Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

A biryani that is perfect for meat free Monday

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

IMG_4476This is a very quick and easy vegan cauliflower  biryani recipe. It uses some store cupboard standbys, like microwaveable rice and some chutneys

By adding chickpeas you are seriously upping the protein and fibre content. The cauliflower adds more fibre and plenty of immune supporting antioxidants

Adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds

 

Serves 2, 480 calories per portion

 

500g Cauliflower, cut in to florets, include the stalks for extra fibre

1 large onion (150g) – chopped

2 tsp oil

IMG_44741 x 400g tin of chickpeas –

1 garlic clove  and 1 nub of fresh ginger – sliced

or 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

2 -3 heaped tsp curry powder

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes

splash of lemon juice

handful parsley and/or mint leaves – chopped

1 packet express wholegrain rice

 

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The calories have been calculated using the Nutracheck App

 

IMG_4472Start by heating the oil on a medium flame in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions and cauliflower. Cook until the onions start to colour. If it starts to stick and burn, resist adding more oil and add a splash of hot water instead.

Add the garlic and ginger (or the paste) and stir. After about two minutes add all the spices and using a metal spoon (the turmeric will stain a wooden one) coat theIMG_4473 vegetables. Cook until the spices start to smell fragrant. Add the chickpeas and their juice. Turn the heat down and cook until the cauliflower is soft – about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water

 

When your veg is nearly cooked, open the rice and add to the pan, mixing in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add more water if its sticking to the base of the pan. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and the fresh herbs

 

IMG_4475Divide between two warmed bowls. And add a spoonful of mango chutney and lime pickle, for even more heat!

 

You can of course make this even quicker by using cooked left over veggies. The cooking time will reduce by 10 minutes. You can also add some lovely protein and omega 3 packed cashew nuts

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake – serves 4,  approx 350 calories each

IMG_1968This recipe was created after I found an alpo dark chocolate dessert lurking in my pantry.  So I got my thinking cap on and came up with this really easy vegan cheesecake recipe. The fruit can be varied depending on what you have in the fridge or cupboards, for instance add fresh raspberries, strawberries or some tinned oranges  (minus their juice)

 

For the base

110-115g of vegvegan biscuitsan biscuits – biscoff, ginger nuts, Hobnobs, (some) digestives

28g of non- dairy spread

½ tsp ground ginger

 

 

For the filling

150g of vegan cream cheese

125g Alpo dark chocolate dessert

30g plain vegan yoghurt – Apro ‘Go on’ Protein is thick and creamy

100g blueberries

Sprinkling of sea salt and sesame seeds (optional)

 

Melt the non-dairy spread in a pan or in the microwave

IMG_1959Place the biscuits in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or base of a pan or use a blender, until you have fine breadcrumbs.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted non dairy spread and mix well

 

 

vegan cheesecake

If making individual cheesecakes, place cling film on a baking tray and place 4 small rings on the tray.  Press the crumbs into the bases and place in the fridge.

 

 

 

23584671_10155118007906903_292297845_nMake the filling by mixing the cream cheese and chocolate dessert together.  Add the blueberries and gently mix.  Spoon into the four moulds and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle each with a few grains of sea salt.  And place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 

When you aIMG_1963re ready to serve, remove from the fridge and using a spatula lift the cheesecake from the cling film tray and place on a plate.  Gently ease the rings up and away from the cheesecake.  serve with some extra blueberries and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

These can also be frozen and defrosted at least an hour before serving  –  you can remove them from their moulds before placing in the freezer

When you make these cheesecakes please share your photos with me, or let me know what adaptations you made

vegan cheesecake

Enjoy!

Souper quick soup

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

Souper quick soup

IMG_0452November is world vegan month and It’s also meat free Monday, so why not try this really quick pea and mint soup for one.  You may have some left over mushy peas from your bonfire night and didn’t know what to do with them; well look no further! It is low in fat and calories; only 141 calories and a good source of protein and fibre. So excellent for the 5:2ers and healthy eaters amongst you!

½ 300g tin of mushy peas (I used Batchelors Mushy Chip Shop Style Processed Peas because they are the lowest in calories), 120ml boiling water, ½ tsp marigold vegetable bouillon powder, 6g (large handful) of fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp jarred mint sauce, 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

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Empty the peas into a small saucepan, add the vegetable powder and water, cook on a low – medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Using a hand blender blend until smooth add in the chopped fresh mint and few drops of lemon juice.  Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Serve in a warmed bowl

soup

This can be put in a container with a tight lid and taken to work for a delicious and nutritious lunch.  All you need to do is microwave on high for 1 minute.  You may need to add a splash more hot water as it will thicken

And don’t forget you can easily double or quadruple the recipe to make a souper warming meal for the whole family

 

October is breast cancer awareness month

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

BCAM

 

The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving. This may be because of more targeted treatments, earlier detection and better breast awareness.

 

Sadly 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s the equivalent of 150 people every day or one person every 10 minutes.

Having a healthy diet is no guarantee that you will not succumb to this disease but the NHS have said “there are benefits for women who maintain a healthy weight, do regular exercise and who have a low intake of saturated fat and alcohol.’

So what does a healthy diet look like?

By making a few changes and some small tweaks to your current eating habits you too can have a healthy diet.

  • 20814963_10154896478886903_999091747_nStart by eating more fruit and veg. Think about variety, in fact a ‘rainbow of colours. Try and eat whatever is in season; this is for two reasons, one it’s cheaper and two the food will be at its best and most nutritious. If you can’t always buy fresh don’t worry frozen and tinned can be just as good
  • Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. They can often be packed with saturated fats, sugars and salt.
  • Eat moderate amounts of lean protein like tofu, beans,quinoa, chicken, fish (including oily fish like salmon, mackerel and trout) and eggs,

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  • Drink eight glasses of water or fluid a day – this not only keeps you hydrated but can fill you up and help curb your appetite
  • Eat moderate amounts of wholegrain carbs like pasta, bread and rice. Wholegrains contain more fibre which is not only good for your digestion but will help you feel fuller for longer

Wholegrains

  • Make sure you eat enough dairy and dairy alternatives – these contain valuable amounts of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Low fat versions will help reduce calories without a reduction in calcium (but be aware of the sugar content in ‘low fat’)
  • If you do drink alcohol do so in moderation and be aware of the safe limits. Both men and women can drink up to 2 units of alcohol a day without significant risk to their health.  Although it is advisable to go alcohol free a number of days a week

 

All this month you can do things to support breast cancer awareness month (bcam)

risotto beetroot

 

You could simply buy a badge or bangle from shops and supermarkets, make a donation, if you are a woman be breast aware, wear pink on a Friday in October, do a fun run in aid of this great cause, or why not make your friends, family or work colleagues this beautiful, healthy pink beetroot risotto and ask for a contribution to a cancer charity

 

 

marsden cancer

 

The recipe is from a great cookbook, that is not only helpful to those affected by cancer but for the whole family.  The introduction also provides useful information about healthy eating

 

If you would like more information or have been affected by breast cancer please click on any of these websites for helpful information and support

maggies_nottinghamhttps://www.maggiescentres.org

 

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk

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http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/about-us/lavender-trust

http://www.breastcancercampaign.org

http://www.breakthrough.org.uk

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

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

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

 

 

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And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish

 

IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes

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Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper

 

IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto

 
horseradish

To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*

 

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*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board

 

Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.

 

Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes

 

After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper

 

Serve into 2 warmed bowls

 

Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto

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Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs

 

 

 

risotto

 

And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)

 

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