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! 🙂

Advertisements

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

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

 

Fancy this recipe?! Just contact us us for an easy-print PDF! 🙂

Meatless Monday: Mexican Inspired Quinoa Bowl w/BBQ Tofu Croutons & Lime Avocado Cream [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Salad Serves: 2-3
Tofu Prep, Marinating & Cooking: 5hrs -12hrs
Salad Prep (Inc. of cooking): 30-40 mins
Assembly: ≤5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Plates, kitchen paper, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, colander, mixing bowls, measuring jug, food processor, silicone spatula

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 contains a moderate quantity of added sugar, salt and saturated fats. *Dependent upon if you use the marinated tofu or not. 

It’s finally spring; which means warmer weather (well, our fingers are crossed!), a relaxing Easter holiday, increased sunshine…which always puts in the mood for plenty of bold and vibrant foods and flavours (including fun salad bowls)! In actual fact we made this recipe weeks ago (one sunny Sunday whilst wishing for warmer weather!)… but now seems like the perfect time to share it with everyone. 

Inspired by Mexican tastes, we added some fun and playful ingredients that have plenty of flavour, creating a delicious Mexican-inspired quinoa bowl! It’s a great combination of fluffy quinoa, fresh salad vegetables, juicy mango mixed with a fresh, vibrant and tangy lime salad dressing. Topped off all with some our meaty (and smoky) BBQ tofu croutons and ‘lime’ avocado cream (yup, it’s a new twist on our old favourite!) and you’re in for an ultimate salad bowl experience. 

Overall we were pleased with it. The only problem we incurred was that our mango wasn’t ripe so we didn’t add it to our salad; oops for not checking and ripening it ahead of time! However, we are thoroughly recommending that you do. 🙂

Some other good things to note include:  

  • For recipe ease, we have linked the other recipes you will require to help keep this recipe’s total ingredients (at least on this post!) down to a minimum. 
  • If you fancy preparing this quinoa salad without the mango, avocado cream and/or tofu croutons, you might want to using slightly more dressing or lime juice/zest to help give your quinoa salad some oomph!
  • If you would prefer to have the chilli tasting a little less ‘raw’, mix it into the salad dressing (before serving) and do not add it into the mixture of salad vegetables.
  • If you don’t fancy using our ‘lime avocado cream’ you can always slice up some fresh (and ripe) avocado and serve this over your salad instead. 
  • As we always want you to have your tofu tasting as tasty as possible, try marinating it overnight (it’s the perfect solution for cooking ease!) or for a minimum of 4hrs. If you prefer not to use our Smoky BBQ tofu croutons, you can always substitute them for your favourite type of baked tofu or some cooked black, pinto or your favourite type of bean! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Smoky BBQ Tofu Croutons
Avocado Cream

Quinoa Salad Bowl

1¼ cup     Dried quinoa (250g)
380g        Baby plum tomatoes
160g         Tinned sweet corn kernels*
++++++++ (*in unsalted water)
140g         Carrot (1 medium)
60g          Spring onion (about 4)
260g        Orange bell pepper
30g          Red chilli
10g           Fresh coriander
400g        Mango, ripe
++++++++ Salt & black pepper

Tangy Lime Salad Dressing

3 tbsp        Lime juice
1-2 tsp       Lime zest
2 tbsp        Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp         Cider vinegar
½ tsp          Ground cumin
½-1 tbsp    Fruit sweetener
++++++++   (or maple syrup

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. If using, prepare the Smoky BBQ Tofu Croutons in advance. Tip: Unless you are doubling the salad recipe, you can ‘halve’ the BBQ tofu croutons recipe. If desired, feel free to add a pinch of mild or hot chilli powder to spice things up!

2. Cook the quinoa. Place 1¼ cups dried quinoa into a large 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 2 ½ cups 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!

3. Prepare the salad vegetables. Wash and then slice the tomatoes into halves (vertically). Open and drain the sweet corn in a colander. Wash, peel, trim off the top and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then finely slice the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and then finely dice the chilli. Wash and dry the coriander; remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Peel the mango; carefully slice the ripe flesh away from the stone and roughly chop it into cubes. Place all of these ingredients (but not the mango into a large mixing bowl). Toss together. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

4. Prepare the tangy lime salad dressing. If preferred, use a fresh lime; wash the lime, grate some zest and then juice it using a manual juicer. Pour 2 tbsp rapeseed oil into a large measuring jug. Add 2-3 tbsp lime juice, as much lime zest as desired, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, ½ tsp ground cumin and ½-1 tbsp fruit sweetener (or maple syrup). Use a fork and whisk together until combined. Taste and season as necessary.

5. Prepare the ‘Avocado Cream to transform it into ‘Lime Avocado Cream’ using the following amendments: add 1 tbsp fresh coriander (not parsley), 2-3 tbsp lime juice (not lemon juice) and the new addition of ¼ tsp lime zest and ¼ ground cumin. Place all of the prepared and requested ingredients into a food processor. Process the mixture until smooth, creamy and uniform in colour. Taste and season it as necessary.

6. Assemble the salad bowl. Fluff the cooked grains of quinoa with a fork. Transfer it into a large mixing bowl. Transfer the salad vegetables into the bowl of quinoa. Pour the salad dressing evenly over the salad. Gently and thoroughly toss together.

7. Serve. Spoon some of the quinoa salad into a large serving bowl. Toss over about 1/3 quantity of the BBQ tofu croutons and a little bit of mango (if preferred, toss together). Dollop a spoonful of the lime avocado cream onto the centre of the salad. If desired, garnish with some chopped coriander leaf, red chilli flakes and/or sliced spring onion.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover salad in an air-tight and resealable container; keep the mango, tofu croutons and lime avocado cream in separate and individual containers. Consume the salad within 2-3 days, tofu croutons within 4-5 days and the lime avocado cream within 1-3 days. NB: If your avocado is really ripe, then ideally you should consume this cream on the same day that it’s made.

 

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!

 

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. 

 

Baked Harissa Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++1                       Block firm tofu (=1 tetrapak)
+++++++++++½ tsp               White cumin Seeds
+++++++++++¼ tsp               Caraway Seeds
+++++++++++6 g                   Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++40g                  Spring Onion (2 large)
+++++++++++2½ tbsp           Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++30g                  Harissa paste
+++++++++++10g                   Preserved lemon paste
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Lemon juice
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Maple syrup
+++++++++++2 tbsp              Balsamic vinegar
+++++++++++½ tsp                Mild paprika
+++++++++++½ tsp                Ground ginger
+++++++++++1/8-1/2 tsp      Mild or hot chilli Powder
+++++++++++                         Pinch of salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

2. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and ¼ tsp caraway seeds. Dry fry until lighted toasted. Tip: They will become lightly golden, fragrant and some might even start popping as they are toasted. Transfer them into a small bowl. Grind them with the flat end of a rolling pin or the back of a large spoon until a coarse powder is achieved. Tip: If you own a pestle and mortar, use this instead! 

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

4. Prepare the marinade. Place 2½ tbsp rapeseed oil, 30g harissa paste, 10g preserved lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp mild paprika, ½ tsp ground ginger, 1/8-1/2 tsp chilli powder (if using) and the ground cumin and caraway seed mixture into a large measuring jug. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary. Add the garlic and spring onion. Whisk to combine.

5. Drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Place in onto the chopping board and chop into ½-¾ inch cubes or whatever size pieces you prefer. Gently transfer the tofu into a large bowl or baking dish. Pour over the marinade. Gently stir and toss the tofu in the marinade until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Cover the bowl (or dish) with a piece of kitchen film and refrigerate the tofu overnight (or as long as possible).

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 


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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to notes include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

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!



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

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: ≤30mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, grater, non-stick pot(large) w/lid, wooden spoon, ladle

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients
30g             Garlic clove
260g           Banana shallot
20g             Green chilli
50g             Root ginger
200g           Red bell pepper
200g           Carrot
1kg               Sweet potatoes
+++              Low-fat oil spray
*Berbere spice mix: 1 tbsp fenugreek     leaves, 6g ground coriander, 1g ground cloves, ¼ tsp red chilli flakes, 1/8 tsp ajwain seeds, dash of salt and black pepper
130g            Dried red spilt lentils
400g           Tin plum tomatoes
1.5L              Veggie Stock (low-salt)
100-110g     Natural peanut butter
20g              Creamed coconut
20g              Fresh coriander leaf
120-160g     Baby spinach
+++               Fresh chives (*optional)
+++               Blanched peanuts                                        (10g/person/*optional)

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallot. Wash, remove the stem and then finely dice the chilli. Wash, peel and then grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½cm pieces. Wash, peel, trim the top and then quarter the carrot. Wash, peel and then chop the sweet potato into chunky pieces (we chopped ours into quarters).

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Meatless Monday: Baked Tofu Meatballs [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 24 ‘Meatballs’
Serves: 8
Prep: 35 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), small dish, fork, sharp knife, food processor, mixing bowl, silicone spatula, baking tray, silicone mat (or parchment paper)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega 3, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt* and sat fats*. (*Variable due to the brand of vegan cheese, puree and/or bread used.)

Yes, it’s more ‘meatballs’; but to be fair this is our third type of plant-based ‘meatball’! We actually made this variety last November- which is what got our cognitive gears in motion for our designing our baked tofu loaf. We love ‘meatballs’ and think they’re great for cosy family dinners, picnics or as a healthy snack!

These lovely ‘meatballs’ have about a half hour prep involved due to the nature of its main ingredient (sorry folks!). Tofu needs to pressed and its water expressed before it’s used. You might have a tofu gadget that will shorten this process by ten minutes, but it needs to be done. However, it’s worth the effort. We think they’re satisfying all round; moist, meaty and flavourful, with plenty of room for adapting them to your own personal spec. 

Some other good things to note include:

  • Yes they have vegan cream cheese (which isn’t something we would have a regular basis due to its saturated fat and salt content), but it works here. Paired with a healthy pasta sauce and pasta, this can be a balanced meal. Also, it might be interesting to try them with a DF garlic and herb cream cheese instead.
  • These meatballs are not dry and like a lot of freefrom ‘meatballs’, chunkier ingredients can stop them from sticking together properly. So if you are looking for a dish with more texture, serve them with a chunky tomato-based pasta sauce instead!
  • Perhaps with a little more bread or alternative grain, they can be adapted into small burgers.
  • Feel free to use fresh herbs (if you have them) as they always make a difference in the overall flavour of things! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++800g          Firm Tofu (=2 tetra paks )
++++++++++32g             Ground Flaxseed (about 4 tbsp)
++++++++++9 tbsp         DF Milk (or water)
++++++++++100g           Bread (GF if required)
++++++++++6g               Garlic clove (one fat one)
++++++++++130g            Spring onion (about 5)
++++++++++100g           Red bell pepper
++++++++++75g              Plain vegan cream cheese alternative
++++++++++4g                Dried Thyme
++++++++++6-8g           Dried Oregano
++++++++++¾-1 tsp       Salt
++++++++++                    Ground black pepper
++++++++++20g             Sun-dried tomato puree
++++++++++20g             Rice flour (or Plain GF Flour)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

2. In the meantime, prepare some ‘flax eggs’! Place 32g ground flaxseed into a small dish with 9 tbsp DF milk or water. Whisk with a fork to combine. Leave it to set.

3. Heat the bread in a toaster or under a medium-low grill until lightly brown and crispy. Place the toasted bread into a food processor. Process the toast until breadcrumbs are achieved. Tip: Alternatively you can make some breadcrumbs by placing the toasted bread into a sealed kitchen bag; crush and press it into crumbs with a rolling pin or a heavy tin. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper.

5. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the garlic. Wash, trim the tops and then roughly chop the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Whilst the food processor is running, drop the garlic down the pouring spout. Process until minced. Add the onion and bell pepper. Process until finely chopped. Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, just get out your ‘chefy-ist’ knife and show the vegetables who’s boss! Peel and mince the garlic and then finely chop and dice the spring onion and bell pepper (the smaller the pieces the better!). Transfer into the mixing bowl.

6. Drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Break it into smaller pieces and transfer them into the food processor. Process until it’s smooth-ish and completely broken down. Transfer into the mixing bowl. NB: Alternatively mash it in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher!

7. Add 75g vegan cream cheese, 4g dried thyme and 6-8g dried oregano, ¾ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper into the mixing bowl. Mix and thoroughly combine the ingredients. Taste and season it as necessary. Add the ‘flax eggs’, 20g sun-dried tomato puree and 10g of flour. Mix and thoroughly combine (we used a silicone spatula for this).

8. Shape the mixture into ‘golf ball-sized meatballs’. Tip: If the mixture is a little tacky, use the remaining flour to lightly dust your hands first. Place the ‘meatballs’ onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used (we made twenty-four!). If desired, spray the ‘meatballs’ with a little low-fat cooking oil.

9. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins; turning once halfway through. Tip: They will be slightly firm to the touch and lightly golden at the end of baking!

10. Serve on top of with your favourite pasta and sauce! We served ours on a bed of courgette and carrot ribbons, gluten free spaghetti and our homemade marinara!

Enjoy!

TipRefrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

 

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

Easy Pizza Crust [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++250ml       Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++1 tsp          Unrefined Caster Sugar
+++++++++2 tsp         Quick Rise Yeast (7g)
+++++++++250g         Gluten Free Flour (self-rising)
+++++++++½ tsp        Xanthan Gum (1g)
+++++++++6g             Dried Italian Mixed Herbs
+++++++++6g             Nutritional Yeast Flakes (if possible, B12 fortified)
+++++++++½ tsp        Salt
+++++++++15g            Odourless Coconut Oil

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

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

3. In the meantime, place 250g GF flour into a large mixing bowl. Add ½ tsp xanthan gum, 6g dried Italian herbs, 6g nutritional yeast and ½ tsp salt. Stir to thoroughly combine. Leave for the moment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Dal Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

Quick Foodie Fact:

  • Per serving, this soup provides about 4 servings of fruits/vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
Ingredients
Soup Staples
Flavourings, Spices & Thickeners
20g         Garlic clove (3 fat ones!)
200g      Brown Onion
20g         Red chilli
60g         Root ginger*
120g        Yellow Bell Pepper
300g      Carrot
200g      Parsnips
620g       Baby Turnips
220g       Dried Red Lentils
2 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
1 Tin        Plum Tomatoes
10-12g    Garam Masala
4g           Ground Turmeric
6g           Ground Cumin
3g           Ground Coriander
½ tsp      Red Chilli Flakes
5g           Brown Mustard seeds
½ tsp      Ajwain Seeds
+++++++ Salt/Ground Black Pepper
1.6L         Vegetable Stock
+++++++ (low salt/DF/GF)
30g         Fresh coriander
4-5 tsp   Corn Starch
1 tbsp      Lemon Juice

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here . 🙂

 

Directions

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

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

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

4. Add the spice blend: 2 tsp garam masala, 1½ tsp ground turmeric, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp red chilli flakes, 1 tsp brown mustard seeds and ½ tsp ajwain seeds into the pot. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

 

Recipe updated: 18/02/16

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.

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

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

  • Peel and dice the garlic and shallots. Wash the chilli, remove the stem, deseed (if you prefer meals with less heat!) and then finely chop it. Wash, peel and then dice the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces.
  • Wash the lemongrass, trim off the ends, peel away tough/ dried-out outer layer (and discard), bash the woody exterior with a rolling pin to soften and then finely chop it. Tip: Bashing or firmly pressing the lemongrass will help release some of its aromatic oils. Wash the lime, grate the zest (do not juice it just yet like we have shown here, you’ll do this later on!).
  • Wash the sweet potatoes, peel and then chop into approx. 1″ pieces (we kept ours chunky!)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Foodie Facts:

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

 

Tip: If preferred, use a mixture of  ½ volume water, ½ volume stock with some additional fresh or dried herbs instead of using loads of stock!

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

In the meantime…

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

 

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

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Sambar [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: ≤35 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours (*On a high S.C setting)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, two pots, measuring jug, food processor, slow cooker

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

Happy Monday everyone! We hope that you’ve all had a great weekend? We are feeling pretty prepared for the weekend ahead and are really looking forward to enjoying some great food and reconnecting with some faces we haven’t seen in a while! 🙂 

Today we have a delicious and nutritious South Indian lentil and vegetable-based slow cooker curry recipe for you. We’ve been playing with sambar recipes for quite a while now and think that this one is pretty tasty! It’s particularly good for those that love spicy (although not completely paralysing meals) and lighter curries! This is down to the fact that it doesn’t comprise of any heavy sauces (no cream or butter!) or large quantities of added oils; it relies on so many great spices (as hot as preferred), including some tasty tamarind! We’ve used a store-bought tamarind paste this time, but check out this previous curry recipe on how to prepare tamarind pulp! Authentic versions of this curry are prepared with yellow lentils, a sambar powder mix (which has a few varied ingredients than what we have included) and is usually finished off with a tempered spice mix which includes a little more oil (more than we have used) and some curry leaves!  

Quite honestly, this curry feels more like a ‘lentil stew’ than curry, especially if you do not serve it with rice or some type of bread- although we thoroughly recommend that you do! It’s also very versatile, so do not feel that you have to use the same vegetables; baby turnips would make a great, tasty and lower G.I substitute to white potatoes! It’s good to note that the desiccated coconut adds a fair bit of saturated fat to the dish, so please use less of it if you want to make this meal low in fat; to further this point we would also recommend serving this curry with some plain brown basmati or wholemeal rice instead of heavier/oily breads.

As we like to control the quantity of spice used in our cooking, we never really add really hot chillies (like a bird’s eye!) to our dishes, we would rather drizzle over some infused chilli oil or add some chilli flakes just before serving. However, if you are braver than us, try using a hotter chilli and/or chilli powder or more chilli flakes to the curry before cooking!

We hope that you find this to be a tasty and quick alternative to the your current festive dishes on offer and perhaps a great recipe to have on stand-by for any post-Christmas parties or delicious New Year meals ahead!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

Peel and dice the garlic and onion. Wash, remove the stem and dice the chilli. Wash the lentils in a sieve and then remove any seeds or stones.

 

 

Place a large non-stick pot with 450ml water over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Add the garlic, onion, chilli, lentils, 3g curry powder and ½ tsp salt. Stir together. Cover with the lid. Simmer and cook for 15-20 mins or until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

In the meantime, heat a separate non-stick pot or frying pan over a medium heat and get your curry paste spices and desiccated coconut ready. When the pot becomes hot, add the spices and coconut. Dry fry this mixture for about 1-2 mins or until the coconut is lightly toasted.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into a food processor. Processor until the mixture becomes fine and grainy. Whilst the food processor is still running, add 1 tbsp of oil and 1 cup of water. Process until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, forming a paste. Leave for the moment. Tip: This is your curry paste!

 

 

Wash, peel, trim the ends and dice the carrot. Wash, remove the stem and core and then dice the bell pepper. Wash, peel and cube the potato. Wash, remove the stem (if applicable) and then quarter the tomatoes. Place 20-25g tamarind paste into a measuring jug with 5 tbsp of water. Mix to dissolve.

 

 

Place the carrot, bell pepper and potatoes into a slow cooker. Add the lentil mixture, curry paste and tamarind mixture. Stir and thoroughly combine. Top with the tomatoes. Slightly press and submerge them into the liquid. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 2-3 hours. NB: Ours took 2.5hrs to cook! 

 

 

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

 

 

Serve with brown basmati rice, wholegrain pitta,  flatbread or a dosa. Garnish with a slice of lime, chilli infused oil (chilli flakes steeped in 1-2 tsp of rapeseed oil!) and/or fresh coriander leaves (if preferred!). 🙂

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Baked Tofu Loaf #VeganChristmasRecipes

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6-8
Prep & Cooking Time: 70 mins
Cooling: 45-60 mins
Tools: Food Processor, 9″ Spring Form Tin, Mixing Bowl

Notes:

Hey everyone! Did you have a great weekend?? As we approach mid-December, doesn’t it just feel like one giant memory game of recalling all of the mundane errands, cleaning and end of year tasks you still have to do… including some seasonal meal prep?! :/

With only twelve days to Christmas, most people probably will have some idea of what they will be cooking. We had a chin scratch a few weeks back and knew that we wanted something a little ‘different’ from last year’s menu. We happened to come across the quirky ‘Tofurky’ that is making an appearance around cyberspace… have you seen it? It has a jaw-dropping effect, but not because it looks like the most delicious piece of faux meat you have ever laid your eyes on. No, it’s ridiculously expensive! Tofurky, No ‘fanky’! At £35 for a stuffed tofu log, (yeah that’s a lot of money for fermented beans and rice right?!), we never even gave it a second thought. I don’t even think that we’ve even paid that much money for meat (back in the day!) let alone tofu… but it did get our creative juices flowing!

We trialled a couple recipes, one being a pie (it was epic!), but have decided on this lovely and simple baked tofu loaf; our goal was to nestle it next to some tasty trimmings and then top it all off with a delicious gravy- which we did! The loaf is healthy (but that’s a given!), a little time consuming but not difficult… and we think that this is the most important thing here. Christmas dinner shouldn’t take you ten minutes to cook, but nor should it be overly expensive, contain five thousand calories or require the skills and planning of a Michelin star chef and his team! It should encompass great food and conversation, enjoyed with the people that you love… which won’t happen if you have to spend most of the day in the kitchen! In fact, for complete cooking ease, you could make this loaf a couple of days in advance and reheat it on Christmas day! The only negative point about this recipe is that you need a food processor or perhaps a hand-held stick blender as the tofu needs to be silky smooth!

It’s important to note that this recipe has fourteen staple ingredients, which may sound like a lot but it isn’t! We haven’t listed fourteen spices and/or ingredients that are only sourced at health food shops! These ingredients are not too obscure or expensive (relatively) and together they help to form the foundations of this round tofu loaf! Ultimately the additional seasonings and flavours are up to you! As tofu goes, it always needs seasoning and as you won’t be marinating it, you’ll need to decide on a few key flavours that you enjoy. We were happy with the ones that we used, but have highlighted (below) on how we will be adapting some of them on Christmas day! We have listed numerous suggestions for you to try- make it great! One suggestion is ‘just think big’; a half teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of dried herbs won’t cut it! You need to increase your portions to carry the flavour all of the way through!

Continue to watch this space! Throughout the week we’ll be posting our tasty sides and sauces to help make a well-rounded and delicious plant-based Christmas that everyone can enjoy!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Tip: When frying, try adding a splash of white white to your veggies for another depth of flavour!

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

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

 

2. In the meantime, wash the quinoa in a sieve under cold running water for 30 seconds to help remove some of its bitterness and then cook it according to the packet instructions. NB: Ours took 15-20 mins to cook.

 

3. If applicable, create some breadcrumbs. Tip: We toasted some delicious chia and soya-based bread and then created some in our food processor!

 

4. Meanwhile, peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then dice the bell pepper. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then dice the celery.

No celery pictured here- sorry!

 

 

5. Heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat (or spray it with some low-fat cooking oil). Add the garlic, spring onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery. Gently fry for 3 mins or until softened. Remove from the heat.

 

 

6. Heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Lightly grease a 9″ spring-form baking pan with some oil or margarine.

 

 

7. Prepare the ‘flax eggs’. Place 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed into a small bowl with 6 tbsp of water. Mix together. Leave for 5 mins to set. Next, wash the sage and thyme, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Wash and dice the chives.

 

 

8. Meanwhile, drain off the excess water from the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Crumble it into a food processor. Add 2 tbsp of DF milk. Process until the tofu becomes smooth and ‘mousse-y’.

 

 

9. Assemble the loaf!

Step 1: Transfer the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Add the flax eggs, fresh herbs, cream cheese and your desired seasoning & flavourings!
Step 3: Mix until thoroughly combined.
Step 4: Add the vegetable mixture. Fold it through with a spatula. Taste and season it as necessary.
Step 5: Add the breadcrumbs (flour or stuffing mixture!) and the cooked quinoa (or rice).
Step 6: Fold it through and thoroughly combine.

 

 

10. Transfer the tofu mixture into the greased tin. Use a spatula or some grease proof paper to help press the mixture snugly into the base of the tin and flatten the surface as much as possible. Tip: The mixture will be a bit sticky, but just lightly flour your hands if necessary!

 

 

11. Place it onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 40-45 mins or until it’s’ lightly browned, firm to touch and the edges are slightly coming away from the tin!

 

 

12. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 45- 60 mins. It stays warm for a very long time so you have plenty of time to prepare your side dishes and/or gravy! NB: In our trial run we were able to roast some tasty sides and prepare a sauce in that time it took to cook and set. 🙂

 

 

…Whilst your waiting for your tofu to bake, check out our first ‘Christmas meal attempt’! Alex wanted me to to post it (haha)! It’s a shame I didn’t take a picture when Alex first laid eyes on it- priceless! It’s was a monster (12×9″); it certainly ain’t no ‘pixie pie’!

It reminds me of something that would be on the table if #AdamRichman ever came to our house! baha! This pie ended up in the reject pile, not because it tasted horrible (it had three layers of tasty ingredients!), but because it was a tad too fiddly…at least for Christmas dinner. The inspiration came from the combination of an encroute and coulibiac! It’s the perfect example of what you can accomplish when you set your mind to something! If anyone wants the recipe, just send us a message. If we get enough interest we might turn it into a post, not that we are condoning pie-eating on a regular basis (everything in moderation right?!), but we have a long winter ahead (wink, wink)! 

 

Now for the baked and cooled loaf…

 

Garnish it with anything and everything Christmassy and enjoy with numerous tasty sides!

 

Enjoy!

 

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

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Aubergines w/ North African & Middle Eastern Fusion [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 5-6 (as a starter) or 2-3 as a main course
Prep & Cooking Time: 45-60 mins (*Dependant on skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, 2*baking trays, small spoon, silicone mat (or parchment paper), large/non-stick pot, frying spatula (or wooden spoon, grater, manual juicer (optional), serving spoon

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

Hi everyone! Another weekend has come and gone! Did anyone see the two sunrises over the South East this weekend (Saturday in particularly)? It was so beautiful! I guess it does help to soften the blow that our sunrise is currently at ten to eight (roll on winter solstice)! 

Who else was trying to get some Christmas prep organised?! Judging by the number of people buying Christmas plates and red napkins in the stores, we’d say oh, just a few! There’s so much to think about and just not enough time execute it! Last year being a prime example; note to self, do not leave ninety percent of your cooking prep to Christmas Eve- you’re only human (haha!).

Anyways, we’d like to share a recipe a delicious recipe that we made about six weeks ago: ‘Stuffed Aubergines with North African & Middle Eastern Fusion’! It’s a great dish with flavours, food items and themes amalgamated from two similar types of cuisine. 🙂

Simply put, our “Roasted aubergine ‘boats’ are stuffed full of deliciously seasoned and textured bulgur wheat; experience the tastes of the M. East with a tasty ‘Dukkah‘ spice blend and the lovely additions of diced pecans, dried apricots and lemon zest. All topped with a tomato and chickpea mixture, exploding with the tastes of North Africa (courtesy of a deliciuos ras-el hanout spice blend)! Top them off with some plain yoghurt and pomegranate seeds and get set for a meal that will truly satisfy!”

We’d recommend getting a good quality of ras el hanout. Ours came from Seasoned Pioneers … and it had lovely rose petals in it! Their spice blends can really transform your meal and they’re truly second to none! 

Luckily our guesstimates paid off and there was just enough filling for the quantity of aubergine we purchased! If you are not a fan of aubergine, you can always try this recipe with roasted squash, peppers or beef tomatoes instead. Just adapt the spices and/or ingredients as you see fit, but we hope you enjoy this meal!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Bulgur wheat is a great whole grain; it’s a quick-cooking form of whole-wheat! It’s a great source of of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fibre, B-Vitamins and is naturally low in fat!  A versatile and nutritious staple food that is consumed in N. Africa, the M. East, parts of Asia and now many other parts of the world; often used for tabbouleh, but enjoy it as an alternative grain in plant-based ‘burgers’, soups, salads or pilaf! 
  • Aubergines, also know as ‘eggplants’ to our North American friends are a great source of dietary fibre, Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, magnesium, antioxidants (just to name a few!) and are naturally low in fat! Enjoy them ‘stuffed’ full of grains and veggies or as part of salads, stews, soups or a tasty addition to your vegetable skewers! 

 

Ingredients:

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

 

 

Directions:

Heat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas Mark 8. Line two baking trays with silicone mats or some parchment paper.

 

  • Wash the aubergines and then chop and discard the tops.
  • Slice each aubergine (diagonally) into two halves.
  • With a small and sharp knife or a spoon, remove a bit of the middle flesh, so the aubergines will look like ‘little boats’, but do not discard the flesh!
  • Place them onto a baking tray. Drizzle and rub some olive oil over all sides (or spray with some low-fat cooking oil). Keep the aubergines ‘flesh side down’ (unlike what is illustrated in step 6!).
  • Roughly tear (or chop up) the bits of reserved flesh. Place them onto the other tray. Drizzle over some oil. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Toss and coat.
  • Place both trays into the oven; the aubergine halves onto the middle oven shelf and the pieces of flesh onto the lower oven shelf. Bake the aubergine halves for 30 mins or until soft and nicely roasted, turning once. Bake the pieces of flesh for 20-25 mins or until lightly browned and softened; toss and turn once. Remove.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling!

  • Peel and dice the garlic and onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil ( or use some low-fat cooking oil) in non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
  • Add the bell pepper. Gently fry for a further 2 mins or until softened.
  • Add 3g ground cumin and 2g ras-el hanout spice blend. Season with a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.Stir to coat.
  • Add the tin tomatoes, chickpeas, 20g tomato purée and 2 tbsp of water. Stir to combine. Cover and allow to simmer for about 8-10 mins or until hot and slightly thickened.

 

 

Meanwhile, prepare the bulgur wheat according to your packet instructions…

…and prep the last few ingredients!

  • Wash, grate some zest and then juice the lemon. Dice the apricots and pecans. Wash the parsley, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Tip: If you have time, dry-fry the nuts to help release their natural flavour!
  • Remove the tomato mixture from the heat. Add the baked aubergine flesh and pour in half of quantity of lemon juice. Stir through. Taste and season as necessary. Cover with the lid and leave for the moment.
  • When the bulgur wheat has finished cooking, add 1-2 tsp of lemon zest, the remaining juice, apricots, pecans, half of the parsley, 2 tsp dukkah spice mix and a pinch of asafoetida. Season with a little salt and black pepper to taste. Stir with a fork to thoroughly combine and fluff the grains.

 

 

Assemble The Aubergines!

  • Place the aubergines onto a large serving plate. Spoon the bulgur wheat mixture into and evenly between the aubergine halves, gently pressing it snugly into it.
  • Evenly distribute and spoon the tomato mixture over the top.

 

 

Garnish with some yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and/or the remaining fresh parsley if preferred!

 

Enjoy!

Sources
USDA: Nutrient Database
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

 

Hi everyone- happy Monday! 😀

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking! 🙂

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

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

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

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++900g             Carrot
+++++++++500g             Sweet Potato
+++++++++200g             Banana Shallots
+++++++++5g                   Garlic Clove (1 fat one!)
+++++++++1.5L                Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++½ tsp             Ground Coriander (1-2g)
+++++++++½ tsp             Ground Turmeric (1g)
+++++++++                       Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++2                     Limes
+++++++++1/3 cup          Tahini
+++++++++240-480g     Cooked Butter Beans (1-2 tins or 120-240g Dried/Cooked)
+++++++++200ml           Unsweetened Almond Milk (fortified)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Tofu Tikka Masala [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: ≤60 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 hrs (*On a high heat setting.)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping boards, sharp knife, manual juicer, kitchen paper, mixing bowl, frying pan + lid, frying spatula, slotted spoon, food processor, slow cooker

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

Hi everyone, happy Monday! We hope that you’ve all had another great weekend! It’s been so collllld and I’ve lost count of how many hot beverages we’ve drank over the last three days! Thank goodness for tea and spicy curries to warm our bodies and soul! 🙂

Here’s another great plant-based curry from the Eat2Health Kitchen: ‘slow cooker tikka masala’! The true origins and ingredients can vary; with ours being 100% non-authentic but it’s absolutely delicious! Yes, a spicy, creamy, flavoursome and tomato-based curry which is also cheap and easy to prepare; arguably it’s one of the more popular Indian dishes in Britain! What’s your favourite type of curry??

Traditionally this curry is made with poultry, which is marinated and tenderised through a curried yoghurt sauce. We opted against using yoghurt; tofu doesn’t need ‘tenderising’, but we were also unsure of what kind of ‘after taste’ the yoghurt would give the tofu, in addition to the fact that we thought it would be a tad bit wasteful!  

We used a basic lemon, oil and paprika marinade on our tofu; it’s a very neutral taste that was lost within the curry. If you are looking for the tofu to have a slightly independent taste to the curry sauce, opt for marinating your tofu overnight in a mild or hot curry powder (and lemon juice mixture) instead. It’s also good to note that because of the nature of the recipe (it’s plant-based!), making a ‘curry paste’ is not necessary, unless you are planning on marinating the tofu with it. However, slow cooking the tofu in the curry helped to infuse it with some of its wonderful flavours. Yum!

We thought our curry looked similar to a ‘supermarket takeaway meal’ (particularly because we made some lovely pilau rice to accompany it!), but the taste was heaven in a bowl!

It’s truly a great comfort food, but without the typical caloric content of authentic recipes… although this curry is still a bit ‘richer’ than the ones we would typically eat! So use our spices or your favourite tikka masala spice blend. Don’t like oat cream? You can only try using a soya or coconut cream instead; we opted for oat for its neutral and unsweetened taste.

We hope that everyone enjoys this meal as much as we did; dancing taste buds and a meal that keeps on giving (it really does keep tasting better than the night before!).

So roll up your sleeves and start cooking! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++800g        Firm Tofu (= 2*Tetra paks)
+++++++++++++2               Lemons (or 60ml of concentrated lemon juice)
+++++++++++++5               Garlic Cloves (about 20g)
+++++++++++++1                Brown Onion (large; about 200g)
+++++++++++++2               Chillies (1 Red & 1 Green; about 40g)
+++++++++++++100g        Ginger Root
+++++++++++++1                Green Bell Pepper (200g)
+++++++++++++2g             Mild Paprika
+++++++++++++2 tsp         Olive Oil
+++++++++++++                  Tikka Masala spice blend (1g of Ground Turmeric,
+++++++++++++                  3g of each: Ground Cumin, Ground Coriander & Garam Masala)
+++++++++++++½-¾ tsp    Salt
+++++++++++++                  Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++2-3            Tins Chopped Plum Tomatoes (400g/each)
+++++++++++++20g           Tomato Purée
+++++++++++++1-3 tsp       Agave or Fruit Sweetener
+++++++++++++50g            DF Margarine
+++++++++++++250ml       Oat Cream (1 carton)
+++++++++++++                   Brown Basmati or Long grain Rice (about 60-70g/person)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here ! 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

In the meantime, prepare the veggies!

Juice the lemon. Peel and finely dice the garlic and onion. Wash, remove the stem and dice the chillies. Wash, peel and then grate the ginger root.  Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper.

 

 

1. Drain the excess water from the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper.
2. Place it onto a chopping board (if preferred). Chop it as chunky or as small as desired.
3. Transfer it into a dish; add the lemon juice, 2g paprika and 2 tsp olive oil.
4. Toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinade for the moment.

Tip: If preferred, marinade your tofu overnight; (especially) in some mild curry spices instead!

 

 

1. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil, or spray it with some low-fat cooking oil instead.
2. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins.
3. Add the chillies, root ginger and bell pepper. Gently fry for a further 2 mins or until softened.
4. Add the tikka masala spice blend. Season it with ½-¾ tsp of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat. Gently fry it for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Next, prepare the sauce!

1. Get your food processor ready for action!
2. Place the tomatoes into the food processor.
3. Add the onion mixture, 20g tomato purée and 1-3 tsp agave. Cover with the lid.
4. Blend until smoothish and a bit of texture is left.

Tip: If you do not own a food processor, place the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and purée the ingredients using a hand-held stick blender.

 

 

1. Remove the tofu from the marinating liquid, but do discard the liquid.
2. Heat the same frying pan with 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil over a medium heat.
3. Add the tofu (in batches if necessary).
4. Gently fry the tofu for 6-8 mins or until lightly browned.
5. Add the tomato mixture and 3-5 tbsp of the reserved marination liquid. Stir to combine.
6. Cover with a lid. Simmer for 3-5 mins or until the mixture is hot. Remove from the heat but do not turn off the stove top; reduce the heat to a medium-low.

 

1. Gently transfer the curry mixture into the slow cooker. Cover with a lid.
2. Add 50g DF margarine into same the frying pan as before (don’t worry if there is a little sauce left in it!). Allow it to melt. Remove from the heat.
3. Pour the melted margarine into the curry. Stir to combine. Tip: Make sure all of the tofu is covered in the curry sauce.
4. Cover with the lid. Cook for 2-3 hrs on a high heat setting (ours took 2.5hrs.) Turn off the heat.
5. At the end of cooking, pour 250ml oat cream into the curry. Stir through.

Tip: To help reduce the fat content, you can use less cream and/or some thickened DF milk instead, use less DF margarine or skip this step entirely; the combination of margarine and cream is what makes this curry so creamy!

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle the curry into a large serving bowl. Serve with steamed green beans, fresh tomato (or side veggies of choice!), a dollop of plain soya yoghurt (if desired), homemade pilau rice or some of our tasty Savoury Flatbread, wholemeal pitta bread or your own homemade paratha instead!

Tip: For an extra pop of colour, garnish your curry with some fresh coriander leaves! 😀

We made a delicious pilau rice! If you want the recipe, just contact us for it. 🙂

Both pictures represent one serving of curry.

 

Enjoy! 

 

Refrigerate any leftover curry in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Tip: Do not allow the curry to come to a boil, gently reheat it over a medium-low heat. Alternatively store and freeze in one or several air-tight and resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Meatless Monday: Marinated Tofu & Veggie Skewers W/ a Peanut Satay [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 5
Prep: Variable & dependant upon the length of your marination! (See Below)
Cooking: 30-35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping boards(s), sharp knife, mixing bowls, measuring jug, casserole dish, wooden or metal skewers & soaking dish, baking trays, parchment paper, manual juicer, whisk, frying pan, frying spatula, bowl

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

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? Survive the downpours?! It was so blustery yesterday- I felt a bit like Mary Poppins! Broken umbrellas, fuzzy scarves and bare trees, yep, winter is most definitely on the cards!

We’re still a little taken back by this weekend; it’s held so many terrible global events. How society got this position and how it will redeem itself still remains to be seen. On some level, everyone has a part to play, however small and it’s surprising how many of us don’t. Showing humanity and compassion doesn’t cost us anything, yet people are still consumed with exploiting indifferences and pursuing armed conflict. We should all take a moment and wish for a world where normality does not involve the dehumanization of society. 

On a happier note, this Monday we have prepared a great meatless alternative.

Marinated tofu and vegetables (inclusive of brussels sprouts!) skewers, served alongside some delicious, creamy and moreish peanut satay! The marinated tofu and veggies were delicious; although our opinion might be a tad biased as we love tofu! If you cannot wait until Christmas for your next batch of roasted sprouts, then we thoroughly recommend giving our variation a try! The sprouts really stole the show; beautifully roasted as they just melt in your mouth. 🙂

This recipe is quite versatile; use your favourite fresh or frozen veggies and/or adjust the marinade to your own personal preferences. If you are short on time, you can complete this meal in about 45-60 mins (45 mins if you marinade your tofu overnight)! Sixty minutes if you release your inner maestro and press the tofu for 20 mins, marinade the tofu and veggies for 15-20 mins, thread only the tofu*, roast everything for about 30 mins and then sit back and enjoy! However, the longer you allow for marinating, the better the overall flavour will be.

*You can also save time by not skewering and threading every piece of tofu and veggie, just skewer the tofu and roast the veggies alongside! Alternatively, place everything onto two baking trays and then bake the tofu and roast the veggies! We hope that you enjoy it!

Happy cooking everyone and if you haven’t already, please consider pledging your support towards Hugh’s War on Waste!  When we pledged nearly two weeks ago, he had about 38K worth of signatures; there is now over 250K pledges! 🙂 #uglyvegetables #loveallthevegetables #wastenot

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++—————————Skewers———————————————–
+++++++++++++++++800g       Firm Tofu (=2 tetra paks)
+++++++++++++++++600g       Frozen Brussels Sprouts, defrosted or Fresh!
+++++++++++++++++560g        Bell Peppers (2 Red, 2 Yellow and 1 Green Bell Pepper)
+++++++++++++++++240g        Red Onion
+++++++++++++++++2 tbsp      Olive oil
+++++++++++++++++3½ tsp     Garlic Infused Oil
+++++++++++++++++6 tbsp      Low-salt Soya Sauce (or Tamari sauce as a GF option)
+++++++++++++++++3 tbsp      Maple Syrup
+++++++++++++++++½ tsp        Asafoetida (or onion powder)
+++++++++++++++++1 ½ tsp      Ground Ginger
+++++++++++++++++3 tbsp       Sesame Oil
+++++++++++++++++3 tsbp       Walnut Oil
+++++++++++++++++2 tbsp       Rice Vinegar

+++++++++++++++++—————————Peanut Satay——————————————
+++++++++++++++++50g           Root ginger
+++++++++++++++++100g         Spring onion
+++++++++++++++++1                 Lime
+++++++++++++++++                  Low-Fat Cooking Oil
+++++++++++++++++80g           Natural Peanut Butter (smooth)
+++++++++++++++++1-2 tsp      Maple Syrup
+++++++++++++++++¼ tsp        Red chilli flakes
+++++++++++++++++¼ cup       Boiling Water
+++++++++++++++++2/3 cup    Soya Yoghurt (unsweetened or sweetened)

 

Directions

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

 

In the meantime prepare the veggies and tofu!

1. Defrost the brussels sprouts in a microwave (if applicable). If you’re using fresh sprouts, just make sure to give them a thorough wash first!

2. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell peppers into 1 inch cubes (or larger pieces if preferred). Peel and quarter the red onion and then separate the layers.

3. Place the brussels sprouts, bell peppers and onion into a large mixing bowl.

4. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp garlic oil, 3 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tsp maple syrup, pinch of asafoetida (or onion powder) and ½ tsp of ground ginger. Toss to coat and combine. Cover with kitchen film and refrigerate for same duration as the tofu. Tip: If you are marinating your tofu overnight, it’s best to prepare the veggies the following day!

 

 

1. Drain off any excess water from the tofu and pat it dry with some kitchen towel.

2. Place the tofu onto a chopping board. Chop each block into about twenty, 1 inch pieces.

3. Prepare the tofu marinade. In a small bowl or measuring jug, add 3 tsp garlic infused oil, 3 tbsp soya (or Tamari) sauce, 1½ tbsp maple syrup, ½ tsp asafoetida (or onion powder), 1 tsp ground ginger, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp walnut oil and 2 tbsp rice vinegar. Whisk until combined.

4. Get a large dish or mixing bowl (we used a casserole dish!). Add the tofu. Pour over the marinade. Gently toss to coat. Cover with kitchen film. Place the tofu into the refrigerator. Allow it to marinate for as long as possible (ours marinated for 4hrs). Tip: The longer you can allow your tofu to marinate, the better the flavour will be!

 

 

  • If you do not own metal kitchen skewers, place some wooden ones into a dish of cold water about twenty or thirty minutes before you want to prepare your tofu/veggie skewers; this will prevent them from burning.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with some parchment paper. Prepare your skewers anyway you desire! Tip: If you don’t have much time, do not worry about making them artistic, just thread all of the tofu and then place the veggies next to the prepared skewers on the baking trays or as previously mentioned, just place everything over the two trays instead.
  • Place the trays onto the middle and top shelves. Bake for 30-35 mins or until lightly browned and slightly crispy around the edges; turning once. Remove. Tip: It might be a good idea to swap the trays around half way; move the top tray to the middle shelf and vice versa.

 

Whilst the skewers are baking…
…cook some brown basmati rice (about 60g/person) according to the packet instructions.

 

In the meantime prepare the satay!

  • Gather your ingredients!
  • Wash peel and grate the ginger. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Juice ½ of the lime.
  • Heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the ginger and spring onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the red chilli flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Remove the frying pan from the heat.

 

Boil ¼ cup water in a kettle.

  •  Place the lime juice, peanut butter and 1-2 tsp maple syrup into a measuring jug.
  • Add 2 tbsp of  boiled water to help melt the peanut butter. Whisk until combined and creamy.
  • Add the soya yoghurt.
  • Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add more liquid if a thinner sauce is desired.
  • Add half the quantity of the cooked ginger mixture into the satay sauce. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the remaining ginger mixture into the rice. Mix with a fork. Taste and season it as necessary.

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon some rice onto a serving plate.Top with the skewers and serve alongside the satay and a wedge of lime (if desired).

Enjoy!…

 

…Especially the leftovers!  🙂 ❤

 

 

Refrigerate any leftover tofu or veggies in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume with 3-4 days. Refrigerate any leftover satay in a separate, an air-right and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days or refer to yoghurt’s use-by date.

 

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

Quick Foodie Tips:

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

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

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

 

Prepare The Fennel

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

 

Prepare The Marinade

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

 

Pour and brush the marinade over the fennel.

 

Prepare The Artichoke

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

 

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

 

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

 

Prepare The Rice

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

 

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

 

Our cooked rice…

…and roasted veggies!

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16 

 

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

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

 

Cooking The Rice!

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

 

Remove from the heat. Leave covered until served.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

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

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

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

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’!