Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Vegan Phad Thai

O.k. so this is not strictly speaking a ‘traditional phad thai’ recipe but nonetheless it’s still seriously tasty! It’s so good in fact my none vegan friends and relatives are forever asking me to cook it for them and I myself eat this pretty much all the time. Not only that but it’s so easy to make and doesn’t take long at all, nor does it require any particular skill in the kitchen. Another great thing about this recipe for me is that I can use whatever vegetables I happen to have in at that moment, and the ingredients for the sauce are stuff I always keep in my cupboard so this is literally my go too recipe when I just want something simple but tasty. I have adapted this recipe from a little vegan cook book called ‘Vegan with a Vengeance’ which, if you haven’t already, you MUST check out!

.::What you need:

450g/ 1lb rice noodles

4 tablespoons of groundnut oil (note: this recipe serves 4 so if your wok is quite small you may want to fry the ingredients in two smaller batches, in which case you will need 6 tablespoons. The frying part only takes 3-4 minutes so every one can still eat together!)

1 block of tofu, drained and pressed and cut into small triangles (or if you can get hold of them some pre-marinaded tofu pieces. I usually use Cauldron’s tofu pieces if I can’t be bothered to wait a half an hour whilst my tofu drains!)

1 medium sized red onion, chopped into strips

1 pepper, chopped into strips (the colour of it is up to you!)

1 courgette, cubed (or zucchini if you’re American!)

– Some asparagus tips, halved

– A handful of mushrooms, chopped

8 spring onions, sliced

1 pak choi

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t have tamari)

3 tablespoons of agave (or 6 tablespoons of sugar)

2 tablespoons of chilli sauce or hot sauce (I like my spice so I usually put in a little more, but go with your gut!)

2 tablespoons of sun dried tomato paste (or tomato purée)

3 tablespoons of lime juice (or lemon)

3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

Sprinkling of chilli flakes

step 1: Prepare the rice noodles according to the directions on the packet (unless you’re using the straight-to-wok option which is great for the washing the up!)

Step 2: Mix together the ingredients for the sauce

step 3: Preheat a large wok or frying pan over a medium to high heat. Pour two tablespoons of oil in the pan and heat. Add the tofu. Stir fry for about 4 to 5 minutes until crispy. Remove and place on a piece of kitchen towel.

step 4: (if you’re frying in batches remember to half these ingredients!)  Pour two tablespoons of oil into the pan. Add the onion and stir fry for around 30 seconds. Add the rest of the veggies and stir fry for another 30 seconds to a minute (depending on how crisp you like them!). Add the sauce. As soon as the sauce bubbles (which should be more or less straight away) add the noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tofu, spring onions and pak choi. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.

step 5: serve and enjoy!

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Spaghetti tofu balls

This dish is great for everyone and the tofu balls are a fun addition to  plain old spaghetti. A great substitute if you’re bored of soy mince. Nicely served with a fruity red vegan wine!

.::What you will need:

-250g/90z firm tofu, drained (see:the taming of the tofu (not shrew))

-1 onion, coarsely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, crushed

-5ml/1 tsp wholegrain mustard

-15ml/1 tbsp ground cumin

-1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

-15ml/ 1tbsp tamari or soy sauce (which ever you prefer but if you go with the tamari use slightly less)

-50g/2oz/half cup ground almonds

-30ml/2 tbsp olive oil

350g/12oz spaghetti

sea salt and ground black pepper

basil for garnish

.::for the sauce

-15ml/1 tbsp olive oil

-1 large onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, chopped

-1 large aubergine (or eggplant if you’re in the USA!), diced

-2 courgettes (or zucchini), diced

-1 red (bell) pepper, seeded and finely chopped

-15ml/1 tbsp agave syrup

-400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

-200ml/7fl oz/1 cup vegetable stock

-1 tbsp sun dried tomato paste (optional)

Step one, make the tofu balls: Tear up the drained tofu into little pieces then place this along with the grated onion, crushed garlic, mustard, ground cumin, chopped parsley, soy sauce, and ground almonds into a bowl. Season to taste and mix thoroughly. Roll up your sleeves and start rolling the mixture into walnut sized balls, squishing the mixture with your hands.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the tofu balls (I would recommend trying out a couple of the balls first, our first attempt was rather a failure to say the least (see picture!) But, as you can see, we soon got the hang of it!).

Cook gently, turning them occasionally until brown all over. Remove from pan and set aside on some kitchen roll.

Step two, prepare the sauce: Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the aubergine, courgette, pepper, and agave syrup, and stir fry for around 10 minutes until vegetables begin to brown and have softened (as my handy assistant is doing in the photo to your left!) Season to taste.

Stir in the tomatoes  and stock (and sun dried tomato paste if using). Cover the mixture and simmer for about 20minutes or until sauce has thickened. Just before the end of cooking time add the tofu balls to the mix to heat through for about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of slightly salted, boiling water according to packet’s instructions.

Serve, garnished with basil.

Chickpeas on toast

Right, the first Speedy Veganzales meal I’ll be posting is a variation on an old classic: beans on toast. I could be really cheeky and post a recipe to that. But I think I can do slightly better than a can of beans and some toast. So, I’ve decided to mix it up and make my own recipe for all you chickpea fans out there. I mean let’s be honest, do you even know what bean is in baked beans? I sure don’t. But chickpeas are the coolest of the beans anyway (assuming they are beans… again I don’t know).

As mentioned with the intro post to Speedy Veganzales, this meal is going to be quick and easy to make, as well as tasty and nutritious. Chickpeas provide a great dose of the fabled vegan protein, so eat ’em up if you want big vegan guns. The meal provides both carbs and protein, so should keep you energised and full for a while. It is perfect for any time of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Will Serve

2 (or just 1, if you’re me…)

The Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil (10ml)
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato puree (10ml)
  • Half a tablespoon of paprika (preferably smoked)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne chili pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Vegan margarine/spread

The method

  • Firstly empty your cans of chickpeas (including the water) and chopped tomatoes straight into a saucepan. Stir this together and then add the olive oil and tomato puree and begin to heat the mixture on the hob on a high heat.

  • Stir the mixture whilst heating it. Add the paprika, sugar, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and chili pepper whilst doing this, one at a time, stirring each one into the mixture as you do so. Continue stirring and as the mixture starts to bubble and boil turn it down to a medium heat.
  • Continue stirring, ensuring that there is constant evaporation as the mixture needs to thicken up. After about 15-20 minutes total time over the heat, it should be ready. At this point put the mixture on a low heat. Toast your bread and spread is generously with margarine before putting it on a plate.

    • Scoop the mixture and place it over the toast. Give it a minute before tucking in, as the juices will run into the bread a little. Enjoy!

      Note: This meal is a little spicey. It’s not too much but it has a bit of a kick. If you want a more authetic baked beans style flavour then put the sugar up to half a tablespoon, whilst removing the chili pepper and lowering the paprika to one teaspoon. Or just use baked beans…

      Speedy Veganzales

      Right, I’m gonna let you into a little secret now. I can’t cook. I’m terrible at it. People seem to automatically assume that as a vegan you’ll also be a culinary hero. I mean, you kind of need to be as you’ll seriously struggle in trying to find a vegan ready meal. But alas, I am a failure in the kitchen. This probably comes from 100 grams of inability, two teaspoons of laziness, and forgetting to stir in creativity. If I haven’t got the lovely Wrosie or Ellie to help me out (both of whom ARE culinary heroes, or heroines, or whatever) then I feel somewhat doomed, either feeling too apathetic to cook or feeling inspired only to be completely demoralised by the sheer range of stuff I could attempt. Nevertheless, I am still alive so I must have managed to cook something in my time as a vegan in order to still be talking to you right now. Hopefully I shall be able to share the secrets of my vitality here…

      These are the Speedy Veganzales meals. The idea is to create a range of recipes for dishes which are both so simple that they make microwave meals seem difficult in comparison, and so quick that you’ll be eating them before you even realise you’ve started cooking. All meals in this category have a time limit of half an hour. Any longer and they simply ain’t speedy enough. Also, these meals should be able to be cooked up on the most basic of cupboards. You won’t see any ingredients here which require you to order stuff over the internet, hunt out a specialised store, or climb a mountain to obtain. All the ingredients should be available in your local Tesco Express. The meal will also need to be both tasty and (reasonably) healthy! Don’t expect to see deep fat fried lettuce here, no siree! Or maybe do if my other creations fail… we’ll see. Anyway, these are the requirements to create a Speedy Veganzales meal. Basically they should be simple for you to recreate. Now hang around, as the first meal in this category will be on its way to you err… speedily enough.

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