Pasta Evangelists

My favourite food is PASTA. As a vegetarian, I’ve found Italian food one of the most versatile. So when my friend recommended Pasta Evangelists – the fresh pasta subscription service – I had to try it. Here’s my review and if you want to try some yourself then follow this link to get 25% off your first order.

Unlike many food subscriptions, Pasta Evangelists food doesn’t feel like your average ready meal. This pasta is fresh, handmade and it tastes amazing. The options are always diverse and the veggie menus on offer have been really exciting. So far I’ve had mozzarella tortellini, arrabbiata fusilli, pesto gnocchi, pumpkin ravioli, mac and cheese… and I’ve got Porcini, Wild Mushroom & Chestnut Tortelloni with Thyme Butter & Hazelnuts, Tagliatelle with Ligurian Basil Pesto & Pine Nuts  and Pumpkin Lasagna on the way. I can’t wait to try them!

The ordering process is very simple. Choose a one off order or opt for a subscription to save money. There are three subscription offers: Vegetarian, Variety and Gourmet. Then pick:

  • the number of dishes you want to receive
  • the frequency (weekly, fortnightly etc)
  • when you want your pasta delivered (I go for Tuesdays so I have the delivery at the start of the week)

I like the subscription model because I can be a bit lazy cooking through the week and it’s handy to know I’m always going to have some yummy pasta stocked in the fridge for nights when I’m feeling a bit tired or uninspired.

As for delivery, the fresh pasta comes packed with cool bags and insulation.  I was really impressed with the thoughtfulness of their packaging and the best part is that you can send it all back to Pasta Evangelists for recycling so it ticks the sustainable box too.

And when the food arrives, everything is super simple. Each pasta dish comes with its own recipe card and the different elements are colour-coded so it can be easily sorted out. Typically, there are only about three or four steps to follow and they take about 10 minutes to make and the finished product is Insta-worthy.

I’ll be honest. The big downside of Pasta Evangelists is that it is a little on the expensive side. It’ll cost you about £7 or £8 per portion of pasta although you do save on the subscriptions. Having said that, I do think it’s worth it because it is restaurant-quality and the average ready meal in the supermarket costs about £3 anyway and tastes no where near as good.

And if you want to save some money you can get 25% off your first box with my family and friends referral or simply quote ‘April Smyth’ at the checkout. You get cheap and delicious pasta and I’ll get a free box too. Win, win!

P.S. I’m not affiliated with Pasta Evangelists and this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really love and believe in their products.

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Creamy Coconutty Curry

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this delicious coconutty veg curry in my Insta story and, as promised, here’s the recipe.

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One of the main reasons I was so excited about moving out was to start cooking all of my own meals. I want to experiment with different recipes and prove that you can eat a really healthy, varied vegetarian diet on a student budget.

Indian food is one of the best cuisines for vegetarian cooking because curries are so flavoursome whilst really easy to make! Thus, my first proper meal in my new abode was a healthy vegetarian curry. It’s a really sweet and creamy dish (without the guilt of ordering a korma) which is great when you are a student living away from home because it is ultimate comfort food for nights when you are feeling cold and homesick!

This recipe serves four but I separated portions into tubs which can be kept in the fridge for up to three days or frozen. I used mostly frozen veg because it is more economical as a student but you can use fresh too. In fact, you can also experiment with different types of vegetables – it’s a great recipe for using up leftovers.


Ingredients
  • 1tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into chunks) or a Really Generous Handful of Frozen Sweet Potato Chunks
  • 200g Frozen Peas
  • Half a Broccoli Head (cut into small florets)
  • 2tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 2tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 2tsp Coriander Leaf
  • 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400g Tin of Coconut Milk
  • Optional: A Squirt of Tomato Puree and/or A Squirt of Tomato Ketchup
  • Optional: A Meat-free Alternative such as Quorn Pieces for Added Texture and Protein!
Method:
  1. Put a tablespoon of coconut oil into a frying pan on a very low heat and allow to melt.
  2. Once fully melted, throw in the chopped onion and garlic and cook very gently for 10 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the sweet potato chunks, frozen peas and broccoli florets (or whatever veg you’re using) and cook for a further 3 minutes or so to allow any frozen veg to defrost slightly.
  4. Toss in the cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and coriander leaf and stir through. Fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and mix thoroughly allowing the stodgy coconut milk to melt. If you’ve got tomato puree and tomato ketchup, squirt a little in now.
  6. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low-medium heat for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are all soft and tender. If you are using meat-free pieces: add in 10 mins before the end of cooking to allow them to cook in the sauce.
  7. Serve on a bed of wholegrain rice or with some naan bread. Enjoy!

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Lazy Lentil Curry

I’m going to call this one “3-Can-Dan” because the basis of this yummy vegetarian curry is just three tins and some dried herbs that you can keep in your pantry at all times for a quick, easy and tasty curry on lazy days.

Truthfully, we had just came home for 10 days in Spain so there was no fresh food in the house. I was researching curries using tinned lentil soup, since we had some in the cupboard, and was perplexed that I couldn’t find any online. There are a lot of recipes using cream of tomato soup which I might try out at a later date. So I was inspired to create a really easy curry out of tinned, dried and frozen food that we had in the kitchen. I am so happy with how it turned out, it tasted so much better than I expected and this is definitely a recipe I will make when I’m living on a student budget in Edinburgh. It happens to be a bonus that it is low in fat, contributes towards your five-a-day intake and is also vegan-friendly.

If you’re following Slimming World and want to make this a syn free delight, swap the sugar for sweetener and use one of the following lentil soups as your Healthy Extra B choice: Tideford Organic Foods Red Lentil Soup with Apricots & Chillies or New Convent Garden Soup Skinny Tomato Vegetables with Laird Lentils Soup. I used Weight Watchers Carrot & Lentil at 4 syns. Be wary – some canned soups have a lot of hidden sugars!

It takes about 20-30 minutes to put together and requires little to no skill. It serves about 4 people. You can serve as a main with rice or, like me, top a baked potato for lunch and freeze the leftovers for another day. It is super filling because of all the lentils and chickpeas which is great for staying fuller for longer. Remember the canned soup you choose will vary the taste slightly so you can experiment with flavour by trying different soups!

Ingredients
  •  1 Can of Lentil Soup (about 300/400g)
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Portion of Any Frozen Veg
  • 1 Onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2tsp Turmeric
  • 2tsp Coriander Leaf
  • 1tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil
  • Optional: a dash of soy sauce and lemon juice for extra flavour
Method
  1. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. Once hot, toss in your chopped onion and garlic and cook on a low-medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the portion of frozen veg and drained tin of chickpeas. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  2. Once the frozen veg has begun to defrost, it’s time to add your spices: turmeric, coriander leaf, mild chilli powder and cumin. Coat thoroughly and let the spices fry into the veg for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tin of lentil soup and chopped tomatoes. Stir through. Add a good grinding of salt and pepper and the teaspoon of sugar to sweeten the tomatoes. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. The lentil soup and tomatoes should reduce into a yummy, thick sauce.
  4. Done! Serve on a bed of fluffy rice or on top of a baked potato.

Have you given this recipe a go? What did you think? Which canned soup did you use? I want to see your pictures so send them my way on Facebook, Twitter or tag me on Instagram @thefourthmonthblog.