Black Pepper & Maple Syrup Tofu

If you want something sticky with a bit of a kick then this is for you! I had no idea how this way going to turn out being that I was experimenting but its actually really nice. I made enough for my lunch at work tomorrow and I’m already looking forward to eating it so that’s got to be a good sign

Ingredient:

  • Tofu (240g) IMG_5913
  • Flour- a handful
  • Tamari
  • Maple syrup – I used 4 tablespoons
  • Pepper –  A much as you like, I have a grinder and seemed to ground a lot
  • Bell Pepper – I used half a red and half an orange
  • 1 red onion (I always use red onions due to their anti inflammatory benefits)
  • half an avocado (but actually just use a much as you want…you want a whole one-go for it!!)
  • Spring onions – 3-4
  • Couscous – 80g for one portion

Method:

I cut the tofu up into quite small chunks and covered it in flour, I only had plain flower in but you can obviously use starch flour / coconut flour, or another variation if you prefer. I then marinated it with tamari, maple syrup and pepper. Whilst the tofu was marinating I cooked the couscous and chopped up the veg. I then used coconut oil and and put the onion on, after a minute I added the tofu. I let this cook on a low heat for a minute or two.  I then threw in the peppers and the spring onions, added a bit more tamari and covered the pan with a lid whilst stirring every so often. After around 3 minutes its done!

Present it however you like, I put the couscous in a bowl and added half the pan and put the other half in a container ready for work tomorrow ( disclaimer: I have already been in the fridge and eaten a few spoonfuls). I then added the avocado, took some pics and then dove in!

 

 

 

Tamari Tofu

I tried my first tofu today…pretty nice! I kept it simple as I wanted to taste it properly and see what it was like. I’m sure the possibilities are endless and I’m actually really looking forward to experimenting and seeing what I can come up with.

Keeping it simple:

  • Extra firm tofu (the entire block!!)
  • TamariIMG_5895
  • Hot chilli powder
  • 1 leak
  • half an avocado (are you even vegan if you don’t have avocado with every meal?!)
  • half a pepper( I used a orange one)
  • Rice noodles
  • Broccoli ( as much as you so wish)

 

Method: I marinated the tofu in tamari and chilli powder as gave it a good shake. I boiled the broccoli (only for a few minutes though as I wanted it cooked but not soft) and chopped up the leak, pepper and avocado. I them put the tofu on to fry with some coconut oil. It took a while before it had crispy sides so whilst it was frying I put the pepper and leak in a pan with coconut oil with the lid to soften them up and cooked the rice noodles (which takes around 4 minutes). Once the tofu was ready I threw it in with the leak and pepper, added the broccoli and the rice noodles. I added a bit more tamari and stirred it around. That it! I just popped it in a bow and put the avocado on top. It was very tasty and super quick and easy to make. I am now researching the different recipes to make black pepper tofu with cous cous for tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Milk (Turmeric, Cinnamon, Mixed Spice latte)

In an ongoing bid to rid myself of swollen joints I went to one of my favourite pastimes…scrolling endlessly (endlessly, endlessly…) through Pinterest. What I love about Pinterest is that you stumble across things you didn’t know you wanted or in this particular case, that you wanted to try!

It seemed easy enough and all of the ingredient boast wonderful health benefits. Lets give it a bash then…oh yes, one problem…I don’t like turmeric…meh I’ll just use some additional spices to overpower the turmeric taste.

  • A cup of coconut milk (you can use half a glass and the other half boiling water…not me)
  • Turmeric – a shake of
  • Mixed Spices – a shake of
  • Cinnamon – a shake there of
  • Honey – half a teaspoon

Method
Take the milk, and turmeric, spices and cinnamon, heat in pan bringing to the boil ( I’m sure you can do this in a microwave but I don’t have one). Once heated pout into mug and add the honey.

I found it quite luxurious….as one would a hot chocolate. It was creamy and tasted delicious. It had a slight grain to bit at the end, no more so than a chai latte. It reminded me of christmas, must be the cinnamon but I don’t mind that in the slightest!

I will definitely experience more with different spices and flavors and see what I can come up with!

 

 

 

 

 

Chilli Fries with the trimmings

 

I fancied something a bit glutinous today, noodles crossed my mind but I’ve already had them a few times this weeks so voted against it. I wanted pizza but couldn’t be bothered to make it so went with chilli fries! Good choice!

I chopped up a sweet potato or two (it was two, I was hungry) boiled them for a bit to soften them up, salt, pepper and chilli flakes and then put the in the oven for around 30 mins at 200.

At the moment I am viewing each main meal as a chance to stuff as much of the “good stuff” in as possible…today was no exception. Whilst the fried were cooking I fried a pepper and a whole red onion in coconut oil (its the only oil  I use these days). Once it was fried I mixed it up with some soft cheese, soya yogurt and a bit of tomato puree – a complete experiment that payed off. I am a massive fan of mayo and this kind of resembled it, with the added chilli and pepper! It would probably work without added the soft cheese and just with the yogurt. Ill try that next time

Next I boiled some broccoli for about 3 minutes and then fried it up. When I was done I put some salt and chilli flakes on it. Whilst this was an experiment too, it was actually really nice. I shall definitely be doing this again.

When the fries were done  covered them i grated cheese and popped back in for the cheese to melt.

I devoured it in about 3 minutes and I am now nursing a rather large food baby! I’ll give it a few minutes and have some freshly popped popcorn and a coffee 🙂 Safe to say I am not moving for the rest of the day. Bliss.

 

Antipasto

I have always been a massive fan as antipasto (“before the meal”) as a main course.  I like having lots of things to pick at I suppose rather than just one thing. Whilst Antipasto traditionally contains cured meat and cheese, I pretty sure you can throw a load of things on to a plate and call it an antipasto dish and with this being a vegan blog I had no choice but to get creative!

I fancied some bread today so I took two of the balls of uncooked dough I have stacked in the freeze, defrosted them (obviously), and cooked them. I cooked some spinach with coconut oil, roasted some red pepper with coconut oil, mashed half an avocado and tries to make hummus by hand. I was interested to see if you can do it and how it would differ from whisked hummus. It was actually pretty easy, I used a potato masher and just, well, mashed them! I added coconut oil, salt and pepper. It wasn’t as smooth as hummus I’ve made in a blender but this was also the first time I haven’t used olive or sunflower oil. In the future I may think about added a spoonful of yogurt if I’m making it by hand to try and make it a bit smoother. However, It tastes the same and that is the main thing.

I used sugar free sweet chilly sauce and some soya soft cheese (which I have actually just noticed has added sugar to it!!! Arghhhhh!)

On the whole this was really yummy and so a success (apart from the blummin’ sugar filled soya cheese!!!). Very annoyed that they have to add sugar to everything!! I walked down the confectionery isle at Tesco today…not one thing I could have…not.one.thing didn’t have added sugar / vegan friendly = not one thing was natural. I went to the free from section and bought some yoyo bears to try, they’re lovely and yes I am aware they are for kids, but whatever. Ok rant over. Here are some lovely pics of today’s lunchtime adventure!

 

 

Frozen Yogurt Slab

One of things that is getting to me about this no sugar nonsense is the treats. Yeah yeah I love popcorn and all that but what about the rest!?!?!?!?

I am now on a personal, heart felt, mission to find sweet snacks that “cut it”!

So, first off, I was inspired by ‘The Body Coach’ for this one.

You freeze some yogurt in a try, and add what you like. I added blueberries and chopped nuts. I think in the next one I’ll add some raisins too. This was a pain to get out the tray, think I need to use a bigger tray though, so I can spread it thinner. Anyway, it was really yummy . I actually used almond soya yogurt , so the options for flavours are plentiful. I may try blending it with strawberries next time too, oh maybe some dates too! (I never said this would be low fat!)

So there you have it! Not rocket science and I even took some pretty pictures!

Pad Thai (Thai stir fry)

For me the thing that makes a Pad Thai a Pad Thai is the tamari, tahini and the ribbon noodles. All the other ingredient are interchangeable ( in my opinion). In the traditional dish there is an egg, which I have forgone and found it tastes just as good without. I have made this a few times with different ingredient, pretty much just whatever I have in the veg box in my fridge. I will probably update this post each time I made a new variation. I honestly don’t think you can go too wrong as long as you have the base ingredient (tamari, tahini, ribbon noodles)

Recipe version 1

  • Half a red onionIMG_5438
  • Half an Avocado
  • Full pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 2x teaspoons of tamari (basically sugar free soy sauce)
  • 5-8 peanuts
  • 80g rice noodles (I use rice noodles as they are sugar free)
  • Handful of spinach

Method: Cook the rice noodles in boiling water (takes IMG_5450around 4 minutes), drain and place to the side. Add some coconut oil to a pan, when warm add a bit of chopped garlic and half the chopped onion. Put in the tamari and then stir in the handful of spinach and chopped pepper (I used a yellow pepper s that was all I had, but there are no rules, I would have used whatever colour I had) and the cut spring onions. After the spinach has ‘wilted’ add the noodles and then stir together with a spoonful of tahini on a low heat. Add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chilli flakes to taste. and some of thechopped peanuts. Once this has all been stirred together, take off the heat. Add to a bowl and top with the avocado and sprinkle the rest of the chopped peanuts on top.

IMG_5445

Side note: When making a Pad Thai or a stir fry I like to chop my spring onions length ways. Whist this make no difference taste wise, it tricks me into I’m back in Thailand and it somehow seems more authentic.

 

Recipe Version 2

  • Big ol’ handful of spinach IMG_5526
  • Half an avocado
  • Beetroot
  • Half a red onion
  • Handful of peanuts
  • 80g Rice ribbon noodles
  • Handful of green beans
  • Tahini (tablespoon)
  • Tahini (teaspoon)
  • 2/3 spring onionsIMG_5534

Method:

Put ribbon noodles and green beans into pan to cook, should take around 4 mins. Add some coconut oil to pan, add garlic (if you want), chopped onion, spinach, spring onions, along with the tamari. Keep on low heat and add the noodles and green beans and stir in the tahini and some of the chopped peanuts. Once heated and stirred, its done!

Add to bowl and this is the point that I like to add the cold ingredient on top, which is usually just what I fancy. In this case its the avocado, beetroot and the rest of the chopped peanuts. Yum! By the time I took this picture I was on my second bowl and have already eaten the one with the beetroot and avocado on top! Oops…must work on portion control!