This scrumptious comfort bake is from The Frugal Cook by Fiona Beckett.
Way back in 2008 Fiona got in touch with me asking if I would like to review her new book The Frugal Cook. It sounded great and I was happy to oblige. It never did turn up and I forgot all about it.
Roll on three years and I am browsing through the shelves of my local library and I come across it. After a flick through I decided it was well worth a read. I still hadn't clicked at this point. It wasn't until I was doing an email search for the email conversation I had with Fiona that I discovered the email from 2008.
The Frugal Cook was relevant in 2008, but I would say it is a must-have book now we are moving to the end of 2011 and suffering from the current financial pickle. We all need to tighten our belts and think more carefully when shopping, including food shopping.
This isn't a vegetarian cookbook, but it does have enough recipes and ideas to be worth buying. Fiona gives us a thrifty tip with each recipe and advice on how to have a thrifty store cupboard and fridge along with ideas for leftovers as well as information on how to be energy efficient.
I loved this recipe as soon as I saw it and it has proved to be as good as it looks. I have made this several times now and we all love it. I have served it with rice, with couscous and with potato wedges and sour cream.
One night when my friend was coming to dinner I made it and spooned it over potato wedges, topped it with cheese sauce and grated cheddar and popped it back into the oven to brown. Mmmmmmmm, that was so good! Just perfect for a dull, dreich evening, served with salad and garlic bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chickpea Bake
A comforting bake made with roasted vegetables, spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes and spices. A real crowd-pleaser.
- 3 medium onions
- 6 tbsp light olive oil
- 450g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 red peppers, quartered, de-seeded and cut into thick strips
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 2 - 3 tsp Morocan Spice Mix (recipe to follow)
- 400g can whole or chopped tomatoes
- 250ml (9fl oz) stock made up with 1 tsp Marigold Vegetable Bouillon Powder
- 300 - 400g cooked chickpeas or a 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- a good handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 small carton of sour cream
- salt, pepper & sugar to taste
1. Peel two of the onions and cut each into 8 wedges. 2. Pour 4 tbsp of the oil into a large roasting tin. Add the onions, cubed sweet potatoes and peppers and mix well with the oil.3. Turn the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6, put the tin in the oven and roast the vegetables for about 35 minutes, turning them half way through.4. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the other onion.5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and spice mix and stir well. Add the tinned tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up if necessary with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes.6. Stir in the stock then check the seasoning adding salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Stir in the chickpeas.7. When the vegetables in the oven have been cooking for 35 minutes, pour over the spice tomatoes and chickpeas and mix well.8. Turn the oven temperature down to 190c/375f/Gas 5 and cook for another 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are well cooked, turning them half way through.9. Just before the end of the cooking time wash the spinach, remove any tough stalks, slice the leaves finely and stir them into the bake. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.10. Serve with sour cream or a mild onion raita.
Moroccan Spice Mix
A tasty blend of spices to bring that Moroccan touch to your dishes.
Thanks to to Fiona for giving me permission to post the recipe and of course for coming up with such a scrummy dish.
Fiona blogs over at The Frugal Cook, The Cheeselover, Wine Naturally and Food & Wine Finds. She is one busy lady, as well as writing 4 blogs, she has also authored and co-authored 23 cookbooks and is currently wine columnist for The Guardian and Guardian Green, contributing editor to the wine magazine Decanter and wine writer for Fork magazine. Well the list goes on, but you get the idea.
Disclosure Statement: I did not receive this book free from the publisher to review. I borrowed this book from the library and decided to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own.