Vegan Jambalaya

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

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

 

We’d like to start off by saying that this was a great dish to make! It contains so many great flavours that are easily created in your own kitchen (essentially by using whatever ingredients you have on hand!) …and in virtually no time at all. We did a little bit of reading around this dish, and this is what we found…

The origin of jambalaya is not completely clear, but it seems to have originated in Louisiana. It’s a simple, inexpensive and versatile rice dish that was created out of necessity, one that is prepared differently depending upon the region. It is believed to have been inspired by both French and Spanish culture, which is why it’s quite similar to Spanish paella (a multi-faceted mixture that was also designed to feed many people inexpensively)! Unlike paella it does not use saffron; smoky and/or hot spices accompanying delicious herbs make this a very distinguishable dish.

It’s now a popular dish enjoyed in particularity in the Southeastern regions of the United States. There are two types, ‘Creole’ and ‘Cajun’ style, both of which have slightly different cooking methods and ingredients that were indicative of the local resources available at the time and were also shaped through cultural influences; original European settlers (particularly French and Spanish) versus the ‘Acadians’.

Classic versions of this recipe contain not only vegetables but generally some type of seafood, meat, poultry or sausage…but not in the Eat2Health kitchen. We used hearty kidney beans, robust garden peas, various other vegetables and of course a tasty seasoning!

Our recipe seems to be an amalgamation of the two types. Cajun recipes do not tend to include tomatoes, and use more spices and less herbs (like ours), whilst Creole recipes can use an abundance of vegetables (similar to the ones we have included; which includes tomatoes!), as well as less spice, and all of the ingredients are cooked together; Cajun recipes brown and caramelise their meat first, giving the dish a brown colouring. This is why the two types are also known as Cajun ‘brown’ jambalaya, and Creole-style ‘red’ jambalaya.

Although our recipe may not be authentic (we are aware that lemons are not the norm!), it’s still a cheap, versatile, healthy, one-pot dish, that is great for the whole family and (maybe most importantly) delicious and bound to put a smile on your face! …Thank you Cajun spice mix!

 

Feel free to use your own spice mix!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Place the frozen bell peppers and peas into a microwavable dish; defrost in the microwave. Drain.

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the chilli (leave the seeds intact if you prefer your dish extra spicy!). Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the celery. Wash, trim the ends, peel and quarter the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into cubes. Drain and rinse the beans. Prepare the Cajun seasoning mix (if applicable); place all of the spices and herbs into a small dish and mix together.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the defrosted peppers, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Gently fry for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened.

 

 

In the meantime, boil some water in a kettle. Prepare the stock.

 

 

Add the Cajun seasoning. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the rice and tomatoes. Stir and mix together.

Gently break apart any big pieces of tomato with the edge of your frying spatula.

 

 

Pour in the (boiling hot!) stock and water. Add the defrosted peas, beans and bay leaves. Stir to combine.

 

 

Cover with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

 

NB: Check your mixture about half way through the cooking time; we had to quickly stir the mixture and add a few extra tablespoons of water.

 

 

In the meantime, wash and place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

 

 

Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the coriander; we ripped off and discarded most of the large stems…but the choice is yours. 🙂

 

 

Wash and quarter (or slice) your lemon.

 

 

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the foil (if applicable). Give the jambalaya a thorough stir before serving.

NB: Also make sure to remove and discard the bay leaves before serving!

 

 

Garnish with the coriander and the lemon (or whatever else you desire). Bring the frying pan to the dinner table for the whole family to dig in and enjoy!

NB: Make sure to place it over a heat-proof mat or chopping board! We decided to add some fresh thyme and pitted black olives! 🙂

 

 

Serve immediately. Place the kale into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Spoon over the jambalaya.

We served ours with kale (not only because we love the taste!) but we felt felt that this dish needed a further ‘green’ element to it!

 

 

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 use your own Creole or Cajun seasoning mix! Experiment with the levels of spice and herbs to create your perfect combination!
  • Adapt the vegetables as you see fit!
  • Use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil to further reduce the fat content.
  • Use your favourite type of rice; we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice.
  • Try using a different type of bean (a dry or tinned variety), lentils, or maybe some tofu or tempeh instead!

 

Jambalaya Origin Sources:
About Food
Kitchn Project
New World Encyclopedia
Cooking Light

Black Bean Stir-Fry

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking time: 35-45 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium and it’s low in saturated fats. 

Here’s another quick stir-fry recipe for those of you that love healthy and quick food! Feel free to use any medley of vegetables you have (fresh, frozen and/or seasonal). In retrospect, we wished we had used more broccoli! 

Check out our other stir-fry recipes for some more great ideas and inspiration!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

NB: If you want to make your finished dish more ‘manageable’, snap the pasta into half before cooking it- the choice is yours!

 

In the meantime, place the bell peppers, mushrooms and broccoli (or any other frozen vegetables you are using) into a microwavable dish. Defrost in the microwave. Drain.           NB: You can cook your vegetables from frozen however, they will produce a lot of water that will increase your cooking time and they won’t be as ‘crunchy’ as stir-fry vegetables should be.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and finely chop the chilli. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends and then chop the spring onion into half (tops & bottoms); finely slice the top half an save the remaining half for a garnish (if desired). Drain and wash the beans.

 

 

Place the water, soya sauce, sugar and flour into a large measuring jug. Whisk together until the sugar and flour has dissolved.

 

 

Place approximately 3/4 of the quantity of the beans into a food processor; save some to add to the stir-fry later on. Pulse until partially ‘broken down’.

 

 

Add the ginger, chilli, garlic, sliced spring onion and the contents of the measuring jug into the food processor.

 

 

Blend until blitzed; you should have a thick and ‘chunky’ sauce.

 

 

Transfer the sauce into the measuring jug. Taste and season/flavour it as necessary.

 

 

Peel and slice the white onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the dakion (if using) and the carrot into ‘chunky match-stick’ pieces. Chop the remaining spring onion into slices (if applicable).

 

 

Heat the oil in a large non-stick wok over a medium heat.

 

 

Add the onion, dakion (if applicable) and carrot. Gently stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

 

 

Add the bell peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. Stir-fry for approx. 2-4 minutes.

Yes, we forgot to add the broccoli! We had to quickly cook it in the microwave and add it towards the end.

NB: This is why we have advised you to defrost your vegetables first… look at the puddle of water in the middle! We had to tip this out, we didn’t want soggy vegetables. :/

 

Add the remaining beans. Stir through.

Our broccoli finally makes an appearance!

 

 

Pour in the sauce. Stir through. Gently stir for approximately 1 minute or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove form the heat.

 

 

Serve warm. Transfer the pasta into a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Top with the stir-fry mixture. Garnish with the seeds and remaining spring onion (if applicable).

 

 

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use a GF pasta or rice noodles if gluten is of concern.
  • Use a low-fat cooking oil instead if you want to reduce the fat content further.

Mexican Tortilla Salad Bowls W/ Homemade Salsa

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2-4
Prep & Cooking time: 45minutes

Notes:

We have to say that this recipe was a bit of a novelty! We love vegetables (but you probably already know this about us by now!) and enjoy spicy Mexican flavours. We thought that eating a ‘tortilla, salad bowl’ would be quite quirky and fun; we’re not a fan of tacos and thought this might be the best next thing! Unfortunately after about four mouthfuls we gave up and turned it into a wrap (which still worked quite well at this point)! We think that this bowl might work better with your favourite chilli or if your entertaining children. It was a delicious and nutritious meal none the less and we will always recommend meals that are packed full of vegetables!

The salsa was delicious; the last time we made it was during the World Cup last June! The tortilla bowls can be formed using about five different methods (depending on your skills and resources), but this one was the most convenient for us.

Salsa Ingredients: we used two chillies…. but feel free to use one!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Prepare the salsa. Wash and remove the stem from the chilli (de-seed if you prefer your meals less spicy!). Peel and chop the onion into half. Peel the garlic. Wash, remove the stem and chop the tomatoes into quarters. Wash, dry and then gently rip the coriander into half. Wash the lime; finely grate some zest and then juice it.

 

 

Place the chilli, onion and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until finely minced.

 

 

Use a spatula and push the mixture down into the bottom of the container.

 

 

Add the tomatoes, coriander, lime zest and juice, cumin and the ground coriander. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste.

 

 

Blend until combined and the mixture is still ‘chunky’.

 

 

Transfer into a resealable container. Cover with a lid. Place into a refrigerator until needed.

Taste and season it as necessary. 🙂

 

 

Prepare the salad veggies and coriander for the tortilla bowl! Open, drain and wash the beans.

 

 

Place a small or medium-sized, non-stick saucepan or frying pan over a medium-low heat. Pour in one quarter of the quantity of the oil. Spray the sides of the pan with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Once hot, gently press the tortilla down into the pan, forming a bowl shape. Allow it to gently fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the centre has bubbled and the base is lightly browned.

 

 

Remove and transfer it into a bowl (that was a similar size to your pan). Allow it to set for approximately 5 minutes. NB: As it cools, it will take shape of the bowl.

Can you see the bubbles in the centre?

For reference, this was the base!

 

 

Repeat these steps until all of the tortilla’s have been gently fried and shaped into bowls.

 

 

Once cooled, place the tortilla onto a serving plate or just leave it in the same bowl. Add the  salsa, veggies and top with the yoghurt and coriander!

 

 

This is how we assembled ours. Firstly we added some salsa…

 

 

followed by a piece of spring green (collard greens)…

 

 

some iceberg lettuce…

 

 

sweet corn and black beans …

 

 

…and finally some:  jalapeños, green bell pepper, avocado, red onion, more salsa!, yoghurt, some fresh coriander and a dash of fake cheese (not recommended).

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

NB: Refrigerate any leftover salsa in a resealable container; best consumed within 2-3 days.

Lentil Wrap (A Quick & Nutritious Lunch)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Preparation:10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Assembly: 5 minutes

Notes:

Being vegan doesn’t imply that you have to rely on faux meat and cheese, nor does it necessarily mean that you have to recreate the wheel when it comes to making food…or in this case, wraps! I completely understand though, sometimes we will have ‘cravings’, but when we can we should strive to prepare healthy, nutritious and authentic dishes. We should take enjoyment in what nature has to offer us- like pulses and legumes…and on that note, we decided to make a lentil wrap!

We took it upon ourselves and completed some meal prep; one batch of lentils and bean and red pepper dip prepared! Check out our recipe for the dip. It took a little bit of time… but it just means that our meal prep for the following days drops from thirty minutes to approximately ten …brilliant!

NB: Wraps can be quick and nutritious, although some do contains higher levels of salt and/ or fats…so make sure to always read the label! We also recommend choosing a wholemeal, wholegrain or seeded variety. 🙂

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++50g            Cooked brown or green lentils
++++++++++++++++++++                   Fresh salad veggies
+++++++++++++++++++++1                Stick of celery
+++++++++++++++++++++4               Black/pitted olives
++++++++++++++++++++124g            Butterbean and red pepper dip/spread
++++++++++++++++++++  1                Standard seeded, multigrain or GF tortilla wrap

 

 

Directions:

Rinse and prepare the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain. Rinse under cool water. Allow to drain. Lightly season (if desired).

NB: Ours took approx. 25 minutes to cook. We used approx. 150g of dried, brown lentils (to use for approx 3 lunches/person); approx. 2tbsp.(50g)/person/wrap.

 

 

 

Wash, dry and prepare all of your intended ‘wrap’ veggies!

 

 

Wash, trim the ends and slice the celery into sticks. Drain and wash the olives.

 

 

Measure and place the dip into a small dish/bowl.

You don’t have to jazz yours up with nuts!

 

 

Warm your wrap in the microwave according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Prepare the wrap

Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of the dip (from your dish) down the middle of the wrap. Spoon and spread the lentils over the dip with a spoon.

 

 

Place your smaller salad veggies over the lentils….

 

 

…followed by any lettuce or leaves you’re using.

 

 

~Fold or roll up your wrap!~

 

 

Lunch is served! Place your wrap onto a serving plate or board. Serve with the remaining dip and vegetables. NB: We separated the celery, olives and any leftover veggies from the wrap (to avoid making our wrap soggy from any remaining veggie water!).

Our lunch came to approx. 340Kcal (*Not counting the salad veggies: the lettuce, rocket, coriander, carrot, tomato & cucumber- but that’s negligible anyways, so don’t get hung up on that!). 🙂

 

 Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Pad Thai Soup W/Tofu (V,GF)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep duration: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-8 hours

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, K & E, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, has minimal added sugars and is relatively low in salt* and saturated fats*! (*NB:orange traffic light ratings). 

I think the main thing that enticed us to prepare this recipe (well, me especially) was the peanut butter. Authentic pad Thai soups and/or noodle dishes normally have vegetables, noodles, poultry, shellfish and/or eggs with some nuts….but when your vegan, what are you left with?! Lovely noodles, vegetables and peanuts… so we took the peanut aspect and ran with it!

We’re both peanut butter lovers, me probably more so, but only because I grew up in North America…but my palate and awareness has evolved a millionfold since childhood; no more   hydrogenated oils or glucose-fructose, corn syrups! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, peanut butter is a love affair most people have for life…so we all just have to be smart about it. Nut butters (in their natural form) can be quite nutritious…but also high in calories and fat (some more than others)- so please consume them within moderation as part of a healthy diet!

As for the recipe, it’s quite versatile and can be made on the ‘cheap’! For this reason we have excluded tamarind paste (a typical ingredient found in this type of recipe); this item isn’t necessarily expensive (especially when bought in its ‘pulp’ form) but for those that do not attempt a lot of ethnic cooking, it may be a waste of money… it does provide a lovely depth of flavour though, if you do decide to treat yourself! Check out our butternut squash curry; we show you how to prepare tamarind pulp (but this is also a great recipe)!

We have also omitted the use of fish sauce and chicken stock for obvious reasons…and soya sauce; just trying to keep the salt content down! Some recipes request using fried noodles- but we thought we’d give that a miss! Using chilli, lime, ginger and the peanut butter provided a lovely vegan/Thai alternative. Feel free to add more veggies- this soup only offers approx. 1.5 servings (fruit/vegetables)/serving, towards your 5-A-Day; considerably less than our other recipes!

We hope you enjoy it!

 

The tofu is off  being ‘pressed’… and we decided not to use the mirin.

 

Ingredients:

 

Directions:
Step One

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for approximately 15-20 minutes to remove any excess water.

 

 

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

We sprayed the mat with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Peel and dice the shallot and garlic.

 

 

Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into matchstick pieces. Wash and zest the lime.

 

 

 Drain and chop the tofu into cubes. Place them on the baking tray. Spray them with a little low-fat cooking oil. Place it into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove.

Through the magic of time….we give you baked tofu! 🙂

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and slices the mushrooms…

 

 

…. and juice the lime.

 

 

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

 

 

Add the ginger, spring onion, garlic and shallot. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Remove from the heat.

 

 

Transfer the tofu into the slow cooker.

 

 

Add the ginger, spring onion, garlic and shallot and mushrooms…

Opps! We forgot to add the mushrooms… until about 10 minutes after it started cooking! Add them now!

 

 

…the carrot, lime zest and juice, sugar, chilli flakes and peanut butter…

We added our mange tout at this stage…but do not recommend it. Add it right before serving to help keep its vibrant colour!

 

 

…followed by the stock and boiling water. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with the lid. Cook on low heat setting for 7-8 hours.

 

 

This soup is great to make overnight or first thing in the morning (for those that have time)!

Whether you decide to make this soup overnight or before you go off to work, there will be minimal work required to get this dish on your table.

 

Step Two

Cook some pasta according to the packet instructions (this is only going to take 10-14 minutes!). Drain.

In the meantime, place the soup into a large, non-stick saucepan (if applicable) and gently reheat over a medium-low heat; add the mange tout. Taste and season it as desired; we added a little more lime juice. Add the cooked pasta to the soup just before serving; stir together and serve.

Meanwhile, wash and chop some fresh coriander and chop some peanuts (if desired).

 NB: We snapped our spaghetti into halves before cooking. Once you turn the slow cooker off, your food can remain a good temperature for at least 30 minutes afterwards; just don’t remove the lid.

 

Ladle into a large serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts (if desired) and serve.

See, don’t make the same mistake we made with the mange tout- it looks so washed out! NB: This picture shows one serving (based on six servings). One serving provides approximately: 208kcal, 11g Protein, 9g Fat, 1.6g S/fat, 3.8g Fibre, 0.5g Salt, 383mg Calcium, 2.2mg Iron & 16mg of Vitamin C! To help reduce the fat content, use half as much tofu..and maybe a little less peanut butter!

 

Enjoy!

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days.

 

If preferred…

  • Our bag of mange tout was only £1, but please feel free to use bean sprouts, shredded kale, or some frozen/defrosted spinach, green beans, bell peppers, green peas, or sweetcorn instead…or in addition (let it provide 3 of your 5-A-Day)!
  • Swap the shallot for white onion.
  • If you’re short on time, you can try adding the tofu to the slow cooker ‘unbaked’…but we’re not too sure of what the end product will be like; we’ve never tried it. If anyone has, please feel free to fill in the blanks!
  • If being GF isn’t a concern, try using wholemeal pasta; alternatively use soba noodles or some rice noodles or vermicelli instead.

Battered Tofu & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Heavy plates, chopping board, sharp knife, small bowls, baking tray, silicone mat or parchment paper, large measuring jug, whisk, non-stick pot w/lid

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

Stir-fries can be a great way of eating a quick and low-fat meal (packed full of lovely vegetables of course); just be mindful of how much salt, sugar and oil you use.

This is a great stir-fry recipe…. and if you love tofu- read on!

There are various ways to prepare tofu, but baking it is one of the healthier methods; it’s great for those that do not like ‘soft and squishy tofu’. If you drain and then stir-fry your tofu, this is often the end result….but if you have the time, this battered tofu recipe adds a little something extra and tastes great; it’s fantastic at absorbing all the delicious flavours in your meal, just place it into the sauce towards the end of cooking!

A few other good things to note include

  • The batter we have prepared is fairly basic and bland. Please feel free to change it as you see fit. Also, you can make the tofu in advance; just refrigerate it in a resealable container for 3-5 days and reheat it before use.
  • The vegetable list is just a guide and the sauce can be adapted to suit your personal taste; if you plan on using frozen vegetables, defrost them first.
  • Our vegetable list provides you with about 2.5 servings of vegetables/serving towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Batter ingredients…

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy or weighted plattes (or chopping boards) for about 20-30 mins to remove any excess water.

 

In the meantime, prepare the batters. Place the flour, cornmeal, onion and garlic powder and sweet paprika into a bowl. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Stir together to form the dry batter.

 

 

In a separate bowl, add the potato starch and milk. Stir until dissolved.

Wet batter.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare the stir-fry sauce.

Sauce ingredients…

 

 

Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and finely chop the chilli (remove & discard the seeds first if you can’t stand the heat!). Peel and dice the shallot.

 

 

Place the corn flour and water into a large measuring jug. Stir to dissolve.

 

 

Add the soya sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.

 

 

Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and shallot. Stir to combine.

 

 

Meanwhile, place the broccoli into a microwavable dish; defrost in the microwave. Drain.

 

 

Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion; set a little aside for a garnish (if desired). Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into slices. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into ‘matchstick’ pieces. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash the corn and mange tout.

We used some green and red bell peppers…

 

 

Heat oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

 

 

Drain, chop and slice the tofu into small ½cm thick rectangles. Place them onto the baking tray.

 

 

Take a piece of the tofu and dip and coat it in the ‘wet batter’ mix…

 

 

…and then dip and coat it in the ‘dry batter’ mix.

 

 

Place it onto the baking tray.

 

 

Repeat these steps until all the tofu has been coated in batter.

 

 

Place the baking tray into the oven. Bake for approx. 20-25 mins or until lightly golden. Turn once during cooking. Remove.

 

 

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

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, non-stick wok over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add most of the spring onion (or all of it if you are not saving any for a garnish), bell peppers, carrot, mushrooms and corn. Gently stir-fry for 4 minutes.

 

 

Add the broccoli and mange tout. Stir-fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

Yes, we are missing our broccoli; epic fail!!! We forgot it in the microwave…so had to cook and add it to the stir-fry at the end. 😦

 

 

Pour in the sauce. Stir together. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens; approx. 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

NB: You can add & stir in the battered tofu if at this point (if desired) or wait and serve it on top of the stir-fried vegetables and rice.

Finished. 🙂

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the rice onto a lipped plate or into a large serving bowl.Top with the vegetables; sprinkle over the remaining spring onion (if applicable) and some seeds.

 

 

Finish with the tofu (if applicable).

Obviously we ate more than three pieces (more like 5- 6!)

 

 

Serve it anyway you desire!

This was our next-day leftovers- lot’s and lot’s of vegetables! 🙂

 

 

 Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • As always, use lot’s of fresh, frozen and/or seasonal vegetables!
  • Make it as spicy as you desire; use fresh or dried chillies.
  • If you really can’t get on with tofu, try using cooked beans or brown/green lentils instead.
  • Brown basmati rice is great, but if you prefer, try using wholemeal or a GF pasta instead.

NB: We definitely prefer this meal with rice!

Avocado & Spinach Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 20-30 mins
Type: Main Meal or Side Dish
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, large pot, frying spatula, blender or food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container

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

If you’ve never have an avocado-based soup before, you’re in for a treat. It’s creamy, delicious nutritious and it literally only takes about 5 minutes to get this recipe cooking on your stove top! Cooking really doesn’t get any easier than that!

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • This soup provides you with about 2.5 servings of vegetables/serving towards your 5-A-Day!
  • Avocados are actually a fruit, or more specifically, a single-seeded berry! They are a great source of: B-vitamins, Vitamin E, protein, fibre, potassium, zinc and mono-unsaturated fats (‘good’ fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle); among some other nutrients that are all great for maintaining a healthy body!

They are known for their high calorie and fat content; unlike other plant sources (e.g. coconuts!) they contain less saturated fat and more mono and poly unsaturated fats! Yay for healthy fats!

  • This is a great soup in moderation- for your waistline and wallet! If you’re like us, you probably only buy them on occasion, as they are a fruit native to central America- which means their carbon footprint does not always come cheap!

We also think that soup is a great example of how processed foods can deceive us if were not careful, even healthy ones. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, e.g. eating a homemade fruit smoothie can easily contain over 30 grams of sugar. Fruit sugar is great, when you are eating ‘whole pieces of fruit’… but not necessarily when you break down all of its lovely intrinsic sugars (a.k.a when you throw all of your delicious fruit into a blender)! Breaking down all the wonderful insoluble fruit fibre makes the fruit sugars (fructose) more accessible to your body; which increases the glycaemic index value (*see our article on sugar here).

This is why the BDA advises we only drink 150ml of fruit juice/day and why it should never be a used as a replacement to fruit; it only can be counted as one of your 5-A-Day.

… But we have digressed; let’s get cooking!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     White Onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2             Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Low-Fat Cooking Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400ml   Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++125ml     Vegetable Stock (low sodium/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1              Bay Leaf
+++++++++++++++++++++++++15ml       Lemon Juice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Frozen Spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++320g      Avocado Pears
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml    Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info

NB: This soup receives an orange traffic light rating for its fat and sat fat contents, and a green one for its salt; which makes it an OK choice. To lower the fat content, just use one avocado and some more lovely spinach instead!

 

 

Directions

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.

We used some leftover banana shallots and a white onion- anything goes! If you have a food processor or food mandolin (that you don't mind washing up later)- this step will be even quicker!

We used some leftover banana shallots and a white onion- anything goes! If you have a food processor or food mandolin (that you don’t mind washing up later)- this step will be even quicker!

 

 

  • Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Spray it some low-fat cooking oil.
  • Add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
  • Add the water, stock, bay leaf and lemon juice. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.
  • Add the spinach. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Return to the boil. Simmer and cook for 3-4 mins or until cooked. Remove from the heat. Allow the soup to cool slightly.

 

 

In the meantime, chop the avocado into halves, remove the stone and then peel away the skin. Tip: If you are using frozen avocado, make sure it has thoroughly defrosted first! 

 

 

 

  • Remove the bay leaf from the saucepan and discard. Transfer the soup into a blender.
  • Add the avocado.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer the soup back into the saucepan or into a resealable container. Pour in the milk. Mix to combine. Taste and season it with some salt and black pepper (if necessary). NB: Add a little more water if a thinner consistency is preferred.

 

 

Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat and gently reheat (if applicable).

 

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some soya yoghurt, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds or simply enjoy it as it is!

We used some fresh chives and seeds. :)

We used some fresh chives and seeds. 🙂

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1 month.

NB: When reheating, allow the soup to become hot, but do not allow it to boil. 

Jerk Vegetable Skewers With Rice and Peas!

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & cooking time: 60-80 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and is low in salt and saturated fats!

Rice and peassss anyone?? Or should we say rice and kidney beans?! In the Caribbean and some parts of the U.S.A, kidney beans are refereed to as peas; for most people, the word peas evokes the image of ‘little green garden peas’!

…So here’s us trying to adapt a Jamaican vibe with jerk seasoning, vegetables and of course, plenty of rice!

Our rice and peas (although not 100% authentic) is significantly lower in saturated fats than original versions that use tinned coconut milk! Our milk acts as more of a ‘flavouring’ than whole ingredient; it makes a ‘perfumey’ and creamy rice that has an enjoyable taste… without the added calories! Our marinade is pretty tasty too! As we have recommended (see below!), try using it as a marinade or as a ‘rawish’ sauce!

 

Quick facts:

  • This recipe provides you with approximately 6 portions of fruit/vegetables/serving(*based on 4 servings) towards your 5-A-Day!
  • Our milk provides approximately 0.9g of saturated fat/100ml vs. 15g/100ml from tinned (full fat) coconut milk.
  • Kidney beans can be a good source of protein, fibre, calcium and iron (among other nutrients!) for those adapting a plant-based lifestyle.  
  • Rice and peas is a great example of protein combining! Check out our previous article for more details and great advice on plant-based proteins!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

 

 

Place the ginger, shallot, garlic, chillies, spring onion, lime zest and juice, pineapple juice, soya sauce, allspice and oil into a food processor.

 

 

Blend until a chunky paste is achieved.

 

 

Remove and transfer it into a shallow bowl.

 

 

Dip and coat the skewers into the marinade; use a pastry brush to help spread it evenly.

NB: Alternatively- spray the skewers with some low- fat cooking oil and roast them; pour over the marinade when serving as a ‘rawish’ type of sauce instead!

 

 

Transfer the marinaded skewers back onto the baking tray.

 

 

Continue this step until all of the skewers have been marinaded. Lightly spray them with some low-fat cooking oil (if desired).

 

 

Place the pineapple over the skewers.

 

 

Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion. Rinse and drain the rice. Drain and rinse the beans.

 

 

Place the baking tray into the oven. Roast for approximately 20-30 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Remove.

Finished! We roasted ours for 25 minutes. 🙂

 

 

In the meantime, place 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 rice. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the milk and water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Add the beans, thyme and garlic powder. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Reduce to a simmer.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Cook for 15-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Remove.

 

 

Serve immediately. Ladle the rice onto a serving plate. Top with the skewers and pineapple.

 

 

Enjoy the great flavours and a full belly!

 

 

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

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 45 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B3 (Niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin C, protein, fibre, beta carotene, iron, potassium, no added sugar and is low in salt and fats! 

We love sweet potatoes but think that it’s sometimes an undervalued ingredient; its list of cooking and baking possibilities is endless! This soup has a delicious and creamy texture with a wonderful spicy kick! It’s a great recipe that’s incredibly easy to prepare, wallet-friendly and of course versatile! Prepare it for lunch or as a dinner (just add a few extra ingredients- see below)!  

Help and stop food wastage by meal planning and make sure to use up any remaining ingredients in your fridge…like celery! Celery can be an annoying one… as you cannot just buy a single stalk of celery! We all have to be a bit more proactive about using it. Our leftover celery went unnoticed in this soup, but it was a simple way to prevent it ending up in the bin!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low salt/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2L            Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++860g       Sweet potatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g        Banana shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g        Celery
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g        Red bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g          Raw ginger root
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g          Red Chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g             Ground coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                 Salt & Ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock and water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the potatoes. Peel, trim the ends and roughly chop the shallot. Wash, trim the ends and slice the celery. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the ginger. Wash and trim the ends off the chilli.

NB: Remove and discard the chilli seeds if you prefer your soup with less heat!

 

 

Place the potatoes, shallot, celery, bell pepper, ginger, chilli and coriander into the saucepan. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the soup to cool slightly.

 

 

Transfer it into a blender.

If necessary, complete this step in batches.

 

 

Process until smooth.

 

 

Transfer the soup back into the saucepan or a resealable container.

 

 

If desired, season it to taste with some salt, black pepper and some more ground coriander. Stir together.

 

 

Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat and gently reheat (if applicable).

 

 

Ladle it into soup bowls.

 

 

Garnish as desired…

We added some rice vermicelli, crushed cashews, spring onion and a pinch of dried coriander and chilli flakes!  NB: Based on 6 servings, the soup (without any additional ingredients) provides <150kcal & 1g fat/serving!  😀

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try adding a Thai twist! Add some fresh coriander or Thai basil, puréed or fresh lemon grass, pea aubergines, lime (juice/zest) or kaffir leaves, some galangal root instead of ginger, tofu and/or a splash of UHT (unsweetened & fortified) coconut-flavoured DF milk !

Vegan Lancashire HotPot

Healthy Recipes

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 to bake it! We recommend that everyone should either: A) use a bigger casserole dish, B) use a deep ceramic/oven-proof dish instead or C) reduce the quantity of the water used by 400-600ml. 

A few other good things to note include:

  • You can use your favourite type of white beans or a variety of beans, lentils, pearl barley or some dehydrated soya mince in this dish!
  • Make the vegetables, fresh, frozen and/or seasonal as always!
  • If you’re short on time, do not peel the potatoes; we promise that you won’t enjoy this meal any less! NB: Potato skins will help provide you with additional insoluble fibre (which is great to help support a healthy bowel!) and further vitamins & minerals!
  • Perhaps you can try substituting some of the water with a tin of chopped tomatoes; if anyone tries this, please let us know!

Quick Foodie Facts

  • This recipe provides you with 167% of your RDA for Vitamin C/ serving!
  • Once again this is a meal that helps you become the king or queen of vegetables…as it provides you with approximately 3.5 portions/serving of your 5-A-Day! Try having a portion of fruit on your morning porridge/cereal, a banana as your mid-day or afternoon snack and your set! Plan ahead folks- it’s really not that hard!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients:
200g     Dried brown lentils
120g      Frozen cabbage
200g     Brown onion
6g          Garlic clove (1 fat one!)
140g      White mushrooms
420g     Carrot
120g      Celery (about 2 stalks)
130g      Red bell pepper
1kg         Baking potatoes
+++++++Low-fat fry spray oil
300g    Tin Cannellini beans (in water)
2g          Dried parsley
6g          Herbs De Provence
1 tbsp    Soya sauce(low-salt/or Tamari)
60g       Tomato puree (no added salt)
500ml   Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF)
1.4L         Water
30g        Corn flour
+++++++ Salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info:

 

Directions:

Place the lentils into a sieve. Remove any seeds or stones and then rinse them under cold running water. Cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Tip: Ours took 20 minutes to cook.

 

In the meantime, place the frozen cabbage into a microwavable bowl. Place into a microwave and defrost. Drain the excess liquids.

Defrosted!

Defrosted!

 

Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash, peel, trim the tops and then dice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and chop the celery into small cubes (slice vertically into a few strips and then horizontally). Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ¼-½ cm cubes.

 

Wash, peel (of desired) and then slice the potatoes into thin slices.

 

Open, drain and wash the cannellini beans in a colander.

You can see that by this point our lentils were cooked!

 

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrot, celery and bell pepper. Stir together. Gently fry for 4-5 mins or until softened.

 

Add the cooked lentils, defrosted cabbage, drained beans, 2g dried parsley, 6g Herbs De Provence, 16g mustard powder, 1 tbsp soya (or tamari) sauce, 60g tomato puree, 500ml vegetable stock and 1.4L water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 mins.

We simmered ours for about 8 mins.

 

In the meantime, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Also, prepare a slurry! Place 30g corn flour into a small dish. Add equal parts water. Whisk with a fork until it’s dissolved.

 

 

Season the gravy with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Re-whisk the slurry. Whilst stirring, pour the slurry into the pot. Keep stirring for about 2-3 mins or until the gravy has thickened. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into a large casserole dish.

 

Top with a layer of potato. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil. Repeat this step until all of the potato has been used.

 

 

Place the casserole dish onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins or until the mixture is bubbling and the potatoes are tender and slightly browned. Remove. Allow it to cool slightly (as it will be boiling hot!).

 

 

Use a large kitchen spoon and serve the hotpot in a lipped serving plate. Serve with additional vegetables if desired (maybe some delicious steamed green beans, kale or broccoli for some added nutrition and to help brighten up the dish!)

Enjoy!

 

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container or securely cover with a layer of kitchen film; reheat and consume within 3 days. Alternatively store in an air tight and resealable container(s); defrost/reheat and consume within 1-2 months. NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the dish is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat it more than once. 

Fiery Butternut Squash & Tofu Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

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

This is a squash and tofu soup flavoured with fiery ginger and other earthy spices. Not only is it delicious, but it’s easy to prepare; the finished product provides you with a soup that has a very creamy and velvety texture! 

 

Feel free to use more spices if desired!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++600ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if needed)
+++++++++++++++++++800ml    Water
+++++++++++++++++++800g       Butternut squash
+++++++++++++++++++60g          Raw ginger root
+++++++++++++++++++140g        Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++130g        Red bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++10g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++6g            Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++6g            Ground coriander
+++++++++++++++++++340g       Silken Tofu
+++++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper

 

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock and water. Bring to the boil.

 

 

In the meantime, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into small cubes. Wash, peel and roughly chop the ginger. Wash, peel, trim the ends and and roughly chop the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper. Peel and mince the garlic.

We used some of our roasted garlic that we saved from last week! Remember our baked rice?! Feel free to use a raw or roasted variety!

 

 

Place the squash, ginger and carrot into the saucepan. Cover with a lid. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper, garlic, ground cumin and coriander. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.

 

 

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

 

 

In the meantime, drain and place the tofu into a blender.

 

 

Ladle the soup into the blender; if necessary, process in batches.

We completed this step in 2 batches.

 

 

Blend until smooth.

Nice and creamy!

 

 

Transfer the soup back into the saucepan or a resealable container.

 

 

Give it a stir. Taste and season it with salt and black pepper as necessary.

 

 

Reheat gently (if applicable) until hot but not boiling.

 

 

Ladle into a soup bowl.

 

 

Garnish with croutons, seeds, or herbs if desired.

We used some home-made croutons, spring onion, black pepper and a few cumin seeds 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost and consume within 1-2 months.

Oriental-Inspired Vegetable & Baked Tofu Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 60 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, potassium, iron and is low in fats!

We think its safe to say that most people still have soup or stew on tonight’s menu! …Being that it’s cold, damp and for the selected few, are battling snow drifts! 

This recipe is great! It’s versatile, simple to execute, packed full of flavour and Vitamin C (approx. 257% of your RDA be specific)… and if you add enough chilli you’ll be warm in no time! 😀

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

Nutritional Info:

 Traffic light alert! The fat and saturated fat get a green light while the salt receives an orange one. Remember, orange ratings still make it an OK choice, but green ones are always better! To achieve this, reduce the quantity of the stock and soya sauce to lower the salt content. Flavour it by adding with more fresh ginger, fresh chillies or any other spices that you desire.

 

Directions:

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for approximately 20-30 minutes to remove any excess water.

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper; lightly spray it some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into small slices. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into ‘match-stick’ pieces. Wash, peel and slice the ginger. Peel and chop the white onion into thin slices. Wash, trim the ends and diagonally slice the spring onion. Peel and chop the garlic. Wash the mange tout.

 

 

Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into small cubes. Place it onto the baking tray. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the tray into the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

NB: The cooking duration depends on your own personal preference; for a firmer texture, bake it for a minimum of 20 minutes.

 

 

In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock, water and the frozen cabbage and sweetcorn. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain.

The water took 10 minutes to boil, but the rice noodles only took 5 minutes to cook!  C’est le vie. 🙂

 

 

Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, ginger, the white and spring onion, garlic and chilli flakes. Stir together. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Feel free to add more chilli flakes than we have!

 

 

Add the mange tout and soya sauce. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until tender.

 

 

Remove from the heat.

 

 

Add the noodles and seeds. Stir through.

 

 

Add the tofu. Stir together. Taste and season the soup as necessary.

 

 

Ladle into soups bowls and serve.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more containers; defrost and consume within 1-2 months.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use seasonal vegetables; fresh or frozen!
  • Try using: shredded kale, sliced spinach leaves or some Pak or Bok Choi instead of frozen white cabbage.
  • Use some spaghetti (broken into halves), fusilli or soba noodles instead of rice sticks.
  • Try some cooked/cubed temph or soya beans instead of tofu.
  • Try a little brown rice miso paste instead of soya sauce… or use less soya sauce and ‘spice it up’ with fresh chillies instead; the addition of some star anise might also work nicely too!

Baked Rice (With Vegetables And Nuts)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-8
Prep: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30-60 minutes.
NB: Ours took approximately 50 minutes to cook. The cooking duration is dependant upon the type of rice and baking dish used; opt for a dish that is  longer and wider as opposed to the one we used (*see below). You might also try soaking your rice before cooking it; this should help to speed up the cooking process.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, K & E, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and is low in saturated fats!

This recipe has an abundance of flavours and textures; it’s so tasty and of course very nutritious! Serve it as a main meal or in a smaller portion as a side dish. Adapt the flavours and vegetables as you see fit! Try making it with an Asian, Thai, Mexican, African or Oriental Flavour! 

Quick facts:

This meal provides you with approximately 347% of your RDA for Vitamin C and 5 servings of fruit/vegetables/ serving!

 

Ingredients:

 

Nutritional info:

NB: Reduce the salt by omitting the olives and/or try using less stock; use water and more fresh herbs instead! 

 

Directions:

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F; place the garlic onto a baking tray. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it into the oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove.

 

 

In the meantime, place the green beans into a microwavable dish. Snap them into halves. Place into the microwave and defrost. Drain.

 

 

Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell peppers into slices. Wash, trim the ends and chop the aubergine into quarters. Wash, trim the ends and dice the courgette. Wash and slice the mushrooms.

 

 

 

Wash, remove the stem and chop the tomatoes into thin slices.

 

 

***If you have a large oven proof dish that is also capable of stove-top cooking- use that!***

Otherwise, place a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the green beans, onion, bell peppers, aubergine, courgette and mushrooms. Add more cooking spray if needed. Stir together. Gently fry for approx. 10 minutes or until softened.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and roughly chop the chives and parsley. Wash, dry and remove the thyme leaves from the stem. Drain, wash and chop the olives into slices. Wash the spinach. Wash and slice the lemon into quarters.

 

 

Add the tomato approximately 5 minutes into the cooking time. Stir together. Fry for a further 5-6 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the chives, parsley, thyme, cranberries and paprika. Stir through.

 

 

***If you’re using a large oven proof (stove-top) dish, add the rice, boiling stock and water. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Add the spinach. Place the garlic bulb into the centre; gently press it down into the mixture (until partially submerged). Place it into the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked; stir halfway. NB: Remove the garlic temporarily to stir the rice.***

 

Alternatively, transfer the mixture into a large casserole dish/oven proof dish. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste.

We used this large ceramic dish (its the only thing we had that was big enough!)

 

 

Top with the rice and spinach.

 

 

Pour over the boiling stock and water.

 

 

Place the garlic bulb into the centre; gently press it down into the mixture (until partially submerged).

 

 

Place into the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

 

 

In the meantime, lightly toast the nut & seed mixture in a dry frying pan until lightly browned. Remove and transfer into a small dish.

 

 

Remove the baking dish halfway through the cooking time. NB: Remove the garlic temporarily.

 

 

Add the olives, nuts and seeds.

 

 

Give everything a good stir! Submerge the garlic bulb. Place it back into the oven until the rice is cooked.

 

 

Remove from the oven.

Be careful- it will be steaming hot! Ours went back in for a further 15 minutes (after this picture), as there was still a  few bits of rice that weren’t cooked!

 

 

Remove the garlic and give the rice a good stir. Break apart the bulb. Remove the skin. Add as much garlic to the dish as you prefer.

 

 

Serve immediately. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with herbs and a slice of lemon.

We used some chives.  🙂

 

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 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. 

 Freeze any remaining garlic! Defrost and use it in future soups, stews, casseroles or some home-made houmous and/or dips!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use your preferred vegetable mixture! Just defrost (if necessary) and gently fry to soften them prior to baking.
  • Adapt the herb and seed medley as you see fit.
  • Try adapting this recipe and make it in your slow cooker!

Broccoli, Leek & Potato Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time:  45minutes

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

 This is a great, simple and delicious soup that can be created in less than an hour! It has a very velvety and satisfying taste; as broccoli is out of season here in the UK, use a frozen variety if preferred. 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++360g      Broccoli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g      Leek
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g      Potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g           Garlic
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g       Green lentils
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Vegetable Stock (low-sodium, DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++500ml   Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Dried thyme (optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Ground black pepper

 

Nutritional Content (*Based on 4 Servings):

1 serving provides: 192kcal, 13.3g Protein, 1.4g Fat, 0.51g Sat/fat, 11g Fibre, 0.3g Salt,    95mg Calcium, 7mg Iron

 

Directions:

Wash and chop the broccoli (including the stem). Trim the ends, slice and then wash the leek (preferably place it into a large bowl filled with water; allow to soak and then drain). Wash and roughly chop the potato. Peel and dice the garlic. Remove any stones from the lentils; wash and then drain.

 

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain.

NB: Once cooked, my lentils went straight into this plastic tub; this soup was going to be many delicious lunches for us throughout the week. 🙂

 

In the meantime, place the vegetable stock and water into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the broccoli, leek, potato and garlic. Stir together. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

Remove from the heat. Add the thyme (if using). Allow to cool slightly.

 

Use a hand-held blender in the saucepan or transfer the soup mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

 

Transfer back into the saucepan (if applicable). Add the lentils. Stir together. Season it to taste with some salt and pepper.

 

Return to the heat. Warm slightly (if applicable).

 

Ladle into a soup bowl. Garnish with seeds, nuts, herbs, rocket, croutons or plain yoghurt if desired and serve.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try swapping the potatoes or the broccoli for some brussel sprouts!
  • If you are not vegan, try adding some cheese to the soup.
  • Use onion if you are not keen on leeks.
  • Try adding a bit of cooked brown rice instead of lentils; adjust portions accordingly.
  • Use fresh or frozen vegetables.
  • Once the soup is puréed, try adding some DF milk or yoghurt (or low-fat dairy products if you’re not vegan). If you decide to do make this alteration, slightly reduce the amount of water used.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash & Tofu Salad

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 75mins

This recipe was adapted from: BBC Foods

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

This is a wonderful ‘winter salad’ recipe containing: squash, lentils and a spicy dressing to help warm you on a cold winter’s day! It’s also very versatile and easy to prepare. 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Lentils are a stable in many diets, particularly South Asian. They are a great, versatile and cheap source of: B-Vitamins, carbohydrate, protein, fibre, iron, potassium and are naturally low in fats! These little lovelies should be incorporated into everyone’s diet- vegan or otherwise. 
  • This is a high fibre meal that (per serving) contains approximately 3.5 servings of fruit/veggies towards your 5-A-Day! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

 

 Nutritional Content:

 

Directions:

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for about 30 mins to remove any excess water.

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with some parchment paper; lightly spray it some low-fat cooking oil.

NB: We used ‘8 sprays’, but you could probably use less!

 

Wash, peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized pieces.

 

Place it onto one of the baking trays. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil. Sprinkle over the thyme. Place onto the top oven shelf. Roast for 40-45 mins or until tender. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into small cubes. Place it onto the other baking tray. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30 mins or until lightly golden and slightly crisp around the edges. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

Baked tofu 🙂

 

In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan with some cold water over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

NB: Ours took 25 mins to cook.

 

Meanwhile, wash and dry the rocket. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomatoes. Drain off any excess oil and then finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends, de-seed (unless you prefer dishes with a little more heat!) and then dice the chilli.

… For an extra, spicy kick-  do not remove the chilli seeds!

 

Place a small, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the seeds. Lightly toast. Remove from the heat. Place into a small dish.

 

 

1. In the meantime, prepare the dressing. Place the garlic, chilli, oil, both of the vinegars, soya (or tamari) sauce and the syrup into a mixing jug. Whisk to combine.

2. Place the rocket into a large mixing or salad bowl.

3. Add the squash.

4. Add the tofu.

5. Add the lentils, onions, all of the tomatoes and the seeds. Pour over the dressing.

6. Gently toss together.

 

 

Serve warm. Transfer the salad into a large lipped plate or serving bowl and garnish with the sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container; consume within 3-5 days.

 

If preferred….

  • Instead of sesame seeds try some: pumpkin, chia or  flax seeds or some nuts (maybe walnut, flaked almonds or pine).
  • Swap the rocket for: spinach, swiss chard or lightly steamed kale.
  • Use some sweet potatoes instead of squash.
  • Swap the tomatoes for roasted red bell pepper.
  • If you are not vegan, swap the tofu for some low-fat cheese.

Vegan & GF Pizza Dough

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 80-90 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Mixing bowl, measuring cup, silicone spatula, kitchen film, rolling pin, baking tray, silicone mat or parchment paper

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, no added sugar and is low in added salt and saturated fats!

This is a simple GF pizza dough recipe. We admit, it does look a bit ‘anaemic’… but that’s only because it lacks ‘fats’! Brown, crispy crust usually stems from (apart from burning it!) adding oil and/or animal products (milk, eggs or melted butter)! Mostly, we prefer our crust like this… saving our ‘fat calories’ for the delicious toppings! A.K.A. lovely olives, avocado, pesto sauces, perhaps some sautéed or roasted veggies or even some nuts! Just find a nutritional balance that you prefer, e.g. add some oil in the dough but top it with fresh, garden vegetables and pine nuts!  Even with a little added oil….this crust will certainly be healthier than ones from your favourite take-away joint, there’s no doubt about that! 

NB: This crust is firm with movement …and also ‘light’ on your stomach! If you do prefer a thin and crisp crust, use water (instead of milk) and a bit of oil. 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

NB: Sorry folks, I forgot these ingredients!

 

 

Nutritional Content For Pizza Dough:

Approx. per serving: 163Kcal, 3.5g Protein, 1.2g Fat, 0.2g Sat/ fat, 0.1g Salt, 1g Fibre, 57mg Calcium, 0.5mg Iron

 …This crust lacks fibre…but our toppings made this meal fibre-licious!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++250ml     Soya Milk(unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++250g        GF Flour (plain)
+++++++++++++++++3g             Xanthan gum
+++++++++++++++++7g             Quick rise yeast
+++++++++++++++++1g             Dried Basil
+++++++++++++++++1g             Dried Oregano
+++++++++++++++++                  Salt
+++++++++++++++++6g             Cornmeal (yellow/coarse)
+++++++++++++++++                  Oil

 

Directions

Place the DF milk into a microwavable measuring jug or dish. Microwave until quite warm but not boiling hot.

 

In the meantime, place the flour, xanthan gum, yeast, basil and oregano into a large mixing bowl. Season it with some salt to taste. Mix together.

NB: We used ‘a pinch’ of salt.

 

Make a ‘well’ in the centre.

 

Pour in the DF milk.

 

Mix to combine.

NB: We used the combination of a silicone spatula and our hands for this step!

 

Add the cornmeal.

 

Mix and knead to combine.

 

Cover the bowl with an oiled piece of kitchen flim.

 

Place it somewhere warm to ‘prove’; approximately 45-60 minutes.

 

In the meantime, organise and prepare your toppings.

What’s your favourite combination?!

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone mat.

NB: We changed our mind at the last minute; we used baking parchment instead.

 

*Proved dough.

NB: Ours didn’t rise a whole lot…our ‘proving area’ wasn’t warm enough…or our house for that matter!

 

Lightly flour a clean surface. Roll out the dough.

 

Gently ‘re-roll’ it onto the rolling pin.

 

Transfer it onto the baking sheet; un-roll it.

NB: Once we had it on the sheet, we rolled and ‘stretched’ it out a bit further.

 

Top with sauce and herbs (if applicable).

NB: We used tomato purée, dried oregano, diced red onion and some torn basil leaves.

 

Top with the remaining toppings.

NB: We added: orange bell pepper, courgette, chestnut mushrooms, black olives, cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple and some dried mixed Italian herbs!

 

Place it onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 15-25 mins or until crust is firm. NB: the edges will be slightly ‘crispier’ than the base.

 

Remove from the oven….

 

Add any other toppings (if desired)…

NB: We added some avocado and basil leaves.

 

NB: Topped with rocket!

 

Cut and serve.

NB: We recommend cutting your pizza from the centre outwards. **This shows 2 portions (based on 6 servings).

 

Enjoy!

Here’s a ‘mini’ version we made earlier this year! 🙂

 

 

If preferred… 

  • Try wholemeal, ’00’, or spelt flour if you are not concerned about gluten and added any herbs and/or seasoning you desire.
  • Top with: DF pesto or a home made ‘sauce’ instead of tomato purée.
  • Bake the crust and then add ‘raw’ pizza toppings; adjust cooking times accordingly.

Vegan Curried Rice With Tofu

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 70-85minutes

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

The fundamentals of this recipe stem from Kedgeree! We both used to enjoy a bit of Kedgeree back in the day; it’s a traditional English dish from colonial India. A popular theory is that it originated from an Indian rice and legume dish known as ‘Khichri’, which is traced back to the 1300’s. It was initially introduced to the British as a ‘breakfast dish’ during Victorian times…but now it’s served any time of the day! Today’s modern recipe consists of (arguably) untraditional ingredients which include: flaked smoked fish/fish, eggs, butter and/or cream…but essentially it is curried rice!

 …And there’s absolutely no reason why everyone can’t enjoy a bit of curried rice! I’ve made this recipe previously with short-grain rice (without tomatoes/ bell pepper)…and it always turns out tasting a bit dry…which is undoubtedly why the element of butter and cream have crept into this recipe! I prefer not to add oil and/or vegan spreads to this meal… and with my recipe I don’t have to. This meal contains wonderful tastes and textures which can be enjoyed hot or cold!

Its the type of dish that is extremely adaptable; its also ideal for using up any leftover vegetables and legumes!

 

*Nutritional Breakdown (not including extra/alternative toppings):

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++396g      Firm Tofu
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g       Orange Bell Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g        Baby spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g           Fresh Coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g      Brown basmati rice (uncooked)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g        Cashews (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g      Tin chopped plum tomatoes (no added salt/sugar)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300ml   Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g           Mild curry powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Dried coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Turmeric
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g           Brown mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g      Frozen garden peas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper

Extras or alternative toppings:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g        Radish
+++++++++++++++++++++++++12           Olives
+++++++++++++++++++++++++12g        Capers
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Sweet papkria
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g         Flaked almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g         Natural soya yoghurt (unsweetened)

 

Directions:

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for approximately 30 minutes to remove any excess water.

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper.

 

Wash the spinach; allow it to drain. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander. Wash the rice.

 

Roughly chop the nuts.

 

 Place the tomatoes and water into a large measuring jug; mix together.

 

 Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Place it onto the baking sheet. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned.

NB: Refer to my previous recipes if you require visual guidance for this step.

 

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Stir together. Gently fry for 1-3 minutes, or until softened.

 

 Add the curry powder, dried coriander, turmeric and mustard seeds. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

 

 Add the rice. Stir to coat.

 

Add the tomato mixture and the peas. Stir to combine. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has ‘mostly’ absorbed the water.

NB: You might have to adjust cooking times of the rice mixture accordingly. Refer to the packet instructions.

 

 In the meantime, remove the baked tofu from the oven. Place onto a cooling rack.

NB: If preferred, cover it with some foil to keep warm.

 

 

 Remove the saucepan from the heat. Do not remove the lid. Allow it to stand for 8 minutes.

 

 Add the spinach. Replace the cover. Allow it to stand for a further 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted slightly.

 

 Remove the cover. Fluff and stir the rice with a fork.

 

 Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish. Top with the tofu, coriander, the nuts any other desired ingredients.

NB: I did not mix these ingredients into the rice. I also added some additional toppings: olives, capers and sweet paprika.

 

Serve immediately with a green salad or green beans if desired.

NB: I forgot to cook my beans! 😦

Enjoy!

 

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

  • Try using lentils or some soya, broad, kidney or aduki beans instead of tofu.
  • Vary your veggies! Try using: fresh chillies, green beans, carrots, leek, kale, courgette or maybe even some cumin seeds, fenugreek or sultanas to the rice instead.
  • I used a neutral curry spice mix, but feel free to make it as spicy as you desire!
  • To reduce the fat, use less tofu and omit the cashews; use a few flaked almonds instead.
  • If you are not vegan/vegetarain, try using a bit of some poached haddock, mackerel, salmon or eggs to the dish.

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).

Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-5
Prep & Cooking Time: 50-60 mins

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

This recipe produces a nutritious and vibrant bowl of soup! The lentils and almonds make an ordinary bowl of carrot soup very hearty, whilst the ginger and cumin provide a lovely and ‘warming’ taste- it definitely gets two huge thumbs up from us! 

We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g     Dried Red Spilt Lentils
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2L         Vegetable Stock (low-salt/DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++760g    Carrots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g     White Onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g       Root Ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g         Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g       Ground Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Ground Cumin

 

Directions:

  1. Wash, remove any stones or seeds and then prepare the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain.

2. In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock. Bring to the boil.

3. Meanwhile, wash, peel, trim the ends and then slice the carrots. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and finely grate the garlic.

4. Add the carrots, onion, ginger and garlic to the saucepan. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 12 mins or until the carrots are tender.

5. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly.

6. In the meantime, place the lentils into another large saucepan or resealable container.

 

 

Ours went into this plastic tub for more quick and delicious lunches this week! 🙂

  1. Place the soup mixture into a blender or food processor.

2. Blend until puréed.

3. Transfer the puréed soup into the pan or container with the lentils. Stir together. Repeat steps one and two until all of your soup is puréed.

4. Add the ground nuts and cumin.

5. Stir together. Taste and season as necessary.

 

 

Place the pan over a medium-low heat (if applicable) and reheat.

Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some: spice, ground black pepper, seeds or fresh herbs if desired.

NB: We used a sprinkle of: ground cumin, sunflower seeds and fresh coriander. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Vary your ‘main’ vegetable! Instead of carrots, try using: sweet potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, red bell peppers or maybe some parsnips!
  • Add a little almond milk or soya yoghurt (just before reheating) for added calcium. Alternatively, try substituting some of the broth for almond milk.
  • Try using other earthy spices such as: dried coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, paprika or a garam masala blend.
  • Spice it up with fresh chillies or chilli powder!
  • Serve it with some warmed GF bread, or try an oatmeal pita or rye bread (if you are not concerned about gluten!).

Vegan Sweet Potato And Black Bean ‘Burgers’

Healthy Recipes

Serves:10
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 minutes

This recipe was adapted from: fatfreevegan

This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, potassium, some magnesium, calcium and iron, no added sugars and its also low in saturated fats! 

This recipe is brilliant- its easy to execute, gentle on the wallet and a great alternative to falafel’s or other vegan ‘burgers’. These ‘burgers’ have a lovely, soft-baked texture with a wonderful mix of warm and slightly spicy flavours; try adapting them to suit your palate! 

‘Burger’ Nutritional Breakdown:


Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++700g   Sweet Potatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++            1kcal  Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g     Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Ginger root
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g       Red chilli pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g  Tin of black beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g  White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g  Green bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4         Cardamom pods (or 1 g of ground cardamom)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g    Natural peanut butter (no added sugar/salt)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g      Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g      Sweet Paprika
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g      Cayenne Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g      Onion powder (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++           Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++           Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g   Porridge oats
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g  GF plain flour

 

Directions:

Wash, peel and chop your potatoes into small chunks. Fill a steamer pot with water. Place it over a medium-high heat. Add the potatoes. Cover and bring to the boil.

NB: Larger pieces will take longer to steam … I made the mistake unfortunately!

Reduce to a simmer. Steam for approx 8-10 minutes or until tender.

 

Drain. Allow to cool.

 

In the meantime, line two baking trays with parchment paper. Spray some low-fat cooking oil over the paper. Spread to coat.

NB: I used approx. 3 sprays/ tray.

 

Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic. Wash, peel and finely grate the ginger. Wash, trim the ends, de-seed and finely dice the chilli. Drain and wash the beans. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and finely chop the bell pepper. Organise your other remaining ingredients too. 🙂

NB: Do not place your flour and oats in the same bowl! I rushed ahead and had to spoon out the oats. 😦 They will be added to the ‘burger’ mixture at different stages.

 

If using cardamom pods, place them into a bowl. Gently press against them to crack the shell. Remove the shells. Grind and crush the seeds into a powder.

NB: I used the end of a rolling pin to do this…but if you have a pestle & mortar- all the better!

 

 

Place the potato and 1/2 the quantity of the beans into a food processor.

 

Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, nut butter, cardamom, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and onion powder. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste.

 

Process until combined and the potatoes look ‘mashed’.

NB: If you don’t own a silicone spatula, I would highly recommend that you purchase an inexpensive one!

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C/430°F.

 

Transfer the burger mixture into a large mixing bowl.

 

Add the remaining beans, onion, bell pepper and the oats.

 

Mix until combined. Season to taste as necessary.

NB: Do not worry if you have a few random ‘chunks’ of potato. Just pick them out, finely chop them and then throw them back in! **Large pieces might stop the burgers from staying together.

 

Add the flour. Mix until combined.

NB: I’ve made the mistake of adding too much flour before because I felt it was too ‘wet/tacky’…but my burgers turned out very ‘dry’ after baking!

** The consistency should not be completely wet or dry but a bit ‘tacky’.

 

Divide the mixture. Roll it between your hands to form 10 ‘balls’.

NB: The mixture will stick to your hands ever so slightly, but this is OK. Sorry, I cannot stress this enough! 🙂

 

Place them onto the trays.

 

Gently press down on top of them to form ‘burger’ patties…

 

…but do not make them more than 3/4″ thick.

 

Place the trays into the oven. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove and swap the tray positions. Bake for a further 11 minutes.

 

 NB: You might not have to swap the trays around; its sensible to do this in my oven.

 

Remove. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the trays.

 

Remove and place them onto a cooling rack…

.

 

…and you can see for yourself, the underside is not burnt either!

 

Serve as desired.

NB: I used salad tomato, green olives, Dijon mustard, avocado, mango, salad cress, lettuce and some wholemeal buns. The sweetness and textures of these ingredients complemented the burgers nicely. 🙂

NB: This picture contains 2 servings.

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate them in a sealed container and consume within 3-5 days. NB: I haven’t tried freezing them, but I would imagine like most leftovers, using them within a month is ideal.

 

If preferred….

  • Serve them in a garden salad, in a pita, or with a bit of salad and rice, millet, cous cous, quinoa etc…whatever you fancy!
  • Maybe have 1/2 of one as a snack with a small glass of unsweetened/fortified almond milk as part of a balanced diet.
  • Try using other types of vegetables and/or spices to create your prefect taste sensation!

Vegan And GF Onion Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-8
Prep & Cooking Time: 80-120 minutes

 

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

This recipe is by far the best vegan onion soup we’ve had! Authentic French onion soup is hard to replicate (at least in a vegan format) due to the fact it uses: butter, unique/strong tasting cheeses, beef broth and occasionally a nice white wine for a little ‘je ne sais quoi’! Unfortunately we haven’t been able to source a vegan wine yet!

None the less, this recipe has immense flavours from the: mushrooms (a pleasant nutty element), the sautéed onions, the lovely fresh thyme and the balsamic vinegar (*I have to stress you should spend a few extra pennies on this ingredient; go for a concentrated variety, e.g. a ‘Balsamic Vinegar of Modena’. …it will make all the difference, we promise)! The potato starch also gives this soup a nice, glossy finish. I feel adding vegan cheese doesn’t ‘add’ anything special to this dish; the soup is delicious and satisfying just the way it is!  

NB: Omitting any sort of cheese and replacing some of the broth for plain water will ultimately lower the salt content of this soup. 

 Soup Nutritional Breakdown:

NB: This recipe provides 4 satisfying large bowls or it can be served as 8 little ‘starter’ dishes.

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g     Dried Porcini mushrooms
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1200g  White onions
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Fresh Thyme
+++++++++++++++++++++++++26g      Green Onions
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g      Vegan ‘margarine-like’ spread (low-fat)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1kcal Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g         Dried Thyme
+++++++++++++++++++++++++80ml    Balsamic vinegar (*a good grade)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3L          Vegetable Broth (DF/GF/low-sodium)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g       Potato Starch
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Ground black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1tsp.    Dried Chives

 

Directions:

Rehydrate the mushrooms according to the packet instructions.

NB: Mine took approx. 30 minutes to rehydrate .

 

Remove with a slotted spoon; do not discard the water.

 

Peel and chop the onions into halves…

 

…and then finely slice them.

NB: Try the ‘reduced tears’ method…

 NB: If you have a mandolin slicer, this would be a brilliant time to use it!

 

Peel and crush the garlic. Wash, dry and chop the fresh thyme.

 

Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the green onion.

 

Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the DF spread. Allow it to melt.

 

Add the onions. Stir to coat. Cover with a lid.

 

Allow them to ‘sweat’ for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and do not allow them to burn!

NB: Burnt onions = re-cutting 1200g worth of onions= noooo thanks!

 

Remove the lid. Spray some low-fat cooking spray if necessary to prevent them sticking.

NB: I used ‘6 sprays’ .

 

 

Add 1/2 the quantity of the vinegar. Stir to coat. Add the mushrooms. Stir through. Gently sauté them for 10 minutes; allow the onions to go lightly brown and caramelise.

 

 

In the meantime, place another large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the broth. Allow it to heat up (but it does not have to come to a boil).

 

Meanwhile, prepare a slurry. Place the starch into a small dish with equal parts water. Whisk together until dissolved.

 

 The onions should be glossy/golden and the mushrooms softened by this point.

 

Add the garlic and both types of thyme. Season it with some pepper to taste.

 

Add the broth, remaining vinegar and some of the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms.       Stir together.

NB: I used 4 tbsp. of the ‘mushroom water’; adding too much will over power the lovely onion taste.

 

Continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.

 

In the meantime, heat some bread (if you want some to accompany your soup)!

 

Whisk the slurry again. Add it slowly into the soup, stirring as you go.

 

Continue to stir for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened (it won’t thicken much but it will give the soup a lovely, glossy finish).

 

Serve warm.

 

Ladle into large soup bowls. Garnish with green onion and chives. Serve with a small bread roll if desired.

 

Also, garnish with some grated vegan cheese if preferred.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Save the leftover ‘mushroom water’; use in a simple, seasoned broth with some rice vermicelli and vegetables the next day.
  • Try using any another variety of dried or fresh mushrooms; gently fry any ‘fresh’ mushrooms before adding them to the soup.
  • Use a sweet variety of onion instead.
  • Garnish with fresh chives and low-salt croutons instead.

Vegan & Gluten Free Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-45 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, grater, colander, large pot, food processor, silicone spatula, small bowl, measuring jug, mixing bowl and/or resealable container

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 is low in salt and saturated fats!

This pesto offers a nice alternative to other vegan pesto salads that use avocado, spinach or roasted vegetables. It has a lovely, fresh and uniquely satisfying taste, not to mention it’s easy to prepare!  

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++520g    Asparagus
+++++++++++++++++++++++16g       Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++1           Lemon (30ml Juice, 1 tsp zest)
+++++++++++++++++++++++25g       Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++++++++++400g    Fresh Tomatoes (your favourite!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++4g         Ground Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Pine Nuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++520g    GF Fusilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++40ml    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Dried Onion Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info

 

Directions

  • Wash the asparagus; trim and discard the ends.
  • Peel the garlic. Wash the lemon; grate the zest from half of it and then juice it. Wash and dry the basil; discard the stems and save the leaves. Wash, remove the stem and then roughly chop the tomatoes.
  • Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus. Simmer for 3-5 mins, or until tender. Tip: Ours took about 4½ mins to cook, but it’s finding a happy balance. Cook them too long and the tips disintegrate, not long enough and the ends do not blend very well into the pesto. 
  • Remove the asparagus from the pot, but do not empty the water from the pot. Transfer into a colander. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, begin preparing the pesto. Whilst the food processor is running, add the garlic through the pouring spout. Blitz into small pieces.
  • Use a spatula and scrape the garlic from the slides and the lid into the base.
  • Add about ¾  of the quantity of the pine nuts and all of the almonds.
  • Blitz until the pine nuts are roughly chopped. Leave the mixture for the moment.

 

In the meantime, bring the saucepan of water back up to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions. Reserve some of the cooking liquid from the saucepan (approximately ½ cup) before draining. Tip: We removed some liquid about halfway through the cooking time; save more liquid if you want a really ‘loose pesto’. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

  • Meanwhile, chop the asparagus stalks into halves. Separate the ‘top’ halves from the ‘bottoms’.
  • Chop the bottom halves into small pieces.
  • Chop the top halves into thirds.

 

 

  • Add 1 tsp lemon zest & 2 tbsp juice (or as much zest and juice as desired), basil, about 10 tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid (more if necessary), 40ml oil, about ¾ tsp onion powder and the ‘asparagus bottoms’ into the food processor.
  • Blend until smooth. Season it with some salt to taste. Tip: Your pesto is now complete!
  • Place the pasta into a large mixing bowl or resealable container. Add the pesto. Mix and thoroughly combine. NB: Ours went into this plastic tub (as it was going to be several lunches throughout the week!).
  • Add the tomatoes and asparagus ‘tops’. Mix to combine.
  • Season it with some salt to taste if necessary. Sprinkle over the remaining nuts.

 

 

Serve and enjoy!

NB: This bowl provides 1 portion (based on 8 servings!). This pasta has been refrigerated overnight. If desired, re-freshen your ‘next day’ pasta with a bit of lemon juice, ground black pepper and dried basil.

 

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

 

If preferred…

  • Make the pesto sauce and serve it over gnocchi, spaghetti or in a lasagne instead.
  • If you are not concerned about gluten, give wholemeal or spelt pasta a try!
  • Add some fortified nutritional yeast (with vitamin B12!) to your pesto for a more authentic taste and of course added nutritional value!
  • Try making it with just ground almonds.
  • For an extra creamy pesto sauce (minus the guilty calories!), add some unsweetened soya yoghurt; add the yoghurt to the food processor when processing the final ingredients.
  • Use the pesto sauce as a dip for vegetables or multi-grain pita. If necessary or preferred, just add a little arrowroot powder to thicken it in a blender/food processor first.

 

This recipe was adapted from: fatfreevegan