Food: Vegan Irish Stew

With St Patrick’s Day celebrations over the last weekend why not try something traditional but with a Vegan twist? This simple recipe is made with TVP chunks which, I’ve found, aren’t that easy to track down! My packet was bought whilst on holiday in Llandrindod Wells! In any case, it comes dried in a bag and looks like misshapen croutons, but these swell to make delicious but firm soya pieces that can be used in a number of creative ways.

You’ll need:

  • 100g TVP pieces,
  • 2 medium carrots,
  • 2-3 medium potatoes,
  • 1 large onion,
  • 2 Bay leaves,
  • 1tsp of all purpose seasoning,
  • 250ml boiling water,
  • 250ml of Irish stout (I used Carlow brewing company for M&S Irish Stout as it’s SFV)
  • 1tbsp of dried thyme,
  • 50g barley or oats,


Prepare the TVP pieces first by covering them with boiling water in a bowl with the seasoning. They should begin to swell to nice, meaty pieces.

Peel and chop the onion and soften in a little oil over a medium heat in a decent sized Dutch oven, then peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into nice chunky pieces. Add these to the onions and pour over the boiling water and the stout until the veg is more than covered. Combine the barley or oats along with the TVP pieces and their broth into the pan and stir. Season with black pepper, dried Thyme and the Bay leaves. Check the saltiness of the water for preference. The seasoning can be quite salty so be careful when adding more.

Give the whole thing a good stir and then cook in the oven on a medium heat for forty minutes. When it’s ready the broth will be rich, the TVP will be soft but hold their shape and the vegetables will be cooked but not disintegrating. Enjoy with some crusty bread or potato farls and a liberal glass of stout, I paired ours with another couple bottles of Irish Stout brewed for Marks and Spencer’s by Carlow Brewing Company. Making the most of finding vegan friendly Irish stout
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! Sláinte!

Food: Chorizo & Bean Stew

Seeing as Uni is starting back soon, here’s a recipe that is cheap, uses up leftovers and it’s easy to knock up.

You’ll need:

  • 180g Chorizo- chopped into half moons
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of beans ( I used 1 tin of butterbeans and 1 tin of kidney beans)
  • 3 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 1 small glass of a nice deep red wine
  • 25-30g pimentón
  • 2 roasted brined peppers- chopped
  • 1tbs of dried rosemary
  • 1tbs of tomato puree
  • Splash of sherry vinegar
  • 2 generous tsp of chipotle chilli powder

First heat up a pan – a Le Creuset Dutch oven in my case – and pour in a little oil, I used cold-pressed Rapeseed, but feel free to use your preferred oil. Fry off the Chorizo until they render down in their paprika ladened oil. Now, add the onions and garlic- cook until translucent. Add in the the tomato puree until it’s cooked out a bit and melded with the rest of the pan. It should look like this:


Now deglaze the pan with the red wine until cooked out. Add the tomatoes, chopped peppers and rosemary into the pan. Now, with the beans I drained the kidney beans, but I decided to use the liquid- or ‘aquafaba’ from the butterbeans, pouring the whole lot in. It not only adds more liquid to the pot, but it thickens the sauce, too. Add in your paprika and chilli powder and turn the heat to a low simmer, lid on – leave for at least 1-2 hours, if not more, lifting lid to stir occasionally.

It now should have turned into a rich marroon red stew like this:


Season with a little salt, lots of black pepper and sherry vinegar, to taste. And serve!

It makes a nice winter warmer- and seeing as its always like winter here in Wales 😉

I served mine with a sprinkle of freshly chopped spring onions, a bit of grated cheddar and a nice big dollop of sour cream, along side some crusty rolls and a nice big glass of a deep and rich Rioja – decanted in my new Menu winebreather carafe.

As a student, this is a lush dish you can leave cooking whilst you study, or spend time with friends, it can be done very cheapily, it can be cooked into batches, and frozen and is so easy to make.