RECIPES! Love or hate?! I love a recipe – it inspires me and gives me ideas of something new to try…BUT…does anyone else find it a bit stressful following a recipe?! All of the reading, interpreting, reading again…etc! So, a few tips:

1. Do your prep. Do the chopping first, putting each item in a bowl, combining them if you see they’re going to be added in together. It may feel a little tedious but will save you time in the long run and avoid burning anything while you try to cook and chop at the same time!

2. Think about alternatives. Don’t be put off if you check an ingredients list and don’t have everything. Think about what adaptations you can make and ask the recipe creator (or Google!) for advice if you’re not sure and have the opportunity to do so.

3. Use your instincts. Cake/baking recipes have to be followed quite rigidly, but many recipes can be tweaked to suit your needs and preferences. If you can improve the recipe with a bit of extra “this or that” like some seasoning, spice, your favourite veg, etc. then go for it! Treat a recipe as a guide but make it your own. Have confidence.

4. Reflect and repeat. Once you’ve followed a recipe, decide what you liked and what you’d prefer to adjust. Make a note, whether in a physical notebook, notes on your phone, saved on Insta, in an app like Pinterest or a spreadsheet! Whatever works for you.

5. Don’t be afraid to cook WITHOUT a recipe! If you’re not the most confident cook then it may take some time to reach this point, but give it a go. It does relieve that potential “stress” of following a recipe and can also help with things like food waste as you can rustle something up from whatever you’ve got in the fridge that needs using.

On that note, I hope you are inspired by this recipe, but don’t feel you have to follow it exactly. And let me know whether you make any adjustments, or if this is something you’ll be making again!

INGREDIENTS | serves 4:
1 large sweet potato, diced
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp cheats chopped garlic
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 pack tempeh, diced
1 courgette, diced small
1 bell pepper, diced small
1 can chopped tomatoes
80g creamed coconut
250g spinach, washed
Juice 1/2 lime

1. Steam (or boil) the sweet potato for 12 minutes. Add the cauliflower for the last 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and add the onion; cook for 5-10 mins until soft.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 min. Then stir in the curry powder, cumin, tomato puree and cook for 1-2 mins until fragrant.
4. Add the tempeh and stir for 1-2 mins so it is nicely coated in the spicy mixture.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, creamed coconut and 200ml water and stir. Add the courgette and pepper and also the sweet potato and cauliflower once cooked.
6. Simmer for 10 mins or until the veg is all cooked to your liking. Add a little more water if you feel it’s too thick/dry. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste.
7. Turn down the heat and add the spinach a large handful at a time, stirring in so it just wilts then turn off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice. Do a final check for seasoning then serve with accompaniments of your choice!

Homemade tortilla chips

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. Simply cut tortilla wraps into smallish triangle shapes and lay on a large baking tray. Spray with oil (or brush lightly with oil). Season with a little sea salt.
  3. Place in the oven for 8-10 mins or until lightly golden and crisp, but keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t catch and overcook.

Experiment with different flavours by adding a sprinkle of spice eg chilli or paprika, garlic salt, some nutritional yeast or grated parmesan, or even go slightly sweeter with a pinch of cinnamon!