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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other good things to note:

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

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

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

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

 

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

Healthy Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

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

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash & Tofu Salad

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 75mins

This recipe was adapted from: BBC Foods

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

This is a wonderful ‘winter salad’ recipe containing: squash, lentils and a spicy dressing to help warm you on a cold winter’s day! It’s also very versatile and easy to prepare. 

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Lentils are a stable in many diets, particularly South Asian. They are a great, versatile and cheap source of: B-Vitamins, carbohydrate, protein, fibre, iron, potassium and are naturally low in fats! These little lovelies should be incorporated into everyone’s diet- vegan or otherwise. 
  • This is a high fibre meal that (per serving) contains approximately 3.5 servings of fruit/veggies towards your 5-A-Day! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

 

 Nutritional Content:

 

Directions:

Open and drain the tofu. Place it between two heavy chopping boards for about 30 mins to remove any excess water.

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with some parchment paper; lightly spray it some low-fat cooking oil.

NB: We used ‘8 sprays’, but you could probably use less!

 

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

 

Place it onto one of the baking trays. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil. Sprinkle over the thyme. Place onto the top oven shelf. Roast for 40-45 mins or until tender. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

 

Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into small cubes. Place it onto the other baking tray. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30 mins or until lightly golden and slightly crisp around the edges. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

Baked tofu 🙂

 

In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan with some cold water over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

NB: Ours took 25 mins to cook.

 

Meanwhile, wash and dry the rocket. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomatoes. Drain off any excess oil and then finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends, de-seed (unless you prefer dishes with a little more heat!) and then dice the chilli.

… For an extra, spicy kick-  do not remove the chilli seeds!

 

Place a small, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the seeds. Lightly toast. Remove from the heat. Place into a small dish.

 

 

1. In the meantime, prepare the dressing. Place the garlic, chilli, oil, both of the vinegars, soya (or tamari) sauce and the syrup into a mixing jug. Whisk to combine.

2. Place the rocket into a large mixing or salad bowl.

3. Add the squash.

4. Add the tofu.

5. Add the lentils, onions, all of the tomatoes and the seeds. Pour over the dressing.

6. Gently toss together.

 

 

Serve warm. Transfer the salad into a large lipped plate or serving bowl and garnish with the sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy!

 

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

 

If preferred….

  • Instead of sesame seeds try some: pumpkin, chia or  flax seeds or some nuts (maybe walnut, flaked almonds or pine).
  • Swap the rocket for: spinach, swiss chard or lightly steamed kale.
  • Use some sweet potatoes instead of squash.
  • Swap the tomatoes for roasted red bell pepper.
  • If you are not vegan, swap the tofu for some low-fat cheese.

Vegan Sicilian Pasta With Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking time: 20 minutes

Recipe adapted from: fatfreevegan

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

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

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

 

Ingredients:

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

 

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

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

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

 

Directions:

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

 

Meanwhile, drain and wash the chickpeas.

 

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

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

 

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

 

Wash, zest and juice the orange.

 

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

 

Meanwhile, quarter the the tomatoes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Remove and transfer onto a small plate.

 

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

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.

 

Add the zest. Fry for 30seconds.

 

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

 

Remove from the heat; leave the burner on.

 

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

 

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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

 

Add the pasta mixture.

 

Stir together. Remove from the heat.

 

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

 

 Enjoy!

 

If preferred… 

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

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 95 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, some iron and is low in saturated fats!

Soup can be one of the easiest, cheapest and most nutritious meals to make in your kitchen! Nothing quite compares to a delicious, fresh and simple bowl of soup. This is one of the many soup recipes that I’ll be keeping to hand to help stay ‘fighting fit’ and warm this winter season! 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++++1200g   Salad tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++++180g     Red Bell pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++120g     Red onion
++++++++++++++++++++++6g          Garlic cloves
++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Dried Basil (optional)
++++++++++++++++++++++30ml     Extra-virgin olive oil
++++++++++++++++++++++40ml     Balsamic Vinegar
++++++++++++++++++++++               Ground black pepper
++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Coconut or brown sugar (optional)
++++++++++++++++++++++120g     Green lentils
++++++++++++++++++++++20g        Fresh Basil
++++++++++++++++++++++600ml   Vegetable stock (low-sodium/DF/GF)

 

Directions:

Heat the oven to 170°C/340°F. Get out a large roasting tin (line with a silicone mat if preferred).

 

Wash, remove the stems and slice the tomatoes into halves. Place into the tin cut-side up.

 

Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into chunky strips. Peel and quarter the onion. NB: Do not peel or chop the garlic.

Place the bell pepper, onion and garlic around the tomatoes.

NB: Leaving the garlic skin intact helps prevent it from burning!

 

Sprinkle over the dried basil (if using). Drizzle over the oil and vinegar. Season it with  black pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the sugar (if using).

 

Place into the oven. Roast for 60 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

 

In the meantime, wash, remove any stones and cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

NB: Cooked and drained lentils.

 

Meanwhile, wash and dry the basil. Prepare the stock.

 

Remove the tin. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly.

 

Peel the garlic.

 

Place the vegetables into a blender or food processor.

NB: My blender is more spacious for this.

 

Add the cooking juices (optional)…

 

….and the basil.

 

Blend until smooth.

 

Transfer the stock into a large, non-stick saucepan or resealable container.

 

Add the pureed vegetables and the lentils. Stir together.

NB: Mine went straight into this plastic tub for some lunches this week. 🙂

 

Heat the saucepan over a medium-low heat (if applicable) until warmed.

 

Serve warm. Ladle into a small soup bowl. Garnish with some basil leaves if desired.

NB: Based on 4 servings, this bowl contains 1 serving .

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate in a resealable container and consume within 3-5 days.

 

If preferred…

  • Serve with some warmed wholemeal or multi-grain pitta bread.
  • For added calcium, swap some of the stock for some unsweetened/fortified soya or almond milk!
  • For a ‘chunkier’ version’, add half of the roasted vegetables to the blender, pulse slightly and then remove; add this mixture to the soup.

Vegan & Gluten Free Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-45 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, grater, colander, large pot, food processor, silicone spatula, small bowl, measuring jug, mixing bowl and/or resealable container

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

This pesto offers a nice alternative to other vegan pesto salads that use avocado, spinach or roasted vegetables. It has a lovely, fresh and uniquely satisfying taste, not to mention it’s easy to prepare!  

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++520g    Asparagus
+++++++++++++++++++++++16g       Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++1           Lemon (30ml Juice, 1 tsp zest)
+++++++++++++++++++++++25g       Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++++++++++400g    Fresh Tomatoes (your favourite!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++4g         Ground Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Pine Nuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++520g    GF Fusilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++40ml    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Dried Onion Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info

 

Directions

  • Wash the asparagus; trim and discard the ends.
  • Peel the garlic. Wash the lemon; grate the zest from half of it and then juice it. Wash and dry the basil; discard the stems and save the leaves. Wash, remove the stem and then roughly chop the tomatoes.
  • Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus. Simmer for 3-5 mins, or until tender. Tip: Ours took about 4½ mins to cook, but it’s finding a happy balance. Cook them too long and the tips disintegrate, not long enough and the ends do not blend very well into the pesto. 
  • Remove the asparagus from the pot, but do not empty the water from the pot. Transfer into a colander. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, begin preparing the pesto. Whilst the food processor is running, add the garlic through the pouring spout. Blitz into small pieces.
  • Use a spatula and scrape the garlic from the slides and the lid into the base.
  • Add about ¾  of the quantity of the pine nuts and all of the almonds.
  • Blitz until the pine nuts are roughly chopped. Leave the mixture for the moment.

 

In the meantime, bring the saucepan of water back up to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions. Reserve some of the cooking liquid from the saucepan (approximately ½ cup) before draining. Tip: We removed some liquid about halfway through the cooking time; save more liquid if you want a really ‘loose pesto’. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.

 

  • Meanwhile, chop the asparagus stalks into halves. Separate the ‘top’ halves from the ‘bottoms’.
  • Chop the bottom halves into small pieces.
  • Chop the top halves into thirds.

 

 

  • Add 1 tsp lemon zest & 2 tbsp juice (or as much zest and juice as desired), basil, about 10 tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid (more if necessary), 40ml oil, about ¾ tsp onion powder and the ‘asparagus bottoms’ into the food processor.
  • Blend until smooth. Season it with some salt to taste. Tip: Your pesto is now complete!
  • Place the pasta into a large mixing bowl or resealable container. Add the pesto. Mix and thoroughly combine. NB: Ours went into this plastic tub (as it was going to be several lunches throughout the week!).
  • Add the tomatoes and asparagus ‘tops’. Mix to combine.
  • Season it with some salt to taste if necessary. Sprinkle over the remaining nuts.

 

 

Serve and enjoy!

NB: This bowl provides 1 portion (based on 8 servings!). This pasta has been refrigerated overnight. If desired, re-freshen your ‘next day’ pasta with a bit of lemon juice, ground black pepper and dried basil.

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days.

 

If preferred…

  • Make the pesto sauce and serve it over gnocchi, spaghetti or in a lasagne instead.
  • If you are not concerned about gluten, give wholemeal or spelt pasta a try!
  • Add some fortified nutritional yeast (with vitamin B12!) to your pesto for a more authentic taste and of course added nutritional value!
  • Try making it with just ground almonds.
  • For an extra creamy pesto sauce (minus the guilty calories!), add some unsweetened soya yoghurt; add the yoghurt to the food processor when processing the final ingredients.
  • Use the pesto sauce as a dip for vegetables or multi-grain pita. If necessary or preferred, just add a little arrowroot powder to thicken it in a blender/food processor first.

 

This recipe was adapted from: fatfreevegan

Vegan & GF Spaghetti With ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Sauce

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

This recipe was adapted from: OhSheGlows

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

This recipe is great for pasta lovers and those that at this time of year love stodgy, creamy sauces but without the guilt of consuming high fat & salt contents! The cauliflower in this recipe provides a lovely velvety taste, whilst the mushrooms, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds provide a nice complementary texture. It’s straightforward to prepare and can be adapted in various ways (see below for ideas).

Based on 4 servings, this recipe provides approximately: 331kcal, 4.3g fat, 1.8g s/fat & 0.5g of salt. Authentic’ cheesy cauliflower dishes or cheesy pasta (i.e. ‘Alfredo’ or macaroni & cheese) recipes easily have a minimum of 10g of fat, 5g of saturated fat and a couple grams of salt/serving!  If you can source some fortified nutritional yeast and omit the vegan cheese, the fat content of this meal will be cut in half.

NB: I also adapted this recipe by using 1kcal fry spray (low-fat cooking oil) during the meal preparation instead of olive oil.

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++500g      Cauliflower florets
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g           Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++90g         White mushrooms (large)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g        Cherry tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30ml      Lemon juice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g           Fresh parsley leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++600g      GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              1 kcal Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Garlic powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Dried onion powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Dried Parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++24g        Vegan cheddar cream cheese
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml   Unsweetened & fortified almond milk
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and discard, break off the florets from the stem, discard the stem (if preferred) and wash the florets.

NB: You can cook both the stem and florets in the sauce if preferred; chop the stem into small pieces before cooking.

 

Peel and grate the garlic. Wash dry and finely slice the mushrooms. Wash, remove the stem and halve the tomatoes. Juice the lemon. Wash, dry and roughly chop the fresh parsley.

NB: I used some parsley straight from the freezer.

 

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cover. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3-6 minutes, or until tender. Remove the cauliflower without draining the water. Transfer it into a colander. Allow to drain.

 

Meanwhile, bring the saucepan of water back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain.

 

In the meantime, place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic. Lightly fry for 30 seconds-1 minute, or until slightly softened but not browned.

 

Remove and transfer it onto a small plate.

 

Spray a little more low-fat cooking oil (2-3 sprays). Add the mushrooms. Lightly fry for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly golden.

 

Remove and transfer into a small dish.

 

Place the cauliflower into the blender.

 

Add the garlic, lemon juice, garlic & onion powder, dried parsley, vegan cheese and DF milk (start with 1/2 cup/125ml). Season it with some salt and pepper to taste.

 

Blend until smooth. Add more milk if desired to thin out the sauce.

NB: I used a full cup of DF milk (250ml).

 

Place the pasta back into the saucepan (if you want to refresh everything with heat) or place it into a large mixing bowl.

 

Pour over the sauce. Add the mushrooms.

 

Mix together gently with salad tongs.

 

Serve warm. Place into a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Season as necessary. Garnish with the tomatoes, parsley leaves and pumpkin seeds.

 

 Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Instead of boiling your cauliflower, season and roast it in the oven; heat the oven to 230°C/450°F, place the cauliflower onto a baking tray, spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil, roast for 25-40 minutes, turning a couple of times. This will bring a ‘nutty’ flavour to your sauce.
  • Use nutritional yeast instead of faux cheese to keep the ‘cheesy’ taste and add some nutritional value (I only used vegan cheese because I haven’t sourced nutritional yeast yet).
  • Try adding some lightly fried red onion or red bell pepper for extra colour and taste!
  • Try varying the seasoning, e.g. sweet paprika, dill, chilli flakes, Dijon mustard or add some capers on top.
  • Try a medley of other vegetables, e.g. garden peas, broccoli, wilted spinach or swiss chard.
  • Use some fresh plum or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Use frozen cauliflower and cook from frozen.
  • Try using chestnut or porcini mushrooms.
  • Use unsweetened & fortified soya milk instead of almond.
  • Swap the spaghetti for another type of pasta (especially if you are not concerned about gluten).