Messy Mexicana Stew

So, a few months back, I had a bit of a food revolution.

After I watched the film Hungry for change, my whole food world crashed down around me, in a good way.  I'd really recommend giving it a watch if you haven't seen it before.

I really didn't think about what goes in my food and I put more trust than I realised into it, and after reading a couple of other really interesting books on the matter, I started to feel a little nauseous.

So I did something drastic.

I said goodbye completely to that way of life and gradually started introducing nicer, healthier ways of living.  Like making things from scratch, like bread, stock & other things.  No calorie counting, or restrictions.  Just enjoying my food and eating it because of what it can do for AND how it tastes.

Not that I've cordoned myself into a farmhouse, where I only eat what I grow & never step foot in a supermarket again.  Of course, I'm still baking cakes, and making dough & sweets.  I just don't snack on them.

Factor in that we're saving for a wedding over here *9 months to go!*, and you have pretty much guessed that with this new lifestyle comes a little bit of savvy saving.  Economical buying and preparing foods, never letting things go to waste etc.

Which means stew has been a big player on our menus (especially near payday), and this is one of them.

This stew was inspired by a block of cheese and Jalapeños.  So you never really know where inspiration is going to strike.  This made two servings.

1 large can of chopped tomatoes.
4 tablespoons chickpeas (pre-soaked)
2 celery sticks
1 large red onion
3-4 large chestnut mushrooms.
1/2 cup pasta.
1 sweet potato.
2 spring onions (also known as scallions)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Jalapeño pepper.
200ml stock (I used vegetable)
Slosh of cooking oil (I used olive)
Some Mexicana cheese (I don't know if this is available outside the uk, if not, some strong cheddar would be just as good!)

Pop your chickpeas & pasta in a pan of salted water, and bring it to the boil.  Once cooked, drain it off and leave to one side.  Next, grab all your vegetables & your Jalapeño and chop to your preferred size (For instance, I like my onions chunky and my mushrooms sliced, but everyone is different).  Your sweet potato should be about 1 inch cubes so it cooks quicker and more evenly.

In a little bowl, mix up all your spices/dried herbs with a little bit of oil.  Stir until it's all combined and becomes a paste.  Add in the chopped tomatoes and mix thoroughly.

With a splash of oil, throw your chopped veg into a stock pot or deep saucepan.  Cook on low for a few minutes before adding in the cooked pasta & chickpeas.  Give it a good stir and add in the spiced chopped tomatoes & stock.

Put the lid on, put the heat on low and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. Once done, take off the heat and dish up.  Once served up in bowl, sprinkle a helping of cheese (or a big slice if you're lazy like me) on top and serve.

So that's that!  

Only a few exciting tidbits of info to share

Our save the dates went out this week.  Nervous as I designed them myself, but excited as now I can start work on the invites.

Saw The Darkness perform live in Coventry.  Best gig of my life, I've loved this band since since I was 14, and I'd only ever seen them in arenas.  To be mere feet from the stage as I screamed the lyrics back to them in a mass of sweat & beer was exhilarating!

And our little Rats are now fully grown :)  Only way to get a picture of all three of them together now is to lure them with food or get them whilst they're asleep!


  1. OOooooo so good to have you back - this looks superb Emma, I'll be giving this a go!! XXXX

  2. Ahhh isn't wedding planning fun?? Mine is next month and I am so excited to not have to plan anymore haha. The stew looks ooo sooo delicious, great job! Also, feel free to stop by my link party and share your Facebook Page!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  3. Good to see you back, Emma. I love your window planters.

  4. I am happy to see back, it seems like a long time. Your wedding will be here before you know it. Your stew looks wonderful. I would be afraid to see the movie, I am not sure what I want to see what they put in our foods.

  5. yayy you're back. This looks delicious!

  6. This stew looks so delicious, I missed your posts :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. I love the clean new-look blog, Emma, and the clean eating content. I have also gone down the same route, and am feeling the benefits. It will be great to have more of your yummy recipes to try x

  8. Love the clean new look and the clean eating regime, Emma. I have also moved to clean, real food after reading a lot of scary stuff about the food (and dieting) industry. I look forward to trying your delicious recipes, especially as they are designed to fit a tight budget :) xx

  9. I try so hard to eat "clean". And yes, it's frightening to see what is in some of our food. RATS???? Actually they're kinda cute. This Mexican Stew sounds really good. I really like the sweet potato in this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  10. Love the new look blog and the stew sounds yum! x

  11. that looks so delicious!! I, too am trying to eat better. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Good for you on your food life changes! And the stew sounds delicious.


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