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. 

 

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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! 🙂

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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

Chickpeas and Amla Usli/Salad

Healthy Recipes

What a simple, nutritious and delicious looking chickpea salad! It’s packed with so many great flavours and ‘Indian gooseberries’; an ingredient we are not familiar with and are keen to explore! Thanks for sharing this great recipe Chitra; we can’t wait to try it! 

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Chickpeas UsliAbout:

If your chickpeas is cooked and ready – This is an easy, quick salad  that you can throw together in about ten minutes. It’s great for a quick lunch, served with crackers or as a accompaniment for rice. Although the basic recipe below is quite tasty. And finally, this little dish makes a lovely snack and a fasting food.

Health benefits:

Chickpeas are indeed very good for you, not least because two to three tablespoons equate to one portion of the daily recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned chickpeas are fine, but fresh boiled ones are slightly higher in vitamins and mineral. Both are equally good sources of fibre, including soluble fibre which can help to lower cholesterol.

  • Yields-2-3 servings
  • Preparation time-20-25 minutes (includes the boiling of chickepeas)
  • Soaking time-overnight
  • Cooking time- 10 minutes

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Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Sri Lankan Inspired Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 40 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or kitchen helpers!)
Cooking: 7-8hrs (*Over a low heat setting)
Tools: Small bowl, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, sieve, frying pan, measuring jug, slow cooker, non-stick pot.

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

The cold weather is setting in and decadent Christmas flavours are now packed away for another eleven months… this could only mean four simple things- the need for hearty, wholesome and quick foods that will ‘warm your cockles’ and taste buds!

Well, we have just the cure for that- here’s another tasty, ‘slow cooker curry’; those are actually starting to become our three favourite words! Perhaps that’s because slow cookers are magic devices; not only do they slowly cook our food in abundance, but they also help improve how we feel about even the most basic of meals!

What’s the best meal that you have prepared in yours?! 🙂

For those of you that may have tried some of our previous slow cooker curries or S.C meals, you’ll know just how tasty they are (well, you haven’t told us otherwise!). 😛 Curry prepared in a slow cooker (although not traditional, not even a little!) is by far one of the best methods to develop a huge depth of healthy and aromatic flavours- well, that’s our opinion anyways! 

This time our spicy/slow cooker urge unravelled with a packet of Sri Lankan spices that we still hadn’t gotten around to trying; ergo the birth of our curry! This one is pretty hearty, spicy (well, this is subjective) and of course packed full of tasty and healthful ingredients; its plant-based eating that is designed to help make this more than a ‘one day occasion’! 

The curry: sweet and creamy potatoes (that melt in your mouth), combined with hearty and robust chickpeas and an abundance of delicious flavours. All served over a bed of fluffy rice! We’ve filled you in on our spice mix below and hopefully you can all find something similar or just create your own (as spicy as you dare)! If you are not keen on sweet potato, try adapting it with cauliflower, butternut squash or aubergine; just remember to adapt the other flavours as you see fit. We have used some reduced fat coconut milk, but still be mindful as there is still a moderate quantity of fat per serving; ‘reduced fat’ foods are not free passes to eat more! 

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

NB: Use about 2 tins of chickpeas or 260g of a dried/cooked variety. Our Sri Lankan Spice Blend: Coriander Seeds, Whole, Fenugreek Seeds, Whole, Cumin Seeds White, Whole, Fennel Seeds, Whole, Cayenne Chillies, Ground, Cinnamon Bark, Whole, Cardamom Green, Whole Pods, Curry Leaves, Whole Clove Buds ‘Hand-Select’.

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

  • Peel and dice the garlic and shallots. Wash the chilli, remove the stem, deseed (if you prefer meals with less heat!) and then finely chop it. Wash, peel and then dice the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces.
  • Wash the lemongrass, trim off the ends, peel away tough/ dried-out outer layer (and discard), bash the woody exterior with a rolling pin to soften and then finely chop it. Tip: Bashing or firmly pressing the lemongrass will help release some of its aromatic oils. Wash the lime, grate the zest (do not juice it just yet like we have shown here, you’ll do this later on!).
  • Wash the sweet potatoes, peel and then chop into approx. 1″ pieces (we kept ours chunky!)

 

  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.
  • Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic, shallot, chilli, ginger, bell pepper and lemongrass. Stir together. Gently fry for 2-3 mins or until softened.
  • Add the sweet potato. Spray a little more cooking oil. Stir together. Gently fry for 3 mins.
  • Add the lime zest, 1g fenugreek leaves and 6-8g Sri Lankan spice blend. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Gently fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

 

In the meantime, prepare your stock according to the packet instructions.

 

  • Transfer the vegetable mixture into a slow cooker.
  • Add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Stir together.
  • Pour in the boiling hot stock. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Set to cook for 7-8 hrs over a low heat setting or over a high setting for 2-3.
  • Slightly defrost the spinach, chop it into smaller ‘chunks’. Add it to the slow cooker 30 mins before the end of cooking. Tip: If you’re using fresh leaves, roughly chop and then stir them through the curry once it has finished cooking. Let it stand (covered) for about 5 mins to allow the leaves to slightly wilt. 

 

Prepare the rice according to the packet instructions (if applicable).

Juice the lime. Stir the juice through the curry just before serving.

Spoon the rice into large serving bowls (If applicable). Ladle over the curry. Garnish with a wedge of lime, a small dollop of sweet & sour lime pickle or some fresh coriander leaves.

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover curry in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze in an air-tight and resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Smoky Roasted Tomato & Chickpea Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 60mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and sat fats! 

Warming up with a bowl of soup this time of year is truly one of life’s little pleasures. If you love soup as much as we do then you’re in luck (as we have plenty to choose from)! For inspiration, check here!  🙂

Nearly a year ago we introduced you to a delicious roasted tomato and basil soup (with lentils)! As we approach soup season and sadly the end of the UK tomato season once again, we decided to revamp our tomato-based soup. The result: dancing taste buds and another easy recipe for everyone to prepare!

Yes, this soup really made an impression on us, so much that we are having it again this week!

So go on and enjoy a bowl full of beautifully roasted and smoky tomatoes, sweet red onion, green bell pepper, garlic and tender chickpeas. It goes great when served with some warmed pitta bread, perfect for soaking up of all of these delicious flavours right until the end!

Tip: The smoked paprika really does amplify the flavour of the roasted tomatoes, so if you can, purchase a high quality brand (as it really will make a difference in this case)!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++800g            Salad Tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++180g             Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++220g            Green Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++8g                 Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++4-6g             Smoked Paprika
++++++++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp           Maple Syrup
++++++++++++++++++++                     Salt & Ground Black pepper
++++++++++++++++++++240g            Cooked chickpeas (approx.1 tin/in water)
++++++++++++++++++++400ml          Vegetable Stock (low-salt/ GF if required)

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat (if necessary); our tin was looking a little shabby so we had no choice!

2. Wash, remove the stems and then halve the tomatoes. Peel and chop the onion into wedges. Wash, remove the core, deseed and then roughly chop the bell pepper.

3. Place the tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting tin and then arrange the onion, bell pepper and garlic around the them. Sprinkle over 2g of the smoked paprika. Drizzle over the olive oil and maple syrup. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

 

4. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until softened and slightly crispy around the edges. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

5. Drain and wash the chickpeas. Peel the skin from the garlic clove and then discard it.

 

6. Place the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, all of the cooking juices from the tin and 200ml of vegetable stock into a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Quick tip: You can use the remaining vegetable stock to help gather any remaining bits of purée veggies from your blender. Just add, pulse and then pour into the container or pot with your existing soup.

 

7. Pour into a resealable and air tight container (if meal prepping!) or non-stick pot.

 

8. Add the chickpeas, remaining vegetable stock and the remaining smoked paprika (depending on your taste). Stir until combined. Taste and season it as necessary.

 

9. Place the pot over a medium-low heat and reheat until warm (if applicable).

 

10. Ladle the soup into a bowl, garnish with some plain/unsweetned soya yoghurt and chives (if desired) and serve with a warmed wholemeal or GF pitta bread !

 

Enjoy!

 

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.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Masala Lentil Curry Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, non-stick pot w/lid, wooden spoon, small dish, fork

Notes: This recipe contains*: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre,calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in salt, sugars and sat fats!  (*These nutritional contents can vary due to the ingredients and quantities used).

This is such a quick and easy dinner! Just a few staples from your pantry, fridge and/or freezer to produce a tasty and impromptu Masala curry! We had some previously cooked raw pulses and legumes, but don’t feel that you have to stick to our ingredients list; utilising any spare vegetables and/or legumes or pulses (tinned, frozen or fresh) and some spices that you have lying around in your kitchen is all part of what this recipe is all about!

With minimal prep, delicious flavours and a great way to help meet your 5-A-Day, this curry will start making you feel good from the inside out!    

#seasonalvegetables  #nofoodwastage  #plantbasedlove

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
~Make sure to wash your veggies first!~

1               Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
40g          Root Ginger, peeled and grated
1               Green Bell Pepper, core removed, deseed & finely chopped
250g       Cooked Brown Lentils
120g        Cooked Chickpeas
2tsp         Rapeseed Oil (or low-fat frying oil)
20g          Masala Curry Paste
5g            Cumin seeds
+++++++  Ground Black Pepper
1               Tin Chopped Tomatoes
20g          Tomato Puree
15g           Corn Flour
30g          Baby spinach, large stems removed
10g           Fresh coriander, remove leaves from stems & finely chop
————————————————————————————————–
100g        Green Beans, steamed
2               Salad Tomato, stem removed & diced
1                Red Bell Pepper, core removed, deseed & sliced
2               Radish, stem removed & sliced
60g          Roasted Butternut Squash, sliced
4 tbsp      Soya Yoghurt
4g             Brown Mustard Seeds

 

Directions

1. Heat a non-stick pot over a medium heat. Spray it with low-fat cooking oil (or add 1-2 tsp of rapeseed oil). Add the garlic, ginger and green bell pepper. Gently fry for 1-3 mins or until softened.

2. Add the lentils and chickpeas. Stir to combine.

3. Add 20g curry paste, 5g cumin seeds and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant.

4. Add the tinned tomatoes and 20g tomato purée. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover with a lid. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 mins or until the tomatoes have become tender.

5. In the meantime, steam the green beans and/or prepare any other veggies that you wish to company this dish!

6. Add 15g corn flour into a small dish with equals parts water. Stir into a paste. Once the curry has finished cooking, stir and pour this mixture into the curry. Keep stirring, the sauce will thicken slightly. Tip: If you prefer a thinner sauce, skip this step.

7. Add the spinach and coriander into the curry. Stir through. Cover with a lid. Remove from the heat. Allow the spinach to wilt slightly before serving.

8. Serve in a large bowl! Place any additional veggies around the edges of the bowl. Ladle the curry into the centre. Add a couple spoonfuls of soya yoghurt. Garnish with the mustard seeds and additional coriander if desired!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, if you are making a bigger batch, store and freeze this curry instead; reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Enjoy! 

 

 

Love curries as much as we do??! Check out some of our other recipes for some further inspiration!

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Slow Cooker Vegetable & Chickpea Tagine

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 12 (*Approx. 3 ladles/person.)
Prep: 45 mins (*Depending on skill and desired serving size.)
Cooking Time: 4-5 hrs (*On a high SC setting.)

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

Hi all! We hope that everyone’s had a great weekend?!  It went by all too quickly for us; most likely because we found out we had won tickets to Foo Fighters Friday night (woo hoo!). Did anyone else see this concert over the weekend??? It was pretty amazing and we were really fortunate to receive guest tickets complete with guest privileges (thanks Foo Fighters!)!

Slow cooking may not be very ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ (haha!), but it was good timing that we had made this meal earlier on in the week (it really helped us out with our impromptu/busy schedule)! It just goes to show how unpredictable life really is and why having something that is healthy and quick to hand is always a great idea! #keepthedramaoutofthekitchen

In a nutshell, this stew is versatile, hearty and has a fantastic blend of North African spices; it also provides you with (per serving) 4 of your 5-A-Day! Adjust the portion sizes accordingly, but this one will almost feed an army! Well maybe not…but it will keep an average family going for a while! Feel free to check out our previous butternut squash tagine we made earlier this year!

 

Have a great week and happy cooking everyone!  😀

 

We used some of our slow cooker chickpeas!  NB: We used more tomato purée than what is shown here.

 

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

Peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into quarters. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1 cm pieces. Remove the stem and core from the bell pepper and chop it into 1/2 cm pieces.

 

 

Trim the ends and chop the aubergine into 1 inch pieces. Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Peel and grate the ginger.

 

 

Drain, destone and then roughly break apart the prunes. Roughly chop the apricots. Using half the quantity of the coriander, remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop it. NB: If you’re using tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse them now!

 

 

Place the tomatoes into a slow cooker and roughly break apart with the end of a spatula.

 

 

Place the carrot, sweet potato, bell pepper, aubergine, onion, garlic, ginger, prunes, apricot, chopped coriander, chickpeas, tomato purée, agave, ras el hanout, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and salt into the slow cooker.

 

 

Prepare your vegetable stock and then pour it into the slow cooker. Stir to thoroughly combine.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Place on a high heat setting and allow to cook for 4.5 hrs.

 

Chop and then stir through the remaining coriander leaves. Place the corn flour into a dish with equal parts water. Stir into a paste (this is a slurry!). Whilst stirring, pour it into the tagine. Stir until slightly thickened. Cover with a lid and cook for a further 35-40 mins.

NB: This slows the tagine with the corn flour mixture stirred through.

 

 

In the meantime, toast and chop some nuts (if preferred) and cook some bulgur wheat (or insert preferred grain here!) according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Place the bulgar wheat (or preferred grain) into a large bowl or lipped plate (create a ‘well’ in the centre of it, if desired). Ladle the tagine into the ‘well’ (it will overflow, but this is OK!). Garnish with some soya yoghurt, nuts or more coriander (if preferred).

We used a mixture of toasted pistachios, almonds and cashews.

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 5 days. Alternatively, freeze the tagine in resealable and air tight containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: This shows all of the cooked tagine.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Keep the vegetables as authentic, seasonal, frugal, fresh or frozen as preferred!
  • Experiment with your perfect blend of tagine spices and herbs. If you’re willing to spend a few extra pennies… they’re some great spice mixes on the market that will really transform your meal!

 

For all of you Foo Fighter fans out there… these little gems are for you!

Plant-Based Paella

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-45 mins (*Dependent upon the rice used!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, large frying pan or paella dish, frying spatula, measuring jug, a large sheet of aluminium foil, large pot, large bowl

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

It feels like the beginning of summer (at least in the SE of England!) has finally arrived and what better way to embrace it than to fill your kitchen with the delicious aromas of Spanish cuisine! …or in this case, our tasty and healthful paella!

Personally we not only love the taste, but the way that this dish is pronounced: “pah/EH/yah”! Even the sound brings a smile to our face! It’s certainly a dish not to feel intimated by; anyone can create this at home!

Paella is a dish that was named after its cooking pan (and not a reference to its ingredients) and began its origin by being prepared and consumed by the workers and labourers of Valencia (a town in Eastern Spain)(¹). It’s now appreciated by many worldwide (for its delicious flavours and minimal preparation- only to name a few!) and has been adapted to suit any diet or budget! We kept the cost of ours to a minimum; the most expensive item was the saffron… but that’s no surprise!

What constitutes an authentic paella is debatable (obviously ours is not!) however, the Spanish are very passionate, especially about good food and that should be respected. Nonetheless, you can’t escape the fact that this is a dish where anything goes… and however you decide to prepare yours, just remember to keep it vibrant, tasty and memorable!  

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Quick Food Facts:

  • We used brown long grain rice, but traditional paella rice (bomba) will undoubtedly cook much faster! But as we’ve mentioned previously regarding brown rice…”nutritionally speaking it provides longer term energy and greater satiety”!
  • We own an authentic paella pan but it’s unfortunately too big for our current stove top! 😦 If you have the means, this pan can make all the difference to your paella; it helps to create that delicious crust (socarrat) at the bottom of the dish!  
  • Our paella uses a variety of veggies that are now in season; delicious asparagus, carrots, peas and spinach* (*if you decide to follow our lead; we served ours with a bed of it)! 
  • This dish provides you with about 4 portions (per serving) towards your 5-A-Day! #youcanneverhavetoomanyvegetables

 

 

Ingredients

NB: Adjust the water and stock measurements according to the instructions on your rice packet! We didn’t use true wine,; there was no alcohol in it, it was more like an ‘extract’!

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

 Peel and dice the garlic and white onion. Wash, remove the core and then chop the bell pepper into small cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and roughly chop the carrot. Wash, remove the stem and halve the tomatoes. Wash and dry half of the quantity of the thyme and parsley; remove the leaves from their stem and finely chop (you’ll prepare the rest later on).

 

 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan ( or paella dish) over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper and carrot. Stir to mix. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened.

 

Add 125ml wine (if using, or just use more stock instead). Stir through. Allow it to simmer for 1-2 mins or until evaporated.

 

 

Add 250g rice, 320g cooked legumes, 100g peas, 3g thyme and 4g parsley. Stir to combine.

NB: 320g of cooked legumes =about 1.5tins or 160g dried. We cooked a variety overnight and used approx. 180g cooked chickpeas and 140g of cooked red kidney beans.

 

 

Add 350ml stock, 220ml water, 20g tomato purée, saffron (as much as preferred) and 2g smoked paprika. Stir together.

Use as much or as little saffron as your heart and/or wallet desires… (but you definitely don’t need to use more than a pinch)!

 

 

Add the cherry tomatoes. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

 

 

Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook it for 20-30 mins or until the rice is cooked* (*refer to the packet instructions). Remove from the heat and dispose of the foil.

Tip: Ours took approx 30 mins to cook (and we added a bit more water halfway through); as we’ve mentioned, it’s really dependant on the rice you decide to use! NB:Your rice should be tender but never mushy!

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the rest of the thyme and parsley. Drain and rinse the olives. Wash and trim the tough/bottom ends off of the asparagus. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash the lemon (chop it into wedges or slices!).

 

 

Meanwhile, place a large pot full of cold water over a medium-low heat. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 mins or until just tender (where they just begin to bend!). Remove from the heat. Drain. If desired, transfer the cooked spears using a slotted spoon or serving tongs into a large bowl of cool water.

The idea behind this is to help cool the internal core (to prevent them from cooking any further)…helping them to maintain their vibrant green colour as a result! You could use ‘ice water’ but risk serving cold asparagus!

 

 

Now transform your dish!

 

 

 Garnish the paella with the olives, asparagus, lemon and remaining herbs. Serve the paella from the table for the whole family to enjoy!

 

 

 

Transfer the paella into a large serving bowl with any other desired veggies!

We served ours over a bed of spinach!

 

Enjoy!

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze 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. 

 

 

If preferred…

    • Feel free to experiment with your perfect vegetable and flavour combination!
    • This is a healthy dish, but want to further reduce the fat content, just use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil.
  • Use your favourite type of rice (but we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice!).
  • Try using a different type of legume (a dry or tinned variety), some lentils, or maybe tofu or tempeh instead! If your diet permits, add a fresh medley of fish and/or seafood!

 

History Source:
1. The Paella Company

Chickpea Salad Sandwich Filler

Healthy Recipes

Yields: approx.16 sandwiches.
Prep, Cooking & Assembly:17 hrs (*Time allocated to soak + cook the legumes!) + 45 mins.

Recipe adapted from: The Simple Veganista

Notes:This recipe provides: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and (per serving) is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats!

This sandwich has been trending for the last three years or so (it’s also known as a ‘smashed chickpea sandwich’!), but this was only our second time making it! On that note, we’ve adapted a tried and tested recipe to ensure a maximum taste factor and because their is not much room for originality in this department; this sandwich has been adapted many times (a change of legumes, seasoning’s, veggies…you name it!) and we can hardly claim this recipe as truly ours… but that goes for 90% of recipes out there!

Anyways, if you’re stuck for lunch ideas, try this sandwich filler; it’s not like the typical store- bought ‘fillers’ that are full of salt and fat (particularly from their overuse of mayo)! Why does everything have to have mayo?!

In any case, this filler is perfect for a simple, quick and versatile lunch (and it definitely doesn’t contain any egg yolk!); season the mixture any way you prefer and skip the ‘steam-fry’ step if you prefer raw veggies, or just want your sandwich to have some extra ‘crunch’!  Additionally, try using some homemade ‘vegan mayo’ or any other alternative dressing if you do not like the idea of using houmous in your sandwiches!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Place your chickpeas in a large bowl full of water. Soak overnight or for 12 hours. Drain. Cook them in a slow cooker. Drain and allow to cool.

 

Alternatively open, drain and rinse a tinned variety. NB: You will most likely need about three tins if you are using this method!

 

Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and dice the celery and the onion. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add some water.

 

 

When it begins to bubble, add the carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, bay leaf and a pinch of vegetable stock. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Mix together. Gently steam-fry/simmer for approx 10 minutes or until desired texture is achieved.

This step is just to soften the veggies…

 

 

Remove from the heat. Drain and allow to cool.

 

 

Meanwhile, organise your seasoning ingredients.

 

 

Mash the chickpeas into a ‘rough’ consistency.

This step really works your muscles!

 

 

 

Add the houmous and seasoning’s.

 

 

Fold and mix together until ‘creamy’. Taste and season as necessary.

 

 

Add the vegetables.

 

 

Fold through.

 

 

Transfer into a large, resealable and air-tight container. Refrigerate and use within 5 days.

 

 Enjoy!

 

 

For some added inspiration, this is how we assembled our sandwich!…

Spread some filler onto one slice of toasted multi-seeded bread.

 

Add some salad cress and shredded cucumber.

 

Top with sliced avocado and tomato.

 

Top with the other slice.

 

Slice…don’t slice…whatever eh?! Just dig in… it’s delicious! 🙂

Cooking Dried Chickpeas: A Simple Method!

Healthy Recipes

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), are not only a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, but also in many plant-based households as well. My love affair with them started many, many, years ago when I first discovered houmous!

Such a nutritious, tasty, cheap and versatile legume…what’s not to love about them?!

 

Well, quite honestly the cooking process was always a bit of a ‘downer’ for me. Yes it’s a labour of love, but as the lovely UK summer weather approaches (fingers crossed!), we have nearly zero desire to spend time perched over big steaming pots of water, nor do we want to buy any more tinned varieties to satisfy our plant-based summer menu!

 

Our problem….

Our previous chickpea-cooking method was a laborious headache! It involved soaking them for eight hours, ‘hard-boiling’ them for ten minutes (which required standing around and spooning out foamy masses of starch… or it would end up boiling over) and then simmering them for at least one hour (with a continuous mental dialogue of “is it finished yet?!”). This method did not provide consistent results…which made me despise cooking them!

 

Our solution…

Our improved cooking method is 100% more reliable (a lot like baking a potato!) and involves a 90% reduction in stress! So if you are interested in saving time, money and your sanity (because everyone deserves less stress in their lives!)… here’s a method we’ve found that requires virtually no effort at all (apart from remembering to soak your beans)! 🙂

 

Ingredients:
  • Dried Chickpeas
  • Boiling water
  • Salt (optional)

 

Directions:

 Place your beans into a large bowl of cold water; soak them for a minimum of 10 hours (but 12 hours is even better!). NB: Start soaking them twelve hours from the time you plan on getting up the next day, e.g. 7pm- 7am.

Nigella recommends adding some baking soda to your ‘soaking water’ to help soften the skins. She mentioned that it was particularly useful if you were using old beans; just add approx 1tsp. per litre of water. We haven’t tried this tip (as our cooking method is suffice), but feel free to experiment and let us know! NB: This bowl contains beans that were soaked for 10hrs.

 

 

Drain and thoroughly rinse them in the morning.

 

 

Place them into a slow cooker.

 

 

Cover with boiling water (an inch above the chickpeas). NB: ‘Lightly’ salt the water before you cook them, it helps to slightly toughen their skin (which is useful if you what to keep some texture and/or shape to your recipe).

 

 

Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 4-6 hours, or on a low heat setting for 7-9 hours.

 

 

***If you have to jet off to work or just have a busy day outside your house, cook your beans on a low heat setting using a plug timer (you can buy them for as cheap as £3)!

 

 

Drain them when you get home; allow them to cool before refrigerating. NB: Depending on your recipe, they might keep in the refrigerator for up until 7 days!

 

 

The result…
Perfectly cooked chickpeas with no unnecessary waiting or having to endure a hot kitchen!

Ours were cooked on a high heat setting for 6 hours. A recipe we were preparing needed ones that we slightly ‘broken down’.

 

 

 

Chickpeas are great in soups, casseroles, stir-fry’s, curries, chillies, salads, sandwiches, as a snack, or as a base to plant based burgers, dips or spreads, and of course houmous! For some further inspiration, check out some of our chickpea recipes:

 

 

 …Watch this space! We have some new and delicious chickpea recipes heading your way soon! 🙂

 

Feature image source: Real Foods

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Chickpea Tagine

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-70 minutes

Recipe adapted from: ASDA

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, potassium and is low in salt and saturated fats. 

This recipe has so many wonderful flavours to offer… all of which were absorbed by the delicious veggies! We adapted this recipe from a supermarket magazine (that we were lucky enough to pick up last year!). Occasionally some of these free magazines will contain decent/healthy recipes…while other times their more about ‘product promotion’! Erm, just because the magazines have beautifully crafted a recipe (that happens to include a brand name sausage)…does not make it healthy…or even appealing for that matter (50p coupon on offer or not)!

The original recipe requests you to use a flame-proof casserole dish (which is good, as most people do not own a tagine!), but we cooked ours in a large/standard saucepan over our stove-top. 

We made this recipe a couple of times last year and as a result have changed the quantities of most of the ingredients used (especially when it comes to the spices!); we also added paprika and green beans, and omitted the use of olive oil. All in all, it’s a great, healthy, full-flavoured and inexpensive recipe that’s definitely worth all of the chopping involved! 🙂

 

Quick facts:

  • Here’s a snapshot regarding tagines! A tagine is quite similar to a rich ‘stew’ in consistency, but the taste encompasses all of the wonder warm flavours of Moroccan spices; this is because it is traditionally a North African dish. The word itself refers to the type of cookware (it’s a clay or ceramic dish with a distinctive conical top) that’s used to slow cook this classic stew; it can contain meat, fish or poultry along with dried fruits and vegetables that are cooked to a mouth-watering and succulent consistency. 

Tagines can be hand painted with painstakingly intricate and beautiful designs! The material itself (which is naturally porous unless treated) retains moisture whilst you cook; it also helps to retain all of the rich flavours from your stew (which will help intensify the flavours of your next meal)! The conical top helps let steam circulate (above and around the food) whilst the stew cooks; this also contributes to the rich flavours and tenderness of the dish. 

  • Our tagine recipe contains 6.5 portions of fruit/vegetables (per serving/*based on 4 servings) towards your 5-A-Day quota!

 

 

Most of the ingredients were prepped earlier that day! God bless inventions…a.k.a. …tupperware!

 

 

Ingredients:

 NB: When served with couscous, this dish is really filling!

 

 

Directions:

 Prep the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onion. peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and cut the carrot into slices; if using a large carrot, chop into halves. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable).

 

Dice the apricots.

 

 

Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the onion. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the squash and carrot. Stir together. Cook for 2 minutes.

 

 

Add the ginger and garlic. Stir together. Cook for 1 minute.

 

 

Add the spices and water. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the chickpeas, apricots, puree and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the stock. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

 

 In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add the nuts. Dry roast until lightly toasted. Remove.

 

 

Transfer into a small dish.

 

 

Meanwhile, snap the beans into halves/bite-sized pieces.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Add the beans when the tagine has almost finished cooking. Mix to combine. Cover with the lid. Continuing cooking for a further 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the tagine to cool slightly. Leave covered until served.

NB: We find the flavours intensify once the meal has cooled down.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the couscous into a lipped serving plate or bowl. Ladle over the tagine. Garnish with nuts, coriander and seeds.

 

 

Enjoy!

Leftovers! 🙂

 

 

Here is one we made last year with some GF couscous!

This GF couscous was corn-based. The consistency was quite similar to the original, but obviously the taste was completely different! We would recommend it though. We prepared it quite similarly to the cooking instructions of authentic couscous; the box instructions weren’t ideal (which seems to be the case with a lot of GF products)!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: Leftovers are great because one, they saving you time on cooking (and cleaning!) and two, the flavours intensify (even if the meal has been previously frozen)! Do not freeze the couscous, nuts or seeds.

 

Sources: Melissa Guerra, About food and Lakeland

Vegan Koftes With Savoury Rice &A Minty Soya Yoghurt [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 3-4
Prep: 30 mins
Baking Time: 20-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Grater, serving plate(s), clean tea towel, chopping board, sharp knife, colander, non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, food processor, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, 6 metal or wooden skewers, baking tray, parchment paper, small non-stick pot w/lid (for rice), large serving dish
Recipe adapted from: Jamie Oliver

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, no added sugars and is low in added salt and fats!

Firstly, we would like to thank Jamie for this great recipe! 

Classic koftes (which include various and many!) are typically made with ground meat, spices, onion and some sort of binding agent such as, bulgur wheat, bread crumbs or rice. Apart from containing meat, this recipe tries to use the same principles. It’s one of the many creative recipes that has come out of Jamie’s kitchen!

This recipe is easy to follow and tastes delicious! It’s also great to see chefs inspiring people to cook healthy and delicious recipes (that also happen to be vegan!); great recipes don’t always need to include butter, cream, milk or loads of salt! These types of recipes also help to break down the stigma that surrounds vegan foods; it’s a great example that supports the argument that vegan foods are not boring, bland, or gross! Thanks Jamie! 

We prepared his recipe once before (last Christmas…when we also trialled his ‘vegan nut roast‘!) to the letter! However, we’re not big fans of shallow/pan frying (and we’re pretty sure trying to pan fry these beauties with low-fat cooking oil just wouldn’t cut it in this case!), nor do we love using coconut products. So we have adapted some of the ingredients along with the preparation and cooking methods used this time around.

When we make these koftes again, we will probably also add some chopped mint into the kofte mixture and use a bit more spinach.

We think that this recipe could be used to make ‘baked falafels’- especially if you are short on time. Check out our falafel recipe for similar preparation instructions! 

Whether these are incorporated into your main meal or used as a quick snack, we would thoroughly recommend them and hope they make you as happy as they did us.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients..check! Let’s start cooking!

 

Ingredients

 

Nutritional Info (Koftes only)

 

 

Directions

 Wash, trim the ends and coarsely grate the courgette.

…Or ‘zucchini’ for everyone in North America!

 

 

Take another serving plate and place a clean dish cloth over it.

 

 

Place the courgette into the middle of the cloth. Sprinkle it with some salt. Gather and bunch the cloth together. Leave it for about five mins; the salt will help draw out some of the moisture from the courgette.

 

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and coarsely grate the ginger.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Over the sink, twist and squeeze the cloth to remove the excess moisture from the courgette.

Leave the courgette on the cloth until you need it.

 

 

Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly

Just be careful not to burn it!

 

 

In the meantime, place the bread into a toaster or under a heated oven grill; gently heat and until crispy and golden brown. Place the toast into a food processor. Blitz until breadcrumbs are achieved. Do not remove.

 

 

Meanwhile, open, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Wash and dry the coriander and the spinach. Wash and then zest half of the lemon.

 

 

Place the chickpeas, 4g ground cumin,4g  ground coriander and 2g sweet paprika into the food processor. Gently rip the fresh coriander into half and drop that in too! Season it to taste with some salt and black pepper.

 

 

Add the courgette, spinach and half of the quantity of the zest.

 

 

Pulse until chunky and smooth.

NB: You might have to use your spatula to press and move the mixture around one or two times whilst you pulse the mixture.

 

 

Remove and transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into equal portions.

Annoyingly, we only had six skewers …other wise we would have made eight koftes!

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Get out six to eight cooking skewers (NB: We recommend using metal ones).

 

  • Take one portion and roll it on a clean work surface (or use your baking sheet) to form a long ‘sausage’ shape.
  • Slide the skewer into the centre of the kofte (lengthways); gently re-roll the kofte if the positioning of the skewer is not exact.
  • Leave the prepared kofte to one side of the baking tray. Repeat these steps until all of the mixture used been used.
  • Light spray them with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the baking tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 12 mins.

NB: If necessary, use lightly floured  or wet hands for this step.

NB: Some of our skewers initially poked out of the sides!

 

 

In the meantime, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare the minty yoghurt! Wash, dry and remove the mint leaves off the stem; roughly chop. Wash, trim the ends and dice the cucumber. Add the mint and cucumber to a small bowl with the yoghurt. Add the lemon juice. Mix together. Taste and season as necessary.

The original recipe recommends removing and discarding the fleshy seeds, but we left them intact.

 

 

Meanwhile, remove the baking tray from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F. Using a palate knife or spatula, gently turn the koftes over. Respray with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the baking tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 15-17 mins or until lightly brown and firm to the touch. Remove. Leave them on the baking tray. Allow to cool slightly.

Turned, sprayed and ready for round two!

Through the magic of time- baked koftes! *We baked ours for a further 17 minutes.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare any other ingredients you want to include in the rice.

We used some leftover roasted vegetables along with some fresh ones! NB: We placed our tomatoes in a sieve to remove any excess water.

 

 

Transfer the cooked the rice into a large mixing bowl. Fluff the grains with a fork. Add the mint, coriander, tomatoes and the remaining zest. Mix together. Season it to taste with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

 

 

Serve warm. Now it’s decision time everyone! The serving style is up to you…but we went for the big, bold/sharing method!

 Follow our lead!

Transfer the rice into a large serving dish.

We also added a dish of low-fat houmous!

 

Add the remaining vegetables. Garnish with the radish, nuts and lemon wedges.

 

Top with the koftes…

 

Serve with minty yoghurt…

 

…and drizzle over some tahini sauce (if desired)!

As soon as the picnic season returns, this tray is going to be joining us in the park- there’s no doubt about that!! NB: You can make your own tahini sauce or buy a low-fat one (like us). Alternatively, try Jamie’s ‘nutty sauce’ in his original recipe! 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in resealable containers; ideally refrigerate any rice within an hour after cooking. Reheat and consume any rice within 1-2 days; the koftes and yoghurt are best consumed within 2-3 days.

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. 

 

 

If preferred…

  • As always, serve your meal with many, many vegetables!
  • Use a dried (and cooked) variety of chickpeas (or try some broad beans) instead!
  • Serve with some millet, couscous, quinoa, a warmed wholemeal or multi-grain pita or some tabbouleh instead of rice.
  • Replace the spinach for some wild rocket or steamed (and dried) kale!
  • Add some fresh green or red chilli to the kofte mixture… if you prefer things a little spicier!

Vegan Sicilian Pasta With Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking time: 20 minutes

Recipe adapted from: fatfreevegan

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, iron, no added sugar and is low in saturated fats!

From what I’ve read, Sicilian pastas dishes include cheap, simple and tasty ingredients! This recipe is very fresh, light and it’s easy to execute! The orange and chilli flavours work beautifully together and it’s a nice change from dense tomato, pesto or creamy pastas.

Quick fact: The corn-based pasta and the chickpeas provide a nice bit of ‘protein combining’ action!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++130g   GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Chickpeas (in water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g     Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g   Red onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1 Large orange (zest and juice)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g   Baby plum tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Black olives
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Fresh basil leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Chilli flakes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried oregano
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried basil

 

 *Based on this meal serving 2, this recipe provides approximately:

485Kcal, 18.2g Protein, 8.1g Fat, 1g Sat/fat, 1.12g Salt, 4.6mg Iron

(NB: To lower the calorie and fat content, reduce the quantity of the chickpeas.)

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.

 

Meanwhile, drain and wash the chickpeas.

 

 Add the chickpeas to the saucepan just before the pasta is finished cooking. Save one cup of cooking water before you drain the pasta.

NB: The brand of GF pasta I used took 12 minutes to cook.

 

 In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic into slices. Peel and dice the onion.

 

Wash, zest and juice the orange.

 

Place a large non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Allow it to heat up.

 

Meanwhile, quarter the the tomatoes.

 

Rinse the olives (if they were in brine), de-stone(if necessary) and roughly chop them.

 

Wash, dry and remove some basil leaves from the stem. NB: I used some straight out of my freezer.

 

Spray some low-fat cooking oil into the pan/wok. Add the garlic. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Remove and transfer onto a small plate.

 

Spray a little more low-fat cooking oil. Add the onions. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Season it with some salt and pepper to tatse.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Add the zest. Fry for 30seconds.

 

Add the chilli flakes, the dried oregano and basil. Stir together. Fry for 20 seconds.

 

Remove from the heat; leave the burner on.

 

By this point you can probably add (or have added) the chickpeas to the pasta. Remove a cup of cooking liquid.

 

When the pasta has been drained, place the pan/wok back over a medium-low heat. Add the cooking liquid and juice. Stir together.

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Add the tomatoes, olives and fresh basil. Stir together. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the tomatoes are just softened.

 

Add the pasta mixture.

 

Stir together. Remove from the heat.

 

Serve warm. Serve in a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Garnish and season as desired.

 

 Enjoy!

 

If preferred… 

  • Use half the amount of zest if you do not like your meals too ‘zesty’.
  • Use wholemeal or spelt pasta if you are not concerned about gluten
  • Try adding a bit of spinach.
  • Use a dried variety of chickpea; soak/cook before use .
  • Try green lentils or broad beans instead of chickpeas, or oregano instead of basil.
  • Try some other Sicilian pasta ingredient combinations, e.g. fresh pasta, dried fruits (raisins, sultanas or apricots), nuts, seeds, shaved fennel, aubergine, mushrooms, fresh herbs, capers, toasted/garlic breadcrumbs or some oily fish, prawns or cheeses (if you are not vegan).

Mini Chickpea & Kidney Bean Burgers [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 5-6
Prep & Cooking time: 45-50 mins
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Baking tray, parchment paper, colander, grater, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, no added sugars and per serving and is low in salt and saturated fats!

This recipe is great for those who do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or don’t fancy using a million ingredients but still want a nutritious meal. Yes, these mini plant-based burgers are baked (and not fried!), have a great flavour, go perfectly with a plate full of vegetables or with a tasty dip and can be adapted to your own personal preferences!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Chickpeas (or about 200g dried/cooked)
++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Red Kidney Beans (or about 200g dried/cooked)
++++++++++++++++130g    Carrot
++++++++++++++++100g    White (or red) Onion
++++++++++++++++6g        Garlic Clove (one fat one!)
++++++++++++++++25g      Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++50g     Sunflower (or pumpkin) Seeds
++++++++++++++++20g     Tahini Paste (or use ‘2 flax eggs’)
++++++++++++++++10g      Vegetable Stock Powder (low-salt/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++++1g         Ground Coriander
++++++++++++++++1g         Cumin Seeds
++++++++++++++++            Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here . 🙂

 

Nutritional Info

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 220°C/430°F. Line a large baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas and kidney beans (unless you are using fresh!). Wash, trim the ends, peel and then finely grate the carrot. Peel and finely grate the onion and garlic. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander (if preferred, discard some of the larger stems).

3. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Blend for 10-15 seconds, until the mixture is fairly coarse. Tip: Alternatively, place the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blitz them with a hand-held blender. Push the mixture down with a silicone spatula. Blend for a further 10-20 seconds or until a coarse mixture is achieved.

4. Carefully remove the blade from the processor. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

5. Using dampened hands, shape the mixture into about twenty golf-ball sized balls. Tip: Have a shallow bowl of water nearby to dampen your hands as necessary. Place the balls onto the baking tray. Flatten slightly with the back of a wet spoon or a spatula into ‘patties/burgers’.

6. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 15-18 mins or until lightly coloured. Tip: The final consistency will be similar to a ‘baked falafel’. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 5 mins on the tray before removing. Remove and transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for as long as possible before serving. Tip: They continue to ‘set’ as they cool. 

 Serve as desired; as a burger or ‘open’ sandwich, in a salad or as a snack with some a small portion of low-fat houmous.

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days.©

‘Open’ or closed’burger style… Stuffed into a multi-grain pita or wrap… In a garden salad… with roasted squash…2-3 with some houmous and  crunchy crudités is always tasty too!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use a dried variety of fresh legumes instead (soak and cook before use).
  • Experiment with different vegetables; maybe some courgette, sweet corn, bell pepper!
  • Try flavouring them with your favourite blend of herbs and spices.
  • Serve with home-made (low-fat) sweet potato wedges or chips.
  • Serve dressed with: unsweetened soya yoghurt (with added dried mint), a squeeze of lemon juice, low-fat houmous, a tahini dressing or perhaps a home-made vinaigrette dressing.

 

Recipe adapted from: G. McKeith

Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Houmous

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep & Assembly Time: 30 mins
Type: Side, Dip, Sandwich filler
Tools: Sharp knife, chopping board, cheese grater, food processor, spatula, resealable container

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

We think that homemade houmous is ridiculously cheap to make and its taste triumphs most store bought brands!

This recipe is extremely adaptable and easy to execute. Experiment with the flavours; add chillies, cooked beet root, roasted bell peppers, pesto, carrot, or various spices instead of sun-dried tomato.

Some other good things to note include:

  • Tahini paste can be pricey, but the recipe doesn’t require a lot; you might find it cheaper in some ethnic shops and it lasts up to 3 months from opening!
  • Use some fresh/soaked sun-dried tomatoes instead of the puree or anything else you’d prefer to flavour it with.
  • Fresh is best! Try using a dried variety of chickpeas; soak overnight, drain and cook before using in the recipe.
  • Make and utilise your own tahini paste; its just toasted sesame seeds and olive oil.
  • If you have the time, make an extremely smooth houmous with skinless chickpeas!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++++30ml       Lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  Lemon zest  (of ½ a lemon)
++++++++++++++++++++++400g       Tin Chickpeas (or about 210g dried and cooked)
++++++++++++++++++++++30ml       Olive Oil (+ 5ml extra for garnishing)
++++++++++++++++++++++60g         Sun-dried Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++++++++++60ml       Tahini paste
++++++++++++++++++++++60ml       Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  Salt
++++++++++++++++++++++2g            Sweet Paprika
++++++++++++++++++++++8g            Sesame Seeds

 

Directions

1. Peel the garlic. Wash the lemon, grate some zest and then juice it. If applicable, drain and wash the chickpeas.

2. With a food processor running, drop the garlic into it. Process until it has been finely diced. Scrape all of the garlic to the bottom with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and zest, chickpeas, oil, puree and tahini. Blend until creamy. Add the water. Blend until combined. Taste and season it with some salt. If a thinner houmous is preferred, just add more water.

3. Transfer the houmous into a resealable container. Garnish with some oil (if desired), paprika and the sesame seeds.

4. Serve it with some warmed pita, crackers, crudités, as a sandwich spread with some vegetables or in your favourite falafel wrap!

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers; consume within 3-5 days.

A batch of tasty falafels to company it! Yum!