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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Jerk Tofu With Cucumber “Pesto” Salad

Sunday lunch has never really been traditionally British in the Queer Vegan household. We very rarely sit down to a plate full of roasted stuff covered in gravy and anyway, if we do it’s normally at the Toby Carvery accompanied by a beer. (We’re on quite a strict diet at the moment due to Tough Mudder training so that’s really not going to be happening.)

Today’s Sunday lunch was much more typical of what we would eat and a hell of a lot healthier too. This dish is ram packed with calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and protein.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cucumber.
  • A large handful of baby leaf spinach.
  • Three cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • One tablespoon of pine nuts.
  • One tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  • One tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  • One block of tofu, drained. (Place the tofu between two plates for about 30 minutes so that as much water as possible is pressed from the block.)
  • Two tablespoons jerk seasoning.
  • Two tablespoons breadcrumbs.
  • Two tablespoons vegetable oil.

 

Method:

  1. Slice your drained tofu into your preferred shapes. (I like a rectangle shape personally.)
  2. Mix the oil, breadcrumbs and jerk seasoning in a bowl. Then gently cover each piece of tofu with the mixture and place straight into a hot grill pan. (The ones with the ridges that give the tofu a char-grilled look.) Each side will take about five minutes.
  3. In the meantime place the crushed garlic into a large bowl. Grate the cucumber and the spinach either manually (good luck) or use a food processor with the grater attachment. Place these in the bowl also.
  4. Mix around with your hands so that the garlic infuses throughout the salad and then place onto a plate. (This amount should serve two.)
  5. Now sprinkle the pine nuts, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast over the salad and add some dried chili flakes too. (Optional.)
  6. By now the tofu should be cooked. Remove from the hot pan using a spatula and place on top of the salad.
  7. GET THAT YUMMYNESS IN YOUR FACE!

 

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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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Lentil Stew & Sesame Rice

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: my family are difficult to feed. Each one has a different food that they dislike. Some won’t eat peppers, some won’t eat anything green, some won’t eat spices and others won’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes.

My way of eating changed dramatically when I left home. I started to experiment with world cuisine and ate foods I’d never have dreamed of eating before, which goes to show that a lot of people who are fussy eaters, me previously included, carry a lot of their dislike in their head rather than in their taste buds.

I am often tasked with cooking when I stay at my parents because I am adept at cooking large quantities of tasty food in a relatively short time. I decided to make this lentil stew and add various ingredients that I am constantly told won’t be eaten. Needless to say, it was all eaten.

Ingredients:

  • 285 g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cube of frozen ginger
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (All of them hate spice.)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (My mum and little sister hate tomatoes)
  • 1 lemon
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • Fresh parsley
  • 400g brown rice
  • 65 g sesame seeds (My little sister won’t eat seeds.)

Method

Do the rice first because it takes forever!

  • Place rice in a pan of boiling water and allow to cook on a low heat for about 45 minutes.
  • When rice is cooked, drain and mix with sesame seeds.

In the 45 minutes it takes to cook, get on with the stew!

  • Rinse the lentils under cold water and leave to drain.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is soft.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger, cumin and cayenne and keep stirring.
  • Add the vegetable stock, lentils, half of the lemon cut into slices and chopped tomatoes.
  • Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Finely chop your parsley and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the remaining half of the lemon.
  • Serve to your fussy family and watch them all eat it! 🙂

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Super Secret Scrambled Tofu Recipe: The Best You’ll Ever Have!!!!

I think people are a bit lost when it comes to tofu. It’s this white squishy block which doesn’t taste like anything. I saw an episode of Come Dine With Me once and a vegan guy on there served his dinner guests raw tofu and avocado. What the hell was he thinking? YUCK!

The number one rule is flavouring: herbs, spices and marinades are the best but sauces, bread crumbs and oils can also be great too.

On Facebook I’m constantly raving about how amazing Mykey’s scrambled tofu is, so I finally caught him in the act on Sunday morning and took some pictures.

 

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First let’s get these ingredients down:

  • A large handful of fresh baby leaf spinach (frozen is far too watery.)
  • 6 large button mushrooms
  • Tumeric
  • Black salt (not essential but will make the tofu smell and taste more like egg.)
  • Terriyaki sauce
  • 1 pack of chilled firm tofu (not silken)
  • A dash of oil
  • Wholemeal sourdough bread to serve
  • Nutritional yeast

 

Method:

Heat the dash of oil in a frying pan.

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Slice your mushrooms and place into the pan, stirring every minute or so.

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In the meantime, drain your tofu over the sink.

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When the mushrooms have begun to soften, add the tofu by squeezing it through your hands so it crumbles. Break any extra bits up with your mixing spoon.

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Now add about a tablespoon of powdered turmeric, a glug of teriyaki sauce, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast and two pinches of black salt and mix together.

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Add your spinach and mix in until wilted.

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Now you can turn off the heat whilst you wait for you bread to toast.

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Spread generously with vegan butter, add tofu and then get it all in your face, with ketchup.

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Oh and be careful, other’s in your house may want some too! 😛

Chickpea Balti

Everyone loves a good curry right? Well let us make a healthy and tasty alternative to the traditional takeaway. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 mugs of brown rice

A can of chic peas

A large handful of fresh baby leaf spinach

2 white onions

5 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

1 can of chopped tomatoes

Salt

Chili flakes

Fresh coriander

Method:

  • Get the rice in a pan and pour over some water. Boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. (Rice always takes AGES.) Drain and plate up.
  • In the meantime (like the 30 mins it’s gonna take the rice to cook) chop the onions and garlic and fry in a little oil.
  • Add all the spices, salt and a sprinkle of chili flakes to your flavour choice.
  • Now drain your chic peas and add to the pan. Mix well with the spices to ensure that they are full coated.
  • Next, add your fresh spinach and stir into your curry mixture until it starts to wilt.
  • Finally add your can of chopped tomatoes and heat through adding salt if required.
  • Serve with fresh coriander and shop brought mango chutney.

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Please enjoy responsibly! 😛

Get Your Healthy On: Vegetable Stir-fry

Sometimes to be healthy it’s all about taking it back to basics. Here’s one of my favourite and very basic recipes that is guaranteed to fill you up and not break the bank.

Ingredients:

A whole pack of mushrooms

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

A mug of brown rice

A mug of red lentils

Method:

  • Place the lentils and brown rice in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat.
  • In the meantime, cut, chop and peel all of your vegetables.
  • Place in a hot pan without oil and stir constantly for 10 minutes so that they do not stick.
  • Turn the heat off and allow to cool, whilst you wait for the rice and lentils.
  • When the rice and lentils are nearly done, crank up the vegetable pan again.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and lentils and place at the bottom of a bowl. Top with your steaming hot vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and soy sauce for some epic flavour.

500 calories, low fat and high fibre – not that us vegans really worry about fibre! 😉

That recipe will serve two adults.

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Christmas Tapas Menu

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I’ve only really come around to the idea of Christmas this year. Every year previous I’ve organised an event called Big Gay Christmas, where we would typically avoid general Christmas activities, get drunk and have a laugh with our friends. I would host an open house party and people would drop in and out all day, eat food and play video games with me. It also meant CHAMPAGNE FOR BREAKFAST and who doesn’t like that one day a year? Last year unfortunately I was severely let down. I spent most of the day by myself, until a kind friend invited me over and by which point I was so drunk and upset I fell asleep on her sofa.  With that in mind I decided that my generosity was no long appreciated and therefore would no longer be offered. Luckily I have a lovely Beardy who has a great family and they are having us and the woofer over for Christmas. This gives me great joy because for the first time in ten years, SOMEONE ELSE WILL BE COOKING! (Although I have agreed to make mulled wine.)

I’m at Mykey’s family for Christmas, so that means I’m at my parent’s for New Years. I promised them I’d make something tasty, so I decided I’d do a bit of a random tapas menu. Clearly I needed to practise it as well, due to my family being rather large. (Quite ironic for someone so avidly against population expansion.)

The menu is as follows:

  • Parsnip soup
  • Home made bread
  • Plant based cheeses
  • Chutneys and jellies
  • Bread crackers
  • Dutch apple cake (blatantly store brought)
  • Sweet, breaded and roasted “ham”
  • “Steak” and ale mini pies
  • Fruit jelly and custard
  • Roast potatoes
  • Thai “fish” cakes
  • Mushroom pate

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Obviously you need to like make gravy and steam some vegetables of your choice, but that is a 4-6 person spread right there.