Seriously Tasty Time Saving Porridge Topper

Oats are amazing! They are great for the bacteria in your gut, give you loads of energy, keep you full up and are loaded with fiber. Being vegan I don’t really need to worry about fiber because everything I eat has it in, but you can always do with more right?

Mykey and I live a very hectic lifestyle. We are guardians to five cats and one very lively American Bulldog called Bailey. We also work full time and train twice a day everyday at the gym. A little while ago I decided we needed to cut down on the amount of time we spent getting ready in the morning for work, so I came up with this great time saving idea that gives porridge an extra health boost and tastes great.

I make up a jar full of super foods that I then sprinkle on top. Before I used to spend and extra twenty minutes in the morning making sure our breakfasts were as packed with nutrients as possible. Now I stick my spoon in my jar and throw it on top of my bowl of oats, before smothering in soya milk and sometimes heating in the microwave.

Yum!

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The jar lasts about a month if two of you are eating porridge everyday for 5 out of 7 days a week. I also like to put different things in it each month, but this month I’ve gone with flaked almonds, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, shredded coconut, walnuts, milled flaxseed, chia seeds and if I put anything else in there, I can’t remember!

Enjoy! 🙂

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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Spaghetti & Meatballs – Not What You Think!

This can be made raw if you have a dehydrator, which I do, however for the interest of the general public I’ll do this the traditional way…..for a very untraditional take on this classic Italian dish.

Ingredients

1 pack of sun dried tomatoes

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp flax seed

1 tsp hemp seeds

A large handful of standard mushrooms

A good sprinkle of both oregano and basil

A small sprinkle of fennel seed

Half a small bag of walnuts

4 large tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves

Sea salt

2 large courgettes

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Method:

Get the oven on at full whack.

Place the sundried tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, 2 garlic cloves (peeled), flax, hemp seeds, herbs, walnuts and sea salt in the blender and pulse blend until it forms into a crumbly mixture.

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Shape the mixture into small balls using a soup spoon and place in a baking tray.

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Then place in the oven on a 15 minute timer. Make sure you turn the heat down to about 200 degrees otherwise they will burn.

In the meantime, make the tomato sauce.

Combine the fresh tomatoes, two garlic, basil and sea salt and blend until smooth. (Use the food processor again. No need to wash it out.)

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You can then place this in a pan to heat or you can serve it cold.

Next you need to cut or spiralise the courgettes into noodles.

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I also added a cheeky splash of soy sauce just for some extra flavour.

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Then remove the meatballs from the oven and place on top of your, “spaghetti.”

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Pour your tomato sauce either warmed or cold over the top and enjoy the marvellous mix of flavours in this healthy, low calorie dish.

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Butter Bean Soup

Yes I know I’m doing another soup recipe, but it’s cold and who doesn’t need warming up in this weather? By the way, I’m not looking forward to winter! 😦

First off, we need the ingredients. This is another cheap and healthy meal.

  • A tablespoon of vegetable stock
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 400 grams of butter beans (Mine are dried, so I soaked mine for a few hours before hand. Tinned are much quicker.)
  • Two medium sized potatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Sage, parsley and thyme (or whatever similar herbs you have.)

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Now get yourself a large sauce pan and fill with water. Place your butter beans in the pan and turn the heat on full.

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Now it’s time for the potatoes. Make sure you dice those bad boys first.

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Onion and celery are next. Again chopped up nice and small.

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The water will be warming up nicely now, so it’s time to add the peeled and chopped carrots.

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If you’re a fan of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals like I am, you’ll have a garlic crusher. It is my number one time saving device because you don’t have to peel the garlic. 🙂 Add those crushed cloves in baby! (You can never have too much garlic!)

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Now sprinkle your mixture of herbs over the top, stir through. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for about 35 minutes.

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I actually put this yummy monster of a soup in a tub and took it to work.

You won’t need bread. This will fill you up with goodness from your head to your toes. Enjoy! 🙂

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(The recipe will make two very large portions.)

Creamy Carrot & Ginger Soup

I don’t know about where you live, but here in the South East of England Autumn is just starting and it’s getting chilly. What better way to start autumn than with a lovely, warming soup? This is so easy, cheap and ready within 25 minutes. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 10 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • A cube or large sprinkle of vegetable stock
  • Ginger paste
  • Coriander
  • Rapeseed oil

 

Method

Place a teaspoon of rapeseed oil into a hot pan and then place your chopped onions in.

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Laugh at a mutated carrot

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Add the rest of the carrots to the pan and mix well with a good sprinkle of dried coriander.

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Then add the vegetable stock in it’s dry form.

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Add a large squeeze of ginger paste, then pour in a pint of boiling water.

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Allow to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, or when the carrots soften.

Now it’s time to blend. Be careful that your blender is tightened up properly because you don’t want hot water to spray out onto you. (Speaking from experience btw.)

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Pulse blend until you get a lovely thick paste.

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Serve straight away with some more coriander, perhaps some soy sauce and a good chunky roll if that’s your thing.

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This is literally the best soup I’ve ever made and it was really, really filling. 🙂

 

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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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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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!

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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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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