A few weeks ago a friend informed me that she had a vegetarian and wheat free guest coming for dinner….’what should she cook?’
Looking back through my recipes I realised that I had a shortage of substantial main meals since many of my recipes are healthy sweet treats or those that are savouries are snacks, sides or lighter bites.
However my winning recipe and the one I recommended to my friend is my sweet potato chickpea curry
….one of the first meals I ever made when transitioning to the vegan lifestyle, and still one of my favourite go-to recipes even now. Even the meat-eaters love this dish.
Mmmmm...sweet potato curry!
I have also had a similar discussion in recent days with my dad who has been struggling to break out of a vegan food rut and bring some simple but interesting protein rich meals back into his diet. Getting a healthy balanced vegan diet does require a little effort to make sure you hit the nutritional quota…but luckily I love the challenge and so was all the more up for getting a variety of substantial main meals on the table.
So, in order to address this balance I will hopefully be adding a few more ‘main meals’ to the recipe collection in coming days and weeks. Meals that are both vegan and gluten free but most importantly should satisfy even the hardcore meat-eaters in your life! There will still be plenty of sweets as well!
Here is a little recap of some of my other ‘main meal’ dishes so far, you can find them all under my newly organised recipe collection- see this link.
For today I wanted to get the ball rolling with a simple one-pot dish, perfect for both the summer or winter months.
Serve a smaller portion with a large side salad in summer, or a larger heartier portion to warm you through during the winter months. This spicy red pepper risotto had a kick to it, so feel free to go easy on the spices if you prefer!
In addition I used red palm oil to create a rich deep yellow, but this is in no way essential.
Recipe: Spicy red pepper risotto
- 1tbs red palm oil (for orange colour) or use coconut oil or olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 red or white onion-finely chopped
- 2 red peppers- cut into slices
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp parika
- ¼ tsp turmeric (optional- if you want a yellow colour without the red palm oil)
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes (add more or less to taste)
- 1 1/3 cup risotto rice
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup dry white wine (or more stock)
- 1 can red kidney beans
In a deep saucepan, fry onions, peppers, garlic, and spices in oil for about 5 mins.
Add the rice and mix through for 1 minute.
Add the wine and vegetable stock a little at a time over the space of 5 minutes and then simmer for a further 15 mins stirring occasionally so rice does not stick.
Add the beans about 5 minutes before the end. It is ready when most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice has a slight bite.
Freeze left over portions in individual bags.