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Chorizo and chickpea stew

If you keep dreaming about hearty, warming dishes (l do), this recipe will help you follow your dreams. These might not be the most audacious desires you have, but, let's face it - they're not that time consuming either. The preparation is 15 minutes tops and having done that, all you need to do is sit and enjoy the rich aroma that fills the kitchen. You could even devote that time to some other dreams you have - to rule the world or to bake a chocolate fudge cake. A warming, slightly spicy stew with chorizo, chickpeas, kale and red wine is a perfect start to a cold Thursday afternoon.

Recipe: Chorizo and chickpea stew

Serves: 4
  • one large onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red chili pepper, sliced
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • one cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 2-3 Spanish chorizos (300 g), thickly sliced
  • 2 cups of peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • one cup of dry red wine
  • 250 g of kale, sliced
  • one tsp. of coriander seeds
  • one tsp. of cumin seeds
  • one tsp. of brown sugar
  • 2-3 bay leaves

  • Roast coriander and cumin seeds and grind them using a mortar.
    In a large pot, melt the butter, add garlic, onion and chili and cook through. Add chorizo, cumin and coriander, cook for another minute.
    Add chickpeas, tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar and wine. Simmer to thicken, for about 30 minutes.
    Add kale 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
    Check the seasoning and serve.

    2

    Chicken satay skewers

    Chicken satay is a Malay-Indonesian dish of skewered and grilled meat, served with a dipping sauce. It's a simple idea for a dinner or a party snack. You can use shrimp, beef, lamb or fish instead of chicken.

    Recipe: Chicken satay skewers

    Serves: 2
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • one tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • Marinade

  • one stalk of lemongrass, chopped
  • one red chili pepper, sliced
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • one tbsp. of grated ginger
  • juice and peel of one lime
  • one tsp. of soy sauce
  • one tsp. of brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. of coconut milk

  • Wash, clean and slice the chicken fillets.
    Combine all the ingredients of the marinade, place chicken and marinade in a bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour.

    Peanut sauce

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts
  • one tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt

  • In a food processor, combine peanuts with salt and oil. Puree to combine.
    The sauce doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, you can leave larger chunks of peanuts for a crunchy texture.

  • one tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 red chili pepper, chopped
  • one tbsp. of grated ginger
  • one tsp. of soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add garlic, chili and ginger, cook for about a minute.
    Add peanut butter, soy sauce and lime, cook for another minute.
    Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

    Thread the chicken onto the skewers.
    Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and cook the skewers for 3-4 minutes each side, until cooked through
    Before serving, drizzle satays with lime juice. Serve with peanut sauce.

    3

    Sweet potato and butternut squash soup

    A perfectly orange soup is a perfect way to celebrate fall.
    It's slightly sweet, slightly spicy and wonderfully warming.

    Recipe: Sweet potato and butternut squash soup

    Serves: 4
  • 350 g of sweet potatoes
  • 350 g of butternut squash
  • 500 ml of vegetable stock
  • one onion
  • 2 gralic cloves
  • one tbsp. of rapeseed oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • one tsp. of chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp. of coconut milk

  • Peel and dice potatoes and squash.
    Heat the oil in a large pot, add diced onion and sliced garlic. Cook them for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
    Add diced pumpkin, squash and chili flakes, cook for about 2 minutes.
    Add vegetables stock and a pinch of salt, simmer over low heat until the vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes).
    Blend the soup with 3 tbsp. of coconut milk. Reheat if needs be.

    7

    Camembert baked with figs

    Everybody has a bad day every once in a while. Especially when it's getting colder. This baked camembert won't bring back summer heat and late sunsets.
    But it will make you feel better anyway.

    Recipe: Baked camembert with figs

    Serves: 2 (or one if someone really craves cheese)
  • one wheel of camembert cheese
  • one tsp. of olive oil
  • one tsp. of fresh rosemary
  • one tsp. of runny honey
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • one fig

  • Thinly slice off some of the top rind and score both side of the camembert with a sharp knife
    Spread a thin layer of olive oil whisked with rosemary and honey on top and sprinkle with salt.
    Bake at 180C for 10 minutes.
    Remove the cheese from the oven and top with thick slices of fig. Bake for another 5 minutes, until the camembert is runny inside.
    Remove from the oven, top with freshly ground pepper and some more honey if you like it sweeter.
    Serve immediately with crunchy baguette.

    9

    Coconut chia pudding

    Chia seeds seem to be the new It Food in the foodie world. Listed as superfood, they are praised as an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can read more about their superpowers at many professional nutrition websites.
    Personally, I became a fan of chia seeds for far more prosaic reason. Namely: the coconut chia pudding. All you have to do is to combine some chia seeds with coconut milk and place the mixture in the fridge before you go to sleep. When you wake up, your delicious breakfast is waiting for you and it's filling, vegan and gluten-free.

    Recipe: Coconut chia pudding

    Serves: 2
  • one cup of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of chia seeds
  • one tsp. of honey

  • Stir together the coconut milk, chia seeds and honey.
    Refrigerate for at least four hours (you can leave it in the fridge overnight).
    Place into two bowls and top with fruit of your choosing.

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