Tuesday, 27 September 2016

DIY Pot Noodle

'Healthy pot noodles???' you say.. YES. YES YES YES. This is going to be my lunch of choice for Autumn/Winter. It has everything - satisfying carb-y goodness, aromatic flavours and lots of crunchy veggies (+ the potential to change it up in loads of different ways - think Thai green curry paste, miso paste, TOFU.. the list goes on) ♥ These pots can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, when you want to use it simply open and add hot water. 

These pot noodles all take on a similar structure:

Flavour base: I used vegetable stock, sesame oil, hot sauce, liquid aminos, chilli flakes and grated ginger/garlic. I also added some kimchi which tasted amazing! You can totally change this up using things like Thai green curry paste, miso paste, Korean chilli paste etc - the list goes on! Bear in mind that it's best to keep the wet ingredients at the bottom. 

Fillers: As well as using fresh veggies I also used some frozen 'filler' veggies. These help pack out your noodle cup  - I used frozen peas and sweetcorn.

Noodles: Pretty much anything goes here - think ramen, rice noodles, udon etc. I used brown rice noodles. 

Fresh veggies: Again, anything goes so get creative! I used sliced pak choi, enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, lots of fresh coriander, sliced spring onions and sliced chilli. I also added a good squeeze of lime juice once my noodles were cooked. Keep these fresh ingredients at the top of your cup where they won't get crushed.

Flavour Base:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp kimchi
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
Filler Veggies:
  • 3 tbsp frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 portion of brown rice noodles, uncooked
Fresh Veggies:
  • 1 head pak choi, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Handful of enoki mushrooms, ends cut off
  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ red chilli, sliced finely
  • Squeeze of lime juice, for serving

Pack all ingredients into your mason jar in the order detailed above. Add boiling water and close lid tightly. Leave to cook for five minutes. Once cooked, open jar and give everything a really good stir - we need to ensure that all the flavourings in the bottom of the jar get spread through the soup! Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top. ENJOY. 


Friday, 23 September 2016

vegan korean bibimbap

Ever since I made this a few days ago I've had MMMBop stuck in my head. Halp meeeeeey!

Seriously though - bibimbap is awesome. I tried it for the first time on Monday at a little Korean cafe here in Belfast and decided I needed to recreate it immediately.. so this was dinner on Tuesday ♥

You could totally switch up the veggies depending on what needs used in your fridge but you MUST stirfry them separately. This will test your patience. And your arm

The only part of this recipe that may be tricky to source is the Gochujang - this is like a spicy Korean version of miso - and it's essential in bibimbap! I found it in my local Asian supermarket, so if you have one - try there first.

Ingredients - Bowl
  • 1.5 cups of white rice, cooked - you can experiment with sticky/brown rice too!
  • 1 pack of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/liquid aminos/tamari
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • ½ bag of beansprouts
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 carrot, julienned - I grated mine but chunkier would work much better
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt 
  • ½ a cucumber, julienned - again, I grated mine - chunkier would be better
Ingredients - Gochujang chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang paste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce/liquid aminos/tamari
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
Ingredients - For serving (optional)
  • Vegan kimchi - I bought this but I'll be making my own soon, stay tuned!
  • Black sesame seeds

Begin by preparing the shiitake mushrooms - all vegetables must be prepared separately. Heat up a pan and add mushroom slices, soy sauce, agave nectar and mirin. Fry these over medium heat until they have absorbed all liquid - about 4-5 minutes. Set these aside.

While the mushrooms are cooking, whisk together all ingredients for the Gochujang chilli sauce. Mix well and set aside. 

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add beansprouts. Sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until cooked but still crunchy - about 5 minutes. Set these aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add carrot. Again, sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until wilted - about 30 seconds - or a little longer if you julienned! Set these aside. 

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add spinach. Again, sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until wilted - about 1-2 minutes. Set this aside. 

To serve, divide rice evenly between two bowls then arrange all of your prepared veggies around it. Add a few spoonfuls of Gochujang chilli sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with kimchi if you have some. Give your bibimbap a REALLY good stir before digging in. Hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

buddha bowl with orange/sesame/miso dressing

Soooo I *finally* stumbled across some purple sweet potatoes (SO DAMN PRETTY) the other day! I was stuck trying to think of what to use them in.... finally decided on a Buddha bowl - I had loads of baby pak choi that needed using and I've been wanting to try making a miso dressing - FATE ♥

Just like the last bowl, there is no real recipe to follow - just use whatever you have - usually I try to include a variety of grain, some veggies and either tofu or beans of some sort.

The dressing for this is so good. Get excited. 

Here's what I used in my bowl:
  • Purple sweet potatoes, steamed then baked
  • Smoked tofu, sliced and fried in a little sesame oil
  • Rice
  • Baby pak choi, steamed
  • Cucumber, chopped
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Black sesame seeds
Ingredients - Dressing 
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 tsps of sesame oil
  • 2 tsps of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsps of white miso paste
  • ½ tsp of fresh ginger, grated

Mix all dressing ingredients well until there are no lumps and set aside. Arrange your Buddha bowl with your chosen ingredients. Top with sesame seeds and spring onions. Drizzle over some miso dressing and ENJOY. 


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

15 minute miso soup

This miso soup is sooo so comforting when you're feeling under the weather. I got home from work on Monday and felt awful (non self-inflicted), but after a bowl - or three - of this I felt much better. It cures all ills.. SRSLY

This recipe made four bowls.

  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 sheet of nori, cut into bite-sized squares
  • 1 cup of tofu, cubed
  • Dash of liquid aminos/soy sauce/tamari
  • 5 stems of baby pak choi (or greens of your choice!)
  • 4 tbsp of white miso
  • 4 spring onions, chopped

Add garlic and nori to a large saucepan, pour in water and bring to the boil. Allow this to simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the cubed tofu, liquid aminos and pak choi and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes (you may choose to simmer longer, I just don't like to overcook greens!). Remove saucepan from heat. Take a cupful of broth and pour into a separate bowl, add miso paste and stir well to ensure that all lumps are gone. Pour this broth/miso mixture back into the pan and stir. Serve with sliced spring onions scattered on top. Enjoy - and prepare to be addicted!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

minestrone soup

This soup is really easy and cheap to make, great for Autumn/Winter dinners when you want something warm and filling! Feel free to sub the veggies for whatever needs used in your fridge, you can also sub the beans to another variety (think chickpeas/cannellini beans) and use cabbage/spinach instead of kale ♥ 

I used a food processor to chop up the ingredients - saved SO MUCH TIME.

This recipe will make enough for about 6 - 8 big bowls of soup.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • 5 carrots, finely chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 5 baby potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp of dried italian herbs (or ground basil/oregano - whatever you have!)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp tomato puree 
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 150g wholewheat spaghetti, broken into halves
  • 1 tin of butter beans
  • Handful of curly kale
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegan pesto for serving (optional) 

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and allow to soften for around 5 minutes over medium heat. Add potato and garlic and continue to fry for further five minutes. Stir in the herbs, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover then allow to simmer for half an hour. After half an hour, add spaghetti and broad beans. Allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add kale and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes. Season to your taste. 

Serve with a spoonful of pesto on top. Enjoy! 
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