Brexit Box Day 1

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My all time favourite risotto is this roasted Carrot version, I’ve used frozen carrots, but fresh is better if you have them, even tinned would work if needed. The blackbean soup is a delicious spicy stock cupboard meal and the Chocolate cake is perfect if you have no fresh dairy available.

Porridge, cereals or toast

Black bean soup

Roasted Carrot Risotto

Snack or dessert
Vegan chocolate cake

Roasted carrot risotto

Serves 4 with extra for Arancini

Ingredients for the risotto

2 litre of fresh, hot stock
Olive oil
200g frozen onion, diced small
500g frozen carrots, diced small
500g Arborio risotto rice
A knob of butter
100g freshly grated hard cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.

Add carrots and stir with a wooden spoon until well coated.

Add 125ml water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the sugar then cover and cook 5 minutes.

Uncover and carry on cooking for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until water evaporates and carrots are just starting to brown.

Tip the carrots in a bowl and with a stick blender, purée lightly with 150ml hot water.

Heat your stock either boiling a kettle for the stock cube or boiling your homemade stock in a pan.

Then fry your chopped onions gently for 15 minutes. Add the rice and turn up the heat to cook for a minute stirring so as not to burn it.

Add the stock a ladleful at a time and stir. You are looking for each ladleful of stock to be absorbed before adding the next. Don’t be tempted to stir the rice too much, you want the grains to cook but not break up.

The rice should take around 20-25 minutes to cook, with regular additions of stock and a little stir. The grains should still have a little bite to them and the dish itself will have become naturally creamy.

When the rice is cooked and creamy stir in the purée carrots then turn off the heat and let it rest a couple of minutes with a lid on,

Just before serving add the cheese and give it another stir to help it melt through the rice then season to taste.

Save back at least half of the risotto, you will need it for the Arancini.

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Black bean soup

Serves 4

400g tin of black beans or 200g dried, soaked overnight
1 tin chopped tomatoes
100g Frozen onion chopped
100g  Frozen chopped red pepper
1 chilli chopped
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stock cube and 800ml of water or 800ml homemade stock
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bay leaf
Dash of lime juice
Dash of Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste`


Either soak your blackbeans overnight or use a tin drained and rinsed.

Heat the oil and add the onions and peppers, cooking on a medium heat for about 15 minutes until just starting to caramelize and turn golden.

Add all the other ingredients together in the pan and bring to the boil.

Simmer for another 15 minutes.

Then with a hand blender whizz the soup until just smooth leaving it still a little thick. Season to taste.

Serve with sour cream or natural yogurt and sliced spring onions and chillies if you have them.

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Vegan Chocolate Cake

cuts into 12 slices

Ingredients for the cake:
500ml unsweetened soya or almond milk
150ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
325g plain flour
400g sugar
75g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Ingredients for the frosting:
60ml vegetable oil
60ml water
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
150g defrosted avocado, cubed (optional)
30g cocoa powder
100g icing sugar
pinch of teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two 8 inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Mix the cake ingredients together, except the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, once the batter is smooth, add them on opposite sides of the bowl to ensure they don’t react prematurely.

Now blend for long enough to mix into the batter. But don’t over mix or the cake won’t rise.

Pour the batter between the tins and bake in the oven for about 55-60 minutes. Test with a skewer to check it’s cooked at 15 minutes before. Cover with foil half way through so it doesn’t burn. It’ll seem like it’s not cooking until near the end.

Leave the cakes to stand for 10 minutes before removing from their tins and cool on a wire rack.

Cut the domed top off one of the cakes to make it flat.

Blend all the frosting ingredients together with a whisk until smooth and creamy.

Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the flattened cake, then put the second cake on top and spread the remaining frosting over the cake.

Eat on the day or it can keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few days.