Spicy black bean nachos

  • Lightly salted tortilla chips.
  • One can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • One can of sweet corn.
  • One jar of tomato passata (mine was 680g).
  • One cup of chopped onions.
  • Crushed chilli to taste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 250g grated cheese of your choice.
  • Sour cream to finish.

It is currently too fucking hot in the United Kingdom. We are SHIT at summer. Our infrastructure cannot cope – it is actively melting in parts of the country, train lines warping in the heat with signal failures causing massive train delays, especially in London where I hear the underground is like walking into a furnace. One poor bastard got his LEG STUCK IN TARMAC, amongst various grass fires dotted about the country, along with a veritable smorgasbord of stupid sunburnt racist gammons who are currently over celebrating the World Cup. 🙄

We Britons traditionally only get about three days of summer at a time, over several periods during June to September. We may get three or four of these periods, before we miss autumn entirely, and descend straight into the dark and wonderful winters I am currently missing so fucking much because I fucking hate summer. I am photosensitive, and my relationship with bright lights and hot weather is not one of love. This makes summer even more shit for me, and since we have been experiencing an ACTUAL SUMMER, the entire country has collectively shit itself because we do not know what to do with it.

I currently have a visitor with me – who like me loathes the burny thing in the sky. Prior to her visit, we had expected this warm period to have finished by now BUT NO. It bloody isn’t. It’s still going. These nachos were the closest I was getting to cooking because I was in no way going to stand in front of a hot stove and sweat my body weight off in half an hour. Thank fuck for my slow cooker!

I chucked the passata, onions, salt, pepper, crushed chilli, sweet corn, and black beans into the pot, stirred it up to fuck and left it to cook itself into oblivion slowly for about an hour. Like I said, fuck standing in front of a hot stove when my slow cooker can do the work for me. I dumped the bag of tortilla chips in a deep Pyrex dish, sprinkling some of the cheese through them. Once the slow cooker had worked it’s magic, I poured the contents over the chips, and covered the top with the remaining cheese, shoved it in the oven, and let it bake its arse off for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, I put two generous portions on top of mixed bagged salad that you bet I absolutely cheated with because I have sod all energy, and finished off with a healthy blob of sour cream. I amazingly managed to scoff my portion WITHOUT dropping any down my front, so I was quite proud of myself on all counts really.

Spiced tomato bean soup 🥣

Inspired by Miguel Barclay’s recipe, I made this earlier using my slow cooker:

I threw this together after I’d been out for the best part of the day doing boring but entirely necessary things. Using my slow cooker meant I could sit the fuck down for a while and give my knees and hips a rest since they are currently really, really fucking mad at me.

Ingredients:

  • A jar of passata.
  • A tin of black beans.
  • A tin of sweetcorn.
  • Half an onion, chopped. I use frozen onions because I fucking hate chopping onions, and they’re cheap.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1tsp garlic powder or equivalent.
  • 1tsp oregano.
  • 1tsp basil.
  • 1tsp crushed chilli flakes.
  • 1tsp paprika.
  • 1tsp cayenne.
  • 1tblsp olive oil.

I bunged all of that in my slow cooker, making sure it was properly combined, and then set it to auto for an hour. I checked it and gave it a stir, and then left it on low for another hour.

I didn’t have any, crème fraîche so I dumped a blob of cream cheese in it, but if you want to keep it vegan, you don’t have to, OR add a vegan equivalent. It has yielded enough soup for several meals, and it’s got a little kick to it that suits my tastes. You can add hotter spices as your tastes desire, I just don’t have a cast iron gob.

This would also work really nicely as a sauce for pouring over pasta.

Roasted butternut squash

This is piss easy, apart from the bit where you have to slice the fucker in half.

Ingredients:

  • One fresh butternut squash.
  • Coarse sea salt.
  • Cracked black pepper.
  • Olive oil.
  • Grated cheese – you decide the strength, and how much you want.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Grab a massive knife, and slice the squash lengthways down the middle. Since this can be a bit of a pain in the tits, place a folded tea-towel over the top of the knife blade when you’re pressing down to slice. Do the same with the handle if you’re concerned about your grip.

Scoop out the seeds, and discard unless you’re planning on using them for something else. Score the flesh of your squash with your knife, and smear it generously with your oil, including the skin. Do this for both halves, obviously.

Sprinkle both halves with salt and pepper, and grease the inside of a baking dish with more oil. Lay the two halves skin-down in your dish, and roast in the oven for an hour, or until you can sink a knife into the flesh without even trying. Yes, I like saying the word flesh. FLESH. Flesh.

When the two halves are ready, you can either leave the halves intact, and add the cheese on top, to scoop out as you go along, OR you can scoop the lot out, add a little more oil and top with cheese in a bowl like so:

Butternut glory

The skins are fucking wonderful by the way, chewy and flavourful. Scoff the lot, and then lay there bloated like some manner of squash powered warthog.