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Picking up my obsession for all things Polenta encrusted- Sweet Potato Sticks. Not chips, because they’re not fried, not chips because they involved minimal amounts of fat (1 tablespoon of Olive Oil), not chips because Sweet Potatoes actually have nutritional content and are good for you. Case closed.

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To accompany said sticks i went all out- a Becci Special: absolutely loads of good things in a pot. Full of flavours, full of fruits and vegetables, full of beans (quite literally). A Moroccan accented stew with special guest appearances from: Dates, Preserved Lemons and even, fresh Pears. There is quite an exhaustive list of ingredients that make up the stew but i’ll let you work with whats available. Once you have the spice mix you can pretty much use whats to hand, although i would encourage the use of fruits, they add sweet/ sour notes that really make this dish what it is. If you don’t have any preserved Lemons i reckon you’d be fine with the zest and juice of a fresh one.

(Serves 4, Vegan, Gluten- free, Nut- free)

Moroccan Spice Mix:

  • tablespoon of Cinnamon Bark
  • 2 Cardamon Pods
  • 4 Cloves
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • 1/2 a Star Anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated Nutmeg
  1. Heat all the spices in a small pan on a low heat
  2. Once they start to smoke a wee bit and release their fragrance, remove from the heat
  3. Bash in a pestle and mortar until very fine

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Polenta Encrusted Sweet Potato Sticks:

  • 1 1/2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Polenta
  • 1 teaspoon of Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Chilli Flakes
  1. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthways into sticks, about 1cm wide, pop into a measuring jug
  2. Pour over the oil and seasonings, cover and shake to coat well
  3. Add the polenta, cover and shake again
  4. Allow to infuse for up 1 hour
  5. Heat your oven to 180c, spread the sticks out on a baking so they are on one layer
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crispy

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Moroccan Bean Stew:

  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 stick of Celery
  • 1/2 a Red Chilli
  • 1 thumb of Ginger
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • cup of cooked mixed Beans
  • 1/4 Aubergine
  • 1/2 Courgette
  • 1 Carrot
  • handful of Red Cabbage
  • handful of Spinach 
  • handful of Dates
  • 1 Pear
  • 1/4 Preserved Lemon
  • 10 Plum Tomatoes
  • 200ml Water
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  1. Roughly chop all the vegetables and roughly chop the fruit but make them a wee bit smaller than the veg
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat
  3. Add the onion, celery, ginger and chilli and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add the garlic, beans, aubergine, carrots, cabbage and courgettes, cook for 4 minutes
  5. Add all the other ingredients except the spinach and bring to a boil
  6. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Spice mix and cook for 4 minutes before reducing to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes
  7. Add the spinach and cook for a further 4 minutes

    what better vegan approval than from the Earl Grey?!

    what better vegan approval than from the Earl Grey?!

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