Vegan And GF Onion Soup

Healthy Recipes

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

 

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

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

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

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

 Soup Nutritional Breakdown:

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

 

 

Ingredients:

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

 

Directions:

Rehydrate the mushrooms according to the packet instructions.

NB: Mine took approx. 30 minutes to rehydrate .

 

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

 

Peel and chop the onions into halves…

 

…and then finely slice them.

NB: Try the ‘reduced tears’ method…

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

NB: I used ‘6 sprays’ .

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Serve warm.

 

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

 

Also, garnish with some grated vegan cheese if preferred.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

If preferred…

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

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 60-90 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins (*Dependent upon type of pasta)
Cooling Time: 5-10mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, non-stick pots (*3) and a frying pan, frying spatula, food processor, measuring cups, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, casserole dish

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

Our lasagne is a delicious and stodgy meal that the whole family can enjoy!  A typical ‘standard’ lasagne can be very rich due to its meat, cheese(s) and milk content, consequently containing a fair bit of salt and fat from the cheese(s) and/or sauce. Ours however is completely plan-based with no added sugar, making it lower in saturated fats, salt and sugar as a result, but still very delicious right up until the last bite!

 

Nutritional Breakdown (approx. 500g/serving):

 A ‘standard’ lasagne portion (approx. 420-500g), could provide approx:300-500kcal, 25-40g fat, 12-20g saturated and 2-4g salt.

Tip: You could reduce the calories/fat content in this recipe by: omitting or reducing the quantity of the nuts and olives, by using unsweetened & fortified almond milk instead of soya, or by halving the amount of white sauce used.

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Place the spinach into a microwavable bowl. Defrost in the microwave. Drain in a sieve. NB: Ours took about 14 mins to defrost.

 

  • In the meantime, peel and chop the onion. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash and drain the olives (if they were in brine), remove any stones (if necessary) and then chop them into slices. Wash and dry the basil, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly them (save a few whole pieces for garnishing).
  • Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add some low-fat cooking spray. Add the garlic and onions. Cover and gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 30g olives, 800g tinned tomatoes, 40g puree, 1 tsp lemon juice, the herb blend (dried thyme, basil & oregano) and the onion powder. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. Bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 5 mins. Leave the lid slightly ajar for the remaining cooking time; allow the sauce to simmer for a further 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Season as necessary. Add the fresh basil. Stir through. Turn off the heat and leave it covered.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Open and drain the tofu. Tip: Speedy, silken tofu! This type of tofu does not have to be pressed like standard firm tofu! Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. *Drain your spinach if you haven’t already.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Add some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Gently fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add the spinach 40g pine nuts. Stir together. Allow it to fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the nutmeg. Season it with salt and pepper. Stir together. Remove from the heat.
  • In the meantime, place the tofu into a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer it into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the spinach mixture. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Stir and thoroughly combine.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Tip: Check your pasta’s baking instructions, as you might need a slightly higher temperate than this. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain. NB: We pre-cooked ours for 3 mins in boiling water and then drained it.

 

 

  • Prepare the white sauce. Add 300ml milk, the herb blend (dried thyme, basil & oregano) and onion powder into a large measuring jug. Stir to combine.
  • Place 20g DF margarine into a small, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Allow it to melt (be careful to not let it burn).
  • Once the margarine has melted, add 20g GF flour. Whisk to thoroughly combine and form a ‘roux’. Keep stirring for about 30 seconds or so to help remove some of the floury taste from the sauce.
  • Gradually pour in the milk mixture. Whisk together.
  • Keeping whisking until the sauce thickens. NB: This can take 3-6 mins, depending on how high your heat setting is; do not allow it to burn!
  • Remove from the heat. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Leave covered until ready to use.

 

 

Lasagne Assembly

1. Pour just over half of the quantity of the tomato sauce into the casserole dish.
Add a layer of prepared lasagne sheets.
2. Add half of the filling mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta.
3. Add another layer of lasagne sheets, followed by the remaining filling mixture.
4.Place one more layer of lasagne sheets. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce.
5. Give the white sauce a quick whisk. Pour and spread it over the top of the lasagne. Tip: If necessary, use a silicone spatula help spread it.
6. Place it on the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-30 mins, or until it’s bubbling, lightly browned and the pasta is cooked. TipOurs took 30 mins in a fan-assisted oven. It will definitely take less time than this if you are using ‘fully cooked’ or quick cook pasta!
7. Remove the dish from the oven.

 

 

Allow it to cool for 5-10 mins. Tip: This will make it slightly easier to cut and serve! Garnish with the reserved basil (if using). Serve warm alongside a green salad or green beans if desired.

 

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

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use wholemeal or spelt-based pasta if you are not concerned about gluten.
  • Use fresh spinach and tomatoes instead.
  • Alternatively, make some home-made ravioli using this filling and serve it topped with the tomato sauce.
  • Serve the tomato sauce with some spaghetti instead (garnish with some pine nuts); serve with a garden salad for a quick and simple meal!
  • Adjust the herb combinations to your personal preference.
  • Make two lasagnes and freeze one for next week! Alternatively, freeze individual portions and defrost/reheat when you are short on time to cook a nutritious meal!
  • Instead of pine nuts, try using sunflower seeds? (The latter is normally cheaper for us).
  • Use a low-sodium/sugar/fat store-bought tomato sauce or passata if you short on time!

 

Recipe inspired from: BBC Good Foods

Vegan & GF Spaghetti With ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Sauce

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

This recipe was adapted from: OhSheGlows

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

This recipe is great for pasta lovers and those that at this time of year love stodgy, creamy sauces but without the guilt of consuming high fat & salt contents! The cauliflower in this recipe provides a lovely velvety taste, whilst the mushrooms, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds provide a nice complementary texture. It’s straightforward to prepare and can be adapted in various ways (see below for ideas).

Based on 4 servings, this recipe provides approximately: 331kcal, 4.3g fat, 1.8g s/fat & 0.5g of salt. Authentic’ cheesy cauliflower dishes or cheesy pasta (i.e. ‘Alfredo’ or macaroni & cheese) recipes easily have a minimum of 10g of fat, 5g of saturated fat and a couple grams of salt/serving!  If you can source some fortified nutritional yeast and omit the vegan cheese, the fat content of this meal will be cut in half.

NB: I also adapted this recipe by using 1kcal fry spray (low-fat cooking oil) during the meal preparation instead of olive oil.

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++500g      Cauliflower florets
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g           Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++90g         White mushrooms (large)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g        Cherry tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30ml      Lemon juice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g           Fresh parsley leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++600g      GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              1 kcal Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Garlic powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Dried onion powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Dried Parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++24g        Vegan cheddar cream cheese
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml   Unsweetened & fortified almond milk
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and discard, break off the florets from the stem, discard the stem (if preferred) and wash the florets.

NB: You can cook both the stem and florets in the sauce if preferred; chop the stem into small pieces before cooking.

 

Peel and grate the garlic. Wash dry and finely slice the mushrooms. Wash, remove the stem and halve the tomatoes. Juice the lemon. Wash, dry and roughly chop the fresh parsley.

NB: I used some parsley straight from the freezer.

 

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cover. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3-6 minutes, or until tender. Remove the cauliflower without draining the water. Transfer it into a colander. Allow to drain.

 

Meanwhile, bring the saucepan of water back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain.

 

In the meantime, place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic. Lightly fry for 30 seconds-1 minute, or until slightly softened but not browned.

 

Remove and transfer it onto a small plate.

 

Spray a little more low-fat cooking oil (2-3 sprays). Add the mushrooms. Lightly fry for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly golden.

 

Remove and transfer into a small dish.

 

Place the cauliflower into the blender.

 

Add the garlic, lemon juice, garlic & onion powder, dried parsley, vegan cheese and DF milk (start with 1/2 cup/125ml). Season it with some salt and pepper to taste.

 

Blend until smooth. Add more milk if desired to thin out the sauce.

NB: I used a full cup of DF milk (250ml).

 

Place the pasta back into the saucepan (if you want to refresh everything with heat) or place it into a large mixing bowl.

 

Pour over the sauce. Add the mushrooms.

 

Mix together gently with salad tongs.

 

Serve warm. Place into a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Season as necessary. Garnish with the tomatoes, parsley leaves and pumpkin seeds.

 

 Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Instead of boiling your cauliflower, season and roast it in the oven; heat the oven to 230°C/450°F, place the cauliflower onto a baking tray, spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil, roast for 25-40 minutes, turning a couple of times. This will bring a ‘nutty’ flavour to your sauce.
  • Use nutritional yeast instead of faux cheese to keep the ‘cheesy’ taste and add some nutritional value (I only used vegan cheese because I haven’t sourced nutritional yeast yet).
  • Try adding some lightly fried red onion or red bell pepper for extra colour and taste!
  • Try varying the seasoning, e.g. sweet paprika, dill, chilli flakes, Dijon mustard or add some capers on top.
  • Try a medley of other vegetables, e.g. garden peas, broccoli, wilted spinach or swiss chard.
  • Use some fresh plum or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Use frozen cauliflower and cook from frozen.
  • Try using chestnut or porcini mushrooms.
  • Use unsweetened & fortified soya milk instead of almond.
  • Swap the spaghetti for another type of pasta (especially if you are not concerned about gluten).

Vegan ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ With Lentils

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking time: 80-90 minutes

 

Recipe adapted from: Coeliac UK

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

This recipe may not be as traditional or authentic as some British folk would prefer, but let’s face it- it’s a recipe that’s been adapted several times over the last 100 years or so! I think it’s a great recipe for those cold winter nights that are upon us, or for anyone implementing healthy lifestyle changes, and it’s definitely a meal the whole family can enjoy. The bottom line is, it tastes great, it’s easy to prepare and the ingredients are very interchangeable and inexpensive!  

 

NB: Based on four servings, this recipe provides approximately: 400kcal, 2.3g fat, 0.45g s/sat per serving. (*A standard supermarket version with lamb could provide 10g-20g of fat from the meat, butter, cream or full-fat milks they use in their recipes.)
*Based on a cursory look at some of the main supermarket brands.

 

NB: I used two peppers as I had some to spare!

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++150g      Brown lentils
++++++++++++++2L           Vegetable broth (low-sodium/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++1000g    Rudolph Potatoes
++++++++++++++4g           Garlic cloves
++++++++++++++170g      White onion
++++++++++++++160g      Carrots
++++++++++++++180g      Red bell pepper (I used 2 because I loads to spare!)
++++++++++++++100g      White mushrooms
++++++++++++++100g       Garden peas
++++++++++++++ 8g           Corn starch
+++++++++++++                  ‘1 kcal’ Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
++++++++++++++3g           Seasoning mix (Sweet paprika, Cayenne pepper & Dried Basil)
++++++++++++++30ml       Unsweetened Soya milk
++++++++++++++7g            Vegan (reduced fat) soya margarine
++++++++++++++                 Salt
++++++++++++++                 Pepper
++++++++++++++40G         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++1g            Dried Thyme

NB: If using frozen vegetables, defrost them before use. 

 

Directions:

Wash and drain the lentils; remove any stones. Prepare the broth.

 

Place the broth into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook according to the packet instructions and then drain.

  Reserve 600ml of the cooking liquid before draining.

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the potatoes into quarters. Place them into a separate, large saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to dry.

 

Meanwhile, peel and finely grate the garlic. Peel and chop the onions. Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrots. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash and drain the peas. Place the corn starch into a small dish. Add some cold water and stir/whisk until dissolved; creating a slurry.

Meanwhile, ladle out some cooking liquid and transfer it into a large measuring jug.

 

Heat another large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray with a little low-fat cooking oil. NB: Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper and basil. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used 1g of each herb/spice to make the seasoning mix.

 

 

Add the carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms and a little more cooking liquid. Stir together. Cover and allow to steam-fry for a further 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Stir together.

 

Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Get out a large, heat-proof casserole dish.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the mashed potato topping. Transfer the potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or use the same pot they were cooked in). Add the milk and margarine. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth and creamy.

NB: I didn’t want to scratch my pot so I used this plastic bowl; one more cooking utensil to wash at this point wasn’t going to make a difference!

 

 

 

Add the lentils, puree and the remaining cooking liquid into the saucepan. Stir together. Add the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Stir and allow the mixture to thicken slightly; approximately 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

NB: You might have to gently whisk the corn starch mixture again before adding it into the saucepan.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish.

 

 

Top with the potatoes.

NB: I gathered some with my hands, made ‘patties’ and gently placed them on top of the mixture. It really doesn’t take as long as it sounds!

 

 

Smooth with a silicone spatula, sprinkle over the thyme and roughen the surface with a fork.

 

 

Place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until boiling and slightly brown on top.

NB: Mine just started to bubble over but I caught it just in time ( I was attending to the queue of dishes)!

 

 

Serve warm in a lipped serving plate.

NB: This represents one serving. *Based on this meal serving four people.

 

 

Next day leftovers!

NB: Enjoy hot or cold with additional vegetables if desired. This portion was unheated and enjoyed straight from the fridge!

 

If preferred…

  • Use seasonal vegetables or any others you desire to create your favourite vegetable medley!
  • Substitute the lentils for prepared dehydrated soya mince or some beans.
  • Try using different herb and spice blends; use fresh if available and/or convenient.
  • If your not vegan, try adding a small portion of low-fat cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes before baking.

Vegan Thai Yellow ‘Laska’ Soup With Rice Noodles

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 60 mins

Recipe adapted from: Elephantjournal.com

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

If you’re looking for an alternative cuisine… than look no further! This recipe is easy to execute (it doesn’t involve any frying) and packs so many wonderful textures and flavours! 

This soup is just under 300kcal/serving, but it still has 10g of saturated fat/serving (even with the reduced fat coconut milk). Plant-based diets are predominately healthy, but using coconut milks or oil, palm oils or cocoa butter can offer high intakes of saturated fats. Unfortunately, coconut oil, creamed coconut etc is made of approximately 90% saturated fat/100g.

We’re sure that when compared to some ‘authentic Thai meals’, it may be considered a ‘healthier’ option. We would recommend having a small portion, or try using half the amount of the reduced fat coconut milk and/or substitute it for unsweetened soya or almond milk; try making your own curry paste to also help reduce the amount of fat in this dish.

With any food or meal, just be mindful of the portion size and the overall fat/sugar/salt contents; all in moderation folks!

 

NB: We couldn’t source fresh lemon grass this week, so we have used a lemon grass paste instead.  We did not use the rapeseed oil. Also, this is NOT an advertisement for Amoy; the purchase of these items was solely influenced by their prices at the time of purchase.

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++++++396g      Firm tofu
++++++++++++++++++++++++               ‘1 Kcal’ Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
++++++++++++++++++++++++100g       Carrot
++++++++++++++++++++++++60g         Fresh ginger root
++++++++++++++++++++++++2              Stalks of lemon grass (approx. 10g)
++++++++++++++++++++++++160g       Red bell pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++++100g       White mushrooms
++++++++++++++++++++++++40g         Spring onions
++++++++++++++++++++++++80g         Green beans
++++++++++++++++++++++++16g           Fresh basil
++++++++++++++++++++++++16g           Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++++++140g        Fresh bean sprouts
++++++++++++++++++++++++                Zest and juice of one lime
++++++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low-sodium, DF, GF)
++++++++++++++++++++++++400ml    Tin Reduced-fat coconut milk
++++++++++++++++++++++++30g         Thai yellow curry paste
++++++++++++++++++++++++300g       Rice noodles
++++++++++++++++++++++++10g           Peanuts (unsalted/not roasted)

NB: Check your rice noodles before cooking; do they need to be cooked or stir-fried before hand? Ours allowed us to add them straight into the soup to cook. Also, if you are using frozen vegetables, defrost them first.

 

Directions:

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

Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Spread to coat.

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then chop the carrot into ‘matchstick’ pieces. Wash, peel and chop the ginger into thin pieces. Wash, trim the ends, lightly crush with the back of a large spoon and then roughly chop the lemon grass. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and thinly slice the bell pepper into strips.

Wash, pat dry and roughly slice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends and chop the onion into large pieces. Wash, trim the ends, and halve the beans. Wash, dry and roughly chop the basil and coriander. Wash and drain the bean sprouts. Wash, zest and then juice the lime. Prepare the vegetable stock.

Ingredients ready to go!

 

Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Place it onto the baking sheet. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. TIP: You can refer to our previous recipe is you need some visual guidance for this step.

In the meantime, place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the stock, milk, carrot and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add the lemon grass and curry paste. Stir to dissolve. Cover with a lid. Allow it to cook for 5 mins.

It smells delicious right from the start 🙂

 

 

Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, beans, basil and coriander (save a little for garnishing if you like) to the pan. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions (at this stage if required). Drain.

Add the bean sprouts and rice noodles into the soup. Cover with a lid. Allow to cook for a further 3-5 mins or until the rice noodles are tender.

NB: Our vegetable stock has turmeric in it; another reason it’s so vibrantly yellow!

 

 

In the meantime, roughly chop the nuts; you can see we have everything else ready to go!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Remove from the heat. Pour in the juice. Add the tofu. Mix together gently.

 

 

We find because there is so much going on in the pot, it’s easier to use a spaghetti ladle to scoop out the larger pieces first….

 

 

…and then ladle the broth over it.

 

Once served, sprinkle over the zest (as mush as desired); top with the nuts and reserved coriander leaves (if using).

NB: The contents of this bowl represents 2 portions.

NB: The contents of this bowl represents 2 portions.

 

Enjoy!

If preferred…

  • Try different vegetables: pak choi, baby corn, water chestnuts, fresh red chillies, mange tout, sugar snap peas, red onion, fresh garlic, some torn baby spinach or maybe some cubed sweet potato or butternut squash.
  • Try using: fresh or dried Kaffir leaves instead of lime zest, Thai basil leaves instead of standard basil, fresh oyster or enoki mushrooms instead of standard white ones, replace the fresh lemon grass for a puree (if you can’t source the fresh variety or your trying to save money), or try brown basmati rice in place of the rice noodles.
  • Try making your own fresh curry paste (if you have the time) instead of using store bought varieties; this will help cut down on the salt and fat contents.
  • Add some fish sauce to the broth if you are not a vegan/vegetarian (but be mindful of the salt content).

 

Vegan And Grain Free Pizza

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 75mins

Recipe adapted from: Vegiehead.com
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, omega 3 and is low in saturated fat!

Who says you need dairy, meat or grains to make a pizza taste good?! This recipe is significantly lower in calories, saturated fats and salt (per slice) then your ‘standard’ pizza and very versatile. Use any toppings you desire, but make sure your ingredients are dry and do not overload the base. Unfortunately on this occasion I did not have mushrooms or rocket- but my refrigerator contained lot’s of peppers! I would definitely use this flavour combination next time; I don’t believe in food wastage so I just use what I have at the time.

NB: Rocket is also referred to as ‘arugula’ and courgette is also known as ‘zucchini’. 

Pizza nutritional break down

Pizza nutritional break down

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++10ml       Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++500g       Cauliflower
+++++++++++++++++++++++4g            Garlic Cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++10g          Fresh Basil leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++3              ‘Flax eggs’ (15g flaxseed + 130ml water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++50g          White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++40g          Courgette
+++++++++++++++++++++++30g          Chestnut Mushrooms
+++++++++++++++++++++++20g          Spanish green Olives (in brine)
+++++++++++++++++++++++80g          Baby plum Tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++160g        Yellow bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++10g          Wild Rocket (optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++85g          Ground Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Dried onion powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++2g            Dried Basil
+++++++++++++++++++++++2g            Dried oregano
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++50g          Tomato Puree
+++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Dried thyme
+++++++++++++++++++++++5g            Pine nuts

Directions:
  • Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease a large baking sheet or a pizza tray with half the quantity of the oil.

 

  • Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower (and then discard), remove the florets from the stalk/core (discard the core), wash and then dry it. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, dry and roughly chop the basil. Place the flaxseed and water into a small bowl; stir until combined.

Peel and dice the onion. Wash, trim the ends and grate the courgette into thin discs. Wash, dry and finely slice the mushrooms. Remove any stones and slice the olives into halves. Wash, remove the stems and slice the tomatoes. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into fine slices. Wash and dry the rocket (if using).

 

 

Place the cauliflower into a food processor. Blend until it becomes quite fine (like rice). Its important to make the texture as uniform as possible; pick out any large chunks if you have to as these will stop the ‘dough’ mixture from sticking together.

Processed Cauliflower

Transfer it into a large microwavable bowl. Cover and place it the microwave for 2 minutes to allow it to cook/steam slightly. Remove, drain and thoroughly pat it dry; use a clean cloth or some kitchen paper. NB: I think the quickest way is probably to transfer it onto the middle of a clean kitchen cloth, gather the ends together and then wring out the water.

 

 

  • Place the cauliflower, garlic, fresh basil leaves, flaxseed mixture, almond, onion powder, dried basil and the oregano into a large mixing bowl. Season it with some salt to taste. Mix together to form a ‘dough’. The mixture should be ‘tacky’ (not too wet or sticky).

 

 

Place the ‘dough’ onto the centre of the baking sheet or pizza tray. Spread and push the ‘dough’ across the sheet in an even layer (I used a silicone spatula to help smooth and press it out evenly).

Uncooked Base

Uncooked Base (Mine was 22x27cm- this was random!)

 

 

 

 Place it into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until slightly crispy. Remove and place the baking sheet or pizza tray onto a cooling rack.

Semi-cooked Base

 

 

 

Top the crust with the puree and drizzle over the remaining oil; spread it evenly over the crust (almost to the edges) with a silicone spatula. Sprinkle over the onion.

Base with ‘sauce’ and onions

 

 

Add the courgette, mushrooms, tomato and bell pepper. Garnish with thyme.

Base with all uncooked ingredients

 

 

Place it into the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is browned and crispy. Remove and allow it to cool slightly before serving. NB: If the cauliflower wasn’t dried enough, the crust may take longer to cook.

Cooked & ready to serve! (I Just wish I had the rocket)

 

 

 Slice and serve garnished with the rocket (if using).

NB: this picture contains 2 servings.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Omit the rocket and try serving it along side a fresh, green garden salad.
  • For an iron boost, try adding some dark leafy vegetables as toppings or just in your accompanying salad (spinach, swiss chard, kale etc)!
  • Try spreading the puree on the base and then drizzle the oil over the vegetables just before baking (if you prefer them ‘crispier’).
  • Try using different herbs combinations in the base or add some fortified nutritional yeast for a B12 hit and a slightly ‘cheesy’ taste.
  • Try a dairy/gluten free pesto sauce, or a low-sodium/sugar passata or pizza sauce instead of the tomato puree.
  • Try different bases (maybe try potato?).
  • Try making 2 separate pizzas if you are serving more than 4 people; the crust is not stable enough to support an ‘extra large base’.
  • Try using a professional baking mat, as the crust steams slightly as it cooks. This should provide a crispier base.

 

V. Stir-Fry W/ Shiitake Mushrooms, Baked Tofu & Bok Choi

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins (*Dependent upon skill, tofu prep and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Sharp knife, chopping board, colander, baking tray, silicone mat, measuring jug, fork, frying spatula, wok (or non-stick frying pan), chopsticks (for those extra keen!).

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

Stir-fry recipes can be a quick and nutritious go-to meal for even the most basic of cook and this one is so versatile and very easy to prepare! Lover of shiitake mushrooms? We are! Tender mushrooms, delicate bok choi, crisp bell pepper and a blend of great oriental flavours all served over a bed of delicious GF pasta; yes, this recipe turned into a lovely little vegan dish indeed!  

One thing to note is that you have some time to spare, you can always marinade your tofu (once you have pressed & drained it!) in some oil, soya sauce and ginger (puree, fresh or powder!) for 4hrs-overnight before you cook it! This will drastically help to improve its overall flavour. 🙂

Quick Foodie Fact

  • Bok Choi is also referred to as ‘Chinese white cabbage’!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nutritional Info

NB: *Try using a low-sodium soya sauce & wholemeal pasta if you are not concerned about gluten!

 

Directions

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for about 30 mins 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 some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Wash, peel and finely grate the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the onion.

 

Wash, remove the core, deseed and then thinly slice the bell pepper. Wash, dry, trim the ends and then chop the bok choi into thick strips. Rinse, pat dry and coarsely slice the mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper and then chop it into bite-sized pieces. Place it onto the baking tray. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins, or until lightly browned. Remove.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

 

 

Meanwhile, place the corn flour and water into a measuring cup. Whisk together until the flour has dissolved. Add the tamari and tabasco sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and onion. Whisk until combined.

Tamari sauce mixture

 

 

  • Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick wok or frying pan over a medium-high setting. Spray some  low-fat cooking oil. Add the bell pepper. Gently stir-fry for 2 mins. Add the bok choi. Stir-fry for a further 4 mins. Transfer the mixture onto a plate.
  • Spray a little more cooking oil. Add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for a further 2 mins, or until tender.

 

 

Meanwhile, remove the tofu from the oven (if you haven’t already). Place the baking tray onto a cooling rack.

Baked tofu: Ours was baked for 35 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

 

 

  • Place the bok choi mixture and the tofu into the wok.
  • Add the cooked pasta.
  • Stir in the tamari sauce mixture.
  • Gently stir-fry the mixture for about 20-30 seconds; the sauce will thicken very quickly!

 

 

Transfer the stir-fry mixture into a lipped serving plate or large bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds (if applicable) and serve!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • If you are pressed for time, prepare the tofu one day in advance; just refrigerate it in an air tight container. NB: There are also alternative ways to press tofu.
  • Use a low-sodium soya sauce or reduce the quantity if you need/prefer less salt.
  • Break the spaghetti into half before cooking if smaller pasta is desired.
  • Instead of pasta, try using rice noodles or serve the stir-fry on a bed of wholemeal or brown basmati rice instead!
  • Swap the tofu for some tempeh, nuts, seeds or beans.
  • Arrowroot powder or potato starch can be used instead of corn flour to thicken the sauce.
  • Swap the shiitake mushrooms for porcini or whatever takes your fancy!

 

Sources:
Recipe adapted from: VegetarianTimes.com

 

What type of vegan stir-fry recipes do you enjoy? 

Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Houmous

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

Some other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

A batch of tasty falafels to company it! Yum!