Sausage and bean casserole

Sausage and bean casserole

This is a really great dish if you want to follow a more plant based diet, you’re supporting the veganuary campaign, participating in meat free Monday, need a bit of a change to your current vegan diet or just fancy something that’s really simple tasty and comforting

Using sweet potatoes not only adds complex carbs to the dish (our primary energy source), but also great levels of fibre, protein and vitamin A.  The addition of tinned beans – here I used borlotti beans but cannellini, butter beans or haricot would all work, adds plenty of protein and fibre and of course will count as one of your five a day.

So here’s what you need for 2 – 3 people

4-6 vegan sausages.  At the moment I love Sainsburys Shroomdogs and Frys sausages, but feel free to use your own personal favourites

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 onion or half a leek – or a mix of the two

2 sweet potatoes – washed but not peeled

1 tin of borlotti beans and their liquid

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 garlic clove

2 tsp smoked paprika,

Large pinch (or more of) chilli flakes

and 1 – 3 handfuls of red lentils.

Small handful of chopped parsley

Fry the sausages in oil until golden, about 15 minutes (but read the packet). I

sausage casserole

In a large pan fry 1 sliced onion and/or half a leek until soft.

Add the cubed sweet potatoes cook until softening, you may need to add some water if the ingredients stick.  

sausage casserole

Add the beans and their liquid, chopped clove of garlic, tinned  tomatoes, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and the red lentils. cover and cook until the lentils and sweet potatoes are really soft, about 20 minutes.

sausage 1

 

 

Half way through add the cooked sausages and check if you need to add more water.

 

Once cooked pour in to two or three bowls and scatter over chopped parsley 

sausage casserole

And why not serve it with some toasted garlicky sourdough bread.  Delicious

garlic bread

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

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

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

Do you think you eat a balanced diet or are you confused about what a balanced diet looks like?

I’m seeing more and more clients who seem lost and confused about what to eat and what not to eat

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • Give you more energy
  • Keep you well
  • improve weight loss
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier

 

The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

healthy eating advice

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’.  And if its convenient use fresh, frozen or tinned
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk, dairy or plant-based alternative likes (soya, oat, nut etc).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient protein such as tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechins, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too

 

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk or plant based alternative – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese (including non dairy): around the same size as a matchbox
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked), which weighs 125g when cooked
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

If your diet is in a bit of a tailspin, then why not contact me for some nutritional advice

what i do 4