Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash


I hesitated as to whether I should post this one- it’s hardly a recipe at all really- more of a simple, tasty meal idea. I know a lot of my readers are experienced cooks, more than familiar with cooking vegan, but some of you are also just getting started cooking plant-based meals.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

When I went vegan was the first time I really got into cooking. I taught myself to cook using recipes and it took me quite a while to get comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen and adapting other recipes to my own tastes, rather than following them strictly to the letter.

This is one of those basic recipes which you can follow as written, if that’s what you’re happiest doing, or adapt to your own tastes with different vegetables and spices, if you’re more of an experimental cook.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

Even for those of us who cook a lot, there are days when inspiration is absent (at least for me!) and it’s nice to have a few no-brainer dishes in your back pocket for these situations. This Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash is one of those.

Just a few humble ingredients, but combined with some spices and heat they turn into something a bit more special.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

I made enough for 1 with leftovers for lunch, 2 small-ish servings or to serve a few people as a side-dish (I’m envisaging BBQ baked tofu, corn on the cob-if in season-and a quick green salad…). Or, if you’re following my own advice, make a larger batch and eat it for lunches a few days in a row. It will keep well in the fridge (Just add the avocado fresh to each serving).

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash
Serves 2
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  1. 1 Medium Potato, peeled and diced
  2. 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1/2 Onion, diced
  4. 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  5. 1/2 Red Pepper, diced
  6. 1/2 Green Pepper , diced
  7. 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  8. 1/2 tsp Cumin
  9. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  10. 3/4 C (1/2 Can) Cooked Black beans
  11. 1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
  12. 1/2 Lime
  13. To serve: At least one of the following: avocado, fresh coriander, chopped green onions, nutritional yeast, cashew sour cream, extra lime
  1. Boil potatoes for 5 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, cook 1-2 minutes, add peppers and cook a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, along with spices and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are fairly soft.
  4. Add the beans and continue to cook for a couple of minutes to allow them to warm through and soak up the flavours. Add the liquid smoke (if using) and the juice of half a lime.
  5. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Coconut and Berries

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

If you’re into these flavours and are up for something a bit more involved, try my Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream!

What’s your cooking style? Rigid recipe follower? Or make-it-up-as-you-go?

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Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry


After 4 years of university when (fairly infrequent) classes and lectures were no more than 5 minutes away by bike, followed by a long summer break free of any commitments, you could say I’m used to having plenty of time for cooking and being able to do so when I want.

Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry

Now, however, things are a little different. I still do work a lot from home, but I have to travel to get to my classes and sometimes spend all day on campus and then have to face bus queues and the ride home. I certainly have a new found appreciation of what the real world is like! After a long day of work and arriving home hungry, the last thing I want to do is think about putting together an elaborate meal.

If, even I, the self-proclaimed cooking lover, feels like this, then what must the majority of the world’s population working 9-5 jobs feel like?!

Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry

Ruling out the easy option of packaged ready meals from the outset, which are typically unhealthy, expensive and, most importantly to me, just don’t taste good (!), I’ve been trying to come up with some quick meals which don’t require much effort, ideal for the aforementioned evenings.

This Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry ticked all the boxes- easy, speedy and nourishing! In fact, if it weren’t for the rice I served with it, this could be on the table in 15 minutes.

I even made sure there was minimal chopping involved!

Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry

Feel free to use whatever vegetables on hand- bell peppers, courgettes and aubergine would also be nice. Of course you’ve got more chopping involved with those choices though…

Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry:

1T Coconut oil (divided)
1/2 8oz Pkg tempeh, cut into triangles or cubes (I used a variety with sea vegetables, hence the black bits…)
1 1/2-2T Red curry paste (check the label for shellfish!)
3/4C/1/2 Can Coconut milk
1/2T Tamari
1/2T Coconut sugar
1T Lime juice
100g/3.5oz/1 1/2C Halved mushrooms
100g/3.5oz Sugar snap peas
100g/3.5oz Baby corn, halved lengthwise
Handful of Thai basil (you could also use fresh coriander but Thai basil is really really good!)

If you’re cooking rice, make sure to get that going before you do anything else.

Sauté the tempeh in 1/2T Coconut oil over medium-high heat, flipping to get it brown on all sides.

Heat the remaining 1/2T coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and add the red curry paste. Stir for a minute just to toast the spices and bring the flavours out.

Stir through the coconut milk, tamari, coconut sugar and lime.
Add vegetables, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, just until vegetables are tender. Stir through the Thai basil leaves and the tempeh and simmer for another minute just to warm through the tempeh.

Serve with brown rice, rice noodles or another grain.

Serves 2 


Thai Tempeh & Vegetable Red Curry

Preparation tends to be a big help in getting meals on the table speedily. Here are a few of my top tips:

-Cook a big batch of grains and beans at the weekend to use throughout the week.

-Make a dressing, and/or sauce, and a dip. Again, these will last you all week and mean you can jazz up a side salad to go with your meal or a simple bowl of grains, veggies and beans. If I’m starving when I get in I also like to munch on some carrot sticks and hummus (or other homemade dip) while I prep dinner.

-Have a well-stocked pantry. Although my preference is for cooking beans from scratch, sometimes I forget to soak them and it’s useful to have a few cans on hand. Along with dried beans, lentils, grains, pasta and noodles, dried fruit and nuts, other ingredients I stock are canned tomatoes, coconut milk and silken tofu (for noodle soups, sauces and desserts).

-Don’t forget the spices. Having a wide range of spices might seem unnecessary but it’s the way to go to add a lot of flavour to your dishes, without long simmering or roasting.

-Wash and chop your vegetables in advance. Supermarkets these days are doing a roaring trade in prepared vegetables, unsurprisingly as this is another time-zapper. These are always more expensive than the whole vegetables though and if you dedicate half an hour of time to chopping up vegetables in advance you’ll be amazed at how much quicker your meals come together. Most vegetables can be chopped in advance and stored in a covered container in the fridge. For vegetables I won’t be cooking and which I want to stay crunchy, I cover them in cold water and store them like that.

-Use your freezer. For when I really don’t want to cook I make use of my own freezer meals! Sometimes I cook enough for a few meals, and even if I don’t want to eat the same thing 3 days in a row, I store the leftovers in the freezer. Just get out whatever it is in the morning and let it defrost ready for you to simply re-heat and eat in the evening.

And of course….

-Meal-Plan. This makes life SO much easier. Knowing what you want to eat the week ahead means you’ll have all the ingredients you need on hand and not be left with a growling tummy staring blankly into an empty fridge come dinner time! Set aside an hour a week to go through those recipes you’ve saved online and/or your cookbooks, and pick a few you want to try that week. Write them down along with a list of anything you need to buy.


That’s all I can think of right now but please do share your own tips in the comments.

Do you have any super speedy, healthy meals to share?

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Green Curry Tempeh Patties with Coconut-Lime Sauce

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes

G is for…Green Curry Paste!

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes

I ummed and ahed over what to choose for “G”. A rummage in my pantry had me pull out garam masala, ginger, green tea and goldenberries before I found this jar of green curry paste. It’s a bit of a giveaway as to how long I’ve had it that the label is in French. I lived in Paris from January to July 2012 so over a year has gone by since I bought this, and it was unopened! Ooops!

It might seem a rather strange thing to bring back with me but often curry pastes contain shellfish so when I stumbled across this one I excitedly snapped it up. It turns out it’s not actually difficult to find vegan curry paste here after all, but, as you can probably tell, I like to be prepared…

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes

I of course could have just made a curry but I was feeling more creative than that and came up with these Thai Green Curry Tempeh Patties instead. They’re pretty easy to make, with just a few ingredients, including the curry paste. Topped with a zingy lime-coconut sauce I had the full curry experience in a different form.

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes

I had half a package of tempeh to use up so just made a small batch of these. You could easily double the ingredients to use a whole package though.

Green Curry Tempeh Patties:

1/2 225g/8oz pkg Tempeh
1/2T Green Curry Paste
1/2C Shredded Courgette (squeeze out water and measure afterwards)
1 Small clove of garlic, minced
2 Green onions, minced (approx 2T)
2T Breadcrumbs (I make breadcrumbs with any leftover bread and freeze them so I always have them to hand, For GF use GF bread)
1/2T Ground flax seed + 1 1/2T Water
Salt + Pepper to taste

Whisk together ground flax and water and leave to thicken whilst you prepare the other ingredients.

Crumble tempeh into a bowl with your fingers, add shredded courgette, garlic and green onions, Stir in breadcrumbs and flax mixture and mix well, use your hands if you like. You may need another tablespoon of breacrumbs if it’s still very sticky.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a medium-sized pan over medium heat and add a little drizzle of oil. Shape mixture into 4 patties and cook for a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned. (You could probably bake these for a drier texture but I  haven’t tried it)

Serve with the Lime-Coconut Sauce

Serves 2

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes

Coconut-Lime Sauce:

1 Small clove of garlic
1/2 Chili, deseeded and minced
1/8t Salt
1/2C Coconut Milk
3/4T Lime juice
2 Green onions, finely chopped
2T Chopped fresh coriander

Using a pestle and mortar (or the flat of your knife on a chopping board) smash together the garlic, chili and salt. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice and finally the fresh coriander and green onions.

Thai Green Curry Tempeh Cakes


I loved these over sautéed kale and quinoa, especially as the greens and grains soak up the tasty sauce.

Now, does anyone have a good Thai green curry recipe?! Or other dishes using green curry paste?

What unopened ingredients do you have in your pantry? It can’t just be me!

Hope everyone’s keeping up with Vegan MoFo now we’re into Week 2 Smile

Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos

Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Sweet Potato Tacos

Who doesn’t love eating with their hands?  Did you know that Indians eat with their hands because they believe that food is more than “just protein, carbs and fat” … it nourishes the mind, intellect and spirit. Food has to be sensual and mindful and eating with your hands apparently gives you a greater connection with the food.

I’m not sure my thinking is that deep but ditching the utensils and opting for hands instead is definitely more fun somehow! These tacos are not really the ooey gooey type since there are no beans, salsa or the like so it’s possible to eat them pretty neatly, if you’re concerned about sticky fingers!

The starting point for this recipe was Vegetarian Times’ June issue which featured tofu scramble breakfast tacos. I love a tofu scramble but I’m not a savoury breakfast kind of girl so my tacos were served for dinner. Don’t let me dictate when you eat them though, they’ll be delicious at any time of day!

Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos

The original recipe looked very mild on spice, with just the suggestion of a little hot sauce to liven things up. I decided to amp the heat up and bulk things out with the addition of chipotle dusted roasted sweet potato, which turned out to be a good choice. I had to top them with avocado too, as for me Mexican food of any kind isn’t complete without my creamy green friend.

Talking food with my uncle not that long ago I was horrified when he pronounced how bad avocado is for you because of how “fatty” it is!  That couldn’t be further from the truth. They are of course high in fat but it’s mostly the healthy monounsaturated kind, and our bodies need these good fats for all sorts of functions. They’re also packed with other good stuff too, so much so that on many occasions they’ve appeared on lists of the world’s healthiest foods.

Another superfood boost comes in these tacos from a liberal dose of nutty hemp seeds in the scrambled tofu. These little seeds are a real nutrition powerhouse since they contain all of the essential amino acids which makes them an ideal source of protein.

Nutrition aside, these ingredients just taste good!

Chipotle Roast Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Tofu Scramble

Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos

(Inspired by Vegetarian Times)

For the Tofu Scramble:

1/2 Pkg Firm Tofu, Drained + Pressed
1T Tahini
2T Nutritional Yeast
3/4t Onion powder
Salt + pepper
1/2T Coconut OR Olive oil
2T Hemp Seeds

For the Sweet Potato:

1 Medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1” cubes
1/2T Coconut/Olive Oil
1t Chipotle chili powder
1/2t Garlic powder
Salt + pepper


Everything else:

6 Corn tortillas, soft or crisp ( I like the Cool Chile Co)
1 Medium avocado, sliced thickly
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Spring onions, thinly sliced
Lime slices
Hot sauce (Optional)

Toss sweet potato cubes with seasonings and spread out on baking tray. Roast at 200C/400F for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare toppings and warm tortillas. Heat a dry pan until medium hot. Warm each side of the tortilla until toasty but still soft. Wrap in a tea towel to keep warm.

Crumble tofu into a small bowl and mix in tahini, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Warm the oil in a pan over med-high heat. When hot, add tofu mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking but allowing it to get some brown crisp bits. Turn off heat and stir through hemp seeds. Set aside.

Allow individuals to layer up their own tacos as they wish- tofu scramble, sweet potato cubes, avocado slices, coriander and spring onions and a squeeze of lime and drizzle of hot sauce.

Serves 2-3

As someone who thinks about food a LOT I’ve been wondering for ages what the difference between fajitas and tacos is.  I finally got around to looking it up and for anyone else curious about these things, here’s the answer. I love vegetable fajitas too- and yes I’ve decided I can still call the vegetable version “fajitas” since the word is really referring to the shape (little strip) rather than the ingredient itself. I love this fajita feast over at the Edible Perspective for a more classic-style Mexican vibe. Ashley even has a recipe and detailed instructions for making your own tortillas at home from masa harina. One day when I’m feeling ambitious I’ll give it a go….

Cheesy Tofu Scramble + Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos

What form of Mexican food do you like best? Tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas…? All the different names are pretty confusing, no?

Do you have a favourite hand-held food?