Meatless Monday- Battered & Baked Tofu: Revisited [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 48 pieces
Serves: 8
Prep: 30 mins + 6-12hrs (marination)
Tofu Assembly: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: 30-35mins
Cooling: 5 mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Heavy plates, kitchen paper, chopping board, sharp knife, small measuring jug, casserole dish, 2* bowls, 2* baking trays, silicone mat or parchment paper, cooling rack

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

Well, as you might have guessed… tofu is always on the menu in our house, at least once a week! If you haven’t been keeping up with what we have been getting up to with this lovely plant-based food over the last year, then you should check out our recipe index here! We have been trying to inspire and improve the overall opinion of tofu; it’s not just a rubbery mass, it’s nutritious, awesome and its cooking possibilities are endless!  

So you might remember when we introduced our first batch of battered tofu to you in the form of a stir-fry last year (also known as our Battered tofu & Vegetable Stir-fry) or when we used this battered tofu in a tasty, healthy and oriental version of Sweet And Sour Battered Tofu w/Rice? Well if not, we decided to try and upgrade it with a marination step…as all tofu can benefit from this! It doesn’t necessary add that much time on to your overall prep either; once the tofu is drained and pressed, just marinade it whilst you sleep and you’re good to go!

The result: it has added some extra flavour and inspired us to use them in more than just stir-fries! A crispy, light and tasty batter makes this tofu easily enjoyed in a wrap with a tasty sauce or spread, for yourself or your little one as a snack (as you can always pretend it’s a new kind of ‘chicken nugget’!), used as some tasty finger foods in your upcoming picnics (just don’t forget your dips!), or as we have incorporated them previously, as part of a main meal in a sauce. A sauce or dip is the key, especially with reheating leftovers; the batter (although tasty) can go a bit dry, so the use of a sauce or a dip transforms these battered lovelies into a tasty meal or snack. 

Some other good things to note include

  • Any type of DF milk or starch should be fine. We used some unsweetened almond milk and potato starch for their neutral taste, low cost and seemingly effortless and versatile use and availability in our kitchen.
  • Adjust and adapt the dry seasoning (or tofu marinade) to taste or use your preferred ‘tried and true’ recipes.
  • Need a completely GF option? Use some tamari sauce instead of our recommended soya sauce.
  • The tofu marinade we used is actually one from a previous recipe: Marinated Tofu & Veggie Skewers w/ A Peanut Satay
  • If you’re halving the amount of tofu, you’ll save yourself 10mins!
  • There is enough marinade and batters for two firm blocks of tofu. 
  • Allow them to cool on the baking trays for at least 5 mins before serving and allow them to cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  • When reheating, use the oven where possible, as the batter can go a little soggy after it’s been in the fridge for a few days.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
800g Firm Tofu (= 2 tetrapaks)
Low-fat cooking oil
Tofu Marinade
3 tbsp     Sesame oil
3 tbsp     Walnut oil
2 tbsp     Rice vinegar
3 tbsp     Soya sauce (*reduced salt)
1½ tbsp   Maple syrup
1 tsp        Ground ginger
1/8 tsp    Asafoetida
Dry Batter
100g    Plain GF flour
20g      Corn flour
2-3g     Garlic salt
2g         Onion Powder
2g         Sweet Paprika
1/8 tsp  Salt & ground black pepper
Wet Batter
90g       Potato starch
120ml    Unsweetened DF Milk (8 tbsp)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂


Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy and/or weighted plates (or chopping boards) to express any excess water. Leave for 30 mins. Tip: Try sandwiching the tofu between a few sheets of kitchen paper to help absorb some of the excess liquid. 

2. In the meantime, make the tofu marinade. Place 3 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp walnut oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp soya sauce, 1½ tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp asafoetida into a large measuring jug. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. When the tofu is ready, drain away any excess water. Place the tofu onto a chopping board and chop into ½ cm rectangular pieces. Tip: We made six cuts (width wise) and four cuts (lengthwise). Layer the tofu into the base of a large casserole dish. Pour over the marinade. Tip: To help evenly distribute the marinade, pour a little into the casserole dish first before layering the tofu. Cover with some kitchen film. Refrigerate for 6-12 hrs. Tip: If possible, turn the tofu over at least once whilst it’s marinating.

4. Prepare your dry batter. Place 100g GF flour, 20g corn starch, 2-3g garlic salt, 2g onion powder and 2g sweet paprika into a small bowl. Season with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Stir and whisk until combined. Prepare the wet batter. Place 90g potato starch and 120ml DF milk into a separate bowl. Whisk until combined.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with silicone mats or a sheet of parchment paper. Spray each tray with some low-fat cooking oil. Dip a piece of marinated tofu into the wet batter, thoroughly coating it in the mixture. Tip: It’s just a quick dip; you do not need to soak it. Next, dip and gently press the tofu into the dry batter until all of its sides are covered. Tip: The faster you can complete these steps, the less ‘coagulated’ batter will form on your fingers!  Place the battered tofu onto the baking tray. Repeat until all tofu is battered.

6. Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 15mins. Remove. Turn the tofu over. Place the trays back into the oven (switching the shelf positions of the trays). Bake for a further 15-20 mins or until cooked and the lightly golden. Remove. If possible, allow the tofu to cool on the tray for 5mins before serving.

Enjoy!

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

 

Do you love tofu as much as we do?! What’s your favourite way to cook it? Do you make your own tofu? We’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

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A Simple & Delicious Salad Bowl: Roasted Vegetables & Grains [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep: 15-20 mins (*Variable)
Cooking: 40-50mins
Assembly: ≤5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, roasting tin, kitchen foil, non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, colander, mixing bowl

Notes:

Here’s a quick and delicious Friday filler! We promise we have a lot more involved and tasty goodies lined up for you next week!

Salads, salad bowls, or even ones known as ‘Budda or Goddess Bowls’ are wonderful and you don’t have to be a veggie (or on a ‘diet’!) to enjoy them either! Maybe it’s because they have evolved beyond a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and some other token salad veggies; yes exactly, because you can adapt them into any delicious shape or form!

Enjoyed in any season, they can have style, great nutritional substance and a good degree of satiety! They’re an example of another meal that can easily be adjusted to suit your own diet, budget, cooking skills or time and/or taste preferences! We think that they are indeed super (but not a ‘superfood’!), but we’ve previously shared our thoughts on this matter. A salad, simple or not, is what you make of it. Although they might not always look sexy, substance should always win over beauty; with the right planning, they can be nutritionally complete (even without expensive foodie ingredients) and enjoyed every day, well only if you like (but we can never have too many greens)! 

This recipe is quite similar to one that we produced last year …

A Quick & Frugal Pasta Bowl

…but on this occasion we have excluded the pasta and kidney beans and used some hearty grains (pearl barley!) and a different variety of vegetables, including kale! After seeing that two of our local supermarkets were selling massive bags of shredded kale, it could only mean one thing- it’s still in season, but not for much longer! So we should all take advantage of this tasty vegetable. All hail the kale! 🙂

So feel free to ‘mass produce’ this salad, adapt its seasonality, flavour combinations, what’s left in your cupboards (you know those odd bits of mixed grains knocking about!) and/or to suit your purse strings! Really, feel free to adapt it as you see fit.

 

If you think this recipe could do with an upgrade, here are some additional adaptations (well don’t try them all at once!) that could also work quite well:

  • A few pan toasted cashews, almonds or pine nuts or natural pumpkin seeds.
  • Depending on your flavour combinations (or budget), some (pitted) kalamata olives would be ace!
  • Some cooked beans! We’d recommend: soya, black, butter or broad beans. 

 

Ingredients

++++++130-140g         Dried pearl barley (or your favourite grain!), cooked
++++++500-600g      Vegetables (butternut squash, red, green + yellow bell peppers)
++++++150-200g        Kale
++++++                         Rapeseed oil (or low-fat cooking oil spray)
++++++                         Salt and Ground black pepper
++++++2                       Spring Onions
++++++                         Fresh herbs (variable; we used flat leaf parsley)

 

Directions

1. Place the pearl parley into a large sieve. Rinse it under some running cold water. Transfer it into a non-stick pot. Fill the pot with cold water (about 3/4 full). Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Remove the lid and allow it to boil for 10 mins. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25-30 mins or until tender. Drain it in the sieve. Allow to cool slightly.

2. In the meantime, heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. If required, line a roasting tin with some kitchen foil.

3. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the skin, trim the top and then remove the seeds from the squash with a sharp knife or spoon; chop it into ½-1″ cubes. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell peppers into 1cm pieces. Transfer the vegetables into the roasting tin. Drizzle over a little rapeseed oil (or spray them with some low-fat cooking oil). Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until the vegetables or lightly browned and tender; toss and stir halfway through cooking. Remove.

4. In the meantime. Wash the kale. If applicable slice (or shred) the kale into strips. Place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Cook and simmer for 7-10 mins or until tender. Drain in a colander.

5. If applicable prepare your preferred dressing or dip. Wash, trim the ends and finely chop the spring onion. Wash, dry and then chop some herbs.

6. Place the cooked barley, roasted vegetables, kale, spring onion and herbs (if using) into a large mixing bowl. If applicable pour over your dressing or just season with a little salt, black pepper and fresh herbs to taste. Toss together and serve in a large serving bowl. Garnish with some toasted nuts, a dip or houmous (if using), or anything else that takes your fancy!

Enjoy!

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

 

Delicious vegetables and hearty carbohydrates- the frameworks to any great salad! 😀

 

How do you like to enjoy your salads? 🙂

Cream of Celeriac Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4 (med.) or 6 (small) portions
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Assembly: 5 mins
Type: Main meal, starter dish
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, large non-stick pot w/lid, wooden spoon, blender, silicone spatula

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins (inclusive of B12*), Vitamins C, D* & E* carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving (based on 6 servings) has no added sugar, has a moderate quantity of added salt and is low in saturated fats! *Dependent upon the fortification of DF milk used.

We were wrong, this soup is officially our last new soup of the season (well, probably)! Simply because the UK weather is completely unpredictable; it’s still quite chilly, but it’s also great to have to some quick soup recipes to hand, even for early spring, autumn or an unexpected July cold virus! So with the cold weather lingering, we decided to experiment with a frugal and tasty soup idea; this delicate, simple and flavourful idea became our delicious cream of celeriac soup!

We would first like to thank our local supermarket for reducing the price of their almond milk (3 cartons for £3!) and for having a full bin of celeriac root with varied weights to choose from! You know that it’s going to be a good day when stuff like this happens. 😀

This soup is incredibly easy to prepare and not overly expensive (our veggies came to £1.60). In addition to some tasty celeriac, we added a humble potato (skin included) which provides additional fibre, vitamins and minerals, a natural thickener and a tasty under note to the soup. As we decided not to use any vegetable stock, we combined a tasty section of some of the dried herbs, seasonings and flavours that we found listed in our favourite brand of stock. Once it was cooked we added some almond milk, for some additional nutritional value and creamy touch (it’s all in the title after all!). The result was a delicious and easy go-to soup that you can add to your recipe box (particularly if you love creamy, comforting and cosy soups)!

We enjoyed this soup garnished with some tasty roasted chickpeas, fried spring onion and served it with a cheeky ‘cheeze’ toasty and cup of tea; it was indeed a great little lunch! 🙂

Some other good things to note include:

  • We have previously talked about how lovely celeriac is when we posted our Broccoli and Celeriac soup recipe last year! Our previous recipe also includes some lovely visual instruction on how to prepare it (just in case you are new to this lovely vegetable!).
  • Celeriac can be tricky to peel. After we peeled ours, we lost about eighty grams in weight; which is a huge improvement after our last couple of goes! If you still find preparing it tricky, just buy a slightly bigger portion.
  • We will be doubling the quantity next time (whilst being mindful of the salt) as it’s just too good and would love slightly larger portions that last longer than three days! 
  • We used almond milk, but you could also use an unsweetened soya or coconut milk if preferred. NB: we chose almond because its flavour is light enough not to overpower the other flavours of the soup.
  • Once refrigerated, the soup does ‘thicken’, just ever so slightly; once it’s reheated, it relaxes and is the perfect consistency once again. However, if you find our version a little thick, just add a little more milk to thin it out.
  •  Although it tastes good on the day, like any soup, sauce or marinade it tastes even better the following day(s)! We’d recommend reheating your leftovers on the stove top (if possible) as it doesn’t take long to reach a hot and almost boiling temperature; you can easily overcook it in a microwave (you can trust us on that one!) and this will impair the flavour.

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++700g          Celeriac root
++++++++++440g          Baking potato
++++++++++½ tbsp       Rapeseed oil (or low-fat cooking oil spray)
++++++++++1g                Celery salt
++++++++++¼ tsp          Dried tarragon
++++++++++¼ tsp          Dried parsley
++++++++++½ tsp          Asafoetida (or sub w/ onion powder)
++++++++++¾-1 tsp       Salt
++++++++++¼ tsp          Ground black pepper
++++++++++800ml       Water
++++++++++½ tsp          Garlic infused oil
++++++++++50g            Spring onion, finely chopped (*an optional garnish)
++++++++++300ml       Almond milk (unsweetened + fortified)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Prepare the celeriac. Tip: For visual guidance you can refer to this recipe! Wash, trim the ends, peel and then chop the celeriac into cubes. Wash and then chop the potato into cubes.

2. Heat ½ tbsp rapeseed oil (or use some low-fat cooking oil spray) in a large, non-stick pot over a med-low heat. Add the celeriac and potato. Gently toss in the oil and stir together. Cover with a lid. Gently fry and stir the celeriac mixture occasionally for about 6 mins. Add 1g celery salt, ¼ tsp dried tarragon, ¼ tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp asafoetida, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Stir to toss and coat. Gently fry for 30 seconds.

Add 800ml cold water and ½ tsp garlic infused oil. Stir together. Cover with the lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer and cook for about 10 mins or until the vegetables are cooked (fork tender). Remove from the heat. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Tip: If you have a blender with a heat-vent lid, you can probably start processing the soup after 5 mins; just take care and do not overfill your blender and cover the heat vent with a kitchen towel to help release some excess steam/heat.

3. If desired, gently fry some spring onion in a little oil for 2-3 mins or until softened.

4.Transfer the soup into a blender. Process it until smooth and creamy. Tip: Depending upon the size of your blender, you might have to complete this step in batches. If you own a hand-held blender, just process the soup in the pot and then stir in the milk. Transfer the soup back into the pot or a resealable container (as applicable). Add the milk into the blender. Pulse to froth and help remove any residual soup stuck to the blender. Pour the milk into the pot or container. If necessary, use a spatula to help remove any remaining bits of soup. Stir together. Taste and season the soup as preferred.

5. If applicable, reheat the soup over a medium-low heat until hot, but do not allow it to boil. Remove.

6. Serve warm. Ladle into a small serving bowl; if desired, garnish with fried spring onions or some fresh chives, roasted chickpeas, small cubes of roasted potato, tofu croutons, some standard herby-bread croutons or whatever takes your fancy!

Enjoy!

Tip: 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. NB: When reheating, do not allow it to boil. 

 

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other goods things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++150-300g      Large portobello mushrooms (about 2-4)
+++200-300g     Red onion (2-3 small)
+++400-600g     Red bell pepper (about 2-3)
+++700-900g     Courgette (about 3-4)
+++1 tsp                Garlic infused oil
+++2 tbsp             Extra virgin olive oil (or some low-fat cooking oil spray)
+++1½ tsp             Dried Italian herbs
+++                        Salt & Ground black pepper
+++1L                     Basil tomato sauce (store bought or homemade)
+++670g               Spinach & Tofu Pesto
+++400g              Lasagne sheets (GF, wholemeal or plain wheat flour)
+++450ml             Vegan + GF herby white sauce
+++                        Nutritional yeast flakes (*optional garnish)
+++                        Fresh Basil (*optional garnish)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Line two baking trays with a sheet of kitchen foil.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Wash dry and chop the mushrooms in to large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into chunky strips. Wash the courgettes, trim off the tops and slice it (vertically) into about ½ cm strips. Place the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper into one baking tray and the courgette into the other one.

Drizzle 1 tsp garlic infused oil and 1 tbsp of olive oil and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the mushroom mixture. Tip: Alternatively use a low-fat cooking oil spray instead of the olive oil. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil (or use the spray) and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the courgette. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Place the baking trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Roast for about 20mins or until tender and slightly browned; turn and toss the vegetables at least once. Remove.

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

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

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

6. If applicable, make a bechamel-style white sauce; use our vegan and gluten free herby, white sauce with these seasoning adjustments: ¼-½ tsp of dried thyme, basil and oregano, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. If desired, stir through 1 tbsp (5-6g) of nutritional yeast at the end of cooking for a cheezy sauce (we did)!

7. Assemble the lasagne! Pour and spread about 2 cups (or about half) of the tomato sauce on the base of a large casserole dish. Add of layer of lasagne sheets, enough to cover. Add and spread half of the pesto. Top the pesto with some of the courgette and roasted mushroom mixture. Pour and gently spread over 1 cup (about another ¼) of the tomato sauce. Add another layer of lasagne sheets. Add and evenly spread the remaining pesto. Add another and final layer of courgette and mushroom mixture. Pour and spread a final cup of sauce. Add a final layer of pasta sheets. Pour and evenly spread the white sauce over the top layer of pasta.

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Picture Step: 2

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

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

Picture Step: 7. Lasagne assembly!

One cooled and garnished lasagne ready to eat!

 

Spinach & Tofu Pesto [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 670g
Serves: 12
Prep & Assembly: ≤10-15mins
Type: Sauce, Spread, Dip
Tools: Small dish, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan(optional), food processor, air-tight storage container

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, zinc, contains no added sugar and per serving is low in added salt, has a moderate quantity of fat and is low in saturated fats!

We have always encouraged everyone to cook from scratch and over the past few months we have given you more sauces and dips, a new pizza crust and even some handy food, kitchen and ingredient conversions. Well here’s another basic recipe that we think everyone (not just us plant lovers!) should have access to. It’s easy-peasy and full of flavourful and bold ingredients! Yes, it’s another pesto recipe, but this one’s packed full of extra protein (and no, it’s not extra nuts, its tofu!); of course it comes with a multitude of uses…and it just may even become a new staple in your recipe box! 

We actually came across a DF & GF store bought pesto (insert brand name here!) last year, which funnily enough also contains tofu. It looks creamy and packed full of flavour; basil, nuts (cashew and pine), but its first ingredient is oil! So it’s no surprise that apart from being pricey it contains more calories, fat and even sugar (yes because it contains glucose!) per one-hundred grams than our recipe! Yet another example as to why we should make our own staples and basic recipes at home. 

We originally used our creamy, healthy and delicious pesto in a homemade lasagne (recipe pending!), but with spring looming, it could be used with so many other great things. With a dash of inspiration, curiosity and maybe courage, it has the potential could become a great and quick stir-through sauce for a pasta or potato-based salad or used as a tasty dip (just to name a few!).

It’s good to note that we have included all of our preparation photos, although some are slightly out of sync; our excitement and hunger had us bouncing around the kitchen and not sticking to our previously written directions. However as we’ve previously mentioned in another recent pesto post, there is no right or wrong way to make your own pesto! Please feel free to adapt it to your own personal tastes and maybe even get carried away dancing whilst you’re making it too! 🙂

A few other good things to note include

  • Forget avocado on toast, this pesto (spread) goes further! Use it as a lovely sandwich or wrap spread, as a tasty topping for rice cakes, crackers or jacket potatoes, or as mentioned above, a quick stir-through pasta sauce! However, we would suggest using fresh, spinach, rocket or kale.
  • Also, get experimenting! Use this as a tasty layer in a cooked or raw lasagne, in a savoury summer tart or stuff a little in some tender and delicious Portobello mushrooms and get roasting! 
  • When it comes to nuts (or seeds), use your favourite (although we recommend pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, toasted almonds or sunflower seeds)!
  • We used garlic puree for a slightly intense and (not raw) garlic taste, but just use whatever you prefer (or about one garlic clove).

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++300g               Frozen spinach, defrosted (or 150g fresh)
+++++++2 tbsp             Lemon juice
+++++++80g                 Fresh basil
+++++++1                       Box Silken tofu (349g)
+++++++40g                 Pine nuts
+++++++⅓ Cup            Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++1½ tbsp           Nutritional yeast flakes
+++++++½ tsp               Garlic puree
+++++++¼ tsp               Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info (approx. values)

 

Directions

1. If applicable, defrost the spinach in a microwave (or at room temperature for a couple hours); drain in a sieve and then roughly chop. If applicable, juice a lemon. Wash and then dry the basil with some kitchen paper; remove the leaves from the stems. Open and carefully drain any excess water out of the box of tofu.

2. If desired, toast the pine nuts (we skipped this step). Heat a dry frying pan. Add the nuts and dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat.

3. Transfer 2 tbsp lemon juice, 40g pine nuts, ⅓ cup olive oil, 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp garlic puree and ¼ tsp salt into a food processor. Blend until the nuts are smooth-ish and combined. Add the tofu. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach and basil. Blend until combined and broken down. Tip: The mixture will probably not be completely smooth, but this is OK. For a smoother pesto, you will have to add more oil and/or cold water. Taste and season the pesto as necessary.

4. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the pesto into an air-tight and resealable container or an air tight and sterilised jar.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an air-tight and resealable jar (preferably sterilised) or container; consume within 5 days. 

 

Oh yes, spinach and tofu pesto lasagne- so delicious! 😀

 

What you tried a tofu-based pesto before? What’s your favourite way to use tofu? Well, if you love pesto (and tofu!) as much as we do, stayed tuned! Next week we’ll be providing you with our new and delicious recipe for a pesto (and tofu)-based lasagne! 

Meatless Monday: Baked Broad Bean, Quinoa & Herb Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 8-12
Yields: 40 falafels
Prep & Assembly: 35mins
Baking: 25mins
Cooling: 5-10mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Sieve, small non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, veggie peeler, colander, measuring spoons, baking tray (*1-2), parchment paper, cooling rack

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

Wowzers, it’s been quite a while since we have created a new falafel flavour; about one year ago to be exact! If you haven’t tried them (our baked green falafels that is) they’re really tasty! …But why stick to just one flavour or theme?! 

This time we were inspired by a store bought falafel flavour we tried last year; by its overall theme and definitely not its taste. However this is not surprising as shop bought (refrigerated) varieties tend to be quite dry and disappointing; this is another reason why you should never shop on an empty stomach!  

This recipe is packed with flavour, moisture and the perfect baked falafel texture! We think that with the correct balance of moisture (aka, oil, tahini, raw veggies!) and seasonings, any flavour of falafel, even baked falafels, can be phenomenal; this is all the more reason to whip up a batch at home! Yes, we used a food processor to help throw it altogether, but don’t worry. Even if you do not own a food processor, you can still make these lovelies; it just requires a little more elbow grease and the compromise that your falafels will take a little more time to prepare and have a more rustic and homemade flare!

We enjoyed our recent love affair with this delicious M. Eastern food as four tasty lunches! They go perfectly with a salad, rice dish, or tasty tabbouleh, in a wrap or sandwich or as a snack with a tasty houmous, sauce or dip (try lemon and tahinipomegranate, minty yoghurt or avocado cream!) 

Some other good things to note include:

  • Our first batch had slightly more garlic, but we have toned it down in the final ingredients list. We also increased the quantity of mint and toned down the other herbs, but feel free to adjust the garlic, herbs and/or seasonings to your own personal tastes. 
  • The mixture is slightly forgiving to larger bits of ingredients, but with too many chunky ingredients, it might stop the mixture from sticking together. 
  • We made a huge batch…but you can always halve the recipe and slightly reduce the prep time as a result. 
  • The quantity of cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) is about two tins and the quantity of cooked broad beans (also known as fava beans!) is about two-three tins. If you are using a dried variety, soak about 220g broad beans and 210g of chickpeas overnight, drain and then thoroughly cook them before adding to the falafel mixture. NB: You can refer to our handy kitchen info for help with cooking times. 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
60g       Dried Quinoa
320g     Brown onion
10g        Garlic clove
100g     Carrot
30g       Fresh mint
20g       Fresh coriander leaf
20g       Fresh flat leaf parsley
480g     Cooked broad beans
480g     Cooked chickpeas
60g       Tahini
1tbsp          Rapeseed oil
2tbsp         Lemon juice
+++             Low-fat frying oil
8g              Ground cumin
8g              Ground coriander
1tsp            Dried Mint (*optional)
40g            Rice flour (or a plain GF flour)
1-1½ tsp     Salt
¼-½ tsp    Ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place 60g (about 1/3 cup) quinoa into a sieve and rinse it under cold running water for 30-60 seconds. Tip: This will help remove some of its bitter taste. Transfer the quinoa into a small non-stick pot. Add 140ml water. Stir together. Cover with a lid (without a steam vent). Place the pot over a med-high heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 6 mins or until the grains have absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 15-20 mins. Tip: Do not peak, not even a little! Leave the grains to steam and finish cooking off of the heat. Don’t worry if it remains covered for longer than 20 mins, it will still be OK!

2. In the meantime, peel and chop the onion into two halves. Peel and finely grate the garlic. Tip: A cheese grater is perfect for this! Wash, peel, trim off the top and then finely grate the carrot. Transfer the carrot into a large mixing bowl. Wash and dry the mint, coriander and parsley. Remove the mint leaves from its stem. Roughly tear (or chop) the coriander and parsley into two halves/piles.

3. Place the onion into a food processor. Process until minced.  Transfer the onion into the mixing bowl. Tip: If you do not own a food processor, just chop and finely dice the onion as best you can. 

4. Place the mint, coriander and parsley into the food processor. Process until minced. Transfer into the mixing bowl. Throw away any large bits of remaining stalk. Tip: Alternatively, finely chop the mint leaves, coriander and parsley (leaves and stalks). Mix the onion, garlic, carrot and herb medley together until thoroughly combined.

5. If applicable, drain and wash any tinned beans in a colander. Transfer into the food processor. Tip: If you have a smaller machine, complete this step in two batches (as we did). Add half or all of the tahini, rapeseed oil, and lemon juice (depending on if you have added all of the beans and chickpeas or not). Pulse for 1 minute or until almost smooth (like a really thick houmous); the mixture will still be a little ‘tacky’. Tip: You might have to stop and push the mixture down into the base of the container as you process it. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl. Repeat this step until all of the beans and chickpeas have been processed. Tip: Alternatively mash the beans and chickpeas in a separate bowl with a large fork or potato masher.

6. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375F. Line two baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper and lightly spray it with some low-fat frying oil. Tip: If you are halving the ingredients, only one tray is required. 

7. To the mixing bowl add: 8g ground cumin, 8g ground coriander, 1 tsp dried mint, 40g flour, 1½ tsp salt and a few grind grinds of black pepper. Mix with a silicone spatula or large spoon until thoroughly combined. Fluff the grains of cooked quinoa with fork. Add the quinoa into the mixing bowl. Mix and fold into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary.

8. Gather a little of the mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a small ball; about the size of a ‘ping-pong ball’. Transfer it onto the baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: If the mixture is a little too tacky, lightly flour your hands with a little flour first. Lightly spray the ‘falafel balls’ with some low-fat oil. Using the back of a large spoon or silicone spatula, gently press down on them form small ‘falafel patties’.

9. Place the tray(s) onto the middle oven shelf (and if necessary, the lower oven shelf). Bake for 15 mins. Remove the tray(s). Increase the oven temperature to 200ºC/400ºF. Turn over the falafels. Spray with a little low-fat oil. Return the tray(s) to the oven; swap the tray positions if necessary. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until slightly firm and golden. Remove. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins on the tray(s) before transferring them onto the cooling rack and/or serving. Tip: This will allow them to firm and set further (without drying out like they would in the oven!). 

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover falafels in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost and consume within 1 month. 

 

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to notes include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Trim the ends off the leek; slice it vertically into two halves and then horizontally into thin slices. Place all of the chopped leek into a large bowl; fill with cold water, swish it around (separating the layers) and then leave it to soak. Peel and mince the garlic. Peal and finely chop the onion. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Gently wash and clean the mushrooms; slice them into quarters. If applicable, chop the tofu into bite-size pieces/cubes (ours was pre-chopped).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!



Baked Mini Tofu, Quinoa & Veggie Frittatas (& Parsnip Chips!)

Healthy Recipes

Our yummy baked tofu frittatas; originally posted last September! We’ve now updated the recipe and improved the format (inclusive of an easy-print recipe!). Enjoy! 🙂

Eat2Health Blog

Serves: 4-6
Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas
Prep: 30-35 mins
Cooking: 25-30 mins (*in a fan-assisted oven)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Sieve, small pot + lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, frying pan, frying spatula, silicone spatula, food processor, muffin tin, cooling rack

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

This is a recipe we developed earlier this year… but we’re glad to finally have the chance to share it with everyone!  🙂

Who says you need eggs to make a frittata or even an omelette?! Not in the Eat2Health kitchen! If you’ve got tofu, some shredded veggies, DF milk and grains, then you have the starting point to any great vegan frittata. Adapt the seasonings, vegetables and/or grains to suit your own needs and taste. You…

View original post 1,091 more words

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

– An adapted white herby sauce. We added some nutritional yeast and fewer herbs to form a vegan and gluten free friendly ‘cheezy’ béchamel sauce.

Some other good things to note include:

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

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

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with some kitchen foil. Spray the foil with some low-fat cooking oil.

3. Prepare the aubergine. Wash the aubergine(s); trim off the top(s) and then slice it (width-wise) into ½ cm slices. Tip: if preferred (and depending on the size of your casserole dish), slice the aubergine lengthwise. Place the aubergine slices onto the tray in a single layer. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Thoroughly season it to taste; sprinkle and season it with a little salt, dried oregano and a few grinds of black pepper. When the oven is hot, place the tray onto the upper oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins, turning halfway through. Tip: Once turned, respray with oil and add a little more seasoning. Remove and leave on the tray until ready to use.

 

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

 

5. Meanwhile, prepare the Greek-style ragu with lentils. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel, roughly chop and then mince the garlic with the back of a fork. Tip: If you have a garlic press, use this handy gadget instead! Wash, remove the stem and core then chop the bell pepper into ½cm -1cm pieces.

 

Spray a large, non-stick pot it with some low-fat cooking oil and place it over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Gently fry for 2-3 mins or until softened. Add the Greek-inspired spice blend and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the tin tomatoes, cooked lentils and 115g tomato puree. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Cook and simmer for 20 mins. Add your spinach during the last 5 minutes, allowing it to wilt. Tip: If you’re using fresh spinach, just throw it into the pot and stir it through once the sauce has finished cooking.  Remove from the heat. Stir through ½-1 tbsp (10-20g) of agave. Recover with the lid and leave for the moment.

 

 

6. Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes. Transfer the cooked potatoes onto a chopping board. Gently slice them (lengthways) into ¼- ½ cm slices. Leave for the moment.

 

7. Prepare the ‘cheezy béchamel sauce’. Pour the 550ml DF milk into a large measuring jug. Place 40g  DF margarine into a non-stick pot and place it over a medium-low heat. Tip: Save on dishes! Give your ‘lentil pot’ a quick wipe and use this to cook your sauce! When the margarine it melts, add 40g flour. Whisk until thoroughly combined and for about a further 20-30 seconds to help remove the floury taste. Whilst whisking, gradually pour in the milk. Keep whisking to help dissolve all of the flour. Add 1- 1¼ tsp oregano, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Keep whisking until the sauce just thickens. Remove from the heat. Tip: If the mixture is too thick, just whisk through a little more milk. Add 6g nutritional yeast or your vegan cheese. Stir through to combine (or if applicable) to melt the ‘cheese’. Leave covered until you are ready to use.

 

8. Assemble the moussaka! Tip: Depending on the size of your casserole dish, you can always free-style this type; if you would prefer to start with a potato layer, make sure to grease the dish first! Scoop about 2.5 cups of the Greek-style ragu evenly into the base of the casserole dish. Place a single layer of potatoes (do not overlap). Pour over ¼ cup of the cheezy-béchamel sauce. Roughly spread it with the back of a large spoon or spatula. Place a layer (or a few pieces) of aubergine. Tip: We used the minimum amount of aubergine, hence why we only placed a few pieces over the mixture at this point. Scoop a further 2.5 cups of the ragu, spreading evenly. Place a final, single layer of potatoes. Pour and spread over the remaining ragu. Place a final layer of aubergine. Pour and evenly spread over the remaining cheezy-béchamel sauce.

 

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

Enjoy!

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Inspired Sushi

Healthy Recipes

This vegan sushi looks delicious! We’ve made some before, but we’ll definitely be giving this version a try at some point. Yep, sushi making definitely does not get any easier than this! Thanks for sharing guys. 🙂

Pear & Pretzel

Vegan sushi lovers can exist too! This is a start of a beautiful thing people. We were led to believe that uninspired avocado and boring carrot rolls were all sushi had to offer to vegans, but with a change in perspective and a little creativity we came to realize we were so so soooooo wrong. Looking at sushi through a vegan eye opened the door to a billion and one new possibilities. Let’s fall in love with sushi now… the right way!

inspiredsushi_1

Our Recipes:

This is our favorite, most eye catching version of sushi we have created, but it is also the most labor intensive of the bunch. DO NOT let this discourage you from trying sushi at home because trust us you basically can’t go wrong. We’ve made rolls dozens of ways so use this as a base and be bold with your modifications. If you do try something…

View original post 1,322 more words

Slow Cooker Middle Eastern Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash the bell pepper, remove its stem and core and then chop into ½-1 cm pieces. Wash and roughly chop the potatoes. Wash the aubergine, trim the top and then roughly chop it into bite-sized (or 1″) pieces. Wash the olives and then roughly slice them (if using) .

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Slow Cooker Red Wine, Tofu & Vegetable Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 60-90 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or if you are using tofu)
Marination: 12-14 hrs
Cooking Time: 3.5-4 hrs (*On a high SC heat setting)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife,veggie peeler, large pot, large bowl, kitchen paper, casserole dish, kitchen film, large slotted spoon, sieve, large bowl, large/non-stick frying pan (with a lid), slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving* has a moderate quantity of added salt and sugar and is low in saturated fats. (*Dependent upon products used).

Enjoy it while you can- delicious stews, soups, chillies, or even curries straight out of your slow cooker! We’re making the most of our stodgy, plant-based (and low-fat) dishes before Spring arrives… and what better way than with this delicious red wine stew!

As always, our dishes are healthy, but not authentic and most have been ‘veganised’. However on this occasion, we are not going to compare this dish to anything else. This recipe is what it is- a wonderful stew that contains tender (melt in your mouth) slow cooked vegetables, and tasty marinated tofu, all in which are served in a delicious red wine and herb/veggie-infused gravy! 

We have used some organic firm tofu (quite a bit actually) and if it’s not your thing or you do not wish to spend time marinating it, there’s always a plan B! You can opt for using a pre-marinated block of tofu or tempeh (there are some tasty ones about!) or use some hearty cooked beans or lentils instead. 

A few other good things to note include:

  • Like a lot of stews and sauce, it tastes better the next day- especially the tofu! The ideal would to be to marinate the tofu throughout the day, slow cook it overnight and then enjoy it for dinner the next day! 
  • If preferred, you can use balsamic vinegar instead of balsamic glaze.
  • If you don’t like the idea of using soya (or tamari) sauce, you can always try swapping it for a vegan Worcestershire sauce; just adjust the quantity appropriately. 
  • We were originally shopping for some meaty (baby) portobello mushrooms, but the chestnuts worked out just fine. Oh, if you are using tiny button-type mushrooms, you won’t need to chop them, probably saving yourself 5 minutes in the process! 
  • Yes the tofu is purple, but it’s not GROSS! 😀 If you are not using it, you still need to go ahead and make the ‘marinated’ veggies.
  • To help intensify the tofu marinade, we are recommending that you add an additional 100ml of (uncooked) wine to it (but we have adjusted the ingredients list for you).

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy chopping boards or plates for 30 mins.

2. In the meantime, peel and thinly slice the onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends, quarter and then thinly slice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then thinly slice the celery. Peel the garlic and finely chop two of them only (leaving one whole).

3. Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, 375ml wine, 1 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns, ½ tsp thyme and ¼ tsp vegetable stock powder into a large pot. Place it over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 5 mins. Remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Allow it to cool down.

4. Meanwhile, drain the excess water off the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Transfer onto a large chopping board. Slice into pieces about one inch long (but the preference is yours!). Transfer and arrange the tofu in a single layer in a large casserole dish.

5. Add the remaining 100ml wine, 1 tbsp balsamic glaze, 1 tbsp soya sauce and 2 tsp olive oil into the bowl that contains the red wine marinade mixture. Mix to combine. Carefully pour the red wine marinade over the tofu, allowing the vegetable mixture to rest on top. Cover with a sheet of kitchen film. Refrigerate for 12-14hrs. Tip: Even if you end up leaving this mixture for longer than 14hrs, it will be fine! 

6. The next day, remove the veggie mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer it into a slow cooker. (NB: For presentation purposes, our veggies are not shown in the slow cooker.). Remove and discard the whole garlic, bay leaf and 8 peppercorns. Rest a large sieve over a large bowl. Transfer the tofu into the sieve. Pour the remaining marinade over the tofu. Allow the tofu to drain and do not discard the reserved marinade.

7. In the meantime, wash and dry the mushrooms; leave whole, halve or quarter depending on the size. Peel the onions.

8. Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Tip: Alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil or a spoonful of  water and ‘steam-fry’! Add the mushrooms and onions. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid. Gently fry 4-5 mins or until the vegetables are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove and transfer into the slow cooker.

9. Spray some low-fat cooking oil into the same frying pan. Add the tofu and gently fry 6-7 mins or until lightly browned. Transfer into the slow cooker. Tip: This step will have to be completed in 2-3 batches. Once finished, add one 1 tbsp of water. Swirl it around to help ‘deglaze’ the pan; add this liquid to the slow cooker.

10. In the meantime, boil 1L of water in a kettle. Prepare 500ml of vegetable stock.

11. Pour the reserved marinade into the slow cooker. Add 500ml vegetable stock, 500ml boiling water, 40ml soya sauce and 60ml balsamic glaze . Season it with a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Gently stir together. Add 1 pouch of bouquet garni. Gently submerge it into the stew. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 3.5-4hrs or on a low heat setting for 7-8 instead. Prepare a ‘slurry’ at the end of cooking; in a dish, mix 40g flour with equal parts water and whisk until the flour has dissolved. Whilst briskly stirring, pour the ‘slurry’ into the stew until lightly thickened.

12. Serve warm. Ladle into a large serving bowl. Garnish with a little fresh parsley (if preferred) and serve with a multi-grain or GF roll or even some steamed greens.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover stew in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1 month.

 

 

Chickpeas and Amla Usli/Salad

Healthy Recipes

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

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Chickpeas UsliAbout:

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

Health benefits:

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

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

View original post 126 more words

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

A few good things to note include:

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

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

 

Quick Foodie Fact:

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

 

 Happy cooking and buona cena everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++++++3              Garlic Cloves (fat ones!)
+++++++200g       Red Onion
+++++++160g        Red Bell Pepper
+++++++200g       Carrot
+++++++25g          Fresh Basil
+++++++480g       Cooked Red Kidney Beans (2 tins/no added salt or 250g dried/cooked)
+++++++4              Tins Plum Tomatoes (no added salt/ 1.6kg)
+++++++40g          Sun-Dried Tomato Puree
+++++++30ml        Balsamic Glaze
+++++++30ml        Lemon Juice
+++++++30ml        Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++1-2 tbsp   Fruit Sweetener (*optional)
+++++++½ tsp        Asafoetida (or onion powder)
+++++++½-¾ tsp   Salt
+++++++                 Ground Black Pepper
+++++++160g         Frozen Spinach, defrosted (about 7 cubes)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

  • Peel the garlic. Peel and quarter the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then quarter the carrot. Wash and then roughly chop the basil. If applicable, drain and wash the kidney beans in a colander.
  • Place the garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot, basil, 1 tin of tomatoes, 40g sun-dried tomato puree, 2 tbsp balsamic glaze, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp asafoetida, ½ tsp salt (or to taste) and a few grind of black pepper into a blender. Tip: If your blender is large enough, add all of the tinned tomatoes during this step! Blend until puréed. Transfer the mixture into a slow cooker.
  • If applicable, open and place the remaining tinned tomatoes into the blender. Blend until smooth.Transfer into the slow cooker. Mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the sauce as necessary. Add the cooked kidney beans. Stir through. Cover with a lid. Cook for 7-8 hrs on a low-heat setting.
  • About 30 mins before the end of cooking, carefully dice some frozen spinach into smaller chunks. Add the spinach into the slow cooker. Stir through. Alternatively, dice and steam the spinach, and then stir it through the sauce at the end of cooking. Taste and season the sauce as necessary.

 

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

Enjoy!

 

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

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

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

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 

 

Rainbow Stir-Fry w/ Tofu ‘Sea Cakes’ [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools, Chopping board, sharp knife, pot, non-stick wok, frying spatula, plate & cover, mixing bowl

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

One core tip to eating healthily: eat ALL the colours of the rainbow… and our rainbow stir-fry with tofu ‘sea cakes’ is a good place to start!

Lovely rainbow chard, delicate pak choi, vibrant bell peppers and really whatever else takes your fancy! Carrots, red cabbage, radish, broccoli, baby corn, could also make great additions or substitutions. We do however recommend that you do not opt out of using this delicious rainbow chard (a seasonal vegetable that is similar to spinach, but comes in a variety of colours and has a slightly stronger flavour)! 

We have combined this delicious and gorgeous bunch of veggies with some flavourful and hearty organic tofu ‘sea cakes’. Marinated and complete with seaweed, they are a tasty and alternative way to enjoy your tofu! If you’re in the market for something different, you should definitely give these ‘sea cakes‘ a try!

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++5-6          Large Leaves of Rainbow Chard
++++++++++++++200g       Pak Choi
++++++++++++++2              Garlic clove
++++++++++++++2″             Ginger Root, raw
++++++++++++++200g       Bell Peppers
++++++++++++++3               Spring Onion
++++++++++++++5g             Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++2               Sea Cakes
++++++++++++++150g         Wholemeal Spaghetti (or a GF variety if required)
++++++++++++++                 Low-fat cooking oil or Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp   Sesame Oil
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp   Soya Sauce (low-salt/ or Tamari Sauce for GF)
++++++++++++++

 

Directions

  • Wash the rainbow chard and then carefully slice the leaves down the middle (through its stalk). Remove the pak choi leaves from its stalk, wash and then roughly slice the larger leaves into halves.
  • Peel and slice the garlic. Wash, peel and finely slice the ginger (as big or as small as desired). Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into slices. Wash, trim the ends and then roughly chop the spring onion. Wash the coriander and then remove its leaves from its stem.

 

Bring a large saucepan full of cold water to the boil. Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain. Tip: If you are a kitchen maestro, have plenty of kitchen helpers, or have a slower electric hob, consider putting the pot of water over the burner prior to starting your vegetable prep.

 

In the meantime, heat a large wok or non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add 2 tsp of rapeseed oil or a few sprays of low-fat cooking oil. Add the tofu sea cakes or your favourite (prepared) tofu. Gently fry the tofu ‘sea cakes’ on one side for about 3 mins and until lightly browned. Carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. NB: Refer to the packet instructions if you’re using favourite brand of tofu. Remove. Transfer onto a plate. Cover with a lid or some foil to keep warm.

 

  • Spray the (now empty) frying pan with a little more oil or add some rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, ginger, bell pepper and spring onion. Gently stir-fry for 2 mins.
  • Add the rainbow chard and a splash of soya sauce (if desired). Gently stir-fry for 4-7 mins, or until tender (larger leaves may take a bit longer to cook).
  • Add the pak choi 2 mins before the end of cooking. Add the coriander at the end of cooking. Toss through. Remove from the heat.

 

In the meantime, place the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl. Pour over a 1-2 tbsp sesame oil and soya sauce. Toss to coat. Cover with a plate.

Transfer the pasta onto the middle of a large serving plate. Top with the vegetables, followed by a tofu ‘sea cake’.

 

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!

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Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Pearl Barley Tabbouleh-Fattoush Fusion Salad w/ Crumbled ‘Feta’ [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep,Cooking & Assembly: 40-45 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or grain used).
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), large bowl or casserole dish, large pot (with lid), colander, sharp knife, baking tray (or grill pan), small dish, pastry brush, resealable containers

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

We’re both fans of Middle Eastern (ME) foods, so when looking for something to add to our meal plan last Saturday, Tabbouleh sprang to mind! It’s a great recipe that enables you to still make use of some tasty, cheap and seasonal ingredients (tomatoes and cucumber!) or herbs from your garden before summer is officially gone. Yes, this salad can really put a spring in your step courtesy of its wonderful, healthful and fresh flavours; mint, parsley and lemon are delicious and they can really transform a dish!

For those that are unfamiliar with this recipe, Tabbouleh is a ME dish that offers big flavours, and beautiful colours that are all really satisfying to the last bite! It can be served with flatbreads, but we thought about taking that idea one step further and created this Tabbouleh-Fattoush fusion salad (with crumbled ‘feta’ aka marinated, silken tofu)!

Fattoush is another ME classic where flatbreads (that have become stale) are then seasoned, toasted or fried to create croutons. These delicious morsels of bread are then combined in a chunky, vegetable-based salad; mint, parsley and sumac (a tart and citrusy spice that comes from a flower) are typical flavours that give this salad a fresh and tangy taste.

So why the pearl barley?? We prefer larger grains in our salads, but unfortunately giant couscous (at least where we live) can be quite pricey in comparison to other grains. Luckily, pearl barley makes a tasty and cheap substitution… it just takes a little longer to cook (but we assure you it’s completely worth the wait)!

We kept our salad veggies slightly chunky and varied; radish is another great, seasonal vegetable that works well in this salad. We also added crushed sumac berries (aka ground sumac) to not only to season the croutons, but the salad and tofu. If you are not keen on pearl barley, you could use more traditional Tabbouleh grains such as Israeli couscous or bulgur wheat, or even experiment with orzo. If you need a gluten free option, be inventive! Try using cooked quinoa, millet, brown basmati or wild rice, or a GF couscous (if you don’t mind the taste of maize).

Please adjust the flavourings, grains and/or vegetables to your own personal taste and we hope that you enjoy this healthy salad as much as we did! 😀

Quick Foodie Facts & Tips:

  • Per serving, this salad provides you with approx. 3 servings of fruits/vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
  • Pearl barley is naturally low in fat and sugar and is a great source of many nutrients including: protein, fibre, Vitamin B3, iron, zinc (just to name a few) among other vitamins and minerals.

 

Ingredients

NB: If using more than two pitta breads, increase the oil mixture accordingly. Also, if you’re using fresh lemon juice, use the juice from approx. three small lemons or two large ones.

Need an easy-print recipe?Print here. 🙂

 

Directions
  • Prepare the ‘crumbled feta’. Open, drain and place the tofu into a casserole (or large) dish. Sprinkle over 2g onion powder, 2g dried oregano and 1/2 tsp crushed sumac berries. Pour over 2 tbsp garlic-infused and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp lemon juice. Season to taste with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Leave it to marinade for about 40-45 mins (if possible). Tip: Prepare this the day before; the longer you allow for marinating, the better the ‘crumbled feta’ (aka tofu!) will taste.
  • In the meantime, cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions. Drain. Rinse with tepid water (if necessary). Allow to cool. NB: Ours took about 30-35 mins to cook. We rinsed ours as it was a bit ‘starchy’ post-cooking.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the salad veggies. Wash and remove the mint and parsley leaves from its stem; coarsely chop them. Wash, trim the ends and roughly dice the cucumber. Wash, trim the ends and chop the spring onion into slices. Remove the stem, wash and then dice the tomatoes. Wash, trim the tops and finely slice the radishes Tip: a cheese grater works great for this!

 

 

Prepare The Croutons (The Fattoush!)

NB: Use 1/2 to 1 pitta bread/person. We recommend heating the bread in ‘larger pieces’; smaller pieces burn faster and you’ll have  an unnecessary amount to turn over!

  1. Heat the grill to a medium-high setting.

2. Place 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of crushed sumac berries and a pinch of salt into a small dish. Mix with a fork to thoroughly combine.

3. Slice the pitta bread into halves. Lightly coat both sides with the oil mixture using a pastry brush or your fingers. Place under the hot grill for 2 mins, turn and heat for a further 2-3 mins or until lightly toasted. Remove.

4. Separate the pitta bread. Coat the inside of the bread with the remaining oil mixture. Place back under the grill for a further 1-2 mins or until lightly browned and slightly crispy. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

5. Break into smaller pieces (if desired).

 

Assemble The Salad!

Note: (Step 1): Oops! We got one step ahead of ourselves and put it into this bowl instead of our tupperware for future lunches!

  1. Once cool, place the pearl barley into a large bowl or (resealable plastic container) with the mint and parsley. Stir with a fork to combine and ‘fluff’ the grains.

2. Add the cucumber, spring onion, tomatoes, radish, 2 tbsp garlic-infused  and 2- 2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 tbsp lemon juice and ½-1 tsp crushed sumac berries. Season it to taste with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

3. Stir with a fork to thoroughly combine. Taste and season as necessary.

4. Gently chop the tofu into rough pieces (as small or as large as desired) to form your ‘crumbled feta’.

5. If you are not serving this straight away, remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and transfer it into a separate resealable container with a little of its marinating liquid (if preferred).

 

Place the salad onto a serving place. Top with the ‘crumbled feta’ and croutons.

This shows one serving. We also added some crushed pistachios and sliced black olives! 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; the salad is best consumed within 3 days. NB: The tofu is best consumed within 4-5 days. 

Recipe updated: 23/02/16

Baked Mini Tofu, Quinoa & Veggie Frittatas (& Parsnip Chips!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas
Prep: 30-35 mins
Cooking: 25-30 mins (*in a fan-assisted oven)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Sieve, small pot + lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, frying pan, frying spatula, silicone spatula, food processor, muffin tin, cooling rack

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

This is a recipe we developed earlier this year… but we’re glad to finally have the chance to share it with everyone!  🙂

Who says you need eggs to make a frittata or even an omelette?! Not in the Eat2Health kitchen! If you’ve got tofu, some shredded veggies, DF milk and grains, then you have the starting point to any great vegan frittata. Adapt the seasonings, vegetables and/or grains to suit your own needs and taste. You really can’t go wrong and you’re certainly in for a treat (these are delicious!).

Our plant-based mini frittatas are great for those on the go (breakfast in one hand and an energetic six year old in the other!) or those in need of one last, light and late summer meal. We recommend that if you’ve gone an hour to spare, double the batch and freeze them; enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick snack! 

We enjoyed our wish some tasty parsnip chips, salad and some of our delicious broad bean and spinach dip!  How will you enjoy yours?! 

Quick Foodie Fact (and woo-hoo moment)!):
*Based on 12 frittatas, each frittata contains about 1.5 servings of veggies towards your 5-A-Day!

Here’s to a great weekend everyone (just forget about the forecasted rain)! 😀 ❤

 

DF milk not shown here.

 

Ingredients
75g        Dried quinoa
170g      Sweet potato
1 Tin      Black beans*
+++++    (*240g;130g dried/cooked)
60g       Chestnut mushrooms (about 3)
100g     Red onion
100g     Green bell pepper
20g       Red Chilli
180g      Salad Tomato
1             Spring Onion (15g)
10g        Fresh coriander leaf
2g          Fresh flat leaf parsley
80g       Carrot
320g     Parsnips
+++++++Low-fat cooking oil spray
40g       Multi-grain bread (or GF bread)
12g         Tahini paste
1             Block silken tofu (349g)
125ml    Soya Milk (unsweet/fortified)
10g        Dijon mustard
1g           Sweet paprika
1g           Ground turmeric
2g          Onion powder
1g           Garlic powder (unsalted)
++++++  Salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the quinoa into a sieve. Rinse it under some cold running water for about 30sec to 1 minute (this will help wash away some of its bitter coating). Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, wash and cook the sweet potato. NB: Boil, steam or microwave it- the choice is yours (we quickly microwaved ours in some kitchen paper)!  Wash, peel and chop the potato into small chunks before boiling or steaming; boil for about 10 mins or until tender or steam for about 7 mins instead. Drain in a colander. Allow to cool.

3. Drain and rinse the black beans. Wash and slice two of the mushrooms; dice the third mushroom. Peel and finely chop the red onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Wash, remove the stem, deseed (if you prefer things less heated!) and then finely chop the chilli.

4. Wash and dice the tomato; place it into a sieve over a bowl and allow it to drain. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash and remove the coriander and parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop them. Wash, peel and finely grate the carrot (use a cheese grater!). NB: If you microwaved your potato, remove the skin and finely chop it into small cubes.

5. Make the parsnip chips. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the parsnip into thin strips. Place them into a small dish and coat with your favourite herbs and/or spices and a low-fat cooking oil or olive oil. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Tip: We seasoned ours to taste with some mild paprika, thyme, salt and ground black pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Place the chips onto the tray in a single layer (you’ll be cooking these a bit later on!)

6. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. When hot, add the red onion, bell pepper, chilli and diced mushroom. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Add the tomato and fry for a further 1-2 mins or until softened. Stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

7. Create some bread crumbs (unless you are using a store bought variety!). Heat your bread in a toaster (or under a heated grill) until quite crispy. Break it up into a food processor. Pulse into crumbs. Transfer into a large mixing bowl. Tip: Alternatively, place the toasted bread into a resealable kitchen bag; crush and press it into bread crumbs using a rolling pin or heavy tin…or crush it into crumbs in a large mixing bowl!

8. Preheat the oven to 190°F/375°C. Place the cooked sweet potato, black beans, fried vegetable mixture, spring onion, coriander, parsley, carrot, 12g tahini and cooked quinoa into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Mix until combined.

9. Open the tofu and drain off any water. Place it into the food processor. Pulse until it’s smooth and creamy. Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, place it into a large mixing bowl. Mash and whisk until it’s as fine and smooth as you can make it! Add 125ml milk, 10g mustard, 1g sweet paprika, 1g ground turmeric, 2g garlic powder and 1g onion powder. Blend to combine. Pour the tofu mixture into the mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary.

10. Spray a standard muffin tin with some low-fat cooking spray or line each casing with a silicone muffin liner (paper linings are not recommended!). Tip: Rub the spray to coat all sides of the casings. Spoon the frittata mixture evenly between each casing. Top each mini frittata with a slice of mushroom.

11. Place the baking tray (with the chips) onto the top oven shelf and the mini frittatas onto the middle oven shelf. Bake the chips for 25 mins, turning once. Bake the frittatas for 25-30 mins or until slightly firm and golden brown (we baked ours for 25 mins). Remove. Tip: Leave the frittatas for 5-10 mins before serving (if you can wait that long!) as they keep firming up once they leave the oven. Also, use a palate knife or a butter knife to help loosen and remove them from the tin.

12. Make a quick and simple garden or green salad! Serve the mini frittatas with the salad and parsnip chips.

Enjoy!

Tip: Store any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; best consumed within 3-5 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months

 

Steps: 1-5

Steps: 6-9

Steps: 10 & 11

Our Broad bead and spinach dip is making a sneaky appearance again! Yum!

 

Recipe and format updated: 25/02/16

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.

Tofu & Veggie Ravioli + 5 Minute Marinara Sauce [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Yields: about 24 ravioli
Prep: 60-90 mins
Cooking Time: 3-5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Mixing bowl, silicone spatula, kitchen film, frying pan, food processor, bowl, rolling pin, large plate, large pot(s)

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

Who loves pasta dishes?! We do! Apart from preparing pasta sauces, we’ve never attempted making our own pasta. It truly is a labour of love- one that needs to be respected; we’re sure we have broken the hearts of many Italian grandmothers’… as they look at our finished product in despair! Sorry! Maybe we should consult with L at Bubblesandbooyah  or Kiana at The Italian Vegan way of Life on this matter?!

Our ravioli does not look authentic, that’s for sure…more anaemic! This is because typical ravioli recipes use several eggs, which gives it its standard yellow/beige appearance; not ideal for us following plant-based diets! If this is a big issue for you, try using fresh herbs, spices (make sure it complements your filling) or perhaps some cooled, green vegetable water (from the drained spinach) instead of the plain water the recipe instructs to help colour your pasta.

For anyone that has attempted GF baking or has prepared GF pastry or dough…it’s not very straight forward! To say that it’s daunting might be a bit of an understatement! However, this feeling passes- it’s quite liberating preparing a whole meal from scratch (apart from growing your own foods of course!). We’re not going to lie though; this recipe can be quite time consuming, especially if you do not own any pasta gadgets, are new to the ‘pasta making world’ or using GF dough for that matter.

If you have the patience and the desire to make GF ravioli, then you’re in good hands! Ours was really tasty (we can’t stress that enough!) and the finished product was ‘respectable’…well, it definitely looked ‘homemade’, perhaps by people that doesn’t really know what they’re doing?! …Well, that might be partially true! 😛

We admit there is a science to it, one that we are still working on! If you are have stronger, GF pasta making skills than we do, or any advice or tips it would be greatly appreciated! We have also included another marinara sauce recipe. This one is slightly different from our other recipe that we supplied you with last week; it’s ultra-quick and thrifty! If you do decide to use a store bought brand instead, as always, be mindful of the salt, sugar and fat contents!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Ingredients

NB: If you have a ‘tried and true’ GF or standard dough recipe, feel free to use that instead!

 

 

Nutritional Info (Prepared Ravioli Only)

NB: To reduce the fat content further, omit the olives and the tahini from the filling.

*Low in salt and saturated fats based on eight servings.

 

 

Directions

Prepare the dough. Place 300g rice flour, 60g corn flour, 80g potato starch, 8g xanthan gum, 1g basil, 2g thyme and 2g salt into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Mix until combined. Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the mixture.

 

 

Add 1 tbsp oil and 300ml cold water.

NB: Make sure you use cold water! Hot water will make the corn flour, potato starch and xanthan gum turn into a horrible mess.

 

 

Use a spatula; stir and combine the mixture until the dough is smooth and tacky.

 

 

Place the dough onto the middle of a piece of kitchen film.

 

 

Wrap and completely seal. Place it into the fridge for a minimum of 20 mins.

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling.

 

Place the spinach into a microwavable bowl; defrost in the microwave. Drain. Place the bread into a toaster. Gently heat until lightly brown and crispy. Place it into a food processor. Peel and dice the shallot and garlic. Wash, dry and finely dice the mushrooms. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, peel and finely grate the carrot. Drain, rinse and dice the olives. Wash and chop the basil leaves; discard most of the stems. Place the bread in the food processor. Process it until breadcrumbs are achieved; remove and transfer into a small bowl.

The amount of bell pepper we have advised is approx. half a pepper…so this is why we have suggested to use the other half in the marinara sauce.

 

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the shallot and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

NB: We used four ‘sprays’.

 

 

Add the mushrooms, bell pepper and carrot. Gently fry for 3-5 mins, or until softened and most of the water has been removed. Remove from the heat.

NB: We used two more ‘sprays’.

 

 

Meanwhile, drain the tofu. Place it into in the food processor. Pulse until creamy.

 

 

Transfer it into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Transfer the vegetable mixture into a separate bowl. Allow it to cool slightly.

 

 

Place the spinach and olives into the frying pan. Gently fry for 1-2 mins; allow the spinach to steam-dry slightly. Gently separate/shred some of the fibres with a fork. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Add the vegetable and separate spinach mixture, along with the basil, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme and tahini into the large mixing bowl. Mix and thoroughly combine.

 

Add the flour. Mix to combine.

 

 

Let’s Assemble The Ravioli!

Disclaimer: We will be commentating on the best ‘working scenario’ (based on our previous failures and current mistakes); occasionally the pictures may not seem in sync or an accurate representation of each step. So please bare with us- we’ll get there in the end!

Tip: If you have a ravioli mould/tray or cutters- dig them our of your cupboards and use them! Otherwise let’s prepare these ravioli’s using this ‘freestyle’ method.

 

Prepare a clean and lightly floured work surface. Tip: have a large plate, a little dish of water and some spare flour nearby.

We were  ambitious and thought we could make the ravioli in 2 stages instead of four! Two words- fat chance!

 

Divide the dough into four pieces/balls. Place one piece onto the work surface and re-wrap the remaining dough. NB: This dough tends to dry out quickly, so always re-wrap it! Knead the dough into the flour until it is slightly ‘less’ tacky. Roll the dough into a long and narrow-ish strip (approx. 12″x4″).

We measured the dough and these were the approx. dimensions. Please feel free to experiment! NB: We feel that this is about as thin as this dough would allow without it falling apart!

 

 

Test and try to lift the dough slightly. Tip: you need to make sure it’s not sticking to the work surface (if it is, add a little more flour) and that it’s not going to completely fall apart when moved.

We tested our dough by re-rolling it onto the rolling pin. NB: The dough on this rolling pin represents half the quantity of dough. It wasn’t long after this picture that we divided the dough into four working pieces.

 

 

Roughly mark the dough into six equal squares.

 

 

Spoon and place the filling onto the centre of one side of the dough.

NB: This represents the maximum amount of filling you can use.

 

Cut the dough down the middle. Separate the dough into two strips. Tip: a quicker method would be to fold the half without the filling over the other half of the dough. Press, mould, shape and then cut out the individual ravioli’s. 

 

Gently re-roll the strip (without the filling), creating a slightly larger and thinner half. Tip: we have suggested this because GF dough is less forgiving/stretchy than normal wheat-dough (because of its wonderful powers it obtains from gluten) and you have to make sure it’s going to cover all of the ravioli! However, if you are using half of the amount of filling, you may be able to skip this step entirely.

 

 

If you’re brave enough, place and align the re-rolled strip over the top of the other strip (with the filling). Gently press down in-between each piece; helping to shape the ravioli. Gently cup and continue to shape each piece with your hands; allowing the dough to wrap around the filling. Cut and separate the six pieces. Pinch the edges of each ravioli together and then fold the edges up and over itself; crimp and press to seal the ravioli. NB: You might have to complete this step with the help of a wet fork.

If your a little clumsy with GF dough or with the ravioli-making process (like myself)….you can do what I did (explained below!)

 

 

After you have re-rolled the strip, cut it into six separate pieces. Cut the other strip (with the filling) into six separate pieces. Individually place each piece re-rolled piece of dough over a piece of the prepared dough (as shown).

i.e. prepared dough with filling.

 

Cup and shape the ravioli dough around the filling with your hands. Pinch the edges of the ravioli together and then fold the edges up and over itself; crimp and press to seal the ravioli (as we have previously mentioned, a wet fork is great for this step!).

We’re  sorry about the lack of pictures at this stage! Our hands were covered in flour and filling- neither of which you want smeared on your camera!

 

 

Place all of the prepared ravioli’s onto a clean plate. Cover and seal with a piece of kitchen film. Repeat these steps with the remaining three pieces/sections of dough and filling until all of it has been used.

To stop them drying out!

 

Now might be a good time to place two large pots over a medium heat and bring to the boil; it can take some time to heat the water. However, if you are slower at this process, just wait until you’re finished- there’s no need to add more potential stress into the equation!

You can use one large pot….if you have it…and/or if your brave enough to man-handle over ten ravioli’s cooking at once!

 

All twenty-four ravioli’s ready to go!

 

 

If you haven’t already, place two large saucepans over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, prepare our ‘5 minute thrifty marinara sauce’ (if applicable)! Just open the tinned tomatoes and then place all of the sauce ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a small pot. Place the pot over a medium-low heat. Gently heat the sauce to low-grade simmer and then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid; keep it over a low heat setting until served.

We  saved some for later in the week and some for now… 🙂

 

Cooking The Ravioli!

Once the water begins to boil, place about 4-5 pieces into each pot using a large, slotted spoon; reduce to a medium heat. Loosely cover with a lid. Once the ravioli’s start to rise to the top and/or the water comes to more of a rapid boil- remove the lid. Cook the ravioli’s for 3-5 mins or until tender.

NB: Ours took approx. 4 minutes to cook.

 

 

Remove them with the slotted spoon. Place them into a large colander (not onto a plate like we have in this picture!). Cover with some kitchen foil and allow them to drain.

NB: They don’t get a chance to drain properly on a plate…which means extra water added to your sauce! :/

 

 

Repeat these steps until all of the ravioli has been cooked.

All in all the cooking process was a success! There were a few that lost a corner on the way out of the pot but that’s trivial! Previously, we’ve had ravioli’s that have disintegrated whilst cooking because we allowed the water to boil too rapidly…lol (it wasn’t really that funny at the time)!  Cooking 101: DO NOT allow you ravioli’s to ride tidal waves in your saucepan!

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the ravioli into a large bowl or pasta dish. Ladle over the sauce. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil and/or chopped tomatoes (if desired).

NB: This picture represents 2 servings (*Based on the ravioli serving 8).

It might be advised to wear a red t-shirt; it depends on how ravenous you are! J/K! We are all ‘mindful’ eaters. 😀

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in an air-tight/resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 3 months.

NB: Do not store uncooked ravioli in the fridge overnight. We attempted this once (trying to save time with food prep for the next night), but the next day they were all a bit soggy…and cooking them didn’t improve matters! We’re not one-hundred percent sure as to why this occurred…and unless you do, we wouldn’t recommend it!

 

If preferred…

  • The world is your oyster! Make the filling your own! Just make sure to decrease/remove the water content of any vegetables used (by lightly frying/steam-frying) before preparing your ravioli.
  • If gluten is not of concern, try using wholemeal or grade ’00’ flour instead, along with salt, oil and water (and maybe some eggs if you’re not vegan!); adjust the quantities accordingly and omit the xanthan gum.
  • Use our marinara recipe, your own pasta sauce, or drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta (and garnish with herbs) just before serving!

 

 

 If anyone prepares this recipe- send us some pictures! We’d love to see how you got on and of course, your thoughts!

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

Quick Foodie Facts:

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

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

Happy cooking everyone and buona cena!

 

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

 

Prepare The Pesto

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

 

 

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

Veggies rule so go on and fill your boots!

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Assemble The ‘Pesto Sauce’

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

 

 

Assemble The Dish

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

If preferred…

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

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

Mexican Stuffed Butternut Squash

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++++800g      Butternut Squash
++++++++++++++++++++++5ml        Olive Oil
++++++++++++++++++++++                Low-fat Cooking Oil
++++++++++++++++++++++140g      White Onion
++++++++++++++++++++++8g           Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++++170g      Red Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++400g      Tin Black Beans
++++++++++++++++++++++3g           Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Chilli Flakes
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Chilli Powder
++++++++++++++++++++++10g         Ground Cumin
++++++++++++++++++++++6g           Ground Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++++3g           Dried Onion Powder
++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Garlic Powder (unsalted)
++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt and Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++++++++++250ml    Water
++++++++++++++++++++++75g         Avocado Pear (approx ½ of a small variety)
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Green Olives
++++++++++++++++++++++15g         Cherry Tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++++20g         Sweet Corn Kernels (tinned or fresh)
++++++++++++++++++++++50g         Mild Salsa
++++++++++++++++++++++80g         Soya Yoghurt (plain/unsweetened)
++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Cumin Seeds

 

 

Directions

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

 

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

 

 

In the meantime…

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

 

 

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

 

 

Remove the roasted squash from oven.

 

 

All for under 500Kcal!

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

 

Enjoy!

If preferred…

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

 

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

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

 

Assemble The Pesto!

1. Place the garlic, lemon juice, 2 tsp oil and ¼ cup water into a food processor. Blend until the garlic is ‘blitzed’.

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Pasta Assembly


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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

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

 

Recipe adapted from: Crunchandchew

Roasted Peppers Stuffed W/ Quinoa & Vegetables

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 2-4
Prep & Cooking Time: 70 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Non-stick pot, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, measuring jug, frying pan(s), frying spatula, heat-proof dish.

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

This is a great recipe, if we do say so ourselves. It allows you to have all of the lovely roasted bell pepper taste without the calories; there’s no greasy fillings either! These stuffed peppers are crammed full of delicious flavours and textures, making them satisfying right up until the last bite! It’s the perfect meal for right now too as it’s currently so cool and damp here in the UK!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++100g      Dried Quinoa
+++++++++++++++4             Large Bell Peppers (red, yellow or orange/ approx. 680g)
+++++++++++++++70g        Frozen Spinach
+++++++++++++++180g       Red Onion
++++++++++++++  4g           Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++80g        White Mushrooms
+++++++++++++++80g         Carrot
+++++++++++++++68g         Cherry Tomatoes
+++++++++++++++16g          Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++++++4g            Fresh Dill
+++++++++++++++16g           Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++250ml     Vegetable Stock (low-sodium, DF/ GF if required)
+++++++++++++++5ml          Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++10g           Cashew Nuts
+++++++++++++++10g           Pine Nuts
+++++++++++++++3g             Dried Thyme
+++++++++++++++20g          Dried Cranberries
+++++++++++++++                 Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water and then and cook it according to the packet instructions; remove from the heat. NB: We cooked ours for 15 mins and then allowed it to rest for an additional 10 mins off the heat (with the lid on!).

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and stock.

  • Place the spinach into a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on a defrost setting for about 4-6 mins, or until defrosted/wilted. Drain in a sieve. Tip: If using fresh spinach, wash it in a colander and gently wilt it by pouring a little freshly boiled water over it. Drain.
  • Peel and finely chop the onion the garlic.
  • Wash, pat dry and then roughly chop the mushrooms.
  • Wash, trim the ends, peel and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, remove the stems and then dice the tomatoes.
  • Wash, dry and then finely chop the parsley, dill and basil; if preferred, discard any larger stems.
  • Boil 250ml in a kettle. Prepare the vegetable stock in a large measuring jug.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, place the ‘pepper bases’ onto a microwavable plate. Microwave for 6 mins or until just softened. Tip: This will shave you 30 mins off your cooking time! Remove and place them into a heat-proof dish.
  • Place the pepper tops onto a plate. Microwave  for about 3 mins. Once the peppers have cooled, lightly rub the outside of the tops and bottoms with the oil.

 

 

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. In the meantime ‘steam-fry’ your veggies!

  •  Place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Once hot, add the stock a little at a time to ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the onion and the garlic first. Cover with a lid and gently fry for 1-2 mins. Tip: Stir and add a little more stock occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking; continue with this tip as you add more vegetables.
  • Add the mushrooms and steam- fry for 3-4 mins. Add the carrot and tomato. Steam-fry for 3-4 mins. Add the parsley dill, basil and spinach. Fry for a further 1-2 mins. Remove the pan from the heat.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, heat a (small) separate, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the nuts. Gently ‘dry-fry’ until lightly browned. Tip: Watch them like a hawk! They can easily burn, especially the pine nuts!
  • Remove from the heat. Transfer the nuts onto a chopping board. Allow to cool slightly. Roughly dice them.

 

 

  • Fluff the cooked grains of quinoa with a fork.
  • Add the quinoa, nuts, thyme and cranberries to a frying pan. Mix together. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Tip: If preferred, you can complete this step in a mixing bowl, but why dirty another dish eh?!

 

 

  • Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Press and stuff it snugly into the peppers with the back of a spoon as you go. Tip: You can place a ramekin in the middle to prevent the peppers from falling whilst they roast!
  • Once the peppers are full, top them with the pepper tops. Place the pan onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-30 mins, or until softened and lightly roasted. NB: Ours finished in 27 mins. Remove. Allow them to cool slightly before serving as the inside will be steaming hot!

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

If preferred…

  • Cook the peppers in the oven for 45-60 mins until roasted, (if you have the time of course) and skip the ‘microwave step’.
  • Try using large beef tomatoes instead of peppers. We would imagine you would have to at least halve the quantity of the stuffing, unless you fancy roasting loads of tomatoes! If you do this, save the scooped out tomatoes flesh and add it to the stuffing instead of the cherry tomatoes!
  • Try various herb or nut combinations.Tip: Any herbs you do not use, you can always wash, dry and then freeze in a resealable and air tight container.
  • Use fresh spinach instead of frozen. Tip: the frozen variety works just as well and its usually cheaper too.
  • Try using wild rice instead of quinoa.
  • Serve with some dark green leaves if desired. In all honestly though, you probably don’t need much as these babies are ‘fibre-licious’!