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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

 

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

 

Fancy this recipe?! Just contact us¬†us for an easy-print PDF! ūüôā

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other goods things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190¬ļC/375¬ļF. Line two¬†baking trays with a sheet of kitchen foil.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Picture Step: 2

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

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

Picture Step: 7. Lasagne assembly!

One cooled and garnished lasagne ready to eat!

 

Baked Harissa Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 


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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to notes include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

 

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!



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

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: ‚ȧ30mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, grater, non-stick pot(large) w/lid, wooden spoon, ladle

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

 

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

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

Notes: 

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

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

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

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

– An adapted white herby sauce. We¬†added some nutritional yeast and fewer herbs to form a vegan and gluten free friendly ‘cheezy’ b√©chamel sauce.

Some other good things to note include:

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

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

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

2.¬†Preheat the oven to 220¬įC/430¬įF/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with some kitchen foil. Spray the foil with some low-fat cooking oil.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Enjoy!

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Slow Cooker Middle Eastern Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Easy Pizza Crust [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

Notes: 

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Basil & Walnut Pesto [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 160ml
Serves: 8
Prep & Assembly: ‚ȧ10 mins
Type: Sauce, Dip, Spread
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, manual juicer (*optional) food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container

Notes: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

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

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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


 

Meatless Monday: Dal Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: (*Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, sieve, measuring jug, large pot, wooden spoon, small dish, fork

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

New month, new soup! Well, maybe not strictly speaking as we’ve had this soup four times already! The overall costs,¬†convenience¬†and most of all the flavours just keep us coming back for more!

You might remember our Dal from last year? If you haven’t tried it yet, we thoroughly recommend that you do. This year we decided to update it, transforming it into a delicious soup! ūüôā

This version is not only packed full of lentils and heat, but with plenty of seasonal root vegetables and a huge spice blend! We used a red Serrano chilli, but feel free to use one¬†with less or more heat! If you cannot source Ajwain seeds, you can always omit it or use a pinch of dried thyme instead. If preferred, you can always adjust the flavourings, seasonings and ginger to¬†your own specific taste. We always use a ton of spices and vegetables as were¬†absolutely¬†mad about both, so don’t be shy- please feel free to do the same!¬†

Happy cooking everyone!

Quick Foodie Fact:

  • Per serving, this soup provides about 4 servings of fruits/vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
Ingredients
Soup Staples
Flavourings, Spices & Thickeners
20g         Garlic clove (3 fat ones!)
200g      Brown Onion
20g         Red chilli
60g         Root ginger*
120g        Yellow Bell Pepper
300g      Carrot
200g      Parsnips
620g       Baby Turnips
220g       Dried Red Lentils
2 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
1 Tin        Plum Tomatoes
10-12g    Garam Masala
4g           Ground Turmeric
6g           Ground Cumin
3g           Ground Coriander
¬Ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬†Red Chilli¬†Flakes
5g           Brown Mustard seeds
¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬†Ajwain Seeds
+++++++ Salt/Ground Black Pepper
1.6L         Vegetable Stock
+++++++ (low salt/DF/GF)
30g         Fresh coriander
4-5 tsp   Corn Starch
1 tbsp      Lemon Juice

*It adds a fiery kick, so like chillies, use as much as preferred!

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here . ūüôā

 

Directions

1. Peel and dice the garlic and onion. Wash the chilli, remove the stem and dice it. Tip: Remove the chilli seeds if you prefer your dishes with a little less heat! Wash, peel and then finely cube the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then quarter the carrot and parsnip (chop smaller if preferred). Wash, peel, trim the tops and then finely chop the turnip.

2. Place the lentils into a sieve. Rinse under cold running water. Remove and discard any stones.

3. Meanwhile, place 2 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Tip: To reduce the fat, use some low-fat cooking oil instead! Once hot, add the garlic, onion, chilli, ginger and bell pepper. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

4.¬†Add the spice blend: 2 tsp garam masala, 1¬Ĺ tsp ground turmeric, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander,¬†¬Ĺ tsp red chilli flakes, 1 tsp brown mustard seeds and¬†¬Ĺ tsp ajwain seeds into the pot. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

5. Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock. Mix to combine. Cover with a lid. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the carrot, parsnip and turnips. Stir to combine. Cover with the lid. Bring back to the boil. Cook and simmer for about 20 mins or until the lentils and vegetables are tender and cooked.

6.¬†In the meantime, wash and dry the coriander; remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Place the corn starch into a small dish with equal parts water. Stir to dissolve the flour and create a ‘slurry’. Tip: Give the ‘slurry’ another quick whisk before adding it into¬†the soup!

7.¬†Once the soup has finished cooking, pour and stir¬†through the ‘slurry’. Keep stirring until the mixture thickened slightly. Remove from the heat. Add most of the coriander (save some for a garnish) and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir through. Allow the soup to cool slightly before serving. Garnish each bowl with some reserved coriander leaves, fresh lemon or whatever else takes your fancy!

8. Serve with a piece of flat bread or warmed wholemeal or GF pitta bread! Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, store and freeze in one or more containers; defrost, reheat and consume within one month.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe updated: 18/02/16

Pomegranate Sauce [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 10
Yields: about 400ml
Prep & Cooking Time:¬†‚ȧ 8mins
Type: Dip, Sauce, Dressing
Tools: Large measuring jug, whisk, small dish, non-stick pot

Like other¬†‘healthy’ and wholesome foods,¬†pomegranate¬†can play a great part in supporting a healthy diet and lifestyle! Originating from the¬†Middle East, this lovely fruit is¬†a good source of fibre but¬†also contains vitamins C, E & K, iron and other antioxidants. Although there has been studies (1,2,3,4)¬†that have indicated and helped support possible health benefits, such as protecting us¬†against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, the evidence is still inconclusive. Nonetheless we can still enjoy¬†this delicious fruit as one 150ml serving of (pure) juice/day or by scattering these¬†lovely,¬†red jewels over¬†our porridge, yoghurt,¬†salads, rice dishes¬†or any other delicious plant-based meal¬†that¬†we desire! It can be a wonderful¬†way not only¬†to¬†brighten¬†up our meals, but to¬†add some additional nutritional value to them. ūüôā

Today we are sharing a lovely pomegranate sauce (dressing or dip)! It’s easy to make and variable depending on what you want to use it for. In all honestly though, this sauce is a ‘treat’, simply because one being we don’t really drink juice and two, unless you can source cheap pomegranates or (100%) pomegranate juice (as ‘juice drinks’ tend to have added sugar, colourings and/or¬†additives), it can be a bit¬†pricey to make.

If¬†you’re feeling rich or the change in your pocket is starting to weigh you down, then we¬†recommend¬†that you whip up a batch!¬†You can adjust how much starch you use to create your prefect consistency and even experiment by adding a cheeky splash of red wine and/or your favourite spices or herbs for a delicious and unique fusion of flavours! We hope that you enjoy some¬†as a dressing over salads or a plate of steamed¬†veggies (mmm broccoli please!) or as a dip/sauce for your plant-based burgers (or bites) or tasty crudities!¬†

Have a great weekend everyone and happy cooking! ūüėÄ

 

Ingredients

+++400ml            100% Natural Pomegranate Juice (or 4 fresh pomegranates/juiced)
+++1 tbsp              Lemon Juice (fresh or concentrated)
+++¬Ĺ-1 tbsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Fruit Sweetener (*optional)
+++4 tsp                Potato Starch (*variable)

Need and easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

1. Pour the pomegranate and lemon juice into a large measuring jug. Add the sweetener (if using). Whisk together.

2.¬†Place the starch into a small dish with equal parts water. Whisk with a fork to dissolve the flour and until combined; forming a ‘slurry’. Tip: you might want more or less potato starch depending on whether you are making a dip, sauce or thinner dressing.

3. Pour and whisk the slurry into the measuring jug.

4.¬†Transfer¬†the mixture into a non-stick pot. Place it over a medium-low heat. Keep whisking¬†until the sauce starts to thicken (and/or your desired consistency is achieved); do not allow it to boil.¬†Tip: start with a small volume of ‘thickener’. You can always add more of this ‘slurry’ mixture if you want a thicker sauce; just remove the pot from the heat and whisk through. Return to the heat and whisk until your desired thickness is achieved. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool before storing.

5. Serve warm or cold as a dip, sauce or dressing!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Mmm, it’s delicious¬†with our kidney bean burgers!

 

Refrigerate any leftover sauce in a sterilised, air tight and resealable jar; best consumed within 5-7 days.

 

Sources:
NHS Choices- Pomegranate: superfood or fad?
USDA

 

Have you tried making pomegranate¬†sauce before? What’s your favourite (homemade) go-to sauce that you just can’t live without?!

Chickpeas and Amla Usli/Salad

Healthy Recipes

What a simple, nutritious and delicious looking chickpea salad! It‚Äôs packed with so many great flavours and ‚ÄėIndian gooseberries‚Äô; an ingredient we are not familiar with and are keen to explore! Thanks for sharing this great recipe Chitra; we can‚Äôt wait to try it! ÔĀä

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Chickpeas UsliAbout:

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

Health benefits:

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

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

View original post 126 more words

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Vegetable Marinara Sauce W/ Kidney Beans [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 7-8 hrs
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, colander, blender, slow cooker, large spoon

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

What better way to start the week, fight the cold weather and help keep your healthy lifestyle in check than with a delicious, Free From & simple pasta sauce!

We’d like to think that our sauce is suitable for any dinner guest (well, excluding anyone that might be allergic to vegetables! Sorry Emma!) and love that it’s really effortless to prepare!¬†With minimal prep and the use of a slow cooker, you’ll have a delicious marinara sauce that is not only vegan and gluten free, but one that contains over six¬†types of veggies…but we are willing to bet that your kids will never be the wiser!¬†

Our veggies and herbs are chopped, diced and blended before slow cooking into a great depth of flavours; we even threw in some added kidney beans for some added texture, carbohydrate, protein and soluble fibre! Keep the veggies seasonal, fresh, frozen or just some of your absolute favourites! If you’re not a fan of kidney beans, we’d recommend using¬†some pinto, black or butter beans instead. ūüôā

A few good things to note include:

  • If you prefer a slightly thicker sauce, just whisk through a ‘corn flour slurry’ at the end of cooking until your desired thickness is achieved.
  • If you’d prefer a chunkier sauce, just omit the ‘blender step’!
  • We added a spoonful of sweetener. This is optional, but as tinned tomatoes tend to have a slightly bitter taste, we’d recommend it. However, if¬†you’re using fresh/ripe tomatoes instead of our basic tinned ones, you probably won’t need it!
  • If you don’t have a blender, you can always¬†use a high-powered food processor instead.

If you fancy some further pasta sauce (or pasta meal) inspiration, check our some of our precious tomato-based¬†sauces including: our Soya & Vegetable Spaghetti Bolognese, ‘5 Minute¬†Thrifty¬†Marinara Sauce’, Home-made Marinara (as featured with our Red Kidney Bean & Quinoa Meatballs!) and one included in our delicious ¬†Vegan & Gluten Free Lasagne w/a Tofu & Spinach Filling!

 

Quick Foodie Fact:

  • Per serving, this sauce contains about 4.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day! What an easy way to incorporate a variety of veggies into your diet!¬†

 

¬†Happy cooking and buona cena everyone! ūüėÄ

 

Ingredients

+++++++3              Garlic Cloves (fat ones!)
+++++++200g       Red Onion
+++++++160g        Red Bell Pepper
+++++++200g       Carrot
+++++++25g          Fresh Basil
+++++++480g       Cooked Red Kidney Beans (2 tins/no added salt or 250g dried/cooked)
+++++++4              Tins Plum Tomatoes (no added salt/ 1.6kg)
+++++++40g          Sun-Dried Tomato Puree
+++++++30ml        Balsamic Glaze
+++++++30ml        Lemon Juice
+++++++30ml        Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++1-2 tbsp   Fruit Sweetener (*optional)
+++++++¬Ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Asafoetida (or onion powder)
+++++++¬Ĺ-¬ĺ¬†tsp ¬† Salt
+++++++                 Ground Black Pepper
+++++++160g         Frozen Spinach, defrosted (about 7 cubes)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

  • Peel the garlic. Peel and quarter the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then quarter the carrot. Wash and then roughly chop the basil. If applicable, drain and wash the kidney beans in a colander.
  • Place the garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot, basil, 1 tin of tomatoes, 40g sun-dried tomato puree, 2 tbsp balsamic glaze, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, ¬Ĺ tsp asafoetida, ¬Ĺ tsp salt (or to taste) and a few grind of black pepper into a blender. Tip: If your blender is large enough, add all of the tinned tomatoes during this step! Blend until pur√©ed. Transfer the mixture into a slow cooker.
  • If applicable, open and place the remaining tinned tomatoes into the blender. Blend until smooth.Transfer into the slow cooker. Mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the sauce as necessary.¬†Add the cooked kidney beans. Stir through. Cover with a lid. Cook for 7-8 hrs on a low-heat setting.
  • About 30 mins before the end of cooking, carefully dice some frozen spinach into smaller chunks. Add the spinach¬†into the slow cooker. Stir through. Alternatively, dice and steam¬†the spinach, and then stir it through the sauce at¬†the end of cooking. Taste and season the sauce as necessary.

 

Serve warm. Ladle the sauce over your favourite pasta with additional veggies or a small multi-grain roll (if desired). If preferred, garnish the sauce with a few marinated olives, basil or oregano leaves and/or a spoonful of nutritional yeast!

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover sauce in an air-tight and resealable container; gently reheat over a medium-low heat (do not allow it to boil) and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively store and freeze in one or several container(s) and then just simply defrost and reheat; best consumed within 1-2 months of freezing.

Avocado Cream

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 3- 4
Prep & Assembly:¬†‚ȧ 8¬†mins
Type: Dip, Condiment
Tools: Food processor or blender, sharp knife, measuring cups, spoon, silicone spatula.

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

Over Christmas, haven bought numerous fruits and vegetables (a few things impromptu, naughty we know!) we had a few extra items to use before their expiration, including an avocado. 

As lovers of guacamole, avocado-based sauces and well let’s face it, all things avocado this wasn’t going to be a problem! Haven seen a few avocado recipes on our travels last¬†year, we decided to make our take on ‘avocado cream’ (which is really just a smooth dressing, dip or sauce, depending on how you look at it). It was a great idea as it utilised some other ingredients we had on hand; anything to reduce food waste right?!

Potatoes check,¬†Brussels¬†sprouts check, soya yoghurt check… yes, we felt a delicious salad ‘bowl’ and a break from Christmas’s¬†indulgences¬†coming on! So we present to you today our avocado cream! A creamy, tangy and light dip (or dressing) that can be enjoyed with starchy wedges (try¬†making¬†some with your¬†favourite¬†potato, celeriac or parsnip varieties), in¬†salads or ‘bowls’, in a¬†tasty sandwich or wrap, over pasta, as a soup garnish or maybe as a delicious ‘burger’ sauce! It’s also a great way to consume some ‘good’ fats and a little added Vitamin E and calcium! Mmm yes, we feel many¬†falafel or meat-free wraps with this tasty dressing coming on!¬†We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!¬†

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

Avocado Cream

Ingredients

+++++++++++++1              Ripe Avocado Pear
+++++++++++++1 tbsp     Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)
+++++++++++++¬Ĺ Cup ¬† ¬†Soya Yoghurt (fortified & unsweetened recommended)
+++++++++++++1 tbsp     Lemon juice (fresh or concentrated)
+++++++++++++1 tbsp     Apple Cider Vinegar
+++++++++++++20g        Tahini
+++++++++++++               Pinch of salt
+++++++++++++               Pinch of red chilli flakes (*optional)

Directions

1. Chop the avocado (vertically) into two halves. Remove and discard the stone and then peel away the skin. Place it into a blender or food processor. Tip: If you do not own a suitable kitchen gadget, mash and combine all of your ingredients in a large mixing bowl instead! If using, wash the parsley (or your herb of choice!), remove its stem and then roughly shred them (we cut our parsley with a pair of kitchen scissors!).

2. Add 1/2 cup yoghurt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp vinegar, 20g tahini and a pinch of salt. Blend or process until smooth, creamy and uniform in colour. Taste and season as necessary.

3. Using a spatula or spoon, transfer the avocado cream into a serving dish or resealable container (whatever is applicable).

4. If using,¬†garnish the avocado cream with fresh herbs, chilli flakes or anything else you desire! Serve promptly with your desired meal or snack of choice! ūüôā

Enjoy!

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 1-3 days. Tip: If your avocado is really¬†ripe, then ideally you should consume¬†this cream on the same day that it’s made.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

 

Lentils Meatballs [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 20 Meatballs
Serves: 5¬†(*One serving =4 ‘Meatballs’)
Prep & Cooking Time:¬†‚ȧ60 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main meal or Snack
Tools: Sieve, non-stick pot, non-stick frying pan, food processor, silicone spatula, small bowl, chopping board, sharp knife, baking tray, silicone mat, mixing bowl.

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

 

Hi everyone! Here are some easy and delicious lentil meatballs that we made last November! 

So, the question is whether to use legumes or pulses?! Both make great plant-based meatballs, burgers, sandwich fillings, falafels, koftes, meatloaf (more meatloaf!) and sausages (just to name a few!); all of which are tasty, hearty and healthful in their own right. However, we are still undecided as to what we prefer!

Which do you prefer lentils or beans? 

Overall, these little lovelies are great! The lentils, nuts and¬†seasoning’s¬†all provide a great meaty and¬†savoury¬†delight.¬†Enjoy ‘a couple’ as a lovely savoury snack (perhaps with houmous or another¬†tasty¬†dip of choice?!) or¬†as part of a healthful meal; with pasta, as a meze or in a wrap!¬†We enjoyed ours with a homemade spicy tomato sauce and an¬†impromptu¬†(almost!) patatas bravas- we highly recommend it!¬†

 

A few good things to note include:

  • Process or finely chop the ingredients as small as possible. Any whole lentils, or large pieces of veggies will prevent the ‘meatballs’ from forming- you’ll have to them pull out and discard the culprit ingredient(s)! We had to discard a few lentils, pieces of herbs and onion!
  • The lentils make for a great ‘blank canvas’! Just adjust or adapt the seasonings to taste.
  • You can opt out of cooking dry lentils and just use a tin variety instead however, as you have a few other pieces of prep to do before the actual assembly, you might as well just cook some lentils in the background. The choice is yours!
  • Do not be tempted to ‘over bake’ them. Plant-based ‘meatballs’ will¬†be never as firm as standard ones and a dry ‘meatball’ if just not worth thinking about!

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++160g     Dried Brown Lentils (approx. 1 tin cooked lentils)
+++++++++++50g       Walnut pieces
+++++++++++2-3g     Cumin seeds
+++++++++++40g       Slice of Bread (1 slice) or breadcrumbs
+++++++++++140g      Red Onion
+++++++++++100g     Red bell Pepper
+++++++++++180g      Carrot
+++++++++++5g          Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++5g          Fresh Lemon Thyme
+++++++++++2            Flax Eggs
+++++++++++1 tbsp    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++¬ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† Salt
+++++++++++              Ground Black pepper
+++++++++++ 2-3g     Garlic Salt
+++++++++++¬Ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† Asafoetida
+++++++++++2g          Mild paprika
+++++++++++20g        Plain GF Flour
+++++++++++12g         Sesame Seeds

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

 

Directions

Wash the lentils in a sieve, remove any seeds and stones and then cook them according to the packet instructions.

 

In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the walnuts and cumin seeds. Dry-fry until lightly toasted/browned. Remove from the heat and transfer into a small bowl. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer into a food processor. Process until a fine mixture is achieved. Transfer back into the bowl.

 

 

If applicable, place the bread into a toaster or until a grill and toast. Remove and break it up into the food processor. Process the bread until breadcrumbs are achieved. Tip: if you do not have a food processor, toast the bread as hard as possible (without burning it) and then place it into a resealable kitchen baggie. Using a rolling pin, gently crush the bread to create your breadcrumbs! Transfer the breadcrumbs into the same bowl as the walnut mixture.

 

 

Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Peel and quarter the onion. Place the bell pepper and onion into the food processor. Process until minced. Tip: You could also finely chop your veggies on a standard chopping board or grate your veggies using a cheese grater!  Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl.

Larger pieces will have to be chopped or discarded!

 

 

Peel, trim the ends and finely grate the carrot. Wash the parsley and thyme, remove the leaves from the stems and finely chop them. Place the carrot, parsley and thyme into the mixing bowl.

 

 

Drain the lentils. Allow them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, create the ‘flax eggs’. Place 16g¬†of ground flax seed and¬†6 tbsp of cold water into a small dish. Mix until combined. Leave for 5 mins to set.

 

 

Transfer the lentils into the food processor. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Season with a little salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse until the lentils are mostly broken down and a coarse mixture is achieved. Tip: Alternatively place the lentils into a separate mixing bowl with the oil and mash using a potato masher or large fork!

 

 

Transfer the lentils into the mixing bowl.¬†Add the breadcrumbs and walnut mixture, ¬ĺ¬†tsp salt, a few grinds of black pepper, 2-3g¬†garlic salt, ¬Ĺ tsp asafoetida and 2g paprika. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined (forming one giant ‘meatball’!).

 

 

Heat the oven to 200¬ļC/400¬ļF. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper. Lightly spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil. Set aside a small dish with 20g¬†GF¬†flour and another one with 12g sesame seeds.

 

 

Gather some of the mixture between your hands. Tip: use a little flour to coat your hands if the mixture is a little tacky. Roll the mixture into a ‘golf ball sized’ ball. Dip and coat the ‘meatball’ into the sesame seeds. Place it onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. NB: we created¬†twenty! Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 11¬†mins. Remove and carefully turn the ‘meatballs’ over. Place back into the oven and bake for a further 8 mins or until lightly browned and slightly firm.

 

 

 

Try serving them with some roasted veggies!

Baby new potatoes, celeriac and fresh thyme!

 

Remove from the oven. Allow them to rest on the tray for 5 mins before serving.¬†Serve as desired. As mentioned, we went for a spicy tomato sauce and an (almost!) patatas bravas! Delicious! ūüėÄ

 

Leftover ‘bowls’ are great too!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. As a guesstimate store, freeze, defrost and heat within one month; we didn’t freeze any of ours, these lovelies were ‘meal prepped’ and consumed within 3 days! If anyone freezes them, you’ll have to let us know how you get on. ūüôā

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Seasonal Vegetable Soup W/ White Beans & Sausages

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 40 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or kitchen helpers!)
Cooking Time: 4-8 hrs (*Dependent on S.C. setting)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and per serving* is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. (*Dependent upon the type and/or quantity of stock and/or vegan sausages used). 

Happy New year everyone! We would like to take a moment again to¬†thank everyone that has supported us during the last fourteen months; you have truly made it a very productive and rewarding time¬†indeed! It’s been a pleasure sharing, interacting and seeing our posts receive visits from over 80 countries! Thanks everyone, we really appreciate the support and hope that we have helped make your culinary journey and healthy lifestyle easier, tastier¬†and well informed! ūüôā

Today we would¬†like¬†to share another great (mostly!) seasonal recipe that’s plant-based and easy to execute! A tasty and seasonal stew that will not only warm your heart and soul, but will help to kick off the¬†year on a fantastic¬†note! #5Aday

It’s a¬†delicious soup that has a lovely natural sweetness from the carrot, swede and fennel and is wholly satisfying! We have suggested the use of plant-based ‘sausages’, but these¬†are completely optional. The soup is tasty and¬†satisfying¬†without them, but those embarking¬†on Veganuary might be keen to sample some processed/ plant-based goodies to help ease their transition. It’s important to note that these types of faux meats are not the gold standard to plant-based eating and/or healthy eating in general; a lot of these products can contain a lot of¬†oil and/or high levels of salt. However, they can be quite tasty and useful in moderation, but we would always recommend trying to make these plant-based goodies yourself.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016 and happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Per serving¬†this¬†soup contains about 5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day! Now that is truly #eating2health!
  • Butter beans are a great source of nutrients including: Vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc (just to name a few!), are naturally low in fat and count towards your 5-A-Day!

 

Tip: If preferred, use a mixture of ¬†¬Ĺ volume water, ¬Ĺ volume stock with some additional¬†fresh or dried herbs instead of using loads of stock!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++12g           Garlic Clove (2 fat ones!)
+++++++++140g        Brown Onion
+++++++++200g       Yellow Bell Pepper
+++++++++400g       Fennel Bulb
+++++++++360g       Carrot
+++++++++1kg           Swede
+++++++++10g          Fresh Rosemary
+++++++++440g       Cooked Butter Beans (approx. 2 tins or 220g dried/cooked variety)
+++++++++1 tbsp      Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++                Salt & Ground Black pepper
+++++++++187ml      White Wine
+++++++++1               Bay Leaf
+++++++++1.4L          Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++240g       Frozen Green beans, defrosted
+++++++++6-9          Vegan Sausages (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

 

Directions

Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash the fennel, trim the ends, slice it (horizontally) into two halves and then finely chop. Wash, peel, trim the bottom and then chop the swede into cubes. Drain and wash the beans (if applicable). Wash the rosemary, remove the leaves from its stem and then finely chop them. Tip: Check out a previous recipe for some help on preparing your fennel. 

 

 

Wash, peel, trim the ends and then quarter the carrot(s).

 

 

  • Heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil in a large, non-stick a frying pan or pot. Tip: Looking for a lower-fat option? Swap the oil for¬†some low-fat cooking oil instead.
  • Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
  • Add the bell pepper, fennel and carrot. Stir together.¬†Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until slightly softened.
  • Add the swede.
  • Cover with a lid and gently fry/steam-fry for a final 3-4 mins. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the vegetable mixture into a slow cooker.

 

Add the rosemary, butter beans, wine, bay leaf and stock (and/or water). Stir together. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat setting for 7-8 hrs or on a high setting for 3-4 hrs instead.

 

In the meantime…

Snap the beans into halves and defrost them. Add them to the slow cooker during the last 30mins of cooking. Alternatively, steam and then add them to the slow cooker just before serving.

 

Cook the sausages according to the packet instructions. Allow them to cool and ‘set’. Add them into your soup just before serving (if applicable). Tip: Due to the ingredients in¬†these types of sausages, they will quickly¬†dissolve into your soup’s broth¬†if you add them whilst the soup is still cooking!

 

Ladle the soup into large serving bowls. Add the cooked sausages (if desired); serve with bread if preferred (a friendly warning: this soup is super filling without!). Garnish with some fresh rosemary, parsley or chives if preferred.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively freeze in one or several containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

Vegan Bread Stuffing

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 20-30 mins (Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Cooking: 40 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: Pot, mixing bowl, a large baking tray/tin or casserole dish, aluminium foil

Notes:

We hope that all of your festive planning is finally coming together? If you’re still deciding on some simple, tasty or perhaps traditional Christmas side dishes, check out or Vegan Bread Stuffing! It’s a ‘healthier’ holiday ‘comfort food’- one that is modernised, easy, cheap,¬†simple¬†and that everyone can enjoy!

My original recipe came from my mother; I had no idea how ‘old fashioned’ and/or popular this recipe was until I did a¬†cursory¬†search! I took the original and made a few tweaks including: adding more vegetables and herbs, making sure it was completely plant-based and of course using less oil/fats!¬†

Typically this stuffing would end up stuffed inside a turkey, but not in this case! It’s a¬†deliciously seasoned and¬†toasted mixture of bread and veggies that goes great with a tofu loaf, mushroom gravy and roasted Brussels sprouts! ¬†ūüėõ

If you are after a GF version, swap standard bread for some GF bread or bread rolls instead. Just bear in mind that as GF bread tends to be smaller, you might need to use a bit more of it and/or a little less stock or water in the preparation and baking stages.

If preferred (or if you have them to hand), use all fresh herbs instead! Also, we think that the addition of apple and/or toasted walnuts (or pecans) would also go down a treat! 

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

++++++++++12                Slices Stale Bread
++++++++++1                  Garlic Clove (a fat one!)
++++++++++1                  Brown Onion (or 2 banana shallots)
++++++++++2                 Bell Peppers (Red & Yellow)
++++++++++5                 Sticks Celery
++++++++++3                 Medium Carrots
++++++++++1                  Sprig Fresh Rosemary
++++++++++5-6 tbsp    Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++                   Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++10 tbsp       Vegetable stock (low-salt) or Cold Water (approx. 3/4 cup)
++++++++++2g                Dried Sage
++++++++++2g                Dried Thyme
++++++++++¬ľ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Asafoetida (or onion powder)
++++++++++5g               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

1.¬†Chop the bread into 1″ cubes (or smaller if preferred) and set aside. Tip: If your bread isn’t quite stale enough, toast it in a¬†toaster on the lowest heat setting for about one¬†minute.

2. Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell peppers. Wash, trim the ends and then finely chop the celery. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely chop the carrot. Wash the rosemary, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

3. Preheat the oven to 180¬ļC/350¬ļF. Get out a large baking tray, tin or casserole dish; line with foil or parchment paper (if necessary). NB: We used a casserole dish!

4.¬†Heat 1 tbsp of oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil instead) in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, celery and carrot. Gently fry for a further 3-4 mins of until just softened. Remove from the heat. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Tip: If preferred,¬†you could ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables instead at this stage!

5. If you are using vegetable stock, prepare it now.

6. Place the bread into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over 2g dried sage, 2g dried thyme and ¬ľ¬†tsp of asafoetida (or onion powder). Season it with ¬ľ¬†tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss together (with your hands or salad tongs) to thoroughly coat. Pour over 7¬†tbsp of the stock (or water). Tip: If you are not using stock, make sure to season it with a little more salt and pepper instead and if you are using fresh herbs, the more the merrier!

7. Add the fried vegetable mixture into the mixing bowl. Drizzle over 3-4 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Toss to thoroughly coat and combine.

8. Transfer evenly into your baking tray, tin or casserole dish. Sprinkle over the rosemary. Cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Place into the oven and bake for 25 mins.

9. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Drizzle over the remaining stock (3 tbsp) and add an additional 1-2 tsp of oil (if preferred). Toss and coat. Place back into the oven. Bake the stuffing for an additional 15 mins or until the top is lightly browned and crispy. Remove. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley leaves (if desired).

10. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. Reheat and consume within 3 days. NB: Best reheated under a grill or on a low heat setting in the oven; microwaving it will make the bread soggy!

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Medley [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: Sharp knife, chopping board, baking tray, colander, cheese grater

Notes:

Are you a Brussels sprouts lover or hater?!

For us,¬†Christmas¬†just wouldn’t feel the same without them! So if you’re looking to give them another try or are just in need of a different (and easy!) recipe this year, than look no further! Get your knives and forks ready for some roasted Brussels sprouts with a twist!

We took a lovely bunch of festive flavours and ingredients to produce a seriously tasty and wholesome mix of roasted veggies! Yes, delicious¬†British sprouts, which, let’s be honest, always taste sensational when slow roasted with a little oil and seasoning anyways, become part of an infusion of great flavours in this vegetable medley; apples, chestnuts, shallots and stem ginger- the foundations of this delicious dish!¬†

The result is beautifully roasted veggies with flavours that work in perfect harmony; a caramelised and creamy vegetable medley that could easily convert anyone into a sprout lover!

We loved it; a great combination of flavours, textures and overall satisfaction! The only modifications we’ll make during the festive season is to add a little more ginger- not because we didn’t include enough the first time around, but simply because we cannot get enough of it!¬†

So if you need a¬†tasty side dish, than we’d suggest you give our Brussels sprouts a try! Impress your family and non-vegan friends; let face it, who really needs a ‘festive bird’¬†on the table when even your side dishes are this tasty?! ¬†#veganchristmasrecipes ¬†

 

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++500-600g   Brussels Sprouts
+++++++++++++++++400-500g   Braeburn (or cooking) Apples
+++++++++++++++++320g             Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++1                    Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++1                    Clementine (juice and zest)
+++++++++++++++++50g               Stem Ginger (in syrup)
+++++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp       Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++++++++++2 tsp             Ginger syrup
+++++++++++++++++                      Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++60g               Walnuts (*optional)
+++++++++++++++++200g             Roasted Chestnuts, peeled
+++++++++++++++++                      Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

1.¬†Preheat the oven to 200¬ļF/400¬ļF. Get out a large baking tray (or roasting tin).

2. Soak and wash the sprouts. If preferred, remove any soiled outer leaves.

3. Wash, remove the core and then chop the apples into wedges.

4.¬†Peel and roughly chop the shallots into ‘chunky’ pieces.

5. Peel and finely dice the garlic.

6. Wash the clementine, grate some zest and then juice it.

7. Remove some ginger from its syrup and finely chop it. NB: We used two small pieces.

8. Place the sprouts, apple, shallot and garlic onto the baking tray. Drizzle over the oil. Toss to coat.

9. Pour over the juice and 2 tsp ginger syrup (from the bottle of ginger). Sprinkle over a little zest (if preferred). Season it with a little salt and a few grind of black pepper to taste. Place it into the oven and roast for 30 mins, tossing the mixture at least once. Remove.

10. In the meantime, toast some walnuts in a dry frying pan (until lightly golden) and then roughly chop them (if applicable). Roughly chop the roasted (and peeled) chestnuts. Wash the parsley, remove its leaves from the stems and roughly chop them (if using).

11. Before serving, garnish with¬†the walnuts, parsley, zest (if using) and the chestnuts. Tip: If you have any spare ‘orange zest’, or dried cranberries, sprinkle them over (just before serving) to provide¬†an extra pop of colour and festive¬†finish!¬†

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3 days.

Mushroom Gravy (Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2 or 4 (small servings)
Yields: 600ml
Prep: 35 mins
Cooking: ‚ȧ5 mins

Notes:

This delicious mushroom-based gravy comes from the Eat2Health kitchen just in time for Christmas, but it’s perfect for any holiday or meal that requires gravy!¬†It’s plant-based, gluten free, takes¬†minimum effort to prepare (yep, super easy folks!) and provides¬†maximum taste satisfaction!¬†

The¬†delicate¬†porcini mushrooms give a lovely meaty texture, whilst the potato starch helps to make it velvety smooth! The combination of the mushroom stock, rosemary, garlic and soya sauce all goes towards producing¬†a gravy that has many¬†deep, savoury and wholesome flavours! It’s perfect for¬†drowning¬†your¬†potatoes, or covering some¬†delicious legume or pulse-based¬†sausages, burgers, meatballs or ‘loaves’!

We found the ‘thickness’ of the gravy to be just right; even after spending a night in the refrigerator it was not too¬†gelatinous! However, if you prefer a thinner gravy,¬†just add a little less starch. Also, if you feel it is too thick the next day,¬†just add a splash of water and then reheat; make sure to reheat this gravy in a non-stick pot over a low heat (or in a microwave for minimal time) until hot- but do not allow it to boil!¬†

For cooking ease, prepare this a day in advance! The flavours will be just as delicious (if not more so) the next day!

Happy cooking everyone and stayed tuned for more tasty, festive recipes! ūüėÄ

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++600ml    Cold Water
++++++++++++++++++++2 Sprigs  Fresh Rosemary (4g)
++++++++++++++++++++1               Vegetable Stock Pot or Vegetable Stock Powder
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp      Soya Sauce (low-salt or use Tamari for GF)
++++++++++++++++++++                Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++20g         Dried Porcini Mushrooms
++++++++++++++++++++5g            Garlic Clove (1 fat one!)
++++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp     Potato Starch
++++++++++++++++++++1 Tbsp     Rapeseed Oil

 

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

1. Boil 600ml water in a kettle.

2. Meanwhile, wash the rosemary, remove the leaves and then roughly chop them.

3. Place the rosemary, stock pot (or powder), soya (or tamari) sauce and freshly boiled water into a measuring jug. Add a few grinds of ground black pepper. Whisk to dissolve the stock. Add the mushrooms. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit 30 mins so the mushrooms can rehydrate, the flavours meld and the rosemary can soften.

 

 

4. In the meantime, peel and finely dice the garlic. Place the starch into a small bowl (or dish)¬†with equal parts cold water. Whisk with a fork to¬†dissolve. Tip: You have just created a ‘slurry’!

 

5. Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer into a separate dish. Gently cut up the larger pieces with some kitchen scissors.

 

 

 

6. Re-whisk the ‘slurry’. Whilst stirring the broth, pour the slurry into the measuring jug. Whisk until combined.

 

As much as I like to multi-task, I cannot whisk whilst taking a photo! ūüėõ

 

 

7. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pot over a medium low heat. When hot, add the garlic and mushrooms. Gently fry the mixture for about 1 min. Pour in the broth whilst continuously whisking. Keep whisking until the gravy has thickened. Remove from the heat. Taste and season it as necessary.¬†Tip: The gravy will not take¬†long to thicken (only about a minute); at the end the gravy will have a gorgeous sheen! ūüôā

 

 

 

8. Serve warm. Ladle over your roasted vegetables, mashed potato and many other plant-based goodies you intend to have during this festive period, and all of the delicious meals you have lined up in the New Year ahead!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover gravy in an airtight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively pour the (cooled) gravy into an air-tight and releasable container or freezer baggie; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months

 

Crispy Baked Orange & Sesame Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2-4
Prep: 35-45-mins (*Dependent upon how long you press your tofu for.)
Marination: 5hrs- Overnight
Cooking: 30-35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping boards, cheese grater, sharp knife, manual juicer, large measuring jug, kitchen paper, mixing bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper (or silicone mat)

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

For those that¬†have been following along, you’ll know that we have been experimenting with a lot with tofu flavours recently! BBQ, oriental, Asian, a pre-marinated seaweed flavour and now one with a¬†delicious orange and sesame twist! Do you love it as much as we do? What’s¬†your favourite flavour(s)?! ūüôā

Tofu is so versatile, but as we have previously mentioned, it needs time to marinate in order to develop some truly mind-blowing flavours! Our newest flavour has a delicious oriental-flare which is packed full of fantastic flavours and has a great crispy coating! It would be a great addition to: salads, wraps, savoury grain and vegetable dishes or (as we have shown below) as part of a tasty stir-fry!

The only¬†amendments¬†we’ve made are to add a drop of agave (to¬†balance¬†out the sweet, sour and¬†saltiness of the marinade) and to increase the amount of orange juice¬†used. We added about three tablespoons, but would recommend¬†doubling this amount to ensure a stronger depth of ‘orange flavour’ develops.¬†

So here’s to¬†a great weekend (despite¬†the rain!) and happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++400g         Firm Tofu (=1 tetra pak)
+++++++++++1                 Large Orange
+++++++++++2 tbsp       Olive Oil
+++++++++++2¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† Soya Sauce (low-salt/ or use Tamari if GF is Required)
+++++++++++1 tbsp        Rice Vinegar
+++++++++++40g            Tahini
+++++++++++1 tsp           Agave Syrup
+++++++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ground Coriander (1.5g)
+++++++++++                   Asafoetida
+++++++++++                   Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

Drain and press the tofu between two heavy plates or chopping boards for 20-30 mins to express any excess water.

 

In the meantime, prepare the marinade!

NB: Our ramekin shows about 5-6 tbsp of OJ!

  • Wash, grate some zest and then juice the orange.
  • Place 2 tbsp oil, 2 ¬Ĺ tsp soya (or tamari) sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp agave, ¬Ĺ tsp ground coriander and a pinch of asafoetida into a large measuring jug. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Whisk together with a fork until combined.
  • Add 1¬Ĺ-2 tsp of¬†orange zest and all of the juice. Whisk together. Taste and season it as necessary.

 

 

  • Drain the excess water and pat the tofu dry with some kitchen paper. Place it onto a chopping board (if preferred) and slice it into 1″ pieces (or any size that you desire)!
  • Place the tofu into a large bowl. Pour over the marinade. Gently toss and stir to coat the tofu.
  • Cover the bowl with some kitchen film. Place it into the fridge to marinate; ideally over night or as long as possible (or 4-5 hrs minimum to achieve the¬†best flavours!).

 

 

  • When you are ready to bake your tofu, heat the oven to 200¬ļC/400¬ļF. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.
  • Place the tofu onto the tray in a single layer. Pour and brush over any leftover marinade.

 

 

Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins, or until lightly browned and crispy around the edges. Tip: For even crispiness, turn the tofu once during baking!

Ours took 33 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

 

 

Serve the tofu with your favourite stir-fry veggies or as part of a great vegetable and rice dish!

We prepared some fresh veggies: Brussels sprouts, red bell pepper and root ginger to accompany¬†a bag of Tesco’s Healthy Living (HL) Oriental Wholefood w/ Cashew Nuts!

As we had a ¬£3 voucher (courtesy of The Orchard at Tesco) for their HL Beautifully Balanced range, it was definitely worth a try; how can you pass up on free vegetables?! ¬†We were able to purchase two different plant-based bags for the price of one…one being this tasty stir-fry mix!

 

We think that this HL product is OK and we would probably buy it again, but our first choice would to always be to use fresh veggies (well, when possible), especially in our stir-fry‚Äôs! Has anyone else trialled¬†their frozen HL bags? Here’s a breakdown of what we thought:

Pros: Tasty with great textures and colours; containing a five vegetable medley, cooked steel-cut oats and bulgur wheat, cashew nuts, a variety of spices, and was very well-seasoned and easy to prepare (we cooked the whole bag in about 6-7 mins)! You could probably even use this as a tasty sandwich filler, perhaps in a wrap?!

Cons: As all frozen veggies go, they release a lot of water, shrinking as the cook… so they will not look as vibrant or have a great ‘crunch factor’ as fresh varieties, but that’s to be expected!

Also, half the bag contains 250kcal (or one portion contains about 150kcal), so you’ll need to prepare something to accompany this with; luckily this bag contains such a great variety of versatile veggies and flavours, it‚Äôs quiet complementary…

…especially with our Crispy Baked Orange & Sesame Tofu!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover tofu in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze your leftovers on the day of cooking; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

Disclaimer: We have not been paid to promote this Tesco product and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Carrot, Sesame & Lime Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40 mins (*Dependent upon skill & the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, measuring jug, non-stick pot, ladle, blender, resealable container

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

 

Hi everyone- happy Monday! ūüėÄ

For those regularly participating in Meatless Mondays, following a plant-based diet or just fancy a meat-free meal, here’s a¬†delicious,¬†healthful¬†and easy recipe for tonight’s dinner- Carrot, Sesame &¬†Lime Soup!

Our soup has minimal prep, cooking and assembly! You can taste every delicious ingredient for what it is, but it has truly produced a fantastic combination of flavours! #limemakeseverythingbetter

We thought it was about time we had updated last year’s carrot soup recipe (as tasty as it was!) with another one that can use any carrot (#loveuglyvegetables) and will inspire you to eat this healthy more days than none! ūüėõ In fact, it’s a great recipe for using up your ‘end of days’ veggies and houmous;¬†one of Hugh’s¬†‘waste not tips’¬†(as seen on TV) was to add old houmous into your soup! So if you don’t have tahini, or maybe it’s just not your thing, try adding your leftover houmous instead. If you do, let us know how you get on! ūüôā¬†For those a little weary of using tahini¬†(or lime), try adding a little, tasting, adding and tasting as you go!

We only used one tin of beans, yes ‘tinned’ (kick our butt back to the shop to buy more dried beans!), but would definitely add twice as much¬†next time around. You’ll also notice that we were trying to be ‘artistic’ with the garnishes, but all the toppings ended up being ‘super tasty¬†additions’; we added thin slices of raw red onions every¬†day!¬†

We¬†thoroughly¬†recommend curling up with a bowl of this soup… accompanied with a big hunk of¬†crusty multi-grain (or just your favourite!) bread.

Happy cooking! ūüôā

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Carrots are a cheap, versatile, delicious and a nutritious¬†root vegetable that come in a variety of colours! Enjoy them raw or cooked in a sweet or savoury dish! They’re a great source of¬†Vitamin A and fibre and also contain: Vitamin C, calcium, potassium (just to name a few!) amongst many other great nutrients!¬†
  • Tahini is a delicious and ‘calorific’ paste made from¬†sesame¬†seeds and oil. It’s a great source¬†of: B-Vitamins, minerals¬†(such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc) and Mono & Poly Unsaturated¬†fats!

It’s a staple in many¬†cuisines¬†including but not limited to: Cypriot, Greek, Middle Eastern and North¬†African. It can be served au natural (as a dip or seed-based spread!) or as a flavouring component to soup, sauces, salad dressings, houmous, dips, baked goods, desserts or even as an egg-free binder for egg-free or plant-based cooking and/or baking! Check out some of our other recipes that include tahini for some further inspiration!¬†

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++900g             Carrot
+++++++++500g             Sweet Potato
+++++++++200g             Banana Shallots
+++++++++5g                   Garlic Clove (1 fat one!)
+++++++++1.5L                Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ground Coriander (1-2g)
+++++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ground Turmeric (1g)
+++++++++                       Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++2                     Limes
+++++++++1/3 cup          Tahini
+++++++++240-480g     Cooked Butter Beans (1-2 tins or 120-240g Dried/Cooked)
+++++++++200ml           Unsweetened Almond Milk (fortified)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here.¬†ūüôā

 

Directions

Wash, peel, trim the ends and roughly slice the carrots. Wash, peel and roughly chop the sweet potato. Peel and roughly slice the shallots. Peel the garlic.

 

 

  • Heat 1.5L of water in a large non-stick pot over a medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the stock. Whisk to dissolve. Add the carrot, sweet potato, shallots, garlic, 1-2 g ground coriander and 1g ground turmeric. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid.¬†Bring back to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 8-10 mins or until vegetables have¬†softened.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.

 

In the meantime, wash the limes, grate some zest (as much as you like, but we used the zest of both limes!) and then juice them.

 

A. Transfer the soup mixture (as much as possible!) into a blender. Add the lime zest and juice and tahini.
B. Blend until smooth and creamy.
C. Drain and wash the beans (if applicable) and place them into a pot or large and resealable container (as we did for our meal prep).
D. Transfer the puréed soup into the pot or container. Repeat steps one and two until all of the soup has been puréed.
E. Add the DF milk into the blender (when you have finished puréeing the soup). Quickly pulse to help remove any bits of soup stuck to the sides of the blender.
F. Transfer the DF milk into the soup.
G. Stir together. Taste and season it as necessary.

Tip:¬†Don’t have a blender? Use a food processor or¬†a hand-held stick blender and blend the soup in the pot instead!

 

 

Warm the soup in a pot over a medium-low heat and do not allow to boil (if applicable).

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander, sliced onion, seeds, a wedge of lime or a piece of dehydrated lime, a drizzle of tahini or whatever takes your fancy! Serve with a large piece of warmed multi-grain crusty bread, pitta or toast.

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze the soup in one or more containers; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Gnocchi W/ A Zesty-Spinach Pesto Sauce! (Vegan)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Yields: about 350ml pesto.
Prep & Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer, food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container, non-stick pot, colander, mixing bowl

Notes: This meal contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, no added sugars and a moderate quantity of fat per serving.

This is a simple, stodgy and satisfying Italian-inspired meal. The pesto sauce is refreshing, creamy, nutritious and the perfect accompaniment for your gnocchi; you can even make it the night before if you are short on time!

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Pesto is a lovely addition to many recipes, but it’s naturally high in fat (from the oil, nuts and traditionally added cheeses). It can contain some ‘good fats’ (mono and polyunsaturated) from the added nuts and/or oil, but unless you are making it with hard cheeses (and being mindful of your overall ingredients), high saturated fat contents start making an appearance. Nonetheless, it is something that can¬†be enjoyed¬†in moderation (just be mindful of your portion sizes)!
  • Gnocchi are small Italian dumplings,¬†traditionally¬†made with potato, flour, egg and seasoning. However,¬†some store-bought gnocchi can¬†contain¬†lactose or milk proteins and most brands use¬†‘wheat flour’; if you have dietary requirements, make sure to check the label before throwing¬†them into your supermarket basket!

They¬†can be¬†a great alternative to pasta and rice (be mindful¬†though, as some brands contain a fair bit of added salt/serving)! …Which is why you should try making it yourself! We have tried to make it on a few¬†occasions, but the final product still needs some perfecting! With any recipe, it can¬†take practice, patience and perseverance! Luckily potatoes and flour are relatively inexpensive, so you won’t break the bank trying!¬†

Happy cooking everyone and buona cena!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++65g        Baby Spinach Leaves
+++++++++++++++++60g        Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++++12g          Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++1              Lemon (zest & juice)
+++++++++++++++++80ml      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++                Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++40g         Pine Nuts
+++++++++++++++++160ml     Water
+++++++++++++++++200g       Plain Soya Yoghurt (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++200g       Gnocchi (Vegan; GF if preferred)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

Wash and dry the spinach and basil. Peel the garlic. Wash the lemon, grate some zest and then juice it. Tip: We used all of the zest and juice from the lemon, but feel free to use less (or more!) if preferred.

 

 

Prepare The Pesto

  • Place 40ml olive oil into a food processor. Add the lemon zest and juice (as much as desired). Blend until blitzed! Whilst the food processor is still running, add the garlic. Blend until the garlic is minced.
  • Add the nuts and 160ml cold water.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape the mixture off the sides into the bottom using a silicone spatula. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the spinach and basil. Tip:¬†Use the basil leaves and stems! We gently ripped some of the basil prior to adding it to the food processor.¬†Blend until creamy NB: there will still be a few bits present.
  • Add the remaining 40ml oil and an additional 2 tbsp of water.
  • Blend until combined. Tip:¬†Add more water if a thinner pesto¬†is preferred. Taste and season as you go.
  • Transfer the pesto¬†into a resealable container (as you won’t be using all of it today!)

 

 

Decision time! You can simply¬†just prepare the sauce and the gnocchi …or organise¬†a few extra veggies¬†to add to this¬†meal!

‚Üď

Veggies rule so go on and fill your boots!

The veggies that we chose to use included: 160g Frozen green beans, 80g Chestnut mushrooms, 20g Sun-dried tomatoes, 40g Shallot, 10-20g Spinach leaves!

 

 

See our pot?? The gnocchi will initially sink to the bottom and then rise to the top!

  • Place a large saucepan full of cold water over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil.¬†Tip: Our pot of water took about 10 mins to boil! It was just enough time to prep your veggies! Add the gnocchi. Cook according to the packet instructions (ours took 3 mins). Tip: Once gnocchi starts to rise to the surface of the pot, they’re done!.¬†Drain.
  • In the meantime, prepare any veggies you plan on using! We gently fried some shallot and chestnut mushrooms, steamed some green beans, drained and diced some sun-dried tomatoes and shredded some baby spinach.

 

 

Assemble The ‘Pesto Sauce’

Place 200g yoghurt into a large measuring jug. Add about 100g of the pesto. Mix until combined.

 

 

Assemble The Dish

  • Place the cooked gnocchi into a large mixing bowl. NB: We added some¬†spinach at this stage and mixed it through. If you are not adding ‘greens’, just add the sauce. ¬†Tip: The hot gnocchi will allow the spinach to wilt¬†slightly.
  • Add the sauce. Mix to coat.
  • If applicable, add any other¬†prepared veggies. Mix together.¬†Taste and season it as necessary.

 

 

Ladle the gnocchi mixture into a serving bowl. Garnish with some sun-dried tomatoes whatever else takes your fancy! Tip: For fewer calories (and a pop of colour!), try using some: diced red bell pepper, sweet paprika or some baby plum or cherry tomatoes.

Based on the amount of pesto, yoghurt and gnocchi we used, each serving contains approximately: <400kcal, (extra ingredients not included…although adding some cooked, fresh or frozen vegetables is¬†negligible!).

 

Refrigerate the remaining pesto; consume within 3-5 days. Try using it on pasta, in a lasagne, wrap or sandwich, as a dip with some crudities or run a bit through some steamed vegetables.

 

If preferred…

  • Pesto is versatile! Try making it with different¬†vegetables, herbs and/or nuts/seed combinations. Try experimenting with:¬†kale, wild rocket, sun-dried tomato, cooked beetroot, roasted aubergine, fresh coriander or parsley or some ground almonds, walnuts or pistachios instead!
  • For a low-fat version, use less pesto/sauce or just drizzle your gnocchi with a little ‘herby’ oil and a¬†top with a few veggies of choice!¬†Alternatively use a basic (low fat/sugar) tomato-based sauce, ‘creamy-broccoli’, roasted red pepper, a roasted squash and sage sauce, or a¬†‘cheesy’, low-fat and DF white sauce made (with DF milk, nutritional yeast and flavourings of choice)!

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here . ūüôā

 

Nutritional Info

 

Directions

1.¬†Heat the oven to 220¬įC/430¬įF.¬†Line a large baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

If preferred…

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

 

Recipe adapted from: G. McKeith

Mexican Stuffed Butternut Squash

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 50 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, paring knife, large spoon, parchment paper, baking tray, colander, small dish, frying pan with lid

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

Like our¬†other recipes here at Eat2Health, the¬†ingredients¬†are not dripping in oil! Eating this stuffed squash¬†is almost like eating a taco, it’s just missing the ‘crunch factor’ and of course¬†the¬†infamous¬†stains down the front¬†of your t-shirt!

We¬†think the hardest part about this recipe was¬†preparing the squash (at¬†least for us)! Other than that it’s smooth sailing…straight into a¬†mouthful¬†of delicious¬†‘Mexican’ tastes and textures.¬†

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++++800g      Butternut Squash
++++++++++++++++++++++5ml        Olive Oil
++++++++++++++++++++++                Low-fat Cooking Oil
++++++++++++++++++++++140g      White Onion
++++++++++++++++++++++8g           Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++++170g      Red Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++400g      Tin Black Beans
++++++++++++++++++++++3g           Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Chilli Flakes
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Chilli Powder
++++++++++++++++++++++10g         Ground Cumin
++++++++++++++++++++++6g           Ground Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++++3g           Dried Onion Powder
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Garlic Powder (unsalted)
++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt and Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++++++++++250ml    Water
++++++++++++++++++++++75g ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Avocado Pear (approx¬†¬Ĺ of a small variety)
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Green Olives
++++++++++++++++++++++15g         Cherry Tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Sweet Corn Kernels (tinned or fresh)
++++++++++++++++++++++50g         Mild Salsa
++++++++++++++++++++++80g         Soya Yoghurt (plain/unsweetened)
++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Cumin Seeds

 

 

Directions

Heat the¬†oven to 190¬įC/375¬įF.¬†Line a baking tray¬†with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.

 

  • Wash, trim the ends and then halve the squash. Tip:¬†I a sharp bread knife can also be used to (safely!) cut through the squash.
  • De-seed; reserving and roasting the seeds later is optional! Tip:¬†A quick job with a paring knife for this step (but feel free to use a spoon if you prefer).
  • Hollow out each side (just enough to form a shallow ‘boat shape’); please do not discard these bits of flesh. Tip:¬†Paring knife or large spoon? Both can be used to scrape out the flesh!
  • Place the squash flesh side down onto the tray. Place the extra bits of flesh along side them. Rub both sides of the squash with oil. Spray some low-fat cooking oil on the bits of reserved flesh.¬†Place the baking tray onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 20 mins.

 

 

In the meantime…

  • Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper. Wash and drain the beans. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander. Place the chilli flakes, chilli powder, ground cumin and coriander, dried onion and garlic powder into a small dish; season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Place the pur√©e into a small dish.
  • Meanwhile, remove the baking tray¬†from the oven. Collect the extra bits of flesh and place them into a small dish. Place the baking tray¬†back into the oven. Continue to roast the squash for another 10-15 mins, or until the flesh has softened. NB: Ours took 35 mins in total.
  • Chop¬†the avocado into two halves; carefully remove the stone and peel and then roughly chop it. Drain and slice the olives. Wash, remove the stem and then dice the tomatoes. Drain and rinse the sweet corn; if using a fresh cob, remove the kernels from the cob, rinse and then cook before use.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling.¬† Heat a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Tip: Once hot, add a little water, a little¬†at a time to steam-fry the vegetables. Add¬†the onion and the garlic first, cover with a lid and¬†gently steam-fry for 2 mins, or until softened.¬†Stir and add a little more water¬†occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking (continue this step as you add more vegetables).
  • Add the peppers, reserved squash flesh and the dish of spices and seasoning’s. Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for approximately 4-5 mins.
  • Add the beans, fresh coriander, pur√©e and the remaining water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Steam-fry for a further 2-3 mins; remove from the heat. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Add any additional spices if you prefer.

 

 

Remove the roasted squash from oven.

 

 

All for under 500Kcal!

  • Transfer it¬†onto a serving plate. Stuff each piece of squash with the bean filling. Tip: Silicone or heavy-duty oven gloves are perfect for this step!
  • Top with some salsa.
  • Add the¬†yoghurt, avocado, olives, tomatoes and cumin seeds!

 

Enjoy!

If preferred…

  • Use your favourite type of bean! Try some pinto or black-eyed beans!
  • Grate a small portion of vegan cheese and sprinkle it over¬†top; allow it to melt in the oven 5 mins before serving.
  • Make your own salsa instead of using a store bought one. Tip: this will allow you to regulate the sugar, salt and your spice preferences!
  • Top it with some homemade guacamole instead of avocado.
  • Swap the type of onion or olives!
  • Garnish it with some fresh coriander or parsley leaves.
  • Top it with a diced red chilli pepper or jalape√Īos for an extra kick!

 

Avocado & ‘Pesto’ Pasta (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Large pot, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, silicone spatula, small frying pan, mixing bowl, salad tongs

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, omega 3, is low in added salt and sugars and (per serving) is low in saturated fats. 

Looking for¬†a fresh, creamy and very satisfying pasta dish? Well we’re happy to say that this avocado pesto pasta ticks all the boxes! It’s tasty, nutritious and you can see from our list of ingredients, it’s also really easy to prepare! ¬†For the super keen, make the pesto the night before and have dinner on the table in less than twenty-five minutes!¬†

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++150g       Dried GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++8g           Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++               Lemon Zest and Juice (1/2 a lemon)
+++++++++++++++++++++120g       Ripe Avocado Pear (small variety)
+++++++++++++++++++++40g        Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++++++++60g        Cherry Tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++10ml       Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++125ml     Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1g            Garlic Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++2g           Dried Onion Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++                Salt and Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++20g         Walnuts

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Wash the lemon, grate some zest and then juice it. Slice the avocado into two halves, remove and discard the stone and then peel it. Wash, dry and then chop the large stems off the basil. Wash, remove the stems and then chop the tomatoes into halves (or smaller if you prefer).

 

Assemble The Pesto!

1.¬†Place the garlic, lemon juice, 2 tsp oil and ¬ľ cup water into a food processor. Blend until the garlic is ‘blitzed’.

2. Add the avocado, basil (save a few leaves for garnishing if you like), and the garlic and onion powder. Season it with some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides and the lid.

Add half the quantity of the zest. Blend until combined. Taste and season it as necessary. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the container and lid again.

 

 

1. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the nuts. Dry-fry until lightly toasted.

2. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the nuts onto a chopping board. Allow to cool slightly. Roughly chop into small pieces.Tip: You can skip this step, but toasting the walnuts will really help to bring out their flavour!

 

 

Pasta Assembly! 


1. Place the pasta into a large mixing bowl.
2.¬†Add the avocado ‘pesto’ sauce.
3. Use salad tongs to gently mix and coat the pasta in the sauce.

 

 

Serve warm. Transfer the pasta into a lipped plate (use a spatula to scrape any sauce left in the bowl). Sprinkle over the remaining zest (as much as desired!). Garnish by scattering over the nuts, any reserved basil (if using) and the tomatoes.

Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Substitute the spaghetti for another variety of pasta; try fettuccine or linguine.
  • Try making/using ‘courgetti pasta’ for another GF variety (if you have the time, resources and want to be creative of course)!
  • Try putting this sauce on wholemeal pasta or gnocchi perhaps (if you’re not concerned about gluten).
  • Experiment with your¬†herbs; parsley or coriander would work well.
  • For an even more authentic ‘pesto’ taste, add some fortified nutritional yeast to the sauce for that ‘cheesy’¬†element and added nutritional value!
  • Try garnishing the dish with another type of tomato or maybe some grilled sweet red peppers or baby mushrooms instead!

 

Recipe adapted from: Crunchandchew