Recipe: sweet potato and chickpea vegetarian stew

I'm trying to make a conscious decision to eat less meat and adapted some of my cookbooks to be vegetarian. I find it encourages me to be a lot more adventurous with my meals as it's so easy to just go for meat, potatoes and veggies. I omitted the chicken from the original recipe and bulked it up with more beans and vegetables. It was delicious and even better the next day when I had the leftovers for lunch. Definitely something I'd rustle up again.

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chicken Cosimo

Feeds 6

2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 bag of chopped butternut squash
1 can of butterbeans
1 can of chickpeas
1 large onion
500ml of vegetable stock
1 pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

1. Pour the olive oil into a large casserole dish and cook the chopped onion until soft but not quite browned.

2. Stir in all the spices and flour before popping in the sweet potato and butternut squash. Cook for ten minutes.

3. Pour in the chicken stock and give it a good stir. Bring it to the boil.

4. Once boiled, add the drained chickpeas and butterbeans. Give it another stir.

5. Pop the lid on and put it in the oven for around 25 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.

6. Take out the oven and leave it for ten minutes with the lid still on. Then serve. I enjoyed it with some crusty bread.

As always I would love to know what you all think and do send me a tweet with a picture if you make it!


A whirlwind winter weekend in Paris

A few weeks ago I went on my first trip of the year to Paris. I managed to snag some bargain Eurostar tickets for my mum's christmas present and conveniently booked it for my birthday weekend. Two birds, one stone eh? It was my mum's first time to Paris and first time on the Eurostar so I was pretty excited to show her around. It's always so lovely to see something through someone else's eyes for the first time.

We were in the French capital for less than 24 hours but we packed in a hell of a lot. After pulling into Gare Du Nord station, we jumped straight on the metro to dump our bags at our hotel. Hotel Cervantes was the perfect location for us and did the job for one night. A 15 minute walk from Galeries Lafayette department store and a 20 min metro ride away from the Eiffel Tower.

Our first stop of the day was the Arc D'Triomphe. I'd seen it a few times but never managed to walk to the top until that weekend. After struggling up the stairs - convinced my mum was going to stop breathing at one point - the view we were rewarded with was beautiful. It's my favourite thing I've ever seen in Paris and looking out at Paris' most famous landmark was pretty special.

Then it was off to Galeries Lafayette, again something I had never done. We wondered around marvelling at the stunning dome before reading the food section to take some goodies home. Sadly we couldn't stay long as we had a dinner reservation at Corsican Le Wagon Bleu. On my mum's bucket list is riding the Orient Express. So as the next best thing, I booked a restaurant in an old Orient Express carriage. It served delicious food, good wine and didn't break the bank. A great choice! We very nearly went straight back to the hotel room after drinking a bit too much wine but we decided to jump back on the metro to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. I am so glad we did as it was the perfect end to the trip. I had such a wonderful weekend away with my mum and made me think why I don't do it more often. We're already planning out next trip!


How to style a stripy shirt

Blue stripy shirt with embroidery: Zara (similar)
Black distressed ankle grazer skinny jeans: New Look (similar)
Grey tailored coat: New Look (similar)
Faux snakeskin skater shoes: Vans (similar)

Who knew such an urban oasis existed in central London? During a farewell trip to Lily's flat for an annual picnic - good luck in Dubai! - a few of us snuck out to snap a few outfit photos. Those pesky bloggers eh? What a treat it was to finally go to the Barbican conservatory. I loved it and hoping I can make it for afternoon tea very soon.

I know I've made a schoolboy error featuring this grey coat in two consecutive outfit posts but I just can get enough of it. It's such a great length and I adore the two splits up the side. I spotted it in the sale before Christmas and managed to blag it as a present. Since having an offer accepted on a house, I've been manically sale shopping because I just can't justify spending too much money on clothes. It's amazing what you can find! ASOS have a great sale section all year round and Love The Sales has 500 retailers all in one place proving you don't just have to wait till January to grab a bargain!


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