A simple, colourful and delicious brunch that is ready in double quick time.
I wanted something fresh, tasty and healthy this morning. It’s Sunday, a treat brunch is on the menu! I love baked beans, but fancied something healthier with a spicy and smoky twist, also pan fried vegetables with some of my favourite flavours of the Middle East.
When this brunch is served with hummus/ tahini sauce and toasted pitta bread, it hit’s the spot; weekend, weekday, in fact any time of day. Add bulghur wheat or cous cous to make it a hearty lunch or dinner.
I love the combination of delicious, fresh vegetables, warm breads, olives, herbs and something tahini-ish. Its a tried and tested format for a tasty vegan meal. Light and full of flavour and nutrition.
With that in mind, this is my version of things today, with what we’ve got locally (and in the cupboards/ veg basket). That’s how my favourite recipes arise, out of necessity and a chunk of inspiration. Bringing the best out of what you’ve got. I only ever plan meals if I really have too.
It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling the pinch as far as seasonal veggies are concerned. I can’t wait for Spring, the wild garlic, dandelions, elderflowers, nettles etc all on the way soon.
At Trigonos, preparation is in full swing for the coming growing season. The seeds are being sown and the soil prepared. With all this uncertainty about our food, something to do with that Brexit thing that’s going on, it’s a great time to invest in and celebrate local farmers/ growers. Having organic local produce available is a real blessing for any cook, but I think anyone can feel the benefits of eating with the seasons and celebrating what’s available in our area.
I’ve traveled all over the UK and there are so many passionate foodies, we’re looking forward to meeting more at this year’s food festivals. We’ll be doing cooking demonstrations and talks at:
Hope to catch you there and get loads of new foodie inspiration. Seems like every year, there is greater diversity at these festivals and plant-based options.
Up-date on our cooking retreat in Spain this May, Taste of Bliss (info here). We’ve had a cancellation! Which is actually good news, because we now have one double room available just for you!!
Maybe you’re looking for some time to relax on the beach with a wonderful group of people, learning to cook some amazing plant-based food and explore the local area? Who isn’t?!! Let us know if you’re interested.
Our cooking retreat at Trigonos in September is in the planning stages, more information coming soon. Here’s some photos of our last event at Trigonos, we can’t wait to see some of you in September, we’ve so many exciting plans.
Let us know in the comments below if you like the look of this dish, or get to try it out. We hope you are all well and feeling inspired to cook some fresh and colourful plant-based dishes. We’re always here to support you if you have any questions.
Happy cooking from the BHK!:)
Make sure you cook the vegetables on a high heat for a short time, something like a stir fry. The tomatoes and broccoli will get slightly charred, bringing out the flavours. Quick and hot will mean the vegetables cook, but don’t get too soft, we seal in the flavours and retain their vitality.
Use any olives you like, but I love the flavour and texture of Kalamata olives. Make sure they’re de-stoned to avoid any unwanted brunch-based crunches.
This makes a great lunch or dinner, serve with cous cous or bulghur wheat to bulk it out and make the meal more substantial.
I sometimes make a double batch of the chickpeas and keep them in the fridge or freezer, they’re so versatile. Use them as part of a Mexican/Indian meal for example. If you re-heat the beans, add a splash more water to the pan to stop them sticking.
Middle-Eastern Mushrooms, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Smoky Chickpeas
The Bits – For 2 as a brunch
2 large flat mushrooms, portobello or field (chopped in half)
100g/ 2 handfuls purple sprouting broccoli
85g/ 3 handfuls cherry tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 heaped teas cumin seeds
16 kalamata olives (de-stoned)
2 tbs olive brine or water
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup or other sweetener
2 teas smoked paprika
1 teas za’atar or dried thyme
½-1 teas chilli powder
4 tbs water
1/2 teas salt (to taste)
Olive oil (for cooking)
Hummus or tahini/ tarator sauce
Toasted Pitta Bread
For the Smoky Chickpeas – Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Warm on a medium heat, cooking for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste and season with salt.
For the Mushrooms – Trim off the woody ends of your broccoli. In a large frying pan, add 1-2 tbs olive oil, warm on high heat. Add the cumin and fresh thyme, then the mushrooms. Fry for 3 minutes, turning the mushrooms once.
Add the broccoli, tomatoes and olive brine/ water. Stir and toss the vegetables and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the olives to the pan and warm for 2 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Serve straight away with hummus and toasted pitta bread.
Chickpeas, aka gigglebeans, aka garbanzos, aka the Egyptian pea, are probably the best named legume. What do you reckon?
It’s a very good idea to eat lots of chickpeas, or at least, enjoy them regularly. Full of protein and fibre, some calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron….. Plus they just taste fine, I’ve been making cakes with them!! There is no end how awesome and versatile the humble chickpea can be.