We are enjoying last few days of summer holidays. In just a few days kids will be back to school and we will all have to get back into a routine. I have been trying hard to persuade the kids to go to bed earlier but I have yet to be successful. At least I have ironed and labeled uniforms, got new lunchboxes, school bags... I am ready (ish).

Our holiday in the Czech Republic was fabulous, friends, family and good food. I think we all gained weight... Unfortunately restaurants outside of Prague are still not quite aware what a meatless dish may be... Under vegetarian food you can find ham, bacon, tuna... I guess, in some people's eyes, meat is a piece of a cow not cubes of ham...In a restaurant with a rather extensive menu I found pretty much nothing, the only meatless salad had anchovies in the dressing. I was ready to just eat side-dishes but the waiter assured me they can cook some veggie meals. And then my daughter ended up with bacon in her spinach gnocchi dish! Grrrr!!! Long way to go...

Luckily we had loads of lush home cooked food provided by my lovely friend :) Blueberries in a salad? Genius! Even my Dad stepped up to the stove and managed to prepare (with his girlfriend’s help) a great meatless/cheeseless feast (that was hard for him indeed). I just felt we never stopped eating! I was in a permanent state of fullness.

Coming back to the UK meant getting back into routine and kind of detoxing. Fridge is full of delicious veggies. How happy I was to see that kale is now officially in season!!! No more horrible chopped supermarket kale! Proper gorgeous rich leaves are in the fridge! I made my first kale chip batch in months! And managed to get my friend and her daughter hooked on them. She even wants to pay me to make kale chips for her!!! Yes, they are that good!

Here is a quick bean recipe that will surely become a staple. I have used a tablespoon of oil to gently cook the garlic and rosemary, but it can be easily made oil free too. I went for some sweet paprika that I bought in the Czech Republic but a hot one would be equally great (if you don’t have a daughter who hates anything spicy!). To make this recipe extra quick I used roasted peppers from a jar, but if you want to roast your own go ahead. The dish went down really well, but that may be down to kids wanting to got play outside after dinner.


These beans are great with a chunk of whole grain or rye bread, quinoa, brown rice or as a topping for a jacket potato. They work equally well as a part of a mezze type meal (or bits and bobs as we call it).

Serves 4

1 Tbs of rapeseed (canola) oil or 60ml (1/4 cup) of water or veggie stock
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp sweet (or hot) paprika
1 Tbs tomato puree
2 roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup of water (or vegetable stock)
2 tins butter beans, drained and rinsed

  1. Gently heat the oil (or water). Add the garlic and rosemary and cook till garlic softens.
  2. Next add the paprika and gently cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato puree and cook for about 1 min, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and a pinch of salt. Cook gently for about 15-30mins.
  5. Enjoy!