Tag Archives: rice

Recipe of the Week – March 5th 2018 – Mexican Rice and Bean Wraps

When I’m looking for something quick but filling to make for a snack or a light lunch at home I often turn to flour tortillas for inspiration. This simple recipe is a nice twist on Mexican rice dishes and provides a more filling and satisfying meal than a simple wrap (I couldn’t eat more than two anyway!)

Makes 8 wraps


200g brown rice, rinsed and drained

2 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp medium curry powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

800ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 x 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400ml tin of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped

100g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed with the large stalks removed

8 wheat flour tortilla wraps


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 8 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and spices and mix well. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add the rice and sweet potato cubes, stir to combine then add the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add the beans to the mixture then simmer for a further 10 minutes.

5. Season to taste then spoon 1/8 of the mixture in each wrap, add the spinach and chopped coriander, roll up and halve each wrap.

6. Serve immediately on its own or with a side salad and guacamole.


Recipe of the Week – 10th July 2017 – Moroccan Aubergine and Potato Rice

I’m not sure where I got the inspiration for this recipe from – I think it was equal parts my love of aubergines and Moroccan spices, and what was available in the fridge at the time! Hopefully the end result is more than the sum of its parts though. I personally found it very satisfying and filling and will probably be making it again very soon!

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side


3 large aubergines, cut into 1cm thick slices, then halved

100g baby potatoes, cut into wedges

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

5 tbs olive oil

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cumin seeds

200g long grain or basmati rice, rinsed

1 x 400ml tin on coconut milk

50g sultanas

Handful of fresh pistachios 


1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large bowl, add the aubergine slices, potato wedges, onion, garlic and spices. Drizzle the oil over and mix well. Place on a large baking tray and put in the oven for 25 minutes until brown.

3. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large saucepan of slightly salted boiling water until soft (approx. 12 minutes). Drain, rinse and return to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and sultanas, season, and simmer gently for 5 minutes until sticky.

4. When cooked, add the vegetables to the rice, stir well, sprinkle the pistachios over and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 30th November 2015 – Maglouba

This recipe is a new discovery – I love experimenting with Middle Eastern cooking and ingredients, but have never knowingly tried Jordanian food before. The combination of filing rice and the sweet roasted cauliflower and squash worked brilliantly and made for a very satisfying Autumn lunch! 

Serves 6

2 large onions, finely sliced

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

2 tsp tomato puree

A pinch of saffron 

400g long grain or basmati rice

Florets from a medium cauliflower 

A medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced

3 courgettes, sliced

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp black pepper

Seeds from 4 cardamom pods, ground

1/2 tsp allspice 

1/2 tsp ground cumin 

1/2 tsp ground coriander

A small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the cauliflower florets and squash slices on a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

2. Add the tomato purée and saffron to the prepared stock and set aside.

3. In a large saucepan or wok, gently heat 1 tbs of the olive oil. Arrange the rings of onion around the pan, followed by the courgette slices. Mix together the spices mix with a good pinch of salt then sprinkle about a third of the mix over the courgette and onions.

4. Add a layer of rice, then the roasted cauliflower and squash, and more spice mix. Repeat until the vegetables are used up then finish with a layer of rice. Add the stock over the whole mixture.

5. Bring to the boil, then simmer and cover for about 30 minutes, until the rice is thoroughly cooked and expanded. Turn off the heat and leave for a further 15 minutes.

6. Invert the mixture onto a large plate (I messed this up a bit, but it looks fine a bit jumbled up!)

7. Sprinkle with lots of freshly chopped coriander and serve immediately with naan or flatbreads.

Recipe of the Week – 19th January 2015 – Red Pepper and Saffron Pilaf

I was really pleased with the end result of this recipe. It was inspired by being offered a large box of red peppers by my local veg market stall, and wanting to do something other than just make soup with them. Only a little bit of saffron is needed (a little goes a long way and it’s very expensive!), but it does really lift this recipe.

Serves 4


5 tbs olive oil
300g red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
300g basmati rice or other long-grain white rice
600ml vegetable stock from good quality bouillon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed saffron threads


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add the peppers and onion. Sauté until soft, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the rice and stir again for a further minute.

3. Add in the saffron, salt and stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for approximately 20 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley or chives, and with toast and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 24th March 2014 – Rainbow Pilaf

This recipe is a variation on one that I originally included in my free E-book (it’s still available by the way!), using celery and carrot, and which I regularly do at the cafe. I thought however that a change is as good as a rest, so started mucking around with it! The butternut squash provides a nice change in texture, and the red pepper gives it a bit of bite. I can’t take credit for the name – that was my children’s doing…


4 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm dice
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
3 celery sticks, including leaves, finely diced
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
A large handful of parsley, roughly chopped
50g flaked almonds
200g cooked red lentils
400g cooked brown basmati rice
200g light vegetable stock
Salt and pepper


1. Place the butternut squash cubes on a large baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season. Place in an oven preheated to 220C for 20 minutes until softened.

2. Heat 2 tbs of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the onion until softened but not browned.

3. Add the red pepper, celery, spring onions, chilli and almonds and stir fry for 3 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside.

4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the rice and lentils for 2 minutes until heated through. Add the stock, and season to taste. Simmer for 2 further minutes.

5. Add the vegetables back into the pan with the butternut squash cubes and combine to warm through.

6. Add the chopped parsley and stir through.

7. Serve immediately with fresh bread or a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 15th July 2013 – Easy Peasy Burritos!

This is a bit of a variation on something that I have done previously, but decided to experiment a bit, and also to add the traditional ingredient of rice back into it. These worked really well with a cold green salad, and brought a little piece of Mexico to the North of England to go with our currently hot climate!

Serves 4


6 large tortilla wraps
3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 large courgette, coarsely grated
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
75g white long grain rice, boiled and drained
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 400g tin of pre-cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
3 tbs sunflower oil, for roasting


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
3. Place a good measure of the mixture into the tortillas and roll to form wraps folded at both ends.
4. When all of the mixture is used up, place the wraps on a roasting or baking tray and brush all over with the oil.
5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown, turning once.
6. When cool, halve the wraps and serve with a green salad, guacamole or salsa of your choice.