Cookbook Conundrums | Healing Not-so-Vegan Stew

This Geeky Tangent This Geeky Kitchen

I might be in possession of one, or two… or ten cookbooks. My mission is to cook through as much of them as I can.. That being said, after one or two goes, the recipes don’t always remain the same. So many conundrums, such a good title! This week, I’m going to feature a recipe from a cookbook I never, ever thought I’d purchase, and one I never imagined I’d love as much Fearne Cotton’s Cook, Eat, Love. 

I grew up watching Fearne Cotton on children’s TV and she was always a favourite of mine; a little bit different and a lot individual. I have loved her radio show’s and her time on Celebrity Juice, and in general I get the feeling she is, overall, a very good egg!

There’s a lot I enjoy about this book, not least the fact that while the majority of the recipes are vegan/vegetarian, meat options are given – I love that she’s doing this the other way around to “regular” cookbooks.

I turned to this book to find a veg heavy recipe, and was rewarded with the Healing Vegan Stew. Since cooking it the first time, I’ve made a handful of amendments to the recipe (you’ll have to buy the book to find out what) and it’s also not really vegan anymore. Not in my kitchen. I’ve made it both ways, and I just prefer a chicken stock cube – and cheese, if I’m being really outlandish.

Without further ado, here’s the altered recipe,  but I urge you to grab a gander at Fearne’s book on Kindle (currently £3.99) or in hardback (currently £5.98) on Amazon. It’s totally worth it.

Note: To my shame, I have yet to take a photo of this magnificence. I’m on a mission to do so next time I cook this, so be sure to check back for the visuals!

this geeky kitchen recipe titles


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger, or a chunk of fresh ginger – don’t be shy!
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 500 g passata (this should be a whole carton)
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced, no peeling required
  • Tin of butter beans
  • 50 g quinoa
  • c.800 ml chicken stock (1-2 stock cubes, kallo low salt are the best, in my opinion)
  • c.500 g Kale, rinsed, stalks removed, and torn
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread to serve
  • Grated cheese, to serve (totally optional, but you know you want to!)


  1. Chop all those veggies, prepare your garlic, and your fresh ginger if you’re using it.
  2. Heat the oil and throw in your carrot, onion and fresh ginger, if using. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the garlic, spices and salt and pepper, and cook for a further minute or two – it’s going to smell amazing!
  4. Add the passata, sweet potatoe, butter beans, quinoa and stock. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes, or till the sweet potato and quinoa are nearly cooked.
  5. Add the kale, cook for five minutes.
  6. Taste test and add season if required.
  7. Serve with a healthy handful of grated cheese, and bread for dunking.

This stew is amazing the second day, and fabulous to take to work for lunch!


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