Meatless Monday: Seitan Doner Kebab ‘Meat’ [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 3-4
Prep: ≤30mins
Cooking: 4 hrs (SC/low heat setting)
Cooling: 20 mins (minimum)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, non-stick pot w/lid, colander, food processor, measuring jug, large mixing bowl, kitchen foil, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & E, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, no added sugar and per serving- a moderate quantity of added salt and fats. 

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! You’ll have to excuse our lack of posts lately, there’s been a lot going on (all good) and we haven’t been keeping up to date (including getting to see what everybody else has been getting up to on here!). But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been cooking, of course we have… so you’ll have lots of lovely recipes to look forward to! 🙂

Today we our sharing a seitan recipe….

…move over dried soya mince, tofu, tempeh, and high salt/fat and overpriced preformed vegan ‘meats’, there’s a new guy in the Eat2Health Kitchen- seitan! For those that are unaware, it’s made from wheat gluten, spices and seasonings, (and in this case a sweet potato!); it’s an effortless, nutritious and delicious meat alternative that has a great texture, giving rise to endless possibilities (faux sausages, meatballs, steak, duck, doner, chorizo, mince… just to name a few!)

Using wheat gluten is something we have wanted to try for a while now; unfortunately it’s not widely available in shops so we purchased ours online. Our 1kg bag cost just over £4; has anyone purchased it at a lower price or does that seem about right? For those that are keen, you can have a go at making it yourself! It sounds quite laborious to us; just do a quick internet search to see if it’s something that you’d enjoy! 😛

With a cursory internet search we also found that there are several recipes for seitan knocking about; given the cost and practicality of acquiring seitan we decided to start by adapting someone else’s tried and true recipe. One that caught our fancy was a doner seitan recipe at Flash Gordonette.com. Her recipe seemed straight forward and used a steamer to cook the seitan, but we’ve used our trusty slow cooker to do the same thing. Cooking wheat gluten to make seitan is indeed effortless and there are several ways to do it, again you only have to look in your preferred search engine to find that out. 

The seitan doner kebab resemblance to actual meat is a little uncanny. Of course it isn’t ‘meat’ and we were not looking to replicate it! Yep, no desire what so ever to replicate the mystery ‘elephant leg’ that spins in every kebab shop in Britain…(ha!) …our line of thoughts we more into finding another cheap, healthy, tasty and versatile protein source. This mock meat works perfectly in a vegan doner kebab, in sandwiches, salads, as part of a meze platter or used as a healthy plant-based pizza topping!

We packed our vegan doner kebab with plenty of veggies (yummy suggestions below) and topped it all off with a delicious tahini sauce and dollop of plain soya yoghurt! 

Some other good things to note include:

  • If you do not have a food processor, finely chop the onion before cooking. Mash the cooked potato and onion in a large mixing bowl instead; mix in the remaining ingredients with a silicone spatula and then knead the dough.
  • The ingredients list looks long but it’s mostly spices and/or seasonings! Adjust the spices and seasonings to your own perfect mix. Unfortunately there is no way of checking how it really tastes until after it has cooked (the raw mixture tastes terrible btw!), so don’t go too over board with the spices or salt! 
  • Handle your wheat gluten flour with care; it’s so powdery that it can easily end up all over your work counter instead of in your recipe! 
  • This seitan recipe combined wheat gluten with sweet potato, but we have seen others that have used tin beans or other vegetables instead! 
  • The raw mixture looks a bit weird and maybe slightly off putting but don’t let that scare you. It completely transforms once it’s cooked. For those new to a plant based lifestyle, looking to swap their standard recipes this Meatless Monday, perhaps do not get on with tofu and/or paying for overpriced vegan meats, give this a go! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂
  • Letting the seitan cool is vital if you want thin slices of doner ‘meat’. We left ours for 12 mins and then started to shave/cut it with a bread knife; unfortunately this was not long enough and some slices were thicker than others. The thinner slices allowed you to really taste the lovely flavours and it wasn’t chewy (as some of the thicker slices were).
  • This ‘meat’ will dry out, so once cooled wrap immediately and refrigerate. 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Wheat gluten consists of almost pure protein and very little starch; 100 grams contains 75-80% protein! It’s the natural protein left over when you wash the starch out of wheat flour; it’s then dried and ground back into flour. It’s the perfect resource to improve the texture, rise and elasticity of your bread or make the veggie and vegan meat alternative seitan; it’s so versatile, healthy and effortless!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
280g   Sweet potato
85g      Brown onion
3½ C.   Water
6g        Fresh coriander (2 tsp)
1           Garlic clove (1 tsp)
1 tbsp   Veggie stock powder (low-salt)
1 tsp     Salt
1 tsp     White pepper
½ tsp    Dried chilli flakes
1½ tsp   Ground coriander
1 tsp       Ground cumin
1 tsp       Garlic powder
¼ tsp      Mild paprika
¼ tsp      Cayenne pepper
1 tsp        Dried oregano
½ tsp      Cumin seeds
1/8 tsp    Ground mace
1 tbsp      Rapeseed oil
1½ C.        Vital wheat gluten (220g)
1               Brown onion (small)
  • Pitta/wrap filling suggestions: shredded iceberg lettuce, diced salad tomato, carrot ribbons, shredded cucumber, diced (raw) brown onion, shredded red cabbage, pickled chillies, diced fresh coriander, all topped off with your favourite sauce…try: a tahini, chilli or garlic sauce or a dollop of plain soya yoghurt instead.

Need an easy-print PDF? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Wash, peel and then chop the sweet potato into small chunks. Peel and chop the onion into quarters (or smaller if applicable). Pour 1½ cups cold water into a non-stick pot. Add the sweet potato and onion. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to a gentle boil. Simmer and cook for 4-5 mins or until tender. Remove from the heat. Drain in a colander. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the coriander; remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Peel, chop and finely mince the garlic. Tip: If you have a garlic press, just use this instead!

Place the cooled potato and onion into a food processor (or mixing bowl if applicable). Add the fresh coriander, garlic clove, 1 tbsp veggie stock powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp white pepper, ½ tsp dried chilli flakes, 1½ tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin,1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp mild paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp cumin seeds, ⅛ tsp ground mace and 1 tbsp rapeseed oil. Process the ingredients until a thick puree is achieved.


Add 1½ cups wheat gluten into the food processor. Process until the mixture is combined and starts to form a ‘dough’ texture. Transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl. Gather the mixture, forming a ball and knead it for about a minimum of 5-10 mins or as long as you can (we kneaded ours for 8 mins); the mixture will be tacky, but will become more smooth and elastic. Tip: Kneading will help improve the texture of the seitan. Use your hands and shape the mixture into a fat log (it won’t be perfectly symmetrical but this is OK!).

Transfer the dough onto a long piece of kitchen foil. Roll the foil over the dough, completely covering it and then loosely twist each end close. Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle. Peel and horizontally slice a small brown onion. Place the slices of onion onto the base of the slow cooker. Pour in 2 cups of freshly boiled water. Place the wrapped dough on top of the onions. Cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat setting for 4 hrs.


Remove and allow it to cool for at least 20 mins before serving. Tip: The seitan cools down considerably within 10 mins of removing, but to achieve thin slices of doner ‘meat’, the mixture needs to cool and set further first. 

Tip: Wrap any leftover seitan in kitchen film and refrigerate; reheat leftovers in a frying pan with a little oil and consume within 2-3 days. 

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Middle Eastern Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

 

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

Slow Cooker Turkish Pilaf [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: ≤ 35 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 hrs (*on a high heat setting.)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife, colander, large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, measuring jug, slow cooker

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

Pilaf is a simple, global and personalised dish; in fact it’s so simple that you can even cook it perfectly in a slow cooker! Arguably, it may of even cooked better than our stove top variety; sometimes ‘cheaper’ varieties of rice can be a headache! Yes, a simple rice dish (with minimum prep!) that is typically a one-pot meal (sorry about the frying pan!). 

Our fluffy Turkish pilaf was cooked in a seasoned broth with tasty mint, cinnamon and chilli and served with some of our delicious ‘crumbled feta‘, a dollop of low-fat houmous and a wedge of pitta bread. Garnish by scattering some lovely and beautiful pomegranate ‘gems’, toasted nuts, tasty dates and a delicious medley of herbs. Serve it in a large bowl and enjoy every delicious spoonful packed full of great Middle Eastern tastes! 🙂

Perhaps this is an ideal dish to add to your weekend planner?! #mealplanning 

We hope that you do try this delicious, stress free rice that can be seasoned with any flavour(s) that take you fancy; enjoy it often with spices and seasoning’s from all around the globe! 

Have a good weekend everyone and happy cooking!

 

We decided to use rapeseed oil (not olive) and no bell pepper! We also added a splash of rose water (not seen here). The ‘dried dill bottle’ was a reminder for us to defrost some of our frozen dill  and flat leaf parsley! We used packaged’ pomegranate seeds, but check out our previous Middle Eastern recipe on how to remove pomegranate seeds from a pomegranate. 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++3             Garlic Clove (fat ones, about 20g!)
+++++++++++++++180g       White Onion
+++++++++++++++1              Green Chilli (we used a 30g Serrano!)
+++++++++++++++260g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++++++++2g           Dried Mint
+++++++++++++++3g           Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++¼-½ tsp Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++350g      Dried Easy Cook Basmati Rice
+++++++++++++++720g      Cooked Chickpeas (*about 3 tins or 360g dried + cooked)
+++++++++++++++700ml   Boiling Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rose water (*optional)
+++++++++++++++60g        Hazelnuts (or pine nuts)
+++++++++++++++60g        Dried Dates (or your favourite dried fruit)
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Dill
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++++++100g      Pomegranate Seeds

 

 

Directions

If you fancy it, prepare our ‘crumbled feta‘ first. Cover and refrigerate until the pilaf has finished cooking. Alternatively prepare it the night before; dice and serve it with the cooked rice.

 

Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash the chilli, remove the stem, deseed and then finely chop. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely cube the carrot.

 

 

  • Heat some rapeseed oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil spray) in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat .
  • Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until soft.
  • Add the chilli and carrot. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened. Tip: Whilst your waiting for the veggies to soften, boil 700ml of water in a kettle (you’ll need this for your stock!).
  • Add 2g dried mint 3g ground cinnamon. Season it with ¼- ½ tsp salt and black pepper. Stir to coat.
  • Add the rice. Stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

 

 

  1. Transfer the rice mixture into a slow cooker. Add the cooked chickpeas (*drain and wash any tinned varieties before adding!).
    2. Prepare the stock; pour it into the slow cooker. Add the rose water (if using). Stir together.
    3. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 2-3 hours (NB: ours took 2.5hrs).
    4. Fluff the rice grains with a fork just before serving; taste and season as necessary…but try not to eat it all of it straight out of the slow cooker! 😛

 

Before the rice has finished cooking, prepare some garnishes. Toast some hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat (and then roughly chop), finely dice some dried fruit (if applicable) and wash/finely chop some fresh dill and/or parsley (if desired).

 

Serve in a large bowl in addition to the ‘crumbled feta’, houmous (or minty yoghurt!) and pitta bread (if desired). Garnish the rice with nuts, dried fruit, fresh dill and/or parsley.

Both pictures show one portion of pilaf. 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

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 (without garnishes) in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the ‘crumbled feta’ in a separate air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 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. 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Slow Cooker Vegan Stew With GF Dumplings

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 35-45 minutes
Cooking time: 7-8 Hours

This recipe was adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens

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

It may just be another ‘vegetable stew’ recipe to some, but I found it very satisfying, easy on my wallet and nutritious! Luckily just like any other slow cooker recipe, you only have to throw it all together and forget about it for 7 hours!  

 

 

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and finely chop the bell pepper.

 

Add the tomatoes, stock, herbs, bay leaf and water to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.

 

 

Drain and wash the beans.

 

Add the mushrooms, garlic, onion, bell pepper and beans into the slow cooker. Mix together.

 

Peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized pieces.

I prepare the squash in this sequence because I always get sick of chopping after the third vegetable!

 

Add the squash into the slow cooker. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Mix together; press gently to submerge the vegetables into the liquid.

 

Turn the slow cooker onto a low heating setting. Cook for approximately 7 hours.

NB: Just in case you are wondering- its not dust! I made bread before this recipe and had a bit of a ‘flour incident’! More importantly- every time you open the slow cooker, you’ll add approx. an extra 15 minutes cooking time onto the recipe.

 

Right before the time has expired, make the dumplings.

NB: My parsley came straight from the freezer.

 

Wash and chop the parsley.

 

Place the cashews into a food processor. Blend until they are fine powder.

 

Place the flour, corn flour, baking powder and cashews into a large mixing bowl. Season it with some salt to taste. Mix together.

 

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.

 

Add the parsley, milk and oil into the centre. Mix together with a fork (until it’s ‘crumbly’ like an ‘apple crumble’ or a pastry mixture).

 

Combine the mixture with your hands.

 

Knead together into a ball.

NB: It’s wasn’t  proper kneading, more like squishing and gathering!

 

Roll the mixture between your hands to form a ball/dumpling; make 12 dumplings.

 

Add the green beans and paprika into the slow cooker. Mix together.

NB: You do not have to defrost the beans before adding them.

 

Gently place the dumplings into the stew. Press down on them gently, until they are  approximately half to three-quarters submerged.

 

Cover. Turn the heat setting up to high. Cook for a further 30-50 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked.

 

Turn off the heat. Allow it to cool down slightly. Taste and season as necessary. Remove the bay leaf with a spoon before serving (if possible).

 

Serve warm. Ladle into a large soup bowl.

NB: This bowl contains one portion (based on the recipe serving 4 people).

 

Refrigerate in an air tight container and use within 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze some portions in separate containers; use within one month.

 

NB: Place the stew and the dumplings into two separate containers, otherwise the dumplings will try and absorb as much liquid as possible overnight and disintegrate on contact! 😦

 

If preferred…

  • Try using your favourite type of white bean instead of kidney beans; dry or tinned.
  • Experiment with the vegetable/herb combinations; use fresh or frozen vegetables.
  • I would recommend trying to make these dumplings with some (melted) low-fat soya margarine instead of oil; I think the cornflour will take to it a bit better. NB: Like all GF baked goods, they come out a bit ‘drier’ than standard versions.
  • If you are not vegan, try making the dumplings with some grated low-fat cheese and/or milk instead of nuts and DF milk.