Accidentally vegan!

Accidentally vegan!

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

As the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle increases so does the number of products, food items and drinks that specifically cater for their needs.  As well as vegan specific foods like cheeses, yoghurts, sausages, cakes, pastries etc there is also a growing number of accidentally vegan products out there………

You may be surprised just how many vegan items you are consuming!

But first of all a big caveat; the items below are what I would call snacks, treats and convenience foods i.e. to be consumed occasionally.  The majority of a healthy balanced diet should be in the form of freshly prepared foods like vegetables, fruit, wholegrain carbs, water, fats from olives, avocado and nuts and protein from nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, non- dairy, soya etc.

Accidentally vegan!

lets start with biscuits; these are from Aldi, Tesco, Wilko, B&M, Poundland, Asda etc

I have it on good authority that the Crocus cafe ( https://www.crocuscafe.com) in Lenton, Nottingham make an amazing oreo cookie cake, just what you need for a special treat

ore cake

 

And lets not forget one of our childhood favourites Fox’s party rings!

vegan party rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to know what food in most UK supermarket is vegan friendly then I suggest you visit https://myvegansupermarket.co.uk

Christmas treats

There are now more than ever, some delicious vegan Christmas treats that should make the whole family happy

Snacks 

vegan onion rings

 

Sainsburys onion ring crisps

 

 

vegan christmas

Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps

 

Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps

 

vegan snacks

 

 

Tesco churros

 

 

 

vegan malt loaf

Aldi ‘Malt’ loaf

vegan savoury biscuits

M&S crackers

vegan nut bars

Aldi quinoa protein bars

vegan millionaire shortbread

Millionaire shortbread from Sainsbury photo by veganoo

vegan savoury biscuit

Aldi crackers

vegan Prawn cocktail crisps

Many crisp varieties including Walkers Prawn cocktail, and Worcester sauce flavours, McCoys BQ chicken, Skips, Pringles Smokey bacon. All available at most supermarkets

 

 

 

 

Cooking ingredients

vegan sauce

Sriracha mayo

vegan sauce

Asian spicy pastes and sauces

 

vegan choc drink

Liquid chocolate from Aldi and other supermarkets

At the very least this blog should give you some stocking filler ideas for the vegans in your life

vegan caramel spread biscoff

Lotus biscoff spread

merry xmas1

Black bean burger

Black bean burger

I’ve adapted a Peta recipe that I found on twitter to create this really tasty vegan bean burger. It’s packed with fibre filling wholewheat pasta, please free to use gluten free if you need to

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Makes 6 – 8 burgers depending on the size

bean burger

ingredients for black bean burger

400g cooked wholewheat pasta

1 tin drained black beans (or any other beans you have in the cupboard, red kidney beans would work well)

1 teaspoon chilli flakes or ½ – 1 fresh chilli chopped

50g sun-dried tomatoes

90g BBQ sauce  – I didn’t have any so I used 65g tomato ketchup, 25g brown sauce,  ½ tsp of smoked paprika and 1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp lemon juice

handful chopped parsley or coriander (optional)

½ tsp salt

1 onion – chopped

1 tsp vegetable/rapeseed/olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

extra oil for brushing the burgers

small bowl of water to wet your hands

Pre heat an oven 180oC, 160oC Fan, 350oF, gas 4

Add the oil to a frying pan and cook the chopped onions for 5-8 minutes, until soft and golden.  Add the chopped garlic and salt. If it sticks add some water, not more oil

Tip the cooked pasta, beans, chilli, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs (if using), lemon juice and BBQ sauce in to a food processor and blend until you get a thick paste.  Scoop out into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a large spoon or spatula.  Add the cooked onions and mix again.

Lightly grease a baking tray or use greaseproof paper.  Spoon out 6-8 spoonfuls of the mixture and place on the baking tray.  Dip your hands in water and gently shape the burgers and flatten slightly.  Brush lightly with some extra oil

bean burger

Place in the pre heated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes.  Check half way though the cooking time.

bean burger

cooked in 30-40 minutes

When cooked add to a burger bun that has your favourite extras like vegan mayo, tomato sauce, avocado, gherkins, salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, onion rings etc

black bean burger

I served mine in sour dough bread with sweet potato wedges and it was delicious. I had the left overs with mash potato and baked beans (pure comfort food!) and finally in a sandwich with mustard fried onions

How did you eat yours?

 

 

 

Cheats mince pies

Cheats Mince pies

mince pieThis is a recipe I made a few years ago when some unexpected guests arrived one Christmas and I needed to make some mince pies pronto! And your guests will never guess the ‘cheat’ or that they are vegan!

I have pimped up shop bought mincemeat but you can just open a jar and get cracking

So the cheat is to use wholemeal bread instead of pastry.  Its so simple, quick and easy and you can make as many or as few as you need.  I also keep a few frozen slices of wholemeal bread in freezer bags for those surprise visitors.  And 15-20 minutes later they are settled with a homemade mince pie and a cuppa (or something stronger)

One slice will make 2 circles and 2 star tops i.e. 2 complete mince pies.

vegan cookery classes

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My cookery class guests have made these mince pies today along with chocolate truffles and ginger men biscuits.  If you’d like to come to any of my vegan classes then please contact e for more details

 

 

 

So what are you waiting for get rolling!

Makes 6 mince pies

3 slices of wholemeal bread

6 teaspoons (120g) shop bought or homemade mince meat

2 tsps of your favourite tipple (brandy, rum, sherry etc) – Optional

1 cooking or eating apple washed, cored but not peeled

1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice

2 tsps oil

large pinch of sugar

extra cinnamon, mixed spice or nutmeg for dustingpastry cutter for mince pie

1 pastry cutter 3″ or 78mm wide

1 star cutter

1 rolling pin

bun tin

 

Pre-heat the oven 220C/200C fan/gas 7.  Grease the bun tin using a small amount of oil and some kitchen roll

Using the rolling pin roll out and flatten each slice of bread.  Make it large enough so that you can cut out two circles and two stars*

 

Place the circles in the bun tins and press down so they line the tins.

Chop the apple in to small cubes or grate on a course grater

img_9116In a bowl add 120g of mincemeat, chopped/grated apple, cinnamon or mixed spice and alcohol (if using).  Mix together and spoon in to the bread cases

Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining oil carefully over the stars.  Place a star on top of the filled pies sprinkle with extra cinnamon and a few grains of sugar

img_9122Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-12 minutes until the tops look nice and toasted.  Eat hot or cold, either by themselves or with some soya cream or custard

They should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for 4 days

*The left over bread can be used to make bread sauce, homemade stuffing, make a shop bought stuffing go further or frozen until you decide what you want to do with it!

 

 

christmas Merry Christmas! 

 

 

 

Next vegan cookery class – 4th December

Next vegan cookery class – 4th December

In West Bridgford

My next vegan cookery class has a Christmas theme.

 

vegan cookery class - christmas

I have a few spaces left on my next vegan cookery class next Monday 4th December at 10am.

At my last class the guests made these colourful tofu rice paper rolls

 

If you can’t make Monday 4th.  I always have classes running on the following days and times Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 11 – 12.15pm, Tuesday from 12.15 – 1.30pm and Wednesday evening from 5.30 – 6.45pm

Come along and learn how to make chocolate truffles, cheats mince pies and ginger men biscuits

vegan cookery class - christmas1

It only costs £25 and all the ingredients, equipment and recipe sheet are provided.  You just need a container to take it home.  You can come for just one class or attend a series, in which case you can have 6 for the price of 5 i.e. £125, and they can be used within a year

cookery review

 

Feel free to take a peak around my kitchen!

 

If you’d like to come along please contact me on 07946 301338 to book your place.

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

 

nutracheck image

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!

November is world vegan month

November is World vegan month

Does Nottingham cater for vegans?

A number of high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Golding and Liam Hemsworth to name but a few have all decided to follow a vegan diet.  And they are not the only ones, it is estimated that over ½ million UK adults are now vegan; that’s a 360% increase over the last decade.

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment or the health advantages of a plant-based diet are just some of the reasons for becoming vegan.

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For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of non-dairy alternatives

But generally being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

Baresca

In Nottingham over the last couple of years I have seen more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries, an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies and special vegan events to raise awareness.

vegan food Nottingham

Did you know there is a vegan market in Sneinton on the first Saturday of every month?

vegan market

 

I regularly write veggie food reviews for the Nottingham Post and the West Bridgford Wire, sometimes it’s a 100% vegan/vegetarian eatery like cafe Roya in Beeston or the Peacock Pub on Mansfield Road, Nottingham which has a 100% vegan kitchen.

front-menu-peacock

Or a regular restaurant that has a good selection of vegan options like Zizzi, Chocks Away (at Nottingham City Airport),  Baresca, The Angel microbrewery, Annies burger shack, Oscar and Rosies, Suda (Wollaton), Horse and Plough (Bingham), wagamama, Alchelmilla; the list just keeps on growing

fav vegan restaurant?

 

 

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

Not to be outdone the main supermarkets have also increased their range of vegan options.  You can now buy vegan ready meals, Christmas selection boxes, non-dairy milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and cheese, pesto etc.  And the cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl also have some great choices too

In Nottingham we are also lucky to have a number of Asian and world food supermarkets and shops that have a plethora of vegan goodies like tofu, spices, noodles, lentils, nuts, Asian greens, sauerkraut, fresh herbs and pulses

 

 

For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat and processed meat, then only eat fish, consider following the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign,  progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go for a 100% plant-based diet.

vegan classes

If you are considering eating a more plant based diet but are concerned about nutrition then why not come to my vegan cookery classes.  More information can be obtained by following this link http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/vegan-cookery-class-7nov/

cookery feedbackYou can make sweet potato falafels, tofu rice rolls, beetroot risotto, lasagne, tacos and much much more. Contact me for more details 07946 301338

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

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

 

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

 

 

vegan cookery poster jpeg

 

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

IMG_4282

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*

 

IMG_4294

 

*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

IMG_4308

 

 

 

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)

 

#MeatFreeMonday

#MeatFreeMonday

Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources, consider animal welfare and improve their own health by having at least one meat free day each week.

imagesI regularly share meat free Monday recipes, in fact if you look to the right you will see a meat free Monday category

But being vegan, every day is meat free for me.

Here are just a few of my recent meals to show you how varied, colourful and easy it is to go meat free

Meat Free Monday

 

Many more restaurants and cafes now have meat free options.  I visited one a few days ago called Chocks Away, at Nottingham City airport in Tollerton.  The owner and chef Alison just happens to be vegan so the meat free options are expanding.

With a bit of imagination and some store cupboard staples it’s relatively easy to rustle up some delicious and quick meals

Quick recipe 

vegan rice salad

This was a very quick veggie rice salad, using a packet of microwaveable rice.  Just open the packet (no need to heat up)  tip into a large bowl, add a tin of drained mixed beans for protein (any tinned beans will do; chickpeas, cannellini, butter beans etc), bulk out with your favourite salad veg, I used cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, olives and celery. But you could add beetroot, avocado, peas and sweetcorn, radishes etc.  I finished with a simple dressing of 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or apple cider/balsamic vinegar) and a good handful of fresh chopped herbs like mint, parsley or coriander. It will make enough for 4 very hungry people, or 6 as side dish

Some of last weeks meals included

 

 

I hope some of my ideas have inspired you to try being meat free for one day at least

vegan classes septIf you need more convincing then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford