Marinated Italian Tofu

20130323_192930 20130323_192940 20130323_192945

Flicking through the great book that is Veganomicon, I found a recipe called Marinated Italian Tofu. I decided to make it, even though it was slightly time consuming and the results were fantastic. This was a lovely weekend dinner and for an extra treat I made some garlic bread and I had a rocket salad on the side. Mykey’s favourite food is Italian so you can imagine he was over the moon helping me cook and prepare this meal.

Ingredients

Pack of tofu

Marinade

250ml    white wine (make sure the brand you use is vegan.)

2              tbsp. olive oil

2              tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2              tbsp. tamari

2              tbsp. lemon juice

2              cloves garlic

A handful of fresh basil

1              tsp. marjoram

1              tsp. thyme

Directions

Prepare marinade. Combine all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400. Cut tofu into eight equal pieces. Marinate for an hour. Flip after 30 minutes.

Place tofu on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for 10 minutes. Place in broiler for 3 minutes. (I didn’t do this. I left the tofu in the marinade and baked for 15 minutes each side in a really hot oven.)

Garlic bread

Ingredients

  • A small loaf of sour dough bread sliced into four. (Mykey and I munched the end pieces he he.)
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Margarine (Various vegan brands available.)

Method

 

  • Place all ingredients except bread into a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste.
  • Spread on sour dough and bake for 8 minutes.

Salad

  • A pack of rocket leaves
  • A handful of sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing (mix the two together.)

Then all you have to do is mix all ingredients together and sprinkle some nuts and seeds on top.

Low cholesterol

Low in sugar

Very high in calcium

High in phosphorus

Very high in vitamin A

Very high in vitamin B12

Very high in vitamin E

Approx nutritional values: 450 calories, 10 g fat, 38g carbohydrates and 14g protein.

Abokado

I was having a rough time one evening so I decided to go and stay with Mykey in Catford and drop him off to work the next day in Farringdon. Of course as always he was a great help in lifting my mood and keeping me company.

IMG-20130219-WA0002

When I went to drop him off at work the next day, I was left with an hour to burn before I could catch the train home and decided to have a look around for somewhere to eat. I stumbled across a small Japanese café that appeared to have a few things I could eat. I was amazed when I walked through the door to find a treasure trove of not only vegan but seriously healthy options for me to have for breakfast. I stood there for a good ten minutes before I finally decided on a falafel wrap (not very Japanese I know), sea weed salad and a soya latte. All of this cost me under a fiver! What a result!?

20130301_082938

I told Mykey about Abokado and every day that week he sent me pictures of all the yummy food he was having whilst I was at work. Nice of him wasn’t it?

IMG-20130301-WA0001 IMG-20130311-WA0001 IMG-20130313-WA0003

I have since discovered that Abokado have 13 establishments throughout London and have a dedication to providing healthy food for all. Most vegan meals tend to be less than 400 calories and are certainly filling. The website also has extensive nutritional information and everything which is vegan is marked with a VE.

Pros

  • Healthy
  • Cheap
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff

Cons

  • Only available in London currently
  • Not an entirely vegan chain
  • Not really any bagel or cake options for vegans

Check them out! 8/10

http://abokado.com/

abokado

 

Simple Quinoa Salad

This is often a staple for me when I am out on the road driving all over the country, or if I have a busy day at work. As you can see from the picture below, I am eating this at my desk.

Ingredients:

A handful of quinoa

½ Courgette

A few strips of dulse

¼ Cucumber

A handful of sprouted beans

Basil

Soy Sauce

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Chop the courgette into half-moon shapes and place in a baking tray with a drizzle of coconut oil. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven for 20 minutes and then leave to cool on the side before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Heat up a small pan of water and cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions. (You can set this up whilst the courgette is baking.)
  • Chop up the cucumber and tomato and place in a bowl.
  • Mixed in cooled and drained quinoa and courgettes.
  • Sprinkle with dulse strips, basil, soy sauce, sea salt and black pepper.
  • Mix with a spoon to give the ingredients good distribution throughout the dish.

IMG-20130129-WA0003

Subway: Do we love it or hate it?

Now we don’t have the veggie burgers and other mock meat in Subway in the UK, but there are still plenty of options especially for someone who travels a lot like me.

Some vegans I know refuse to eat there, stating that they don’t like salad and bread. I say you should make the most of what you have got. Healthy food at a cheap price, available nearly everywhere. It beats grabbing a bag of over salted peanuts.

Here are some of things that I have when I visit Subway either when I am out on the road or have to take a working lunch.

6” Veggie Delite (no cheese) in a wheat bread sub. I have this with literally all of the salad they have on offer and sweet onion sauce.

Veggie Delight

A foot long Veggie Delite (no cheese) in a wheat bread sub (There are other types such as Hearty Italian, but I’ll only really recommend whole wheat breads.) with all the salad again, but this time ketchup.

1136585094_UPersonalVeggie-01

A Veggie Delite Salad Box (no cheese) with all of the salad and hot chilli sauce. The picture below shows Redwood’s Chicken Style Pieces scattered over the salad. It tastes good on its own, but sometimes I need some extra texture and protein and I’m lucky that the subway I visit most often has a Nutricentre next door.

IMG-20130125-WA0008

There are also ready salted and sweet chilli crisps which I never have, but hey whatever floats your boat.

Walkers-sunbites-sweet-chili-packetwalkers ready slted

The drinks however are all owned by Coca Cola. If you choose to support them, that’s up to you. I personally avoid them where I can.

 

At least three healthy lunch or dinner options which is a lot more than can be said for most places. Still hate Subway?

Where do you get your protein and calcium? *Sigh*

The animal agribusiness giants have certainly been successful in their plans to indoctrinate the general public from the mid-20th century onwards. Nearly everyone I speak to including some vegans, believe that it is hard to get protein and calcium from non-animal sources. This is due to a massive advertising campaign by the meat and dairy industries in newspapers, on television and now on the internet.

vintage-meat-ads-07-634x860

wolverine-got-milk

The funny thing about the image above is that Hugh Jackman employed Brendan Brazier, a well known vegan ultra-marathon champion and nutrition expert to help him slim down the fat and bulk up the muscle for roles such as Wolverine in X-Men and Charlie Kenton in Real Steel. Brendan only promotes a high raw, vegan wholefood diet. Interesting?

download

Then you have all the vegan bodybuilders and sports people who have more muscle than the average non-vegan Joe could ever dream of. How do you explain that?

It’s easy really. Protein and calcium can be found in a variety of foods. If you have a varied and healthy diet, there is no reason you won’t be meeting your daily recommended intake whatsoever. Calcium deficiency is quite rare in the wealthy nations of Europe and America and protein deficiency does not even have a medical term anywhere in the world because it’s practically impossible. Everything has some protein in, even potatoes.

There is evidence to suggest that over consumption of meat and dairy can lead to bowel cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and even early onset dementia. Also there is a positive correlation between the consumption of dairy products and the incidence of osteoporosis in countries that consume it as a staple part of their diets. (Books such as The China Study and Diet For A New America go into to more detail, but I wanted to keep the health implications of animal product consumption brief.) Sadly this isn’t common knowledge because of the influence animal agribusiness has on all forms of media and the government. (Remember learning about protein at school?)

Let’s look at some protein rich foods to start with:

Beans & Legumes

Beans

Beansprouts

Sprouts

Tofu

Can-I-give-my-baby-tofu

Wholegrains

resolutions_whole_grains_600

Nuts & Seeds

sprouted-nuts-seeds

Hummus

hummus-460_1007759c

Now let’s look at some calcium rich foods:

Kale

slide_222478_902952_free

Oranges

slide_222478_902972_free

Soya Milk

slide_222478_903347_free

Oats

slide_222478_903270_free

Spinach

Spinach

Dried figs

slide_222478_903293_free

The above protein and calcium rich foods are just some examples of vegan food that contains both of these important building blocks. There is a huge variety across the board to suit all tastes.

Here is a tasty brunch that is rich in protein and calcium. Spinach, carrot and onion salad, raw orange peppers, soy yoghurt and mint dressing, baked beans and scrambled tofu.

IMAG0345

So there you have it!

Quinoa, Bean and Pepper Salad

Here is a quick, easy and nutritious salad recipe that can be eaten on the go.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ of a bag of Quinoa (Tesco is by far the cheapest place to purchase Quinoa at £1.69 a bag.)
  • A whole yellow bell pepper.
  • A whole red onion.
  • A handful of pinto beans. (Pre- soaked or from a tin.)
  • All-purpose Caribbean seasoning.

 

Method

 

  • If you are using pre-soaked pinto beans, you will need to cook these in water on a high heat for approximately 30 minutes first. If you are using tinned pinto beans, drain excess liquid and put to one side.
  • Pour quinoa into another pan of water and cook on a high heat for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, deseed and chop the pepper and peel and chop the onion into small chunks. Place in a large bowl.
  • Add cooked pinto beans (or from a tin) into the bowl a long with the cooked quinoa.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle with Caribbean seasoning for acquired taste mixing again.

I’m lazy, so I just ate it out of the big bowl I mixed it in. You can serve with a fresh, crisp salad if you’re that way inclined.

 

IMG-20130122-WA0006