Now we’re all stocked up and bored of beans on toast, it’s time to have a look in the cupboard and create something a bit more inspiring with those cans.
Sweetcorn and black bean nachos
Believe it or not, you don’t need nachos to make nachos. Full of salt and deep fried, I prefer to make my own out of a few sliced tortillas. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan before stacking up 4 flour tortilla and slicing them down the middle into eighths. Spread over 2 baking trays, sprinkle with smoked paprika, season and spray with oil. Bake for 10 mins, turning halfway through. Put to one side. Meanwhile sweat 1choppped onion and 2 garlic cloves in a saucepan in 1 tsp of oil. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding ½ tsp of cumin, ½ tsp smoked paprika. Add a dash of water and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding 1 can of drained sweetcorn, 1 tin of black beans and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Put a grill on a medium to high heat and continue to cook the beans for 5 mins. Transfer the tortilla chips into a deep casserole dish and top with the bean mixture along with a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, 2 chopped spring onions and sprinkling of grated cheese. Place under the grill for 3-5 mins before serving topped with fresh coriander, avocado slices and jalapenos. Serve with a squeeze of lime and plain yogurt.
Kidney bean and tomatoes eggs
A bit of beany twist on shakshuka, this healthy breakfast is filling, delicious and a great way to get a bit of a fibre boost. In a frying pan, fry sliced 2 spring onions in tsp of oil over a medium heat for 2 mins. Add 2 freshly chopped tomatoes, ¼ tsp of smoked paprika along with a couple of drops of Tabasco (optional). Season well and add ½ a can of drained kidney beans. After a few minutes of cooking, make 2 wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 2-4 mins or until the eggs are set but with a runny yolk. Serve in the pan drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and toast for dunking.
Coconut milk dhal
What could be better than curling up on the sofa with a hearty bowl of fragrant dhal in front of your favourite boxset? Exactly. Start by chopping 1 white onion, 3 garlic cloves and adding it to a large cooking pot with a tsp of oil. Stir in a knob of grated ginger and sweat over a medium heat with the lid on for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile break open 4 cardamom pods, discard the shells and add the seeds to the onions along with ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp garam masala, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp turmeric and a pinch of chilli flakes. Add a dash of water and cook the spices for 2 mins. Add 1 can of coconut milk along with 1 litre of vegetable stock and 300g of red lentils. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 25 – 30 mins, stirring regularly. Serve on its own or dressed up with charred corn, wilted spinach and brown rice.
Cannellini bean burgers
Cannellini beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or even butterbeans make an excellent bean burger. So, grab a can and treat yourself to a ‘stay at home barbecue’. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan and fry 1 chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves in a tsp of oil, along with ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp mild chilli powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat over a medium heat for 10 mins until soft – adding a dash of water to help the onions steam if the onions start to catch. Meanwhile blitz 2 slices of bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Add the drained can of cannellini beans to the onions, along with a handful of fresh coriander. Blitz with a hand blender to a firm paste before stirring in the breadcrumbs, 1 egg and 1tbs of plain flour – add more flour if the mixture is too wet. Using slightly wet hands, scoop up a quarter of the mixture and mould into a patty before transferring to a lined baking tray. Repeat until you have 4 burgers. Bake in the oven for 20 mins, flipping halfway through. Serve in buns topped with your favourite burger sauces and relish.
Thai green lentil soup
Another hug in a bowl but this time using green lentils and fragrant Thai flavours. Sweat 1 chopped onion in a tsp of oil in a big pot over a medium to low heat for 10 mins with the lid on. Once soft, add a knob of grated ginger, 2 chopped garlic cloves, a 50g of Thai green curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add 150g of chopped sweet potato, a can of coconut milk, 1 litre of vegetable stock, 150g dried green lentils and a bashed lemon grass (optional). Bring to the boil before turning the heat down and simmering for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Cut the storks of a handful of coriander before adding to the soup and cooking for a further 5 minutes. Finally, fish out the lemon grass and blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Serve topped with the remaining coriander leaves.