Dirty Rice, Mexican Style (v)


This is one of those wonderful chuck it all in and the magic happens recipes. It might take 45 mins or so to cook, but apart from the initial sauteeing and an occasional prod here and there it’s low maintenance. You can use whatever you have to hand to make it, the magic ratios are the rice and water. You do need to let it sit for 10-15 mins before eating to allow the rice to fully absorb all the liquid.

For four portions you need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 1/2 leek, sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 250g brown rice
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, dried oregano and sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  1. Begin by sauteeing the first six ingredients in a large, deep, non stick lidded pan. Cover with the lid to help them sweat and cook for 10 mins.
  2. Add the rice and spices/herbs. Turn up the heat and cook the rice out for 1-2 mins.
  3. Add the stock, bring to the boil then cover with the lid and turn the heat right down. Cook for 15 mins.
  4. Add the pepper, sweetcorn, broccoli and kidney kidney beans and cook for a further 10 mins.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins further then turn off the heat, keep the lid in place and allow to steam for 10 mins. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with the parsley.

Mexican Bean Salad with Tortillas (v)

Whenever I go to a certain up market food store for a posh sarnie, I am always tempted by the mexican bean wraps. And always, always, always, without fail, they are a big disappointment: soggy, flaccid and tasteless. Bleck. This recipe on the other hand is spicy, vibrant and refreshing. My DH declared it “really nice” which is high praise indeed. You have been warned…

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 can mixed bean salad in water, drained
1 can sweetcorn, drained
1 red pepper, diced into pieces about the same size as a sweetcorn kernel
1 red onion, diced
8 radishes, diced
1/2 small bag fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander tbsp red wine vinegar
juice 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 chilli, finely chopped
zest 1 lime
1 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp good quality cold pressed rape seed oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 large, beefsteak tomato, chopped

To serve:
Vegan cheese (optional)
Tomato salsa
Vegan sour cream (optional)

Mix all the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl and leave to marinate for about 30 mins or so. When ready to eat, spoon the mixture into the centre of a tortilla and top with whatever you fancy (or indeed leave au natural). Fold up the tortilla and scoff, scoff, scoff. Yumsome 🙂

Corriander, Onion and Pepper Quesadillas

These go nicely with the three bean chilli and are a doddle to make.

For each quesadilla you need:
1 flour tortilla
small handful grated cheese
1/2 sliced spring onion
1/4 finely diced pepper
large pinch fresh corriander

Place the tortilla on a hot griddle pan and then add the cheese and veggies. Fold in half and push down to brown evenly. Flip over and push down again. Serve cut into wedges.

3 Bean Chilli (v)

Obviously this can be any number of bean you want chilli. I happened to want three different versions. Today was cannellini, borlotti and kidney, but black turtle beans are also nice.

This makes a LOT so scale back if you don’t want to make some for another day.

For 6-10 portions you need
2 large onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can each of cannellini, borlotti and kidney beans
2 can chopped toms
1/2 bottle mexican beer (it has to be Mexican OK, san miguel at a push but not fosters or carling please!)
1 tsp each of chilli powder, cocoa, ground cumin, ground corriander
2 tsp each of dried oregano, stock powder and sugar
black pepper
Handful chopped fresh corriander
1 tbsp sour cream for each portion (omit for vegan version)

Sautee the onion in some olive oil for about 5-10 mins. Add the spices and herbs and cocoa and heat through. Add the garlic. Deglaze the pan with one of the tins of toms. Add the remaining toms and beans and beer. Season. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 mins. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some quesadillas.


A great standby lunch or snack.

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 can refried beans
1 packet salted tortilla chips
1 jar salsa
Yogurt/soured cream
Grated cheddar
Pickled chillies

Scoop the refried beans into a flat dish (a flan dish is perfect for this). Lay tortilla chips on the top. Add yogurt/soured cream and salsa in dollops on top of the chips. Cover with grated cheese and a few chillies on the top. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or so till the beans are hot, and the cheese is melted. Eat.

Guacamole (v)

Yummy, creamy, green gunk! L told me today he wouldn’t eat anything beginning with ‘gwa’ so he missed out on this luscious dip! I like mine sort of chunky, but you could blend it all for a smoother dip, or leave it all chopped for a rougher one. Either way it’s great with tortilla chips!

For 4 portions you need:
4 avocados, halved, stoned and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, pulverised in a food processor
1 chilli, blitzed (with the toms)
1 red onion, diced
juice 1 lime

Mix everything together, blitzing half of the mix if you want a smoother texture. Scoff. Dead easy!


There are infinite variations on what you can put in to these, this is just one suggestion. They’re a fab snack, quick lunch or a side with other Mexican food.

For each quesadilla you need:
1 tortilla
1/4 cup grated cheddar
1 sliced spring onion.

Heat a large frying pan and place the tortilla on it. Sprinkle the cheddar over the surface of the tortilla and add the onion to one half. Heat. Fold in half to make a semi circle and then flip over. Serve cut into wedges. They’re nice cold too!

Beans in Beer aka Frijoles Borrachos (v)

Fiesta baby! Today we had a Mexican feast, partly due to the surfeit of avocados in the fruit bowl that ripened together and partly due to watching Mark Beaumont Cycling the Americas where it looked like he’d had some yumsome food in central and south america. This recipe, for beans cooked in beer, is an adaptation of a Celia Brookes-Brown recipe.

For 2-3 portions you need:
2 large onions, chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 can chopped toms
1 can canolleni beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bottle corona beer
juice 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
large handful chopped coriander
olive oil

Begin by sauteeing the onions in 2 tbsp oil till translucent. Then add the chilli, cumin and garlic. Fry for a further 5 mins or so. Then add the beans, toms, beer, seasoning and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat till the sauce is reduced by about half. Reduce the heat and keep warm till you’re ready to serve. They’re nice with quesadillas and sour cream. Omit the dairy to keep it vegan.

Sweetcorn Fritters with Avcado Salsa

I had avocados to use up today and didn’t really fancy eating them au natural so googled and came across this recipe for sweetcorn cakes on the BBC Good Food site. I’ve tweaked it slightly, and if you wanted a vegan version you could omit the egg/milk and just use water for the batter.

For 2 portions you need:
1 200g can of sweetcorn, drained
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
50g self raising flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 chilli, finely chopped
1 avocado, roughly chopped
1 handful corriander, shredded

Mix the flour, egg, sweetcorn, half of the onions and milk together to make a batter. Season. Heat a pan and fry spoonfuls of the batter in some oil for about 10 mins, turning halfway.

Mix the remaining onions, avocado and corrainder together and serve with the fritters. It’s nice with some salsa too as it’s a bit dry otherwise.

Quick Quorn Chilli

A perfect after work meal. And it can be ready in 30 mins from start to finish. Perfeck.

For 4-6 servings you need:
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp oregano, cumin, chilli powder, cocoa powder
2 tins chopped toms
2 tbsp tom puree
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stock cube
1 tbsp each hendersons relish, soya sauce
1/3 cup red wine or water
2 tbsp oil
1 packet frozen quorn mince
1 bayleaf

Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil. Then add the quorn mince and all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. Once cooked serve with grated cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips blah blah blah all the usual accompaniments!