Decadent Cranberry & Orange Sauce

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 25-30
Prep: ≤8 mins
Cooking:15 mins
Tools: Non-stick pot, whisk, orange press or juicer and grater

Notes:

What types of sauces and/or condiments do you like to have around during the festive period?  Cranberry sauce is top of our list, particularly because of the seasonality of fresh cranberries!

This year we tried to replicate a store-bought variety, which is quite tasty, but couldn’t source any lingonberries! In retrospect, we could have bought some lignonberry jam and added this to the sauce instead of fruit sweetener! C’est le vie!

Our sauce has minimal added, unrefined sugar (per serving) and every spoonful has a lovely rich and deep seasonal flavour; you can’t go wrong with cranberries, orange and spice! 

We added a small glass of wine, but diet permitting you could add some port (generally not vegan!), brandy, mulled wine, prosecco or champagne instead- just adjust your other ingredients as appropriate! It’s good to note that the stronger the alcohol and/or the more spices that you use, the more aromatic your sauce will be! However, if you would prefer not to add alcohol, you could try substituting it for some fresh pomegranate or red grape juice instead! 

As we got to trial this before the festive season, we still have plenty in the fridge and more than enough for Christmas, Boxing Day and beyond. This is great because it will be one less thing to make on the day! In fact, if you can make it a day or two in advance, your sauce will be bursting with flavours that continue to grow by the day! Our top tip would be to make sure you downsize your ingredients (as appropriate) to meet your dinner party needs- unless you want to be eating this into the New Year! 😀

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++300g        Cranberries (or a mixture of cranberries and lingonberries)
+++++++++++++3                Oranges (=200ml juice & 1 tbsp orange zest)
+++++++++++++125ml        Red wine (Merlot)
+++++++++++++60g           Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
+++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Fruit Sweetener (your favourite)
+++++++++++++½ tsp         Allspice
+++++++++++++                  Pinch of Salt
+++++++++++++2 tsp          Corn Flour

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the berries into a colander and wash under cold running water. Tip: Alternatively you can leave them to soak them in a large bowl of water.

2. Wash the oranges, grate some zest and then juice them.

3. Place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Pour in the wine. Add the sugar. Stir together.

 

4. When the mixture starts to simmer (bubble), add the berries, orange juice, ¾ of the zest (save a little for a garnish later on), 2-3 tbsp of sweetener, ½ tsp allspice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid.

 

5. When the mixture starts to simmer again and/or you hear the berries starting to burst, turn the heat down slightly. Allow it to simmer for 15 mins or until the berries have softened and the sauce has thickened slightly.

 

6. Meanwhile, create a ‘slurry’. Place the corn flour into a small dish with equal parts water. Whisk and stir until it’s dissolved.

 

7. When the sauce has finished cooking, pour in the slurry (whilst whisking at the same time). Keep whisking for about a minute or until the sauce thickens slightly and develops a lovely sheen! Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Tip: The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so do not ‘overdo’ the corn flour! Serve in a dish garnished with the remaining orange zest (if desired)!

 

8. Enjoy cold, at room temperature or slightly heated!

 

 

Tip: If you have a spare pickle, olive or jam jar to spare, sterilise it, fill it with the leftover sauce and then keep it refrigerated and use within 2 weeks! 

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Crispy Baked Orange & Sesame Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2-4
Prep: 35-45-mins (*Dependent upon how long you press your tofu for.)
Marination: 5hrs- Overnight
Cooking: 30-35 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping boards, cheese grater, sharp knife, manual juicer, large measuring jug, kitchen paper, mixing bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper (or silicone mat)

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

For those that have been following along, you’ll know that we have been experimenting with a lot with tofu flavours recently! BBQ, oriental, Asian, a pre-marinated seaweed flavour and now one with a delicious orange and sesame twist! Do you love it as much as we do? What’s your favourite flavour(s)?! 🙂

Tofu is so versatile, but as we have previously mentioned, it needs time to marinate in order to develop some truly mind-blowing flavours! Our newest flavour has a delicious oriental-flare which is packed full of fantastic flavours and has a great crispy coating! It would be a great addition to: salads, wraps, savoury grain and vegetable dishes or (as we have shown below) as part of a tasty stir-fry!

The only amendments we’ve made are to add a drop of agave (to balance out the sweet, sour and saltiness of the marinade) and to increase the amount of orange juice used. We added about three tablespoons, but would recommend doubling this amount to ensure a stronger depth of ‘orange flavour’ develops. 

So here’s to a great weekend (despite the rain!) and happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++400g         Firm Tofu (=1 tetra pak)
+++++++++++1                 Large Orange
+++++++++++2 tbsp       Olive Oil
+++++++++++2½ tsp       Soya Sauce (low-salt/ or use Tamari if GF is Required)
+++++++++++1 tbsp        Rice Vinegar
+++++++++++40g            Tahini
+++++++++++1 tsp           Agave Syrup
+++++++++++½ tsp         Ground Coriander (1.5g)
+++++++++++                   Asafoetida
+++++++++++                   Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

 

In the meantime, prepare the marinade!

NB: Our ramekin shows about 5-6 tbsp of OJ!

  • Wash, grate some zest and then juice the orange.
  • Place 2 tbsp oil, 2 ½ tsp soya (or tamari) sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp agave, ½ tsp ground coriander and a pinch of asafoetida into a large measuring jug. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Whisk together with a fork until combined.
  • Add 1½-2 tsp of orange zest and all of the juice. Whisk together. Taste and season it as necessary.

 

 

  • Drain the excess water and pat the tofu dry with some kitchen paper. Place it onto a chopping board (if preferred) and slice it into 1″ pieces (or any size that you desire)!
  • Place the tofu into a large bowl. Pour over the marinade. Gently toss and stir to coat the tofu.
  • Cover the bowl with some kitchen film. Place it into the fridge to marinate; ideally over night or as long as possible (or 4-5 hrs minimum to achieve the best flavours!).

 

 

  • When you are ready to bake your tofu, heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.
  • Place the tofu onto the tray in a single layer. Pour and brush over any leftover marinade.

 

 

Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins, or until lightly browned and crispy around the edges. Tip: For even crispiness, turn the tofu once during baking!

Ours took 33 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

 

 

Serve the tofu with your favourite stir-fry veggies or as part of a great vegetable and rice dish!

We prepared some fresh veggies: Brussels sprouts, red bell pepper and root ginger to accompany a bag of Tesco’s Healthy Living (HL) Oriental Wholefood w/ Cashew Nuts!

As we had a £3 voucher (courtesy of The Orchard at Tesco) for their HL Beautifully Balanced range, it was definitely worth a try; how can you pass up on free vegetables?!  We were able to purchase two different plant-based bags for the price of one…one being this tasty stir-fry mix!

 

We think that this HL product is OK and we would probably buy it again, but our first choice would to always be to use fresh veggies (well, when possible), especially in our stir-fry’s! Has anyone else trialled their frozen HL bags? Here’s a breakdown of what we thought:

Pros: Tasty with great textures and colours; containing a five vegetable medley, cooked steel-cut oats and bulgur wheat, cashew nuts, a variety of spices, and was very well-seasoned and easy to prepare (we cooked the whole bag in about 6-7 mins)! You could probably even use this as a tasty sandwich filler, perhaps in a wrap?!

Cons: As all frozen veggies go, they release a lot of water, shrinking as the cook… so they will not look as vibrant or have a great ‘crunch factor’ as fresh varieties, but that’s to be expected!

Also, half the bag contains 250kcal (or one portion contains about 150kcal), so you’ll need to prepare something to accompany this with; luckily this bag contains such a great variety of versatile veggies and flavours, it’s quiet complementary…

…especially with our Crispy Baked Orange & Sesame Tofu!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover tofu in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze your leftovers on the day of cooking; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

Disclaimer: We have not been paid to promote this Tesco product and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Vegan Sicilian Pasta With Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking time: 20 minutes

Recipe adapted from: fatfreevegan

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

From what I’ve read, Sicilian pastas dishes include cheap, simple and tasty ingredients! This recipe is very fresh, light and it’s easy to execute! The orange and chilli flavours work beautifully together and it’s a nice change from dense tomato, pesto or creamy pastas.

Quick fact: The corn-based pasta and the chickpeas provide a nice bit of ‘protein combining’ action!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++130g   GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Chickpeas (in water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g     Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g   Red onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1 Large orange (zest and juice)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g   Baby plum tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Black olives
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Fresh basil leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Chilli flakes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried oregano
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried basil

 

 *Based on this meal serving 2, this recipe provides approximately:

485Kcal, 18.2g Protein, 8.1g Fat, 1g Sat/fat, 1.12g Salt, 4.6mg Iron

(NB: To lower the calorie and fat content, reduce the quantity of the chickpeas.)

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.

 

Meanwhile, drain and wash the chickpeas.

 

 Add the chickpeas to the saucepan just before the pasta is finished cooking. Save one cup of cooking water before you drain the pasta.

NB: The brand of GF pasta I used took 12 minutes to cook.

 

 In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic into slices. Peel and dice the onion.

 

Wash, zest and juice the orange.

 

Place a large non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Allow it to heat up.

 

Meanwhile, quarter the the tomatoes.

 

Rinse the olives (if they were in brine), de-stone(if necessary) and roughly chop them.

 

Wash, dry and remove some basil leaves from the stem. NB: I used some straight out of my freezer.

 

Spray some low-fat cooking oil into the pan/wok. Add the garlic. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Remove and transfer onto a small plate.

 

Spray a little more low-fat cooking oil. Add the onions. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Season it with some salt and pepper to tatse.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Add the zest. Fry for 30seconds.

 

Add the chilli flakes, the dried oregano and basil. Stir together. Fry for 20 seconds.

 

Remove from the heat; leave the burner on.

 

By this point you can probably add (or have added) the chickpeas to the pasta. Remove a cup of cooking liquid.

 

When the pasta has been drained, place the pan/wok back over a medium-low heat. Add the cooking liquid and juice. Stir together.

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Add the tomatoes, olives and fresh basil. Stir together. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the tomatoes are just softened.

 

Add the pasta mixture.

 

Stir together. Remove from the heat.

 

Serve warm. Serve in a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Garnish and season as desired.

 

 Enjoy!

 

If preferred… 

  • Use half the amount of zest if you do not like your meals too ‘zesty’.
  • Use wholemeal or spelt pasta if you are not concerned about gluten
  • Try adding a bit of spinach.
  • Use a dried variety of chickpea; soak/cook before use .
  • Try green lentils or broad beans instead of chickpeas, or oregano instead of basil.
  • Try some other Sicilian pasta ingredient combinations, e.g. fresh pasta, dried fruits (raisins, sultanas or apricots), nuts, seeds, shaved fennel, aubergine, mushrooms, fresh herbs, capers, toasted/garlic breadcrumbs or some oily fish, prawns or cheeses (if you are not vegan).