table or work top so the spaghetti breaks into small even pieces.
  7. Add to the soup and simmer until the spaghetti is tender – it should take about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, Beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more.
  8. Check the seasoning, then serve the soup in bowls and eat…

To get that authentic Italian feel, top with a teaspoonful of pesto. Eat with crusty bread (like my Cheese Soda Bread), it’s perfect comfort food for a blustery day.