Golden Aubergine with Greens and Potato Gratin

This is a veganised version of Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meal, “golden chicken, braised greens and potato gratin.” I could well have used some seriously decent mock chicken from Veggie World, but I firstly intended to do this with tofu. I looked in the fridge, the cupboard and the freezer and I had absolutely zero tofu, so I decided to go with an aubergine. If you are serving this for more than two people, use more than one aubergine.

Prep:

Boil the kettle

Pans out

Oven pre-heated to 200 degrees

Food processor setup

Ingredients:

800 g potatoes (I was lucky enough to have some that a work colleague had grown.)

Vegetable stock powder (or crumbled cube)

1 red onion

Rapeseed oil

Dried sage

A can of reduced fat coconut cream

Nutritional yeast

1 aubergine

Dried rosemary

Sea salt

Pepper

Frozen peas

Frozen runner beans

Method:

Finely slice the potatoes in the food processor.

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Then tip into a pan and cover with the hot water from the kettle. Leave on the heat, but do not allow to boil over.

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Peel the onions and also put through the food processor.

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Place in a high edged roasted dish and sprinkle with oil, stock, salt and pepper. Place this on the hob and turn up the heat, adding a dash of water to stop it from burning and then after you have stirred it thoroughly, turn the heat off.

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Slice the aubergine and place in a hot pan with a tablespoon of oil. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary.

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Leave for a few minutes and flip occasionally to allow both sides to brown. The aubergine will absorb the oil pretty quickly, so I added a dash of water here and there to keep it cooking without burning. You can turn the heat down and allow this cook whilst you get on with other things now.

Drain the potatoes well in a colander, then pour into the tray with the onions and turn the heat back on whilst you mix everything together.

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Pour over the coconut cream and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Turn the hob off and pick tray up with an oven glove and place on the top shelf of the oven for 10 minutes.

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In the meantime you can continue flipping your aubergine slices and adding water if needed.

Now you should use the rest of the water in the kettle to steam your peas and runner beans for about three minutes.

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Drain your peas and beans and season with herbs of choice. I used dried chives.

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Serve up and enjoy this creamy delight.

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Jamie Oliver reckons this meal is 600 calories. I’d say take away the single dairy cream and the fried chicken and it’s down to 450 – 500 calories. An ideal lunch or pre-17:00 meal. Enjoy!

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Creamy Chic Pea Salad

This is a leaner version of a creamy chicken salad, especially if you can get reduced fat vegan mayonnaise. I used to really enjoy creamy foods before I went vegan, so it was great news to me that this can be achieved with lower fat, high protein and by not harming any animals. What a result ay?

Ingredients:

* Two romaine lettuces.

* Fresh or tinned pineapple cut into triangles.

* Half a jar of reduced fat, egg free mayonnaise. (If you can get garlic mayo, even better.)

* Fresh or dried parsley, chopped finely.

* A large handful of walnuts

* A can of chic peas or 300g of sprouted chic peas.

Method:

Rinse the chic peas under the cold tap

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Add the mayonniase

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Combine together with a spoon or a fork and add in the parsley.

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Leave to stand for a few minutes to allow the flavours to mix. In the meantime chop your romaine lettuce using scissors if possible to trim the leaves down to a reasonable size.

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Place the lettuce on a plate, then spoon the creamy mixture on top. Now grab your pineapple and walnuts and sprinkle over the top. How easy was that? Dig in!

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Savoury Breakfast Pancakes

Mykey and I have recently taken so eating low fat, minimal ingredient pancakes one day a week. We often have ones stuffed with fruit, for example today I have blueberry pancakes. We actually mixed the blueberries in the batter and it came out an absolute treat. It also fuelled my gym work out perfectly. I’m hoping to move away from wheat pancakes soon and experiment with rice flour etc.

On Sunday we had a busy day planned. A baking hot car boot sale and then the rest of the day doing the garden so having a very large breakfast was certainly on the cards. (We burnt it off, don’t you worry!)

 

Ingredients:

  • Self raising flour 250g
  • Oat milk 500ml
  • Two rashers of Redwood’s tempeh bacon
  • Half a can of reduced sugar and salt baked beans (or your own home made version if you have more time than we did.)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • A large handful of fresh babyleaf spinach

Method:

  • Mix the self raising flour with the oat milk until you get a thick batter like mixture. Add more of each ingredient as appropriate.
  • Leave to sit for 1 minute.
  • Pour a teaspoon of rapeseed oil into a hot pan and make sure it runs over as much surface as possible.
  • Pour about half the mixture into the pan and leave to cook until the edges start to change colour and bubbles appear in the middle and then flip and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Place on a plate whilst you prepare the second pancake.
  • Once both pancakes are cooked, start heating your beans and gently fry your baby leaf spinach with the garlic and tempeh bacon until soft.
  • Pour over the top of the pancakes and sprinkle with some nutritional yeast for extra flavour and nutrition.

 

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Clean Eating

The below table explains perfectly how I feel about exercise and what has been working for me for about a year now.

 Clean Eating Pyramid

High intensity cardio:

  • Running/sprinting
  • Interval and circuit training
  • Spinning
  • Mountain biking
  • Fast paced swimming

Strength and core training, Weight Lifting and Plyometric Exercise

  • Yoga and Pilates for strength
  • Core exercises like planks, crunches etc.
  • Weight lifting such as bicep curls, squats, pull-ups, dips, bench press etc.
  • Burpees, mountain climbers, ninja jumps and bear crawls etc.

Clean Eating

  • Whole foods and natural foods to be eaten whilst eliminating processed, in packet foods.
  • Whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa are great as unrefined carbohydrates. You should avoid all refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white pasta.
  • The more raw fruit and veg you can eat, the better.
  • Lessen your intake of fat, salt and sugar. This becomes easier when you cut out all processed foods.
  • Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day, keeping your blood sugar steady. (I like 3 meals with 2 large snacks.)
  • Just drink water, smoothies and homemade juices / not from concentrate juices. (Lots and lots of water.)
  • Don’t eat things which are full of growth hormones, adrenaline, mercury, saturated fat, cholesterol and nasty antibiotics. (Meat, fish, shell fish, poultry, game, dairy, eggs etc etc.)
  • Get active. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.

In summary, a plant based clean vegan diet will fuel you through the top two tiers. What you eat is 70% of the effort required. Don’t make it a diet, make it a lifestyle change and never look back.

Here’s a typical 2 day’s food:

  Monday Tuesday

Breakfast

Porridge Blueberry pancakes

Post Workout

Protein shake Protein shake

Snack

Nakd Bar Banana and orange

Lunch

Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad with Mango Tofu and broccoli stir-fry with rice noodles

Snack

Banana and peanut butter Baby carrots with hummus

Dinner

Kale, avocado, tomato and courgette salad Bean chilli with cauliflower mash

Please feel free to ask any questions!

Rant No.1

This week I have three weights sessions, four spin classes, two circuits classes, two Spartan training sessions and a long hike planned; yet I am still able to cook healthy food, promote veganism, have a fulfilling relationship with my partner, look after five cats and a bunny and still have time to read and learn so as not to be ignorant of the things around me. I might even get some me time this week too. (Oh yeah and let’s not forget the 35 hour working week.)

It annoys me greatly when people say that they don’t have the time for the gym. What? Are you too busy watching three hours of TV a night or did your life depend on you getting that achievement on your new Xbox game? (I’m a gamer as well and I manage a good few hours of that a week too so :P)

It annoys me even more when people say they don’t have time to read and educate themselves on matters of importance not only to them, but to the planet and to the animals. In the past week I’ve had several people talk to me about non-abolitionist single issue campaigns. It always boils down to lack of knowledge on their behalf. I can understand if you haven’t read every abolitionist book out there, but not reading my deliberately simplified and easy to understand blog posts on abolitionism? Now that just sets my face on fire! Instead of arguing with me about the validity of your method of advocating for animals, you could have read my blog and perhaps grasped why I cannot and will not support your speciesist way of thinking.

 

angry-face

 

 

“You are highlighting the plight of one species of animal. In a society where the use of animals is accepted and considered normal, for any animal advocacy group to single out just one, immediately suggests that this particular use is somehow morally different than all other uses. That somehow this use is unacceptable, but the others are fine—or at least better. This has the effect of normalising all other uses in the eyes of the public. It suggests that some species of animals are okay to use, but some are “special” and deserve to be protected. This is actually speciesism (the belief that one species is morally superior to another), the very thing that we need to oppose if we are to achieve rights for animals. It’s helping to create moral inconsistency in our view of animals instead of challenging it.” – Jenna Fox, The Abolitionist