Moroccan-style Low-carb Stew

This is a vegetarian dish, but can easily be made vegan by replacing the Quorn with a tin of chickpeas or other non-meat mince. It serves 6 with leftovers, and is easily freezable.


You will need:

2 onions, chopped (I use my food processor’s chopping blade to chop things quickly and easily)

2 celery sticks, chopped

4 carrots (I used three ginormous carrots), chopped

2 red or yellow peppers, chopped

1 tin reduced-sugar baked beans (chickpeas would be better, but I didn’t have any in the cupboard)

300g Quorn mince

2 vegetable stock cubes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp ready-chopped ginger (I used Batts Easy Ginger from Lidl) or a 5cm piece of ginger, chopped

5 tsp ready-chopped garlic (again, I used Batts Easy Garlic from Lidl) or 5 cloves of garlic

4 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

5 tsp paprika

4 tsp turmeric

100g dried apricots, chopped (you can buy chopped dried apricots if you’re a Spoonie, like me)



What a mess after I cook! I have to rest before I can begin tidying.

1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan or in a slow cooker.

2. Add the onions and peppers. Cook on a medium heat until soft (around 20+ minutes on high if you’re using a slow cooker).

3. Add the remaining ingredients.

4. Add 2l water.

5. Give it a good stir.

6. Now you have several options:

a) bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

b) leave on the lowest hob (stove top) setting for four hours or more.

c) if using a slow cooker, cook on high for four hours or low for six hours.

7. Enjoy!



Why not try some garlic bread or, for a low-carb vegetarian option try this recipe for Almond Flour Dumplings? It’s not my recipe but I am going to try it.



This is not cock-a-leekie, nor is it minestrone, but it has elements of both. It is not too thick for a summer supper, but is chunky enough to be filling in winter. Serve with warm, crusty garlic bread. 


You will need:

3 leeks, washed and chopped into bitesize pieces (1-2 cm)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 carrots, chopped into chunks

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 tin baked beans

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provençe*

125ml white wine**

2 stock cubes***

1 tablespoon cornflour

black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1 packet of instant noodles (see below)



Packet noodle, not pot noodle.


For the garlic bread:

One baguette

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1 teaspoon dried parsley

50g butter or margarine****


1. Place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan with the leeks and cook over a medium heat until soft. Do not allow to brown.

2. Add the carrots, tomato puree, baked beans, Herbes de Provençe, white wine and garlic granules.

3. Without opening the packet, crunch the noodles with your hands until broken into small pieces. Open the packet, remove the flavouring sachet and discard.

4. Add the stock cubes.

5. In a teacup, mix the cornflour with a little water. Add to the saucepan and stir.

6. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables by 3 or 4cm. Stir well.

7. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

8. Add the crushed noodles.

9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the margarine, dried parsley and garlic granules using a fork.

10. Cut slices into the baguette using a bread knife but don’t cut all the way through, leave about ¼ uncut.

11. Scoop a teaspoon of garlic ‘butter’ into each gap using two teaspoons.

12. Place in the oven at 180ºC for five minutes to allow the garlic ‘butter’ to melt and the bread to warm through.

13. Serve the soup with the garlic bread and enjoy!



*If you don’t have Herbes de Provençe, or you are on a very tight budget, use generic dried mixed herbs.

**If you don’t have white wine, you can substitute apple juice, white grape juice, or even water.

***You can use chicken stock cubes or vegetable stock cubes. You could even use one stock cube along with the contents of the favouring sachet from the noodles.

**** As we have two family members who are dairy free, I use a vegetable margarine called vitalite. It has more flavour than other vegetable margarines, although I do use a cheaper version for baking.


Sausages and Beans in Tomato Sauce

Preparation time 40 minutes, plus 8+ hours soaking time.

This healthier version of an old favourite came about because I wanted to experiment with pinto beans. With no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, these beans are also very low in fat and sugar. Everyone asked for seconds so it must have been tasty! Prices this time are Tesco and Aldi prices.

You will need:

100g dried pinto beans, 500g/£1.09

carton passata, 29p

400g tin chopped tomatoes, 31p

500g carrots, chopped, 46p/kg

1 red pepper, chopped, 50p

125g spring onions, chopped 5op/125g

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce £2.21/290ml

1 tablespoon paprika 95p/48g

2 teaspoons garlic salt 95p/90g

500ml water

Dash of olive oil (optional)

6 sausages** £3.00/10

Total 83p per serving

1. Rinse the pinto beans and leave to soak in a large bowl with plenty of water (1 part beans to 5 parts water) for at least 8 hours.

2. Drain pinto beans and rinse.

3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil with a dash of olive oil. Add the pinto beans.

4. Bubble vigorously over a high heat for 10 minutes, and then leave to bubble gently for at least one hour.

5. Meanwhile, in another saucepan combine the passata, tomatoes, carrots, pepper, spring onions and seasoning.

6. Add 500ml water and stir.

7. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 40 minutes.

8. In the meantime, place the sausages on a baking tray (do not prick the skins) and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.

9. Remove sausages from the oven and chop into bite-sized chunks.

10. Use a blender to whizz the tomato mixture to a pulp.

11. Drain the pinto beans and combine in a saucepan with enough tomato sauce to cover.

12. Add the sausage chunks and heat through until piping hot.

13. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or slices of toast.


Timing is everything. If you follow the instructions in the right order, it will all be a doddle.

Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated or frozen and then reheated. Add a little basil or dried mixed herbs for a tasty pasta sauce.

**I used a 10 pack of sausages. I cooked all 10 and then saved 4 sausages for lunch boxes the following day.