Vegetable Miso Soup W/Fusilli [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep & Cooking Time: ≤ 35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Measuring jug, 2 *non-stick pots, chopping board, sharp knife, colander, measuring spoons, wooden spoon.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and per serving is low in added sugar*, salt* and sat fats! *Variable due to brand and/or quantity of soya sauce, stock and/or miso used.

Firstly, I am going to vent (sorry). This has nothing to do with this post or food, but I just wish that WordPress would stop changing their formatting! Don’t be surprised if some of our older posts start looking ‘shabby’ because of it. 

Secondly, it’s been so cold lately that this has meant there has always been a pot of soup cooking away in our kitchen! Not that we’re complaining, we love soup we’re just not too keen on cold weather; me especially as I suffer from Primary Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It’s not physically deliberating, you can self manage and you’ll find that slightly more women suffer from it than men, it’s just not very nice. 

Anyways, back to the food! We love authentic miso soups, but we do not enjoy their excessive salt contents. However, it’s not all or nothing in our kitchen, we’ve come up with a suitable alternative (at least for our palates!). That being a delicious and savoury soup that we made a couple weeks ago- our vegetable miso soup with fusilli. It’s packed full of inspired Asian flavours, nutritious ingredients and some pasta to help keep you going throughout the day ! It’s also completely adaptable to the season, your own personal tastes and/or budget and definitely one not to miss! We only hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

A few good things to note include:

  • We tried to keep most of our ingredients bite-sized, but feel free to adapt as you see fit. 
  • Only add your pasta before serving, especially if you are planning to eat this soup over several days (the pasta will lose some of its lovely texture if it’s left soaking in the soup). We refrigerated ours separately to the soup; just add a drop of rapeseed oil to the pasta before storing to help prevent it from clumping together. 
  • Only add the miso to the soup once it has been removed from the heat; adding it to boiling hot water will kill its beneficial probiotics. Traditionally, you can dissolve it in some warm water (creating a miso ‘slurry’) before adding it into the soup to prevent it from clumping. We skipped this step; ours was at room temperature and it didn’t ‘clump up’ when it was whisked through.
  • Rewhisk/stir your soup before serving as miso has a habit of settling to the bottom of the pot. 

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Miso is a naturally aged fermented paste that is made from fermented soya beans, cultures, salt and grains, e.g. giving rise to various types of miso paste. Quite commonly it’s a staple food item used in East Asian cuisine, giving dishes a great depth of flavours! Savoury, salty, sweet and umami comes to mind! 
  • Soya beans (also known as edamame beans) are a legume native to East Asia but are now commonly seem/grown throughout others parts of the globe. They are highly nutritious and healthful; a great source of protein, insoluble fibre, iron, potassium, polyunsaturated fats, phytoesterols, isoflavones (just to name a few) and various other vitamins and minerals! They also give rise to many other soya products (such as milk, miso, tofu, tempeh, flour and oil) and can be a great alternative to meat! 

There are many potential health benefits from soya foods. For instance, they have been shown to actively lower cholesterol levels and therefore reduce your risk for heart disease (*when consuming 25g of soya protein/D as part of a healthy diet), e.g. two glasses (500ml) of soya milk, a 250ml glass of soya milk and 75g of silken hard tofu or 85g of soya (edamame) beans would be plenty.

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++2                Garlic Clove (fat ones!)
+++++++++++100g          Spring Onion
+++++++++++100g          Root Ginger
+++++++++++400g         Carrot
+++++++++++420g          Bell Pepper (red & yellow)
+++++++++++2.5L            Water
+++++++++++400g         GF fusilli
+++++++++++                   Vegetable Stock Powder (low-salt/DF/GF)
+++++++++++300g          Frozen Soya Beans
+++++++++++200g          Bok Choi
+++++++++++10g             Fresh Coriander
+++++++++++2-3 tbsp    Soya Sauce (low-salt/ or Tamari Sauce for a GF alternative)
+++++++++++50-60g      White Miso Paste (about 3 tbsp)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Fill a large, non-stick pot with 2.5L cold water. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil.

2. Fill another pot with cold water. Bring to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

3. In the meantime, peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends and then roughly slice the spring onion. Wash, peel and then chop the ginger into small cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the carrot into small, bite-sized pieces. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces.

4. Once the water is boiling, add some vegetable stock (we kept ours to a minimum). Stir until dissolved. Add the garlic, spring onion, ginger, carrot, bell pepper and soya beans. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid, bring back to the boil. Cook and simmer for 6-7 mins or until the beans and vegetables are tender.

5. In the meantime, Remove the bok choi leaves from its stalk, wash and then roughly slice (as small or as large as preferred). Wash the coriander, remove its leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them.

6. Remove the pot of soup from the heat. Add 2-3 tbsp of soya sauce and 50-60g miso paste. Stir to dissolve.  Add the bok choi and coriander. Stir through. Taste and season the soup as necessary. Cover with a lid and allow the soup to sit for 10mins.

7. Add the cooked pasta just before serving. Stir through.

8. Give the soup a good stir before serving. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with coriander and sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; gently reheat in a pot over a medium-low heat and consume within 4 days.

 

Sources:
BDA- Soya food and health
USDA
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Vegan & Gluten Free Herby White Sauce

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Yields: 500 ml (approx.)
Assembly & Cooking Time: ≤10mins
Type: Sauce
Tools: Non-stick pot, whisk, large wooden spoon

Notes:

After perusing through some FreeFrom products in a local supermarket last weekend, it’s come to our attention that not only has the variety grown overnight, but how cheekily the supermarkets still overprice them (sauces being one of them)!

Sometimes premade food items can be a life saver- just look at how many of us buy tinned legumes?! However, now all of them are healthful (or appropriate) and where possible we should learn to make our own.

We’re certainly not by any means ‘professional chefs’, but we think that sauces are one of the basic food items that anyone can learn to prepare, such as our delicious plant-based, herby white sauce. It’s mostly inspired by a more traditional white sauce, commonly known as ‘béchamel sauce’!

We have previously used variations of this recipe as a topping to our lasagne, pasta bakes and stuffed bell peppers! It’s so versatile. You could possibly even adapt it into a tasty ‘cheese’ sauce that would be the perfect addtion to some cauliflower maccaroni and cheese, as a pizza topping or in a veggie gratin! Just add some nutritional yeast or anything else that you fancy. Alternatively you could swap our herb blend for some Herbs De Provence, parsley, or more traditional ‘béchamel-style’ seasoning’s (bay leaf and cloves). 

Ours only takes a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps; whereas you’ll find that more traditional white sauces look at infusing your milk with your herbs or spices of choice first. We’ve always found that the time spent cooking our sauce was enough to thoroughly infuse it with the herbs, but if you have the time or a recipe that might benefit from this step, feel free to experiment! 

 

A few additional things to note include:

  • If you want a slightly thinner sauce, add about 10g less flour or little more milk! We think that the current consistency is great for layering between lasagne sheets or over the top of your pasta bake. 
  • Do not burn your margarine and flour (there’s no coming back from that!) and make sure to cook it (just ever so slightly) to help remove the floury taste from your sauce.
  • You can add slightly less herbs than we’ve used (we love ours extra herby!), especially if you are not baking the sauce after it’s cooked; some dried herbs will have a bitter after taste if not cooked sufficiently.
  • If you’re not using the sauce straight away, cover the pot with a lid or some cling flim.
  • The sauce can be made in advance. Once cooled, re-whisk and then transfer the sauce into a resealable container and refrigerate. Tip: It’s best to refrigerate sooner rather than later to prevent a skin forming on top of the sauce. Before using, just add a little bit of milk and whisk through (this will help to ‘relax’ it). 
  • Feel free to use another type of DF milk; we find soya milk to be ideal (it’s nice and creamy!). 
  • The serving size is an approximation; it’s based on the ideal that this will be added to a pasta dish that will serve six people!

We hope that you enjoy the simplicity and the flavours of this sauce and with any luck it will save you a few extra pennies too!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++30g               Vegan Margarine
+++++++++++30g               Plain GF Flour
+++++++++++450ml          Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++¾- 1¼ tsp     Dried Herbs (¼ thyme & ½ of both basil, & oregano)
+++++++++++¼ tsp            Ground Nutmeg
+++++++++++                      Salt and Black Pepper

 

Directions

1. Place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add 30g margarine. Once the margarine has melted, add 30g flour.

2. Using a whisk, stir the flour into the margarine until fully combined. Keep whisking for about 30 seconds; this will help to get rid of the floury taste. Tip: You have just created a ‘roux’!

3. Whilst whisking, gradually pour in the 450ml DF milk. Add the herbs and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Whisk until combined. With a whisk or a large wooden spoon keep whisking/stirring until the sauce has just thickened or your desired consistency is achieved. Tip: It’s important to keep whisking to prevent the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pot and to prevent lumps from forming. Remove from the heat.

4. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

5. Serve with pasta or vegetable dishes.

Enjoy!

 

By this point the sauce had been sitting around a while; do you see the skin forming??

Meatless Monday: Kidney Bean, Broccoli & Spinach Burgers [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 22 Small or 11 Large Burgers
Serves: 6-11 (*Dependant on meal type.)
Prep & Cooking Time: ≤60 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, colander, steamer pot, food processor, baking trays, parchment paper, silicone spatula, cooling rack.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar*, salt* and saturated fats*! * Depending upon type of bread/bread crumbs, beans and/or tahini used.

Hi everyone! We hope that you’ve all had another great weekend?! How many of you woke up to a ‘winter wonderland’ yesterday? It was a lovely surprise! Although the roof tops and trees were glistening with a beautiful light dusting of snow, the ground was a wet and horrible mess! Perhaps others had the opportunity to build a snowman or go for a relaxing winter walk? 🙂

So, today’s recipe is all about ‘meatless burgers’ and these ones are crammed full of flavour and fibre! Whether you are in the midst of Veganuary, enjoy Meatless Mondays or just follow a plant-based diet like us, we think that everyone will enjoy this lovely meatless ‘burger’ recipe.

We actually made this recipe last a couple of times last spring, but have only just recently revisited it… but we’re so glad that we did! Hearty, wholesome and versatile ingredients; it’s another delicious recipe that allows you to adjust the costs and seasoning’s to your own personal preferences!  Enjoy them as a meal or a couple as a snack. 🙂

A few good things to note include:

  • We made fourteen small burgers and four large ones; it was more to clarify cooking times than anything else! Little or large, the choice is yours.
  • These burgers make a bigger impression if you use fresh (finely chopped) herbs and perhaps your favourite spices too! We forgot to add our Dukkah this time around (doh!), but we used it last time and thoroughly recommend using it! 
  • If a strict GF adherence is required, make sure to double check the oat bran packaging before purchasing!
  • Ours are not overly seasoned! For the ‘salt-o-holics’ out there, you might say these are bland! We suggest using more herbs and/or spices and a tasty homemade sauce, coleslaw or your favourite vegetable(s) to accompany them instead of reaching for the salt.
  • They would make a tasty and healthful option in child’s lunch!
  • Overall we think that homemade ‘burgers’ rock and are of course a million times better than store bought varieties! We served ours with some delicious homemade pomegranate sauce and coleslaw (recipes pending, so watch this space!), but feel free to add your own medley of veggies and or sauces! 

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • We have previously talked about the health benefit of beans before, but now we will elaborate on specifically on kidney beans! Kidney beans in their raw state are very toxic*, but when properly prepared they can be a great source of nutrients including: complex carbohydrates, protein, soluble fibre, B-Vitamins (including folate!), Vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium (just to name a few!). They are also naturally low in fat and can count towards helping you to meet your 5-A-Day!
  • We have talked about the benefits of porridge oats before and oat bran is no different! It is also a versatile, high fibre* and low-GI food that can provide you with a good source of insoluble and soluble fibre (in the form of beta-glucan). Beta-glucan has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol levels and therefore help to reduce cardiovascular risks(**when consuming a minimum of 3g of beta-glucans/D as part of a healthy diet), e.g. about a 52g portion of oat bran porridge or about 5 tbsp used throughout the day would be suffice. Try adding it to soups, stews, bread, muffins, ‘flapjacks’ or other oat-bars, ‘meatballs’, cereal, smoothies or yoghurt! *A 52g serving would provide you with about 9.5g of fibre; that makes up nearly a third of your recommended fibre intake! 🙂

Happy cooking everyone!

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++420g      Broccoli Florets (500g Head)
++++++++++++130g       Baby Spinach (160g Frozen Spinach)
++++++++++++120g       Bread Crumbs (about 1 slice of bread)
++++++++++++130g       White Onion
++++++++++++180g       Red Bell Pepper
++++++++++++2             Garlic Clove (10g fresh or 1 tsp garlic puree)
++++++++++++480g      Cooked Kidney Beans (about 2 tins or 250g dried/cooked)
++++++++++++10g         Fresh Chives (1 tbsp Dried)
++++++++++++5g           Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (1 tbsp dried)
++++++++++++40g        Tahini
++++++++++++7-10g     Dukkah Spice Mix
++++++++++++3-5g       Mustard Powder
++++++++++++40g        Oat bran (about ½ cup)
++++++++++++½-¾ tsp Salt
++++++++++++               Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++               Low-fat cooking oil spray

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

If you’re using a head of broccoli, remove the broccoli florets from its stem. Wash and then place broccoli into a steamer pot with a little water. Bring to the boil. Simmer and steam for 4-6 mins or until tender. Drain. Tip: Alternatively cook in a pot of water or try steaming the broccoli in a microwave instead.

 

 

In the meantime…

Boil a little water in a kettle. Place the spinach into a colander. Rinse. Pour over a little freshly boiled water to wilt the spinach. Allow to drain. Tip: Alternatively, carefully dice some frozen spinach and then defrost it in a microwave. Allow to drain in a colander or sieve. 

 

 

  • If applicable, make some bread crumbs. Place the bread into a toaster or under a grill and toast. Remove and break it up into a food processor. Process the bread until bread crumbs are achieved. Transfer into a mixing bowl. Tip: If you do not own 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!
  • Peel and quarter the onion. Wash, remove the core and stem and then roughly quarter the bell pepper. Peel the garlic. Transfer the onion into a food processor. Turn on. Whilst it’s running, add the garlic. Process until the onion and garlic are finely chopped. Tip: If you don’t own a food processor then finely grate the onion, bell pepper and garlic using a cheese grater or finely chop instead. Transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl. Place the bell pepper into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer into a sieve to drain any excess water (if applicable). Transfer into the mixing bowl.

 

 

Remember to check and drain your broccoli if you haven’t already! 

 

  • If applicable, drain and rinse the kidney beans in a colander. Transfer into the food processor. Process until they are mostly ‘broken down’. Transfer into the mixing bowl. Tip: If you do not own a food processor, transfer them into a separate mixing bowl and mash them using a potato masher or fork- it’s a great upper arm workout! 
  • Place the broccoli and spinach into the food processor. Process until finely minced. Transfer into the mixing bowl.

 

If applicable, wash and finely chop the chives. Tip: A pair of kitchen scissors works perfectly for quickly chopping them! Wash the parsley, remove the leaves from the stem and then finely chop. Add the herbs into the mixing bowl.

 

Add 40g  tahini, 7-10g Dukkah spice mix, 3-5g mustard powder, ½ cup oat bran, ½-¾ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Using a spatula, thoroughly mix the ingredients together.

 

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Line one or two baking trays with a piece of parchment paper or some silicone mats. Spray a little low-fat cooking oil and grease each sheet of paper or mat.

 

Roll a bit of the mixture between your hands into a golf-sized ball (or larger if a larger burger is preferred). Tip: If the mixture is a bit too sticky, lightly four your hands. Place onto the baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Gently flatten them with a spatula. Place the tray(s) into the oven (use the middle and lower oven shelves only). Bake for 10 mins.

 

 

Remove. Increase the heat to 200ºC/400ºF. Spray the tops of the burgers with a little low-fat cooking oil. Carefully turn over the ‘burgers’ with a frying spatula or palette knife. Place the tray(s) back into the oven. Bake for a further 8-12 mins, or until lightly browned and slightly firm. Remove. Allow to cool for 5 mins on the tray(s) before serving. Tip: Our smaller burgers took an additional ten minutes whilst our larger one took twelve. If applicable, allow the burgers to cool completely before refrigerating. 

 

At last! Served with some tasty homemade wedges and rather messy homemade slaw; hunger always conquers photo ‘styling’!

 

If that doesn’t get your stomach rumbling, we don’t know what will!

 

If ‘burgers’ are not your thing, try adding them to salads, ‘bowls’ or turn them into meatballs instead…

 

…And for the little ones, make it a memorable and tasty adventure!

NB: This is one of last year’s trials (homemade burgers and oven chips); sometimes it’s fun to play with food! 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, individually wrap in some kitchen film, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within one month.

 

Sources
USDA
NHS Choices
Heart UK
*Nutrition. 2013 Jun;29(6):821-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.11.010. Epub 2013 Feb 12. 
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Lentils Meatballs [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 20 Meatballs
Serves: 5 (*One serving =4 ‘Meatballs’)
Prep & Cooking Time: ≤60 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 fillingsfalafels, 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! 🙂

 

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
+++++++++++¾ tsp     Salt
+++++++++++              Ground Black pepper
+++++++++++ 2-3g     Garlic Salt
+++++++++++½ tsp     Asafoetida
+++++++++++2g          Mild paprika
+++++++++++20g        Plain GF Flour
+++++++++++12g         Sesame Seeds

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

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, ¾ tsp salt, a few grinds of black pepper, 2-3g garlic salt, ½ tsp asafoetida and 2g paprika. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined (forming one giant ‘meatball’!).

 

 

Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. 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! 😀

 

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. 🙂

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Vegan ‘Condensed Milk’

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 420g (approx. 15oz or 1 ‘mock tin’)
Prep:≤ 5 mins
Cooking: 5-8 mins
Chilling: 4hrs- Overnight
Type: Home Baking Ingredient
Tools: Non-stick pot, whisk, silicone spatula, air-tight and a resealable container

Notes:

Condensed milk is not something that we spend any time thinking about to be honest, but we fancied making a pumpkin pie this Christmas! Pumpkin pies typically requires a thick or thickened liquid such as coconut cream/milk or ‘evaporated milk’, which is similar to condensed milk; potato, patato!

Evaporated or condensed milk is cow’s milk that has been heated, until most of the water has been removed; the latter has a truck load of sugar added to it, which makes it a thickened, sticky and sinful addition to a lot of North American baking and or hot drinks!

So technically ours does not contain any sort of milk! We took a stab in the dark using water and aquafaba instead! To make it just a touch more authentic, you could replace the water for unsweetened almond or rice milk (because they both have quite watery consistencies) or experiment using your favourite brand. Alternatively, try using some DF milk but omit the sugar for a faux ‘evaporated milk’.

Our ‘condensed milk’ is has about about half the amount of added sugar than authentic versions, so you cannot blame your cavities on us! It’s sweet but not sickly sweet and you could even experiment by using less sugar. At some point we like to continue lowering lowering the carbohydrate content; like all things sweet/rich and/or fattening, please consume within moderation!

The execution is not hard, nor is it time consuming, but you will have to allow time to set in the fridge, unless you are making e.g. a sweetened sauce, then perhaps you won’t need to refrigerate it and/or maybe even use slightly less corn flour? The refrigeration allows it to grow just a tad but thicker (which was useful in our pumpkin pie!). The result of this is a custard-like texture, to which we can probably thank our friend Mr. aquafaba and corn flour for that one!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++5 tbsp        Corn Flour
+++++++++++++++3g               Arrowroot Powder
+++++++++++++++3/4 cup      Cold Water (or DF milk)
+++++++++++++++1 cup           Aquafaba (removed from approx. 2 tins of chickpeas!)
+++++++++++++++30g             Odourless Coconut Oil
+++++++++++++++4-5 tbsp     Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
+++++++++++++++5g                Vanilla paste

 

Directions

1. Place 5tbsp corn flour and 3g  arrowroot powder into a small measuring jug. Add ¼ cup cold water (or DF Milk). Whisk together with a fork until all of the powder has dissolved. Tip: This is an ‘almost ‘slurry’! It will be used to thicken the cooking liquids.

2. Place ½ cup of cold water (or DF milk), 1 cup aquafaba and 30g coconut oil into a large non-stick pot. Heat the mixture over a medium-low heat until all of the oil has melted and combined. Whisk the mixture occasionally.

3. Once the oil has melted, add 4-5 tbsp of sugar into the pot. Whisk to combine and help dissolve the sugar. Add 5g vanilla paste. Whisk to combine. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, turn the heat down slightly.

4. Re-whisk the ‘slurry’. Whilst whisking the cooking liquids, pour in the ‘slurry’. Keep whisking to thoroughly combine and until the mixture thickens. Tip: This process will not take too long, about 2 mins. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool for 5 mins before transferring it into a storage container and/or recipe tasting!

5. Transfer into an air-tight and resealable container. Tip: Use a silicone spatula to remove all of the mixture from the sides of the pot. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours (or overnight if possible/or applicable) to allow it to thicken further.

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16 

Vegan Truffles (without a coconut aftertaste!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 30
Prep: ≤15 mins
Chilling: 75 mins
Assembly: 35 mins (Dependant on skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Tools: Pot and bowl (or a double broiler!), spatula, whisk, a large/wide dish, cling flim, teaspoon or melon baller, parchment paper, mini muffin casings.

Notes:

This recipe is a real gem for those looking for a great ‘Free From’ Christmas alternative. It’s a dairy free, soya free, gluten free, nut free and ‘coconut-tasting free’ chocolate dessert- our silky smooth and deviously rich vegan truffles! 

This type of of dessert recipe is not something you will see frequently or typically see on our blog, because let’s be honest, consuming these everyday, week or month is not eating2health! However, it is Christmas and we wanted to help provide you with another vegan/dairy-free recipe that the whole family can enjoy without a huge price tag! Forget paying a small fortune on brand name dairy free truffles, these are a fantastic, cheap and an easy alternative!

After doing some cursory searches, it seems that there is more dairy free truffles with coconut cream and/or coconut oil (as you can infer from our recipe title- we’re not big on coconut!) as opposed to DF cream alternatives- and were not talking about the ‘health food versions’! After a tasty trial run (with oat cream!), we have created our own take on vegan truffles! A few good things to note about this recipe include:

  • Overall, the prep is ridiculously easy. The oat cream (as it contains a bunch of natural and added thickens), thickens the chocolate truffle mixture straight away. As a result, the mixture sets quite quickly in the fridge; it took one hour and fifteen minutes; faster than most vegan truffle recipes out there! As for the assembly, turn it into a family event; having a little helper(s) will help speed up the assembly!
  • A ‘melon baller’ is the perfect size scoop for these truffles. We initially tried using an ice cream scoop, but it was too big! We were more successful using a small teaspoon to gather some of the mixture; we created thirty bite-sized truffles!
  • When shaping the truffles, mould the mixture gently and quickly in your hands (as it has a tenancy to go a little slimy with body heat) – which is why we don’t recommend ‘rolling’ the mixture in between your hands!
  • If you mould and shape a bunch of truffles before coating them in one of your delicious toppings, you’ll notice they’ll start forming a thin skin, but this is OK! They will still be a bit ‘tacky’, but this will actually make the dipping and coating process a little easier! 
  • The kid in you will want to dip and coat your truffles in some random OCD pattern (it is Christmas afterall!), however it’s quicker to dip several truffles in one topping and then move onto the next one… but this is only a suggestion! We are not trying to be a Christmas Grinch! 😛
  • The flavouring of this mixture is versatile! Instead of vanilla, add a drop of brandy, rum or coffee, use a flavoured bar of chocolate instead of plain, push a small nut or dried fruit into the centre of your prepared truffles, add crushed nuts to the truffle mixture before setting it, or simply mix it up by using numerous toppings. We opted for stem ginger, toasted coconut, cocoa powder, roasted hazelnuts and toasted pistachios! We aimed for a balance of flavours and textures; they are all tasty, but nuts are definitely our favourite! Mmm, hazelnut!

These truffles are great for dinner parties, seasonal holidays and/or when you are looking for a great, personable and edible gift! Just place the truffles in some fun and festive mini muffin casings and then gift them in a small and decorative box- your friends will be so pleased! This recipe is also great for those that want a ‘little something’ at Christmas, but do not want to be faced with four pounds of leftovers to finish off or to push onto others before the New Year! #excessive-baking-doesnt-help-anyone

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Odourless coconut: it’s steamed to remove it’s coconutty taste, it’s just a shame that it doesn’t reduce it’s saturated fat content too!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++300g      70% Dairy Free Dark Chocolate
+++++++++++++++++60g        Odourless Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++170ml     Oat cream (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++1 tsp        Vanilla Paste

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

  • If applicable, fill your double broiler with some water and melt the chocolate according to your manufacturing guidelines. If you’re like us (and do not own one!), find a suitable pot and bowl and create an impromptu DIY broiler! Depending on the size of your pot, fill it with ¼ cold water, then place a bowl that is large enough to sit over the top of (not inside) of the pot NB: We used a small pot and filled it with about one inch of water; we didn’t have any larger bowls or pots that ‘matched’ in size, but use a larger combination if you have it. Tip: Only put enough water to gently heat and melt the chocolate; the water should not be touching the base of your bowl whilst cooking!
  • Place the pot and bowl over a medium-low heat. Break up the chocolate and add it into the bowl. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it with a spatula or spoon as it does. Tip: If you’re using a standard pot and bowl, this can take about 6-8 mins, so be patient.

 

Once the chocolate has melted, remove the broiler or pot and bowl from the heat. Add the coconut oil and stir through until it is completely melted. NB: We added it after transferring the chocolate into a dish (as you’ll see in the next step); it’s recommended in this order because the chocolate will start cooling down quite fast once it leaves the ‘warm bowl’ and it’s important to melt all of the oil! 

 

 

  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pot (it will still be hot!). Pour the mixture into a large and wide dish (we used a casserole dish!). Use a silicone spatula to help scrap out all of the melted chocolate. Tip: A large and wide dish makes it easier for when you need to scoop out your mixture, it will also allow it to set quicker in the fridge and this type of dish (at least for us) fits into our fridge with more ease.
  • Whilst whisking, pour in your oat cream. Whisk until the cream is thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla paste and fold it through with your spatula. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides, so that all of the chocolate is at the base of the dish. Cover with a sheet of cling film. Place into the fridge for 1h15mins or until the mixture is firm yet pliable.

 

In the meantime you can:
  • prepare any tasting toppings you might be using!
  • find your mini muffin casings.
  • line a plate with some parchment paper .
  • get a separate tray or plastic container to transfer the prepared truffles ready.
  • wash your dishes!

 

 

Remove the truffle mixture from the fridge.

 

 

Scoop some of the mixture using a teaspoon or melon baller. Place it into the palm of your hands and shape/mould it into a ball. Place it onto the lined plate until you roll it in your toppings! Once you have quite a few, dip and coat them into your toppings (if applicable); gently roll the truffle between your hands to secure any larger toppings (like nuts!) Place the truffles into mini muffin casings and then onto your separate tray (or into a container as appropriate). Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: We made thirty small truffles! 

 

 

Place the truffles into an air tight and resealable container and return them to the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate the truffles in an air tight and resealable container (layer between sheets of parchment paper if necessary); best consumed within 7-10 days.

 

*Nutritional Info/(approx. for 30 servings): 83 Kcal, 1g Protein, 3.6g CHO, 3g sugar, 6.8g Fat, 4.3g S/Fat, 0.02g Salt
*NB: Based on using our ingredients without any added toppings. Looking for a topping that is lower in fat and sugar, dust with some cacao powder. For some lower-fat nut options, stick to  ground almonds, peanuts, chestnuts or pistachios. Alternatively, placing one nut into the centre of each truffle will contain less fat than coating it in chopped nuts!  

Mince Pies [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16 -26 (*Dependant on the pastry.)
Prep & Chilling Time: 40-45 mins
Cooking:15-16 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Manual juicer, grater, food processor, kitchen scale, measuring jug, silicone spatula, kitchen film, pot w/lid, wooden spoon, rolling pin, muffin tins, cooling rack

Notes

Here’s another great Christmas recipe that you can make in advance- mince pies! Tick them off your holiday check-list early this year; bake, freeze, defrost and reheat them over the xmas holidays! In fact, they might even last a tad bit longer; they take about thirty minutes to defrost, so that may help to defer all the ‘little elves’ from munching through them so quickly!

When we make ours, we always create our own shortcrust pastry, especially with ground almonds and almond extract (so delicious!), but we’ve never taken the time to make the filling, silly eh? We always succumb to the convenience of prefabricated jars of mincemeat which are just far too sweet and always make you regret eating it! So this year we stopped being silly and made our own; if we only knew how easy it was we would have started this tradition ages ago! 

With the aim of reducing the overall ‘added sugar’ content in these beauties, we opted to omit the sugar from the pastry completely…and keeping with the Christmas theme, substituted it with an orange juice mixture. However, we have added sugar to the list of ingredients, so the choice is yours. Our pastry uses standard vegan margarine; if you are after a flakier/gluten free pastry, try using come vegetable shortening/fat (as you’ll need about twenty percent less than margarine), a mixture of both or even some odourless coconut oil, but just be mindful of the saturated fat!

Our filling, well it’s quite red, but that because there is a lot of cranberries! You can use less and/or substitute for another fruit(s) (cherries and red currents would be nice), or more dried fruit instead. The great thing about using cranberries is that they are relatively cheap and help to offset some of the sweetness of the dried fruit and sugars!

We have tried to mimic our favourite Christmas-y/brand name mince pie flavours; the wine was added on a whim as we were originally going to add juice (you can thank the supermarket sales for that gem!). If you don’t fancy wine, try substituting it for some fresh orange, apple  or pomegranate juice, plain water, or dietary preferences depending, mulled wine, brandy and/or port- just adjust the quantities to your own personal taste and potency! 

*One top thing to note is that our filling makes enough for about twenty-six pies (the cooked weight yields 700g!), but our pastry only stretches into sixteen! So you can: increase the pastry mixture, slightly reduce the filling mixture or save and bottle the remaining mince pie filling in a sterilised bottle. 

Overall these little pies were lovely and nothing quite beats making your homemade shortcrust pastry and filling! If you’re a fan of these delicious morsels, you should really try giving it a whirl! It’s time consuming (well a little), but not too difficult. Just crank up the festive tunes and imagine how good your house will smell with the aroma of fresh, buttery, hot out of the oven shortcrust pastry and wafts of spiced and boozy fruit! Delicious!

Make sure to keep watching this space for more delicious/festive recipes next week! 

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here 🙂

 

Directions

Wash the orange, grate the zest and then juice it (reserve the zest for the filling later on). Place the juice, almond extract, ¼ tsp salt and 2 tsp of unrefined cane sugar (if desired) into a large measuring jug. Mix together, dissolving the salt and sugar.

Place the margarine, flour, ground almonds and xanthan gum into a food processor (or large mixing bowl if you do not own one). Pulse until the texture is similar to fine breadcrumbs and comes together. Tip: Alternatively mix the mixture with your hands or a large fork until the same texture is produced. Pour the orange juice mixture into the food processor. Process until combined; the mixture will be quite chunky, but not dry (if yours is dry add 1-2 tsp of cold water). Tip: You will have to use a spatula to help remove some of the mixture from the sides of the container as you process it, back down into the centre as it has a tendency to ‘bunch up’.

 

 

Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide it into three portions. Roll into balls. Place each ball onto a sheet of kitchen film; wrap and seal. Flatten each ball into a disc. Transfer into the fridge and refrigerate for 30 mins. Tip: Refrigerating the dough will help make it ‘firmer’ and easier to work with. 

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Wash the cranberries in a colander. Wash, peel, remove the core and then dice the apple. Juice the satsuma.

 

Next, place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the wine and sugar. Stir together. It will start to simmer quite quickly, when this happens add the cranberries, apple, satsuma juice, dried fruit, orange zest, spices, sweetener, vanilla paste and almond (or lemon) extract into the pot. Stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 20 mins, allowing the flavours to meld, the cranberries to burst and soften and the mixture to slightly thicken. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Leave the lid ajar and allow it to cool.

 

 

Meanwhile, grease or line a mince pie or standard muffin tin with a little oil or margarine or a liner. On a clean, floured surface place one disc of pastry (leave the remaining pastry in the fridge until you are ready to use it). Gently knead and soften it with your hands for a minute. Roll it out to a ¼ cm thickness. Use a small tumbler or something suitable for the size of your tin to stamp out 16 discs. Tip: Measure the top of your tin with a small glass to make sure it is not too big or too small; it should be roughly the same size as the tin.

Gently press each pastry disc between your fingers (slightly stretching it) before placing it into the base of the tin. Gently press and shape it into the base. Tip: Use a little pastry to patch up any tears of holes that might appear (this is OK!). Repeat until all sixteen discs have been placed.

 

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Roll out the remaining dough to a 1/8cm thickness and then cut out the shapes to top your pies- we opted for modern stars!

 

Fill ease pie case with  about 1 heaped dessert teaspoon of pie filling. Place the top shape over the filling. Gently press and seal the edges. Tip: If you are completely covering the top of your pies, pierce it with a fork a few times to allow the steam to escape whilst it’s baking!

Some of these are overfilled! We had to scoop a little out to make sure the lids attached!

 

 

We baked the remainder in this silicone muffin case; we wouldn’t recommend it as they do not bake as well!

 

 

Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 12-16 mins or until lightly browned around the edges and firm. Remove and transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before eating. NB: We cooked ours for 18 mins- but this was too long (the pastry was a little hard… but it’s nothing that a little oat cream won’t fix)! We’ll try 13-15 mins next time and then leave the pies in the tins for 3-5 mins once they’re removed from the oven.

Enjoy!

 

Store in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within one week. Alternatively, wrap and store them in an air-tight and resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

Nutritional Info (approx. per pie w/o sugar added to the pastry):
175kcal, 1.7g protein, 24.5g CHO, 8g Sugar, 7.2g Fat, 1.3g S/fat, 1.2g Fibre, 0.3g Salt
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Gingerbread Men [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 36-38 cookies*
Serves: 30
Prep: 10 mins
Chilling Time: 45 mins- overnight
Cooking Time: 7-13 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Small dish and fork, food processor, silicone spatula, large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, kitchen film, baking trays, parchment paper, rolling pin, cookie cutters, cooling racks

Notes

Christmas doesn’t need to be complicated, especially when it comes to enjoying some free from goodies! So we’ve gone and created a simple and tasty gingerbread recipe (vegan & gluten free) that anyone can throw together with ease!

Perfectly ginger and fantastic for those that love a one-bowl recipe! Well, technically it’s two bowls (or one bowl and a food processor!); we’ve advised to premix the dry ingredients (separately) to ensure everything is thoroughly combined; no nasty lumps of baking soda please! 

The dough is great for ‘cookie-cutter cookies’ and is best suited for cookies ¼ cm thick; if you roll the dough out thicker or thinner, adjust the baking times accordingly! *We managed to roll and stamp out: two large cookies, seventeen medium cookies and fifteen small ones! 🙂

It’s good to note that a quarter of the dough makes about eight to ten cookies and you shouldn’t need more than three baking trays to bake them. We’d recommend baking them for slightly longer if you prefer a harder/crisper cookie (we baked ours for eight minutes) and to place a dish of water at the base of your oven to prevent the top surfaces of your cookies from extreme cracking! This is a tip that we acquired last year after producing some really ugly cookies (haha)! One last nugget of baking wisdom- everyone should listen to some Christmas music whilst making these! #neverbakeinabadmood (…Your cookies will taste terrible!) 

Watch this space as we’ll be providing you with a few more Christmas recipes over the next week!

Happy baking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the ‘flax eggs’! Place 16g flaxseed and 6 tbsp of water into a small dish or bowl. Stir to combine. Leave to rest for 5mins.

Very gelatinous after 5 mins!

 

 

  • Meanwhile, place the margarine and sugar into a food processor (or use a mixing bowl if you do not own one). Cream together; pulse the food processor or (if using the traditional method) use a large wooden spoon or spatula. Add the date syrup, cream and vanilla paste. Process (or mix) until combined. Tip: the mixture might look curdled, especially if your margarine is not as room temperature, but this is OK!
  • Add the flax eggs into the food processors pour spout whilst it’s still running. Process until combined.

 

 

Place the flour, ground almonds, baking soda and powder, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cinnamon cloves and nutmeg into a separate mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.

 

 

  • Spoon in the flour mixture into the food processor’s pouring spout (with the machine still running), a little at a time until the mixture comes together and is thoroughly combined.
  • Carefully remove and transfer the dough onto a sheet of kitchen film. Wrap and seal. Place into the fridge and refrigerate for 45 mins (or overnight if preferred). Tip: the dough will ‘firm up’ and is easier to use once refrigerated. 

 

 

When you are ready to roll and cut out the cookies, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.  Line 2-3 baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

On a clean, floured surface, place 1/4 of the dough. Re-wrap the remaining dough and place it back into the fridge to help stop it from drying out. Knead the dough slightly and then gently roll it out until its ¼ cm thick. Cut out your gingerbread men or any preferred shapes! Tip: use a palate or large knife to gently loosen any ‘stuck’ pieces of dough from your counter surface.

 

 

Transfer the shapes onto the baking trays leaving at least a 1 cm gap in between the cookies. Tip: If you have thick and thin cookies, try to keep them on two separate trays to have cooking ease! Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 7- 13 mins, depending upon on how hard you want your cookies! Tip: Place a large-ish oven proof dish with water at the bottom of your oven just before baking to help prevent the top surface of your cookies from cracking!

 

 

Remove the trays from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 mins (they will continue to ‘firm up’). Transfer onto cooling racks. Allow to cool for further 10 mins before eating; they will continue to firm up as they cool.

 

Enjoy!

 

Store the cookies in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within 5-7 days. Alternatively wrap in some kitchen film and freeze in an air-tight and resealable kitchen ‘baggie’ or plastic container; defrost and consume within 4-6 wks.

 

Nutritional info/(approx. for 30 servings): 97 Kcal, 1.2g Protein, 15g CHO, 5.3g sugar, 3.6g Fat, 0.7g S/Fat, 0.1g Salt
NB: 1 Serving is approx: 2 small cookies, 1 medium or 1/2 a large.

 

**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Slow Cooker Turkish Pilaf [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: ≤ 35 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 hrs (*on a high heat setting.)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife, colander, large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, measuring jug, slow cooker

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

Pilaf is a simple, global and personalised dish; in fact it’s so simple that you can even cook it perfectly in a slow cooker! Arguably, it may of even cooked better than our stove top variety; sometimes ‘cheaper’ varieties of rice can be a headache! Yes, a simple rice dish (with minimum prep!) that is typically a one-pot meal (sorry about the frying pan!). 

Our fluffy Turkish pilaf was cooked in a seasoned broth with tasty mint, cinnamon and chilli and served with some of our delicious ‘crumbled feta‘, a dollop of low-fat houmous and a wedge of pitta bread. Garnish by scattering some lovely and beautiful pomegranate ‘gems’, toasted nuts, tasty dates and a delicious medley of herbs. Serve it in a large bowl and enjoy every delicious spoonful packed full of great Middle Eastern tastes! 🙂

Perhaps this is an ideal dish to add to your weekend planner?! #mealplanning 

We hope that you do try this delicious, stress free rice that can be seasoned with any flavour(s) that take you fancy; enjoy it often with spices and seasoning’s from all around the globe! 

Have a good weekend everyone and happy cooking!

 

We decided to use rapeseed oil (not olive) and no bell pepper! We also added a splash of rose water (not seen here). The ‘dried dill bottle’ was a reminder for us to defrost some of our frozen dill  and flat leaf parsley! We used packaged’ pomegranate seeds, but check out our previous Middle Eastern recipe on how to remove pomegranate seeds from a pomegranate. 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++3             Garlic Clove (fat ones, about 20g!)
+++++++++++++++180g       White Onion
+++++++++++++++1              Green Chilli (we used a 30g Serrano!)
+++++++++++++++260g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++++++++2g           Dried Mint
+++++++++++++++3g           Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++¼-½ tsp Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++350g      Dried Easy Cook Basmati Rice
+++++++++++++++720g      Cooked Chickpeas (*about 3 tins or 360g dried + cooked)
+++++++++++++++700ml   Boiling Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rose water (*optional)
+++++++++++++++60g        Hazelnuts (or pine nuts)
+++++++++++++++60g        Dried Dates (or your favourite dried fruit)
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Dill
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++++++100g      Pomegranate Seeds

 

 

Directions

If you fancy it, prepare our ‘crumbled feta‘ first. Cover and refrigerate until the pilaf has finished cooking. Alternatively prepare it the night before; dice and serve it with the cooked rice.

 

Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash the chilli, remove the stem, deseed and then finely chop. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely cube the carrot.

 

 

  • Heat some rapeseed oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil spray) in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat .
  • Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until soft.
  • Add the chilli and carrot. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened. Tip: Whilst your waiting for the veggies to soften, boil 700ml of water in a kettle (you’ll need this for your stock!).
  • Add 2g dried mint 3g ground cinnamon. Season it with ¼- ½ tsp salt and black pepper. Stir to coat.
  • Add the rice. Stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

 

 

  1. Transfer the rice mixture into a slow cooker. Add the cooked chickpeas (*drain and wash any tinned varieties before adding!).
    2. Prepare the stock; pour it into the slow cooker. Add the rose water (if using). Stir together.
    3. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 2-3 hours (NB: ours took 2.5hrs).
    4. Fluff the rice grains with a fork just before serving; taste and season as necessary…but try not to eat it all of it straight out of the slow cooker! 😛

 

Before the rice has finished cooking, prepare some garnishes. Toast some hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat (and then roughly chop), finely dice some dried fruit (if applicable) and wash/finely chop some fresh dill and/or parsley (if desired).

 

Serve in a large bowl in addition to the ‘crumbled feta’, houmous (or minty yoghurt!) and pitta bread (if desired). Garnish the rice with nuts, dried fruit, fresh dill and/or parsley.

Both pictures show one portion of pilaf. 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

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 (without garnishes) in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the ‘crumbled feta’ in a separate air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Fennel Steaks, Artichoke and Savoury Rice [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4-5
Prep & Cooking Time: 60 mins (*Dependant upon skill and the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, baking tray, parchment paper, measuring jug, spoon, pastry brush, kitchen foil, manual juicer, grater, frying pan, frying spatula

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

Hi everyone! We hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend?! Let’s start the week off with a great ‘Meatless Monday’ option: roasted fennel steaks and artichoke with a delicious/new Eat2health version of savoury rice. 

This version of savoury rice has a wonderful golden and earthy hue from some tasty turmeric, infused with a blend of delicious herbs, vegetables and sun-dried tomato puree. Our delicious and gently marinated, ‘aniseedy’ fennel bulbs and meaty artichokes are a great accompaniment and/or meat alternative to this rice dish. The only recommendation we’d suggest is covering your artichoke for part of the cooking duration; we didn’t and ours turned out a bit crispy!

We hope you have fun following along and enjoy this dish as much as we did!

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

Quick Foodie Tips:

  • To reduce the ‘aniseedy’ taste of the fennel, slice the bulb into thinner slices.
  • If you are short on time, you could you could gently fry the fennel steaks in a non-stick grill pan and/or boil or steam the artichoke instead whilst your rice is cooking. 

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

Prepare The Fennel

  • Wash and then trim the bottoms off each bulb.
  • Carefully slice the bulbs into halves.
  • Once cut, separate the layers and thoroughly wash them. Tip: For a more caramelised and less ‘aniseedy’ taste, slice the fennel into thinner slices. 
  • Place the prepared pieces of fennel onto one of the prepared baking trays.

 

Prepare The Marinade

Mix 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 20g date syrup, 6g dried parsley and three minced garlic cloves in a large measuring jug. Whisk together. Season it to taste with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

 

Pour and brush the marinade over the fennel.

 

Prepare The Artichoke

  1. Wash the artichoke(s);  slice off the bottom end(s).
    2. Peel the stalk(s).
    3. Trim the top(s) off of the artichoke(s), about 1/2 inch (if preferred). Remove the tough outer layer(s) and discard (*we forgot to do this! oops).
    4. Slice the artichoke(s) into two halves.
    5. Place the artichoke halves cut-side down onto the chopping board (the opposite to our example!)
    6. Slice each half into halves again.

 

Place the prepared artichoke(s) onto the other baking tray. Marinade it with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season it with some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cover the tray loosely with a piece of kitchen foil. NB: Remove the foil during the last 10 mins of cooking.

 

Place the fennel onto the middle oven shelf and the artichoke onto the shelf below. Roast for 30-40 mins or until tender and lightly browned. Remove.

 

Prepare The Rice

Peel and dice the garlic and red onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends and slice the spring onion. Wash the lemon and then grate 1 tbsp of zest and juice half of the fruit. Wash the tomatoes and remove any stems.

 

  1. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium low heat. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil or a few sprays of low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
    2. Add the bell pepper. Gently fry for 2 mins or until softened.
    3. Add the spring onion. Gently fry for 1 minute.
    4. Add 1.5g ground turmeric, 2g smoked paprika, 2g dried parsley, 1g dried tarragon and 1g dried thyme. Stir to coat.
    5. Add 250g rice and the 1 tbsp lemon zest. Stir to combine.
    6. Pour in 600ml hot vegetable stock and the lemon juice. Add 50g sun-dried tomato purée. Stir together,
    7. Add the cherry tomatoes.
    8. Cover with a lid or a sheet of aluminium foil. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25-35 mins or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.

 

Our cooked rice…

…and roasted veggies!

 

Ladle the rice into a large serving bowl. Place the fennel steaks and artichoke on top. Garnish with some black olives and fresh parsley (if desired).

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16 

 

Persian-Inspired (Jewelled) Rice W/ Tahini Sauce & Baked Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Rice Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer (optional), large/non-stick frying pan (with a lid), frying spatula, large bowl, large wooden spoon, measuring jug, fork

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

Middle-Eastern dishes are just fantastic! With so many great colours, flavours and aromas, how can you not want to replicate some of this magic at home?! So we hope that you’re happy to hear that our Persian-Inspired (jewelled!) rice with homemade tahini sauce ticks all of these boxes!

We paired this rice dish with something that we haven’t had in a while but is certainly worth the effort, our baked ‘green’ falafels! Sometimes store-bought varieties just don’t compare; ours are not dry or greasy, lacking flavour, nor do they comprise of a huge price tag! The only change that we made this time around was using spinach instead of kale. Trying making them a day ahead (as we did), or as part of your weekend meal prep for recipe ease.

Sometimes the more ‘authentic jewelled rice’ recipes can end up being quite pricey, especially if you have to buy all of the ingredients at once! We recommend adapting it to suit your kitchen; choose a few ingredients that you really love and combine with with a great spice blend such as a delicious ras-el hanout and a pinch of turmeric (instead of saffron) to still give your rice a gorgeous golden hue! Top this dish with our delicious homemade tahini sauce or some natural soya yoghurt and you’re good to go!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the falafels first! Check out our delicious recipe here. Alternatively you can bake or reheat your favourite store-bought brand!

 

Once the falafels are in the oven, prepare the rice. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into thin match-stick pieces. Wash the orange; remove all of the zest and juice. Tip: A cheese grater works well for this!  Dice the apricots.

 

Cooking The Rice!

1. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil into a large, non-stick frying pan. Heat it over a medium-low setting. Tip: Alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil spray! 
2. Add the garlic, onion and carrot. Gently fry for 3 mins or until softened.
3. Add your favourite spice blend or all of our recommended seasonings. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 20 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add the rice and orange zest. Stir to combine.
5. Pour in the orange juice, stock, rose water and agave. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid or a sheet of aluminium foil. Bring to a boil.
6. Simmer and cook for 25 mins or until the rice has absorbed all of the water. Tip: Dependent  upon your brand/type of rice, you might have to add a couple extra tablespoons of water during the cooking process.

 

Remove from the heat. Leave covered until served.

 

In the meantime, prepare the pomegranate, mint and pistachios.

Annoyingly our pomegranate had some mould- silly ASDA!  So we did not get as much of the fruit as we would have liked!  😦

1. Make an approx. ¼ cm cut into the centre of the pomegranate (all the way around). Do not cut all the way through or you will damage the fruit.
2. Carefully grasp both sides and gently pull it apart into two halves.
3. Place one half (fruit side down) into the palm of your hand over a large bowl. Tip: Wear an apron or a dark coloured shirt as the next step can be messy!
4. Firmly hit the back of the fruit with a large wooden spoon or with the back of your other hand to release the fruit. If the pomegranate is ripe enough, a good few bashes should release all of the fruit!
5. Pick any bits of pith out of the bowl and discard them. Repeat steps three, four and five with the other half of the fruit.
6. Wash the mint, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

Roughly chop the nuts. Dry-fry (=heat them in a dry frying pan!) and lightly toast them if preferred.

 

Prepare the tahini sauce. Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Juice the lemon. Place the yoghurt, tahini, peanut butter and lemon juice into a measuring jug. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the parsley and stir though. Taste and season it with salt and/or pepper as necessary.

 

Spoon the cooked rice into a large serving bowl. Garnish with the apricots, pomegranate seeds, mint and pistachios.

 

Top with the falafel and a dollop or two of tahini sauce!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any rice leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively you can freeze the rice and/or falafels; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the tahini sauce in an air-tight and resealable container and use within 3-5 days.

Tip: 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. 

Tesco Unsweetened Almond Milk

Product Reviews

 

Whether you suffer from a milk allergy or intolerance or have revisited plant-based milk alternatives due to health or ethical reasons, there is no denying that the dairy-free (or freefrom) market is on the rise. Tesco have supplied us with soya and rice milk as a part of their own-brand & freefrom food range for a while now (years and years even!), but our food preferences have influenced their food production just that one step further! They now stock their shelves with their own-brand almond milk! Stumbling upon this during our weekly shopping trip was a happy accident indeed. 🙂

Many companies offer almond milk these days, but it’s great to see major supermarkets finally producing their own!

Tesco offer both an unsweetened and sweetened UHT version, which is perfect as not everyone has refrigerator space for four or five cartons of milk (well, particularly those that meal prep and/or eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables- us included)! Additionally, they also sell a fresh version, but it’s sweetened.

 

 

So, how does it compare to other leading brands…

…well in this instance we have compared it to ‘Alpro’!

 

Ingredients & Nutritional Info

Tesco

Alpro

 

The Facts…

Personally, we would always opt for buying unsweetened milks!

    • Both milks contain 2% almonds, which isn’t really a lot when you think about it! In fact, almonds are listed as the second ingredient to water! Maybe it’s about time we all start to make our own?!
    • Per 100ml/:
      »They are both low in calories; Tesco’s is slightly higher but it’s negligible.
      »They are both low in sugar (not surprisingly!) and salt; Tesco has slightly less salt but again the quantity is negligible.
      »They both have the same quantity of protein and fats.
      »Tesco’s version has slightly more carbohydrates, but that’s because it’s third ingredient is added ‘maltodextrin’ (which we discuss shortly).
  • They both use the same thickening agents: ‘Gellan Gum’ and ‘Carob Gum’ (which is also known as ‘Locust Bean Gum’; E410).(¹)
  • They both fortify their milks with: Calcium, Vitamins D, B2 and B12; their quantities vary ever so very slightly, but not enough for it to be a deciding factor over it’s product quality.
  • Tesco does not fortify it’s milk with Vitamin E, but Alpro does; unlike B12, Vitamin E is found naturally in numerous plant-based food items, e.g. avocados, wheat germ, vegetable oils and nuts,(²) so this is not by any means a travesty!
  • Obviously they are both dairy-free and ‘vegan’, but also gluten and wheat free.

Photo: Vegan Society logo (UK), courtesy of the Vegan Society

  • Alpro has the Vegan Society’s seal of approval; Tesco has yet to get their milk recognised by the Vegan Society!

 

Taste
Almonds_Rob Stanard_flickr

Photo: Almonds By: Rob Stanard_flickr

You’ll experience the same delicious, slightly sweet and nutty taste in both brands but Tesco’s version is slightly thicker; a lot of almond milk’s have a ‘watery’ taste (similar to s/s cow’s milk). The thicker taste is down to the fact that Tesco’s third ingredient is maltodextrin; a manufactured sugar/starchy carbohydrate (a ‘polysaccharide‘), used as a multi-purpose food additive that can have a mild and sweet taste. It can be derived from various cereal starches, i.e. wheat, corn, tapicoa, rice, (³) or potatoes. It’s added to food products to help thicken, bind and/or flavour them.

For us, the thicker taste is welcomed but it all comes down to personal preference. A thicker milk would come in handy for those that cannot consume soya (but prefer a fuller-bodied milk), do not enjoy soya, oat or coconut milks or those who need an alternative/fuller and versatile milk that they could use in their dairy-free sauces, milkshakes, soups and/or curries etc.

Another good point is that it didn’t curdle in our tea (as some dairy free milk has a habit of doing!).

 

Cost
      • The cost of Tesco’s Unsweetened Almond Milk is currently £1.40/1L/carton.
      • Alpro’s Unsweetened Almond Milk varies from store to store; occasionally you can only purchase a UHT or fresh version at any one store. At Tesco, Alpro’s UHT Unsweetened Almond Milk currently costs £1.70/L/carton.

 

Value
Photo: Raw vanilla Almond Milk By: Heather Crosby_flickr

Photo: Raw vanilla Almond Milk By: Heather Crosby_flickr

Everyone has different tastes and budgets, but these two products are both fortified and taste great. Personally speaking, half of the reason as to why we purchase dairy-free milk is for the dietary calcium, Vitamin D and B12 supplementation that it provides! Currently there are quite a few dairy-free milks on the market (inclusive of almond) that do not provide you with many or any extra added nutrients, so make sure to check the labels before you buy them!

The biggest influence for us is cost. If a product is cheaper (but not inferior in taste or quality), then that’s our decision made. Almond milk is currently more expensive than some other-dairy free milks (but in no means the most expensive!), but there’s no doubt that Tesco will have a sale on it at some point; you can occasionally find Alpro milk’s on offer for £1/carton or 2 for £2.

Tesco’s almond milk advises that you should use it within three days of opening, whilst Alpro advises using theirs within five. These use by dates are generally not a problem for us; a carton of milk typically only lasts about two days (between the two of us!) but even so, we’ve used dairy-free milk and yoghurt’s up until seven days with no ill effect.

Lastly, both their ‘unopened’ use-by dates are about the same (8-9 months from the date of purchase).

 

Our Overall Opinion

There are plenty of brands that currently sell almond and various other dairy-free milks and Alpro used to be our ‘almond milk’ of choice, but unless Tesco suddenly changes the taste, cost or skimps on its fortification, then this will now be our preferred brand. Like any food item, it will all come down to diet, lifestyle, budget and/or personal preferences.

If you’ve never previously tried almond milk or have have a bad experience with it, this product is worth giving it a first or second chance!

Our only requests for Tesco would be to add a few more almonds (it’s cheeky we know, but please!) and to start selling it in larger cartons; 2 litres would be perfect! A lot of North American non-dairy milks are sold in 1L, 2L or 4.55L(1 gallon) cartons! Considering the popularity of freefrom brands, isn’t it worth a trial?!

How does everyone feel about increasing the current carton size of dairy-free milks? Please vote and express your thoughts!

 

Do any of you currently drink almond milk or any other dairy-free milks? What’s your favourite brand? We’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences!

 

Sources:
Food Standards Agency (FSA): Additives & their E Numbers (1)
NHS Choices (2)
Coeliac (UK) (3)
BDA
Tesco
Alpro
Vegan Society UK

 

*Disclaimer: We have not been paid for this product review and all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Thai Green Coconutty Adventures!

Product Reviews

 

Opened Coconut_JustyCinMD_Flickr

Photo: Opened Coconut By: JustyCinMD_Flickr

For some, coconuts and coconut products are consumed on a daily basis, particularly for those living in subtropical areas around the globe where it is cheap and plentiful; they will probably also learn how to cut a coconut open from fairly youngish age? Who knows… but we think the that idea of hacking into a standard/matured brown coconut can be a little daunting!

We both have memories of adults needing a hammer (or rolling pin and chisel) to open it’s hard exterior; allowing you to pour out what seemed to be a worthless amount of water, followed by an extended period of time to remove its meaty flesh. #palava

Question: How often do you eat fresh coconuts and why?

 

 

Coconut face_Tree_Specles_flickr

Photo: Coconut face_Tree By: Specles_flickr

“Coconut (Cocos nucifera) belongs to the Palm family (Arecaceae). Grown in abundance in Malaysia, Polynesia and southern Asia, Spanish explorers named the cocos – meaning ‘grinning face’, because of the three little eyes on the base which they thought resembled a monkey. Classed as a fruit and frequently confused for being a nut, the coconut is actually a one-seeded drupe. ” . (1)

 

 

Of course sometimes nature makes us work for things, but it can also supply us with easier alternatives…such as Thai Green/baby/young coconuts! They have more water as in the mature ones it’s replaced by the white flesh. So if you have a craving for a refreshing coconutty drink, these are the ones to go for!

There was probably just over a cup of water, maybe 300ml in each of our coconuts; it’s hard to say as hacking these open was thirsty work (j/k!) so we didn’t bother measuring it! It’s good to note that this volume (and the quantity of coconut meat) will probably vary, depending on the size of the fruit (oh sorry, we meant drupe!).

All of this coconut water is great for rehydrating, especially because it’s rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including important electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium.(2) These electrolytes are vital for the health our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems, as well as to help with the absorption and balance of the body’s internal fluids.

Coconut water is not a miracle drink, but a natural and healthful one; one study showed that coconut water is just as effective for rehydration as other carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks. Whilst on the topic of sports drinks, it’s good to note that the majority of people do not sweat enough through regular exercise to warrant buying manufactured sports drinks (laden in added sugars!); ideally they are designed for elite athletes that are exercising more than an hour a day. Erm but even then, how many Olympians do you see drinking Gatorade or Lucozade Sport?!

Anyways, let’s move on with our coconutty adventures…

 

Thai Green Coconuts!

We’ve previously read that once these coconuts are harvested, their outer green husk is removed, they are shaped for easy access and handling and then finally wrapped in plastic to help keep in the moisture.

 

Oh and labelled…complete with easy instructions on how to access its sweet water and flesh, but how easy was it?!

 

Pre-Step One

Buy the coconuts! Please note that standard/matured ‘brown’ coconuts are generally a lot cheaper. Our duo pack costed £3.50 (at ASDA of all places, who’da thunk it?!). For lovers of coconut water but not so much the meat, this seemed a little pricey… but it’s a novelty and we’re not going to experience a cheaper one on a Thailand beach anytime soon! Make sure to thoroughly inspect them (as you would any other expensive piece of merchandise!); only in this instance check for mould, cracks, leaks and/or soft spots.

As you can clearly see above, the best before states: consume within 3 days of purchase; it’s been two weeks since we purchased ours! Perhaps we’ve lost a few nutrients, but ours still tasted fresh and down right delicious!

 

Step 1

Give yourself ample room to work with (safety first folks!). Place the coconut on it’s side, then whilst keeping a firm grip you’ll need to hack into and saw off the top; the directions recommend using a ‘sharp chef’s knife’. Even without a really ‘chefy’ knife, this step was easy enough; the outer, white, husky skin is very ‘manageable’. Tip: If the husk is really thick, you’ll have to make your first cut further away from the tip to help expose the hard brown shell; our first cut was about one inch below the tip.

 

Step 2

Whilst still keeping a firm grip, chisel or hack the husk down to expose the top of the brown shell (which is again manageable). The more experienced you are with this, the less mess you will make! Tip: Lie the coconut on its side or keep it upright, whatever you feel most comfortable with.

 

Steps 3 & 4

Alex attempting this without glasses or even a morning cup of coffee!

This is where the fun begins (not really)! It’s advised that you have to hit the brown shell at a 45 degree angle (whilst upright) with the edge of your knife, preparing grooves or a substantial cut in order to be able to lever off the top! Sound simple? Well, if you do not have a sharp (or large) enough knife (because it’s not worth damaging your standard kitchen knives over) or lack strength, then it really isn’t! #nomeatcleaversinthishouse

Unlike this guy…

Photo: Coconut Man By: Christian Senger_Flickr

Photo: Coconut Man By: Christian Senger_Flickr

…straight from the local trees, onto his chopping block and hacking it like a boss!

 

We preformed this step by using two methods; firstly by utilising its recommended approach and then secondly by using an impromptu, quirky but highly effective method! It just goes to show that you don’t need to use anything too sharp.. in fact if your strong and brave enough, you could probably use a simple dinner/butter knife!

Tip: You might need safety glasses for the first approach… husky splinters were known to fly everywhere!

The first approach produced this…

 

 

The second approach was quicker (well at least for us), safer and produced a much wider opening. Perhaps you can try using the latter; a bread knife and rolling pin! Sounds daft but as you’ll see in our (above) 60 second video; it made step three and four easy and simultaneous. It’s also good to note that we didn’t really spill any of the liquid!

***Please excuse our amateur video skills!***

 

Step 5 (The Sweetest Step!)

The product advises topping with a straw and a festive umbrella… erm yeah, we were fresh out of the latter (obviously!)… and our orchid didn’t flower this year, so we still couldn’t fake the much needed ambiance!

So all there was left to do was simply enjoy it’s sweet nectar and imagine being somewhere warm, without grey and murky skies…that we are so fortunate to have in the UK! 😦

Photos: Hammock and coconuts_ Les Salines Beach_Carribean Sea_Martinique By: lo lo_flickr

Photos: Hammock and coconuts, Les Salines Beach, Carribean Sea, Martinique By: lo lo_flickr

 

Our closing thoughts…

There are loads of health claims around coconut water (or coconut products for that matter), subsequently encasing them with the term ‘superfood’… but as we have previously mentioned here, ‘superfoods’ do not exist.

Taste, Price & Value:

Alex found the coconut flesh quite bland while I found it to be quite sweet. Additionally, the flesh was very creamy and jelly-like (living up to its nickname ‘jelly-nut’), it can easily be removed from its shell and tasted absolutely delicious in our morning bowl of porridge (definitely a step up from your standard desiccated coconut topping)!

Although healthful, refreshing and the water having a much sweeter taste than most standard cartons of coconut water, it is pricey (but its no surprise as it is imported). You can buy approx. 500ml of unsweetened/pure coconut water for about the same price as one of these coconuts!

You shouldn’t feel obligated to buy coconuts. If you love them, great; as we have mentioned above, a well balanced diet can provide you with all of the same essential nutrients that are found in coconuts. #nosuperfoods. So unless you desire fresh coconut water and/or meat, or a novelty cup for your next summer party (which sounds AWESOME btw), stick to purchasing cartons of (organic?) unsweetened/natural coconut water, preferably ones that do not contain any added bits of fruit, pesticides or husk!

 

Sources:
1.BBC Good Foods
2.USDA
3.NCBI

 

*Disclaimer: We have not been paid for this product review and all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Creamy Sweet Potato & Orange Soup W/ Smoky BBQ Tofu ‘Croutons’ [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-300 mins (*Dependent upon how long you marinade your tofu!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife, kitchen paper, mixing bowl, measuring jug, large pot, blender, resealable container (*optional), baking tray, parchment paper

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B3, B5 & B6, beta-carotene, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and (per serving) has a moderate quantity of added sugar, salt and fats!  

…And this year’s love affair with soup continues; we’re really looking forward to all of the lovely new flavours that lie ahead!

Perhaps you remember our delicious Spicy Sweet Potato Soup (with rice noodles!) we introduced you to earlier this year?

Well either way, here’s an updated sweet potato soup recipe! This one isn’t spicy; it’s creamy and velvety with a lovely twist of orange, topped off with some delicious marinated pieces of smoky BBQ flavoured tofu ‘croutons’.  

These marinated ‘croutons’ are oh so tasty (and made with a labour of love)! Our end product tasted pretty similar to vegan sausages! Yummy! Unfortunately with (most) tofu, unless you buy pre-marinated brands, you will have to marinate it for a substantial amount of time (or fry it in a tonne of oil!) …otherwise it won’t necessarily develop a jaw-dropping flavour!

If you are short on time, just put the tofu into the refrigerator overnight and cook it as or when it’s needed! In fact, you could just as easily place the soup ingredients into a slow cooker overnight (on a low-heat setting), and then purée the lot the next day! Hmmm, since there is no roasting, baking or mashing involved, why don’t you double the quantity and then freeze half?! Creating a soup that is satisfying and simple?! Sounds good to us! 😀

Quick Foodie Facts & Tips:

  • One serving of this soup will provide you with about 3.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
  • The quantity of our tofu marinade is enough to thoroughly flavour two blocks of tofu (so reduce the quantity and seasonings as appropriate)! 
  • Add less stock for an even thicker soup!
  • Reheat the soup with the tofu ‘croutons’ mixed through (or not!); it’s super tasty either way!

Happy cooking and have a great weekend everyone! ❤

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++————————Croutons——————————————-
+++++++++++++++++800g        Firm Tofu (= 2* Tetrapaks)
+++++++++++++++++4tbsp        Soya Sauce/low-salt (or Tamari as a GF option)
+++++++++++++++++2.5tbsp     Maple syrup
+++++++++++++++++4.5tbsp     Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++½ tsp         Asafoetida
+++++++++++++++++2g              Smoked Paprika
+++++++++++++++++½-1tsp       English Mustard
+++++++++++++++++2-3g          Garlic Salt
+++++++++++++++++————————Soup————————————————–
+++++++++++++++++760g         Sweet Potato
+++++++++++++++++300g        Baking Potato
+++++++++++++++++200g        Carrot
+++++++++++++++++280g        White Onion
+++++++++++++++++1.5L           Vegetable Stock (low-salt/ GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++3g             Ground Coriander
+++++++++++++++++                 Ground Black Pepper (16 grinds!)
+++++++++++++++++30ml        Orange Juice (1 large orange)
+++++++++++++++++125ml       Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)

 

Directions

1. Drain and then press the tofu between two heavy or weighted plates or chopping boards for 30 mins to express any excess water. Drain. Pat it dry with some kitchen towel. Tip: if preferred, line the bottom plate (or chopping board with some kitchen towel to help absorb the liquid.

Drained and dried.

 

2. Place the tofu onto a chopping board. Slice it into five slices (lengthways) and then make five more cuts with your knife (horizontally). Chop each section into halves (*step 4) to get about 1cm cubes. Transfer the cubes of tofu into a large mixing bowl or casserole dish.

 

3. Prepare the marinade. Pour 4tbsp soya (or tamari) sauce, 2.5tbsp maple syrup and 4.5 tbsp oil into a large measuring jug. Add ½ tsp asafoetida, ½-1tsp English mustard and 2-3 g garlic salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

 

4. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Gently toss (using your hands) or a silicone spatula to thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl with kitchen film. Place it into the fridge for up until 4-6 hrs (if possible) tossing once.Tip: The longer you allow it to marinate, the better it will taste!

 

5. In the meantime, prepare the soup (now or if preferred, closer to the time it’s being served)! Wash, peel and then roughly chop the sweet and baking potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then slice the carrot. Peel and roughly chop the onion.

Keep Calm Picture: courtesy of http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

 

6. Bring a large, non-stick pot with 1.5L water to the boil. Add 1.5L vegetable stock. Whisk until dissolved. Add the sweet and baking potato, carrot, onion, 3g ground coriander and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Simmer and cook for about 10-12 mins or until softened. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

 

7. A) In the meantime, juice the orange. B) If you have a stick blender, feel free to purée the soup whilst it’s still in the pot. If not, transfer it in batches into a blender. Pulse until the soup is smooth, creamy and combined. Whilst the blender is running, add 30ml orange juice ¼ cup almond milk to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Transfer the soup into an air-tight and resealable container or back into the pot (as appropriate).

 

8. Once the tofu has finished marinating, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Transfer the tofu over the tray in a single layer. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-40 mins or until slightly crispy around the edges and lightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

9. Reheat the soup over a low heat just before serving; do not allow it to boil.

 

10. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with the tofu ‘croutons’; add some sliced spring onion, chilli flakes and pumpkin seeds (if desired)!

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate and store any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container (store the tofu in a separate container!); reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Curried Potato, Lentil & Spinach Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 40-45 mins

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

Another weekend gone and another ten Mondays to Christmas (not that we’re counting)! It’s just amazing how fast the year is going, and sometimes you don’t even realise until you overhear or find something that puts it all into perspective…like an old recipe!

Days and weeks flying by…here’s a delicious lunch that we whipped up over three weeks ago! It’s an untraditional and creamier version of  ‘Saag Aloo’ (with pulses|!). Warmed potatoes, lentils and spinach, flavoured with fresh ginger, chilli, coriander and a creamy, curried yoghurt base- what’s not to love?!

It’ll make a great start to your week and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++120g      Dried Brown Lentils
++++++++++++++++++++930g     Baking Potatoes
++++++++++++++++++++              Salt
++++++++++++++++++++1             Bay Leaf
++++++++++++++++++++200g     Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++5g          Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++75g        Root Ginger
++++++++++++++++++++30g        Red Chilli
++++++++++++++++++++20g        Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++65g        Baby Spinach
++++++++++++++++++++               Low-Fat Cooking Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1g            Coriander & Cumin Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++3g           Mustard Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Ground Turmeric
++++++++++++++++++++2g           Garam Masala
++++++++++++++++++++1/4 tsp    Dried Chilli Flakes
++++++++++++++++++++300ml    Plain Soya Yoghurt (unsweetened & fortified)

 

 

Directions:
  1. Wash the lentils in a sieve, remove any stones and then cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

2. In the meantime, wash and chop the potatoes. Place into a pot of lightly slightly water. Add the bay leaf. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Drain. Allow to dry/cool slightly.

 

3. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, peel and finely chop the ginger.

 

4. Wash, remove the stem, deseed (unless you prefer more heat!) and finely chop the chilli. Wash the coriander, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop it. Wash and thinly slice the spinach.

 

5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil (or add 1-2 tsp of rapeseed oil). When hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Transfer into a bowl.

 

6. Place the frying pan back over the heat. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil. When hot, add the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, ground turmeric, garam masala and chilli flakes (or your own curry spice blend). Gently fry/temper for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the potatoes. Toss to coat. Remove from the heat. Add the lentils and onion mixture. Stir and gently toss together.

 

7. Transfer the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt, chilli, coriander and spinach. Toss to thoroughly combine. Taste and season as necessary.

 

8. Serve in a bowl garnished w/ additional coriander and/or toasted nuts (if preferred).

 

Enjoy!

Store any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. It’s best consumed within 3-4 days (at room temperature); refresh with additional yoghurt, herbs and/or seasoning!

 

If preferred…

  • Use your favourite blend of curry spices (dried or paste); try heating some curry paste with coconut oil!
  • Swiss chard would make a tasty alternative to spinach!
  • Cook some swede, squash or baby new potatoes instead of standard ones.

Fennel, Garlic & Lemon Pasta [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Roasting tin, silicone mat, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan, mixing bowl, cheese grater, manual juicer, salad tongs

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

Fresh, simple and within forty minutes you’ll have a delicious pasta dish ready for the whole family to enjoy!

As we’ve mentioned before, we think that sometimes the best pasta dishes are the ones that contain only a few ingredients. This recipe comprises of some crisp, fresh and almost sweet and ‘licorice-y’, fennel (which is a cheap, tasty and nutritious addition to any meal!). We’ve also added some sweet and creamy roasted garlic, shallots, lemon and a little parsley for the perfect combination of flavours. Served on some hearty wholemeal pasta and topped with a tasty breadcrumb topping for some added crunch and additional depth of flavour! 

It’s good to note we have advised slightly more fennel and garlic than shown in our pictures! Also, if you’re someone who generally does not enjoy the taste of fennel, don’t be alarmed, we promise that you’ll love this one! Roasted fennel has a completely different taste to that of fennel tea or flavoured food items (if it didn’t, Alex would be the first one to leave the dinner table in protest!). 

Happy hump day and cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++120g       Banana Shallots
++++++++++++++++++100g      Orange Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++400g      Fennel Bulb
++++++++++++++++++20g        Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp    Olive or Garlic Infused Oil
++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++20g        Panko Breadcrumbs (or GF version if required)
++++++++++++++++++220g      Wholemeal Spaghetti (or GF if required)
++++++++++++++++++20g        DF Cheese (or 1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast)
++++++++++++++++++10g         Flat Leaf Parsley
++++++++++++++++++1              Lemon
++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Asafoetida
++++++++++++++++++               Saffron

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some kitchen foil (if necessary).

2. Trim the ends off the shallots. Wash, remove the stem and core and then thinly slice the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends and then slice the fennel (thin or slightly chunky!)

3. Place the shallots, bell pepper, fennel and garlic into the roasting tin. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of olive oil (or spray with some low-cal cooking oil instead). Toss to coat. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper (or to taste). Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 20-25 mins or until softened and lightly crispy. Remove. Allow to cool. Tip: The garlic might be finished at 15 mins (just remove it and set it aside)!

4. In the meantime, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Spray a little low-fat cooking oil. Add the breadcrumbs. Gently fry until lightly browned and toasted. Remove from the heat. Transfer into a bowl.

5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

6. Grate the cheese (if using). Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem; roughly chop them. Wash the lemon; grate some zest and then juice it.

7. Place the cheese (or nutritional yeast), ½ tsp asafoetida and about 8-10 strands (or a pinch) of saffron into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper. Mix until combined. Tip: Your breadcrumb topping is now complete!

8. Remove the skin from the garlic and shallots and discard. Finely chop the garlic and then slice the shallot into strips. Tip: Use some kitchen scissors to quickly cut away and remove the shallot skin!

9. Place the pasta into a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, parsley, lemon zest and juice (as much lemon juice and zest as desired) and some oil (we added garlic oil!). Season it a few grinds of  black pepper. Gently toss until thoroughly combined.

10. Transfer onto two serving plates. Top with the breadcrumb topping and garnish with additional parsley and/or lemon slices (if preferred).

Enjoy!

 

Tip: For some additional protein, calcium iron and zinc and crunch, add some toasted pine nuts!

 

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Almost! Fig Newtons [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16
Prep & Cooking Time: 45 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in salt, sat fats and contains a moderate quantity of sugars! 

If you’re like us, you’ll always have oats (#addicted) and a tonne of spices in your kitchen cupboards… and maybe even some dried fruits?! On this occasion we happened to have some tasty figs hiding in the ‘back and beyond’ too! So instead of devising some sort of cake, tart or muffin, we decided to whip up something that we haven’t enjoyed in over fifteen years- fig newtons! 

These ‘Almost! Fig Newtons’ are fantastic! Sure, ours are more like squares than little figgy, ‘pie/cookie-parcels’, but subsequently they contain a lot less fat and sugar as a result! The combination of baked oats and figs, in addition to this blend of spices and flavourings really make these delicious morsels something that you could eat everyday (but all good things should be in moderation right)?!

Luckily moderating them is made easier by the fact they freeze really well! I think next time we might even try experimenting with another flavour; apple, blueberry or strawberry would work quite well, but it’s impossible to pick just one… there are just too many flavours to choose from!

So, whatever your preferred ‘newton’ flavour may be, we hope that you enjoy one with your next cup of tea or especially when blogging! 😉

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++180g        Dried Figs
+++++++++++++++++++++———————————————————–
+++++++++++++++++++++100g        Porridge Oats (+ 5g for topping)
+++++++++++++++++++++220g        Plain GF Flour (or a quinoa flour)
+++++++++++++++++++++½ tsp       Baking Soda
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++1g             Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++———————————————————–
+++++++++++++++++++++60ml        Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++++++++++++45ml         Agave Syrup
+++++++++++++++++++++125ml       Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++¼ tsp        Vanilla Paste (*optional)

 

Directions

Boil some water in a kettle. Place the figs into a small saucepan. Pour over the boiled water. Allow them to soak for 8-10 mins or until softened.

 

In the meantime…

  • Place the oats into a food processor and pulse until a flour consistency is achieved. Transfer the oat flour into another bowl. Add the GF flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk and stir together until thoroughly combined.
  • Place the oil, syrup, soya milk and vanilla extract(*if using) into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  • Spray a square baking tin with some low-fat cooking oil or grease with a little oil.

Make sure to grease all sides of the tin!

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together until a dough forms. Tip: If it’s a little dry, add a splash of milk.

 

 

Place half of the dough into the baking tin. Spread and press it evenly over the base of the tin.

 

 

Remove the figs from the water with a slotted spoon (but reserve the water). Transfer the figs into the food processor. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved water. Pulse until smooth.

 

 

Pour and spread the fig mixture evenly over the dough base.

 

 

To assemble the top layer you can either:

A) Use a rolling pin and roll the remaining dough over a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (large and wide enough to cover the figs) and then carefully slide and transfer it over the fig layer.

B) Flatten pieces of the remaining dough between your hands and place them together like a jig-saw over the layer of fig. Use some parchment paper or a silicone spatula to help manipulate it, covering the figs as evenly as possible.

We went for option B and then sprinkled over a layer of oats!

 

 

Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 25 mins or until lightly browned. Remove. Place the tin onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

 

 

Slice into sixteen squares and enjoy!

 

Wrap any remaining squares in kitchen film and then freeze in an air tight and resealable container; defrost and consume within 2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Baked Tofu & Chickpea Flour Omelette [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves 2-4
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins
Type: Main meal

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

Vegan omelette or savoury pancake?! We’ll let you decide! This baked ‘omelette’ has a delicious faux ‘egg’ taste with the consistency of a pancake! Fill it with your favourite grain and/or seasonal vegetables and feel free to experiment with the spices and/or flavourings you use to season it with!

Admittedly we over estimated on the amount of rice we needed; I guess our stomachs got the best of us at the time! We used 150g of dried brown long grain rice, but we’d recommend using 80-100g instead…unless you have a hungry crowd or fancy the idea of putting it onto a bed of rice. Be warned though, this omelette is already pretty filling on its own! 🙂 

Our ‘omelette’ is also very versatile and relatively cheap to make! We sourced our gram flour (on sale!) in our local grocers; two  thumbs-up for cheap ethnic aisles! As most of you may already know, gram flour (which is also know as chickpea, garbanzo or besan flour) and tofu are both a great source of nutrients including: protein, iron and zinc (just to name a few)! It’s also good to note that gram flour is gluten free (but still check your package labels before purchasing folks)!

Soooo…

Have you got a lazy Sunday at your disposal? Fancy something new on the menu? Well then try whipping this recipe up for brunch or dinner!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Batter Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++3g          Asafoetida (or onion powder)
+++++++++++++++++++++1g           Garlic Powder (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++1g           Ground Cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++1g           Mild Paprika (or Pimenton de la Vera Dulce)
+++++++++++++++++++++1g           Ground Tumeric
+++++++++++++++++++++5g          Mustard Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++110g       Gram Flour
+++++++++++++++++++++2g          Baking Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++—————————————————————————-
+++++++++++++++++++++349g      Silken tofu
+++++++++++++++++++++120ml    Soy or Coconut milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++10ml      Cider Vinegar
+++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++               Ground Black Pepper

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the dry ingredients (the first 8 items listed!) into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.

 

 

Place the tofu into a food processor. Pulse until creamy and smooth.

 

 

Add the soya milk, vinegar and gram flour mixture. Blend until the ‘omelette’ batter is thoroughly combined. Season it with some salt and ground black pepper to taste.

The batter might seem thick, but do not be tempted to make it thinner by adding additional milk!

 

 

Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper. Pour in the batter. Use a silicone spatula to spread it evenly over the tray.

If lining your tray with parchment paper, leave some overlapping, like the mat.

 

 

Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 25-35 mins or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Test it towards the end of baking (like you would a cake) with a toothpick- does it come out clean?! If yes, then it’s ready! NB:We used a fan-assisted oven.

 

In the meantime, cook some rice according to the packet instructions and prepare your veggie fillings! Wash, chop and cook (if required) any veggies that you would like to ‘roll’ into your omelette!

 

Once your omelette is removed from the oven, leave it to cool for about 5 mins in the tray and then transfer it (still on the mat/parchment paper) onto a cooling rack. Leave it to cool for a further 6-10 mins. NB: the longer you let it cool, the more stable the omelette becomes.

 

Assemble your fillings!

Our assembly went a little like this…

Firstly, gently (and carefully) loosen the omelette away from the mat or parchment paper using a palate or large kitchen knife. NB: you don’t want your omelette sticking and tearing when you finally roll it up! :/

Secondly, layer the ‘flatter’ ingredients first…

 

 

…followed by your bigger ingredients!

 

 

Finally, add your seasoned rice (or any other grain you prefer!).

We had a lot of filling, which made rolling it up super tricky! NB: our rice had red and spring onion, salad tomato, red bell pepper, cumin seeds, salt, pepper and some fresh coriander. Yum!

 

Carefully roll it up (a bit like rolling sushi or making a ‘Yule log’ cake!).

 

 

Finally, (and carefully!) slide it off the mat onto a serving plate for all to enjoy…

 

…or slice and serve instead!

 

As we mentioned earlier, we overestimated the rice…so we had an overload of plant-based deliciousness!

Enjoy!

Baked Coconut-Crusted Tofu W/ A Tropical Salad [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep: 40 mins
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Type: Main Meal

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugars and has a moderate quantity of fats.

Are you in the mood for something ‘coconutty’ and fruity?! Well get your forks and knives ready folks, as we’ve only gone and whipped up some crispy coconut-crusted tofu, served along side a mild tropical salad and some coconut and lime-infused rice. It’s another great addition to our range of battered and/or baked tofu

This recipe is great! It’s full of delicious and vibrant flavours and colours, including the smell of lime…which in our opinion can make anyone feel happy! 🙂 It’s worth noting that our tofu had a mild coconut taste. If you prefer things more ‘coconutty’, try adding more desiccated coconut than flour into the dry mixture, or some coconut milk powder into the wet batter (about one tablespoon should help), or one final suggestion would be to try using some coconut flour instead of standard/plain flour. 

We hope that everyone enjoys our crispy coconut tofu & juicy tropical salad as much as we did!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

Drain and press the tofu between two heavy plates or chopping boards. Leave it for 20-30 mins to help remove some of the excess water.

 

In the meantime, prepare the batters. Place 1(heaped) tbsp desiccated coconut, 2g sesame seeds, 60g flour (*of your choice/see above for recommendations), 5g ground ginger and 1g garlic salt into a wide bowl. Season with a couple grinds of black pepper. Whisk with a fork until combined. NB: This is your ‘dry batter’.

We used a pasta bowl.

 

 

Place about 45g potato starch and 60ml coconut milk into a separate bowl. Whisk together until the starch is completely dissolved. NB: This is your ‘wet’ batter.

Make sure it’s wide enough to lay a wedge of tofu.

 

 

Prepare the rice ingredients. Place 200g rice into a sieve and rinse under cold water. Transfer it into a large, non-stick pot. Leave for the moment.

 

 

Wash the lime; grate 1 tbsp of lime zest and juice the lime. Have 200ml of coconut milk mixed with 200ml of vegetable stock in a large measuring jug, 3-4g ground ginger mixed with a pinch of sugar(*optional) and 1 kaffir leaf ready.

 

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Drain the water off the tofu and pat it dry with some kitchen roll or a clean tea towel.

 

 

Place the dried tofu onto a chopping board and chop it into six wedges.

Directions: starting from the top left going clockwise!

  • Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.
  • Dip each wedge of tofu into the wet batter (one at a time) until thoroughly coated.
  • Place it into the dry mixture; gently press all sides into the mixture until thoroughly coated. Place each prepared piece of tofu onto the baking tray. Spray lightly with some low-fat cooking spray (if desired).
  • Place the tray onto the top oven shelf. Bake for about 25 mins or until lightly browned and crispy around the edges; turning once. Remove.

 

Baked tofu. 🙂

 

 

Prepare the rice. Place half of the zest, coconut milk mixture, 3-4g ground ginger and a pinch of sugar (if using) and kaffir leaf into the pot (do not add the the lime juice at this stage). Mix together. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20-25 mins or until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Remove from the heat but do not remove the lid until serving.

 

 

In the meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients. Wash, trim the ends and carefully remove the vein and seeds from the chilli (keep intact if your prefer things heated!).

 

 

 Peel and finely chop the red onion. Wash, remove the coriander leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Open the tin of pineapple; remove the pineapple and reserve the juice. Chop the pineapple into cubes. Peel and then remove the stone from the avocado; chop into small chunks. Peel the mango and then remove the flesh from the stone; chop it into rough chunks.

 

 

Steam the green beans. Drain. Allow to cool.

 

 

Place the chilli, red onion, coriander, pineapple, mango, beans, 1/2 of the lime juice, the remaining lime zest, 2 tbsp rice vinegar and 3 tbsp pineapple juice into a large mixing bowl. NB: Do not add the avocado just yet.

 

 

Gently mix together. Add the avocado right before serving. Gently mix to combine.

The avocado will go a bit slimy in the salad, so it’s best to add it just before serving!

 

Fluff the grains of rice with a fork, remove the kaffir leaf and pour over the remaining lime juice just before serving. NB: If desired, add some additional chopped coriander to the rice before serving.

 

 

Serve the tofu and rice warm next to the salad, or spoon the salad over the tofu!

If desired, pour some additional pineapple juice over the tofu!

 

Enjoy!

~Remember folks, you can also follow us on FaceBook Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest!~
Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Broad Bean, Roasted Bell Pepper & Spinach Sandwich [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Assembly: ≤8 mins
Type: Main Meal

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

It’s Friday- so let’s make this post quick and tasty! 🙂

This is a great vegan sandwich (that admittedly we made ages ago) that is perfect for those lunch time slumps! We’re not just talking about fuelling you with postprandial energy (because this sandwich has loads of sustainable energy!), but for when you are bored with your regular lunchtime menu. #stuckinarut #samelunchforamonth !!

Planning is important to help create a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle (particularly one that you won’t loathe and that will continually develop your palate and cooking skills!)…

…but if you follow a plant-based lifestyle, this typically means that you will have to plan ahead (unless you don’t budget!?!) and really tap into your creative and adventurous side, so that your meals avoid becoming repetitive, boring and/or potentially unhealthy or just not nutritionally balanced! 

If you’re like us, lunchtime is the most difficult meal to meal plan, not only due to schedules but general indecisiveness! We can be creatures of habit when it comes to our main meals, but sometimes we really don’t know what we’ll fancy for lunch until the day; all the more reason to meal plan some decent eats! 

This sandwich can be prepped in advance and prepared on the day (or the night before). It contains our lovely and zesty broad bean and spinach dip (that also makes an awesome sandwich filling!). Add some beautifully roasted red bell peppers and delicate baby spinach; all layered between a couple slices of toasted multi-grain bread (delicious!).👌 Wash it down with a glass of unsweetened almond or soya milk and you’re good to get on with the rest of your day! #thatfridayfeeling

Check out some of our other sandwichessaladssoups or our vegan bites for some further hearty and healthful lunchtime inspiration!

Quick fact:

  • Per serving, this sandwich provides you with approx. 2.5 servings of fruits/veggies towards your 5-A-Day!

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

1           Roasted Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
3T.       Broad Bean & Spinach Dip
1           Handful of Baby Spinach, washed & dried
2          Slices of Multi-Grain Bread, toasted (GF if required)

 

Directions (In Seven Simple Steps!)

  1. Chop the roasted bell pepper into strips (if you haven’t already done so).

       2. Wash and dry the spinach. Remove and discard any large stems.

       3. Place the bread into a toaster and heat until lightly brown and crispy.

  4. Spoon 2 tbsp of broad bean dip onto one slice of the bread. Spread evenly.

 

5. Layer the spinach over the spread.

 

6. Layer the strips of roasted bell pepper over the spinach. Spoon 1 tbsp of bean spread onto the other slice of bread, spreading evenly.

 

7. Place the slice of bread (with just the bean spread) over the roasted bell pepper. Slice into halves and serve.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Banana Bread

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Yields: 12-16 slices
Prep: 10 mins
Baking Time: 45-55 mins

Baking Equipment: Food processor(*optional), two mixing bowls, one spatula, one fork, 2lb non-stick loaf tin, measuring cups + spoons, kitchen foil, cake tin liner(*optional), toothpick or skewer.

Well, summer has officially arrived! With these hotter and humid days lurking, the thought of turning on your oven for very long can be out of the question…but so can eating perfectly ripe bananas!

If your house is like ours, your bananas will go from from green to black in a matter of days… and unless you have some super keen banana eaters in your house, or manage to freeze some before they become covered in sugar spots, you’re bound to have some super sweet (and black) bananas; banana bread just always seems like the perfect solution! #nomorefruitflies

Just freeze these black bananas for future muffins, breads or cakes… or you could start peeling them and get baking now!

Try making our delicious DF, GF and plant-based banana bread! It’s dense but still light and moist; no crumbly GF breads in sight! For a twist, try adding different spices, nuts, some dried fruits or a little cocoa or cacao powder for a healthy chocolate taste! 

Warning! The smell of baked banana bread will fill your entire house, it’s unavoidable so prepare to share   cry eek or bake two loaves instead! big grin

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++30g       Walnut halves
+++++++++++++++++++++++75g        Porridge oats
+++++++++++++++++++++++225g      Plain GF flour
+++++++++++++++++++++++1tsp.       Baking powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++1/4 tsp.  Baking soda
+++++++++++++++++++++++1/4 tsp.  Xanthan gum
+++++++++++++++++++++++3g          Ground cinnamon
+++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt (a pinch!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++5             Medium ripe bananas (*500g of banana flesh!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++60ml      Rapeseed oil (+ a little extra for greasing)
+++++++++++++++++++++++30g        Dark brown sugar (*optional/ or use your favourite!)

 

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Grease a loaf tin with a little oil. Tip: to save on calories (and greasy dishes!), line the tin with a rectangular cake tin liner instead.

2. Place the nuts into a food processor; process until a desired consistency is achieved (we ground ours into a powder!). Tip: if you don’t own a food processor, gently chop and crush them them on a chopping board. Also, if you are using large pieces of nuts, coat them in a little flour, it will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan during baking! Transfer the nuts into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt into the bowl of nuts. Stir with a spatula to thoroughly combine. Tip: if preferred, sift these ingredients (apart from the oats) into the bowl to quickly remove any lumps.

4. Peel and place the bananas into a separate mixing bowl. Mash them with a fork. Pour in the oil. Whisk together.

5. Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the flour mixture. Tip: check out our banana berry muffin post if you need a visual aid. Pour in the wet banana mixture. Fold together with a spatula until thoroughly combined.

6. Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Shake and knock the tin (gently!) on your counter top to help evenly distribute the mixture and to expel any air bubbles. Tip: if you do not own a loaf tin, use a muffin tin (with liners) instead; reduce the baking time accordingly.

7. Place the tin into the oven. Bake it for approx. 45-55 mins or until lightly browned and cooked through. Tip: the bread is cooked when a skewer or toothpick is inserted into the centre and comes out clean. Also, try covering the bread with some kitchen foil if it’s browning too quickly (we did this for the last 20/25 mins).

Remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool in the tin for 10 mins before removing. Best served once cooled.

Enjoy!

Ours took 55mins to bake. 🙂

1/3 eaten and 2/3 frozen! 😀

 

Store any leftovers in an air tight container; best consumed within 2-3 days. Alternatively (once it has cooled!), slice, store and freeze it in an air tight container; defrost and consume within 1-3 months (but if your like us, it will be gone before that!).

Plant-Based Paella

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Quick Food Facts:

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

 

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Now transform your dish!

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

We served ours over a bed of spinach!

 

Enjoy!

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

 

 

If preferred…

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

 

History Source:
1. The Paella Company

Deconstructed Vegan Sushi Bowl

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 45 mins

Notes:

For some, sushi is not a word that is associated with the word ‘vegan’ or a ‘plant-based diet’… so this bowl might require a bit of imagination (well, at least not where taste is concerned)! Typically, sushi contains raw fish (occasionally meat) or various other types of seafood with cooked vinegared rice, nori, wasabi, vegetables…and a lot of salt!

This bowl encompasses all of the lovely flavours that ‘typical’ sushi possesses (without the seaweed and raw fish of course) and less salt (which is a big tick in our books!). 🙂 We used some brown long grain rice instead of sushi rice (nutritionally speaking it provides longer term energy and greater satiety). However, you could also use: wholemeal rice, wild rice or some millet or cauliflower rice! For a more authentic taste, you can break a nori sheet into your bowl or serve it under all of the ingredients (just be mindful of the overall salt content!).

Sushi has always been seen as a trendy meal…but who says you can’t recreate some of it’s magic at home?! This salad is a quick and tasty option (that anyone can prepare!), especially when you do not feel like paying for sushi (because even vegan sushi can carry a hefty price tag!) and/or you simply do not have the time or resources to make it yourself…

…The times that we have prepared sushi I can count on one hand! Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious… but who has the time to make it during the week?!…Because let’s be honest, having the time and ‘timing’ means everything when it comes to making sushi! So if you’re not a sushi master or would prefer a simpler option, check out our recipe!

 

Ingredients:

NB: We had some leftover squash, so it required minimal effort to add it! Try using any leftover veggies & reduce your food wastage too!

 

 

Directions:

1. Prepare the tofu. Drain and press for 15-20 mins to remove any excess water. Bake in a preheated oven of (200°C) for 20-30 mins. Check here for more detailed instructions!

2. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain.

3. Prepare the dressing.

4. Wash, trim the ends and peel the carrot; use a vegetable peeler to create carrot ‘ribbons’.

5. Wash, remove the stems and finely slice the radish.

6. Wash, trim the ends and chop the cucumber into thin sticks.

7. Peel, remove the stone and thinly slice the avocado.

8. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then chop the bell pepper into strips.

9. Wash, dry and thinly slice the mushrooms.

10. Gently fry the bell pepper and mushrooms in a griddle pan. Alternatively, lightly spray the vegetables with some low-fat cooking oil and place them under a preheated grill for 5-10 mins or eat the vegetables raw.

11. Place the spinach into strainer. Gently wilt it by pouring some (just off the boil) water over it. Gently press out any remaining water and leave it to drain.

12. Pour the dressing through a strainer into another measuring jug or small dish. Reserve the liquid and the vegetables.

13. Assemble the salad. Start by placing the rice into the middle of the bowl. Spread or add some wasabi paste on top of the rice. Place the mushrooms over the wasabi. Place the tofu, spinach, radish, seeds, avocado, squash (if using), bell pepper, cucumber, carrot and the reserved vegetables from the dressing around the rice. Pour the dressing over the salad. Garnish the carrot with some nigella or sesame seeds and the spinach with some red chilli flakes and sesame seeds (if desired!).

NB: If you are short of time, just throw everything in and enjoy!

 

 

Enjoy (…possibly with a small mug of green tea)! 🙂

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try adding or swapping some of the ingredients for: a nori sheet, mooli, pickled ginger, sushi rice, bean sprouts, frozen soya beans or fresh edamame beans, mango slices, oyster or enoki mushrooms, fresh or pickled red cabbage or some bok choi.

Mexican Salad Bowl

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Cooking Time: 45 minutes + 12 hours to soak the dried beans (if applicable!)

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

Here’s a salad we made two months ago! Nothing really says you desire sunnier weather and a warmer climate more than preparing a colourful salad bowl named after a hot country! Luckily at the moment the SE of England has been blessed with plenty of sunshine and blue skies…let’s hope it lasts!

Let’s sum this recipe up in three words: simple, vibrant and delicious! Give our recipe a go or use it as a guide to create your perfect (wish it were summer!) salad! Keep it vegan or add some grated low-fat cheese! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked black turtle beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked brown long-grain rice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Frozen sweet corn kernels
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Kale
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Iceberg lettuce
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/2       Fresh red chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1           Radish
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Cherry tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/4       Avocado
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4           Jalapeno slices (in brine or fresh)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++5           Black olives (in brine)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6           Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Wedge of lime

 

Directions:

1. Cook your pre-soaked beans (approx. 75g dried) according to the packet instructions (if applicable). Otherwise open, drain and rinse a tinned variety (heat if desired).

2. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. NB: Approx 75g (dried).

3. Wash the kale. Place the kale and sweetcorn into a steamer pot with some cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, wash, peel, trim the ends and then grate the carrot.

5. Wash, dry and shred the lettuce.

6. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and chop the chilli into thin slices.

7. Wash and remove the stem from both the radish and tomatoes; slice the radish.

8. Peel, remove the stone and slice the avocado.

9. Drain the jalapeño’s and olives (rinse if preferred).

10. Assemble the salad in any which way you please…or try our method! Place the lettuce into the centre of a large serving bowl. Layer the avocado over the lettuce. Place the kale, jalapeño’s, beans, carrot, tomatoes, corn, radish, olives, rice and nuts around the lettuce/avocado. Garnish the rice with the chilli. Lightly season the salad (if desired) or just dress it with a squeeze of lime juice!

11. Serve.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Fancy something a little fruitier?! Consider adding some whole fruit or a fruit-based salsa; try mango, papaya, guava, prickly pear, pomegranate, or mamey!
  • Omit the rice and add a few more beans, vegetables and salsa instead! Use your ‘altered salad bowl recipe’ as a sharing platter for flat breads or a few plain tortilla chips (just make sure to eat them mindfully!)…or try stuffing it into some wholemeal tortilla wraps!
  • Swap the avocado for some homemade guacamole.

Aubergine Dip

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8*
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-80 minutes

Recipe adapted from: All TV Chefs…or in this case, Paul Hollywood!

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and (per serving*) is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats!

Here’s another great dip for summer! Our ‘baba ganoush-style’ dip is delicious; we have referred to it as such because ours is lacking in the ‘smokey taste’ that ‘authentic baba ganoush’ is known for!

Baba ganoush is thick Middle-Eastern dip made from aubergines (a.k.a ‘eggplants’!), that can be enjoyed as part of a Middle-eastern meal and/or with flatbreads, or with wholemeal pitta, bread sticks, crudities, salads or as part of a delicious sandwich or pasta meal!

As this was our first time preparing it, we used one of many recipes available through our favourite search engine! We slightly adjusted the quantities and used puréed garlic instead of fresh, but it still turned out great! 🙂 If you want a ‘smoother/less grainy’ consistency, we’d recommend that you remove the seeds before puréeing the aubergine… although the seeds do not affect the taste!   

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++780g        Aubergine
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1               Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Fresh parsley (*optional; to be used as a garnish)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++ 30ml      Extra virgin oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++18g          Garlic paste
+++++++++++++++++++++++++22g          Tahini paste
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt

 

 

Directions:

Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

 

Wash the aubergines. Prick each side gently with a fork. Place them onto the baking tray. When the oven has come up to temperature, place the tray into oven. Bake the aubergines for 30-60 minutes, or until they’re soft and slightly blackened; turn once. NB: If preferred, you can grill the aubergines…as suggested in the original recipe!

 

 

In the meantime, juice the lemon. If applicable, wash, dry and roughly chop some parsley.

 

 

Once, the aubergine’s skin has ‘blackened’ and the flesh is soft, remove it from the oven. Leave it on the tray and allow it to cool slightly.

We baked ours for 50 minutes. NB: Our skins ended up with more of a dark-brown hue rather than a blackened one.

 

 

Once cooled, slice it into halves…

 

 

…spoon out the flesh and discard the skin.

 

 

Place the oil, garlic paste, tahini and lemon juice into a food processor…

 

 

…followed by the aubergine.

 

 

Pulse until creamy and blended together (or until your desired consistency is achieved). Season it with some salt to taste.

 

 

Remove and transfer the dip into a large serving dish (if applicable) or portion out as required. Garnish it with some parsley (if applicable).

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

NB: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; stir well before serving and it’s best consumed within 3-4 days. 🙂

Baked Root Vegetable, Bean & Quinoa Burgers

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 75 minutes- 17 hours (* If you are using dried beans!)

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

These vegan burgers are versatile and easy to prepare; try whipping a batch up on the weekend and freezing them (either cooked or uncooked) for later in the week or other ad hoc meals!

They are packed with plenty of nutrients, spice and are very fibre-licious! Serve them with fresh salad or some steamed green vegetables and you are in for a great meal; we promise that you won’t walk away from the table unsatisfied!  For further ‘burger’/’meat’ ideas, check out our other recipes here! 🙂 

 

Quick facts:

  • These burgers contain approx. 8g of fibre (*per serving/based on 6 servings!). This makes up approximately 44% of your RDA (which is 18g/Day)! Check out more info on fibre here!
  • Quinoa (or ‘keen-wah’) is a trendy ‘pseudo-grain*’ (*a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain) which is known for being a ‘complete protein‘ as it contains all nine essential amino acids! It can be used as a great gluten-free grain alternative, but can most definitely be enjoyed by all!

Cooked quinoa has adequate levels of fibre, some B-Vitamins, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and smaller amounts of calcium, Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids!

    • We served these burgers with some spring greens (also known as collard greens!). Vegan or not, these delicious leaves can be a great source of Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, calcium and iron (among other nutrients!); enjoy them raw (if you prefer) or try lightly steaming them…but just make sure you don’t over cook them!

 

This was our pre-anti tinned bean stage! Check out our recent post on how to cook dried legumes (minus the hassle and the stress!).

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Sweet potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++230g     Baking potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Parsnips
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++70g        Dried quinoa (approx. 150g cooked)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++12g         Fresh Parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++16g         Fresh red chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++240g     Cooked butter beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Onion granules (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Brown mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++20g        Plain flour
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++               Low-fat fry spry (low-fat cooking oil)

 

 

Directions:

**If applicable, start this recipe the night before! Soak your dried beans (approx. 120g) in a large bowl of cold water over night (or for approx.12 hrs). Drain, rinse, and cook them in a slow cooker on a high heat setting for 4-5 hours. Check out our recent post on cooking dried legumes for further tips!

 

 Place a large, non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Using a separate saucepan, cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (NB: Ours only took 15 minutes to prepare!)

 

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and cube the sweet potato and baking potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then quarter the parsnip.

 

 

Add the sweet potato, baking potato and parsnip to the saucpean. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Allow to cool.

We allowed ours to cool for approx. 8-10 minutes.

 

 

 

Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and dice the chilli. NB: If you are using tinned beans, drain and wash them at this point.

 

 

Place the beans into a food processor.

 

 

Pulse until a rough ‘paste/mixture’ is achieved.

 

 

 Transfer the beans into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Once the vegetables have cooled, add them to the food processor.

 

 

Pulse until it resembles a ‘smooth mash’.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl.

Mash any remaining chunks with a fork.

 

 

Add the quinoa, parsley, chilli, ground cumin, onion granules and the seeds. Season the mixture with some salt and black pepper to taste.

 

 

Using a spatula or large spoon, mix thoroughly to combine all of the ingredients. Add the flour.

 

 

Mix until combined. The mixture should be a bit tacky but not completely dry (a lot like this burger mixture we made last year!).

 

 

Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Divide the mixture in to approx. twelve portions. Using lightly floured or dampened hands, roll each portion into small ‘balls’. Place them onto the baking sheet.

 

 

Gently flatten them with the back of a large spoon or silicone spatula.

 

 

Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes (or until lightly browned and slightly firm), turning once. Remove and place the sheet onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly.

NB: We found they keep ‘setting’ as they cool; ones that sat around for 20+ minutes had a firmer texture.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare all of your lovely salad vegetables to accompany these delicious burgers!

We steamed some tasty spring greens and made a mixed garden salad with some more (leftover) beans!

 

 

We also heated some mini wholemeal pitta breads.

 

 

This is what we did with our spring greens…

NB: Just make sure you ‘pat dry’ your leaves before you use them!

 

 

You could also also have an ‘open-style’ wrap!

 

 

Serve with a vibrant and nutritious salad!

Delicious!

There’s our Broad Bean And Spinach Dip making an appearance again! Yum!

 

Enjoy!

Potato & Pea Balti

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

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

OK, so it was another curry night here at Eat2Health, but (to some of you) this recipe might seem a little like it’s from Cheaty-McCheat’s kitchen… and we can appreciate that this idea is partially true! We sourced and used a reasonably healthy (jarred) curry sauce. Everyone is entitled to have a ‘night off’ from a full-blown cooking marathon from time to time…we just have to be mindful about the products we choose to use, and of course consider ways in which we can easily improve the nutritional balance of our meals…

Which is what we took on board when using this sauce!

Our product instructed the user to cook it with chicken and fresh chillies and then serve it with naan bread. Firstly, this might be the authentic and traditional method, but the chicken is a no-go for us. Secondly, we’ve commented about how we feel about naan bread before…and thirdly, where are the recommendations for vegetables?! Even though this sauce was made from some veggies (but the first ingredient was water by the way!), it’s not going to go far to account for your 5-A-Day quotas. 

We decided to use hearty potatoes, robust peas and some fibrous and nutritious tomatoes, bell peppers and spinach instead! We added extra flavourings, such as the ginger, chilli and turmeric etc. because we knew the tomatoes would dilute the sauce slightly; herbs and spices are always a healthier way to flavour your meals without adding extra salt.

The result was a delicious and healthy meal! Balti’s by nature are tasty, tangy and not overly spicy; admittedly I found ours a bit spicy… I guess the ginger, chilli and mustard seeds added some extra heat! Once I just added some plain/unsweetened soya yoghurt, everything was fine! 🙂 You could also try serving this curry with some of our savoury flat bread (as a tasty addition and/or to diffuse the heat!), but we found this curry super filling as is.

Per serving the sauce provided: 62kcal, 3g Sugar, 4g Fat, 0.3g S/Fat and 0.5g Salt. Like any processed foods, the fat, sugar and salt contents must be considered; there is no point in buying a product with very little sugar and/or fat but it still contains high/unhealthy levels of salt (and vice versa!). Amusingly (to us anyways!) this product we used had less salt (per serving) than our favourite baked beans that we occasionally buy!

One last thing before we cook! As it’s coming to the end of the UK’s ‘National Salt Awareness Week’, we hope that you’ve been taking note of some of the advice brought to your attention not only by us, but by lots of other social media sources! Let’s all work hard at getting the national salt intake average down from 8.1g to the government recommended levels of 6g/day.

 

Let’s all Eat2Health everyone (#lesssalt!)! 

 

Quick facts:

  • The word Balti roughly translates to ‘bucket’. This is because the word refers to the type of cookware used and not to the ingredients. This type of curry is traditionally cooked in a steel or iron (and even copper coated) pan that looks quite similar to a Chinese ‘wok’; the pan is called a karahi (a ‘Balti pan/bowl’).

Traditionally it can be prepared with meat and vegetables and is served with naan bread; it’s considered a medium-hot curry (but we think this rating can be loosely translated- depending on your heat threshold!).

  • Per serving (*based on 4 servings), this recipe provides you with approx. 4 portions of fruit/vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++1kg           Baking potatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g       Frozen garden peas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g       White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g             Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++90g          Raw ginger root
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g           Red Chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g        Frozen sliced bell peppers
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g         Frozen spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                 Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g             Turmeric
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g             Brown mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++285g        Balti curry sauce (one jar)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g       Tinned plum tomatoes

 

 

Directions:

 Wash and chop the potatoes into small bite-sized pieces.

 

 

Place the potatoes into a large saucepan full of cold water or a medium-low heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

 

 

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

 

 

Meanwhile, place the bell peppers and spinach into two separate microwaveable dishes. Place the dishes into the microwave. Heat the vegetables on a defrost setting. Drain.

 

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the chilli.

 

 

Place a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

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

 

 

Add the bell peppers. Mix to combine.

 

 

Add the turmeric and seeds. Mix to combine. Gentry fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

 

 

Pour in the sauce. Add the tomatoes. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the potatoes, peas and spinach. Gently stir to combine.

 

 

Allow to curry to simmer for approx. 5 minutes (or longer if desired). Remove from the heat.

This step is just really to heat the sauce; if you prefer richer flavours, allow it to simmer for a big longer.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes (if you have time). We always find that the flavours taste best when the meal is not boiling hot!

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle into a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh coriander and mustard seeds(if desired).

We garnished ours with a bit of semi-defrosted coriander- hence why it doesn’t look as vibrant as fresh coriander!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Make this a two-pot dish! Cook all of the ingredients in one large saucepan (except the potatoes) and adjust the cooking times accordingly.
  • Use a variation of vegetables and/or legumes, pulses or baked tofu! Curries are very adaptable and taste great with most plant-based foods! Non-vegans can add a combination of lean meat, poultry or fish with a medley of vegetables!
  • Create your own balti paste using fresh ingredients; make it as neutral or as spicy as you like!

 

Sources:
The Curry House

Simple Gluten Free Bread With Spices

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-9
Yield: approx.16-18 thin slices
Prep: 60-90 minutes
Cooking time: 45-60 minutes

Recipe adapted from: Dovesfarm

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

This is a simple GF loaf that is easily adapted; the flavours are endless! We think that it’s a great accompaniment to a bowl of soup (as it makes a lovely piece of toast!); it can also be used to make delicious croutons or breadcrumbs.

When I began baking many years ago, I always appreciated the effort of other bakers who made recommendations and explained their processes; with all the baking terminology and various types of baking equipment on the market, it can all be a bit daunting at first! You don’t always have to buy the latest gadget either- occasionally a fork can work as a good substitute to a whisk! Sometimes a little experimentation is all it takes…and then ask yourself a few questions such as, how often will I use this device and will it make my life any easier??!

On that note, here is a list of utensils we used to make our bread (relevant substitutions included!).

 

 

 

Baking Equipment:

baking equipment_table_watermarked

NB: We used everything but disposable paper liners. 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Oil a loaf tin with 5ml (1tsp.) of the oil; apply it with some kitchen roll or parchment paper (do not throw this paper away!).

You can see that our loaf tin is well used. 😀

 

 

Create your ‘flax eggs’. Place the flaxseed into a small dish. Add the water. Stir until combined. Leave for 5 minutes.

The mixture will become quite gelatinous.

 

 

Place the oats into a food processor. Pulse until a flour-like consistency is achieved.

Obviously you can skip this step if you have already bought a ‘oat flour’!

 

 

Place the milk into a microwavable measuring jug. Heat until fairly warm but not scalding hot!

 

 

Place the oat and GF flour, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder and xanthan gum into a small mixing bowl. Mix together.

 

 

Add the turmeric and cumin seeds. Mix to combine.

 

 

Check the temperature of the milk with a sugar thermometer; aim for 50-55°C or 120-130°F.

Allow it to cool (if necessary).Ours was a bit too hot = death to yeast.

 

 

Place the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add and whisk in the ‘flax seed eggs’ and vinegar.

 

 

Add the flour mixture. Mix together to form a sticky dough.

 

 

Add the remaining oil as you mix the dough.

 

 

Keep mixing and folding the dough with the spatula, until a smooth, ‘tacky’ and soft ball of dough is achieved.

If you find the dough is a little dry, add a bit of water. NB: You cannot ‘knead’ this  dough mixture.

 

 

Transfer the dough into the tin. Smooth the top with a damp spatula. Sprinkle over some seeds; gently press them down into the dough.

 

 

Cut a piece of kitchen film long enough to cover the tin; use the (reserved/oily) piece of kitchen roll to grease one side of it. Cover the tin with the film (oiled side down).

 

 

Place the tin in a warm place to prove for 60-80 minutes. NB: Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F at approx. 45/50 minutes into the proving time.

(NB: If your house if cold and you are struggling to find a warm place to proof your bread, 60 minutes will be long enough- any longer is futile! We put ours in the boiler cupboard!)

 

 

Remove the kitchen film. Place the tin into the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or its until firm and the crust is slightly golden.

This batch of bread was made in January. You can see that our bread was sweating but it didn’t rise very much- our home was just not warm enough!

 

 

Remove. Allow the bread to rest in the tin for approx.10 minutes.

 

 

Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack. Allow it to cool slightly before eating.

 

 

Best sliced using a bread knife.

NB: Place it into the toaster for a harder and crisp bread.

 

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Store any leftovers in a resealable container; freeze and defrost before use. Consume within 2 months of freezing. NB: Once defrosted, best consumed toasted.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try using some other optional ingredients such as: brown mustard or poppy seeds (or any other seed!), ground nuts, onion powder, chillies, fresh or dried herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, olives etc.
  • Experiment with flour combinations. GF baking is an art and not always precise; some mixtures will work better than others. We’ve found that using some ground rice can produce a fluffier loaf.
  • Alternatively, divide the dough into two halves and bake in two separate 1lb. loaf tins.

Tofu, Pea & Oyster Mushroom Stir-Fry

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 65-75 minutes

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

This stir-fry recipe can be summed up into three words: spicy, fresh and delicious! It’s a simple recipe with a spicy sauce; it uses the Eat2Health’s ‘baked tofu’ as seen in previous recipes! If you prefer things a little less heated, use half the amount of raw chilli and chilli flakes. 🙂

 

If your short on time, prepare the tofu the day/night before!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Nutritional Info:

NB: To reduce the fat content further, omit the rapeseed oil and use more low-fat cooking oil instead and slightly reduce the quantity of tofu used.

 

 

Directions:

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

 

In the meantime, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil (if desired).

We used approx. four ‘sprays’ and then spread it across the mat with a silicone spatula.

 

 

Meanwhile, wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the chilli. Wash, peel and chop the ginger. Peel and dice the garlic.

 

 

Wash the peas. Wash and dry the mushrooms. De-shell the nuts (if applicable). Wash, trim the ends and slice the onion.

 

 

 Drain and chop the tofu into small pieces (cubes). Place them onto the baking tray. Lightly spray with some low-fat cooking oil.

We used approx. three more ‘sprays’.

 

 

Place the baking tray into the oven. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove.

 

 

Meanwhile, place a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, water, sugar, starch and chilli flakes. Whisk together until the flour and sugar have dissolved. Pour in the vinegar. Season it to taste with some salt. Mix together.