Broccoli and chickpea tagine with bulgar and harissa

I used to eat this weekly when I first became vegan, and then I abandoned it when I bought new vegan cookbooks and began to experiment a bit more. But I had some broccoli to use up and remembered this dish and so I made it last night. Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty, and if you’re looking something to get on the table in a hurry this one fits the bill perfectly. I’ve tweaked the original Celia Brooks Brown recipe enough to both make it my own AND know exactly what I put in it, so here’s something you don’t see very often from me – a recipe! I promise to try and measure things more from now on!

Serves 2 people:
150g bulgar wheat
Boiling water to cover

1 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 fat chopped clove garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small piece cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp each chopped coriander, parsley and mint (or just choose 2 herbs and increase to 1.5 tbsp)
1 small head broccoli, including tender parts of stalk, chopped
1 tin chickpeas with liquid
Salt, pepper and harissa, to serve

Put the bulgar wheat in a bowl and cover with boiling water, going about 1 inch over the top of the wheat. Cover and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes until soft. When serving you may need to drain off some excess water through a sieve.

Heat a medium sized saucepan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and fry on a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and spices and fry for 30 seconds more.

Add the whole tin of chickpeas with liquid, bring to the boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the herbs and broccoli and simmer until broccoli is soft, around 8-10 minutes but check after 5. It will depend on how big your broccoli pieces are and you don’t want them too soft.

Serve the stew with some of the bulgar wheat, salt, pepper and a big blob of harissa (I like Belazu Rose Harissa available from Sainsburys).

Thai hot and sour salad with crispy tofu

Before I became vegan I used to get an organic vegetable box delivered every week. It was always a challenge finding ways to use some of the vegetables, but most things taste better smothered in cheese. When I became vegan I stopped getting the box so I could be a bit more choosy about what I cook. I might go back to it one day because I did like the fact that it made me try dishes I wouldn’t otherwise cook.

This dish was one which was inspired by a surplus of swede. I like it cooked but my husband doesn’t. I saw this dish demonstrated on telly and thought it was worth a try. It’s become a firm favourite and now we go out of our way to buy swedes so we can have it. I use whatever veg I have in – as long as it has the swede in it will be good but I like to add in grated carrot too. Please don’t let the thought of raw swede put you off trying this dish; I promise you it’s excellent (and bursting with vitamins too!).