Wednesday, 29 June 2016

lemon chilli spaghetti with garlic mushrooms and asparagus

This is my first post for over two weeks.. I've been off gallivanting on holidays and haven't cooked a single thing. Unless you count hummus and tomato sandwiches as cooking, in which case I've been cooking EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Camping = hummus, tomato, bread, repeat. 

Today was my first day back to work and in true post-holiday blues style, all I wanted to do was come home, hit the couch and order a takeaway. I managed to refrain (!!) from hitting up Just-Eat  - need to save some £'s/lose some lb's now that I'm home and back to normality (boo). This dish is cheap to make, low in fat and really satisfying - hello carbs! 

This recipe yields four servings.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g pack of chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 Portobello mushroom, thickly sliced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, thinly chopped (I LOVE garlic, use less if this is too strong for you!!)
  • Small bunch of parsley (leaves only), chopped
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you prefer less heat)
  • 2 tbsp chilli flakes (omit if you prefer less heat)
  • Glug of red wine
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 400g of dry spaghetti
  • Bunch of asparagus tips
  • 1 lemon

Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a pan, add the mushrooms then fry over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes until they have softened and look golden. Add garlic and fry again for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and tip into a bowl with parsley. Set aside. 

Add the chopped onions to the pan and fry for around 2 minutes, add the courgette then fry for a further 3 minutes until everything is softened and the onions look translucent. Add chilli and chilli flakes to pan and fry for a minute. Tip in tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer for around 20 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used a tsp of salt and half a tsp of pepper). When sauce is done, stir in spinach and remove from heat. 

Whilst the sauce is simmering, prepare spaghetti as per package instructions and steam asparagus (approximately 10 mins for spaghetti and 5 mins for asparagus). Drain spaghetti and and fold in sauce. Top with garlic mushrooms and asparagus. Squeeze the juice of a lemon on top and serve. 


Friday, 10 June 2016

aloo karahi

Friiiiiiday again (TFI), craving takeaway AGAIN - the weekly struggle!

I decided to try another fakeaway tonight, curry this time. I adapted this dish using a few 'chicken karahi' recipes I found online, taking different elements from each. Many of the recipes I looked at used yoghurt at the end to add some creaminess, however to keep this dish vegan I subbed yoghurt with lentils - these help thicken up the sauce. CoYo coconut yoghurt could be a good addition to this recipe, I'll add some next time and see how it turns out!

  • 12 baby potatoes, cut into thick slices
  • 1/2 a cup of red lentils
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly length-ways 
  • 4 large vine tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green chillies, minced 
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp of fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp of 'chicken' bouillon (I use Massel)
  • 1 tbsp of chilli powder (in place of deggi mirch - if you can find this, use it!)
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Half a cup of chopped coriander (about one small bunch)

Heat coconut oil in deep pan or wok to medium-high. Add garlic and ginger and fry for a minute. Add red onion slices - fry these until they are golden and caramelised, about five minutes - if they begin to stick, add a little water. Add cumin and chillies and fry for another minute. Add chopped tomatoes, stir well and cook for two minutes. Add spices - coriander, fenugreek, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt/pepper - mix well then stir in bay leaves. Add potato slices, lentils, water, bouillon and tomato puree. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for twenty minutes. Remove lid and check that potatoes are cooked. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and coriander. Serve with boiled rice. ENJOY. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

one pot Mexican quinoa

One pot recipes are my thang. Minimal effort (chuck ingredients in..leave to simmer for a while) and barely any dishes afterwards, win win!

This quinoa dish is deeelicious. I've made it a million times and it's turned out perfect every time - fail-safe recipe. This can be used as a main, a side dish or even as part of a burrito bowl. 

This recipe yields four portions. 

  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed in cold water
  • 1 tin of black beans, rinsed
  • 1.5 cups of 'chicken' bouillon (I use Massel, you can find it here)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn (198g)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers (I used red & yellow), diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Toppings - avocado slices, chopped spring onion and chopped coriander leaves

Heat up a large pan to medium-high and add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Fry for a couple of minutes until softened. Add peppers and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add quinoa, black beans, 'chicken' bouillon, sweetcorn, tinned tomatoes, coriander, chilli flakes, cumin, chilli powder, tomato puree and salt/pepper. Give this a good stir then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes then remove from heat.

Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir. Top with avocado slices, sliced spring onion and chopped coriander. IT'S THAT EASY. Enjoy :) 

Monday, 6 June 2016

vegan pad thai

This is my vegan version of pad thai - it was really quick and easy to make and super tasty.. I thought there would be enough left for lunch tomorrow but alas it is ALL gone. Back to the lentils!

I spiralized the courgette and carrot, and ATTEMPTED to spiralize the red pepper to no avail. If you don't own a spiralizer just chop them up into noodle-y shapes.

This recipe yields around 3 generous portions. 

  • 125g buckwheat noodles
  • 225g block of Clearspot Smoked Tofu
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 courgette, spiralized
  • 1 carrot, spiralized
  • Handful of beansprouts
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into thin strips (or spiralized if you can!)
  • Toppings: Sliced spring onion, sesame seeds and chopped cashew nuts
Ingredients - sauce
  • 4 tbsp of aminos
  • 2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of sriracha 
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil to a pan on medium heat. Chop tofu block length-ways into 1/2 inch thick slices. Fry for around 10 minutes on the first side then flip and fry for a further 5 mins. Remove from heat, set aside and chop into cubes once cooled. Prepare your noodles per the pack instructions then remove from heat, rinse with cool water and set aside.

Mix all sauce ingredients together, stir well and set aside. 

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan and add courgette, carrot, beansprouts and red pepper. Stirfry for around 3 minutes until veggies are cooked but still crunchy. Remove veggies from pan and place into a bowl. Add buckwheat noodles to pan and stirfry for 1 minute. Add veggies and sauce to pan and stirfry until everything is coated and the sauce becomes sticky. Serve in bowls with spring onions, sesame seeds and cashew nuts sprinkled on top, ENJOY. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

curried green lentils with fresh tomatoes

I threw this dish together at around 10.30pm last night. I'd just arrived home from a festival a couple hours earlier - tired and fragile, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. I put it off for hours but eventually found the will to move away from the couch - summer holidays are looming so I'm trying to keep spending to a minimum/eat as healthily as possible, so packed lunch it was! 

Lentils have been my go-to ingredient for lunches for ages now. They're so versatile, cheap and easy to prepare - definitely a cupboard essential. 

I'm really bad with chucking in spice after spice, no measurements required (love spicy food!) so the below is just a rough estimate of what I use to make this dish, these can be easily amended to suit your taste buds :) 

This recipe yields approximately 4 big portions of curry.

  • 2 cups of green lentils
  • 5 cloves of garlic (garlic obsession rages on), chopped
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 peppers - I used green and yellow, diced
  • 2 vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp of 'chicken' bouillon (I used Massel - you can find this on Amazon)
  • Approximately 1.5 litres of boiling water, add to this as necessary

Heat a large pan/dish to medium on your stove. I didn't use any oil in this recipe since I'm trying to cut down on my fat intake, but feel free to add a tablespoon of coconut oil/rapeseed oil. Add onions, peppers, garlic and ginger to your pan - fry until soft, around 3 or 4 mins. Pour in lentils and stir to coat. Add all spices and continue stirring for about 30 seconds. Add boiling water, tomato puree, 'chicken' bouillon powder and tinned chopped tomatoes to the pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 mins. Remove from heat and stir in chopped vine tomatoes - they give the dish a lovely freshness. 

Serve with your choice of rice, potatoes, salad or veggies. Enjoy!


Friday, 3 June 2016

falafel burger with portobello mushroom bun, hummus and sweet potato wedges

I've been craving some kind of badness alllll week but I managed to refrain (yay)! The temptation to grab a takeaway for this evening's dinner was high but something managed to stop me, maybe the thought of having to fit into summer clothes in two weeks, hmm.. 

Falafel has been my go-to takeaway lately, I just absolutely adore it! Falafel-y, hummus-y goodness, the best! SO I decided I would try to recreate this dish at home tonight, fakeaway stylee. These burgers were surprisingly easy to make so I'll definitely revisit soon for weekday dinners. Initially I had planned to try to keep this as healthy as possible by only baking, however once I started working with the mixture I realised they would probably need fried on each side for a few mins - this stopped them disintegrating! I used 1 tbsp of unrefined coconut oil for shallow frying the burgers - no guilt required.

This recipe yields 2 large burgers and 2 small falafel balls (these didn't even make it to our plates..). 

Ingredients - Falafel burgers 
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • Half a red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A handful of flat parsley sprigs (about half a bunch)
  • A handful of coriander springs (about half a bunch)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salad for serving - I used lettuce, tomato and cucumber
Ingredients - Hummus
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
Ingredients - Sweet potato wedges
  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika

First we'll start by making the falafel burger 'dough'. Add the garlic, fresh herbs and onions to your chopper/food processor - pulse until chopped. Add in the chickpeas, lemon juice, spices and tahini - pulse until the chickpeas are well mixed in but still slightly chunky. Remove mixture from chopper and place in a bowl. Add buckwheat flour and stir well. Take a handful of dough and form into the shape of a burger, continue until you have used up all of the dough.

Once you have formed the burgers, set aside for a moment. Pre-heat oven to 180°. Add the sweet potato wedges to a heat resistant dish and pour over olive oil. Make sure the wedges are well coated then place in the oven - we will bake these for 40 minutes. 

Heat the coconut oil in a pan on med-high heat then add the falafel burgers. Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes - until golden brown. Once golden, carefully (they're very soft!) remove the burgers from the pan and place on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven - we will bake these for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

While the falafel burgers and wedges are baking we'll make our hummus. Add chickpeas, lemon, tahini, garlic, olive oil, water and cumin to your chopper/food processor and pulse well until you reach a smooth consistency. Sprinkle some paprika on top and set aside. 

We will prepare our mushroom buns when there's about 15 minutes cooking time left. Take the mushrooms and remove stems. Brush a little oil on both sides then place in the oven (gills side up) turning over after about ten minutes. Let the mushrooms bake for another 5 minutes then remove - you'll need to dab these with a clean cloth to remove some of the cooking juices. 

Once everything is cooked assemble the burgers with mushroom 'buns', salad and hummus. Serve with sweet potato wedges and your choice of hot sauce (I recommend CHOLULA - so good!)
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