Spicy vegetable stir fry

Happy Chinese New Year! I thought today was a perfect reason to cook a vegetable stir fry for lunch (with some left over to reheat at work next week). Stir fry is such a great meal to have when you're craving a big plate of colourful vegetables - I think it's one of those dishes where you can just throw in everything that's in your vegetable drawer: the more the merrier! As well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, add tofu for a punch of healthy protein and iron.



Serves 4

Ingredients

240 g of white or brown rice
1 carrot, grated
3 spring onions, chopped
Handful of mange tout, chopped
8 baby corns, halved
1 red pepper, sliced
8 mushrooms, sliced
12 small florets of broccoli
200 g tofu, cubed
Chilli oil
Olive oil
Pepper
Chilli flakes
Soy sauce

Method

Boil the rice for 12 minutes or until soft.

In a separate saucepan, boil the broccoli for 4 minutes or until soft, then drain and set aside.

While the rice is boiling, fry spring onions, mange tout and sweetcorn in a wok with a spoonful of chilli oil for 3 minutes or until soft. Add red pepper and fry until soft, then add the broccoli and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Fry mushrooms with olive oil in a separate pan, for 2 minutes or until soft.

Fry cubed tofu in another pan with olive oil and pepper until golden brown.

Mix all vegetables together in a pan.

Drain rice and divide into bowls.

Top the rice with the vegetables then add grated carrot, chilli flakes and soy sauce to finish. I recommend adding sesame seeds too, but I didn't have any left because they never last long in my kitchen! 






There you have it - a simple and tasty stir fry packed full of goodness (and a fiery chilli kick).

If you fancy going all out, serve with vegetable sesame toast and dumplings for a festive dinner feast - oh go on, it is Chinese New Year!

Easy-peasy haggis shepherd's pie

I have a confession to make: I’ve never tried haggis. I think this might have been one of my only culture shocks when I moved to Scotland (that and people calling women ‘hen’) – I just couldn’t believe what my new nation’s national dish is made from! It’s lucky then that those clever sorts over at Macsween have created a meat-free (and completely delicious) haggis made from vegetables, pulses, oatmeal, seeds and spices.

If you live in Scotland and want to celebrate Burns Night – or just fancy something different for your tea – then this haggis shepherd’s pie is easy-peasy and perfect for a mid-week dinner.

Oh, and if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan then don’t worry: even my meat-eating friends (and my mum!) have confessed that they actually prefer the taste of meat-free haggis to the traditional recipe.








Serves 4

Ingredients

450 g pack of vegan haggis

500 g swede, peeled and cut into chunks

500 g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

25 g dairy-free butter, plus a little extra

Frozen peas and sweetcorn

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cook the haggis in the oven according to the pack instructions - for the Macsween haggis, this is by wrapping the haggis in foil, placing in an oven-proof dish with about 2cm of water and heat for 70 minutes.

Boil the swede for 30 minutes until tender, then drain. In a separate pan, boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until tender, then drain. Mash each vegetable separately, splitting the butter equally between the two.

Increase the oven temperature to 190°C. Remove the haggis filling from the casing - carefully so you don't burn your fingers! - then mix with the frozen peas and sweetcorn. Arrange evenly in an ovenproof dish. Layer the swede on top, then the mashed potato. Dot with a little extra butter.

Cook the pie in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it's piping hot and the potato starts to brown.

I served with broccoli, more peas and sweetcorn, and a drizzling of gravy.







I'll be the first to admit that it's not the prettiest of meals - has a shepherd's pie ever made it on to Instagram?! - but I promise it makes up what it lacks in looks in taste. Buttery mashed potato, sweet swede and peppery haggis, it's a perfect hearty meal for a dreich January night.

So, happy Burns Night, everyone! Here's to a bellyful of haggis and raising a wee dram to Scotland's most famous poet (and the man who brought the world Auld Lang Syne). He also wrote a poem about haggis, would you believe it!
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