Vegan stir-fry

Vegan stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light vegan lunch for three or a more substantial  stir-fry for two.  I think its worth the effort to bake and add in the tofu, but if you really are in a rush then stick with the peanuts/cashews and sesame seeds.  All three ingredients add protein and some useful minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The spiralised sweet potato is a lighter alternative than rice or noodles.

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1 sweet potato – spiralised into noodles (or ready bought if you haven’t got a gadget!)½  (100g) large onion – sliced2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks1 x (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens, spinach or mange tout

20g fresh ginger, grated or 1 tsp ‘lazy’ ginger or 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

¼ jar of Sharwods black bean and pepper sauce – this has the lowest sugar content of all of the jarred sauces400g of sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)30g unsalted peanuts or cashews1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce or gluten free tamari

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the baked tofu : ½ block extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed in a clean tea towel),, small drizzle of olive oil, 3 tsp light soy sauce, 1 – 1½ tsp gochugaru or sriracha spice

  • Preheat oven to 220C/ gas 7/425F.
  • Cut the tofu into 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 the remaining marinade over the tofu and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
  • Once the tofu is crispy on the outside, remove from the oven. Let it cool before you cut it in to strips

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  • In the meantime spiralises the sweet potato in to ‘noodles’ and blanche in boiling water for two minutes. Remove from the water

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  • Heat the wok until it is really hot and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Quickly add the sliced onion and keep them moving in the pan (with a large spoon or chopsticks). After 2 minutes at the carrots. Again move them about to stop them burning. If it looks too dry add a splash of water
  • After another 2 minutes add the pepper, greens, ginger /garlic and chili flakes and ¼ of a jar of sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg softens slightly. Again add some water if it sticks

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  • Add the softened sweet potato ‘noodles’ to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts or tofu, soy sauce, sweetcorn and spring onion and again stir to mix. Cook for a final minute

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Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal. And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds

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Quinoa with broad beans, courgette and mint

Quinoa with broad beans, courgette and mint –  serves 2

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My simple summer dish has appeared in the latest addition of Aspect  Nottinghamshire, a local magazine showcasing “all of what’s good in Nottinghamshire”

 

 

 

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If you can’t get hold of a copy then the full recipe is below

 

At this time of year both broad beans and courgettes are at their best and this recipe makes great use of them.  Out of season you can use frozen broad beans, soya beans, peas or broccoli.  Now you seem to be able to get courgettes all year round but if you fancy a change why not use leeks when they are in season, which is November through to April.   And if you tire of quinoa (pronounced keen-wha) try using giant couscous or experiment with freekeh (green wheat)

But before you go off piste give this recipe a go and like me, I’m sure you’ll love it!

quinoa and broad bean

90g uncooked quinoa

300 ml of hot stock (made with ½ tsp vegetable bouillon powder like Marigold)

quinoa and broad bean100g of fresh podded broad beans or frozen –  its worth making the effort to remove the outer greyish skin; the result is a much more vibrant green bean

1½ large courgettes (250g) cut into thick slices

1 tsp oil

large pinch of dried chilli flakes or ½ a fresh chilli finely chopped

handful of chopped fresh mint and parsley

1 tsp lemon juice

large pinch black pepper small pinch sea salt

 

Put the quinoa in a pan and add the hot stock and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat. Then add the fresh or frozen broad beans and cook for a further 5 minutes until the beans and quinoa are soft

In the meantime brush the courgettes with oil and a few chilli flakes and fry in a pan or griddle for about 10 minutes

Place the cooked quinoa in a bowl and add the cooked courgettes, chopped mint, parsley and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper and divide in to two bowls

quinoa and broad bean

Enjoy!

Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday

In some circles Monday has been deemed ‘Monday Free'; with bloggers and recipe writers like myself posting meat free or vegan dishes, and promoting the idea to be meat free at least one day a week (and hopefully more!).

Meat Free Monday

If you are looking for inspiration then check out my recipes on the right of this post

Or maybe you need more confidence to try Meat free; if that’s the case then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford, Nottingham?

They are for a maximum of four people and occur on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 11 – 12.15pm, Tuesday from 12.15 – 1.30pm and Tuesday evening from 5.30 – 6.45pm – although the times could be flexible.

vegan classes

It costs £25 a session (includes ingredients, equipment and recipes), or if you block book all six you only pay for five i.e. £125

If you are thinking about going meat free you may feel you need some nutritional support to make sure your meals contain all the elements for a healthy balanced diet.  I offer one to one tailored nutritional sessions that will help you to achieve that balance.  A 50 minute session costs £40 or 3 sessions for £100

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Contact me for more details or to book your place on my cookery classes 07946 301338

 

 

Horse and plough, Bingham – Food review

Horse and plough, Bingham  – Food review

A vegan feast!

The Horse and Plough at Bingham is part of the Castle Rock Brewery chain and they are definitely upping their game when it comes to vegan options in their establishments

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The pubs manager, Dan Brown put on a whole vegan night on Tuesday, I heard about it via a FaceBook groups called the Vale of Belvoir Vegan community. So I went with my vegan friend and had an amazing night, as did the sixteen or so other dinners who came along

 

 

For all you omnivores out there, you are used to scanning a restaurant menu and taking your time to choose what you want from a wide array of options. It’s a whole different ball game when you are a vegetarian or vegan. There may be nothing on the menu other than chips or a salad. But on Tuesday evening I felt like a normal customer; decisions, decisions!

pea fritter

I eventually decided on the pea fritters with satay sauce, the classic roast and chocolate brownie for dessert. My friend chose a different main course; the sweet and sour aubergine. Even the drinks were vegan friendly with two draft beers and a numbers of vegan friendly wines to choose from, but as the nominated driver, it was soda water for me!

 

The pea fritter was really tasty and just the right size for a starter. The satay sauce was delicious and the accompanying salad had a great dressing.   I’d say that was a good start!

vegan roast dinner

vegan roast dinner

My classic roast dinner was tempeh (fermented soya beans) coated in a mint dressing, roast potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, a Yorkshire pud and lots of gravy. The cauliflower cheese was amazing, it had a pungent cheesy kick with lovely crunchy bits, but I think the Yorkshire Pud needed a bit more work as it were very flat (but tasty nonetheless)

sweet and sour aubergine

sweet and sour aubergine

The sweet and sour dish was a very generous portion of slow cooked aubergines, peppers and onion served with lots of white rice. My friend thought the balance of sweet and sour was just about right but maybe wholegrain rice would have been a nice touch.

WBW

 

 

My review of the Horse and Plough has also appeared in The West Bridgford Wire

 

 

 

Our dessert was heavenly and everything you would want from a brownie; only just warm, soft, chocolatey and gooey! Served with a fruit coulis and some very creamy ice-cream. Winner!

chocolate brownie

chocolate brownie

The other diners also enjoyed their starters which included gazpatcho, beetroot hummus and potato bombas .

Other mains on offer were courgette lasagne, curried courgette chimichanga and Thai pineapple fried rice, served in the pineapple case. Portions were a good size, although the lasagne looked small compared to the others

Lasagne

Lasagne

Chimichanga

Chimichanga

And to finish; Strawberry Oreo Shake, Ice Cream and Sorbets or Waffles

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There were empty plates all round and I think all diners left full and happy. The cost of the 3 course meal including live music by Matty Haynes was £25. It would certainly be less if you didn’t eat all 3 courses, but on this occasions it would have been rude not to!!

Thai vegetarian curry

Thai vegetarian curry – serves 6

I often get inspiration for my recipes from magazines, so a few weeks ago I was at the dentist and came across a back edition of Woman’s Weekly and in it was a Thai vegetarian curry, Perfect!  Unfortunately although it clearly stated it was vegetarian one of the ingredients was Thai fish sauce!!

My advice to you is please read the ingredients carefully for erroneous inclusions and Women’s Weekly please if you have clearly described something as vegetarian then make sure it is!

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So this is their recipe, however I have replaced the fish sauce with soy or tamari (gluten free), and adjusted other elements.  Another potential non veggie ingredient is the curry paste, as it often contains shrimp.  I have found the Aroy-D brand to be shrimp free

Thai vegetarian and vegan curry

2 tbls rapeseed oil

1 butternut squash peeled deseeded and cut in to chunks, (or the equivalent weight of sweet potato)

400ml reduced fat coconut milk

20136709_10154818955526903_104768442_n3 tbls red or green curry paste* see note above

1 tbls  each of soy sauce or tamarin and sugar or agave

juice of 4 limes ( or 8 tbls of bottled lime juice)

4 kaffir lime leaves or the zest of 2 limes

300g fine beans

400g baby corn

200g frozen peas

handful of chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chunks of butternut squash for 5-10 minutes to get some colour.  Add the paste and fry for a minute before adding the coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice and leaves/zest.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes

Add about 5tbls water, the beans, baby corn and peas.  Cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Serve in warmed bowls with the coriander leaves scattered on top

 

 

Pearl barley summer salad

Pearl barley summer salad Servings 2, 165 calories per serving

For more health and wellbeing advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_3173Pearl barley is high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, and in this salad it makes a pleasant change from quinoa or couscous.  So don’t confine that packet of pearl barley in the back of the cupboard to only winter stews, casseroles and soups.  It is an all year round marvel.  If you don’t have the time to cook the barley, then a quick cheat is to use a microwavable pre-cooked packet

And don’t forget it makes an ideal dish for all you 5:2 fast dieters out there.  At only 165 calories,  that leaves you with 335 calories for the rest of the day.

50 g raw or 160 g cooked Pearl Barley – or 1 packet pre cooked microwavable barley

1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder

250ml boiling water

¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes – or ½ – 1 small fresh chill finely sliced

IMG_318380 g cucumber, chopped

80 g carrot, grated

80 g (1 medium) tomato, chopped

80 g (½)  yellow pepper, chopped

5 g (10 leaves), mint chopped

5 g (small handful) parsley, chopped

For the dressing

2 tsp, olive oil

1 tsp balsamic Vinegar , apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

½ tsp Wholegrain Mustard

large pinch of ground black pepper and small pinch of salt

If you don’t want to calorie count you don’t have to be so exact with the veggies.  But stick to the weight for the pearl barley

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Place a medium sized saucepan on to the heat and add the pearl barley. Toast for 2 minutes, until it starts to smell malty. Add the vegetable powder to the water and stir. Then quickly add to the toasted grains

Be careful as the pan will be very hot and will bubble furiously

Add the chilli flakes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes.  Ignore this step if you are using already cooked pearl barley

Meanwhile chop all the veg and herbs.

 

Prepare the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, pepper, salt and mustard. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary

 

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When the barley is cooked (it should still have a bite) let it cool before adding in the vegetables, herbs and dressing

Mix well and serve in two bowls

 

 

 

 

Non fast day additions

½ a tin of chickpeas – 135 calories

½ a ripe avocado – 150 calories

28g of unsalted cashew nuts – 164 calories

2 quorn fillets – 110 calories

 

Easy beetroot hummus

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

beetroot hummusEasy beetroot hummus

I made a variation of this dish last year but over the weekend I wanted a snack; I had a tin of chickpeas and some left over blended beetroot and this super quick protein packed snack was created!

It makes enough for half a dozen people, although it keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge

This can also be made with shop bought or left over home-made hummus. Simply tip it in the blender add your beetroot and switch on!

Beetroot’s are rich in fibre, vitamins (especially folic acid) and antioxidants.  If you buy fresh beetroot you can also eat the leaves which are full of calcium and iron

beetroot hummus400g tin of drained chickpeas – reserve some of the water

1 clove of garlic

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 tables tahini – sesame seed paste

3 cooked beetroot’s (I use the ones in the vacuum packs)

pinch of salt and pepper

 

beetroot hummusPut all the ingredients in a blender. I like to use my nutribullet but a food processor or hand stick blender is just as good.

Blend for 20 – 30 seconds or until you get your desired texture.  Add some of the chickpea water if it’s too thick

Taste and add more lemon juice or pepper if necessary

 

beetroot hummusTip in to a bowl. To firm up the texture and to let the flavours develop cover and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes or longer.

But if you can’t wait that long serve immediately with some Ryvitta or vegetable sticks

 

 

 

homemade oat milk

Homemade oat milk

berry-smoothieI love my homemade muesli or a vibrant smoothie in the morning.  And my go to milk for both is generally soya or oat milk.  Whilst on the Vegan UK Facebook Group I came across someone who made their own oat milk. So I thought I’d give it a try

 

 

Here’s how it worked out

This is a short video of how I got on.  All the instructions are also below

oatshttps://youtu.be/rh4UJ8MFYv8

 

 

 

 

  • oatsSimply take one cup of oats.  If you haven’t got a ‘cup’ it equates to 100g
  • tip the oats in to a bowl and cover with water
  • leave to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Strain the oats and throw away the water – at this point the liquid is not oat milk!
  • Add the oats to a blender, food processor nutribullet (this will have to be done in two batches)
  • add 3 cups of fresh cold water – tap water is perfectly acceptable but you can use bottled or filtered, its up to you
  • add a pinch of salt and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • blend until the oats have disappeared – about 1minute
  • strain the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin
  • put the oat milk into a clean jar or jug and keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days
  • A leftover commercial oat milk bottle that has been washed out with hot water also makes the perfect container!
  • oatsDon’t throw the blended oats away either; they can be used in your porridge, made into delicious oat pancakes, using your fresh oat milk or turned in to a wheat free cheese sauce, using your milk and yeast flakes

 

The finished product!

And there you go.  If you have any other adaptations then please share and let me know how you get on

pouring oat milk

 

Skyr smoothie

Skyr smoothie

Serves one, 270 calories

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

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To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, why not take part in #MeatFreeMonday and make a smoothie?!  This is a really tasty and filling recipe, thanks in part to the chia seeds, the heart healthy fibre, protein rich oats and the protein and probiotic packed Icelandic yoghurt called *Skyr.  Making this an ideal breakfast smoothy that will leave you feeling full and healthy until lunchtime.  The smoothie will be nice and thick making it perfect to eat with a spoon: slowing down your eating and allowing you to properly digest and absorb all the nutrients

If you haven’t heard of Skyr (pronounced Skeer), then check out your local supermarket.  It has a creamy, thick, velvety texture and a tangy taste.  Being naturally low in fat, high in protein and probiotics, it is great for your gut health.  Although I’ve called it a yoghurt it is technically a soft cheese made from skimmed cows milk

I will continue to experiment with this new ingredient so expect to see more recipes.  But for the time being get out your blender and blitz.

Alpro

 

* if you are vegan then substitute the Skyr for Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt

 

 

 

The Skyrs the limit!!! (sorry) :0)

IMG_313425g (1/4 cup) porridge oats

120ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk drink

125g (½ cup) of Skyr yoghurt or Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt for a vegan smoothie

100g ripe banana

1 tsp chia seeds

½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

sprinkling of raw cacao powder

 

Simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour out into a glass or bowl, sprinkle with the cacao powder and serve with a spoon.

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You can serve these as a nutritious snack by pouring 50ml (the recipe makes 300ml) in to a shot glass. It adds up to a very pleasing 45 calories

Beetroot pasta salad

Beetroot pasta salad

They say you eat with your eyes first.  Well, this delicious and colourful salad will have you drooling!  It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.  The earthy taste of the beetroot and cumin is really complemented by the fiery horseradish.  Of course its up to you how hot you go!

At only 165 calories a portion it is perfect for anyone wanting to lose weight, especially you 5:2 fast-ers.

Beetroot pasta salad – serves 2, 165 calories a portion

beetrootbeetro160g cooked beetroot, cubed (I used the pre-cooked vacuum packed version), 60g grated carrot, 100g of cooked and cooled wholemeal pasta,

The dressing –  1tsp horseradish puree (from a jar but not the creamed version)  or fresh horseradish if you have it, ¼ tsp each of ground paprika and cumin,  2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, large pinch of ground black pepper, small pinch of sea salt,

1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or parsley

Make the dressing by mixing the spices, oil and juice together.  I use an empty clean jam jar. Set aside.

horseradish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mix the vegetables into the cold pasta pour over the dressing and mix well.  Sprinkle over the fresh herbs and mix again.

Divide in to two bowls and serve

 

 

 

Non-fast day additions

Add a large mixed salad (180g) – 50 calories in total

Add ½ tin drained chickpeas for two– 145 calories in total

Add ½ an avocado – 150 calories