Cheshire Food Blog

King Prawn & Chorizo Stew

I love taking inspiration from other food bloggers, and this recipe was inspired by just that. I recently saw a similar recipe posted by Lindsay from ‘Always Make Thyme,’ except Lindsay’s recipe was a Cod, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew.

After reading her recipe, I soon discovered I also share Lindsay’s obsession with chorizo. I’m still well-stocked up on it too, after my recent visit to the Foodie’s Festival (where I bought my own body-weight in the stuff). So, a Spanish-inspired dish using the meaty, spicy sausage was on the cards anyway, sooner or later!

My creation includes juicy king prawns, sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach and is finished with some fresh lemon juice and parsley. The shrimp paste is optional, but I do find it adds a mellow fish-flavour, which brings the prawns and Spanish sausage together nicely.

This dish serves 4  and takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. It’s a complete meal, but if you want to serve with a bit of crusty bread then you can!

What you need:

  • 5 raw, peeled, king prawns per person
  • 1 chorizo sausage, 225g, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, very finely diced (I used a half of a huge Japanese onion from my colleague’s allotment!)
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp smoked (or normal) paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced using a garlic crush
  • 1  tin peeled plum tomatoes, chopped with scissors
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp Calvia Rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 400ml organic chicken stock (I use Kallo)
  • 1 small pinch shrimp paste (optional)
  • half juice 1 fresh lemon
  • handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

What to do:

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan and add the diced onion. Fry over a low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until very soft and translucent. Add the crushed garlic cloves and continue to gently fry for 3 minutes.

Add the chorizo, paprika and season with a pinch of salt, cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the now-chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, dried herbs and stir well.

Add the chickpeas, diced sweet potato, stock and season with black pepper and the pinch of shrimp paste (if using). Next, stir in the tbsp of tomato puree, cover and gently simmer over a medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes (until the potatoes are tender). Check occasionally and stir as needed.

Cheshire Food Blog
Leave the stew to gently simmer, with the lid on

When the timer is up, stir in the king prawns and spinach, and cook for a further 3-5 minutes over the same heat, until the spinach has fully wilted.

Finish with a squeeze of the fresh lemon juice and the parsley.

Serve with crusty bread (if desired) and ENJOY! ❤

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Food at Glastonbury 2015

Food at #Glasto15

So I just spent the last 6 days in a field, at Glastonbury, camping and watching some of the best live music acts I have ever seen. I made some amazing new friends, ate some unusual but tasty food and managed to survive the whole time without a hot shower (which was easier than I thought it would be!)

This isn’t going to be the longest blog post, as at times my phone was so low on battery I couldn’t even take a photograph of my food, let alone video some of the live acts I went to see (Florence and the Machine, The Libertines, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Groove Armada, Andy C, Jamie T and Mary J Blige – to name a few!) So here’s a little summary of what I got up to, including, of course, what I ate…

Food at Glastonbury 2015

Being ever-prepared for pretty much anything, me and my man Bradley took along a stove, kettle, frying pan and some essential ingredients. So, with a chilled cool-box in tow, we were able to make our own food for the first 2 days. This was a great way to save some money, although we generally didn’t find the food on offer at the festival too over-priced (average price for breakfast is a fiver, average price for a main meal is £7-8). Meals during the first 2 days consisted of homemade bacon butties, egg butties and sausages… all served with BBQ sauce (as we forgot the Ketchup). All in all, pretty decent meals which gave us plenty of energy; much needed considering the sheer size of the festival, walking distance from place to place and of course, the all night rave parties…

Each morning, a guy would come round the campsite selling fresh milk. This was a total life saver, as it meant we could make a brew for ourselves and friends AND make use of the cute mini packs of cereal we brought along (Crunchy Nut, Cheerio’s and Shredded Wheat). Winning at life.

If you can pack light, I would certainly recommend taking a stove and some easy, quick and fuss-free meals with you like we did. It saves you having to shell-out for meals everyday, and will certainly increase popularity at the campsite if you can make a proper brew for a your fellow camp buddies.

As the third day approached, our supplies were either low or no longer edible, so, it was out to forage for food in the markets – and BOY were we spoilt for choice…

A breakfast favourite was Tea & Toast. Basically the coolest, cutest, brightest yellow Citron HV van called Nelly. They served totally yummy vegan and vegetarian breakfasts and stunning teas at various sites across the festival (I spotted 2 in total, but the one we frequented was in The Park.) The best cup of tea I had all weekend was here. My friend bought a cup of tea for the same price from a different nearby vendor – and it was literally grey in comparison. I opted for a toastie (Somerset Cheddar Cheese with Sundried Tomato Tapenade). The bread they use is unbelievably fresh and super-thick and squishy. I only wish I had taken a photograph, but the phones were dead and we were desperate to eat, so as painful as it was I had to go without the usual ‘food porn’ shot… Shame, I KNOW!

Next and worth a mention for sure was Jumping Bean Burrito. My (new) friend Johnson was literally craving a burrito, and it didn’t take too long for us to stumble across this place. They had a pretty big queue too, which seemed like a good sign – so off Johnson went to order the Botanas Beef Burrito, which consisted of: a massive soft tortilla, coriander and lime rice, lean beef Chilli Con Carne, sautéed onions, marinated sweet peppers and black beans, mature cheddar cheese, sour cream, spicy homemade salsa and guacamole. Now, as this wasn’t mine, and I was only allowed one bite, I can only vouch for how tasty that bite was. But, having eaten a lot of burritos in my time I can confirm, it was excellent. I later spotted Jumping Bean on a few locations across the site, so they are seemingly a very popular choice with festival-goers!

The next meal certainly worth a big mention is the Chicken Katsu Curry from Notso Sushi. Katsu curry was pretty popular across the festival, and I tried a couple of versions – this one was by far the best. The rice was perfectly cooked, hot and sticky as it should be and the Katsu Curry sauce had a great little kick. The chicken again was hot a fresh – moist in the middle but the crispy coating still maintaining it’s crunch on the outside. To top it off, and what really set this aside from the other Katsu curries (apart from how good the rice was), was the pink pickled ginger and fresh crunchy edamame beans they served on top. Absolutely delicious. The second-best thing I ate the whole festival.

One of the first meals I ate at the festival was a ‘Diner Deluxe’ Beef Burger from Deluxe Diner, served with American cheese and ‘Burger Sauce’. It also included a pickled Gherkin, sliced tomato and was served on a super-soft white bun. The burger itself was cooked well, slightly pink in the middle and I didn’t get ill… Certainly a good sign! I did think £7.50 was a little too steep for just a burger.. However, the beef did seem of good quality, nothing like the cheap frozen burgers I have seen on sale for similar prices at other festivals. It also tasted great – so I was content!

The ultimate food highlight for me at #Glasto15 has to be these little beauties – Vegan Sushi Wraps from Happy Maki. Their sushi wraps are vegan, vegetarian and super-fresh. The van they serve them out of is also one of the cutest at the festival, it certainly gives Nelly’s the Tea & Toast van a run for his money! Happy Maki start off by reminding punters (on a handy sign,) that sushi is rice, not raw fish. A great marketing move, I thought. So the queue was about 30 people long but I didn’t care – I was eating Sushi on the last day of the festival! Boy oh boy was it worth the wait (about 25 mins). It took me the whole 25 mins to actually decide which one I wanted, but in the end I was not disappointed with the Hoisin ‘Duck’ Sushi Wrap. I asked for extra wasabi, and it comes served with crispy vegetarian duck, hoisin sauce, avocado, roasted sesame seeds, spring onion, cucumber and green pepper. So filling, so easy to eat. The best thing I ate the whole festival.

My boyfriend Brad was tempted by some of the Jerk Chicken on offer across the festival. We came across Fancy That Caribbean Food which was located right next to Happy Maki sushi. He ordered the Jerk Chicken and Rice, with a healthy dollop of sweet mango sauce. Although the jerk chicken was good and full of flavour, it was a little lacking in spice and freshness that some of the other jerk chicken stalls seemed to have. As there was no smoke bellowing from this stall, we assumed everything had been pre-prepared, whereas the other stalls were barbequing jerk fresh and serving on the bone. So in this instance, it was more of a jerk stew – but it was tasty all the same!

Whilst meandering from Glade to The Other Stage to watch Ella Eyre perform, we stumbled across this cute little Samosa place, aptly (although not very creatively) named ‘Samosa Indian Street Food’.  We decided to go for their 4 samosa selection, which cost £5 – overall pretty reasonable. The 4 samosas on offer are outlined above, however, upon tasting each of them I am pretty sure we ended up with 2 of the ‘Bangkok Parcel’s’ – which meant we missed out on one of the 4 flavours on offer (the Spicy Lamb one, I think!) This aside, the other 3 we did taste were delicious, hot and fresh. They also came served with a wedge of fresh lime, fresh coriander and one of 3 dipping sauces (Spicy harissa, mint raita or lime pickle). We went for the Harissa which was combined with yogurt, so not as spicy as I would have liked, but generally hit the spot!

I finally want to give a quick mention to the wonderful Soulful Food Co. who specialise in Stews, curries and hotpots. I did see their lovely stall at Glasto but had already eaten – but I already know how great their food is from my previous blog feature on them, which can be found here. Hoping they had as good a time at the festival as I did!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my round-up of the food I ate at Glastonbury festival 2015, and I hope it’s shown you how diverse and varied the food is across the whole event. This really doesn’t do the sheer variety on offer justice! I also want to say a massive hats-off to the stalls who actually cook all their meals on site too, it’s brave and confident and must be so much fun. I sincerely can’t wait to go back next time and get my teeth around more. The independant foodies do so well to feed all of the drunk and hungry festival punters, well done to all of them for doing such a truly great job!


 

Soulful Food Co. ‘One Pots’ plus Discount Code!

I have recently been in touch with the lovely and super-cool people at Soulful Food Co. and have been sampling their #SoulfulOnePots, with the view that if I like them, I will share a discount-code with you all as a little thank you for reading and following my blog. You will be pleased to know, they have turned out to be an absolute delight!

As you know, I have recently been on a health-kick. I’ve decided to get my ass in gear and start exercising, as I was starting to feel a little ‘under the weather’ (as we all do from time to time). I attributed these feelings to my sheer lack of exercise, eating too many calories and not getting the right balance of nutrition in my diet. Over the past few weeks, I have cleaned up my diet, stopped eating for the sake of it and joined a really nice gym where I have been working my ass of to try and get into better shape and health.

So… The arrival of 6 healthy, hearty #SoulfulOnePots therefore, couldn’t have come at a better time. For the past week, I have been fitting them into my diet (mostly for lunch, which means snacking less in the day) and sometimes for dinner (perfect when you’re in a rush – you will see why later).

Here is a summary of what I thought of each pot – and at the end of the article, there is a discount code for you to enjoy a whopping 35% off your #SoufulOnePots online order! You are welcome!!

How they taste:

Official Name & Description: Mexican Bean & Sweet Potato with Quinoa. A rich & warming bean fiesta of a stew, with sweet red pepper, tomatoes & lentils.

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Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Low Fat, Low Salt, Gluten Free, Vegan, 262 Calories per tub.

My Verdict: Overall this tasted absolutely fantastic. Great textures from the variety of beans (black beans, pinto beans and red kidney beans) and also green lentils. The lentils have a slight bite to them which is lovely. The sweet potato is firm but squidgy and soft in the middle, nice bite-sized chunks. Loads of flavours from the added herbs and spices, particularly fennel seeds and cumin which gives an authentic Mexican flavour. LOVELY!

Official Name & Description: British Pulled Beef Chilli with Black Barley. West Country Beef, slow cooked till tender, in our fresh take on the classic chilli con carne.

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Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Low Fat, Dairy Free, Lean Protein, 2 of your 5-a-Day,  391 calories per tub.

My Verdict: The beef in this one pot is tender, meaty and there is plenty of it. Absolutely no accompaniment needed if you’re having this for lunch like I was. It’s packed full of loads of fresh red peppers, onions, kidney beans and celery which all contribute to the wholesome flavour. A great level of spice and seasoning, from both the fresh red chilli used and the cayenne pepper, chilli powder and pepper. Delicious.

Official Name & Description: Free Range Thai Green Chicken Curry with Kelp Noodles. Our own fragrant take on the eastern classic with babycorn, sweet potato and red pepper.

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Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Lean Protein, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, 2 of your 5-a-Day, 441 calories per tub.

My Verdict: This was one of my favourites, simply because I love Thai curry and this one is done really well, whilst still maintaining balanced nutrition. I had never tried Kelp noodles before, but can honestly say they are light with a great texture (a little bit like glass noodles but without the starch). As the kelp is raw and very low in carbs, this allows rest of the food fill you up, which I found kept me fuller for much longer (so less/NO snacking, yay!) The chicken had a great ‘pulled chicken’ texture, and the veggies were crunchy as if they has just been stir-fried. Absolutely tonnes of fragrant, tasty Thai flavours coming through too: lemongrass, coconut, basil, coriander and chilli. So much nicer than the Innocent Veg Pot ‘Thai Green Curry,’ by a clear mile. DIVINE!

Official Name & Description: Free Range British Pulled Pork Stew with Chorizo, Beans and Spelt. Hearty & rustic, with smokey British chorizo & nutty grains of finest Somerset spelt.

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No picture! So here’s a pretty picture of the packaging!

Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Low Fat, Low G.I, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, 2 of your 5-a-Day, 315 calories per tub.

My Verdict: For just 315 calories per tub – this is seriously impressive. I forgot to take a photo of this one, as I was in a rush after work to get home, eat dinner, and get my ass to the gym. So, I just grabbed this one pot from the fridge, heated it in the microwave and ate it straight out of the tub. As I am used to brown rice, I must say the texture of spelt as an alternative is a little strange to get used to at first – but it is an overall more nutritious option with more fibre and less calories per portion. The sheer flavour from the pulled pork and smoky chorizo more than made up for the new texture. You can tell a lot of love has been put into slow cooking this very hearty and nutritious stew. I ate it about 45 minutes before my gym session and it gave me enough energy to absolutely smash it!

Official Name & Description: Free Range Moroccan Chicken Tagine with British Spelt. Chunks of chicken, veg, apricots & almond, slow cooked in delicious North African spices.

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Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Lean Protein, Dairy Free, Low G.I., 2 of your 5-a-Day, 395 calories per tub.

My Verdict: Lovely and warming spices (ginger, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon). There is less spelt in this one so the texture less noticeable. There was perhaps a little bit too much carrot for my liking, but for lunch this was a very satisfying dish, which would be lovely as a dinner with some homemade chapatis.

Official Name & Description: Butternut, Lentil & Spinach Hotpot. Gently cooked with coconut, lemongrass & a warming hint of Indian spices.

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Nutrition Info: 380g serving (1 pot) = Low G.I., Gluten Free, Vegan, 2 of your 5-a-Day, 388 calories per tub.

My Verdict: I must admit, I think (subconsciously) I saved this one until last, because I didn’t fancy it as much as the others. However, this one turned out to be my favourite overall. The chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, split peas and green lentils all work together really well to give a light but hearty texture. The spices used are really warming (turmeric, mustard seeds, cardamon powder, ginger and red chilli), which give the hot pot a lovely little kick. The only drawback is that the potato-to-squash ratio favoured potato a little too much for my liking. On the ingredients it says 7% of both, but there was certainly a lot more potato than squash!

Overall, I would highly recommend these lovely pots of flavour-packed wholesome goodness. I think they would be a great purchase to supplement your own home-cooking as they are healthy, nutritious and overall taste fantastic! They are £3.49 per tub plus P&P to buy online, which is a little bit on the pricy side, but you get what you pay for, and these really do taste great and the ingredients are top notch. Use the discount code for 35% off your order, see below. 

All of their packaging is fully recyclable too, which is awesome.

As promised, please use code SCRAN35, for 35% off  your Soulful Food order, which is valid until the end of May 2015.

I was sent the Soulful Food One Pots on a free-of-charge basis, to taste and try and feature on my blog. All opinions above are my honest and actual thoughts on the products supplied.