Japanese Style broth with baked tofu

Japanese Style broth with baked tofu and courgette noodles

tofu

This recipe uses one of my favourite gadgets – the spiralizer (you can also buy a smaller hand held version).  It turns fruit and vegetables into great shapes that will hopefully encourage the whole family to eat more veg and eat less pasta, bread, rice and potatoes.

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If you haven’t got one a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler will work just as well.

 

 

 

This recipe is really tasty and anyone watching their weight or eating as part of the 5:2 fast diet will enjoy the tastes and textures without the excessive calories.

Japanese Style broth with courgette ‘noodles’ – serves 2, 210 calories per serving

1 ltr of boiling water

1 tsp chopped fresh ginger or ginger paste or ½ tsp ground ginger

1 chilli, 2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tbls miso paste (suitable for vegetarians and vegans)

IMG_13831 tsp each of soy sauce, agave and lemon juice

large pinch of black pepper

1 carrot (100g)  – finely sliced

150g of each – leek (or onion), red pepper, both finely sliced

50g mushrooms or broccoli florets, 2 spring onions – finely sliced

140g courgette turned into ‘noodles’ with a spirialiser

handful of fresh parsley or coriander chopped

tofu

pressed tofu

Baked tofu: ½ block extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed), small drizzle of  olive oil,  3 tsp light soy sauce, 1 – 1½ tsp gochugaru or sriracha sauce

 

 

 

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140g courgette turned into ‘noodles’ with a spirialiser

 

 

 

 

  • Preheat oven to 220C/ gas 7/425F.
  • Cut the tofu into slices. Place it in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, chilli sauce/paste and soy sauce. You may need to add a splash of water if it’s too thick. Gently mix to combine. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove your baking sheet from the oven and flip each piece of tofu. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the tofu and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
  • IMG_9330In a large pan add ginger, chilli, soy sauce, lemon juice, agave, black pepper, garlic and miso paste to the boiling water. Continue to boil for a minute.  Turn down the heat and add the carrots and leek and cook for 2 minutes, add the pepper and mushrooms or broccoli .
broth

prepared by my cooking guest

  • Cook for 3 minutes then add the ‘noodles’ until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust.

This is now a popular dish for my vegan cooking guests to make

Serve in two large bowls, top with the baked tofu and scatter over the chopped herbs and sliced spring onions

broth

 

Additions

Small handful of unsalted cashew nuts  (28g)- 160 calories

1 tbls sesame seeds – 52 calories

 

Is there such a thing as a vegan doner kebab?

Is there such a thing as a vegan doner kebab?

Yes there is!  I recently visited the Horse and Plough pub in Bingham, they are part of the Castle Rock dynasty so I knew I’d be able to have some vegan beer (if I so desired) and a good selection of vegan dishes

horse and plough

horse and plough

And there it was; vegan doner kebab with all the trimmings.  Sold!

My other half had boring old regular fish and chips (no imagination).  The kebab is served in a homemade flatbread smothered in chilli sauce, minted yoghurt and plenty of salad and a basket of thin French fries.  The ‘meat’ itself was, I think, thinly sliced seitan that was heavily seasoned with herbs like rosemary.

vegan

My appetite was certainly whetted and fully sated by the end.

Horse and plough

I’ve never eaten a meat kebab, but this vegan version certainly looked like the real deal and tasted even better.  The flatbread wasn’t overlarge or doughy, all the added extras worked really well together and the texture of the ‘meat’ was nice and chewy and contrasted well with all the other softer textures.

In short it was an absolute triumph.  The vegan reputation of the Horse and Plough is growing and this dish will certainly not disappoint

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Veg out – Pistachio

Veg out – Pistachio

The other day I drove up Carlton Road, near the bottom of the hill close to Sneinton Market and I spotted a new restaurant called Pistachio, serving modern Persian cuisine.  After checking them out on the Internet, my friend and I paid them a visit later that week. We arrived early (5.30) and were seated in an almost empty restaurant; fingers crossed it fills up.

pistachio

As we perused the menu, we noticed a sign saying ‘cash only’.  Oh no, we started counting our money and pooling resources.  Phew we’d have enough to share a starter and a mains each!

My review is also online at Nottinghamshire live https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/veggie-review-nottinghams-new-persian-1956310

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Our server, Orash who was also the owner said there was a free cash machine a few hundred metres away.  But be warned, cards (at the moment) are not accepted

menu

On to the food; the menu highlighted vegetarian options, but I didn’t know if they were also vegan.  The owner was able to swiftly set our minds at rest and pointed out the suitable dishes; at least a couple of starters and 3 of the mains courses were either vegan or could be made vegan by taking out yoghurt for instance.  We settled on aubergine and walnut dip to share as a starter, and then tangy & herby vegetarian stew and roasted aubergine and split pea vegetarian stew for mains

menu1

In the meantime we were served tap water.  Our hot starter arrived and it was delicious and so flavoursome, and ample enough for two as it came with warm Persian bread.  It also has some nice textures thanks to the parsnip crisps and the crunchy toasted walnuts.  What a great start.

Our main courses were equally as generous.  The tangy stew was packed with red kidney beans (loads of low fat protein) and lots of herbs and spices that didn’t overpower the dish.  It also held a hidden ingredient: a pickled lemon, which was a tasty surprise. The accompanying rice made it nice and filling, although wholegrain rice would have been a healthier option.

The Aubergine stew had a really comforting texture and again the split peas added a decent amount of low fat protein.  The handful of dry and crispy chips sitting on top was another pleasant surprise. Both dishes were really tasty and packed with flavour they also looked very appetising.  The total bill was just shy of £25, well worth the money

This is a really lovely restaurant, the décor is bright and modern, the open kitchen allows you to see what’s going on and the staff are the right side of attentive.  And on a positive note by the time we left  well over half the tables were full of happy chatting customers

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As we were leaving the owner said they were considering putting on vegan only nights. So they could offer greater choice without the risk of cross contamination on the open grill.  We will definitely look out for that

How to maintain a vegan diet

How to maintain a vegan diet

If you’re new to the plant-based lifestyle or are worried about making the transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet, Nutritionist Resource, the online resource for all things connected to health and well-being, have got some handy tips about How to maintain a vegan diet

nutritionist resourceThe full article can be viewed here https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/blog/?p=7770

And I have provided the ‘handy tips’, which include how to veganise your favourite meals, planning ahead, don’t be hard on yourself, and how seeking professional support could ensure you maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle

vegan breakfast

vegan cooked breakfast in a cafe

 

If this sound like you and you are moving towards a more plant based diet then I can help with that transition

  • one, because I am a qualified nutrition coach
  • two, I am a vegan myself, and
  • three, I’m a trained chef and deliver vegan cooking classes

what I do 5

 

Vegan Fruity Flapjacks

Vegan Fruity Flapjacks

What makes these vegan fruity flapjacks more nutritious and healthy than the shop bought varieties is they contain far less sugar, more fruit and no saturated fat.  The texture is less dense and you can really taste al the ingredients rather than an homogenised golden syrup compacted bar. I hope you enjoy them and remember it is a very adaptable recipe, so if you prefer sultanas, nuts, dried fruits or fresh fruits that are in season then add them!

The oats are a great source of soluble fibre, meaning they keep you feeling fuller for longer.  Oats are also great for heart health

Makes 12 pieces 

flapjack

100-150g banana (small- medium) – the really ripe ones that you might otherwise throw away *

50g cooking apples

25g fresh or frozen blueberries

25g  golden syrup or light brown Muscovado cane sugar

150g porridge oats

3tbsp rapeseed, vegetable or melted coconut oil

large pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

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* If you have a few blackened and over ripe bananas, simply peel and chop, put in a bag and freeze until you need them.

Preheat the oven to 1800c (3500f or gas mark 4) and use a greased or lined 17cm square baking tin

Wash, core and chop the apple (don’t peel them), add to a pan with a splash of water and a large pinch of sugar/golden syrup. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft but not mushy.  When cool you can use a hand blender to make a puree

flapjack

Place the banana in a mixing bowl and mash up with a fork. Add the syrup/sugar and the oil and stir well. Add in the porridge oats, cooled cooked apple, blueberries and spices and mix well.

Place the mixture in the tin ensuring it is evenly spread. Place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins until nice and golden

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Once cooked, cool in the tin slightly for approx 5-10 mins and then cut into squares and place on a cooling rack

flapjack

Leave to cool and enjoy or if you can’t wait enjoy whilst warm with some vegan yoghurt or ice-cream :0)

These were a big hit with the children at Bingham’s Sunday Funday.  They iced them in Tour of Britain yellow

 

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