November is world vegan month

November is World vegan month

Does Nottingham cater for vegans?

world vegan day

Today, 1st November is World Vegan Day and the start of World Vegan month.  This year sees a huge rise in the number people adopting a vegan lifestyle or regularly including vegan meals in to their diet; New data revealed the number of vegans in the UK now exceeds three-and-a-half million, or 7% of the population. These figures indicate that veganism has seen a 700% growth in just two years (data from

https://www.livekindly.co/number-of-vegans-in-the-uk-surges-by-700-in-just-two-years/).  Maybe the fact that a  number of high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Golding, David Haye and Peter Egan to name but a few all follow a vegan diet.
world vegan month

world vegan month

Concern for animals and their welfare, 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.

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

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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  ay and month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

logo-gem-106

 

Tune in to drive time from 4pm today on Gem 106 radio to hear snippets of my interview about World vegan day and its impact

 

 

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  and third 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 No 12 Hounds gate, in Nottingham https://www.no12houndsgate.co.uk in Nottingham

 

carrot salad

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

vegan eateries

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-cooking-classes/ 

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

Japanese Style broth with baked tofu

Japanese Style broth with baked tofu and courgette noodles

tofu

This recipe uses one of my favourite gadgets – the spiralizer (you can also buy a smaller hand held version).  It turns fruit and vegetables into great shapes that will hopefully encourage the whole family to eat more veg and eat less pasta, bread, rice and potatoes.

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If you haven’t got one a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler will work just as well.

 

 

 

This recipe is really tasty and anyone watching their weight or eating as part of the 5:2 fast diet will enjoy the tastes and textures without the excessive calories.

Japanese Style broth with courgette ‘noodles’ – serves 2, 210 calories per serving

1 ltr of boiling water

1 tsp chopped fresh ginger or ginger paste or ½ tsp ground ginger

1 chilli, 2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tbls miso paste (suitable for vegetarians and vegans)

IMG_13831 tsp each of soy sauce, agave and lemon juice

large pinch of black pepper

1 carrot (100g)  – finely sliced

150g of each – leek (or onion), red pepper, both finely sliced

50g mushrooms or broccoli florets, 2 spring onions – finely sliced

140g courgette turned into ‘noodles’ with a spirialiser

handful of fresh parsley or coriander chopped

tofu

pressed tofu

Baked tofu: ½ block extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed), small drizzle of  olive oil,  3 tsp light soy sauce, 1 – 1½ tsp gochugaru or sriracha sauce

 

 

 

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140g courgette turned into ‘noodles’ with a spirialiser

 

 

 

 

  • Preheat oven to 220C/ gas 7/425F.
  • Cut the tofu into slices. Place it in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, chilli sauce/paste and soy sauce. You may need to add a splash of water if it’s too thick. Gently mix to combine. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove your baking sheet from the oven and flip each piece of tofu. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the tofu and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
  • IMG_9330In a large pan add ginger, chilli, soy sauce, lemon juice, agave, black pepper, garlic and miso paste to the boiling water. Continue to boil for a minute.  Turn down the heat and add the carrots and leek and cook for 2 minutes, add the pepper and mushrooms or broccoli .
broth

prepared by my cooking guest

  • Cook for 3 minutes then add the ‘noodles’ until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust.

This is now a popular dish for my vegan cooking guests to make

Serve in two large bowls, top with the baked tofu and scatter over the chopped herbs and sliced spring onions

broth

 

Additions

Small handful of unsalted cashew nuts  (28g)- 160 calories

1 tbls sesame seeds – 52 calories

 

Vegan Fruity Flapjacks

Vegan Fruity Flapjacks

What makes these vegan fruity flapjacks more nutritious and healthy than the shop bought varieties is they contain far less sugar, more fruit and no saturated fat.  The texture is less dense and you can really taste al the ingredients rather than an homogenised golden syrup compacted bar. I hope you enjoy them and remember it is a very adaptable recipe, so if you prefer sultanas, nuts, dried fruits or fresh fruits that are in season then add them!

The oats are a great source of soluble fibre, meaning they keep you feeling fuller for longer.  Oats are also great for heart health

Makes 12 pieces 

flapjack

100-150g banana (small- medium) – the really ripe ones that you might otherwise throw away *

50g cooking apples

25g fresh or frozen blueberries

25g  golden syrup or light brown Muscovado cane sugar

150g porridge oats

3tbsp rapeseed, vegetable or melted coconut oil

large pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

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* If you have a few blackened and over ripe bananas, simply peel and chop, put in a bag and freeze until you need them.

Preheat the oven to 1800c (3500f or gas mark 4) and use a greased or lined 17cm square baking tin

Wash, core and chop the apple (don’t peel them), add to a pan with a splash of water and a large pinch of sugar/golden syrup. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft but not mushy.  When cool you can use a hand blender to make a puree

flapjack

Place the banana in a mixing bowl and mash up with a fork. Add the syrup/sugar and the oil and stir well. Add in the porridge oats, cooled cooked apple, blueberries and spices and mix well.

Place the mixture in the tin ensuring it is evenly spread. Place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins until nice and golden

flapjack

Once cooked, cool in the tin slightly for approx 5-10 mins and then cut into squares and place on a cooling rack

flapjack

Leave to cool and enjoy or if you can’t wait enjoy whilst warm with some vegan yoghurt or ice-cream :0)

These were a big hit with the children at Bingham’s Sunday Funday.  They iced them in Tour of Britain yellow

 

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Tex Mex vegan salad

Sweet potato Tex-Mex salad – serves 2

This is a really great tasting and colourful salad.  You can make various substitutions for instance use butternut squash instead of sweet potato,  any tinned beans like butterbean or cannellini. Use fresh chills instead of dried, add some sun dried tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, chopped red or yellow peppers or some toasted pine nuts.

vegan salad

Tex Mex vegan salad

200g sweet potato washed and cut in to chunks,

2 tsp olive oil,

large pinch of chilli flakes, salt & pepper,

½ can black beans,  drained,

½ tin red kidney beans, drained

½ can (or 100g frozen) sweetcorn, drained,

1 avocado, chopped,

120g fresh tomatoes and ¼ cucumber chopped into chunks,

1 small red onion or 2 spring onions, thinly sliced,

large handful of fresh coriander and mint leaves and stalks, chopped,

juice of ½ (1 tbls) lime

Heat oven 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

sweet potato

On a baking tray mix the oil, chilli flakes, salt & pepper and sweet potatoes.  Bake for 30 minutes until tender, and the edges are crispy. sweet potato

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and season.

Add the cooked sweet potato and serve

vegan salad

It’s that simple, but oh so tasty

 

Vegan lasagne

Vegan lasagne (no oil) – Serves 2

This recipe came about because one of my regular vegan cooking clients needs to be virtually fat free because of a health condition.  So making a tasty and nutritious lasagne  was a bit of a challenge, especially as the usual white sauce uses vegan marg/oil with flour and vegan cheese. Hmmmm!

But fear not I think I’ve cracked it!

vegan lasagne

How good does that look

 

And my cooking guest loved it

vegan lasagne

 

It makes the ideal meat free Monday recipe and the quantities can easily be doubled.

The tomato sauce

One small onion (75g), finely chopped

1 garlic glove or 1 teaspoon garlic puree

splash of water

1 medium sized carrot (75g) finely chopped

approx 75g of red lentils, thoroughly rinsed under cold water and checked for grit etc or 75g quorn or 37g of each

½ tsp vegetable Marigold vegetable bouillon powder or I stock cube or 1 tsp Marmite

¼ tsp of chilli flakes (more if you like heat) or 1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

½ tin of chopped tomatoes , a big squirt of tomato puree – about 1 tsp

The ‘cheese’ sauce

1 medium (200g) sweet potato, ½ onion, ½ clove garlic, 1 tbsp/15g plain flour and ½ tsp vegetable powder,  ½ tsp mustard

up to 200ml unsweetened non dairy milk, 2 tbls of nutritional yeast (or 40g grated non dairy cheese if you don’t need to be virtually fat free)

Pasta – 3 sheets of dried wholemeal egg free lasagne

A foil takeaway container

vegan lasagne

before my vegan cheese version goes in the oven

before my vegan cheese version goes in the oven

To make the tomato sauce

Fry the chopped onion in water (or olive oil).  When softened, add the garlic. Fry a little, then add all the remaining ingredients and stir well.

  • carrot
  • red lentils
  • bouillon powder or marmite
  • chilli flakes or paprika
  • dried herbs
  • chopped tomatoes.
  • Plus ½ tin of water.

The mixture will be thin and wet, but it will thicken as the lentils cook. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the lentils and carrots are soft. Stirring every so often.

The sauce should still be quite wet when cooked.  Check the seasoning and add salt and black pepper if necessary.  Take off the heat and leave to cool

To make the ‘cheese’ sauce

Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until soft.  In a pan cook the chopped onion in a splash of water (or oil). Peel the cooked sweet potato (Keep the skin and rip into pieces before adding to the tomato sauce) add to the onion along with the garlic and mustard.  Cook for a few minutes then add the flour and keep cooking, add the vegetable powder then slowly add the milk, and stir to make a thick sauce. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on a low heat.  Taste and season with lots of black pepper and some salt if necessary.  Add most of the nutritional yeast (or grated cheese, if using).  Leave about ¼ to scatter over the top.

Assembling.

Pre heat the oven to 180C

In a dish add a sheet or two of dried wholemeal pasta, then add a ½ of tomato sauce mixture.  Repeat the pasta/sauce layer, top with some more pasta and add the cheese sauce.

 made with vegan cheese

made with vegan cheese

Sprinkle the remaining nutritional yeast/cheese over the top and pop into the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden

serve with a large mixed salad or some steamed veggies

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Remember this serves two, so If you only want to eat one portion,  the other portion (once its gone cold) can be kept (covered) in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen; then defrosted and thoroughly re-heated in the microwave or oven until the centre is piping hot

And if like Pete you’d like to learn how to make thesis nutritious and tasty recipes why not come to one of my cooking classes; either a group class or a private one to one

private Vegan cooking class

 

vegan classes gen

Quick vegan chilli

Quick vegan chilli – Serves 2

This is a really quick and versatile recipe, don’t worry if you haven’t got all the ingredients or you decide to swap some.  It isn’t essential to have the cinnamon, chocolate or dried herbs.  You can substitute the sweet potatoes for butternut squash, change the red kidney beans and use borlotti or black beans instead.  Add some courgettes, spinach or kale. And swap tomato puree (with additional stock or water) if you haven’t got half a tin of tomatoes

Today my one to one private cooking guest has made this recipe.  So all the images are from that session

kitchen

Quick vegan chilli

1 tsp vegetable oil

½ onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

100g sweet potato – chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼  each of green and red pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 tsp chilli powder or  ¼ tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cinnamon

50g  mushrooms, wiped and chopped

½  (400g) tin peeled plum tomatoes, chopped

½  (400g) tin kidney beans, drained but keep the liquid

80g sweetcorn

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried oregano/marjoram

½ square dark chocolate

lemon juice

handful of fresh coriander or parsley leaves

 

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, carrots and sweet potatoes until tender. If the veggies start to stick add some water

chilli

  • Stir in peppers, celery, garlic, chilli and paprika. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and sweetcorn. Add the cumin, oregano, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Bring to the boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

chilli 1

  • If it thickens too much add some of the kidney bean water. Taste and add a splash of lemon juice and salt & pepper (if necessary) and scatter over chopped fresh herbs
  • serve with wholegrain rice, a tortilla wrap or a toasted pitta bread

dirty pots

 

And now I just have the washing up to do!

 

 

 

Mac and no cheese

Mac and no cheese – serves 2

This is a great meat free Monday recipe.  You can use any pasta shape and preferably wholemeal for added fibre.  And it makes two generous filling portions

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150g (1 cup) Macaroni

1 (200g) sweet potato (wash but don’t peel), ½ carrot, ½ onion- all chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp turmeric and smoked paprika

large pinch salt , pepper and chilli flakes

300ml (1 ¼ cups) water

100g (¾ cup) soaked cashew nuts

10g  (¼ cup) nutritional yeast

3 tbls vegan spread or olive oil

1 tbls lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

 

ingredients

ingredients

Put the macaroni on to boil, cook as per packet instructions

chopped veg

chopped veg

 

Chop the veg place in saucepan, add water, garlic cloves, salt, turmeric, chilli, paprika, pepper and cook until soft (15 minutes.)

 

 

 

 

nutritional yeast

nutritional yeast

In a blender add the cashew nuts, lemon juice, vegan spread/oil/, mustard and nutritional yeast.  Add the cooked veg and the stock.  Blend. Do this in separate batches if you have a small blender and mix it all together in the pan.  If the sauce is too thick use some of the reserved cooked pasta water

IMG_6367

 

 

If the blender cup becomes difficult to open (due to the heat of the ingredients) wear a pair of clean washing up gloves to get a better grip

 

 

 

 

Drain the cooked pasta (keep the water), add it back to the pan and tip in the sauce

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Mix will.  If the mix is still too thick add some more of the reserved pasta water. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Serve in a bowl topped half a sliced avocado and a large mixed salad

 

Optional additional step.  Before topping with avocado, mix a handful of breadcrumbs, ½ tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 5g nutritional yeast and 2 tsp mixed herbs together and scatter over the top of the dish.

Bake in a hot oven (170oC fan/190oC/gas 5) for 10 minutes until brown and crispy.

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Then serve with the avocado and a large salad

IMG_6399

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)