Spicy parsnip and coconut curry

Spicy parsnip and coconut curry

Serves 2

This is a great recipe for using up parsnips and even if they are not your favourite veg I’m sure you will absolutely love this dish

The dish was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe in the Observer food monthly

1 onion – chopped

1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil

450g parsnips, washed and chopped into chunky batons

1 red chilli or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

8 fresh/dried curry leave or 2-3 tsp of curry powder/paste

½ tsp mustard seeds and ground turmeric (or fresh turmeric grated)

1 tsp each of ground coriander and cumin

½ tin of chopped tomatoes

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

½ tin of coconut milk

salt and pepper

handful of coriander or mint leaves

parsnip veg

Chop all the veg in to appropriate sizes. In a large pan add the oil and chopped onions. Cook on a medium heat until the onions are golden brown. Grind down the mustard seeds in a pestle and mortar or blender.  Add the finely chopped chilli, curry leaves/powder and spices to the pan, cook for a few minutes until they are fragrant

Add the chunky chopped parsnips and cook for 3-5 minutes. Use a large spoon to move the veggies to stop them burning. Add the tinned tomatoes, then 5 minutes later add the coconut milk and a little salt and pepper.

parsnip veg

Turn up the heat until it bubbles then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnips are soft, add the spinach and cover with the hot sauce until the leaves wilt

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Pour in to two bowls, scatter with the coriander and serve with flatbreads or wholegrain rice

parsnip vegIf you would like to learn how to make this dish and other tasty vegan dishes, then why not some to my vegan cooking classes

vegan cookery classes

 

Chickpea scramble

Chickpea scramble

This makes a great alternative to tofu scramble, and like tofu has a hefty amount of protein it is also high in fibre.  The nutritional yeast adds  B12 and the linseeds add essential fatty acids
As well as all that great nutrition the dish is incredibly tasty and flavoursome, so why not make it today
Serves two
Chickpea flour batter:
  • 50g of chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan flour)
  • 100 ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (with added B12)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (linseeds)
  • ½ tsp kala namak (black salt) – for an eggy flavour and smell
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric or freshly grated
  • large pinch of smoked paprika and black pepper

chickpea flour

Veggies:
  • 1 tsp oil or a few squirts of oil spray
  • 1 clove of garlic ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ red, green or yellow pepper – chopped
  • handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes or ½ fresh chilli chopped
  • small handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • black pepper
  1. Make the batter by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until neededchickpea scramble
  2. Heat ½ tsp oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic (salt) and cook until soft; about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add veggies and chilli and cook for another 2 mins.29365503_10155428600326903_775324558516289536_n
  4. Then add the spinach, cook until the leaves are wilted.
  5. Pour the chickpea flour batter over the veggies. Cook for a few minutes until the edges start to set. Drizzle ½ tsp oil or a few sprays of oil on the edges.chickpea scramble
  6. Scramble up the mixture  with a fork and continue cooking. The mixture will form clumps, scrape the bottom of the pan and let it cook for another few minutes before mixing again.  Continue to cook until the edges start to dry out, probably a total 4 to 5 minutes.chickpea scramble
  7. Turn off the heat and let the doughy mixture sit for 1-2 minutes.chickpea scramble
  8. Then break into smaller chunks and serve on wholemeal bread, sour dough toast or crumpets.  Or make it part of a more substantial brunch
  9. Sprinkle generously with black pepper and scatter over the coriander leaves

chickpea scramble

Sweet potato falafels

Sweet potato falafels – serves 2

sweet-potat-falafelsThese are a great way to use protein rich chickpeas and vitamin packed sweet potatoes.  If you have some roasted butternut squash that can easily be used in place of the sweet potato. And feel free to play with the spicing by using curry powder, garam masala, turmeric or a small amount of cinnamon

My vegan cookery class guests will be making these little morsels all this week.

 

vegan cooking

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

Makes 10 x 30g falafels

sp-falafels-ingredients250g raw sweet potato

½ tin (108g) drained chickpeas (keep the water)

or 25g dried chickpeas soaked overnight in water until they swell to 125g (discard the water) and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness,  1 ½ to 2 hours. Either with the a lid off or slightly on

35g chickpea (gram) flour

1 large garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp chilli flakes and smoked paprika

5g fresh coriander or parsley, chopped finely

toasted sesame seeds, to coat (optional)

 

Sesame sauce

1 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

½ small garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp maple/golden syrup or agave

salt & pepper to taste

chickpea water

 

 

mashed-falafelsPut the potatoes into a 200° C / gas mark 6 oven and roast it until soft, it takes about 1 hour (depending on size). Or microwave for 5-6 minutes on full. Let them cool, peel and mash the flesh with a fork. You can bake the skins until crispy and serve with the falafels

Finely grind the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed potato, ground chickpeas and garlic, chickpea flour, herbs and spices. Mix it well, if its very soft it can be placed in the fridge for an hour or two (or freezer for ½ an hour) to firm up.

 

patie-shapesUsing your hands (dipped in water to stop the mixture from sticking to them), form small patties (about 30g) out of the mixture. If the mixture is still too soft add a bit more chickpea flour. Once shaped, press them lightly into some sesame seeds spread on a small plate.

Brush a small amount of olive oil onto a baking tray and place falafels on it, making sure they do not touch. Bake falafel-in-the-ovenfor 20- 25 minutes, keep an eye on them after 15 mins and flip them over if they look too brown. At this point you can add the potato skins to the dish and crisp them up.  The falafels are done when they are crispy and golden.

 

 

Sesame sauce

In a bowl, mix tahini with lemon juice and a splash of chickpea water.

Add maple/golden syrup, garlic and a bit more water to thin it down so you can drizzle it. Taste and if necessary season with salt and pepper.

sw-falafels2

 

When you try this recipe, why not post your photos here?!

 

 

 

recipe inspired by LazyCat kitchen

Miso soup

Miso soup – 1 serving 80 calories 1.7g fat

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

In this cold and chilly weather what better way to stay warm than having plenty of miso soup, its simple quick and very satisfying.  And if you are watching your weight this is the perfect low calorie lunch option for all you 5:2 fasters

 

miso soup

the basic miso

2 tsp miso paste (make sure it is suitable for veggies and vegans i.e. no bonito flakes)

1 mug of boiling water

25g soft tofu – cubed

1 spring onion – finely sliced

¼ red pepper, chopped

few flakes of dried chilli

 

20 (large handful) spinach leaves or 1 Nori leaf, shredded

few fresh coriander leaves

  • Mix the miso paste with the hot water in the serving bowl or mug
  • Add in the cubed tofu, chilli flakes, spinach leaves or nori seaweed and sliced spring onion
  • Stir until the leaves are wilted and soft
  • scatter over some chopped fresh coriander (optional)
miso soup

The full works

 

 

IMG_2893Optional extras –  100g cooked sweet potato slices (90 calories), ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds (40 calories), few drops sesame oil (10 calories), 28g/small handful unsalted cashew nuts (150 calories), 2 sliced mushrooms (24 calories), soba noodles (28g will add 90 calories)

MOROCCAN BUCKWHEAT SALAD

MOROCCAN BUCKWHEAT SALAD – Serves 2

This Moroccan buckwheat salad is a very versatile dish, so if you haven’t got buckwheat, or indeed you don’t like it you can use protein rich quinoa, peal barley, Freekah, spelt or another grain of your choice

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The same goes for the salad ingredients, you could use sweet potato instead of the butternut squash, add dates instead of apricots, substitute pine nuts for the almonds etc

200g butternut squash, cubed (you can keep the skin on)

1 tbls oil

1 tsp each of smoked paprika, cumin and chilli flakes

100g uncooked buckwheat, 25g uncooked quinoa

1 tsp oil

500ml stock –using hot water and 1tsp marigold bouillon powder

1 carrot, grated,

½ a tinned of drained chickpeas

3 dried apricots chopped, 2 spring onions, chopped

Large handful of fresh coriander and mint

20g of pomegranate seeds

Large handful each of spinach and rocket

20g of flaked and toasted almonds

 

Dressing

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbls lemon juice

½ tsp cumin powder

large pinch rock/sea/Himalayan salt

½ garlic clove, finely grated

 

  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  • Pour 1 tbls oil in a large bowl add cumin, chilli flakes and smoked paprika. Mix then tip in the cubed butternut squash. Mix well and pour in to a baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden

 

  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan; add the buckwheat and toast for 1 – 2 minutes. Keep the grain moving so it coats in the oil. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 8 minutes, stirring now and again. Then add the quinoa and cook for another 8 minutes. You may need to add more stock/water. The buckwheat should be slightly al dente. Set aside to cool.
  • In the bowl you used to coat the butternut squash add the spring onions, apricots, grated carrot and chickpeas. Mix well. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and add to the salad vegetables. If the almond flakes are not already toasted, dry fry in a small pan until lightly golden, set aside. Chop the herbs and keep separate

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  • Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a jar. Securing with a lid and shake to mix. Taste and season if necessary
  • Plate up the dish. On a large platter scatter the rocket and spinach leaves. Cover with the vegetables and butternut squash. Scatter over chopped herbs, pomegranates seeds and toasted almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the whole dish and serve

If you would like to come to a vegan cooking class then please contact me for more details

vegan cookery classes

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

veg soupWhat better way to keep out those chills than have a bowl of warming and nutritious homemade soup. Feel free to adjust the vegetables and add in whatever is to hand.  But always use the lentils as it adds protein and fibre, therefore making the soup really hearty and filling.

 

Makes 4 x 300g servings = which can be frozen

230 calories per portion

250g parnsips

150g swede

200g potatoes

100g leek

150g dried red lentils

1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

½  vegetable stock cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder

½ litre of hot water

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli

1 bay leave (optional)

Salt and pepper

Dash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh herbs

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Wash all the vegetables but only peel the swede.  Both the parsnips and the potatoes can keep their peel (to retain more fibre and nutrients).  Chop in to bite sized pieces

IMG_2099I use a pressure cooker for this soup as it reduces the cooking time,  But if you don’t have one then use a large pan.  Add the oil to the pan and warm before adding the leeks.  Cook on their own for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to stop them colouring too much.  Add the rest of the vegetables and stir.  After a few minutes add the chilli, spices, bay leaves, garlic, stock cube dissolved in the hot water and tinned tomatoes.

Give the whole lot a big stir and then add in the dried lentils.  With another big stir

If you are using a pressure cooker at this point add the lid and wait for a steady stream of steam to be produced add the weight, turn down the gas to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes.

If you are just using a large pan, cover with a lid, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (storing regularly), or until all the veg are nice and soft and the lentils have broken down

Have a taste and then season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon and some chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander

IMG_2100You can leave the soup nice and chunky or use a stick blender to make it smooth.  This will thicken the soup so add some more hot water, until you reached the desired consistency.

It may mean that you then get an extra portion so the recipe will have 5 not 4 servings in which case the calorie per portion will reduce to 200

The soup can be kept covered in the fridge for 3 days.  Any uneaten portions can be frozen and defrosted and reheated before eating

As a chunky soup it can quickly be turned in to a versatile casserole by adding cooked veggie/vegan sausages or Quorn

soupAs a smooth soup it can be used as a protein rich topping for jacket potatoes or a filling for a veggie shepherds pie

Please share if you have other creative ways of using this versatile recipe

Speedy stir-fry

Speedy stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

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

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To celebrate the Chinese New year why not cook yourself this vegan speedy stir-fry.

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light lunch or a more substantial supper dish.  The peanuts and sesame seeds add protein and some useful minerals like iron and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The wholegrain rice also adds some useful protein and fibre.

 

 

 

IMG_36311 packet microwavable wholegrain rice

½ (100g) large onion – sliced

2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks

1 (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens or spinach or kale- shredded

20g fresh ginger – thin strips

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

30g unsalted peanuts or cashews

1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce

1 tsp *toasted sesame seeds

 

 

Heat a wok (or non stick frying pan) 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 add 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 and chili flakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg soften slightly

 

In the meantime microwave the rice according to the instructions on the packet (usually 2 minutes).  This step can be missed out, just tip the rice straight into the wok and cook for an extra 2 minutes with a splash of hot water

 

IMG_3639Add the steaming rice to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts, soy sauce and spring onion and again stir to mix

 

IMG_3644

 

 

Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving (358 calories) or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal (238 calories). And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds

 

Now you know how simple it is what are you waiting for?! 

* To toast sesame seeds. Heat a nonstick frying pan – don’t add any oil. Add the sesame seeds and keep moving the pan to stop the seeds burning. They will start to colour and go golden brown after 2-3 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into a container with a lid. The toasted seeds will keep for 2-3 months

Vegan sweet pancakes

Vegan sweet pancakes – Makes 8 small pancakes 118 calories each

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

IMG_2659As its Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) tomorrow I thought I would make a ‘free from’ recipe because a number of my clients have intolerances and they miss out on some great meals.  But not this time!

As well as being vegan the pancakes are also gluten free.

They make a great protein packed breakfast as well as a delicious dessert or afternoon snack, with low GI quinoa flour*.  The flaxseeds also add omega 3 fatty acids.  Any leftovers can be reheated for the following day or frozen for another time

When the pancakes cook they are much more delicate than other pancakes so be careful when you turn to flip them over!  Dont worry if they break up they can just be pressed together and they will firm up

 

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (linseeds)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened soya milk, coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 125 g quinoa*/coconut/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 IMG_2642teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g blueberries or 1 grated apple or pear, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • soya yoghurt, maple syrup or agave and sesame seeds, to serve

 

IMG_2643 IMG_2641Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2½ tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken.

 

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat or microwave on high for one minute, then leave to cool slightly.

IMG_2647Combine the soya, coconut or almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to for 5 minutes then add the melted coconut oil and whisk in the flaxseed mixture.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined – don’t worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the fruit, then set aside, until needed but at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature.

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Heat about ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and place a ladleful of the batter in the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake).

Add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out – you’ll need to do this in batches.

 

Cook for around 3 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. REMEMBER, these pancakes are much softer than others so flip carefully!

 

IMG_2656Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

 Serve with a dollop of soya yoghurt, a IMG_2684drizzle of maple syrup or agave and extra fruit.  Oranges, banana, kiwi and tinned prunes all work well.

 

 

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* Quinoa flour can be bought from most health food shops but it is easy to make your own for a fraction of the cost. Measure out 125g of uncooked quinoa place in a grinder (I used my ever versatile Nutribullet) and blend until it looks like a fine powder.  And hey presto you have quinoa flour!  You could also make wholemeal rice, millet, oat or barley flour the same way

If you would like to learn more about vegan cooking then why not come to one or more of my vegan cooking classes held in West Bridgford?

vegan cookery classes

Cannellini bean soup

Cannellini bean soup – from the River café cookbook

This a protein and fibre rich soup, that has a thick and satisfying texture.  Feel free to add extra stock if you want it thinner.  I haven’t tried making this with tinned cannellini beans but if you do I suggest two tins (with their liquid) and use everything in the recipe below except the bicarb,  And obviously miss out the soaking and pre-cooking steps

Serves 4

250g dried cannellini beans

2 tbls bicarbonate of soda

1 large tomato

½ bulb garlic, unpeeled

a handful of fresh sage leaves

3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped.  ¾ in the soup, ¼ for decoration

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

handful of toasted sliced almonds

river cafe

Begin by preparing the dried beans; Cover the beans with cold water and bicarb and soak overnight. Drain the beans place in a large saucepan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain again. Add more fresh cold water and cover 5cm or 2 inches above the beans. Add the tomato, garlic bulb and sage, bring to the boil then simmer with a lid until the beans are cooked. This can take between 40 and 90 minutes. Remove the scum that floats to the surface

 

Drain the cooked beans (keep the liquid), remove the garlic, tomato and sage leaves. In a pan cook the 3 raw garlic cloves until soft but not brown. Add ¾ of the parsley (including the chopped stalks), cook for a few seconds then add the beans and some of the cooking liquid. Cook for a few minutes before putting ¾ of the mixture into a food processor, nutribullet or use a hand blender or potato masher. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.

Add some veg stock if its too thick.   Return the chopped beans to the remaining ¼ mixture in the pan. Taste, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is a thick hearty soup, but If its still too thick add some extra stock. Pour in to four bowls scatter over the toasted sliced almonds, some chopped parsley and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil

bean soup

The soup is nice and thick and hearty

I made this soup as part of a 5 course dinner for 5 of my friends so I made it thinner and served smaller portions in teas cups.  It looked very tasty indeed

vegan soup

Festive vegan wellington

Festive vegan wellington

 

This is a great celebration centrepiece that both vegan and non-vegans will love. I have made a plaited top to reduce the heaviness of the dish, which will also lower the calories

festive vegan wellington

 

 

 

cracker

 

 

So lets get cracking!

 

 

 

You will need

100g washed and chopped leeks

200g of sliced mushrooms

1 tsp vegetable oil – I used rapeseed

festive vegan wellington 100g of nuts, toasted and chopped – I used a bag of mixed nuts but choose your favourites

180g cooked chestnuts – chopped

400g drained chickpeas (save the water)

small packet of basic stuffing – I used sage and onion

1 apple, grated or finely chopped

1 tsp each of fennel and caraway seeds – optional

festive vegan wellington 5g fresh tarragon, thyme or rosemary – I used tarragon as it goes well with mushrooms and the fennel seeds

2 cloves of garlic chopped

large pinch of chilli flakes, or ½ – 1 tsp chilli power or ½ – 1 fresh chilli chopped

1 tbsp cranberry sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

1 portion of vegan just roll puff pastry (thawed)

1 tbsp non dairy milk

1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

1 baking try and rolling pin

 

First of all preheat the oven 200oC

Tip the stuffing mix in to a bowl add hot water, according to the instructions on the packet (plus an extra 50 ml of water).  Mix well then add the grated apple and toasted chopped nuts and mix again. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Leave to cool

vegan festive wellington

In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped leeks, cook for about 5-8 minutes until they soft. Add the garlic and sliced mushroom, cook for a further 10 minutes stirring regularly. If it all looks dry add a small amount of chickpea water but not oil. Add the chopped chestnuts, chickpeas, chilli, fennel/caraway seeds (if using), lemon juice and herbs. Leave to cook.  Take the back of a fork and squash some of the chickpeas, to make the mixture a bit smoother and creamier.  Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary

 

On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry in to a square that will fit a large lightly oiled baking tray (I used one 30cmx30cm). You could use greased proof paper instead of the oil.  Place the rolled pastry on the tray

Now for the construction

 

First of all tip the stuffing mixture down the centre of the pastry and shape in to a flat sausage. Leave enough pastry either side to be able to fold strips of the pastry up and over the filling. Dot 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce across the top.

With a large spoon place the chestnut and mushroom mixture on top of the stuffing and again shape in to a looser sausage shape. Make equal diagonal cuts on each side of the filling.

Then start to plait the top by taking a strip from one side and crossing it up and on to the top of the filling, brush with some milk. Take a strip from the opposite side and bring up and place on the moistened first strip. Repeat the process until the plait is complete. Finally, wrap the top and bottom pieces of pastry and fold it around the ends.

Make sure all the pastry is brushed with milk (you can also sprinkle over some sesame seeds for extra texture) and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Cut in to 6-8 slices and serve with plenty of festive veg and vegan gravy

This short clip will show you how to portion up the finished dish

 

All done, now enjoy!

festive vegan wellington

And any left over pastry and filling can be quickly turned in to sausage rolls!

vegan sausage rolls

 

merry xmas1