Tesco ‘Ingredients’ Pastes


When Tesco asked if I’d like to review some of their new Ingredients pastes range, I wasn’t sure at first. Clearly the pastes were designed to be thrown into a pan with meat, and used by people who don’t cook, so not really my sort of thing. But then I thought it might be fun to adapt the recipes provided with the pastes to make them suitable for vegans, and see how they stand up. Tuesday nights are usually later nights for me, and I’m always looking for quick and easy Tuesday meals, so another reason to try the pastes.

I’m not going to wait and publish one review of all the pastes; I’ll just do short reviews as and when I use them. The first one I tried was the Tagine Paste. I don’t make tagines all that often but I have made them in the past so I knew what I was looking for. The ingredients list is good; they’re all things I would have in my cupboard and not as much salt as I might have expected. The included recipe called for oil, onion, lamb, tinned cherry tomatoes and chicken stock. I used vegetable stock and replaced the lamb with 2 drained tins of chickpeas and a head of broccoli, lightly steamed. Seitan would have worked very well, but I wanted to try the paste with something not as obviously a meat replacement.

We were both very pleasantly surprised with this. It made for a very tasty meal for something that took so little thought and planning to make. There was a good range of spices with a nice depth of flavour. The recipe on the jar required 3 hours in the oven, presumably to cook the lamb, but my revised vegan recipe took only 15 minutes, barely time to make some couscous to go with it. This paste was almost as easy and quick as heating up a ready meal, but really did manage to taste like something homemade. I would happily keep a pot of this in the cupboard for emergencies.


Top Quick Tuesday – Orechiette with chickpeas, greens, basil and mint

I’ve been finding it easy to make excuses not to go to circuit training after work during these cold dark evenings, but I’m not using “not enough time to cook” as one. Top Quick Tuesday is back!

This was based on a recipe from Paul Gayler “Pure Vegetarian”. His recipe uses broccoli raab, which I’ve never seen, but I substituted some leftover greens instead. While the pasta cooked I fried some sliced red onions, crushed garlic and chilli flakes in oil. I threw in some cooked and drained greens, a drained tin of chickpeas and then the cooked pasta. Finally I added some chopped basil and mint, stirred it all together and served it up into warmed dishes. I grated some Vegusto Piquant cheese over the top but the meal could easily stand alone without it.

This meal was ready in the time it took to cook the pasta, and it tasted fantastic, so I definitely can’t use lack of time as an excuse to miss exercise again!