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!

 

 

 

 

 

Maple Popcorn

When conducting interviews at work the general rules is that everyone brings something yummy in for the panel to munch on in between interviewing potential future employees….ahhh crap, sugar free vegan doesn’t exactly scream fun and delicious snacks!

Naturally my go to thought was popcorn, my second thought was how can I make it better… Next stop…the internet. Bing bang boom *Maple Popcorn*

It really was delicious, exactly like the sweet popcorn you get at the cinema. I honestly have no idea why they don’t make it this way instead of adding all that refined sugar to it

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Ingredient:

  • popcorn kernels: I used 70g
  • maple syrup: I used around 4 tablespoons

Preheat the oven: 180 fan oven

 

 

Method:

Pop the corn and keep lid on to keep the heat in. Put the maple syrup into a pan and heat until boiling. Keep at boil for around 2-3 minutes. Stir to ensure it doesn’t stick to pan. Pour the crystallised syrup into pan with the pre popped corn and stir. I found that it goes a long way and if you keep stirring it around for a good few minutes you can cover all the corn.

Spread onto a baking tray (which you have already put grease proof paper on) and pop into oven for around 2 minutes. It really doesn’t take long at all. When you take it out you will notices that the popcorn has softened. Leave it to cool and it will harden up again. It will be stuck together so just break it up and it’s done! Next time I may try to compact it more and make popcorn bars 🙂 I might add some raisins, desiccated coconut or similar too! Definitely loads of room to experiment anyway!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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!

 

Tahini Chickpea Curry with Couscous (AKA TahPeaCous)

I was planning on having sweet potato nachos and chilli today but on a sweep of my cupboards I discovered I didn’t have any black beans…first world problems. I decided to go rouge and cobble something together. I made a pile of things I like and things I thought would go together.

Exhibit A:

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  • 1 can of chickpeas (in water not salt)
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 80g of uncooked couscous
  • 1 red onion
  • I pepper (any colour, they all taste good to me)
  • Massive handful of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini (I love all nut butters and although this is ground sesame seeds it tastes like peanut butter to me)
  • Cumin (To taste)
  • Chilli flakes (optional, to taste)
  • Half an avacado
  • Spring onions (as many as you want, I used two, chopped them up and mixed them in with a mashed up avocado)

The secret to not crying when you are cutting an onion is not to get emotionally attached #lifehackIMG_5369

 

 

 

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Into the pan goes the can of chopped tomatoes, the chopped onion, the spinach, the chopped pepper, the can of chickpeas, the tahini, cumin and chilli seeds. I cooked it on a low heat…It took around 10 minutes. I popped half in the fridge fr tomorrow and put the rest on top of of the cooked couscous, with a coupe of spoonfuls of yogurt and topped it with the mashed avocado and ping onions! Done!

 

 

I am really happy with the dish, not only because it was so nice but because it is packed with ingredient that is now working away in my body giving it so many good things! It is working FOR my body and not against it. I have been doing this for over a month now (with around 2 real sugary cheat meals thrown in there) and I feel good, I have always been active and eaten my greens but stepping things up a notch has really made a difference. I feel good, inside, I feel energetic, I feel awake, I don’t get the mid morning or mid afternoon slump, I feel sharp and my goodness it feels good!