TV dinner

I’m a terrible flake. In my mid-twenties, I’d say yes to pretty much anything I was invited to and would then run around like an idiot trying to fit three different events into one evening. I still do this to a lesser extent but now I’m more likely to bail. Yes, I am that person.

Take tonight, for example. I’d half-committed to watching the footie in the pub (I’m even a fair weather fan of that) then got home from work, flopped on the sofa and didn’t feel motivated enough to get up again. In my defence, I do have some proofreading to do this weekend and felt a night off the pop would be a good idea. And a Friday night in is such a rare treat and it is raining. Nick, I’m sorry.

Anyway, I’ve just had a great little TV dinner (sadly not on a tray) and it reminded me about the Radio Times serial from the nineties in which famous folk told us what they ate in front of the telly. I’m almost certain that potatoes featured heavily. I’m into baked potatoes in a big way at the moment. They’re so comforting, soft in the middle and crispy on the outside, and contain a big old dose of vitamin C. Plus you just bung them in the oven and go off to do something for an hour or so (and for me tonight that was reading about electric bicycles) while they cook.

A jacket potato with beans is a vegan’s failsafe option when ordering lunch at a café or pub and they’re always pretty cheap too. I used to think they were really boring it’s all about the toppings you choose. Veggie chilli is always a winner and so is houmous (with or without baked beans) and tonight I made an oil-free version with beetroot. Now, I love olive oil as much as anyone and I know it’s really healthy, but I’m conscious that my holiday in the sun is only two months away so I thought I’d give this one a try. Many thanks to my Instapal Lucy aka @alittledishy for the inspiration here. She has a great blog full of tasty vegan meals so check it out.

Baked potato with beetroot houmous.JPG

I used bog standard vacuum-packed beetroot (the kind that costs about 60p for a pack of four) but you can use fresh if you’d prefer.

Beetroot houmous

Makes one large bowlful

Ingredients

1 tin of chickpeas

2–4 small beetroot (fresh or vacuum-packed)

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of cider apple vinegar (or lemon juice)

Method

Drain the can of chickpeas but save some of the water from the tin and place in a food processor. Add the beetroot and the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Use to top toast, baked potatoes, salads – or just eat it on its own.

There’s a recipe for a more luxurious houmous made with oil and tahini here.

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