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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Foodie Facts & Tips:

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

Happy cooking and have a great weekend everyone! ❤

 

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

Drained and dried.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Enjoy!

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

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

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

 

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

We used a pasta bowl.

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Directions: starting from the top left going clockwise!

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

 

Baked tofu. 🙂

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Steam the green beans. Drain. Allow to cool.

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

Enjoy!

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Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Garlic, Lemon & Parsley Penne w/ Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking: 15 mins

Notes:
This is probably one of the quickest recipes you’ll find on our blog (…yet anyway)! No fuss- it’s easily thrown together; perfect for when your short on time or when your fridge and cupboards are looking rather empty!

Just a few simple and classic flavours (and yes, more chickpeas!)… and you’ll create a fantastic little pasta dish! If garlic purée isn’t your thing (well, fresh is always best!), then you could gently fry some fresh (and minced) garlic for 1-2 mins instead orrrr… replace the extra virgin olive oil with a garlic infused one! We love having garlic purée (on occasion), as it gives a really intense and enjoyable flavour! A heads up for anyone not preparing their legumes and pulses from scratch- you’ll need just over a tin of processed chickpeas. 🙂

Quick fact:

  • This meal contains at least 3 portions towards your ‘5 A Day’! #legumelove 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++170g      Dried Penne (GF or otherwise; we used wholemeal)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g    Cooked chickpeas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g        Curly parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1             Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Salad tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g          Garlic paste (a lower-salt version)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++15ml      Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Salt & Black pepper

 

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according to the the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable; we used our slow cooker ones!). Place them into the pasta pot 4 mins before the end of cooking; drain everything into a large colander.

3. Wash/soak the parsley, remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them.

4. Wash, zest and then juice the lemon.

5. Wash, remove any stems and roughly dice the tomatoes.

6. Place the cooked pasta and reheated chickpeas into a large mixing bowl.

7. Add the parsley, lemon juice and zest (use as much or as little as you like), tomatoes, garlic paste (again, as much as you prefer!) and the oil into the bowl. Toss to combine and coat. Taste and season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

 

Curried Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Dinner Bowl

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Cooking Time: 30-50* minutes (*Dependant upon cooking methods used!)

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

Who doesn’t love a great (healthy!) salad bowl- especially one that contains chickpeas and a fantastic curry flavour?! Well here’s a lovely, simple and versatile recipe that provides just that; chickpeas…check, enticing curry flavours…check, fantastic colours and a lovely crunch factor…of course! 😀

We used some leftover roasted sweet potato, but feel free to use any of your favourite seasonal salad vegetables, or any leftover roasted or steamed vegetables you might have knocking around! It’s worth noting that when you use curry paste straight from the jar, it tastes realllly spicy!…So adjust the quantity to your own preferences!

We have no doubt that this light and delicious curried-salad option is perfect for those summer days ahead! #getreadyfortheheatwaveUK #stayhydrated #SPF50 #alwayswearsunglasses

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++70g     Sweet potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Kale
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked chickpeas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++80g     Green bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g     Red onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g     Salad tomato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g      Radishes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/2       Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Curry paste (we used masala!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g        Pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt and Ground black pepper

 

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Wash and scrub the potato. Pierce the flesh several times with a fork. Place it onto a baking tray. Spray it with low-fat cooking oil. Bake in the oven for 30-40mins or until tender. Remove. Allow it to cool slightly and then chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Tip: If you are lacking time (or can’t stand the heat in the kitchen!), you could dice the potato (into bite-sized cubes) and place it on a baking tray under a heated grill for about 15-20mins, OR wrap the potato in a piece of kitchen paper and cook it in the microwave for 4-5mins (or until tender).

2. Wash and then place the kale into a streamer pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer and steam for about 5mins or until tender. Drain.

3. In the meantime, open, drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable). We used some of our prepared slow cooker ones!

4. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then chop the bell pepper into cubes.

5. Peel and finely slice the onion (dice if preferred!).

6. Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomato.

7. Wash, remove the stalk and then thinly slice the radish.

8. Wash the lemon; grate some zest, slice in half and then juice half of it.

9. Place the chickpeas into a small bowl. Pour over the lemon juice and oil. Add the curry paste. Mix to thoroughly coat.

10. Place the potato, kale, bell pepper, onion, tomato, radish and lemon zest into a large serving bowl. Throw in the chickpeas and scatter over the seeds.

 

 

Toss the salad together. Taste and season as necessary.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Here’s another version that we’ve previously made!

Curried chickpeas, garlicky kale and broccoli with some fresh salad veggies. 🙂

(Almost!) Dolma

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 3-4
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 60 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Large pot, chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer (optional), large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, mixing bowl, serving tray (or dish)

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

This recipe doesn’t necessarily need a huge explanation, the name really does says it all!  Traditional dolma is prepared using vine leaves, but we used some spring greens instead… and we were very happy with the end result! Spring greens are cheaper, more easily sourced (particularly because they are in season) and versatile (at least around these parts and in our kitchen!). They are also very nutritious, as we have previously mentioned here!

Traditional recipes also use white rice (sometimes with the addition of meat), currents or raisins and various other ingredients and seasoning’s (region dependent); they are then steamed and served as meze or part of a main dish!

We used wholemeal rice and figs- delicious! If you do not enjoy either, try brown long grain rice and some traditional dried fruits instead. 

We’are always up for a great recipe that uses a combination of grains and dried fruits or a just a dish with a delicious savoury rice on offer! …Check out our: Roasted Stuffed Peppers, Baked Rice , Vegan KoftesRoasted Bell peppers or Vegan Curried Rice recipes!

We went all out and made a mini Middle Eastern/Mediterranean feast (which included our homemade aubergine dip) and some houmous!

So go on, experiment and try this new kitchen challenge- it’s fantastic!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g    Wholegrain rice, dried
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g   Spring Greens
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g        Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g     Banana shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g    Chestnut mushrooms
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g      Dried figs
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Pine nuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g         Fresh dill
+++++++++++++++++++++++++12g        Fresh Flat leaf parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1            Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Low-fat fry spray
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Cumin, and allspice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Dried mint
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt & Ground black pepper

 

Directions

Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

Ours took 10 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, separate the spring green leaves from its centre. Gently wash them and trim any thick or long ends off the leaves. Peel and finely chop the shallot and the garlic. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms.

 

 

Dice the figs. Finely chop the nuts. Wash and then zest the lemon.

 

 

Wash and roughly chop the parsley and dill.

 

 

Juice half the lemon (save the other half for later on).

 

 

Heat some low-fat cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.

 

 

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

 

 

Add the mushrooms. Fry for a further 2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Meanwhile, place the spring greens into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3 mins or until just softened. Once cooked, drain and place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Gently pat dry. (*Skip this step if you are not assembling the dolma’s straight away!).

 

 

Add the cumin, allspice and mint. Stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Add the rice, figs, nuts, lemon zest, parsley, dill and lemon juice.

 

 

Stir and thoroughly mix the ingredients. Season with some salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Store in an air tight and resealable container. Reheat and use later on (if applicable).

 

 

 (Almost!) Dolma Assembly

Place some spring greens onto a flat surface. Pat dry.

 

 

Spoon approx. 3 tbsp of the rice mixture down the centre.

 

 

Fold up the ends.

 

 

Carefully roll the leaf until sealed. Warm and reheat in the a microwave before serving (if applicable/preferred).

 

Place into a large serving tray with a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

 

Serve as part of your meze line-up…

or as part of your Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean based meal!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 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. 

Olive Pesto

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep & Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Notes:This recipe contains: Vitamins C, K & E, protein, fibre, iron, zinc, potassium, and (*per serving/based on six) is low in salt, sugar and has a moderate amount of fats!

Here’s a quick and delicious midweek recipe that will provide you with maximum taste satisfaction and minimal discomfort to make (#whohateswashingup)! 

We’ve come across lots of olive pesto recipes (that are more or less the same), but we decided to adapt our own using the ingredients (and quantities) that suited us. We felt that as the staple ingredient was olives, adding over 40 grams of pine nuts and 1/2 cup of oil would make it too rich! Pesto is ‘rich’ at the best of times and as much as we enjoy it, it’s not something we prepare every week, but it is a lovely thing to have in moderation! 

Adapt the recipe to suit your pesto needs; more garlic?… lemon?… basil?… another type of olive?… or less oil and no seeds/nuts to further reduce the fat content?? Experiment and enjoy!

  Oh and here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to our dear friend Kelly!

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g       Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1          Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++70g     Green olives (pitted/in brine)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Fresh basil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++12g      Fresh flat leaf parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g      Pumpkin seeds (*optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60ml  Olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++            Salt & Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++            Water

 

Directions:

Peel the garlic. Wash, zest and juice the lemon.

 

 

Drain and wash the olives. Wash and dry the basil and the parsley.

 

 

With a food processor running, drop the garlic in. Process until minced.

 

 

Add the lemon zest and juice, seeds and oil.

 

 

Process until puréed. Add the olives, basil and parsley. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Process until combined; the mixture will be a bit coarse. NB: With the machine still running, add a little water to thin the pesto out slightly.

 

 

Transfer the pesto into an air-tight and resealable container.

 

 

How to use the pesto:

Simply mix some into freshly cooked pasta (we recommend wholewheat or buckwheat!) or zoodles!; alternatively you can follow these simple steps…

1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.
2. Add the pesto into a small bowl.
3  Add some cooking water into the pesto.
4. Stir and mix together.
5. Transfer the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl.
6. Add the pesto mixture.
7. Toss and mix to coat.
8. Serve in a serving bowl; garnish as desired.

 

As it’s ‘British Tomato Week‘, try adding some to your dish!

 

Enjoy!

 

Keep refrigerated and use within 5 days. Alternatively store in individual air-tight containers and freeze; defrost and use within for 1-2 months.

**Not too long ago ‘My Vegan Kitchen’ posted a useful ‘pesto storage’ tip! It’s ideal for portion control and of course, saving yourself valuable time in the kitchen!

Roasted Bell Peppers With Rice & Beans

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes.

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

We hope you’ve all had a great weekend?! We did, despite the wind and rain! It’s also a great feeling to finally have the British summer time kick in (at last)! We didn’t really feel the affect of it though; we both went to bed early! This is only because we donated blood on Saturday and were completely wiped by the evening. We’ll both be working hard over the next few months to restore our iron levels… making ourselves fighting fit and ready for our next donation (#givebloodandsaveuptotwelvelivesperyear)! For anyone interested in discovering more about iron, check out our article here

For those that were joining in on the ‘meat free week‘ last week and loved it! (or have been taking part in the international Meatless Monday’s or Meat free Monday’s experience)… this is a great recipe for you to try! However, anyone that has been following us might remember our stuffed peppers with quinoa we posted last year?! Well if you enjoyed that recipe, then we thoroughly recommend that you try this version!

These peppers are filled with a delicious mixture of rice, black beans and vegetables… seasoned with Mexican-inspired seasoning’s and flavours! Our peppers were slightly too small, so we would recommend getting 1kg worth of peppers! Additionally, we would suggest using slightly less jalapeños than we have instructed- unless you love the heat!

 

Mix it up! Add the flavours, veggies and beans (or lentils) that you prefer!

 

 

Ingredients:

Use a ‘Mexican seasoning mix’ if you have it and omit the cumin, paprika, chilli powder, ground coriander and oregano! NB: This meal (per serving) has moderate amount of saturated fats; to make it low in saturated fats, use some low-fat cooking oil instead of the rapeseed oil instructed!

 

 

Directions:

 Drain and wash your beans (if applicable).

 

Wash, slice the tops off the peppers (but do not discard) and then de-seed them. Discard the stem and finely chop the tops of the peppers. Place the peppers onto a microwavable plate. Heat in a microwave for approx. 6 minutes or until softened. Remove.

 

 

 

Place them into a baking tray. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

 In the meantime, peel and chop the onion and the garlic.

 

 

Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomato. Chop the pineapple into small cubes. Drain and dice the jalapeño slices.

 

 

Wash and dice the chives. Wash, trim the end and finely slice the spring onion.

We used frozen chives; we got them out of the freezer just before we needed them.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat 2/3 of  the oil in a large, non-stick saucepan.

Alternatively use some fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)!

 

 

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

 

 

Add the pepper ‘tops’. Stir to combine. Gently fry for a further minute.

 

 

Add the beans, rice, nuts.

 

 

Stir together.

 

 

Pour in the boiling stock or water. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 8-10 minutes.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the white sauce.

NB: The sauce will be thicker than most other sauces….this is to make sure it ‘sits’ on top of the peppers whilst cooking! This sauce is similar to the one we used in our lasagne!

 

  • Step 1)  Heat a non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat.
  • Step 2)  Add the spread.
  • Step 3)  When it melts, add the flour.
  • Step 4)  Stick together quickly until combined and a roux is formed.
  • Step 5)  Pour in the milk. Add the onion and garlic powder, thyme and         oregano. Whisk together; dissolving the roux.
  • Step 6)  Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.
  • Step 7)  Remove from the heat. Taste and season with some salt and black pepper (as necessary).
  • Step 8)  Leave covered until you are ready to use it; stir once before adding it to the peppers.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Gently use the remaining oil (or some low-fat cooking oil) and grease the outside of the peppers.

 

 

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

 

 

Add the cumin, paprika, chilli powder and coriander.

 

 

Followed by the tomato, pineapple, chives, approx. 3/4 of the spring onion and the juice. Stir to combine and coat in the seasoning. Taste and season to taste (if necessary).

 

 

Spoon and push the rice mixture into the peppers.

Our peppers were not quite big enough..so we used some make-shift ‘ramekin peppers’ instead!

 

 

Top with the sauce. Garnish with the remaining spring onion.

NB: If preferred, garnish them after they are baked…as the onions will lose their vibrant shade of green whilst they cook!.

 

 

Place the tray into the oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes of until the peppers and sauce is lightly browned and the rice is completely cooked. Remove.

NB: Finished! Ours took 27 minutes. Adjust your cooking times according to the type of rice used.

 

 

In the meantime, steam some kale (or whatever other dark, leafy greens that you desire!).

 

 

 Serve warm. Place the kale into the bottom of a serving bowl. Place the pepper into the centre of the kale.

We garnished ours with some dried chives and a few extra pieces of pineapple. 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

It”s realllyyy tasty folks!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days.

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

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Chickpea Tagine

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-70 minutes

Recipe adapted from: ASDA

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

This recipe has so many wonderful flavours to offer… all of which were absorbed by the delicious veggies! We adapted this recipe from a supermarket magazine (that we were lucky enough to pick up last year!). Occasionally some of these free magazines will contain decent/healthy recipes…while other times their more about ‘product promotion’! Erm, just because the magazines have beautifully crafted a recipe (that happens to include a brand name sausage)…does not make it healthy…or even appealing for that matter (50p coupon on offer or not)!

The original recipe requests you to use a flame-proof casserole dish (which is good, as most people do not own a tagine!), but we cooked ours in a large/standard saucepan over our stove-top. 

We made this recipe a couple of times last year and as a result have changed the quantities of most of the ingredients used (especially when it comes to the spices!); we also added paprika and green beans, and omitted the use of olive oil. All in all, it’s a great, healthy, full-flavoured and inexpensive recipe that’s definitely worth all of the chopping involved! 🙂

 

Quick facts:

  • Here’s a snapshot regarding tagines! A tagine is quite similar to a rich ‘stew’ in consistency, but the taste encompasses all of the wonder warm flavours of Moroccan spices; this is because it is traditionally a North African dish. The word itself refers to the type of cookware (it’s a clay or ceramic dish with a distinctive conical top) that’s used to slow cook this classic stew; it can contain meat, fish or poultry along with dried fruits and vegetables that are cooked to a mouth-watering and succulent consistency. 

Tagines can be hand painted with painstakingly intricate and beautiful designs! The material itself (which is naturally porous unless treated) retains moisture whilst you cook; it also helps to retain all of the rich flavours from your stew (which will help intensify the flavours of your next meal)! The conical top helps let steam circulate (above and around the food) whilst the stew cooks; this also contributes to the rich flavours and tenderness of the dish. 

  • Our tagine recipe contains 6.5 portions of fruit/vegetables (per serving/*based on 4 servings) towards your 5-A-Day quota!

 

 

Most of the ingredients were prepped earlier that day! God bless inventions…a.k.a. …tupperware!

 

 

Ingredients:

 NB: When served with couscous, this dish is really filling!

 

 

Directions:

 Prep the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onion. peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and cut the carrot into slices; if using a large carrot, chop into halves. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable).

 

Dice the apricots.

 

 

Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the onion. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the squash and carrot. Stir together. Cook for 2 minutes.

 

 

Add the ginger and garlic. Stir together. Cook for 1 minute.

 

 

Add the spices and water. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the chickpeas, apricots, puree and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the stock. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

 

 In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add the nuts. Dry roast until lightly toasted. Remove.

 

 

Transfer into a small dish.

 

 

Meanwhile, snap the beans into halves/bite-sized pieces.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Add the beans when the tagine has almost finished cooking. Mix to combine. Cover with the lid. Continuing cooking for a further 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the tagine to cool slightly. Leave covered until served.

NB: We find the flavours intensify once the meal has cooled down.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the couscous into a lipped serving plate or bowl. Ladle over the tagine. Garnish with nuts, coriander and seeds.

 

 

Enjoy!

Leftovers! 🙂

 

 

Here is one we made last year with some GF couscous!

This GF couscous was corn-based. The consistency was quite similar to the original, but obviously the taste was completely different! We would recommend it though. We prepared it quite similarly to the cooking instructions of authentic couscous; the box instructions weren’t ideal (which seems to be the case with a lot of GF products)!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: Leftovers are great because one, they saving you time on cooking (and cleaning!) and two, the flavours intensify (even if the meal has been previously frozen)! Do not freeze the couscous, nuts or seeds.

 

Sources: Melissa Guerra, About food and Lakeland