Koh Samui Salad, Chilli Tofu & Thai Noodles

My sister is not vegan and she is not someone who is easy to please when it comes to food. She wanted to come over for lunch and I racked my brains trying to find something she would eat and that would not spoil my continual healthy eating. I came across this noodle salad in my 15 Minute Meals book. It’s really easy to make and you can serve it hot or cold. I actually served it cold because my sister was late. Haha!

Ingredients out * kettle boiled* medium frying pan, low heat* food processor (bowl blade and fine slicer)

Salad

300 g medium rice or wholewheat noodles

1 clove of garlic

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

6 ripe cherry tomatoes

1 fresh red chilli

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil

3 tsbp of vegan oyster sauce

2 tsbp sesame oil

3 limes

1 bunch of radishes

2 carrots

1/2 a cucumber

1 bulb of fennel

1/2 a white cabbage

1 full pack of vegan prawns (available at Veggie World.)

Garnish

100 g shelled peanuts

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 bunch of fresh mint

1 pack of tofu (any type you like really)

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime

Method

Put the noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water, mixing up regularly to separate.

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In the frying pan, toast the peanuts and sesame seeds with the sesame oil until golden.

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Put the peeled garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chilli and the top leafy half of the basil into the processor with the fish sauce, sesame oil and the juice of 3 limes.

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With the dressing still in the processor, swap to the fine slicer and slice the radishes, trimmed and peeled carrots, cucumber, quartered fennel and white cabbage. Tip it all into a big bowl, scrunch and dress the salad quite roughly with clean hands, then have a taste and tweak the flavours if needed.

Drain the noodles, add to the salad bowl and toss together.

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Rip off the leafy half of the mint and scatter over the top.

Cut and drain the tofu and fry with the prawns in a little bit of sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.

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Place the toasted nuts in your serving bowl.

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Place warm tofu and prawns into serving bowl and serve….like a boss to a sister who absolutely loved it! 🙂

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23 Breakfast Ideas

People often ask me what I eat for breakfast. I have a standard 14 things that I rotate on a regular basis, but I’ve also included some extra not as healthy, possibly treat meals as well. Vegan breakfasts are some of my favourite recipes because they are so healthy and you can have lots of good carbohydrates because you will burn them off throughout the day. All of my healthy breakfast ideas are under 400 calories. The unhealthy ideas…..well I don’t even want to think about it. That’s why they are occasional treats and not everyday meals.

Healthy, low calorie, low fat, high nutrition.

  • Mixed fruit with plain yoghurt and milled flaxseed. (Mix it up. I like oranges, apples and bananas, but occasionally I’ll use mangos, kiwis and dried apricots.
  • Fruit smoothie. (Bananas and raspberries are good here mixed with water or oat milk.)

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  • Green smoothie. (Lots of spinach, banana, blueberries, barley grass powder, Spirulina with water or almond milk.)

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  • Peanut butter on wholegrain toast. (100% peanut, peanut butter. Be careful because lots of brands contain extra oil, sugar, salt and fat.)

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  • Scrambled tofu. (My recipes goes as follows: a whole block of tofu, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, black pepper, black salt (if you can get it.) and turmeric. Peas, sweetcorn and grated carrot are also good additions.)

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  • Porridge with mixed nuts and flax, covered in rice milk.
  • Avocado and tomato on wholegrain toast.
  • Protein pancakes (Wholemeal flour, soya milk, scoop of vegan protein powder. Whisk and place in a pan at a high heat. Serve with almond butter, apple chunks and raisins)

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  • Apple and oat bake. (oats, chopped apple, molasses, nuts, seeds, not from concentrate apple juice, mix together and bake.)
  • Mushrooms sauted with spinach with a grilled tomato and half a can of no added sugar and salt baked beans. (Or you could make your own.)
  • Breakfast burrito! (scrambled tofu with added beans, herbs and spices in a wholemeal tortilla.)

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  • Wholemeal bagel with homemade butterbean pate. (Cooked butterbeans, garlic, parsley and a dash of hemp oil blended into a paste.)
  • Two bananas smooshed up with two teaspoons of cashew nut butter.

Now the not so healthy, but utterly delicious breakfast ideas.

  • Crumpets with strawberry jam. (To try and be good, you could go for the made with 100% fruit jam and not use vegan butter….but then is it still a treat?)

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  • Full vegan breakfast: wholemeal toast with vegan butter, potato cakes, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, scrambled tofu, vegan sausages, vegan bacon, hasbrowns and bubble and squeak. (No I couldn’t find the exact picture anywhere so the below image is just generic!)

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  • Vegan sausage sandwich with mustard and ketchup.
  • Large vegetable samosa.

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  • A big tub of vegan fruit yoghurt.
  • Vegan cheese on toast

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  • Breakfast muffin (Think fast food breakfast. Vegan cheese, vegan burger patty, possibly vegan bacon.)

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  • Reuben. (vegan meat slices, saukraut, mayo etc. It’s an American dish and I love it!)

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Asian “Sea” Tofu With Sticky “Rice” and Steamed Greens

This was my first attempt at the 15 minute meals and it really set me on the right path. This will serve four people if you’re not someone who needed to eat two portions….well just because I did so 😛

Ingredients:

2 Limes

A bunch of fresh coriander

2 spring onions

1 red chilli

3 cloves of garlic

A finger sized root of ginger

Half a head of cauliflower

Half a can of coconut milk

A good quantity of pak choi

One sheet of nori

Sesame seed oil

2 large packs of tofu

Method:

* Drain both packets of tofu and press any excess water from the remaining curd.

* Slice into chocolate bar sized chunks and then slice 1/2 way through four times along. In these slits, place some torn nori. This will give the tofu it’s ocean type flavour.

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* Place into a baking tray, cover liberally with sesame seed oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes on the highest heat  possible.

* In the meantime, chop up 3/4 of the bunch of coriander, the 2 spring onions, the red chilli, the garlic, the ginger and the lemon grass. Place this in a pestle and mortar and crush until it looks like this:

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(You can use a food processor, but I used the pestle and mortar because that’s what Jamie Oliver used.)

* Leave this to one side so the flavours can infuse.

* Grate the cauliflower (food processor is best) and place in a pan with the coconut milk. Allow this to simmer until you are ready to plate up.

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* Elsewhere you will need a pan of boiling water. Drop the pak choi into this for approximately 3 minutes so they start to soften, then remove and drain.

* Dish up and sprinkle the remaining coriander over the top of the dish. Enjoy!

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Chorizo “carbonara” with catalan market salad

I’ve placed the word carbonara in speech marks because on the Jamie Oliver page there is a massive argument about it not really being a carbonara because it doesn’t conform with the traditional Italian perception of that dish. Personally I don’t care what conforms to what norms. I didn’t event this recipe, but what I can tell you is that it was bloody delicious and nutritious.

I fed this to my fussy eating vegan parents, brother, grandmother and little sister and they all very much enjoyed it. It however took me 20 minutes because I had to double the quantity of pasta due to the amount of people I was serving. The recipe below is the quantities for 4 people.

 Ingredients

  • For the salad

  • 25 g pine nuts
  • 2 green chicory
  • 2 clementines
  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 45 g vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • For the pasta

  • 320 g wholemeal dried penne
  • 70 g vegan chorizo (My parents live in the middle of nowhere so I had to improvise and use Redwoods sausages with lots of chilli.)
  • ½–1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 heaped tablespoons vegan soya yoghurt
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Method

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Large lidded pan, high heat

START COOKING

Toast the pine nuts in the frying pan for a few minutes, tossing often

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Put the pasta into the lidded pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions

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• Finely slice the stalk ends of the chicory and click apart the upper leaves into a serving bowl. Peel and finely slice the clementines, add to the bowl with the baby spinach, then pick over the mint leaves. Shave over a tiny bit of vegan cheese and scatter with the hot nuts.

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In a cup, make your dressing with the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and agave nectar, then season to taste and put aside.

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Finely slice the sausages or chorizo, chilli and rosemary and put into the frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of pepper, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and move everything around until lightly golden.

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Place the lemon juice, soya yoghurt and remaining finely grated vegan cheese together in a food processor and blend until it looks like the below image. I also added some nutritional yeast for extra cheeseyness.

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Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water. Toss the pasta into the chorizo pan, remove from the heat and mix well with the creamy sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed, then season to taste

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Dress and toss the salad, then serve with the pasta

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Then me and my Mummy went out for a walk to burn off the extra calories! (Approx 600 per serving which is fine if you are training or if you are not trying to lose weight. Otherwise do what I did and have loads of salad and only a little bit of the pasta.)

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Sausage gnocchi with warm spring greens & bean salad

I started this on Facebook, but I wanted all you guys here to see it too.

I was off sick from work for a little while so I sat and watched Jamie’s 15 minute meals because his recipes are often easy to veganise. I then set myself a challenge to veganise every recipe in the book that goes along with the series and do it all in under 15 minutes.

This particular recipe was what I made the very first time that Mykey came over for dinner. I had to modify the recipe slightly because he is allergic to hazelnuts and soya yoghurt and I didn’t have any kale. It was also the first time he tried gnocchi so I took a bit of a risk and it went down an absolute treat. I’d even be tempted to say it was exquisitely delicious….. oh whoops! I just did! 🙂

Ingredients:

* 4 vegan sausages. (I used Fry’s because I think they are the best and hold their shape very well.)

* 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds.

* 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary.

* 125 ml of red wine (I used a merlot from Co-Op.)

* 200 g tenderstem broccoli

* 700 g passata

* 400 g gnocchi

* pack of vegan bacon. ( I used Redwoods.)

* olive oil

* 40 g walnuts

* 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

* 200 g fine green beans

* 300 g spring greens

* 1 1/2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large casserole pan, high heat • Small frying pan, high heat • Large lidded pan, high heat

START COOKING
Cut the sausage into chunks and place in the casserole pan with the fennel seeds and rosemary.

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Finely slice the bacon, put into the small frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the walnuts and cook until golden, then add the maple syrup and remove from the heat.

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Line the beans up and cut off the stalks, then put them into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and the lid.

Cook for 4 minutes, then add the greens, tearing up any larger leaves.

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Pour the wine into the sausage pan and let it bubble away while you check on the beans and greens.

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If done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a colander to drain, leaving the pan of water on the heat.

Tear the broccoli tips into the sausage pan, then slice and add the stalks, along with the passata.

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Add the gnocchi to the pan of water the greens were cooked in and pop the lid on.

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Mix the olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper in a serving bowl, tip in the drained greens and toss to coat, then scatter over the crispy nuts and bacon.

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When the gnocchi have been floating for a couple of minutes, drain them and toss with the sauce.

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Season to taste and serve in the pan, or on a nice platter if you have such things. I had a plate. Haha!

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…..and that was what won his heart. 😉