Tag Archives: healthy comfort food

Chorizo Beans on Toast

My Chorizo Beans on Toast
My Chorizo Beans on Toast
Gone Before You Know It
Gone Before You Know It

I wrote this post from my bed surrounded by Kleenex. All the crazy weather this past week has created army of flu infected zombies like myself. As it turns out waiting 45 minutes in the freezing cold and rain for the Cork Dublin bus can induce the flu. As it also turns out, going for a run in the rain the next day won’t help matters either… who knew? I should have known from the ominous grey wet weather when setting out on Saturday morning, but it has become a ritual when I’m home to go for a quick run around the Marina in Blackrock. Alas, as a result I have spent the last 4 days in hibernation drinking hot drinks and eating comforting tasty food.

Yesterday I made chorizo beans on toast for lunch, and it was mighty. Just what the doctor ordered. Beans are so comforting and tasty, and posh beans are popping up in cafes everywhere. I loved the addition of chorizo  because it gave the beans some extra flavour, but any chopped sausages, smoky or streaky bacon, or any leftover meat torn up would make a nice addition. Nice bread makes a difference too, I had some leftover Arbutus Rye which was delicious. Arbutus Bread company is an amazing Irish bread company, run by Declan Ryan who used to run the Arbutus Lodge Cork, in fact he was the first Irish chef to receive a Michelin Star. His breads are amazing, and much loved in Cork. You can get them outside of Cork too though, so definitely have a look out for them. Enjoy your beans!

The Marina, Blackrock, Cork
The Marina, Blackrock, Cork
The Marina, Blackrock Cork
The Marina, Blackrock Cork
Pretty but Freezing
Pretty but Freezing
At This Point in Desperate Need Of Beans
At This Point in Desperate Need Of Beans

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 cans butter beans (or other type of beans)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

200g chorizo chopped (Gubbeen is my favourite, but any will do)

1 handful cherry tomatoes slighted lengthways

1 slice rye bread per person (or whatever bread)

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

1/2 to 1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp mixed allspice

1/2 to 1 tsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli flakes

1. Fry chorizo in a pan lightly, then remove and set aside.

2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and beans to the pan you used for the chorizo. (The chorizo oil in the pan will add to the flavour)

3.  Add all spices, honey, salt, pepper and tomatoes to pot and reduce. Season to taste, it may need generous extra seasoning so don’t be shy.

4. Toast bread. When sauce is reduced, and it has been seasoned to taste, then serve on the toasted bread and top with the chorizo.

Fry Chorizo Lightly
Fry Chorizo Lightly
Heat Beans and Tomato Sauce
Heat Beans and Tomato Sauce
Add Tomatoes, Season and Simmer
Add Tomatoes, Season and Simmer
Add Spices to Taste and Reduce
Add Spices to Taste and Reduce
Chorizo Beans on Toast
Chorizo Beans on Toast
Lunch Time
Lunch Time
Delicious Sexy Beans
Delicious Sexy Beans

White Bean Cottage Pie

White Bean Cottage Pie
White Bean Cottage Pie
Seriously Delicious
Seriously Delicious
Garretstown Beach, Co.Cork
Garretstown Beach, Co.Cork

As part of my series of healthy recipes, I decided to make Cottage Pie (who doesn’t love Cottage Pie?), and give it a healthier twist. It’s such a comforting dish, it’s perfect on a cold evening to come home to. I added some extra veggies to mine, and I also substituted the mashed potato for mashed white beans. My dad makes a white bean mash to go with Sunday Roasts and it’s always my favourite thing on the table, so I decided to give it a lash on this Cottage Pie. Beans are so healthy and packed with protein, they’re a great food to add to your diet. Of course you can just substitute the white beans for cooked potatoes and cook the mash in the exact same way, its up to you, although the bean way is much quicker! Either way this recipe is really packed with flavour.

Chopping the vegetables really finely makes a big difference, if you have a mandolin this will be pretty quick and easy to do (watch your fingers!) Also it’s worth mentioning that the Knorr jelly stock cubes are the best. The beef ones add a really meaty, rich flavour that you don’t seem to get from the normal cubes.

This is a great comfort food and nice to come home to after a long day out. Last time I was home I went walking with my parent’s in Garretstown on the nicest grey day. A hot dish like this would be perfect to come home to after a long walk!

Nice Cloudy Day at Garretstown Beach, Cork
Nice Cloudy Day at Garretstown Beach, Cork
Garretstown Beach
Garretstown Beach
Sunday Walking at Garretstown Beach
Sunday Walking at Garretstown Beach

Ingredients:

Mash:

2 400g cans cannellini beans

1/2 cup milk- or more to reach right consistency (I used coconut milk)

1 tsp fennel seeds crushed

1/4 lemon juice (or more to taste)

Salt & pepper to season

Meat Base:

250g beef mince

2 onion very finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 sticks celery very finely chopped

1 carrot very finely chopped

1 pepper very finely chopped

350 ml beef stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp tomato relish (mine was homemade but Ballymaloe is the best in the shops)

salt and pepper

chilli flakes

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan on a medium low heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and stir while they soften . Add mince meat after 5 mins.

2. When mince is browned add the rest of the vegetables and reduce heat a little and stir for 5 mins.

3. Add stock, tomato puree, tomato relish, pinch chilli flakes and stir together, let the sauce reduce for about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Add beans (or cooked potatoes) to a pot with milk and let heat. Mash with lemon juice , fennel and salt and pepper.  Keeping adding milk until you get a nice soft consistency. Season to taste.

5. Put meat in the bottom of a casserole dish, layer the mash on top and pop into a hot oven. If you’re using bean mash, you only need to do this for a few minutes. If you’re using mashed potatoes leave in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Lightly Fry Onion and Garlic
Lightly Fry Onion and Garlic
Add Mince and Brown It
Add Mince and Brown It
Very Finely Slice Veggies
Very Finely Slice Veggies
Add Remaining Vegetables
Add Remaining Vegetables
Add Stock, Puree, Relish and Reduce
Add Stock, Puree, Relish and Reduce
Heat Beans with Milk, Fennel and Lemon
Heat Beans with Milk, Fennel and Lemon
Mash The Beans
Mash The Beans
Ready to Serve
Ready to Serve
Healthy Cottage Pie
Healthy Cottage Pie
Seriously Delicious
Seriously Delicious