Meatless Monday: Seitan Doner Kebab ‘Meat’ [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 3-4
Prep: ≤30mins
Cooking: 4 hrs (SC/low heat setting)
Cooling: 20 mins (minimum)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, non-stick pot w/lid, colander, food processor, measuring jug, large mixing bowl, kitchen foil, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & E, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, no added sugar and per serving- a moderate quantity of added salt and fats. 

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! You’ll have to excuse our lack of posts lately, there’s been a lot going on (all good) and we haven’t been keeping up to date (including getting to see what everybody else has been getting up to on here!). But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been cooking, of course we have… so you’ll have lots of lovely recipes to look forward to! 🙂

Today we our sharing a seitan recipe….

…move over dried soya mince, tofu, tempeh, and high salt/fat and overpriced preformed vegan ‘meats’, there’s a new guy in the Eat2Health Kitchen- seitan! For those that are unaware, it’s made from wheat gluten, spices and seasonings, (and in this case a sweet potato!); it’s an effortless, nutritious and delicious meat alternative that has a great texture, giving rise to endless possibilities (faux sausages, meatballs, steak, duck, doner, chorizo, mince… just to name a few!)

Using wheat gluten is something we have wanted to try for a while now; unfortunately it’s not widely available in shops so we purchased ours online. Our 1kg bag cost just over £4; has anyone purchased it at a lower price or does that seem about right? For those that are keen, you can have a go at making it yourself! It sounds quite laborious to us; just do a quick internet search to see if it’s something that you’d enjoy! 😛

With a cursory internet search we also found that there are several recipes for seitan knocking about; given the cost and practicality of acquiring seitan we decided to start by adapting someone else’s tried and true recipe. One that caught our fancy was a doner seitan recipe at Flash Gordonette.com. Her recipe seemed straight forward and used a steamer to cook the seitan, but we’ve used our trusty slow cooker to do the same thing. Cooking wheat gluten to make seitan is indeed effortless and there are several ways to do it, again you only have to look in your preferred search engine to find that out. 

The seitan doner kebab resemblance to actual meat is a little uncanny. Of course it isn’t ‘meat’ and we were not looking to replicate it! Yep, no desire what so ever to replicate the mystery ‘elephant leg’ that spins in every kebab shop in Britain…(ha!) …our line of thoughts we more into finding another cheap, healthy, tasty and versatile protein source. This mock meat works perfectly in a vegan doner kebab, in sandwiches, salads, as part of a meze platter or used as a healthy plant-based pizza topping!

We packed our vegan doner kebab with plenty of veggies (yummy suggestions below) and topped it all off with a delicious tahini sauce and dollop of plain soya yoghurt! 

Some other good things to note include:

  • If you do not have a food processor, finely chop the onion before cooking. Mash the cooked potato and onion in a large mixing bowl instead; mix in the remaining ingredients with a silicone spatula and then knead the dough.
  • The ingredients list looks long but it’s mostly spices and/or seasonings! Adjust the spices and seasonings to your own perfect mix. Unfortunately there is no way of checking how it really tastes until after it has cooked (the raw mixture tastes terrible btw!), so don’t go too over board with the spices or salt! 
  • Handle your wheat gluten flour with care; it’s so powdery that it can easily end up all over your work counter instead of in your recipe! 
  • This seitan recipe combined wheat gluten with sweet potato, but we have seen others that have used tin beans or other vegetables instead! 
  • The raw mixture looks a bit weird and maybe slightly off putting but don’t let that scare you. It completely transforms once it’s cooked. For those new to a plant based lifestyle, looking to swap their standard recipes this Meatless Monday, perhaps do not get on with tofu and/or paying for overpriced vegan meats, give this a go! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂
  • Letting the seitan cool is vital if you want thin slices of doner ‘meat’. We left ours for 12 mins and then started to shave/cut it with a bread knife; unfortunately this was not long enough and some slices were thicker than others. The thinner slices allowed you to really taste the lovely flavours and it wasn’t chewy (as some of the thicker slices were).
  • This ‘meat’ will dry out, so once cooled wrap immediately and refrigerate. 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Wheat gluten consists of almost pure protein and very little starch; 100 grams contains 75-80% protein! It’s the natural protein left over when you wash the starch out of wheat flour; it’s then dried and ground back into flour. It’s the perfect resource to improve the texture, rise and elasticity of your bread or make the veggie and vegan meat alternative seitan; it’s so versatile, healthy and effortless!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
280g   Sweet potato
85g      Brown onion
3½ C.   Water
6g        Fresh coriander (2 tsp)
1           Garlic clove (1 tsp)
1 tbsp   Veggie stock powder (low-salt)
1 tsp     Salt
1 tsp     White pepper
½ tsp    Dried chilli flakes
1½ tsp   Ground coriander
1 tsp       Ground cumin
1 tsp       Garlic powder
¼ tsp      Mild paprika
¼ tsp      Cayenne pepper
1 tsp        Dried oregano
½ tsp      Cumin seeds
1/8 tsp    Ground mace
1 tbsp      Rapeseed oil
1½ C.        Vital wheat gluten (220g)
1               Brown onion (small)
  • Pitta/wrap filling suggestions: shredded iceberg lettuce, diced salad tomato, carrot ribbons, shredded cucumber, diced (raw) brown onion, shredded red cabbage, pickled chillies, diced fresh coriander, all topped off with your favourite sauce…try: a tahini, chilli or garlic sauce or a dollop of plain soya yoghurt instead.

Need an easy-print PDF? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Wash, peel and then chop the sweet potato into small chunks. Peel and chop the onion into quarters (or smaller if applicable). Pour 1½ cups cold water into a non-stick pot. Add the sweet potato and onion. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to a gentle boil. Simmer and cook for 4-5 mins or until tender. Remove from the heat. Drain in a colander. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the coriander; remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Peel, chop and finely mince the garlic. Tip: If you have a garlic press, just use this instead!

Place the cooled potato and onion into a food processor (or mixing bowl if applicable). Add the fresh coriander, garlic clove, 1 tbsp veggie stock powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp white pepper, ½ tsp dried chilli flakes, 1½ tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin,1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp mild paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp cumin seeds, ⅛ tsp ground mace and 1 tbsp rapeseed oil. Process the ingredients until a thick puree is achieved.


Add 1½ cups wheat gluten into the food processor. Process until the mixture is combined and starts to form a ‘dough’ texture. Transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl. Gather the mixture, forming a ball and knead it for about a minimum of 5-10 mins or as long as you can (we kneaded ours for 8 mins); the mixture will be tacky, but will become more smooth and elastic. Tip: Kneading will help improve the texture of the seitan. Use your hands and shape the mixture into a fat log (it won’t be perfectly symmetrical but this is OK!).

Transfer the dough onto a long piece of kitchen foil. Roll the foil over the dough, completely covering it and then loosely twist each end close. Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle. Peel and horizontally slice a small brown onion. Place the slices of onion onto the base of the slow cooker. Pour in 2 cups of freshly boiled water. Place the wrapped dough on top of the onions. Cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat setting for 4 hrs.


Remove and allow it to cool for at least 20 mins before serving. Tip: The seitan cools down considerably within 10 mins of removing, but to achieve thin slices of doner ‘meat’, the mixture needs to cool and set further first. 

Tip: Wrap any leftover seitan in kitchen film and refrigerate; reheat leftovers in a frying pan with a little oil and consume within 2-3 days. 

Enjoy!

Vegan Lancashire HotPot

Diet & Weight Loss

Here’s a classic we first presented to you over a year ago-our take on a Vegan Lancashire Hotpot! 🙂 It’s been a recent lifesaver since the weather has taken a turn for the worst! Enjoy it some side green vegetables or topped with some nutritional yeast (so delicious!). We’ve updated this page and have now included an easy-print PDF version- so just go for it folks! 😀 Happy cooking!

Eat2Health Blog

Serves: 6
Prep: 40-45 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, colander, non-stick pots w/lids, wooden spoon, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, casserole dish

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and fats!

Like some other great British recipes, a hotpot is somewhere between a stew and a casserole topped with potatoes! We know ours does not depict a true representation of a British hotpot; there’s no use of butter, beef, offal, lamb or mutton in this one were afraid to say! It is however still a very hearty, cheap and versatile dish that is not lacking in great flavours! Perfect for those that crave healthy, stodgy winter meals that can be shared by the whole family. 

Admittedly, we did overestimate the content…as you’ll see we needed more than one dish…

View original post 834 more words

Chocolate & Coconut Pudding Cups [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 12 cups
Serves: 12
Prep & Cooking: 20-30 mins
Cooling:10 mins
Assembly: 5mins
Setting Time: 4hrs
Type: Dessert
Tools: Food processor, silicone spatula, standard muffin tin,12 muffin casings, measuring jug, small non-stick pot, whisk, dessert spoon

Notes

With no baking and minimal cooking, this little dessert can be enjoyed during the summer months without heating up your kitchen; it’s also a cheeky indulgence for those chocolate and coconut lovers alike!

If you’re like us and do not own an ice cream maker and cannot be bothered with the D.I.Y method, nor do you want to pay for overpriced dairy free desserts with high sugar contents, than look no further. This is a really simple recipe that produces a lovely (cold, yes from the fridge or freezer!) chocolate dessert with a moderate quantity of sugar and saturated fat per serving. 

Continuing from a working idea we shared with you all last December, our Vegan ‘Condensed Milk’ (which uses aquafaba!), we used this to make our lovely DF dessert we are presenting to you today. We noticed that when our ‘condensed milk’ set in the fridge it took on a pudding/custard like texture… and that was a light bulb moment that was not forgotten!

This March an opportunity arose through Foodies100Vita Coco was challenging UK Bloggers to create a recipe using their coconut oil.

Well, some of you might know that although we are not coconut mad, we are still known to use a little coconut oil in some of our baking, on our hair and skin (well, me at least!) and anecdotally for localised gingiva inflammation. However, if you are in any way concerned about your oral health, you should always contact your dental practitioner! 

Vita Coco’s Coconut Oil is 100% Raw and Organic; perfect for beauty and baking needs, including transforming dairy free desserts? Yes! Challenge accepted! So with that in mind, we knew exactly how we could expand on our ‘condensed milk’ recipe and make a delicious dessert. #vitacocoinspiration

 

 

This recipe is a little more indulgent than something we would normally make, but we are not condoning this as an everyday food item. Eating2Health means learning to moderate the frequency and portion sizes of healthy and indulgent foods that we eat, although sometimes it’s nice to have something a little rich and not too sweet to indulge in, like this chocolate dessert.

These chocolate pudding cups are dairy and gluten free, have a light coconut taste, delicious chocolate flavour and a great combination of textures. The pudding is creamy, light and smooth; the ‘raw’ base isn’t overly sweet and has a great texture from the combo of nuts and oat bran (not to mention a lovely dose of fibre!).

Some other good things to note include:

  • As recipe testing is a process, getting the right quantities of ingredients first time around sometimes just doesn’t happen; initially we did not make enough ‘base’ for our pudding, so we had to double the batch. The recipe was amended but our pictures will show half the amount of ‘raw base’ in our food processor. 
  • If twelve puddings cups are too many, simply halve the recipe for both the base and pudding! 
  • If you do not fancy using maple syrup in the pudding, you could substitute it with agave, coconut sugar, unrefined golden caster sugar or some Stevia (to taste).
  • If you do not have oat bran, just use some porridge oats instead. Just process the oats in a food processor until a rough flour consistency is achieved. 
  • The chocolate extract is optional (because it can be a bit pricey) but if you are in the market for trying it, it really amps up the overall chocolate flavour!
  • If you have an allergy or prefer not to use walnuts and almonds, you can substitute them for your favourite types of nuts! If preferred, you can also process 200g of almonds instead of buying already processed ground almonds.
  • We used some aquafaba from white beans, but feel free to use some chickpea liquid instead! 
  • If you want to enjoy this dessert frozen, you’ll have to freeze these lovelies overnight!

 

 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

‘Raw’ Cacao & Coconut Pudding Base

100g     Walnut pieces
200g    Ground Almond
30g       Cacao powder
80g       Oat bran
50g       Coconut oil
1 tsp      Chocolate extract (*optional)
7 tbsp    Maple syrup

Chocolate Pudding Filling

20g          Corn flour
3g            Arrowroot powder
60ml       Oat cream
80ml       Almond milk*
++++++++ (*unsweetened & fortified)
15g           Coconut oil
125ml       Aquafaba
3 tbsp      Maple Syrup
1 tsp         Chocolate extract (*optional)
15g           Cacao powder

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the ‘raw’ pudding base.

 

Place 120g walnuts into a food processor. Tip: If you are using whole almonds, add those too! Blend until a meal is achieved. If using, add 200g ground almonds, then 30g cacao powder, 80g oat bran, 50g coconut oil and 1 tsp chocolate extract (if using). Process the mixture, pouring in 7 tbsp maple syrup through the pouring spout as the machine is still running. Process until combined and the mixture forms a tacky and raw dough.

 

Line a twelve-hole muffin tin with twelve paper casings. Carefully remover the blade from the food processor. Use a silicone spatula to remove any dough stuck to the sides of the container. Roughly divide the raw dough into twelve pieces. Place one piece into each muffin casing. Press the dough (evenly) down into the base and outwards to form a little cup/saucer shape (don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect!). Tip: It won’t cover the entire muffin casing. Place the muffin tin into the fridge until you are ready to fill the casings with the pudding.

 

Prepare the pudding.

 

Place 20g corn flour, 3g arrowroot, 60ml oat cream and 40ml DF milk into a measuring jug. Using a fork, whisk together until combined and no lumps of flour are present. Tip: This liquid will be used to thicken the pudding!

 

  • Place 15g  coconut oil into a medium, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Pour in ½ cup aquafaba and the remaining 40ml DF milk. Whisk together.
  • When the coconut oil has melted, add 3 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp chocolate extract (if using). Whisk to combine.
  • Add 15g cacao powder. Whisk and keep whisking until it has combined with the liquid. Once the cacao is combined, keep whisking and pour in the flour and milk mixture. Keep whisking until combined and the mixture has thickened. This will take a few minutes, so be patient. Tip: The liquid should never come to a boil but will get quite hot. 
  • Once thickened remove from the heat. Use a silicone spatula to wipe around the sides of the pot, bringing all the pudding back down into the base.  Allow to cool for 10 mins before adding it into the muffin casings. Tip: The mixture will start to set and might form a skin, so whisk the pudding periodically to prevent this from happening; otherwise your pudding might get lumps! 

 

Remove the muffin tin from the fridge. Add the pudding evenly among the casings; about 1 dessert spoon of pudding into each muffin casing. Tip: Use a small spoon to help spread and push the mixture evenly into the casings. Repeat until all of the casings have all been filled. Place the muffin tin into the fridge for about 4hrs. Tip: This will allow the pudding to become cold and completely set into a thick, pudding texture.  **For an additional texture, appeal or flavour variation, try topping yours with: toasted coconut, dried fruits, toasted and chopped hazelnuts or peanuts or a slice of raw or roasted banana!

Tip: Refrigerate any spare puddings cups in an air tight and resealable container; consume within 5 days. Alternatively, insulate and store in an air tight and resealable container; freeze, defrost and consume within 2-4 wks (flavours may alter after this). 

 

 

Enjoy cold from the fridge….

 

 

…or straight from the freezer (well, once defrosted for 30mins first!).

#SwearByIt Recipe Challenge by VitaCoco and Foodies100
 This recipe is also an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.comDisclaimer: This recipe uses a product we were sent for free.  All opinions (and this recipe) are our own.

 

What’s the best dessert or meal you’ve made using coconut oil? 

Meatless Monday- Battered & Baked Tofu: Revisited [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 48 pieces
Serves: 8
Prep: 30 mins + 6-12hrs (marination)
Tofu Assembly: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: 30-35mins
Cooling: 5 mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Heavy plates, kitchen paper, chopping board, sharp knife, small measuring jug, casserole dish, 2* bowls, 2* baking trays, silicone mat or parchment paper, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats!

Well, as you might have guessed… tofu is always on the menu in our house, at least once a week! If you haven’t been keeping up with what we have been getting up to with this lovely plant-based food over the last year, then you should check out our recipe index here! We have been trying to inspire and improve the overall opinion of tofu; it’s not just a rubbery mass, it’s nutritious, awesome and its cooking possibilities are endless!  

So you might remember when we introduced our first batch of battered tofu to you in the form of a stir-fry last year (also known as our Battered tofu & Vegetable Stir-fry) or when we used this battered tofu in a tasty, healthy and oriental version of Sweet And Sour Battered Tofu w/Rice? Well if not, we decided to try and upgrade it with a marination step…as all tofu can benefit from this! It doesn’t necessary add that much time on to your overall prep either; once the tofu is drained and pressed, just marinade it whilst you sleep and you’re good to go!

The result: it has added some extra flavour and inspired us to use them in more than just stir-fries! A crispy, light and tasty batter makes this tofu easily enjoyed in a wrap with a tasty sauce or spread, for yourself or your little one as a snack (as you can always pretend it’s a new kind of ‘chicken nugget’!), used as some tasty finger foods in your upcoming picnics (just don’t forget your dips!), or as we have incorporated them previously, as part of a main meal in a sauce. A sauce or dip is the key, especially with reheating leftovers; the batter (although tasty) can go a bit dry, so the use of a sauce or a dip transforms these battered lovelies into a tasty meal or snack. 

Some other good things to note include

  • Any type of DF milk or starch should be fine. We used some unsweetened almond milk and potato starch for their neutral taste, low cost and seemingly effortless and versatile use and availability in our kitchen.
  • Adjust and adapt the dry seasoning (or tofu marinade) to taste or use your preferred ‘tried and true’ recipes.
  • Need a completely GF option? Use some tamari sauce instead of our recommended soya sauce.
  • The tofu marinade we used is actually one from a previous recipe: Marinated Tofu & Veggie Skewers w/ A Peanut Satay
  • If you’re halving the amount of tofu, you’ll save yourself 10mins!
  • There is enough marinade and batters for two firm blocks of tofu. 
  • Allow them to cool on the baking trays for at least 5 mins before serving and allow them to cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  • When reheating, use the oven where possible, as the batter can go a little soggy after it’s been in the fridge for a few days.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
800g Firm Tofu (= 2 tetrapaks)
Low-fat cooking oil
Tofu Marinade
3 tbsp     Sesame oil
3 tbsp     Walnut oil
2 tbsp     Rice vinegar
3 tbsp     Soya sauce (*reduced salt)
1½ tbsp   Maple syrup
1 tsp        Ground ginger
1/8 tsp    Asafoetida
Dry Batter
100g    Plain GF flour
20g      Corn flour
2-3g     Garlic salt
2g         Onion Powder
2g         Sweet Paprika
1/8 tsp  Salt & ground black pepper
Wet Batter
90g       Potato starch
120ml    Unsweetened DF Milk (8 tbsp)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂


Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy and/or weighted plates (or chopping boards) to express any excess water. Leave for 30 mins. Tip: Try sandwiching the tofu between a few sheets of kitchen paper to help absorb some of the excess liquid. 

2. In the meantime, make the tofu marinade. Place 3 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp walnut oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp soya sauce, 1½ tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp asafoetida into a large measuring jug. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. When the tofu is ready, drain away any excess water. Place the tofu onto a chopping board and chop into ½ cm rectangular pieces. Tip: We made six cuts (width wise) and four cuts (lengthwise). Layer the tofu into the base of a large casserole dish. Pour over the marinade. Tip: To help evenly distribute the marinade, pour a little into the casserole dish first before layering the tofu. Cover with some kitchen film. Refrigerate for 6-12 hrs. Tip: If possible, turn the tofu over at least once whilst it’s marinating.

4. Prepare your dry batter. Place 100g GF flour, 20g corn starch, 2-3g garlic salt, 2g onion powder and 2g sweet paprika into a small bowl. Season with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Stir and whisk until combined. Prepare the wet batter. Place 90g potato starch and 120ml DF milk into a separate bowl. Whisk until combined.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with silicone mats or a sheet of parchment paper. Spray each tray with some low-fat cooking oil. Dip a piece of marinated tofu into the wet batter, thoroughly coating it in the mixture. Tip: It’s just a quick dip; you do not need to soak it. Next, dip and gently press the tofu into the dry batter until all of its sides are covered. Tip: The faster you can complete these steps, the less ‘coagulated’ batter will form on your fingers!  Place the battered tofu onto the baking tray. Repeat until all tofu is battered.

6. Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 15mins. Remove. Turn the tofu over. Place the trays back into the oven (switching the shelf positions of the trays). Bake for a further 15-20 mins or until cooked and the lightly golden. Remove. If possible, allow the tofu to cool on the tray for 5mins before serving.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 5 days. 

 

Do you love tofu as much as we do?! What’s your favourite way to cook it? Do you make your own tofu? We’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

Meatless Monday: Lentil & Peach Salad w/ A Tarragon Dressing [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep:15-20 mins
Cooking: 20-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, large non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, resealable jar, small frying pan, pastry brush, grill tray, kitchen foil, mixing bowl

Hello everyone! Although this year’s Easter weekend has been a bit of a wash-out (particularly this morning!), we hope that you’ve all found some time to unwind, maybe go for a relaxing walk and enjoy some good food with family and friends. 🙂

The recipe that we are sharing with you today is a delicious salad we created weeks ago…when the weather felt more ‘spring like’ and everyone was still optimistic about a sunny Easter! However, we think that you’ll be happy to hear that this salad requires minimal prep (and cooking), of which the majority could be organised the night before, particularly if you plan on having this salad for lunch. 

We love adding fruit to salad, not only is it a great way to add some fibre, vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as vitamin C, potassium and potentially folate, but it’s the perfect solution for satisfying your sweet tooth in the evening. We’ve tried adding oranges, pineapple, mango, apples and even pears, but never peaches. So as you can probably gather, we’ve never grilled peaches before either. So when thinking about some new, exciting and delicious salad possibilities, this idea came to mind. The experience was not life changing, but we definitely feel like we have been missing out! Delicate and juicy peaches become creamy and tender (almost dessert like). A sure fire way to transform your salad and enjoy one of the many plants nature has to offer. We threw in a few juicy blueberries and dried cranberries for another pop of colour, but the peaches (and dressing!) were definitely the stars of the show. The delicate and peppery rocket works beautifully with the sweet and slightly tangy/’aniseed-y’ tarragon dressing and the toasted walnuts provide a delicious crunch. The inspiration for the dressing came from a well-known chef, which we adapted with much love and care into a format we can use happily throughout the summer months to come. 

 

 

The result: a salad full of bold flavours, great textures and the privilege to feel smug; eating2health has never been so easy (or tasty)! With hearty and nutritious lentils, plump and grilled peaches, toasted and crunchy walnuts, wild and peppery rocket and a sweet and vibrant tarragon dressing… it’s just a sensory overload waiting to happen!

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

If you are looking for some additional salad inspiration, please make sure to check out some of our other ideas from our recipe index!

 

Fancy this recipe?! Just contact us us for an easy-print PDF! 🙂

Healthy Nibbles: 4 Protein & Fibre-licious-Based Snacks [Vegan, No Added Sugars & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

With an early Easter looming around the next corner, we are probably all considering not only what sort of ‘treat’ we ‘might’ be giving as gifts when we make our holiday visits or are looking at buying or preparing for ourselves.

Well…with our permanent and healthy lifestyle changes now in full swing, we should all know that planning is everything, particularly when trying to eat healthily on more days than none. Meal prepping and planning healthy meals and snacks ahead of time can help us avoid temptations and overdoing it on sweet/salty/high calorie options.

Healthy snacks, especially ones that contain a good source of lean protein and/or fibre are great for filling us up and giving us that lovely dose of satiety; breeding the confidence that we need to fight off sugar cravings and reach our goals.

So as we love you all so much and always want to help assist you in living a healthy, happy and nutritious lifestyle, we’ve prepared four lovely snacks that you and your family and enjoy over this long weekend and even beyond Easter! We only hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

Happy cooking (and snacking) everyone! 😀

 

4 Healthy Protein & Fibre-licious Based Snacks!

 

Roasted Chickpeas

Serves: 3-4
Prep: 10 mins-2 hrs (*Depends upon how long you want to marinate your legumes.)
Cooking: 30-40 mins

Now there are lots of roasted chickpea recipes floating about, so is not a new recipe, or even very original, but it’s definitely one that is effortless (really anyone can make it); it’s a tasty, filling, versatile and cheap snack! The types of things you can use to flavour chickpeas are endless but some ideas include: curry paste (or your favourite type of ethnic paste) or other condiments (tahini, horseradish, vinegar or tamari would work well!), ground spices mixed with oil, a little oil with some plain old salt and pepper or even fresh herbs. For this batch one of our key ingredients was some delicious harrisa paste (which is why the chickpeas look so dark!). If you have the time, marinate some chickpeas overnight for an extra flavour boost!

Keep them in a nut dish for family and friends to nibble on, swap them for your typical high calorie movie snacks, or even keep them in your purse (in an air-tight bag) for when you (or your family) get the munchies on the go. For the extra keen, try roasting a variety of cooked beans (or even nuts) for a tasty Easter ‘pick-a-mix’ that won’t cause cavities or fuel sugar cravings (well, we can hope)! 

 

Silken Tofu Caprese Salad

Serves: 4-8
Prep & Assembly:≤ 10-15 mins

So when some people may think of what constitutes a high protein snack, they may think about cheese, particularly those that do not exclusively follow a plant-based meal plan. Well, many, many, many years ago I used to enjoy the occasional bit of salad tomato with buffalo mozzarella. I think it was the way the combination of the fresh and juicy tomato (and basil) tasted with the ‘texture’ of the cheese; I can’t really remember but my tastes and preferences have moved on since then.

We had the idea of using silken tofu, because it’s kind of soft, delicate and squishy like cheese…. and then our silken tofu caprese salad recipe came to fruition! We‘ve seen recipes that salt ‘firm’ tofu to create a similar dish, but no one needs lots of added salt in their lives. This is an extremely simple salad recipe that requires no cooking, takes minutes to prepare and can be served as a snack option. It’s best when made using ripe and ready tomatoes, which unfortunately are not available on our doorsteps this time of year (so many apologies for increasing your carbon footprint!)… but you might have to make one exception in this case! Serve this alongside a plate of multi-grain crackers, oat or brown rice cakes or crisp breads for a light, tasty and filling snack.  

 

Carrot and Houmous Pots 

Serves: 4
Prep & Assembly: ≤10 mins

Ok so this recipe idea is actually courtesy of ASDA (thanks guys)! Everyone (well probably almost everyone!) has eaten houmous and crudities at some point in their lives… and why not?! Fresh vegetables are ace and when served with freshly made houmous, you couldn’t ask for very much more from a snack!

It’s a wonderful, quick and healthful convenience food that is packed with carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals; just perfect. The theme of this carrot and houmous pot is based around Easter and a cute little vegetable patch! If you’ve never tried houmous, it’s never too late and/or if you are looking for a recipe that requires no cooking… or need a darling idea to help your little ones to eat their veggies, this might do the trick. 😉

 

Protein Packed Blinis w/ Horseradish Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper and Dill

Yields: 66-68 Blinis
Serves: 16
Prep & Resting Time: 30-60 mins
Cooking: 20-25 mins

Some of you may know that we are not really pancake lovers, particularly sweet ones, but when it comes to blinis (aka little, savoury and bite-sized pancakes), well THAT is another story! This is not a traditional recipe, but it is delicious, full of protein (from soya milk, garam flour and flaxseed, just to name a few!) and ideal for those following alternative diets! 

These are perfect if you want to serve a variety of ‘tastes’ with something other than crackers to your guests and/or family. Our lightly ‘crisped on the outside and fluffy on the inside’ blinis have the right balance of seasoning, durability and flexibility. Make these bite-sized morsels in advance (because they freeze really well!) and serve with an endless amount of toppings. We used a delicious combination of spicy horseradish sauce, roasted red pepper and a tiny sprig of dill; the taste is wonderful and the colours are so inviting, don’t you think?! So get as creative as you like, the world is your oyster (although we wouldn’t personally recommend that as a topping!)

protein packed blinis_garnished_combined_wm_rs

 

Delicious! If you are looking for some further recipe inspiration to help get your snack on, check out these other ideas from our recipe index:

 

If you fancy any of the new (or old recipes), just contact us for an easy-print PDF! 🙂

Meatless Monday: Mexican Inspired Quinoa Bowl w/BBQ Tofu Croutons & Lime Avocado Cream [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Salad Serves: 2-3
Tofu Prep, Marinating & Cooking: 5hrs -12hrs
Salad Prep (Inc. of cooking): 30-40 mins
Assembly: ≤5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Plates, kitchen paper, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, colander, mixing bowls, measuring jug, food processor, silicone spatula

Notes: This recipe contains*: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving contains a moderate quantity of added sugar, salt and saturated fats. *Dependent upon if you use the marinated tofu or not. 

It’s finally spring; which means warmer weather (well, our fingers are crossed!), a relaxing Easter holiday, increased sunshine…which always puts in the mood for plenty of bold and vibrant foods and flavours (including fun salad bowls)! In actual fact we made this recipe weeks ago (one sunny Sunday whilst wishing for warmer weather!)… but now seems like the perfect time to share it with everyone. 

Inspired by Mexican tastes, we added some fun and playful ingredients that have plenty of flavour, creating a delicious Mexican-inspired quinoa bowl! It’s a great combination of fluffy quinoa, fresh salad vegetables, juicy mango mixed with a fresh, vibrant and tangy lime salad dressing. Topped off all with some our meaty (and smoky) BBQ tofu croutons and ‘lime’ avocado cream (yup, it’s a new twist on our old favourite!) and you’re in for an ultimate salad bowl experience. 

Overall we were pleased with it. The only problem we incurred was that our mango wasn’t ripe so we didn’t add it to our salad; oops for not checking and ripening it ahead of time! However, we are thoroughly recommending that you do. 🙂

Some other good things to note include:  

  • For recipe ease, we have linked the other recipes you will require to help keep this recipe’s total ingredients (at least on this post!) down to a minimum. 
  • If you fancy preparing this quinoa salad without the mango, avocado cream and/or tofu croutons, you might want to using slightly more dressing or lime juice/zest to help give your quinoa salad some oomph!
  • If you would prefer to have the chilli tasting a little less ‘raw’, mix it into the salad dressing (before serving) and do not add it into the mixture of salad vegetables.
  • If you don’t fancy using our ‘lime avocado cream’ you can always slice up some fresh (and ripe) avocado and serve this over your salad instead. 
  • As we always want you to have your tofu tasting as tasty as possible, try marinating it overnight (it’s the perfect solution for cooking ease!) or for a minimum of 4hrs. If you prefer not to use our Smoky BBQ tofu croutons, you can always substitute them for your favourite type of baked tofu or some cooked black, pinto or your favourite type of bean! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Smoky BBQ Tofu Croutons
Avocado Cream

Quinoa Salad Bowl

1¼ cup     Dried quinoa (250g)
380g        Baby plum tomatoes
160g         Tinned sweet corn kernels*
++++++++ (*in unsalted water)
140g         Carrot (1 medium)
60g          Spring onion (about 4)
260g        Orange bell pepper
30g          Red chilli
10g           Fresh coriander
400g        Mango, ripe
++++++++ Salt & black pepper

Tangy Lime Salad Dressing

3 tbsp        Lime juice
1-2 tsp       Lime zest
2 tbsp        Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp         Cider vinegar
½ tsp          Ground cumin
½-1 tbsp    Fruit sweetener
++++++++   (or maple syrup

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. If using, prepare the Smoky BBQ Tofu Croutons in advance. Tip: Unless you are doubling the salad recipe, you can ‘halve’ the BBQ tofu croutons recipe. If desired, feel free to add a pinch of mild or hot chilli powder to spice things up!

2. Cook the quinoa. Place 1¼ cups dried quinoa into a large sieve and rinse it under cold running water for 30-60 seconds. Tip: This will help remove some of its bitter taste. Transfer the quinoa into a small non-stick pot. Add 2 ½ cups water. Stir together. Cover with a lid (without a steam vent). Place the pot over a med-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 6 mins or until the grains have absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 15-20 mins. Tip: Do not peak, not even a little! Leave the grains to steam and finish cooking off of the heat. Don’t worry if it remains covered for longer than 20 mins, it will still be OK!

3. Prepare the salad vegetables. Wash and then slice the tomatoes into halves (vertically). Open and drain the sweet corn in a colander. Wash, peel, trim off the top and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then finely slice the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and then finely dice the chilli. Wash and dry the coriander; remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Peel the mango; carefully slice the ripe flesh away from the stone and roughly chop it into cubes. Place all of these ingredients (but not the mango into a large mixing bowl). Toss together. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

4. Prepare the tangy lime salad dressing. If preferred, use a fresh lime; wash the lime, grate some zest and then juice it using a manual juicer. Pour 2 tbsp rapeseed oil into a large measuring jug. Add 2-3 tbsp lime juice, as much lime zest as desired, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, ½ tsp ground cumin and ½-1 tbsp fruit sweetener (or maple syrup). Use a fork and whisk together until combined. Taste and season as necessary.

5. Prepare the ‘Avocado Cream to transform it into ‘Lime Avocado Cream’ using the following amendments: add 1 tbsp fresh coriander (not parsley), 2-3 tbsp lime juice (not lemon juice) and the new addition of ¼ tsp lime zest and ¼ ground cumin. Place all of the prepared and requested ingredients into a food processor. Process the mixture until smooth, creamy and uniform in colour. Taste and season it as necessary.

6. Assemble the salad bowl. Fluff the cooked grains of quinoa with a fork. Transfer it into a large mixing bowl. Transfer the salad vegetables into the bowl of quinoa. Pour the salad dressing evenly over the salad. Gently and thoroughly toss together.

7. Serve. Spoon some of the quinoa salad into a large serving bowl. Toss over about 1/3 quantity of the BBQ tofu croutons and a little bit of mango (if preferred, toss together). Dollop a spoonful of the lime avocado cream onto the centre of the salad. If desired, garnish with some chopped coriander leaf, red chilli flakes and/or sliced spring onion.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover salad in an air-tight and resealable container; keep the mango, tofu croutons and lime avocado cream in separate and individual containers. Consume the salad within 2-3 days, tofu croutons within 4-5 days and the lime avocado cream within 1-3 days. NB: If your avocado is really ripe, then ideally you should consume this cream on the same day that it’s made.

 

A Simple & Delicious Salad Bowl: Roasted Vegetables & Grains [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep: 15-20 mins (*Variable)
Cooking: 40-50mins
Assembly: ≤5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, roasting tin, kitchen foil, non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, colander, mixing bowl

Notes:

Here’s a quick and delicious Friday filler! We promise we have a lot more involved and tasty goodies lined up for you next week!

Salads, salad bowls, or even ones known as ‘Budda or Goddess Bowls’ are wonderful and you don’t have to be a veggie (or on a ‘diet’!) to enjoy them either! Maybe it’s because they have evolved beyond a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and some other token salad veggies; yes exactly, because you can adapt them into any delicious shape or form!

Enjoyed in any season, they can have style, great nutritional substance and a good degree of satiety! They’re an example of another meal that can easily be adjusted to suit your own diet, budget, cooking skills or time and/or taste preferences! We think that they are indeed super (but not a ‘superfood’!), but we’ve previously shared our thoughts on this matter. A salad, simple or not, is what you make of it. Although they might not always look sexy, substance should always win over beauty; with the right planning, they can be nutritionally complete (even without expensive foodie ingredients) and enjoyed every day, well only if you like (but we can never have too many greens)! 

This recipe is quite similar to one that we produced last year …

A Quick & Frugal Pasta Bowl

…but on this occasion we have excluded the pasta and kidney beans and used some hearty grains (pearl barley!) and a different variety of vegetables, including kale! After seeing that two of our local supermarkets were selling massive bags of shredded kale, it could only mean one thing- it’s still in season, but not for much longer! So we should all take advantage of this tasty vegetable. All hail the kale! 🙂

So feel free to ‘mass produce’ this salad, adapt its seasonality, flavour combinations, what’s left in your cupboards (you know those odd bits of mixed grains knocking about!) and/or to suit your purse strings! Really, feel free to adapt it as you see fit.

 

If you think this recipe could do with an upgrade, here are some additional adaptations (well don’t try them all at once!) that could also work quite well:

  • A few pan toasted cashews, almonds or pine nuts or natural pumpkin seeds.
  • Depending on your flavour combinations (or budget), some (pitted) kalamata olives would be ace!
  • Some cooked beans! We’d recommend: soya, black, butter or broad beans. 

 

Ingredients

++++++130-140g         Dried pearl barley (or your favourite grain!), cooked
++++++500-600g      Vegetables (butternut squash, red, green + yellow bell peppers)
++++++150-200g        Kale
++++++                         Rapeseed oil (or low-fat cooking oil spray)
++++++                         Salt and Ground black pepper
++++++2                       Spring Onions
++++++                         Fresh herbs (variable; we used flat leaf parsley)

 

Directions

1. Place the pearl parley into a large sieve. Rinse it under some running cold water. Transfer it into a non-stick pot. Fill the pot with cold water (about 3/4 full). Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Remove the lid and allow it to boil for 10 mins. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25-30 mins or until tender. Drain it in the sieve. Allow to cool slightly.

2. In the meantime, heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. If required, line a roasting tin with some kitchen foil.

3. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the skin, trim the top and then remove the seeds from the squash with a sharp knife or spoon; chop it into ½-1″ cubes. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell peppers into 1cm pieces. Transfer the vegetables into the roasting tin. Drizzle over a little rapeseed oil (or spray them with some low-fat cooking oil). Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until the vegetables or lightly browned and tender; toss and stir halfway through cooking. Remove.

4. In the meantime. Wash the kale. If applicable slice (or shred) the kale into strips. Place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Cook and simmer for 7-10 mins or until tender. Drain in a colander.

5. If applicable prepare your preferred dressing or dip. Wash, trim the ends and finely chop the spring onion. Wash, dry and then chop some herbs.

6. Place the cooked barley, roasted vegetables, kale, spring onion and herbs (if using) into a large mixing bowl. If applicable pour over your dressing or just season with a little salt, black pepper and fresh herbs to taste. Toss together and serve in a large serving bowl. Garnish with some toasted nuts, a dip or houmous (if using), or anything else that takes your fancy!

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. 

 

Delicious vegetables and hearty carbohydrates- the frameworks to any great salad! 😀

 

How do you like to enjoy your salads? 🙂

Glowing Shamrock Smoothie

Healthy Recipes

Firstly, here’s a huge thanks to the lovely and always helpful Larice at Feeding Your Beauty for sharing this recipe! 🙂

What a refreshing way not only to enjoy St Pattie’s Day but to add some nutritional balance into your day! We think that if you’re going to have a green smoothie, this definitely sounds like a delicious way to go. 🙂 We love the combination of ingredients, particularly the use of coconut water with fresh greens and mint; we can never have too much mint in our lives! We can’t wait to enjoy this drink when it gets a little warmer, but first, to go and try and revive our neglected mint pot! ^^’

Feeding Your Beauty

glowingshamrock

This sweet minty smoothie is not only the perfect green beverage to sip for St. Patrick’s Day, but for the rest of spring and the warm days of summer too. It’s frosty, fruity, and sweet with a big minty punch. While myCopycat Shamrock Shakeis creamy and indulgent, this smoothie is light and refreshing, loaded with antioxidants and ultra-hydrating ingredients.

One of my favorite plant-based beauty food guru’s is Kimberly Snyder. Her books, website, and podcasts are such an awesome resource for anyone seeking to improve their health and looks naturally through diet and lifestyle. This smoothie is inspired by her Glowing Green Smoothie, a fresh concoction designed to boost your glow from the inside out. It’s my go-to smoothie when I want to reboot. That was exactly what I was going for when I created this blend. I put my own spin on it, and used…

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Cream of Celeriac Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4 (med.) or 6 (small) portions
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Assembly: 5 mins
Type: Main meal, starter dish
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, large non-stick pot w/lid, wooden spoon, blender, silicone spatula

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins (inclusive of B12*), Vitamins C, D* & E* carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving (based on 6 servings) has no added sugar, has a moderate quantity of added salt and is low in saturated fats! *Dependent upon the fortification of DF milk used.

We were wrong, this soup is officially our last new soup of the season (well, probably)! Simply because the UK weather is completely unpredictable; it’s still quite chilly, but it’s also great to have to some quick soup recipes to hand, even for early spring, autumn or an unexpected July cold virus! So with the cold weather lingering, we decided to experiment with a frugal and tasty soup idea; this delicate, simple and flavourful idea became our delicious cream of celeriac soup!

We would first like to thank our local supermarket for reducing the price of their almond milk (3 cartons for £3!) and for having a full bin of celeriac root with varied weights to choose from! You know that it’s going to be a good day when stuff like this happens. 😀

This soup is incredibly easy to prepare and not overly expensive (our veggies came to £1.60). In addition to some tasty celeriac, we added a humble potato (skin included) which provides additional fibre, vitamins and minerals, a natural thickener and a tasty under note to the soup. As we decided not to use any vegetable stock, we combined a tasty section of some of the dried herbs, seasonings and flavours that we found listed in our favourite brand of stock. Once it was cooked we added some almond milk, for some additional nutritional value and creamy touch (it’s all in the title after all!). The result was a delicious and easy go-to soup that you can add to your recipe box (particularly if you love creamy, comforting and cosy soups)!

We enjoyed this soup garnished with some tasty roasted chickpeas, fried spring onion and served it with a cheeky ‘cheeze’ toasty and cup of tea; it was indeed a great little lunch! 🙂

Some other good things to note include:

  • We have previously talked about how lovely celeriac is when we posted our Broccoli and Celeriac soup recipe last year! Our previous recipe also includes some lovely visual instruction on how to prepare it (just in case you are new to this lovely vegetable!).
  • Celeriac can be tricky to peel. After we peeled ours, we lost about eighty grams in weight; which is a huge improvement after our last couple of goes! If you still find preparing it tricky, just buy a slightly bigger portion.
  • We will be doubling the quantity next time (whilst being mindful of the salt) as it’s just too good and would love slightly larger portions that last longer than three days! 
  • We used almond milk, but you could also use an unsweetened soya or coconut milk if preferred. NB: we chose almond because its flavour is light enough not to overpower the other flavours of the soup.
  • Once refrigerated, the soup does ‘thicken’, just ever so slightly; once it’s reheated, it relaxes and is the perfect consistency once again. However, if you find our version a little thick, just add a little more milk to thin it out.
  •  Although it tastes good on the day, like any soup, sauce or marinade it tastes even better the following day(s)! We’d recommend reheating your leftovers on the stove top (if possible) as it doesn’t take long to reach a hot and almost boiling temperature; you can easily overcook it in a microwave (you can trust us on that one!) and this will impair the flavour.

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++700g          Celeriac root
++++++++++440g          Baking potato
++++++++++½ tbsp       Rapeseed oil (or low-fat cooking oil spray)
++++++++++1g                Celery salt
++++++++++¼ tsp          Dried tarragon
++++++++++¼ tsp          Dried parsley
++++++++++½ tsp          Asafoetida (or sub w/ onion powder)
++++++++++¾-1 tsp       Salt
++++++++++¼ tsp          Ground black pepper
++++++++++800ml       Water
++++++++++½ tsp          Garlic infused oil
++++++++++50g            Spring onion, finely chopped (*an optional garnish)
++++++++++300ml       Almond milk (unsweetened + fortified)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Prepare the celeriac. Tip: For visual guidance you can refer to this recipe! Wash, trim the ends, peel and then chop the celeriac into cubes. Wash and then chop the potato into cubes.

2. Heat ½ tbsp rapeseed oil (or use some low-fat cooking oil spray) in a large, non-stick pot over a med-low heat. Add the celeriac and potato. Gently toss in the oil and stir together. Cover with a lid. Gently fry and stir the celeriac mixture occasionally for about 6 mins. Add 1g celery salt, ¼ tsp dried tarragon, ¼ tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp asafoetida, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Stir to toss and coat. Gently fry for 30 seconds.

Add 800ml cold water and ½ tsp garlic infused oil. Stir together. Cover with the lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer and cook for about 10 mins or until the vegetables are cooked (fork tender). Remove from the heat. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Tip: If you have a blender with a heat-vent lid, you can probably start processing the soup after 5 mins; just take care and do not overfill your blender and cover the heat vent with a kitchen towel to help release some excess steam/heat.

3. If desired, gently fry some spring onion in a little oil for 2-3 mins or until softened.

4.Transfer the soup into a blender. Process it until smooth and creamy. Tip: Depending upon the size of your blender, you might have to complete this step in batches. If you own a hand-held blender, just process the soup in the pot and then stir in the milk. Transfer the soup back into the pot or a resealable container (as applicable). Add the milk into the blender. Pulse to froth and help remove any residual soup stuck to the blender. Pour the milk into the pot or container. If necessary, use a spatula to help remove any remaining bits of soup. Stir together. Taste and season the soup as preferred.

5. If applicable, reheat the soup over a medium-low heat until hot, but do not allow it to boil. Remove.

6. Serve warm. Ladle into a small serving bowl; if desired, garnish with fried spring onions or some fresh chives, roasted chickpeas, small cubes of roasted potato, tofu croutons, some standard herby-bread croutons or whatever takes your fancy!

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months. NB: When reheating, do not allow it to boil. 

 

Meatless Monday: Tofu Pesto & Roasted Vegetable Lasagne [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 50-60 mins
Cooking: 20-45mins
Cooling: 5-10 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: 2x Large baking trays, kitchen foil, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, large pot(s) w/lid, whisk, food processor, silicone spatula, large casserole dish

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K  & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving* is low in added sugar and contains a moderate quantity of added salt and saturated fats. *Dependent upon the type of tomato sauce, white sauce and pesto used. 

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne or pasta dish?! We absolutely love them. Especially a veganised recipe that can rival its rich meat and cheese filled equivalent! We made this classic dish back in January (which you can probably guess by some of our ill-lit photographs, sorry!), but definitely plan on making it again soon; particularly before we transition into warmer weather, but hey, that’s still a long way off!

For those that have been following along, you’ll know that this is actually our second lasagne recipe we have posted! Our latest lasagne recipe is crammed with roasted vegetables, our delicious (and protein packed) spinach and tofu pesto, which is all topped off with a ‘cheezy’ white sauce! Healthy comfort food doesn’t get any better than this! 

This recipe may require a little more organisation and prep than some, but it’s not complicated to make, especially if you are good at multitasking. However, this is another dish (like our moussaka) that can’t really be quickly whipped up mid-week (unless you have time to spare), but it can definitely be meal prepped on a Sunday and enjoyed during the week. You could even freeze and enjoy it as several quick dinners and/or lunches later on in the month! We promise it’s worth the effort; the rich pesto, creamy white sauce and chunky vegetables all help to make it a satisfying dish full of great flavours, textures and colours!

Overall we were really pleased with it! The only real hiccup was our casserole dish; we were using a new (larger) one and underestimated the quantity of veggies we needed (we would have loved to use more)! We have included a vegetable range in the ingredients list; just adjust the quantities to the size of your own dish. As for the pasta, well, we have tried using GF lasagne sheets before and to be perfectly honest, it sucks. Even after using varied prep methods, we just think that it’s a nightmare to use (if you don’t have to) but we have no idea as to why! If you are in need of a GF alternative, you can use GF lasagne sheets or adapt the recipe by using thin-ish slices of raw courgette and/or pre-salted and seasoned aubergine (ideally cut by a mandolin if possible) instead. We would have used wholemeal pasta sheets, but they are hard to come by in main stream supermarkets (well, at least around our neck of the woods). In the end we opted for a great Italian brand; delicate and thin sheets of durum wheat lasagne that required no precooking and only took about 20 mins in the oven! They were stress free and delicious! What more can you ask for? !

Some other goods things to note include:

  • The prep depends on skill, the number of kitchen helpers, the type of pasta and sauces you are using and/or any previous prep, e.g. making pesto the day before. You can use an organic/healthy store bought tomato sauce (we did!), easy cook pasta (we did!) and if preferred, omit the top layer of pasta sheets and white sauce and just add a thin layer of vegan cheeze and/or nutritional yeast instead!
  • If you do not fancy making our spinach and tofu pesto, you can try and make an impromptu one by using your favourite store bought pesto and some silken tofu. Just blend them together in a food processor or blender. However, it’s good to note that as ours contains spinach, the overall consistency is thick and chunky (which works perfectly in this lasagne). To save some time, you could also try and make your pesto a head of time and just refrigerate it in a sealed container until you are ready to use it. 
  • The overall quantity of vegetables, sauces and/or pasta sheets depends on the size of casserole dish you plan on using. Also, you do not need to use roasted veggies; try gently softening (and seasoning) some in a large frying pan instead. Tip: Do not add raw mushroom, bell peppers and/or onion as they will end up make the dish really watery!
  • To save some time on chopping (and because we love them) we ended up using some large Portobello mushrooms! If desired, feel free to use some smaller mushrooms and/or adjust (or adapt) any of the vegetable medley as you see fit! 
  • Although our lasagne assembly is just a guide, we’d still always recommend starting with a layer of tomato sauce! 

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++150-300g      Large portobello mushrooms (about 2-4)
+++200-300g     Red onion (2-3 small)
+++400-600g     Red bell pepper (about 2-3)
+++700-900g     Courgette (about 3-4)
+++1 tsp                Garlic infused oil
+++2 tbsp             Extra virgin olive oil (or some low-fat cooking oil spray)
+++1½ tsp             Dried Italian herbs
+++                        Salt & Ground black pepper
+++1L                     Basil tomato sauce (store bought or homemade)
+++670g               Spinach & Tofu Pesto
+++400g              Lasagne sheets (GF, wholemeal or plain wheat flour)
+++450ml             Vegan + GF herby white sauce
+++                        Nutritional yeast flakes (*optional garnish)
+++                        Fresh Basil (*optional garnish)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Line two baking trays with a sheet of kitchen foil.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Wash dry and chop the mushrooms in to large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into chunky strips. Wash the courgettes, trim off the tops and slice it (vertically) into about ½ cm strips. Place the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper into one baking tray and the courgette into the other one.

Drizzle 1 tsp garlic infused oil and 1 tbsp of olive oil and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the mushroom mixture. Tip: Alternatively use a low-fat cooking oil spray instead of the olive oil. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil (or use the spray) and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the courgette. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Place the baking trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Roast for about 20mins or until tender and slightly browned; turn and toss the vegetables at least once. Remove.

3. If applicable make a tomato sauce or use an organic and/or healthy store bought variety instead. We’d recommend an onion and tomato or basil/tomato flavoured sauce. Tip: You can use our previous lasagne tomato sauce recipe, just omit the black olives, make sure to taste and season it to taste and make about one and half times the quantity shown.

4. If applicable, prepare the spinach and tofu pesto.

5. If applicable, precook the pasta sheets according to the packet instructions. Tip: We used a high quality brand; the sheets were quite thin and didn’t need to be precooked.

6. If applicable, make a bechamel-style white sauce; use our vegan and gluten free herby, white sauce with these seasoning adjustments: ¼-½ tsp of dried thyme, basil and oregano, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. If desired, stir through 1 tbsp (5-6g) of nutritional yeast at the end of cooking for a cheezy sauce (we did)!

7. Assemble the lasagne! Pour and spread about 2 cups (or about half) of the tomato sauce on the base of a large casserole dish. Add of layer of lasagne sheets, enough to cover. Add and spread half of the pesto. Top the pesto with some of the courgette and roasted mushroom mixture. Pour and gently spread over 1 cup (about another ¼) of the tomato sauce. Add another layer of lasagne sheets. Add and evenly spread the remaining pesto. Add another and final layer of courgette and mushroom mixture. Pour and spread a final cup of sauce. Add a final layer of pasta sheets. Pour and evenly spread the white sauce over the top layer of pasta.

8. Bake the lasagne. Place the casserole dish onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-45 mins (depending on the type of pasta you are using) or until the pasta is cooked and the white sauce is lightly golden. Remove. If possible, allow it to cool for 10 mins. Tip: Allowing it to rest will help with serving ease and it will also be a better temperature to eat! 

9. If desired, serve with a small green salad or some steamed green beans and garnish with some fresh basil and some additional nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

Tip: Cover and refrigerate any leftovers; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze in one or several portions; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

Picture Step: 2

Picture Step: 4. Courtesy of our: Spinach and Tofu pesto post

Picture Step: 6. Courtesy of our Vegan & GF Herby White Sauce post.

Picture Step: 7. Lasagne assembly!

One cooled and garnished lasagne ready to eat!

 

Spinach & Tofu Pesto [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 670g
Serves: 12
Prep & Assembly: ≤10-15mins
Type: Sauce, Spread, Dip
Tools: Small dish, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan(optional), food processor, air-tight storage container

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, zinc, contains no added sugar and per serving is low in added salt, has a moderate quantity of fat and is low in saturated fats!

We have always encouraged everyone to cook from scratch and over the past few months we have given you more sauces and dips, a new pizza crust and even some handy food, kitchen and ingredient conversions. Well here’s another basic recipe that we think everyone (not just us plant lovers!) should have access to. It’s easy-peasy and full of flavourful and bold ingredients! Yes, it’s another pesto recipe, but this one’s packed full of extra protein (and no, it’s not extra nuts, its tofu!); of course it comes with a multitude of uses…and it just may even become a new staple in your recipe box! 

We actually came across a DF & GF store bought pesto (insert brand name here!) last year, which funnily enough also contains tofu. It looks creamy and packed full of flavour; basil, nuts (cashew and pine), but its first ingredient is oil! So it’s no surprise that apart from being pricey it contains more calories, fat and even sugar (yes because it contains glucose!) per one-hundred grams than our recipe! Yet another example as to why we should make our own staples and basic recipes at home. 

We originally used our creamy, healthy and delicious pesto in a homemade lasagne (recipe pending!), but with spring looming, it could be used with so many other great things. With a dash of inspiration, curiosity and maybe courage, it has the potential could become a great and quick stir-through sauce for a pasta or potato-based salad or used as a tasty dip (just to name a few!).

It’s good to note that we have included all of our preparation photos, although some are slightly out of sync; our excitement and hunger had us bouncing around the kitchen and not sticking to our previously written directions. However as we’ve previously mentioned in another recent pesto post, there is no right or wrong way to make your own pesto! Please feel free to adapt it to your own personal tastes and maybe even get carried away dancing whilst you’re making it too! 🙂

A few other good things to note include

  • Forget avocado on toast, this pesto (spread) goes further! Use it as a lovely sandwich or wrap spread, as a tasty topping for rice cakes, crackers or jacket potatoes, or as mentioned above, a quick stir-through pasta sauce! However, we would suggest using fresh, spinach, rocket or kale.
  • Also, get experimenting! Use this as a tasty layer in a cooked or raw lasagne, in a savoury summer tart or stuff a little in some tender and delicious Portobello mushrooms and get roasting! 
  • When it comes to nuts (or seeds), use your favourite (although we recommend pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, toasted almonds or sunflower seeds)!
  • We used garlic puree for a slightly intense and (not raw) garlic taste, but just use whatever you prefer (or about one garlic clove).

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++300g               Frozen spinach, defrosted (or 150g fresh)
+++++++2 tbsp             Lemon juice
+++++++80g                 Fresh basil
+++++++1                       Box Silken tofu (349g)
+++++++40g                 Pine nuts
+++++++⅓ Cup            Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++1½ tbsp           Nutritional yeast flakes
+++++++½ tsp               Garlic puree
+++++++¼ tsp               Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info (approx. values)

 

Directions

1. If applicable, defrost the spinach in a microwave (or at room temperature for a couple hours); drain in a sieve and then roughly chop. If applicable, juice a lemon. Wash and then dry the basil with some kitchen paper; remove the leaves from the stems. Open and carefully drain any excess water out of the box of tofu.

2. If desired, toast the pine nuts (we skipped this step). Heat a dry frying pan. Add the nuts and dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat.

3. Transfer 2 tbsp lemon juice, 40g pine nuts, ⅓ cup olive oil, 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp garlic puree and ¼ tsp salt into a food processor. Blend until the nuts are smooth-ish and combined. Add the tofu. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach and basil. Blend until combined and broken down. Tip: The mixture will probably not be completely smooth, but this is OK. For a smoother pesto, you will have to add more oil and/or cold water. Taste and season the pesto as necessary.

4. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the pesto into an air-tight and resealable container or an air tight and sterilised jar.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an air-tight and resealable jar (preferably sterilised) or container; consume within 5 days. 

 

Oh yes, spinach and tofu pesto lasagne- so delicious! 😀

 

What you tried a tofu-based pesto before? What’s your favourite way to use tofu? Well, if you love pesto (and tofu!) as much as we do, stayed tuned! Next week we’ll be providing you with our new and delicious recipe for a pesto (and tofu)-based lasagne! 

Meatless Monday: Baked Broad Bean, Quinoa & Herb Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 8-12
Yields: 40 falafels
Prep & Assembly: 35mins
Baking: 25mins
Cooling: 5-10mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Sieve, small non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, veggie peeler, colander, measuring spoons, baking tray (*1-2), parchment paper, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium,copper iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. 

Wowzers, it’s been quite a while since we have created a new falafel flavour; about one year ago to be exact! If you haven’t tried them (our baked green falafels that is) they’re really tasty! …But why stick to just one flavour or theme?! 

This time we were inspired by a store bought falafel flavour we tried last year; by its overall theme and definitely not its taste. However this is not surprising as shop bought (refrigerated) varieties tend to be quite dry and disappointing; this is another reason why you should never shop on an empty stomach!  

This recipe is packed with flavour, moisture and the perfect baked falafel texture! We think that with the correct balance of moisture (aka, oil, tahini, raw veggies!) and seasonings, any flavour of falafel, even baked falafels, can be phenomenal; this is all the more reason to whip up a batch at home! Yes, we used a food processor to help throw it altogether, but don’t worry. Even if you do not own a food processor, you can still make these lovelies; it just requires a little more elbow grease and the compromise that your falafels will take a little more time to prepare and have a more rustic and homemade flare!

We enjoyed our recent love affair with this delicious M. Eastern food as four tasty lunches! They go perfectly with a salad, rice dish, or tasty tabbouleh, in a wrap or sandwich or as a snack with a tasty houmous, sauce or dip (try lemon and tahinipomegranate, minty yoghurt or avocado cream!) 

Some other good things to note include:

  • Our first batch had slightly more garlic, but we have toned it down in the final ingredients list. We also increased the quantity of mint and toned down the other herbs, but feel free to adjust the garlic, herbs and/or seasonings to your own personal tastes. 
  • The mixture is slightly forgiving to larger bits of ingredients, but with too many chunky ingredients, it might stop the mixture from sticking together. 
  • We made a huge batch…but you can always halve the recipe and slightly reduce the prep time as a result. 
  • The quantity of cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) is about two tins and the quantity of cooked broad beans (also known as fava beans!) is about two-three tins. If you are using a dried variety, soak about 220g broad beans and 210g of chickpeas overnight, drain and then thoroughly cook them before adding to the falafel mixture. NB: You can refer to our handy kitchen info for help with cooking times. 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
60g       Dried Quinoa
320g     Brown onion
10g        Garlic clove
100g     Carrot
30g       Fresh mint
20g       Fresh coriander leaf
20g       Fresh flat leaf parsley
480g     Cooked broad beans
480g     Cooked chickpeas
60g       Tahini
1tbsp          Rapeseed oil
2tbsp         Lemon juice
+++             Low-fat frying oil
8g              Ground cumin
8g              Ground coriander
1tsp            Dried Mint (*optional)
40g            Rice flour (or a plain GF flour)
1-1½ tsp     Salt
¼-½ tsp    Ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place 60g (about 1/3 cup) quinoa into a sieve and rinse it under cold running water for 30-60 seconds. Tip: This will help remove some of its bitter taste. Transfer the quinoa into a small non-stick pot. Add 140ml water. Stir together. Cover with a lid (without a steam vent). Place the pot over a med-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 6 mins or until the grains have absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 15-20 mins. Tip: Do not peak, not even a little! Leave the grains to steam and finish cooking off of the heat. Don’t worry if it remains covered for longer than 20 mins, it will still be OK!

2. In the meantime, peel and chop the onion into two halves. Peel and finely grate the garlic. Tip: A cheese grater is perfect for this! Wash, peel, trim off the top and then finely grate the carrot. Transfer the carrot into a large mixing bowl. Wash and dry the mint, coriander and parsley. Remove the mint leaves from its stem. Roughly tear (or chop) the coriander and parsley into two halves/piles.

3. Place the onion into a food processor. Process until minced.  Transfer the onion into the mixing bowl. Tip: If you do not own a food processor, just chop and finely dice the onion as best you can. 

4. Place the mint, coriander and parsley into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer into the mixing bowl. Throw away any large bits of remaining stalk. Tip: Alternatively, finely chop the mint leaves, coriander and parsley (leaves and stalks). Mix the onion, garlic, carrot and herb medley together until thoroughly combined.

5. If applicable, drain and wash any tinned beans in a colander. Transfer into the food processor. Tip: If you have a smaller machine, complete this step in two batches (as we did). Add half or all of the tahini, rapeseed oil, and lemon juice (depending on if you have added all of the beans and chickpeas or not). Pulse for 1 minute or until almost smooth (like a really thick houmous); the mixture will still be a little ‘tacky’. Tip: You might have to stop and push the mixture down into the base of the container as you process it. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl. Repeat this step until all of the beans and chickpeas have been processed. Tip: Alternatively mash the beans and chickpeas in a separate bowl with a large fork or potato masher.

6. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375F. Line two baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper and lightly spray it with some low-fat frying oil. Tip: If you are halving the ingredients, only one tray is required. 

7. To the mixing bowl add: 8g ground cumin, 8g ground coriander, 1 tsp dried mint, 40g flour, 1½ tsp salt and a few grind grinds of black pepper. Mix with a silicone spatula or large spoon until thoroughly combined. Fluff the grains of cooked quinoa with fork. Add the quinoa into the mixing bowl. Mix and fold into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary.

8. Gather a little of the mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a small ball; about the size of a ‘ping-pong ball’. Transfer it onto the baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: If the mixture is a little too tacky, lightly flour your hands with a little flour first. Lightly spray the ‘falafel balls’ with some low-fat oil. Using the back of a large spoon or silicone spatula, gently press down on them form small ‘falafel patties’.

9. Place the tray(s) onto the middle oven shelf (and if necessary, the lower oven shelf). Bake for 15 mins. Remove the tray(s). Increase the oven temperature to 200ºC/400ºF. Turn over the falafels. Spray with a little low-fat oil. Return the tray(s) to the oven; swap the tray positions if necessary. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until slightly firm and golden. Remove. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins on the tray(s) before transferring them onto the cooling rack and/or serving. Tip: This will allow them to firm and set further (without drying out like they would in the oven!). 

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover falafels in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost and consume within 1 month. 

 

Baked Harissa Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2-4
Prep: 35 mins + overnight (8-12hrs)
Cooking: 30-35 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), small frying pan, frying spatula, small bowl, rolling pin or large spoon, sharp knife, fork, large measuring jug, kitchen paper, large bowl, kitchen film, baking tray, parchment paper

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving (based on 4) contains a low quantity of added sugar*, saltand saturated fats*. *Depending upon the variety and quantity of paste (or preserve) or the quantity of oil, maple syrup and/or added salt used.

As we approach salad and tasty sandwich (aka picnic) season (although this still seems like a million miles away!), it’s still a good idea to have some new and tasty ideas up our sleeves; such as a new flavour of tofu to throw into the mix! 

Feeling inspired by our latest use of Middle Eastern, N. African and African flavours, we decided to make some baked harissa tofu! We created a marinade by trying to complement the existing ingredients/flavours in our brand of harissa paste. Feel free to do the same by using our ingredient list as a guide or just show some tofu love by giving our tasty recipe a try! The initial prep takes no time at all and the rest of the tofu magic is finished while you sleep or are away at work!

As always, tofu is a small labour of love. We cannot vouch for how the tofu will taste if you only marinade it for a short period of time (as we haven’t done this ourselves), but with all our other types of marinated tofu, a minimum of 4-6 hrs usually produces the best flavours; if possible, 8-12hrs is even is always recommended! 

A few other good things to note include:

  • Depending on what you are using your tofu for, chop it to your desired size before marinating. Tip: Larger and wider pieces could make a tasty layer in a sandwich! If you are making tofu ‘cubes’ and want them crunchier (because maybe you are using them in a soup or salad), try baking them for an additional 5 mins or so. NB: we baked our tofu in a fan-assisted oven. 
  • The harrisa tofu tastes delicious, but feel free to use more of the paste in the marinade (if you can afford to do so). Alternatively you could amp up the flavour by giving it a spicy kick! We might try this next time by adding a ‘hot paprika’ or a hot chilli powder into the marinade.
  • If you do not have preserved lemon, add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice and an extra pinch of salt instead.
  • We were not aware that there are actually two types of cumin seeds (white and dark)! It just goes to show how much we actually paid attention to them because coincidently, we had both types in our cupboard. The ‘white’ seeds aren’t really white, just a lot lighter than the darker ones; feel free to use whatever you have.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++1                       Block firm tofu (=1 tetrapak)
+++++++++++½ tsp               White cumin Seeds
+++++++++++¼ tsp               Caraway Seeds
+++++++++++6 g                   Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++40g                  Spring Onion (2 large)
+++++++++++2½ tbsp           Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++30g                  Harissa paste
+++++++++++10g                   Preserved lemon paste
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Lemon juice
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Maple syrup
+++++++++++2 tbsp              Balsamic vinegar
+++++++++++½ tsp                Mild paprika
+++++++++++½ tsp                Ground ginger
+++++++++++1/8-1/2 tsp      Mild or hot chilli Powder
+++++++++++                         Pinch of salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Drain the tofu. Place and press it between two heavy chopping boards or weighted plates to express any excess water. Leave for 30 mins. Tip: You can also line the bottom board or plate with some kitchen paper to help absorb the excess liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and ¼ tsp caraway seeds. Dry fry until lighted toasted. Tip: They will become lightly golden, fragrant and some might even start popping as they are toasted. Transfer them into a small bowl. Grind them with the flat end of a rolling pin or the back of a large spoon until a coarse powder is achieved. Tip: If you own a pestle and mortar, use this instead! 

3. Peel, slice and then crush the garlic with the back of a fork. Tip: If you have a garlic press, use this instead! Wash, trim the ends and then finely slice and chop the spring onion.

4. Prepare the marinade. Place 2½ tbsp rapeseed oil, 30g harissa paste, 10g preserved lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp mild paprika, ½ tsp ground ginger, 1/8-1/2 tsp chilli powder (if using) and the ground cumin and caraway seed mixture into a large measuring jug. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary. Add the garlic and spring onion. Whisk to combine.

5. Drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Place in onto the chopping board and chop into ½-¾ inch cubes or whatever size pieces you prefer. Gently transfer the tofu into a large bowl or baking dish. Pour over the marinade. Gently stir and toss the tofu in the marinade until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Cover the bowl (or dish) with a piece of kitchen film and refrigerate the tofu overnight (or as long as possible).

6. Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the tofu from the fridge and give it a good stir. Transfer it onto the tray in a single layer. Pour any remaining marinade over the tofu. When the oven is ready, place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 16mins. Remove, turn the pieces over. Place the tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 15-16mins. Remove and allow to cool.

7. Serve over a vegetable and grain-based salad, as a soup topper (aka tofu croutons!), in a wrap, or over a savoury rice or couscous dish.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover tofu in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 4-6wks. 

 


Meatless Monday: One Pot Curried Mushroom, Leek, Smoked Tofu & Rice Dish [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, large bowl, colander, non-stick/large frying pan with lid, frying spatula

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, fat and contains a moderate quantity of salt*. (*Dependent upon type and quantity of stock and/or tofu used).

One pot wonders (well, technically we’ve used a pan in this recipe!) are great for when you are short on time, don’t have a lot left in the cupboards and/or don’t fancy cleaning up a lot of dishes. Don’t get us wrong, cooking great meals doesn’t always revolve around one pot or even completing a meal in under twenty five minutes, in fact when we meal prep we probably use a good few items and of course the process is much longer. However, it helps to have a break every now and then. So this is a no thrills (particularly because it’s mostly beige looking!), one pan, let’s get down to it dinner! It’s quick, simple, tasty and easily feeds four people!

With the use of your favourite curry spice, hearty brown rice, delicious leek, some meaty chestnut mushrooms, marinated tofu, tender peas and a bunch of spinach for some extra colour and added nutritional value, [pause here to catch your breath!] you’ll have a great, little, no nonsense dish in no time at all!

We’ve never tried the standard smoked tofu found in mainstream UK supermarkets, but decided to give it a try; having pre-marinated and chopped tofu will always save you about twenty to thirty minutes meal prep. We are not reviewing it, however are thoughts are going to sound to the contrary (oh well!); it was OK, but there was quite a bit of salt in it, it’s slightly overpriced for the quantity, but it does seem to absorb the flavours you are cooking with. We won’t be buying it again anytime soon but it was a tasty experiment. Another great way to save time and money would be to substitute the pre-marinated tofu for tinned beans.

A few other good things to notes include:

  • We have instructed our own personal way of cleaning and preparing leek; we think it’s quicker to soak it than to scrub all of the layers. However, as everyone has they own way of doing things, so please feel free to wash the leek using your preferred method! 
  • As far as seasonality goes, leeks and mushrooms are in season but fresh spinach and peas are not! If preferred, you can stick to using frozen peas and spinach; just dice the frozen spinach cubes into small pieces and add it to the dish the same time as the peas.
  • You might have to adjust the cooking time of your tofu, depending on your brand/type. Alternatively if you do not want to use tofu, you could always swap it for come cooked chickpeas or beans.
  • Unfortunately we didn’t have any cashews or almonds on hand, but think that some toasted (and crushed) cashews or almonds would make a tasty addition; it would give the dish a little added crunch and texture that some of you might prefer. 
  • We think that fresh ginger and a bell pepper would also compliment this dish, so we have added them to the list of ingredients. 
  • As we used a mild curry powder, the dish was just that. We might try using a spicier curry paste next time, another brand of curry powder, or even try adding a whole serrano chilli or some chilli flakes to the dish to give just a little extra heat. However, if you are using a hot curry powder- you might want to use less of it. It all depends on your curry spice mix and how much you generally like using; some have overpowering components but ours was mild (with no added salt) so we were quite generous with it. 
  • With this type of dish, unless you a ‘starchier’ rice such as arborio or carnaroli, it can be a little dry. This dish is similar to ‘kedgeree’ (which can also be dry) unless you add some cream, butter or a fair bit of oil. This can be another delicious reason to garnish it with juicy tomatoes, avocado or your own homemade, creamy coriander and cashew ‘blender’ dressing; something simple using: soaked cashews, coriander, lemon juice, salt pepper and a little garlic all blitzed in your blender!
  • If you are using a type of rice that finishes cooking off the heat, then you might be better of steaming your spinach separately or adding it straight into the pan once your rice has finished steaming; as no one likes needs or appreciates undercooked rice!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients
200g        Leek
6-8g        Garlic clove
60g          Brown Onion
1 tbsp       Grated ginger root (*optional)
200g       Green bell pepper (*optional)
250g        Chestnut mushrooms
15ml         Rapeseed oil
160g         Smoked tofu
10-12g      Mild curry powder or paste
++                Salt + ground black pepper
250g           Brown basmati rice
110g             Frozen Peas
600ml        Vegetable stock (low-salt)
16-20g        Fresh coriander
140g            Baby spinach
++++            Toasted/unsalted cashews
++++            or almonds, crushed
*NB: If your curry paste has a lot of ginger, omit fresh variety.

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Trim the ends off the leek; slice it vertically into two halves and then horizontally into thin slices. Place all of the chopped leek into a large bowl; fill with cold water, swish it around (separating the layers) and then leave it to soak. Peel and mince the garlic. Peal and finely chop the onion. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Gently wash and clean the mushrooms; slice them into quarters. If applicable, chop the tofu into bite-size pieces/cubes (ours was pre-chopped).

2. Drain the chopped leek into a colander. Thoroughly rinse under running cold water to remove any remaining dirt. Leave to drain.

3. Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or use a little low-fat cooking oil instead) in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion and ginger. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the leek, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cover with a lid and gently fry for 3 mins; stirring occasionally. Add the tofu. Gently fry for 4 mins. Add 10-12g curry powder or paste. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Stir to coat. Gently fry for a further 30 secs or until fragrant. Add the rice. Stir to coat. Add the peas. Pour in 600ml vegetable stock. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 20-25mins or until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is cooked. Tip: If you are using a different type of rice, your cooking time might vary. 

4. In the meantime, wash the coriander; remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. If applicable, place the spinach into a colander and rinse it under cold running water. Allow to drain.

5. Remove the pan from the heat when it has finished cooking. Place the spinach on top of the rice. Cover with the lid. Allow the spinach to wilt over the rice (this will take about 5-6 mins. Tip: Alternatively steam the spinach in a steamer pot or wilt the spinach in a colander with some freshly boiled water; add it to the dish when it has finished cooking, or serve your rice over a layer of raw spinach!

6. Remove the cover. Add the coriander. Stir the spinach and coriander through the rice. Serve in a large serving bowl. Garnish with some additional coriander, sliced salad tomato and/or some toasted nuts if preferred.

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover rice in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze the rice in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months. NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once.

Enjoy!



Lemon & Tahini Sauce w/Yoghurt [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 200ml
Serves: 6
Prep & Assembly: ≤5mins
Type: Sauce, Dip, Dressing
Tools: Measuring jug, fork or large spoon, silicone spatula, air-tight jar

Notes: This recipe contains*: B-Vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid/B5), Vitamins C & D, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and sat fats. (*Dependent upon the type and quantity of yoghurt , preserved lemon paste and/or tahini used.) 

We are always looking for fun ways to incorporate more calcium into our diet. Healthy dips and sauces are on the top of our list, especially as we transition into spring and summer and particularly when we can add some unsweetened and natural yoghurt into the mix! Our ‘yoghurt-y’ sauces have worked out so far well; more recently with our avocado cream and previously with our M. Eastern tahini sauce , peanut satay sauce, red kidney bean and lentil dip, broad bean and spinach dip and our butter bean and red pepper dip

As we are always meal planning, we try to incorporate additions (aka homemade sauces and/or dips) that we can use in more meals than none and with the use of of some preserved lemon paste in a M.Eastern stew recently, it got us thinking that we wanted more, delicious lemony foods. This (lemony) sauce is delicious and will definitely come in handy during the next six to seven months! Plenty of salads and bowls or the addition of vegan burgers or bites come to mind! 

This new sauce only has three ingredients and takes less than five minutes to make… hmmm, is that even a recipe?!  o_O We’ve called this ‘recipe’ lemon and tahini sauce, but it could equally be tahini and lemon instead; just use more tahini than lemon and presto; two new sauces for the price of one! 😀

A few other good things to note include:

  • If you do not have any preserved lemon paste, try adding a pinch of salt and some fresh lemon juice and/or lemon zest (to taste) instead.
  • It might be great with the addition of fresh herbs too; try a little mint, coriander or parsley! 
  • We made this sauce a day in advance; the next day the lemon flavour was a bit more concentrated (not gross, just more lemony than what we had originally preferred). If you want a more subtle taste, use it on the day of preparation or reduce the quantity of preserve; adding more the next day if necessary. 
  • If you put it in a sterilised and air-tight jar, if will keep for about 4-5 days, but it will only really stay as fresh as the yoghurt you use in it. NB: Our soya yoghurt was brand new!
  • Annoyingly when we went shopping for natural soya yoghurt, the unsweetened brand was sold out. We would definitely prefer to make this with unsweetened yoghurt (take a hint Alpro!), as the overall flavour works better in savoury dishes. The sweetened version is tasty (don’t get us wrong), but because it was extra lemony, it tasted ‘almost dessert like’ (especially if you serve it with fruit), so really it just isn’t as versatile. But hey, try them both and see what you prefer!

We that hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend everyone!  🙂

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++165g      Natural soya yoghurt (unsweetened & fortified) (*about 2/3cup)
++++++++22g        Preserved lemon paste
++++++++20g       Tahini paste

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here.:)

 

Directions

1. Place the yoghurt, preserved lemon and tahini into a large measuring jug or bowl.

2. Mix with a fork or large smooth until thoroughly combined and uniform in colour. Taste and adjust the flavourings as necessary.

3. Use a silicone spatula and transfer the sauce into a sterilised and air-tight jar. Refrigerate and consume within 4-5 days.

Try serving this sauce with: salads, bowls, tasty wraps or pitta bread sandwiches, sweet potato wedges, with rice dishes, plant-based burgers, falafels, or with some tasty veggie or fruit crudities!

Enjoy!

 

Baked Mini Tofu, Quinoa & Veggie Frittatas (& Parsnip Chips!)

Healthy Recipes

Our yummy baked tofu frittatas; originally posted last September! We’ve now updated the recipe and improved the format (inclusive of an easy-print recipe!). Enjoy! 🙂

Eat2Health Blog

Serves: 4-6
Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas
Prep: 30-35 mins
Cooking: 25-30 mins (*in a fan-assisted oven)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Sieve, small pot + lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, frying pan, frying spatula, silicone spatula, food processor, muffin tin, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats.

This is a recipe we developed earlier this year… but we’re glad to finally have the chance to share it with everyone!  🙂

Who says you need eggs to make a frittata or even an omelette?! Not in the Eat2Health kitchen! If you’ve got tofu, some shredded veggies, DF milk and grains, then you have the starting point to any great vegan frittata. Adapt the seasonings, vegetables and/or grains to suit your own needs and taste. You…

View original post 1,091 more words

African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut and Tomato Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: ≤30mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, grater, non-stick pot(large) w/lid, wooden spoon, ladle

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar and salt and contains a moderate quantity of saturated fats!

Good news, the weather is just cool and miserable enough to enjoy a few more bowls of soup; well, there has to be a silver lining somewhere! This will probably be one of the last soups recipes we’ll be sharing with you this season, so we really hope that you enjoy it! 

Last year we saw many African peanut-based soups pass us by and well, they all looked tasty, but you don’t have to ask us twice; we have an ongoing love affair with peanut butter so this soup was a ‘must make’! However, traditional African peanut-based soups tend to be high fats due to the addition of lots of peanut butter (we saw 1-2 cups at an extreme, but even we have our limits!), whole nuts, oil, coconut milk and/or dark poultry meats.

Well, you know us, we went and created a healthier (and completely plant-based) version that is packed full of nutrients and flavour! We ummed and ahhed about what we would prefer and chose some of our favourite pulses and veggies (although they may not be entirely authentic), and various aspects and flavours from other recipes that we would enjoy. For instance, we loved the idea of using an Ethiopian spice mix, a Berbere mix, because it contained so many flavours that we love; we used fresh garlic, chilli and ginger and gathered the rest from our spice cupboard! We kept the peanut butter and added nuts to a minimum, but there is still get a rich and earthy flavour from it in the soup. 

If you’ve never made this soup before, we recommend not tasting it until the peanut butter is added right at the end. The combination of sweet potato, peanut butter, tomato and spices does sound strange, yes, but we think the flavour doesn’t really come together until right at the end. Sometimes all it takes is one ingredient to bring a dish together and this time peanut butter comes to the rescue! 

We’ve had this soup a few times now and overall we think that it’s comforting and homely, creamy and spicy, healthful and easy to make; oh and peanut butter lovers and heat seekers can now rejoice! 😀

A few other good things to note:

  • If you are halving the serving size, the prep will probably only take you about 10 mins!
  • If you would prefer a little more texture, you can try swapping the red lentils for brown (although do not cook them in the soup, cook them separately first) or even try serving it over some cooked brown basmati rice or pearl barley. Alternatively, try using a crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth!
  • If you love spicy flavours or heat in your dish (like us), then buy all means add a little more ginger or chilli! However, we do not recommend omitting the ginger and chilli entirely; otherwise this soup will probably taste quite bland and weird!
  • If you don’t want to use spinach, you can use more traditional greens in your soup such as spring/collard greens or kale.
  • If you can’t get a hold of banana shallots, just use some brown onions instead.
  • Our bowl of soup does not look that sexy; it would take too many crushed nuts (aka additional calories!) to make it worth our while. 
  • Based on six servings, one serving provides you with about 4.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients
30g             Garlic clove
260g           Banana shallot
20g             Green chilli
50g             Root ginger
200g           Red bell pepper
200g           Carrot
1kg               Sweet potatoes
+++              Low-fat oil spray
*Berbere spice mix: 1 tbsp fenugreek     leaves, 6g ground coriander, 1g ground cloves, ¼ tsp red chilli flakes, 1/8 tsp ajwain seeds, dash of salt and black pepper
130g            Dried red spilt lentils
400g           Tin plum tomatoes
1.5L              Veggie Stock (low-salt)
100-110g     Natural peanut butter
20g              Creamed coconut
20g              Fresh coriander leaf
120-160g     Baby spinach
+++               Fresh chives (*optional)
+++               Blanched peanuts                                        (10g/person/*optional)

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallot. Wash, remove the stem and then finely dice the chilli. Wash, peel and then grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½cm pieces. Wash, peel, trim the top and then quarter the carrot. Wash, peel and then chop the sweet potato into chunky pieces (we chopped ours into quarters).

2. Heat some low-fat oil spray in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion, chilli and ginger. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, carrot and sweet potato. Stir together. Cover with a lid and gently fry for 4 mins; stirring occasionally. Add the Berbere spice mix. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 30 secs or until fragrant. Add the lentils. Stir to coat. Add the tin tomatoes and pour in 1.5L vegetable stock. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to an almost boil. Cook and simmer for 10-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender and cooked.

3. In the meantime, wash the coriander, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Wash and roughly slice the spinach. Wash and finely slice some chives (if using). Roughly chop and/or crush some peanuts (if using) and dry-fry in a frying pan (if preferred).

4. Add the creamed coconut and peanut butter. Stir to combine and melt through the soup. Once melted, add the spinach and coriander (if preferred, save a little for a garnish later on). Stir through. Cover with the lid and allow it to wilt (about 1 minute). Stir through. Remove from the heat. Taste and season the soup as necessary.

5. Serve warm. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with any reserved coriander, chives and/or some crushed peanuts (if preferred).

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months. NB: When reheating, allow it to get hot but do not allow it to boil.

 

Meatless Monday: Baked Tofu Meatballs [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 24 ‘Meatballs’
Serves: 8
Prep: 35 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), small dish, fork, sharp knife, food processor, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, baking tray, silicone mat (or parchment paper)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega 3, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt* and sat fats*. (*Variable due to the brand of vegan cheese, puree and/or bread used.)

Yes, it’s more ‘meatballs’; but to be fair this is our third type of plant-based ‘meatball’! We actually made this variety last November- which is what got our cognitive gears in motion for our designing our baked tofu loaf. We love ‘meatballs’ and think they’re great for cosy family dinners, picnics or as a healthy snack!

These lovely ‘meatballs’ have about a half hour prep involved due to the nature of its main ingredient (sorry folks!). Tofu needs to pressed and its water expressed before it’s used. You might have a tofu gadget that will shorten this process by ten minutes, but it needs to be done. However, it’s worth the effort. We think they’re satisfying all round; moist, meaty and flavourful, with plenty of room for adapting them to your own personal spec. 

Some other good things to note include:

  • Yes they have vegan cream cheese (which isn’t something we would have a regular basis due to its saturated fat and salt content), but it works here. Paired with a healthy pasta sauce and pasta, this can be a balanced meal. Also, it might be interesting to try them with a DF garlic and herb cream cheese instead.
  • These meatballs are not dry and like a lot of freefrom ‘meatballs’, chunkier ingredients can stop them from sticking together properly. So if you are looking for a dish with more texture, serve them with a chunky tomato-based pasta sauce instead!
  • Perhaps with a little more bread or alternative grain, they can be adapted into small burgers.
  • Feel free to use fresh herbs (if you have them) as they always make a difference in the overall flavour of things! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++800g          Firm Tofu (=2 tetra paks )
++++++++++32g             Ground Flaxseed (about 4 tbsp)
++++++++++9 tbsp         DF Milk (or water)
++++++++++100g           Bread (GF if required)
++++++++++6g               Garlic clove (one fat one)
++++++++++130g            Spring onion (about 5)
++++++++++100g           Red bell pepper
++++++++++75g              Plain vegan cream cheese alternative
++++++++++4g                Dried Thyme
++++++++++6-8g           Dried Oregano
++++++++++¾-1 tsp       Salt
++++++++++                    Ground black pepper
++++++++++20g             Sun-dried tomato puree
++++++++++20g             Rice flour (or Plain GF Flour)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy (or weighted) chopping boards or plates for 30 mins.

2. In the meantime, prepare some ‘flax eggs’! Place 32g ground flaxseed into a small dish with 9 tbsp DF milk or water. Whisk with a fork to combine. Leave it to set.

3. Heat the bread in a toaster or under a medium-low grill until lightly brown and crispy. Place the toasted bread into a food processor. Process the toast until breadcrumbs are achieved. Tip: Alternatively you can make some breadcrumbs by placing the toasted bread into a sealed kitchen bag; crush and press it into crumbs with a rolling pin or a heavy tin. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper.

5. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the garlic. Wash, trim the tops and then roughly chop the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Whilst the food processor is running, drop the garlic down the pouring spout. Process until minced. Add the onion and bell pepper. Process until finely chopped. Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, just get out your ‘chefy-ist’ knife and show the vegetables who’s boss! Peel and mince the garlic and then finely chop and dice the spring onion and bell pepper (the smaller the pieces the better!). Transfer into the mixing bowl.

6. Drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Break it into smaller pieces and transfer them into the food processor. Process until it’s smooth-ish and completely broken down. Transfer into the mixing bowl. NB: Alternatively mash it in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher!

7. Add 75g vegan cream cheese, 4g dried thyme and 6-8g dried oregano, ¾ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper into the mixing bowl. Mix and thoroughly combine the ingredients. Taste and season it as necessary. Add the ‘flax eggs’, 20g sun-dried tomato puree and 10g of flour. Mix and thoroughly combine (we used a silicone spatula for this).

8. Shape the mixture into ‘golf ball-sized meatballs’. Tip: If the mixture is a little tacky, use the remaining flour to lightly dust your hands first. Place the ‘meatballs’ onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used (we made twenty-four!). If desired, spray the ‘meatballs’ with a little low-fat cooking oil.

9. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins; turning once halfway through. Tip: They will be slightly firm to the touch and lightly golden at the end of baking!

10. Serve on top of with your favourite pasta and sauce! We served ours on a bed of courgette and carrot ribbons, gluten free spaghetti and our homemade marinara!

Enjoy!

TipRefrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

 

Site Maintenance Update

Other

Hi everyone! We hope that you’ve all had a great week and have a wonderful weekend lined up! 🙂

This is another quick post. As you know we have been doing some site maintenance lately (it’s still ongoing!) and today we have been updating some posts.

If you plan on using a recipe from the last five or six months, just check back with our recipes index first. We’ve made some small/updated tweaks with some of our recipes; all updated recipes have been labelled as such. Sorry for any inconveniences this might cause.

Have a great weekend everyone!

All the best ,

Lynn & Alex 🙂

Feature image: Wix.com

Ingredient Conversions: Grams vs. Standard Kitchen Measurements

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

We all have our own ways of doing things in the kitchen and for some it means abandoning traditional measurements and judging food quantities by eye. This can be a great skill to have and we occasionally cook for ourselves in this fashion. However, when you’re trying to develop a recipe for others, need to work our nutritional requirements and/or are still new to cooking, it’s a better idea to stick to recognised measurements. So for the rest of us, the use of standard kitchen measurements become an everyday occurrence by utilising our trusty scales, measuring spoons and/or cups!

Although we do try to keep things as simple as possible, everyone can still use various sizes of spoons and/or measuring cups and/or fill their measuring cups and spoons in different ways. There is also the fact that our American friends use slightly smaller measuring cups than us! However, these differences are so small that in general cooking it might not be too detrimental to the recipe, but may need to be adjusted in baking. So as you can see, things really are not black and white, especially in the kitchen. 😛

So with that in mind, we have created these tables that represent some average and approximate measurements and ingredient conversions; you’ll see some typical items we have previously used and some that we have not.

One thing to mention is that we always measure our dried herbs and spices with a kitchen scale and for that reason we have not included a conversion table here; sometimes our measurements work out greater than a standard measurement. E.g. our kitchen measurement can be slightly greater (+0.5 to 2g in some cases) than a standard teaspoon measurement.

However we will leave you with this tip on measuring dried spices and herbs instead!

Tip: Struggle measuring dried spices and herbs?! If your spoon will not fit into the mouth of your jar (yes, annoying)…why not try pouring some dried herbs (or spices) into a small bowl and then measuring it with your spoon! Transfer the remaining dried herbs (or spices) back into the jar with a plastic or impromptu paper funnel. Alternatively, just tip our what you need onto your kitchen scale and measure it in this fashion instead!  Also, to measure ‘level’ spoonfuls, top off the spoon using the flat edge of a knife! NB: Heaping means your spoon is slightly overflowing.

Although these tables are still ‘guides’, we hope that they will help you navigate through ours and other people’s recipes with ease.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Tip: When measuring anything sticky or ‘googy’, try spraying your measuring spoon and/or cup with a little cooking oil spray first. This will help your ingredients slip right out and cut down on the number of sticky fingers!
Also, when measuring seasoning (and particularly salt), do it over a plate, never over your mixing bowl or pot of food- just in case your measuring spoon overflows! The addition of 15g of salt to any meal would be a disaster!
Tip: Unless you have a modern measuring cup that gages measurements from the top, place your measuring cup onto a flat surface to help get an accurate measurement of your liquids. 

 

Sources:
FSA Food Portion Sizes: Third Edition©2002
McCance and Widdowson’s ‘The Composition of Foods’. 5th Edition B Holland, A A Welch, I D Unwin, D H Buss, A A Paul and D A T Southgate. The Royal Society of Chemistry, 1991
USDA: Nutrient Database
Our kitchen scale!
Feature image: Measuring Spoons By: Rachel_Flickr

Food Conversions & Cooking Times: Grains, Legumes & Pulses

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

We’ve always encouraged everyone to cook their own grains, legumes and pulses when and where they can. Firstly, because freshly cooked food always tastes great, secondly because (hopefully) you will save some money over time and thirdly, because it’s basic and easy cooking skills that everyone can and should develop.

Avid home cooks will develop their own tried and true methods of how to cook the perfect rice and other grains (us included), but it takes practice. Don’t let this discourage you because remember, everyone had the same starting point; typically quick advice from some family and friends!

You can use the cooking instructions from packets, but even those are variable and sometimes undesirable. However, until we can develop our own cooking styles and things become second nature, it’s best to have some sort of guide.

Many years ago (after thoroughly soaking some chickpeas) we tried cooking them for the first time. Thirty-five minutes later and those things were still rock hard! We thought “what the heck is going on?!” Little did we know at the time that these legumes actually needed well over an hour to cook! We just assumed that since most beans take about 45-60mins that these would too. Cooking 101: if you are new to cooking (or a new food item), always double check the basics before getting started and don’t assume anything. It’s better to get the basics down and then you can wing it… particularly if you don’t want to waste money or are trying to make the most of your time; standing next to a pot for 1-2 hrs can be a big ‘ask’!

Last year we mentioned of how to cook chickpeas in a slow cooker; now it’s our preferred method to cook our legumes! What a time saver. Like us, not everyone uses traditional methods to cook their beans (legumes or grains); for some, the use of a pressure cooker will significantly reduce their cooking times. However, not everyone uses (or has) kitchen gadgets, so it’s always great to know how to go back to basics; which is exactly why we have created this table. It includes a variety of grains, legumes and pulses (although not exhaustive) with a comparison of dried verses cooked weights and approx. cooking times; this is particularly helpful if you come across a new food item with no idea of how to cook it (as mentioned above)!

 

Tips & Info
  • Our table tries to look at the average cooking weights by standard cooking preparation (on your stove top!); some of them are averages and some of them are estimates. However, as you can appreciate, cooking beans etc. is not a perfect system. Cooked weights of grains, legumes and pulses can vary due to a number of reasons including:

-over soaking.
-soaking beans in too little water.
-over cooking pasta or cooking it to an al dente texture.
-cooking grains in too much water.

  • When we cook our own dried pulses and legumes, we always weigh them afterwards and give an approx. equivalent for using a tinned variety.
  • Cooking times shown here are not indicative of quantities used.
  • This table does not include complete cooking instructions, e.g. if the cooking time includes steaming off the heat, tempering grains in oil, under cooking (if you’re entering your pasta straight into a sauce) and/or rinsing the grains/beans/pulses before or after cooking etc.
  • Overnight soaking typical means a time span of 8-12 hours.

Hopefully this table will give everyone (who needs it) a rough idea and a head start of how to cook grains, legumes and pulses; with any luck it will also help to organise your meal planning and prep… so you’ll have more fresh and deliciously cooked meals as a result!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Sources:
-McCance and Widdowson’s ‘The Composition of Foods’. 5th Edition B Holland, A A Welch, I D Unwin, D H Buss, A A Paul and D A T Southgate. The Royal Society of Chemistry, 1991
-Feature Image: Play with your food By: Sacha Pop-Farrell_Flickr

Quick Kitchen Conversions: Temperature, Weight & Volume

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

If you’re professional chef, you might have stumbled upon the wrong page… or then maybe not! Spoiler: whether you are a visitor or part of the Eat2Health community, this section is short and sweet (but extremely dry) and not applicable to everyone!

We don’t know about you, but there have been occasions (more so when we were new to cooking!), where we would be endlessly searching for conversions. Whether it was for oven temperatures, or deciphering between weight and volume, particularly when navigating through some old school American recipes!

We think that with so many home cooks on the rise (us included), sometimes all you need to do is go back to basics as not everyone uses metric, nor is everyone a human calculator, or perhaps familiar with the fact that dry and liquid measurements are not like for like.

So whatever category you might find yourself in (experienced or not), we are all fallible to: memory lapses (haha, yep), not writing everything down (particularly recipe names and/or quantities), losing our paperwork or scrapes of paper that we’ve scribbled our notes on (haha-guilty!).

Our recipes tend to give conversions (particularly for oven temperatures), but we are not religious about weight and/or volume. In the aid to try to make our recipes, your cooking experiences (and our blog!) as user and kitchen friendly as possible, we are providing you with three simple and standard kitchen conversions for temperature, weight and volume.

We hope that this section will give everyone (who needs it) access to quick kitchen conversions that are just two clicks away! 🙂

 

Oven Temperature Conversions

Unless you want to do some quick maths to do convert Fahrenheit to Celsius or vice versa (and even then it’s not a perfect conversion!), here’s an approximate conversion chart between electric, fan-assisted ovens and gas marks.

 

Dry/Weight Conversions

NB: OZ measurements rounded to nearest whole number

 

Volume Conversions

NB: OZ measurements rounded to the nearest whole number.

 

Key Measurements & Tips:
  • Tsp= teaspoon/ 1 tsp =5ml
  • Tbsp= tablespoon/ 1 tbsp =15ml
  • 3 tsp = 1 tbsp
  • 250ml = 1 cup
  • 1Litre (L)= 1000ml (4 cups)
  • 1 Quart(US)= 946ml
  • A measuring cup is not the same as a ‘drinking cup’.
  • Standard measuring spoons are not the same as teaspoons and tablespoons that you eat with; they can actually make a significant difference when measuring leavening agents, spices etc. as their measurements can vary from 1-4g (depending on how full your spoon is!)
  • A liquid measuring cup is not the same as a dry measuring cup. A liquid measuring cup has a spout and handle with markings (measurements down the side). Dry measuring cups are smaller, designed to only hold a specific quantity and to be levelled with a flat edge. Try not to mix them up; dry ingredients tend to vary in weight and are not necessarily like to like with liquid measurements.
  • A basic set of measuring spoons comes with five spoons: 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp. Although some sets have: 1/4 tsp, 1/3tsp, 1/2tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tbsp and 1 tbsp or other combinations instead.

 

Feature image:  Bring the heat By: Valeriee*_Flickr

Meatless Monday: Almost! Moussaka Bake W/Lentils [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking Time: (50 mins for the components + 30 mins in the oven)
Total Time: 1h 30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, large baking tray, aluminium foil, chopping board, sharp knife, 2*non-stick pots (w/lids), colander, fork, whisk, wooden spoon, measuring jug, large casserole dish, serving spoon, cooling block (or rack)

Notes

We haven’t been to Greece (yet!), but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy some of their fantastic flavours and cuisine all in the comfort of our own home. In fact, we have been doing just that! Greek food is just one of many cuisines that we have been attempting to ‘veganise’ over the last year; you might remember our Almost! Dolma, Vegan Koftes, a fusion salad containing ‘crumbled feta‘ or our aubergine dip?! Well now we’ve finally gone and made our take on a vegan moussaka, an ‘almost! moussaka bake with lentils’!  😀

Our Almost! Moussaka bake integrates some traditional ingredients with some that are less-so because as you know, we love veggies!  In fact one serving (based on six servings)of this healthful and veganised moussaka provides you with about 6-7 servings of veggies towards your 5-A-Day! It’s fibre-licious! However, moussaka isn’t typically known for its veggies, but its rich meaty sauce and great flavours! So to help keep an authentic taste, this dish also uses:

-A Greek-style ragu that incorporates traditional moussaka seasonings, extra veggies and some lentils for a little added texture, protein and faux ‘meatiness’.  

-Some small baby potatoes instead of standard/floury baking potatoes; which contains a lower G.I index than the latter.

– An adapted white herby sauce. We added some nutritional yeast and fewer herbs to form a vegan and gluten free friendly ‘cheezy’ béchamel sauce.

Some other good things to note include:

  • Although we would normally recommend using dried pulses and legumes (at least where and when you can), this time you might want to take a short cut. We’ve used some dried lentils, but feel free to use a cooked and packaged or a tinned variety instead to save some time (it won’t affect the recipe)! 
  • You can always use slightly more aubergine (eggplant), perhaps 100-200g more, if you desire or can fit it into your budget! Also, make sure to properly season it before adding it into the moussaka (otherwise it might taste a bit bitter).
  • We recommend that you thoroughly cook the potatoes before adding them into the moussaka because otherwise it will take a lot longer to cook; about 45-60mins.
  • If your béchamel sauce is left sitting around (especially without a lid) it will start to form a skin and slightly congeal. However, you can always add a little more milk to help loosen and relax it; just whisk the milk through until the sauce is smooth and fluid. 
  • If you are using frozen spinach, make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted, drained and then roughly chopped before adding it into the Greek-style ragu; otherwise it won’t integrate into the sauce properly and/or make it a bit watery. 
  • We used quite a large casserole dish (a new one!). If yours is quite a bit smaller, you might need to reduce the ingredients (well, at least the ragu) by a third. 
  • Nutritional yeast is one of the few products we occasionally use that you can’t easily purchase in shops (sorry folks). If you do not have any or would prefer not to use it, you can try using some dairy free cheese as a substitute. We are guesstimating that 10-20 grams of grated DF hard or cream cheese (melted into the béchamel sauce) will suffice. However, DF cheese will also help to thicken’ sauces, so you might need to use a little extra milk to balance things out. Alternatively, you can always use a plain DF béchamel sauce or adapt it as preferred; perhaps with garlic and mustard powder, paprika and lemon for an alternative ‘cheezy’ taste!
  • Although this dish may look ‘heavy’ (it’s not), it’s just very deceiving! One portion, even accompanied with a light green salad or some green beans is just about right.
  • Feel free to move through this recipe at your own speed. E.g. if you have finished chopping the aubergine, but the oven isn’t up to temperature yet, just move on to the next step. You don’t have to necessarily wait (unless you want to) to move on to the next step(s).
  • Although this meal is slightly time consuming, it does last for more than one meal (unless you are actually serving six people)! However, it tastes great and hopefully you can appreciate that it has five different components to prepare (but don’t let this scare you, nothing is overcomplicated here)!
  • This may not be a typical mid-week meal that you can quickly whip up, it is one that you can cook when you have more time and/or as part of your weekend meal prep. The dish tastes great for 3-4 days; so try baking it over the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week! 

We hope that you enjoy it and happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. If applicable, cook your lentils. Place the lentils into a sieve. Remove any stones and/or seeds. Rinse under running water. Cook according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse. Tip: Ours took about 15mins (they were tender, but not mushy!)

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with some kitchen foil. Spray the foil with some low-fat cooking oil.

3. Prepare the aubergine. Wash the aubergine(s); trim off the top(s) and then slice it (width-wise) into ½ cm slices. Tip: if preferred (and depending on the size of your casserole dish), slice the aubergine lengthwise. Place the aubergine slices onto the tray in a single layer. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Thoroughly season it to taste; sprinkle and season it with a little salt, dried oregano and a few grinds of black pepper. When the oven is hot, place the tray onto the upper oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins, turning halfway through. Tip: Once turned, respray with oil and add a little more seasoning. Remove and leave on the tray until ready to use.

 

4. In the meantime, cook the potatoes. Wash the potatoes. Place them into a pot covered with some cold water. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 8-10 mins or until just cooked (but not falling apart). Drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water and then allow to cool.

 

5. Meanwhile, prepare the Greek-style ragu with lentils. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel, roughly chop and then mince the garlic with the back of a fork. Tip: If you have a garlic press, use this handy gadget instead! Wash, remove the stem and core then chop the bell pepper into ½cm -1cm pieces.

 

Spray a large, non-stick pot it with some low-fat cooking oil and place it over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Gently fry for 2-3 mins or until softened. Add the Greek-inspired spice blend and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the tin tomatoes, cooked lentils and 115g tomato puree. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Cook and simmer for 20 mins. Add your spinach during the last 5 minutes, allowing it to wilt. Tip: If you’re using fresh spinach, just throw it into the pot and stir it through once the sauce has finished cooking.  Remove from the heat. Stir through ½-1 tbsp (10-20g) of agave. Recover with the lid and leave for the moment.

 

 

6. Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes. Transfer the cooked potatoes onto a chopping board. Gently slice them (lengthways) into ¼- ½ cm slices. Leave for the moment.

 

7. Prepare the ‘cheezy béchamel sauce’. Pour the 550ml DF milk into a large measuring jug. Place 40g  DF margarine into a non-stick pot and place it over a medium-low heat. Tip: Save on dishes! Give your ‘lentil pot’ a quick wipe and use this to cook your sauce! When the margarine it melts, add 40g flour. Whisk until thoroughly combined and for about a further 20-30 seconds to help remove the floury taste. Whilst whisking, gradually pour in the milk. Keep whisking to help dissolve all of the flour. Add 1- 1¼ tsp oregano, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Keep whisking until the sauce just thickens. Remove from the heat. Tip: If the mixture is too thick, just whisk through a little more milk. Add 6g nutritional yeast or your vegan cheese. Stir through to combine (or if applicable) to melt the ‘cheese’. Leave covered until you are ready to use.

 

8. Assemble the moussaka! Tip: Depending on the size of your casserole dish, you can always free-style this type; if you would prefer to start with a potato layer, make sure to grease the dish first! Scoop about 2.5 cups of the Greek-style ragu evenly into the base of the casserole dish. Place a single layer of potatoes (do not overlap). Pour over ¼ cup of the cheezy-béchamel sauce. Roughly spread it with the back of a large spoon or spatula. Place a layer (or a few pieces) of aubergine. Tip: We used the minimum amount of aubergine, hence why we only placed a few pieces over the mixture at this point. Scoop a further 2.5 cups of the ragu, spreading evenly. Place a final, single layer of potatoes. Pour and spread over the remaining ragu. Place a final layer of aubergine. Pour and evenly spread over the remaining cheezy-béchamel sauce.

 

9. Place the dish onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 25-30 mins or until the surface is lightly tanned and the edges are bubbling. Tip: Allow it to cool and set for 5-10 mins (if you have the time) as this will allow for easier serving. Top it with some nutritional yeast, ground black pepper and some chopped chives (if desired) before serving!

Enjoy!

Tip: Cover and refrigerate any leftovers; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze in air-tight and resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months. 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Inspired Sushi

Healthy Recipes

This vegan sushi looks delicious! We’ve made some before, but we’ll definitely be giving this version a try at some point. Yep, sushi making definitely does not get any easier than this! Thanks for sharing guys. 🙂

Pear & Pretzel

Vegan sushi lovers can exist too! This is a start of a beautiful thing people. We were led to believe that uninspired avocado and boring carrot rolls were all sushi had to offer to vegans, but with a change in perspective and a little creativity we came to realize we were so so soooooo wrong. Looking at sushi through a vegan eye opened the door to a billion and one new possibilities. Let’s fall in love with sushi now… the right way!

inspiredsushi_1

Our Recipes:

This is our favorite, most eye catching version of sushi we have created, but it is also the most labor intensive of the bunch. DO NOT let this discourage you from trying sushi at home because trust us you basically can’t go wrong. We’ve made rolls dozens of ways so use this as a base and be bold with your modifications. If you do try something…

View original post 1,322 more words

Slow Cooker Middle Eastern Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 30-35mins
Cooking Time: about 4 hrs (*On a high heat setting)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, colander, large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, large measuring jug, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. 

Here’s one last quick recipe to take you into the weekend folks (because we just couldn’t help ourselves)! 

Slow cooking is never sexy, far from it, but the proof is definitely in the pudding (or stew in this case)! It’s perfect for producing a final product that is always flavourful, tender and ridiculously easy to prepare (although occasionally this cooking process may take a little more practice and persistence than we would like!). Whether your a student or someone who is just looking to save some time and money- a slow cooker is definitely worth the investment! 🙂

So as we’ve previously mentioned, we love Middle Eastern flavours and combining them with ‘slow cooking’ sounded like a great idea to us! We took a bit of time looking into some different combinations (to our previous M.E recipes!).The result- we came up with this delicious stew that is quickly becoming one of our favourites! Just combine a medley of Middle Eastern spices and flavourings, some traditional and perhaps less or non-traditional ingredients (creamy Charlotte potatoes anyone?!), and you are left with a delicious stew that just keeps tasting better and better as the days go on. 

A few other good things to note include:

  • Preserved lemon paste is cheapish and economical (for us); we can easily adapt it into other recipes so the jar won’t be left to collect ice crystals at the back of our fridge! We think that this lemon note is quite important; if you cannot find it or prefer not to buy it, try experimenting with a little lemon juice and a fair chunk of freshly ground lemon rind instead. 
  • To save time you can buy some harissa paste (like we have), or to save some money you can try making your own; the Kitchn‘s version looks like a great (and tasty!) place to start! 
  • We combined a few spices for our Middle Eastern spice blend, one being a mixed spice mix. Our ‘ground mixed spice mix’ contained: coriander seed, caraway seed, ginger, fennel seed, nutmeg, cloves and turmeric. There are various versions of ‘mixed spice’ but it’s not the same as ‘allspice’.
  • This stew is quite fibrous, but you can always adapt it by using less veggies! Also keep the veggies as chunky or as small as desired (but for cooking ease, try to keep them all as uniform as possible).
  • As the stew’s liquid is at a minimum/bowl, we wouldn’t recommend adding ‘grains’ to it. It does however go very nicely with a small piece of flat bread or pitta! 
  • When looking for crushed sumac berries (it’s also labelled as just ‘ground sumac’). 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NB: Red pepper, mixed spice, oil, frozen ingredients and parsley are not shown here.

Ingredients

+++++++++Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash the bell pepper, remove its stem and core and then chop into ½-1 cm pieces. Wash and roughly chop the potatoes. Wash the aubergine, trim the top and then roughly chop it into bite-sized (or 1″) pieces. Wash the olives and then roughly slice them (if using) .

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Tip: Need to reduce the fat? Use less oil or a low-fat cooking oil spray instead! Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, potatoes and aubergine. Scatter over the Middle Eastern spice blend (2g of each: Ground Cinnamon, Cumin & Mixed Spice Mix & 3g Crushed Sumac berries). Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat in the spices. Gently fry for a further 4-5 mins. Tip: If preferred, you can also cover the pan with a lid to help soften the vegetables.

3. In the meantime, boil 950ml of water in a kettle. Prepare 800ml of vegetable stock according to the packet instructions.

4. Transfer the vegetable mixture into a slow cooker. Place the pan back over the heat. Add 2-3 tbsp of water. Swirl it around to help ‘deglaze‘ the pan. Transfer this liquid into the slow cooker. Add the tin tomatoes, cooked chickpeas, 50g dried cranberries and black olives (if using), 9-14g harissa paste and 10-15g lemon paste. Pour in 800ml vegetable stock and 150ml freshly boiled water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for about 4 hours, or on a low heat setting for 7-8 hrs.

5. If preferred, steam or boil the green beans and spinach and then add them to the stew once it’s finishing cooking. Alternatively, snap the green beans into halves. Defrost the beans and spinach. Roughly chop the cubes of spinach into smaller chunks. Add the defrosted beans and spinach into the slow cooker 30 mins before the end of cooking. Cover with a lid. Cook for a further 30-45 mins.

6. Serve warm. Ladle into a large bowl and garnish with a little fresh parsley. Serve with some flat bread or a small pitta (wholemeal, multi-grain or GF- we’ll you decide!)

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover stew in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. This stew is best served ‘warm-hot’ but never boiling. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, re-season (if preferred) and reheat within 1-2 months. 

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Site Update

Other

Hi everyone! We hope that your Monday has started off on the right foot?! 🙂

This is a quick post; we’d just like to say that we are most likely not posting anything else this week due to site maintenance- queue the elevator music now! However we hope that you all have a great week and we will be catching up with everyone soon!

Also if you have a few minutes, you can catch up on our latest post and on us here!

All the best ,

Lynn & Alex 🙂

 

Feature image: Wix.com

Easy Pizza Crust [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep: 15 mins
Proving: 45 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 75mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Large measuring jug, clean tea towel, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, rolling pin, baking tray, parchment paper, sharp knife

Notes

It’s been ages since we had any sort of pizza and there really wasn’t a better time than the present! Cold weather always make you crave denser foods… well that and the fact that we saw an increased volume of pizza recipes on WP; besides making us very hungry at the time, it also made us want to revisit our previous pizza recipe

Pizza dough can be quite personal. From the flour, to the thickness, to the toppings and even the overall taste… but we think that the one common attribute they should all share is to have an easy preparation!

Our newest dough is exactly that. The recipe, although it may take a little longer to whip up (well, longer to proof), the dough itself is easy to use, versatile and tasty! After proofing it’s quite soft and adaptable; after baking it’s slightly flexible with a nice and light crunch. Whilst we’re not professional bakers (or dough experts!), this one gets two thumbs up from us. 🙂

If you have the time you could probably bake more than one base and then freeze them; creating an impromptu (and healthy) D.I.Y pizza when you are short on time, are looking for  a fun, family cooking activity (because who doesn’t like decorating a pizza?!) and/or lack the desire to cook a healthy meal!

A few other good things to note include:

  • Although we have used varied ingredients to help flavour the dough, the taste is still quite neutral. We haven’t added that much salt or anything else that was too overpowering, because ours toppings were going to make up the difference (a rich pesto, salty olives and plenty of delicious/raw veggies)! You can obviously adapt it to suit your tastes and/or the toppings you plan on using. 
  • Yes we used plenty of raw-ish toppings. It’s perfect for when you avoiding ‘cheeze’  or those that LOVE to decorate their food (I do!). 😀
  • We recommend using an unsweetened soya, maybe hemp or coconut milk (if you don’t mind a faint coconut flavour).
  • Don’t omit the sugar! The yeast needs it grow. We’ve never tried activating the yeast with a sweetener, so we are not recommending it.
  • Our dough was fairly thin and our cooking time reflects this. If you are making a thicker dough, a smaller pizza and/or cooking it with toppings, you’ll need to adjust your times accordingly.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++250ml       Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++1 tsp          Unrefined Caster Sugar
+++++++++2 tsp         Quick Rise Yeast (7g)
+++++++++250g         Gluten Free Flour (self-rising)
+++++++++½ tsp        Xanthan Gum (1g)
+++++++++6g             Dried Italian Mixed Herbs
+++++++++6g             Nutritional Yeast Flakes (if possible, B12 fortified)
+++++++++½ tsp        Salt
+++++++++15g            Odourless Coconut Oil

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Pour 250ml soya milk into a large and microwavable measuring jug. Heat until warm (make sure it’s not boiling or too tepid). Tip: Alternatively, place the milk into a small, non-stick pot and warm over a medium heat.

2 . Add 1 tsp sugar into the measuring jug. Whisk to combine. Add 2 tsp yeast. Gently whisk to combine (or just leave sprinkled over the surface of the milk). Wet a tea towel with fairly warm water. Place it over the top of the jug. Leave the mixture to ferment for 10-15 mins (preferably in a warm place).

3. In the meantime, place 250g GF flour into a large mixing bowl. Add ½ tsp xanthan gum, 6g dried Italian herbs, 6g nutritional yeast and ½ tsp salt. Stir to thoroughly combine. Leave for the moment.

4. If necessary, gently melt your 15g coconut oil (it needs to be in a liquid state).

5. Remove the tea towel from the measuring jug. Tip: You should experience a fairly ‘yeasty’ aroma and see a lot of ‘froth’ and bubbles by this point! Make a ‘well’ (just a hole) in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour in the oil and the yeast/milk mixture. Gently stir with a large spoon or silicone spatula until thoroughly combined. Knead the dough for 4-5 mins. Tip: If the dough is a little tacky, just lightly flour your hands! Wet the tea towel again with some warm water and completely cover the top of the mixing bowl. Place the bowl somewhere warm for 45 mins and allow the dough to rise.  NB: Ours didn’t rise too much because our house wasn’t warm enough!

6. In the meantime, prepare any topping(s) you plan on using. We whipped up some of our basil and walnut pesto, fresh bell peppers, courgette, red onion, olives, baby plum tomatoes, avocado, salad cress and got some additional nooch to hand!

7. When the dough is almost done ‘proofing’, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper (allowing it to slightly overlap the edges). Tip: By having an over-sized piece of parchment paper, you can easy lift and transfer the whole pizza onto a chopping board, cut and then serve!

8. Lightly flour a clean work surface (not too much or the dough might become too dry). Place the dough onto the work surface. Flatten it with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin (or a long and circular bottle), roll it out large enough to fit your pan. Tip: Our baking tray was 13×10″ and we wouldn’t recommend rolling it any larger/thinner than that! Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it onto the baking tray. Unroll and shape the dough to fit your tray.

9. We opted for a ‘rawish’ pizza (meaning we baked the crust first and then topped it afterwards)! As this was the case, our dough only took 15 mins to bake (in a fan-assisted oven/middle shelf) until it was lightly tanned and slightly crispy around the edges. If you are baking it with toppings, it might take a bit longer.

10. Lift and transfer the pizza onto a chopping board; slice from the centre outwards and serve!

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pizza in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3 days. Alternatively, wrap, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1 month. 

 

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Basil & Walnut Pesto [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 160ml
Serves: 8
Prep & Assembly: ≤10 mins
Type: Sauce, Dip, Spread
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, manual juicer (*optional) food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container

Notes

Pesto is another simple, go-to sauce that everyone can make at home! Don’t be put off by foodie’s dos and don’ts; it can suit ANY budget and/or palate. In fact we’d be very surprised if everyone loved our combination of pesto flavours! Nonetheless, whether you like it extra ‘cheezy’ or zesty, made with fresh basil or rocket, strictly plant-based or not, the choice is yours and the end result will be the same; a delicious and quick sauce that is always bursting with flavour and colour! Quite honestly, the colour is probably half the allure (at least for us)! 

Anything with a shade of green that vibrant surely has to be healthy, right? 

Yes and no. As we’ve previously mentioned, it can be healthful; containing nutrients including: protein, fibre, vitamins C & E, calcium, iron and a good source ‘good fats’ (mono and polyunsaturated!). However, by nature pesto recipes are also high in calories (particularly fat) and/or salt; especially if you make it using a higher ratio of cheese. So it’s not something we have very often, or in any great quantity, but that only makes it all the more special when we do decide to whip some up! 🙂

We have explored using different nuts and/or herbs or flavours; traditional pesto uses pine nuts, but generally almonds, walnuts and/or sunflower seeds suit our budget. If you have never tried it with nutritional yeast, we highly recommend it; it has as a lovely nutty and ‘cheezy’ element that help give your plant-based pesto a more true and authentic taste. We’re not food snobs, but we can offer one piece of advice to make sure that you have a great pesto experience- use fresh ingredients! Stale nuts and ten day old store-bought basil will not do, but those who love pesto are probably already aware of this! 

If you’re a pesto fiend, you might remember some of our other pesto’s we have tried: olive-based, zesty spinach and some adapted avocado and asparagus-based versions too!

Whatever flavour you chose, the process is always easy (well, mosty!)…

Especially if you utilise a quick and modern method like we have; food processors can save you a lot of time! If you do not have one, you can always apply oodles of cooking enthusiasm and try grinding up a batch in a pestle and mortar, or place all of the ingredients into an appropriate dish/cup and blend it with a stick blender instead. If you do plan on using a pestle and mortar, the oil should probably be the last ingredient that you add (otherwise things might get a bit messy)! 

We hope you that enjoy this batch as much as the others. We think it’s the perfect accompaniment to: a delicious pasta dish, as a tasty sandwich spread, thinly spread over a pizza base or dolloped on top of your pizza, drizzled over some steamed new potatoes or asparagus, or as tasty summer dip (but enjoy it mindfully of course!). 

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Oh, if anyone has a minute to spare… it would be greatly appreciated if you could please check out this link! It’s a petition for a BBC ethical cooking show! It would the first of its kind; the idea is actually pretty exciting. It would be nice to tune into a Saturday cooking show that wasn’t about braising beef and sautéing vegetables in a half a block of butter… but one (as the campaign director Bridget Irving states) “that reflects the diversity of the UK” – where it can cater to the ever growing number of f/t vegans and over a million dedicated vegetarians! Hopefully it will gain enough signatures and interest and come to fruition. 

Ingredients

++++++++½                  Lemon (1 tsp zest & 15-30ml lemon juice)
++++++++2                   Garlic Clove (fat ones!)
++++++++80g              Fresh Basil
++++++++60ml            Extra Virgin Olive Oil
++++++++30g              Walnut pieces
++++++++¼ tsp            Asafoetida
++++++++                     Pinch of Salt & Ground Black pepper
++++++++2-2½ tbsp   Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Wash the lemon, grate 1 tsp of zest (or more if preferred) and then juice half of it. Tip: Store the other half of the lemon in your fridge; add a wedge of it into your morning tea, or squeeze some juice over a fresh salad or pasta dish! Peel the garlic. Wash the basil; remove the leaves from its stems.

2. Place the lemon zest and 1 tbsp of juice into a food processor. With the food processor running, drop the garlic down the pouring spout. Blend until it’s blitzed.

3. Add 4 tbsp oil, 30g walnuts and ¼ tsp asafoetida. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Blend until the nuts are smoothish and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides and the lid, back down into the base. Add 2-2½ tbsp nutritional yeast (depending on your preference). Mix until combined. Tip: The mixture will still not be completely smooth, but this is OK.

4. Add the basil. Blend until completely processed. Taste and season as necessary; add more lemon juice, yeast, salt and/or seasonings if preferred. Tip: If you would like a slightly thinner consistency, add a little water (1 tbsp of water at a time) until your desired consistency is achieved.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively freeze in a container or ration and then freeze it in smaller portions; use several (small) resealable containers, baggies or an ice cube tray for easy pesto and cooking convenience!


 

Slow Cooker Red Wine, Tofu & Vegetable Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 60-90 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or if you are using tofu)
Marination: 12-14 hrs
Cooking Time: 3.5-4 hrs (*On a high SC heat setting)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife,veggie peeler, large pot, large bowl, kitchen paper, casserole dish, kitchen film, large slotted spoon, sieve, large bowl, large/non-stick frying pan (with a lid), slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving* has a moderate quantity of added salt and sugar and is low in saturated fats. (*Dependent upon products used).

Enjoy it while you can- delicious stews, soups, chillies, or even curries straight out of your slow cooker! We’re making the most of our stodgy, plant-based (and low-fat) dishes before Spring arrives… and what better way than with this delicious red wine stew!

As always, our dishes are healthy, but not authentic and most have been ‘veganised’. However on this occasion, we are not going to compare this dish to anything else. This recipe is what it is- a wonderful stew that contains tender (melt in your mouth) slow cooked vegetables, and tasty marinated tofu, all in which are served in a delicious red wine and herb/veggie-infused gravy! 

We have used some organic firm tofu (quite a bit actually) and if it’s not your thing or you do not wish to spend time marinating it, there’s always a plan B! You can opt for using a pre-marinated block of tofu or tempeh (there are some tasty ones about!) or use some hearty cooked beans or lentils instead. 

A few other good things to note include:

  • Like a lot of stews and sauce, it tastes better the next day- especially the tofu! The ideal would to be to marinate the tofu throughout the day, slow cook it overnight and then enjoy it for dinner the next day! 
  • If preferred, you can use balsamic vinegar instead of balsamic glaze.
  • If you don’t like the idea of using soya (or tamari) sauce, you can always try swapping it for a vegan Worcestershire sauce; just adjust the quantity appropriately. 
  • We were originally shopping for some meaty (baby) portobello mushrooms, but the chestnuts worked out just fine. Oh, if you are using tiny button-type mushrooms, you won’t need to chop them, probably saving yourself 5 minutes in the process! 
  • Yes the tofu is purple, but it’s not GROSS! 😀 If you are not using it, you still need to go ahead and make the ‘marinated’ veggies.
  • To help intensify the tofu marinade, we are recommending that you add an additional 100ml of (uncooked) wine to it (but we have adjusted the ingredients list for you).

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy chopping boards or plates for 30 mins.

2. In the meantime, peel and thinly slice the onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends, quarter and then thinly slice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then thinly slice the celery. Peel the garlic and finely chop two of them only (leaving one whole).

3. Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, 375ml wine, 1 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns, ½ tsp thyme and ¼ tsp vegetable stock powder into a large pot. Place it over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 5 mins. Remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Allow it to cool down.

4. Meanwhile, drain the excess water off the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Transfer onto a large chopping board. Slice into pieces about one inch long (but the preference is yours!). Transfer and arrange the tofu in a single layer in a large casserole dish.

5. Add the remaining 100ml wine, 1 tbsp balsamic glaze, 1 tbsp soya sauce and 2 tsp olive oil into the bowl that contains the red wine marinade mixture. Mix to combine. Carefully pour the red wine marinade over the tofu, allowing the vegetable mixture to rest on top. Cover with a sheet of kitchen film. Refrigerate for 12-14hrs. Tip: Even if you end up leaving this mixture for longer than 14hrs, it will be fine! 

6. The next day, remove the veggie mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer it into a slow cooker. (NB: For presentation purposes, our veggies are not shown in the slow cooker.). Remove and discard the whole garlic, bay leaf and 8 peppercorns. Rest a large sieve over a large bowl. Transfer the tofu into the sieve. Pour the remaining marinade over the tofu. Allow the tofu to drain and do not discard the reserved marinade.

7. In the meantime, wash and dry the mushrooms; leave whole, halve or quarter depending on the size. Peel the onions.

8. Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Tip: Alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil or a spoonful of  water and ‘steam-fry’! Add the mushrooms and onions. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid. Gently fry 4-5 mins or until the vegetables are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove and transfer into the slow cooker.

9. Spray some low-fat cooking oil into the same frying pan. Add the tofu and gently fry 6-7 mins or until lightly browned. Transfer into the slow cooker. Tip: This step will have to be completed in 2-3 batches. Once finished, add one 1 tbsp of water. Swirl it around to help ‘deglaze’ the pan; add this liquid to the slow cooker.

10. In the meantime, boil 1L of water in a kettle. Prepare 500ml of vegetable stock.

11. Pour the reserved marinade into the slow cooker. Add 500ml vegetable stock, 500ml boiling water, 40ml soya sauce and 60ml balsamic glaze . Season it with a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Gently stir together. Add 1 pouch of bouquet garni. Gently submerge it into the stew. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 3.5-4hrs or on a low heat setting for 7-8 instead. Prepare a ‘slurry’ at the end of cooking; in a dish, mix 40g flour with equal parts water and whisk until the flour has dissolved. Whilst briskly stirring, pour the ‘slurry’ into the stew until lightly thickened.

12. Serve warm. Ladle into a large serving bowl. Garnish with a little fresh parsley (if preferred) and serve with a multi-grain or GF roll or even some steamed greens.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover stew in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1 month.