Hot Kidney Bean Hash

This next recipe happened by accident, as a result of me failing to properly read the recipe I was trying to follow.  What was supposed to be a simplified version of Louisiana Red Beans turned into something far creamier and thicker in consistency, reminding me of the corned beef hash my mum used to make, but without the mashed potato topping.  Sometimes our mistakes are good 🙂 And this meal turned out to be very hearty, almost curry-like comfort food which kept me from starving for a total of 3 days.


1 onion,

3 garlic cloves,

1/2 green pepper,

2 celery sticks,

3 cans of sugar-free red beans,

1 can of tomatoes,

1 tsp paprika,

1 tsp thyme,

1 tsp oregano,

half tsp ground black pepper,

1 tsp cayenne pepper,

2 tsp hot sauce,

plenty of cooked brown rice to serve.


In the blender, pulse the onion, pepper, garlic and celery until you have a green puree.  Cook for about 10 minutes in a large pre-heated pan.  While that is cooking, rinse the beans well and pulse 1 and a half cans worth of them in the blender along with the can of tomatoes.  Stir in the slushy beans and the whole beans with the vegetables and add the herbs and spices.  Boil then place lid on pot, turn heat low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Fresh coriander makes a good garnish.  Add salt and extra hot sauce to taste.


Hitchcock’s, Hull

If I am often wondering about the lack of vegetarian restaurants in Manchester, perhaps it is less surprising that there are hardly any vegetarian restaurants whatsoever in Hull, East Yorkshire, the dreaded city of my growing pains.  What is very surprising then is the fact that my favourite place to eat is in that very city, and furthermore that it is vegetarian.

Hitchcock’s is found at the top or bottom of Bishop Lane, depending on where you’re coming from, in the characterful heart of the historic old town, situated along the town-side bank of the river Hull.  Ring the bell and you are ushered up the stairs into surroundings which reviewers of lesser imagination might deem ‘quirky’.   

In keeping with its otherworldly, glowing and cosy grotto-like layout, the restaurant operates on a unique basis:  the food served is part of an all-you-can-eat buffet, while the type of cuisine varies from night-to-night, depending on the preferences of whoever books first.

For instance, I have experienced Indian, English and, most recently, Persian/Middle-Eastern themed nights.  All of which have been fantastic.

Almost best of all is that specialist diets are readily catered for provided advance notice is given.  At the Persian night, Bruce made sure I was shown round the buffet so that wheat-filled delicacies could be pointed out and avoided, before presenting me with a huge platter of delicious spinachy stuff spread on gluten-free bread.  

Better than this, however, is the vast cake selection.  It is fantastic… if a little damaging if you have PCOS and must therefore limit your refined sugar intake (note to self:  will in future ask for cakes featuring alternative sweeteners).  People at our table for my friends’ Linda and Espen’s wedding reception hadn’t even started on the main course before making reference to and recommendation of the magnificent pecan pie.  The Tiffin is also remarkable.

A sample of the kind of foods you can expect at a Middle-Eastern night – kind of tapas style:

Beautiful vine leaves stuffed with rice, veg and mint,

Baked peppers,

Baba Ganoush,

Home-made hummous,

A giant rice cake made of the rice you get at the bottom of a pan,

Aubergine stew,

Peppery red lentils,


In view of recent times, the price has gone up to £18 per head, with a midweek concession of £15, the place remains a gem nonetheless

For Bookings:  (01482) 320233

A gem among the cobbled streets