Hello everyone! I know this isn't my ''official'' first blog post of 2018, but it feels like the first REAL one so before I get stuck in, may I wish you all a gorgeous, happy and prosperous new year, filled with scrumptious, healthy, vegan food (like this delicious, simple and seasonal Moroccan chickpea stew)! All the good things, basically ;) because you deserve a kick-a** start to a kick-a** year!
Now, to help make the 2018 extra special and lend you a hand in your quest to try a meat-free Veganuary (cuz that was totally your plan, right?), I thought I'd extend the giving season and host an AWESOME competition. See, you can win a copy of Rita Serano's AMAZING Vegan in 7 cookbook courtesy of Kyle Books. And there's more! Want to find out everything? Then read on...
SO WHAT'S THE COOKBOOK LIKE...
A total dream! Honestly, it's wonderful! With ace recipes, great photography, simple instructions, the works you'll be utterly delighted to be adding this cookbook to your bookshelf, believe you me! As the name suggests, it's all about creating vegan recipes with 7 ingredients or less. And most ingredients needed to recreate the recipes are easy-to-get-ahold-of supermarket staples. For example, today's Moroccan chickpea stew - which I adapted only a tiny bit from the cookbook's original - really gives you a clear sense of what to expect from Vegan in 7. Real, honest, good plant-based food that is.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE COOKBOOK INCLUDE...
I'm keen to try the beetroot tzatziki, the corn soup with green tomato salsa and the radicchio and grilled fig salad with nut balls. Oh and once it gets a tad bit warmer I KNOW I'm making the raw carrot cake. It looks fantastic!
Apart from great breakfast recipes and lots of simple, nourishing main course ideas, Rita also has ample 'staple' recipes in the book including a recipe to make vegan yoghurt, pickles and your very own vegan cheese. So clever!
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE MINDFUL OF....
Not every recipe has a photo, which I know many of you are used to seeing in cookbooks nowadays. But please don't let that put you off. I mean do you really need to look at an image of her tomato sauce or her vegetable stock recipe? No, I didn't think sor ;). The other point to raise is that Rita didn't photograph the book herself, despite being a very accomplished food blogger. It doesn't bother me particularly because the images are to die for, however if you are used to seeing Rita's style on instagram and are looking for a book that is totally 'her' in terms of photography, you may be a tiny bit surpised.
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA FOR YOU...
I will be interviewing Rita LIVE this Sunday, January 14th from 7pm - 7.15pm GMT and am going to ask her all about how she went from insta foodie to getting a cookbook deal. So set your clocks and don't miss out!
UPDATE: I created a little cheatsheet that includes Rita's top 7 tips for getting a cookbook deal. Please sign up to the mailing list below to get the downloadable PDF.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY...
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED! All you need to do for a chance to win is tell me: What question would you ask your favourite successful food blogger if you could? Please be quick with your answers, entry to this giveaway closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Monday, January 15th, 2018. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date.
Please note that this competition is open to UK residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK or not. And even if you don't, please still feel free to let me know what you're curious about. I may just ask Rita your question on the 14th ;). CONGRATULATIONS TO CLAIRE WHO IS THE LUCKY WINNER!
Thanks for reading.
Recipe below :).
P.S. Want to know what my 5 predictions are for instagram in 2018? Then sign up to my newsletter below and join my creative community where I will be spilling the beans during my LIVE foodblogger tutorialon Friday, January 12th from 11am - 11.15am GMT. To make sure you don't miss it, please read all about it here. Can't wait to see you there.
UPDATE: The video of the LIVE tutorial is now available inside my creative community. Join the mailing list below to gain access within 24 hours.
VEGAN MOROCCAN CHICKPEA STEW RECIPE
I adapted this recipe only slightly from Rita Serano's Vegan in 7 cookbook. It's so easy to throw together and perfect for the current, nippy Winter weather. With supermarket staples at it's core, you can't go wrong. Enjoy!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1/2tsp salt + a pinch of ground black pepper
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
6 medium sized carrots, washed, peeled and cut into thin disks
a good handful of baby spinach or kale leaves, washed
250ml/1 cup water
500g cooked chickpeas OR 2x 400g tin pre-cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
75g pitted medjool dates (around 5), roughly chopped
SERVE WITH (OPTIONAL):
freshly chopped and washed coriander leaves
naan bread, pita bread, coucous or rice
Cook the onion in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of water until the onion pieces are soft, but not brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add the harissa paste, salt and black pepper. Mix well, then add the tomatoes, carrots, spinach (or kale leaves) and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
If you are serving the stew with couscous or rice, now's a good time to get that ready.
Finally, add the chickpeas and chopped dates to the stew and cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if need be.
Serve with some coriander leaves, yoghurt, naan bread or whatever you like and enjoy!
Tip 1: This stew freezes really well. So if you're a family of 1-2 still make this quantity and freeze any extras for a quick mid-week meal. If you're a family of 4 then double the recipe and freeze the extras for another day!
Tip 2: How long you have to cook the carrots depends on how thick/thin you slice them. Please keep checking every 5-10 minutes and know that if you slice them relatively thick your cooking time will be longer.
Tip 3: Not so into mixing sweet and savoury? Then replace the dates with olives. The dates are my suggestion, the olives are from the original recipe.