Chutney Roasted Mock Beef Spinach & Beetroot Salad

Things don’t always have to be complicated to be amazing. Sometimes the most simple of ingredients thrown together can create an explosion of flavour in your mouth that you thought you might never be able to create.

A lot of people think that as a vegan you always have to make everything from scratch too. Well that is a big fat lie! The stars of this dish are the pre-made ingredients you can see below:

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The ingredients themselves are pretty simple too:

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  • A teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • A good few twists of black pepper.
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • A whole pack of pre-diced and smoked beetroot.
  • 3/4 pack of baby leaf spinach.
  • 1 teaspoon of olive or rapeseed oil.
  • 1 whole pack of VBites beef style roast chopped into slices.
  • 2 tablespoons of your favourite sweet chutney.

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This recipe will make enough for two hungry post-workout adults. 😉

  1. Get the oven on it’s top heat, whatever that is for you.
  2. Place the balsamic vinegar, oil and beef style pieces in a baking tray and mix together so that the flavours start to soak into the “meat.”
  3. Now mix in the chutney making sure every single slice is smothered in it. Use more that 2 tablespoons if need be.
  4. Place that deliciousness in the oven for 10 minutes. (Keep an eye on it because the chutney burns easily.)
  5. In the mean time mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and chop them down with a large pair of scissors to give it a shredded salad feel. (You won’t need any dressing. The “beef” will dress the entire thing.)
  6. When 10 minutes has passed, remove the roasting mix from the oven and combine with the salad you just made.
  7. Serve that baby hot and maybe with a pinch of dried chilli on top. 🙂

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Cauliflower Rice Wraps

Quite often I sit at work bored out of my mind day dreaming about what I can have for dinner and that is often where my ideas for blog posts come from too. I wanted to make something Mexican inspired that wasn’t too heavy on the calories but still absolutely delicious. This is what I came up with! 🙂

 

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Ingredients:

  • A small head of cauliflower. (I got mine in the reduced section at Tesco for 79p)
  • A large handful of brown lentils.
  • 5 cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 red onions.
  • Fajita spice packet. (Again Tesco have a cheaper own brand range that I used here.)
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • Some alfalfa sprouts. (Optional but a nice nutritional hit.)
  • Fresh baby leaf spinach, about two handfuls.
  • A mild shop brought salsa or if you have time you can make your own.
  • Wholemeal tortilla wraps.

Method:

Rinse your lentils in cold water and then place in a pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until reasonably soft.

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Peel and finely chop your onion and garlic and place in the pan.

Peel the leaves from your head of cauliflower. Now you can either grate it or you can place the cauliflower in a blender with the grater attachment. Once complete place in the pan with the onion and garlic and mix thoroughly.

Now add the fajita spice, mix through and turn the heat down whilst you wait for then lentils to cook.

Once the lentils are down, drain and then mix in with the cauliflower rice. You may wish to add more spice here. I added some black pepper, mainly because I really like it! 😛

Chop up your spinach, sprouts and cherry tomatoes and place in a salad bowl. I also like to place the fajita mix in a bowl and the tortillas on a plate so everyone can just help themselves.

This recipe makes enough for four large wraps and it’s super healthy.

 

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Spicy Green Bean Noodle Salad

This is kinda like a comfort food and salad all in one and it certainly hits the spot.

I think we should always aim to get the most out of each meal nutrition wise, but I was a bit short on the green stuff. So if you have a fridge or freezer full of greens, get them in there too. I’d recommend mange tout, broccoli or kale.

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Ingredients: 

  • Two large handfuls of green beans. (Mine were frozen.)
  • Half a cucumber, sliced thinly.

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  • 1 white onion, diced.
  • Half a packet of wholewheat spaghetti or rice noodles.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes.
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce.
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoons agave nectar.
  • The juice of half a lemon.
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds or crushed peanuts. (I used almonds.)

 

Method:

Get yourself a large mixing bowl. Place the diced onion, chili flakes, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar, lemon juice, toasted sesame oil and almonds in the bowl and mix together with a fork. Place to one side to allow the flavours to infuse.

Get a large pan of water on the boil and place the spaghetti in to cook for about 10 minutes or whatever the packet instructions recommend.

In the meantime, steam the green beans for about 8 minutes.

Drain both the green beans and spaghetti and place in a large serving dish, mixing together.

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Now add the dressing and mix through thoroughly.

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Now add the cucumber and mix again. (You add the cucumber last so that it doesn’t go soggy.)

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You can then season with whatever herbs you like. I used coriander.

There’s enough for 3 to 4 adults. 🙂

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You can connect with Queer Vegan on social media too.

 

@QVegan

Facebook.com/queervegan

 

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Aubergine Parmigiana (Soy & Gluten Free)

This is total comfort food for when those spring evenings aren’t quite warm enough yet. It’s also a budget meal with just a few ingredients and herbs that you can make with what you have in a standard vegan cupboard. If you’re not vegan yet, perhaps you should visit http://www.whyveganism.com and get on that shit, right now! 😀

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Ingredients:

3 large aubergines

1 glug of olive oil

2 red onions

3 garlic cloves

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper to season

1/4 tub of nutritional yeast

Method:

1) Slice the aubergine into quite thick slices and rub with salt and pepper. (Aubergine tends to be quite watery and you want it to absorb all the tomatoey goodness.)

2) Place in layers in a a lasagne dish.

3) Now mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. (Except the nutritional yeast.) Leave to marinate for 10 minutes whilst you heat the oven.

4) Now pour over the aubergine dish and sprinkle all of the nutritional yeast on the top.

5) Bake for 40 minutes.

6) Serve with new potatoes or a crisp salad.

 

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What I Ate Sunday

Today has been a really productive and non-stressful day and for the first time in what seems like forever, the sun was out. I woke up at around 07:15 but didn’t bother to get up until 08:30 due to having lots of snuggles of felines, a large white woof and a beardy man times. I left the bearded one in bed and made an epic smoothie, which subsequently I spoiled him with in bed.

This is a banana, mango, spinach, peanut butter and raw cacao powder smoothie. It tastes like a peanut butter and banana milkshake.

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That did me for the whole morning because it was so filling, however on return from our 6k walk with Bailey Woof I was getting a tad hungry so I made a wholemeal spinach and pasta “cheesy” bake with a cucumber and tomato side salad.

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A little while after this we hit the gym where we lifted some seriously heavy shit. I needed a protein hit after that so when we got home I rustled up some cashew nut cheese on some wholemeal sweet onion crackers.  (I’ll be posting a recipe for this soon.)

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For dinner Mykey made a kale, bean, mushroom, spinach and breaded tofu stir fry which totally hit the spot.

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So there you have it. Simply, tasty and healthy vegan food. 🙂

Leek & Potato Soup (Cheap As Chips!)

It feels like we have had two days of sunshine since the beginning of 2014. In fact the weather is so bad that there is a severe weather warning across most of the country with mass flooding and possible tornado warnings. I’ve never known anything like it in my life! Whether you believe it’s the human race’s fault or it’s happening on it’s own, you can’t deny that the weather and climate are certainly changing.

With that in mind, is it any surprise that I am once again providing you with a delicious and healthy dose of comfort food to keep you warm? Not really! 😉

I rustled this up from scratch after a walk on the beach with the dogs and my family. I believe this might have been the first time my sister Donna has tried my food and she seemed to like it, so get in! 🙂

Ingredients for 5 adults:

3 leeks, chopped

6 small potatoes, peeled

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

1 pint of unsweetened soya milk

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Seeded rolls to serve

Method:

  • Fill your largest pot to the half way point and place on the stove on a high heat.
  • Place the potatoes, leeks, onion, garlic and stock cube in the water and turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water and place back on the hob, this time adding the mustard and soya milk. (If you want it to be extra creamy, here is the place to add a dollop of vegan butter if that sort of thing takes your fancy.)
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Use a hand blender to turn the soup into a thick and filling mixture.

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  • Serve with “buttered” half stale rolls that your Dad picked up for 8p. 😉 (Or some nice fresh ones are just fine too.)

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It has also been mentioned in a lot of my outreach work lately that people believe vegan food is expensive. Here is proof that it isn’t. The total cost of this dish per head was less than £1. Please enjoy and share far and wide.

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Vegetable Paella

Sorry I’ve not posted in a while! I’ve unfortunately had a lot of anxiety issues lately but fear not, I’m back on track to being a super fitness fiend.

Seeing as we’re all feeling the squeeze at the moment, I thought I’d do another one of my Cheap as Chips meals. Most of the ingredients you should have in your cupboard or fridge and if you don’t, you should be able to source them from your local corner shop.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers (you can even go for frozen ones if you’re super skint.)
  • A large handful of frozen peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pint of long grain rice
  • 2 pints of vegetable stock
  • A good pinch of black pepper

Method

Chop your peppers, onion and garlic and place in a heated pan with some oil. Add your frozen ingredients (which for me was just peas) and mix.

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Then create a well in the middle of the pan and fill with your two chopped fresh tomatoes and the paprika.

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Now pour the vegetable stock straight into the well in the middle and mix everything around thoroughly.

Add the rice and mix through thoroughly.

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Allow to simmer on the lowest heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In this time the liquid will start to be absorbed by the rice, so make sure it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.

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Once 20 minutes has passed, sprinkle with pepper and allow to stand for another five minutes. (The longer you leave it the thicker it will become.)

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Stuffed Tomatoes

A while back I asked my friend on Facebook to come up with three cheap ingredients and I’d make a simple, healthy meal out of them. The first person to post was my friend Pete. He suggested that I make something out of twigs, leaves and water in traditional vegan style. Of course he was joking and subsequently posted tomatoes, pine nuts and tofu. What a great combination! Tofu is rammed full of protein and calcium, pine nuts have loads of vitamin E and tomatoes have loads of vitamin C. A healthy and affordable combination. 

I went to Asda and brought two pack of beef tomatoes. They are currently out of season so they cost more than I was hoping. I also brought just one pack of silken tofu. I already had a bag of pine nuts at home. They are the expensive part, but once you buy some you will find many uses for them and they last for ages. Total basic ingredient cost approximately £6.80 and that will feed two people for lunch or four people for a starter.

Turn on your oven and heat to 200 degrees.

 

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Now the problem i have is that on it’s own, tofu tastes of NOTHING. I figured most people would have garlic, onions and turmeric in the house, so I’m allowing them as ingredients because they are store cupboard staples. (If you don’t have them, they are pretty damn cheap from any local corner shop.)

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First things first; chop the onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and place in a hot pan with oil of your choice. I used sesame seed oil for some extra flavour.

 

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Stir lots and then place about half of the bag of pine nuts into the pan.

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Stir some more and then turn the heat off.

Next job is to prepare the tomatoes. Slice the tops off quite thinly and place to one side. (You’ll need them later.)

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Now slice a deep circle around the center of the tomato and scoop out with a knife or a spoon. (I used a bit of both.)

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Once you have completed this, place on a baking tray upside down to allow any extra fluid to drain away.

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Place any leftover tomato center that isn’t part of the hard core, into the pan with the pine nuts etc and turn the heat back on.

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Cut open the pack of silken tofu and squeeze into the hot pan. Mix well and then add a good sprinkle of turmeric. You can also add any other condiments that you have laying around here. Soy sauce, salt or black pepper would go really well and give it some extra flavour. 

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Mix everything really well. Then turn your beef tomatoes over and fill with the warm tofu mix. Then place the lids you chopped off earlier on top.

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I also sprinkled a bit of olive oil over the top here so they would bake more quickly, but this is optional too.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve as a starter with some rocket salad or as a lunch on it’s own. Two will most certainly fill you up.

Enjoy! 🙂

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