Glowing Shamrock Smoothie

Healthy Recipes

Firstly, here’s a huge thanks to the lovely and always helpful Larice at Feeding Your Beauty for sharing this recipe! ūüôā

What a refreshing way not only to enjoy St Pattie‚Äôs Day but to add some nutritional balance into your day! We think that if you‚Äôre going to have a green smoothie, this definitely sounds like a delicious way to go. ūüôā We love the combination of ingredients, particularly the use of coconut water with fresh greens and mint; we can never have too much mint in our lives! We can‚Äôt wait to enjoy this drink when it gets a little warmer, but first, to go and try and revive our neglected mint pot! ^^’

Feed Your Beauty

glowingshamrock

This sweet minty smoothie is not only the perfect green beverage to sip for St. Patrick’s Day, but for the rest of spring and the warm days of summer too. It’s frosty, fruity, and sweet with a big minty punch. While myCopycat Shamrock Shakeis creamy and indulgent, this smoothie is light and refreshing, loaded with antioxidants and ultra-hydrating ingredients.

One of my favorite plant-based beauty food guru’s is Kimberly Snyder. Her books, website, and podcasts are such an awesome resource for anyone seeking to improve their health and looks naturally through diet and lifestyle. This smoothie is inspired by her Glowing Green Smoothie, a fresh concoction designed to boost your glow from the inside out. It’s my go-to smoothie when I want to reboot. That was exactly what I was going for when I created this blend. I put my own spin on it, and used…

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Spinach & Tofu Pesto [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 670g
Serves: 12
Prep & Assembly: ‚ȧ10-15mins
Type: Sauce, Spread, Dip
Tools: Small dish, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan(optional), food processor, air-tight storage container

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note include: 

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

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! ūüėÄ

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++300g               Frozen spinach, defrosted (or 150g fresh)
+++++++2 tbsp             Lemon juice
+++++++80g                 Fresh basil
+++++++1                       Box Silken tofu (349g)
+++++++40g                 Pine nuts
+++++++‚Öď Cup ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++1¬Ĺ tbsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Nutritional yeast flakes
+++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Garlic puree
+++++++¬ľ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Nutritional Info (approx. values)

 

Directions

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

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

3.¬†Transfer 2 tbsp¬†lemon juice, 40g pine nuts, ‚Östcup olive oil, 1¬Ĺ tbsp nutritional yeast, ¬Ĺ tsp garlic puree and ¬ľ tsp salt into a food processor. Blend until the nuts are smooth-ish and combined. Add the tofu. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach and basil. Blend until combined and broken down. Tip: The mixture will probably not be completely smooth, but this is OK. For a smoother pesto, you will have to add more oil and/or cold water. Taste and season the pesto as necessary.

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

Enjoy!

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

 

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

 

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

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

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to notes include:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

 

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!



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

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: ‚ȧ30mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, grater, non-stick pot(large) w/lid, wooden spoon, ladle

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note:

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

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

 

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

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

‘Souper Duper’ Green Soup w/ Grains [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins (*Dependent upon skill, desired portion size and/or the number of handy kitchen helpers present!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, protein, fibre, omega 3, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats!

A few weeks ago a moment of hunger and¬†convenience had us purchasing and¬†trialling¬†a new flavour¬†of ‘Covent Garden’ soup; the taste was¬†fantastic but the colour (and¬†price) was left¬†to¬†be desired for! So with that in mind, we decided to have a go and¬†make our own twist¬†on their green soup. How many of you have tried doing this? Do you find it enjoyable and really satisfying too? ūüôā

We were happy with our¬†result! A soup with a¬†creamy and sweet ‘under note’ (from the pur√©ed swede and¬†baking¬†potatoes) with an all round satisfying and delicious taste of chunky little veggies and grains.

We cooked this soup in bulk and it created five tasty lunches! So adjust your ingredients accordingly. We have also used a variety of grains (it was time to use up some of our tiddley, cupboard leftovers!), but feel free to use just one grain and/or your favourite(s)! If you need a completely GF option, swap the bulgar wheat and pearl barley for millet, buckwheat, brown rice and/or even lentils instead!

Also don’t be shy when it comes to using frozen vegetables, they can be just as tasty and nutritious, sometimes¬†even¬†more¬†so! We used some of our delicious¬†frozen spinach that we had previously purchased at¬†Tesco. Thanks to the Orchard at Tesco, we had a coupon that allowed us to¬†receive¬†a discount! The price is extremely favourable, ¬£1.40 for 900g, which works out much cheaper than fresh; so there’s no spoilage and you can have spinach whenever you fancy it! If you shop at Tesco, you should also look into¬†becoming an Orchard member too!

 

Quick Foodie Facts and Tips:

  • Per serving (based on 10 servings) there is about 3.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day! That’s one and half more than the Covent Garden version! ūüėÄ
  • As we’ve previously mentioned, a swede is also known as a rutabaga (in America!) or ‘neeps’ ¬†(in Scotland!) and is similar to a turnip. It¬†is also in season until early next year!
  • Fancy another swede orientated soup, check out last year’s recipe here!

Happy cooking and have a great weekend everyone!

 

The potatoes and grains are not shown here!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++50g       Dried Quinoa
+++++++++++++++++++50g       Dried Bulgar Wheat
+++++++++++++++++++100g     Dried Pearl Barley
+++++++++++++++++++1.3kg      Swede
+++++++++++++++++++400g     Baking Potato
+++++++++++++++++++500g     Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++200g     Celery
+++++++++++++++++++200g     Yellow Bell Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++230g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++2             Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp    Dried Thyme
+++++++++++++++++++               Ground Black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++3L           Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++220g      Frozen Peas
+++++++++++++++++++160g      Tesco Frozen Spinach
+++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp    Ground flaxseed
+++++++++++++++++++               Salt

 

Directions:

Cook your grain(s) according to the packet instructions.

Our cooked grains! NB: We used all of the pearl barley shown here and 2/3 of the quinoa/bulgar wheat…but don’t worry, we have adjusted the ingredient list accordingly!

 

In the meantime…

1. Wash and halve the swede and potato.
2. Peel the swede and potato.
3. Cube the swede and potato.
4. Place them into a large pot and fill it with cold water. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 10-12 mins or until tender.
5. Drain.

 

 

Whilst the swede and potato are cooking…

1. Place another large pot full of 3 litres water over a medium heat (this will be for the soup). Bring to a boil.
2. Prepare the other veggies. Tip:Chop them as small or as large as desired! Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into small cubes. Wash, trim the ends and finely cube the celery. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
3. Once boiling, place the stock into the pot of water. Whisk to dissolve. Add the carrot, celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, peas, thyme and some black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid. Simmer and cook for 5-7 mins or until tender.
4. Meanwhile, dice the frozen spinach.
5. Add the spinach during the last 2 mins of cooking.
6. Remove the pot of soup from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

Feel free to complete this step with a hand-held stick blender instead!

1. Once the swede and potato have cooled, transfer them into a blender. Tip: You might have to add a little water to help purée it.
2. Purée until smooth and creamy. NB: You will have to complete this step in batches.
3. Transfer the soup into a container or pot (as appropriate).
4. Add a little of the soup into one of your batches (to help give the soup a vibrant green colour!). Blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Add the remaining puréed soup into the large plastic container or pot.

 

 

1. Add the remaining soup into the container or pot. Stir together.
2. Add the cooked grains. Stir through and thoroughly combine.
3. Add the ground flax seed. Stir through and thoroughly combine.
4. Taste and season the soup with some salt and ground black pepper as necessary.
Tip: This is important as the pur√©ed swede and potato¬†will slightly ‘neutralise’ the soup’s flavour.¬†Reheat over a medium-low heat (if required).

 

 

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some croutons, a drizzle of olive oil and/or fresh or dried parsley (if desired).

This shows one serving (based on ten servings) of reheated soup!

Enjoy! ūüėÄ

Curried Potato, Lentil & Spinach Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 40-45 mins

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

Another weekend gone and another ten Mondays to Christmas (not that we’re counting)! It’s just amazing how fast the year is going, and sometimes you don’t even realise until you overhear or find something that puts it all into perspective…like an old recipe!

Days and weeks flying by…here’s a delicious¬†lunch that we whipped up¬†over three¬†weeks ago!¬†It’s an untraditional and creamier version of ¬†‘Saag Aloo’ (with pulses|!).¬†Warmed potatoes, lentils and spinach, flavoured with fresh ginger, chilli, coriander and a creamy, curried yoghurt base- what’s not to love?!

It’ll make a great start to your week and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++120g      Dried Brown Lentils
++++++++++++++++++++930g     Baking Potatoes
++++++++++++++++++++              Salt
++++++++++++++++++++1             Bay Leaf
++++++++++++++++++++200g     Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++5g          Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++75g        Root Ginger
++++++++++++++++++++30g        Red Chilli
++++++++++++++++++++20g        Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++65g        Baby Spinach
++++++++++++++++++++               Low-Fat Cooking Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1g            Coriander & Cumin Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++3g           Mustard Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Ground Turmeric
++++++++++++++++++++2g           Garam Masala
++++++++++++++++++++1/4 tsp    Dried Chilli Flakes
++++++++++++++++++++300ml    Plain Soya Yoghurt (unsweetened & fortified)

 

 

Directions:
  1. Wash the lentils in a sieve, remove any stones and then cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

2. In the meantime, wash and chop the potatoes. Place into a pot of lightly slightly water. Add the bay leaf. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Drain. Allow to dry/cool slightly.

 

3. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, peel and finely chop the ginger.

 

4. Wash, remove the stem, deseed (unless you prefer more heat!) and finely chop the chilli. Wash the coriander, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop it. Wash and thinly slice the spinach.

 

5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil (or add 1-2 tsp of rapeseed oil). When hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Transfer into a bowl.

 

6. Place the frying pan back over the heat. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil. When hot, add the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, ground turmeric, garam masala and chilli flakes (or your own curry spice blend). Gently fry/temper for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the potatoes. Toss to coat. Remove from the heat. Add the lentils and onion mixture. Stir and gently toss together.

 

7. Transfer the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt, chilli, coriander and spinach. Toss to thoroughly combine. Taste and season as necessary.

 

8. Serve in a bowl garnished w/ additional coriander and/or toasted nuts (if preferred).

 

Enjoy!

Store any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. It’s best consumed within 3-4 days (at room temperature); refresh with additional yoghurt, herbs and/or seasoning!

 

If preferred…

  • Use your favourite blend of curry spices (dried or paste); try heating¬†some curry paste with coconut oil!
  • Swiss chard would make a tasty alternative to spinach!
  • Cook some swede, squash or baby new potatoes instead of standard ones.

Broad Bean & Spinach Dip/Spread

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep & Cooking time: 15-20minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, no added sugar and is low in salt and fats!

This dip/spread is has a wonderful fresh and zesty flavour that is absolutely delicious…feel free to adapt it with some of our suggestions below. ūüôā

 

Quick facts:

  • Broad beans are also known as ‘fava’ beans.¬†In the UK these beans¬†are normally in season during¬†June-August; don’t worry, you can still buy frozen varieties that are just as nutritious!

NB: To find out when your favourite fruits and vegetables are currently in season, check out this link!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++360g     Frozen broad beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g     Baby spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g       Fresh parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g     White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1             Lemon (Zest & Juice)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g      Plain soya yoghurt (unsweetened)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10ml      Olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++125ml     Water

 

Nutritional Info:

If you’re a fan of using the FSA traffic light system, this is another one of our dips that gets green lights all the way!

¬†This recipe is great for those leading a healthier lifestyle. ūüôā

 

 

Directions:

Place a small saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Add the beans. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 3-6 minutes or until tender. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

Wash the spinach and allow it to drain (if applicable). Wash, dry and gently rip the parsley into half. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and finely grate the garlic. Wash, finely zest and then juice the lemon.

We were only half way through our prep at this point!

 

 

Place the beans, yoghurt, parsley, onion, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oil and as much spinach as you can push into a¬†food processor. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse and blend until the mixture starts breaking down; feed the remaining spinach into the food processor’s feed tube. Pour in the water. Blend until combined.

 

 

The mixture will be ‘chunky’. Taste and season as necessary.

NB: We added a little more lemon juice.

 

 

Remove and transfer the mixture into a resealable container.

 

 

Serve as a dip or sandwich spread.

Ready for sharing! ūüėÄ NB: Our ramekin contained 100g. It was just enough for us to enjoy this whole wheat baguette with.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

NB: Refrigerate in a resealable container; consume within 3 days.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Add a little more oil and some pine nuts…and you’ll have yourself another fun and tasty vegan pesto flavour!
  • Swap the lemon for lime and add a little ground coriander for more of a ‘Mexican-inspired’ taste.
  • Substitute the broad beans for soya beans; our broad beans were cheaper to source!
  • When making this recipe, you may prefer to push the beans out of their skins prior to processing however, by doing this you will reduce the fibre content of this dip/spread. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†NB: Broad beans and spinach are both a¬†great source of insoluble fibre!

Avocado & Spinach Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 20-30 mins
Type: Main Meal or Side Dish
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, large pot, frying spatula, blender or food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container

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

If¬†you’ve never have an avocado-based soup before, you’re in for a treat.¬†It’s creamy, delicious nutritious and it literally¬†only takes about 5 minutes to get this recipe cooking on your¬†stove top! Cooking really doesn’t get any easier than that!

 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • This soup provides you with about 2.5 servings of vegetables/serving towards¬†your 5-A-Day!
  • Avocados are actually a fruit, or more¬†specifically, a single-seeded berry! They are a great¬†source of: B-vitamins, Vitamin E, protein, fibre, potassium, zinc and mono-unsaturated fats (‘good’¬†fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol if combined with a healthy diet and¬†lifestyle); among some other nutrients that are all great for maintaining a healthy body!

They are known for their high calorie and fat content; unlike other plant sources (e.g. coconuts!) they contain less saturated fat and more mono and poly unsaturated fats! Yay for healthy fats!

  • This¬†is a great soup in moderation- for your waistline and wallet! If you’re like us, you probably only buy them on occasion, as they are a fruit native to central America- which means their carbon footprint does not always come cheap!

We also think that soup is a great example of how¬†processed foods can deceive us¬†if were¬†not careful, even healthy ones.¬†It is possible to have¬†too much of a good thing, e.g. eating a homemade fruit smoothie can easily contain over 30 grams of sugar. Fruit sugar is great, when you are eating ‘whole pieces of fruit’… but not necessarily when you break down all of its lovely¬†intrinsic sugars (a.k.a¬†when you throw¬†all of your delicious¬†fruit¬†into a¬†blender)! Breaking down all the wonderful¬†insoluble fruit fibre makes the fruit sugars (fructose) more accessible to your body;¬†which increases the glycaemic index value (*see our article on sugar here).

This is why the BDA advises we only drink 150ml of fruit juice/day and why it should never be a used as a replacement to fruit; it only can be counted as one of your 5-A-Day.

… But we have digressed; let’s get cooking!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     White Onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2             Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Low-Fat Cooking Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400ml   Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++125ml     Vegetable Stock (low sodium/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1              Bay Leaf
+++++++++++++++++++++++++15ml       Lemon Juice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Frozen Spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++320g      Avocado Pears
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml    Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Nutritional Info

NB: This soup receives an orange traffic light rating for its fat and sat fat contents, and a green one for its salt; which makes it an OK choice. To lower the fat content, just use one avocado and some more lovely spinach instead!

 

 

Directions

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.

We used some leftover banana shallots and a white onion- anything goes! If you have a food processor or food mandolin (that you don't mind washing up later)- this step will be even quicker!

We used some leftover banana shallots and a white onion- anything goes! If you have a food processor or food mandolin (that you don’t mind washing up later)- this step will be even quicker!

 

 

  • Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Spray it some low-fat cooking oil.
  • Add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
  • Add the water, stock, bay leaf and lemon juice. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.
  • Add the spinach. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Return to the¬†boil. Simmer and cook for 3-4 mins or until cooked. Remove from the heat. Allow the soup to cool slightly.

 

 

In the meantime, chop the avocado into halves, remove the stone and then peel away the skin. Tip: If you are using frozen avocado, make sure it has thoroughly defrosted first! 

 

 

 

  • Remove the bay leaf from the saucepan and discard. Transfer the soup into a blender.
  • Add the avocado.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer the soup back into the saucepan or into a resealable container.¬†Pour in the milk. Mix to combine. Taste and season it with some salt and black pepper (if necessary). NB: Add a little more¬†water if a thinner consistency is preferred.

 

 

Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat and gently reheat (if applicable).

 

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some soya yoghurt, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds or simply enjoy it as it is!

We used some fresh chives and seeds. :)

We used some fresh chives and seeds. ūüôā

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1 month.

NB: When reheating, allow the soup to become hot, but do not allow it to boil. 

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

Quick Foodie Facts:

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

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

Happy cooking everyone and buona cena!

 

 

Ingredients

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

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

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

 

 

Prepare The Pesto

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

 

 

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

‚Üď

Veggies rule so go on and fill your boots!

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Assemble The ‘Pesto Sauce’

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

 

 

Assemble The Dish

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

If preferred…

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

Butternut Squash & Spinach Curry

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 65-75minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, some calcium, no added sugars and is low in saturated fats!

This curry¬†is simple and delicious! Its very ‘light’ and makes an ideal¬†‘starter recipe’ to get you cooking more¬†South Asian¬†cuisine! Please do not feel that you¬†have to use tamarind, especially in this form; buying it like this saves you money though. Preparing a paste from the pulp won’t add too much extra prep time either (maybe 5 minutes)! You can still make this curry without it, just season and¬†flavour¬†it to your own personal taste.

 

NB: Oue  garam masala spice mix and fresh coriander are missing. *The coriander is coming straight out of my freezer and I am making my own garam blend!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g      Tamarind pulp
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml  Boiling water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g     Frozen spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g    White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g       Root ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g         Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1000g   Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g        Fresh coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g    Brown basmati rice (uncooked)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g         Garam Masala spice mix
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Black mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400ml  Vegetable stock (low-sodium/DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g       Flaked almonds

 

 

Nutritional info (inclusive of the curry and the rice):

*Based on 4 servings, this recipe provides:
422kcal, 11g Protein, 5.3g Fat, 0.71g Sat/fat, 0.73g Salt, 5.2mg Iron/ serving

 

 

Directions

Cut a piece of the pulp off of the slab.

 

Place the pulp into a bowl.

 

Add the boiling water. Allow it to soak for approximately 30 minutes, or until softened.

NB: You can soak yours for 15 minutes if desired. I prefer the flavours I get from a 30 minute soak.

 

In the meantime, place the spinach into a microwavable bowl. Defrost in the microwave. Drain. NB: If using fresh spinach, wash it in a colander and then allow it to drain.

 

Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the onions. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and crush the garlic. Peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized chunks. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

NB: I cheated… I used my food processor to dice the onions!

 

NB: This is what our pulp looked like after 30 minutes.

Yes…it doesn’t look very pretty!

 

Get another bowl and a fine sieve….

 

Pour the contents of the bowl with the pulp through the sieve into the second bowl.

 

With a fork, gently press against the tamarind pulp; hard enough to push the pulp through the sieve (collecting a paste in the water), separating it from its thick membranes, husk and seeds.

NB: I can only commit to this for about 1-2 minutes! Some people will push, squeeze and separate all of the pulp from the seeds and only use the reserved paste (and not the water)…that is their prerogative! For me, the juice and the amount of paste I¬†have gathered is enough to enhance the flavours of¬†this curry. ūüôā

 

Keep the water with the paste. Discard the contents of the sieve.

 

Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

In the meantime, prepare the rice according to the packet instructions.

NB: I  flavoured my rice by adding 6 cardamom pods before cooking; remove before serving.  Just remember to count them before you put them in!

 

Add the garam masala and the mustard seeds.

 

Stir together. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

 

Add the reserved paste and its water, squash and the stock. Stir together. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.

 

In the meantime, place a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. When its hot, add the nuts. Stir and gently dry-fry them until lightly toasted. Remove and transfer into a small dish.

 

Add the spinach and coriander about 2 minutes before the end of cooking (this will allow the spinach to wilt slightly before serving; if using fresh). Cover with the lid.

 

Remove from the heat. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes with the lid on (if you have time). I always find the flavours taste best when the meal is not boiling hot!

 

Serve warm. Place the curry into a small dish. Garnish with the nuts and some coriander (if desired) and serve along side the rice. Alternatively, place the rice into a large serving bowl, cover it with the curry and garnish with the nuts.

NB: This picture provides 1 serving (based on this recipe serving 4). * I found some coriander and garlic flavoured pita bread to serve with ours¬†ūüôā

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate in a resealable container and consume within 3 days.

 

If preferred…

  • Make this curry one¬†day ahead if you are short on time; things always taste better the next day anyways!
  • Use any type of South Asian spice and/or flavouring you desire!
  • Try using¬†fresh spinach instead of frozen and pumpkin instead of butternut squash.
  • Try adding some brown lentils to this dish to increase the iron content!
  • Serve with some plain/unsweetened soya yoghurt and half¬†a GF pita bread if desired.¬†NB: We¬†recommended pita because typical ‘naan bread’ (a.k.a. Indian leavened flat bread) normally contains¬†quite of bit of fat and/or salt!

Vegan & Gluten Free Lasagne W/ A Tofu & Spinach Filling

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 60-90 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins (*Dependent upon type of pasta)
Cooling Time: 5-10mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, non-stick pots (*3) and a frying pan, frying spatula, food processor, measuring cups, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, casserole dish

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

Our lasagne is a delicious and stodgy meal that the whole family can enjoy! ¬†A typical ‘standard’ lasagne can be very rich due to its meat, cheese(s) and milk content, consequently containing a fair bit of salt and fat from the cheese(s) and/or sauce. Ours however is completely plan-based with no added sugar, making it lower in saturated fats, salt and sugar as a result, but still very delicious right up until the last bite!

 

Nutritional Breakdown (approx. 500g/serving):

¬†A ‘standard’ lasagne portion (approx. 420-500g),¬†could provide approx:300-500kcal, 25-40g¬†fat, 12-20g saturated and 2-4g salt.

Tip: You could reduce the calories/fat content in this recipe by: omitting or reducing the quantity of the nuts and olives, by using unsweetened & fortified almond milk instead of soya, or by halving the amount of white sauce used.

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā

 

Directions

Place the spinach into a microwavable bowl. Defrost in the microwave. Drain in a sieve. NB: Ours took about 14 mins to defrost.

 

  • In the meantime, peel and chop the onion. Peel and¬†dice the garlic. Wash and drain the olives (if they were in brine), remove any stones (if necessary) and then chop them into slices.¬†Wash and dry the basil, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly them (save a few whole pieces for garnishing).
  • Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add some low-fat cooking spray. Add the garlic and onions. Cover and gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 30g olives, 800g tinned tomatoes, 40g puree, 1 tsp lemon juice, the herb blend (dried thyme, basil & oregano) and the onion powder. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. Bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 5 mins. Leave the lid slightly ajar for the remaining cooking time; allow the sauce to simmer for a further 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Season as necessary. Add the fresh basil. Stir through. Turn off the heat and leave it covered.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Open and drain the tofu. Tip: Speedy, silken tofu!¬†This type of tofu does not have to be pressed like standard¬†firm tofu!¬†Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. *Drain your spinach if you haven’t already.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Add some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Gently fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add the spinach 40g pine nuts. Stir together. Allow it to fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the nutmeg. Season it with salt and pepper. Stir together. Remove from the heat.
  • In the meantime, place the tofu into a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer it into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the spinach mixture. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste.¬†Stir and thoroughly combine.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200¬įC/400¬įF. Tip: Check your pasta’s baking instructions, as you might need a slightly higher temperate than this. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.¬†NB: We¬†pre-cooked ours¬†for 3 mins in boiling water and then drained it.

 

 

  • Prepare the white sauce. Add 300ml¬†milk, the herb blend (dried thyme, basil & oregano) and onion powder into a large measuring jug. Stir to combine.
  • Place 20g¬†DF margarine into a small, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Allow it to melt (be careful to not let it burn).
  • Once the margarine¬†has melted, add 20g GF¬†flour. Whisk to thoroughly combine and form a ‘roux’. Keep stirring for about 30 seconds or so to help remove some of the floury taste from the sauce.
  • Gradually pour in the¬†milk mixture. Whisk together.
  • Keeping whisking until the sauce thickens. NB: This can take 3-6 mins, depending on how high your heat setting is; do not allow it to burn!
  • Remove from the heat. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Leave covered until ready to use.

 

 

Lasagne Assembly

1. Pour just over half of the quantity of the tomato sauce into the casserole dish.
Add a layer of prepared lasagne sheets.
2. Add half of the filling mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta.
3. Add another layer of lasagne sheets, followed by the remaining filling mixture.
4.Place one more layer of lasagne sheets. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce.
5. Give the white sauce a quick whisk. Pour and spread it over the top of the lasagne. Tip: If necessary, use a silicone spatula help spread it.
6.¬†Place it on the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-30 mins, or until it’s bubbling, lightly browned and the pasta is cooked.¬†Tip:¬†Ours¬†took 30 mins in a fan-assisted oven. It will definitely take less time than this if you are using ‘fully cooked’ or quick cook pasta!
7. Remove the dish from the oven.

 

 

Allow it to cool for 5-10 mins. Tip: This will make it slightly easier to cut and serve! Garnish with the reserved basil (if using). Serve warm alongside a green salad or green beans if desired.

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use wholemeal or spelt-based pasta if you are not concerned about gluten.
  • Use fresh spinach and tomatoes instead.
  • Alternatively, make some home-made ravioli using this filling and serve it topped with the tomato sauce.
  • Serve¬†the tomato sauce with some spaghetti instead (garnish with some pine nuts); serve with a garden salad for a quick and simple meal!
  • Adjust the herb combinations to your personal preference.
  • Make two lasagnes and freeze one for next week! Alternatively, freeze individual portions and defrost/reheat when you are short on time to cook a nutritious meal!
  • Instead of pine nuts, try using¬†sunflower seeds? (The latter is normally cheaper for us).
  • Use a low-sodium/sugar/fat store-bought tomato sauce or passata if you short on time!

 

Recipe inspired from: BBC Good Foods