Sunday, 21 December 2014

Refried Black Badger Peas & Hodmedods Review

Recently I was asked if I would like to review Hodmedods, a company that sell British beans and peas. I jumped at the chance especially when I saw they sold a pea called black badger! They sounded so intriguing, I just had to check it out.

Hodmedods source produce from British farms and are particularly interested in searching out less well known foods. I'm ashamed to say I had not heard of the black badger pea before. Their range is growing all the time and currently they have the following products:

  • British Grown White Quinoa
  • Canned Baked Beans 
  • Canned Whole Fava Beans
  • Vaal Dhal
  • Split Fava Beans
  • Whole Fava Beans
  • Black Badger Peas
  • Kabuki Marrowfat Beans
  • Split Yellow Peas
  • Split Green Peas
  • Whole Yellow Peas
  • Large Blue Peas

The range won't stop there either, they have big plans to launch other beans such as red fox peas, ying yang beans and Gog Magog beans. See what I mean don't they all sound so intriguing?

If you're stuck for ideas what to make with their peas and beans there website has lots of recipes for you to try. Go check it out here 

The great thing about dried beans and peas is that they store for longer periods of time. I used to be put off with the cooking time needed for dried beans but now I have my freezer it's a doddle. All I do now is soak the beans over night, then cook as per the packet instructions the next morning, drain and then freeze into small portions. Then, when I want to use beans in a recipe I just open my freezer and take out a portion. Easy!

I couldn't wait to get stuck in and the first dish I made was my take on refried beans using Black Badger Peas.


Refried Black Badger Peas


100g Black Badger Peas
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic, minced
¼ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp Dried coriander
1 Tsp Chilli powder
Juice ½ Lemon

The night before prepare the Black Badger peas by soaking in water. The next morning rinse and add to a saucepan with clean water and the bicarbonate of soda. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Leave the lid tilted as they easy boil over.

Once cooked, drain and set to one side whilst you prepare the remainder ingredients.

Fry the onion in a little oil for 5 minutes or until translucent, add the garlic and fry for another minute. Stir through the salt, cumin seeds, coriander, chilli powder and lemon juice.

Add the beans and stir to combine, cook for another 5 minutes stirring all the time being careful not to let anything burn.

Transfer to a blender and blitz to your desired texture. The refried Black Badger Beans will keep in the fridge for 3 days if they last that long!


I, for one will never buy refried beans again, the Black Badger Beans make a fantastic refried bean puree.

The next dish I made was a chilli, how could I not? I mean, all those fancy beans were just dying to be made into a chilli to warm me up!


Hodmedod Bean Chilli


100g Kabuki Peas
100 Fava Beans
100g Soya mince
1 Onion, diced
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp  Ground coriander 
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Smoked garlic
½ Tsp Salt
100l Water
1 Tin plum tomatoes (400g)
2 Tbsp Refied Black Badger Peas


As with the Refried Black Badger Peas, you will need to soak the Kabuki Peas and Fava Beans over night.

Drain the peas and beans and cook as per packet instructions. Drain and set aside, I cooked more than this recipe needed and froze the rest.

Fry the onion in a little oil for five minutes or until translucent. Add the pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the soya mince with a little water to stop it sticking.

Add the cumin seeds, coriander, paprika, smoked garlic and salt and stir through until combined, cook for another minute. Add the tin of plum tomatoes and the 100ml water and stir through, breaking up the plum tomatoes as you stir. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the refried Black Badger Beans and stir into the chilli, this will thicken the chilli slightly. Cookfor another 5 minutes or until everything is cooked through.

Serve with rice.


Hodmedods snacking range is also delicious, I've been lucky enough to try Horseraddish roasted peas, unsalted roasted fava beans, lightly sea salted roasted peas and lightly sea salted roasted fava beans. Great for Christmas nibbles!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Notice Board: The Konjac Sponge with Red Clay Review

Its been a while......................

I've had a lot going on during the last 2½ months in my personal life, with loved ones in and out of hospital and a few worrying moments. We're not out of the woods yet but things are starting to get back to normal. Let's just hope 2015 can bring us all health and happiness :o)

In a previous post I told you I spent a couple of hours at the West Midlands Vegan Festival, which was a welcome distraction. I came away with so many goodies, I was a human pack horse!

One of the items I came away with was a konjac sponge and I'm in love with it! I chose the red clay one, which is perfect for dry, mature or sensitive skin.

I got mine from the fabulous I Choose What I Use, go and check out all the vegan products they sell on their website 

I've been using my konjac sponge in the morning so I have no make up on, and I would recommend taking off your make up before use. You don't need any soap when using the sponge as it naturally cleanses your skin, but you can if you want. One word of advice reduce the amount of soap you use as it keeps on giving!

My skin looks and feels amazing, I even feel like I'm glowing! Normally during the winter months I suffer with dry skin and with all the stress I've been under, worrying about my family and over two months of hospital visits I thought my skin would suffer. 

I know my diet is obviously better than it has been previously thanks to the amount of goodness a vegan diet provides but I really do believe that the konjac sponge has helped too. I've used it nearly every day and your skin feels clean and refreshed after using. You really won't believe how soft it is against your skin, I just love it!

The konjac sponge looks rather shrivelled when it is dry but don't let that put you off.

Once you've soaked in water it will look more like a sponge. 

If you've never heard of them, konjac is a type of potato from Asia and over the last century its properties as a beauty treatment has been recognised. We're some what 1,500 years behind the Japanese with this one! The Japenese originally used konjac as a medicine in the sixth century.

The konjac is a naturally moisture rich plant fibre which is alkaline, which balances the acidity of the skins impurities and oils. Red clay is said to help with regeneration so a fabulous combination.

The konjac sponge is 100% natural, colour free, additive free, biodegradable, environmentally safe, naturally sustainable and it moisturises naturally. Why would you not want one? 

There are four different ones to choose from, click here to take you to the page

  • The Konjac Sponge Co - 100% Pure Sponge (All Skin Types)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Pink Clay Sponge (Tired/Devitalized Skin)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Red Clay Sponge (Dry/Mature/Sensitive Skin)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Green Clay Sponge (Combination Skin)

There's still time to order too as the last post is Thursday 18th December for 2nd class and Friday 19th December for 1st class, but I personally wouldn't leave it that late, so drop on by I Choose What I Use and go and treat yourself and your loved ones to a konjac sponge.