Roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted pumpkin soup.  Serves 1, 175 calories

The nights are getting colder and darker, so what better excuse do we meed to make a pan of warming, comforting soup

Pumpkins ( and other gourds like butternut squash) are also in season, so you can make this soup with an ingredient that is readily available, cheap and bursting with nutritional goodness such as fibre, potassium and immune fighting antioxidants.

pumpkin

photograph taken at The Fruit basket, West Bridgford

 

It’s also a great dish to support breast cancer awareness month and show that healthy nutritious food can support the body to maintain better health

 

pumpkin-seeds100g pumpkin (or butternut squash),  1 tsp veg oil, ½  tsp garam masala, ½ tsp curry powder, ¼ (40g) onion, ½ garlic clove, 300ml veg stock (using ½ tsp veg bouillon and 300ml hot water), 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or flaked almonds

Peel the Pumpkin (or butternut squash) and cut into cubes.  Place in a roasting dish, add ½ tsp veg oil and the spices.  Roast at 1900C for 30 minutes

Chop the onion and fry in the remaining ½ tsp oil for 3 minutes, add the garlic and the roasted pumpkin and cook for 2 more minutes then add the hot stock.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary

To toast the pumpkin seeds or almonds,  heat up a dry frying pan and add the seeds/nuts.  Keep the pan moving and watch to make sure the contents don’t burn.  After a few minutes the seeds or nuts should be likely toasted and give off a nutty smell

blend soup

If you like a smooth soup, blend and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts and serve with 1 Ryvita crisp bread

soup vegan

Banana and peanut butter Bread

Vegan Banana and peanut butter Bread –12 slices

This is a great way to use up ripe bananas that might otherwise end up in the bin or composter.  You can also defrost and use any ripe bananas that you have in the freezer.  An extra addition could be 1 tbsp cacao powder, but you will need to add 1 tbsp water to keep the same consistency

I baked this very cake for the visitors at Maggie’s cancer support centre, in Nottingham.  A very kind person sent me this message

“Just been to Maggie’s Susan and had some of your lovely banana cake. X”

 

vegan

225g Plain flour (or use Self-raising flour and no baking powder)

2 tsp of Baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water – mixed together

100g Brown/coconut sugar or 75g agave/maple syrup/golden syrup/date syrup

2 tsp Cinnamon or Mixed spice

1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp water (optional)

4 large very ripe bananas, mashed

75g (80ml) Vegetable or Sunflower oil

120g wholenut peanut butter

2lb loaf tin and grease proof paper or liners

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C/180Fan/400F/ gas 6
  • Mash the peeled bananas with a fork. Mix well with oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract and sugar (and 1 tbsp water if adding cacao powder)
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon/mixed spice (and cacao powder if using) together then add to the banana mix and combine well.

This short video shows the cakes consistency and how easy it is to prepare the loaf tin when using a paper liner

  • Pour in to a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes, before checking. Cover with foil, if the loaf cake is browning. Bake for another 40 minutes (approximately).

vegan cake

  • Allow to cool a little before slicing. It’s delicious freshly baked but even yummier when it goes squidgy the next day!

vegan cakeDo let me know how you get on, and if you make any alterations or additions to the recipe

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Pulled jackfruit wrap

PULLED JACKFRUIT WRAP (Its best if you can make this the day before ) serves 3 – 4 people

There are a lot of ingredients here, but the taste and texture is so worth it!  You can make large batches of the pulled jackfruit.  When it’s cooled,  portion it up in to freezer bags and freeze for when you need to eat in a hurry.

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I found the tinned jackfruit and liquid smoke at V Spot, a completely vegan shop in Sherwood, Nottingham  http://www.v-spot.co.uk

 

2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

½ tsp ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves or star anise, optional

½ – 1 tsp chilli paste/flakes or powder – I used Gochujang

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tin of jackfruit in water

1 ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 tbsp. maple syrup or 2 squares of dark chocolate

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp liquid smoke**

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

4-5 wholemeal wraps

lots of crunchy salad

avocado salsa – optional 1 avocado, mashed, large pinch chili flakes or ½ fresh chilli, 1-2 tsp lime juice, 1 tomato chopped, 1 spring onion finely sliced, pick of rock/sea salt.

**If you don’t have liquid smoke, you could increase the amount of smoked paprika instead

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  • Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, pan. Fry the diced red onion until soft and golden. Add chopped garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  • While that is cooking drain the jackfruit and set aside.

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  • Add the spices to the onions: cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Fry for a minute or two, to release the flavours.
  • Mix in the tomato & chilli paste or fresh chilli and again fry for a minute, using a spoon/spatula to keep it from sticking.
  • Add in the jackfruit along with soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke and apple cider vinegar. Mix everything really well. Squash the jackfruit pieces with your spoon or fork so that the individual fibres separate. Season with pepper. Simmer the mixture gently for another 10-15 minutes and then allow it to cool down. Place in the fridge overnight to intensify the flavour. If that’s not possible a couple of hours will do
  • Just before you are ready to assemble the wraps, set the oven to 200° C/ Gas 6 Spread the jackfruit pieces on a baking paper-lined baking tray, pull apart any large pieces and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let it cool
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baked jackfruit

 

  • Make the salsa if you are having it – Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Check the seasoning. Done!

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  • Finally, fill your wrap with salad spread the pulled jackfruit on top and add a dollop of salsa (if using). Wrap up and enjoy.  2 wraps per person

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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!

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

 

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

Smoked paprika hummus

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

Hummus  – serves 2, 100 calories per serving

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The supermarket shelves may be bear but don’t let this hummus hardship get you down; make your own!

http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/25/dont-panic-but-there-is-a-hummus-crisis-in-uk-supermarkets-6597490/

the finished product!

the finished product!

 

Hummus is a protein packed dish, that when home-made can be low in fat and salt.  It is also very adaptable.  This version uses smoked paprika for flavour and colour, but you could just as easily add roasted peppers, caramelised onions, minced olives, lemon zest and so on.  Or leave it unadulterated!

You can also use dried chickpeas, this reduces the cost but increases the faff factor.  Your choice!

 

vegan lunch hummus

 

the main ingredients

the main ingredients

½ can chickpeas (120g)

1 small or ½ a medium garlic clove

1 tsp tahini paste

1 tsp lemon juice

small pinch salt and pepper

½ tsp each of smoked paprika and ground cumin or ½ tsp chilli flakes

1 tbls of chickpea liquid

 

This is a very simple recipe

in the blender

in the blender

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand blender or in a food processor. Add up to 1 tbls chickpea liquid if its too thick

scoop into a clean bowl and leave in the fridge for the flavours to develop

It will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days.  It also freezers well;  Just place servings in a freezer bag lay it flat and squeeze out all the air and seal.  The flat layers will take up less space in the freezer and will also defrost quicker when needed

Ryvita hummus

 

 

Its great served on Ryvita

 

 

 

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And if you have any left, it can be added to a homemade vegetable curry, to make it protein rich, creamy and very delicious.

How would you use your leftover hummus?