Tasty, tangy kale side dish

I’m not a big fan of kale unless its in a smoothie so I can’t see or taste it. This recipe is the nicest way to use kale that I have found – I was inspired by capers ready to go off in the fridge so you know its awesome

Kale with lemon, garlic and capers (the berries not comic heist films) – tangy!

Packed mup of chopped kale

Tbsp of rough chopped capers

Tbsp lemon juice (or more if you’re MAD)

Cold pressed olive or rapeseed oil

Clove of garlic, sliced

 

Oil an garlic in the pan please! Low heat for 3 minutes. Add the kale and cook covered for 5 mins, tossing (hehe) half way through. 

Add the capers and heat through (2 mins) then toss (hehe) through the lemon juice just before serving.

 

I suggest serving with chips but I have chips with everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big, creamy risotto balls

When you ‘accidently’ make mushroom and pea risotto for 6, (unstuffed) Arancini must be made! I love a big, crunchy, creamy ball in my mouth!

Super easy to make as well:

1-2 portions of yesterday’s risotto (nice and thick and sticky)
A medium slice of toast (I used wholemeal)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper

Lightly grease a baking tray with a little oil. Blitz together the toast, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper together and set aside in a bowl. Pick up a couple of tablespoons of risotto and squish into a big ball. Roll into the crumb mix and stick on the baking tray. Once they are all say there, spray lightly with a little oil and stick in the oven on a medium heat. Bake for around 20-30 minutes until golden – time depends on how big your balls are..

 

Mushroom risotto (just in case you need it..)

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white/brown onion, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 91 ltr hot vegetable stock
  • 80g frozen peas
  • Ground black pepper

 

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions over a medium heat for a 3 minutes then add the mushrooms and cooked a couple of minutes more. Add the rice and cook over a low heat for about 1 min, stirring all the time.
  2. Add the garlic then pour in about half the hot stock and stir well. Cook over a medium heat for 20-25 mins, stirring often and gradually adding the rest of the stock until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  3. Check that the rice is tender (eat a bit, yeah?). It should have a nice creamy texture. If it needs cooking for a bit longer, add a bit more hot water.
  4. Add the peas, stirring gently to mix them in. Check the seasoning, adding some pepper if needed. Serve to your mouth!

Noodle up, bitches!

I hate when people start talking about their current ‘diet’ and how they’re soooo good because they are avoiding bread and pasta and rice etc. Get your noodle on!

I recently tried my hand at a veg*n Pad Thai as I’m a massive fan of Thai food (Penang me, baby!) but wanted to to do something simple myself (I’ve popped my recipe at the end). Also, noodles (I include spaghetti in this) are brilliant!

Check out the bad boy below! Massive bowl of spaghetti with tomato and chilli sauce and some nooch. This kind of thng is super cheap, healthy and easy to whip up.

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Spagheeeettttttiiiiiiiiiiii with sauce and nooch
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Spaghetti with Mushroom and tomato sauce and a sexy little nut cutlet (totally worked)

When people talk about weightloss, they tend to want it fast and often don’t care about how good it is for your body – think Slimfast, Cambridge or Atkins or the many people at slimming world eating 10 pink n whites a day!

Long term health and weightloss should be strived for, most people after a quick fix will fail and potentially do damage to their bodies. Check out the health of the Inuit/Eskimo population (often brought up in debate) and the rise in chronic diseases seen in the far east over the last 30 years since a western diet became more prevalent.

Is this too much of a rant? No? Glad you agree 🙂 here’s the Pad Thai recipe (for 1):
1/4-1/2 thin sliced pepper
Scant tbsp brown sugar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 package of extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into small chunks
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
Juice of 1 small lime
Hot sauce, to taste (I went with Sriracha)
1 sliced green onion (save some fine green bits for garnish)
Chopped peanuts to top

Grab a portion of rice noodles (depends how hungry you are..) and prepare according to instruction. Rinse with cold water and leave to one side.

Stick the sugar, soy sauce, hot sauce, lime juice, 4 tbsps water and the peanut butter into a bowl and whisk together. Pop in the tofu so it can sponge up some flavour.

Meanwhile, put a little water into a nonstick pan and saute the peppers for a few minutes, add the tofu (keep the liquid to one side) and cook a few minutes longer. Add the spring onions and cook for one minute more. Stick in your sexy noodles and the reserved sauce and heat through.

Bang it on a plate, top with the peanuts and some extra spring onions and, if you’re brave, more hot sauce! EAT IT!

Love you, bye.

 

The ok Tesco breakfast

It’s 8am Saturday morning.. you want to get to the supermarket before the pesky onslaught of aisle cramming people get going but.. your belly.. it’s angry for FOOD.. and not just any food, it wants a.. FRY UP! Well, with the supermarket breakfast, you no longer have to make that Sophie’s choice!

(Don’t tell me you haven’t been in this very specific situation before, fibber!)

Today, Tesco happened. I wandered into a serene entrance area and immediately made my way up to the Tesco café upstairs. Grabbing myself a tray, I made my way through the lack of people to speak to an almost about to smile server, her name tag suggested her name to be ‘Sally’.. or did it?

Pleasantries ensued, but I survived. Smiling with eyes and mouth, I asked my lovely server what was vegan-friendly in the breakfast spread. Terror advanced across her now pallid face. ‘I’ll need to check’ she seemed to half-whimper, I smiled and nodded, hoping she didn’t faint before finding out. After a quick trip to the kitchen, located in another room at the back, Sally returned with a triumphant smile to inform my face that the hash browns, baked beans, fried bread, stewed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and toast without butter were all vegan-friendly.

‘Wonderful’ I said, ‘I’ll have the 8 item breakfast then please’. Sally looked perplexed.. ‘I’ll have 5 hash browns, stewed and fresh tomatoes and beans please!’. It started happening..

Breakfast was served! I sat down at an unstable table (poet), sipped my black coffee and covered everything in black pepper. I was very pleased to note a distinct crunch to the first hash brown as I cut into it, they were very tasty. Sadly, the plate of food as a whole had a definite luke warmity to it. Next time, 8 hash browns I think!

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BOOM!

 

Fin

 

 

 

Big veg*n appetite on a budget

As a Care Assistant with a big hungry mouth, I have little time to prep meals but still need to stay on a budget so I can’t just hit the local Chinese every night! This wee blog post is a really basic meal plan so don’t expect anything too exciting – the main parameters are cheap and easy, just like me!

The total cost for the week was £17.17 and I had a decent amount of stuff left over so this could be reduced. You could also reduce the cost more if you were more repetitive! A real life estimate for this would be £15, assuming a basic store cupboard and some bulk buying.

  • Feel free to mix up meals
  • ‘greens’ means kale or spinach or similar
  • Ingredients in brackets are optional
  • I’ve assumed you’re taking lunch to work 5 days a week
  • I’ve not made assumptions about your store cupboard so add oil, spices etc. where you like (if available)
  • There is a shopping list below as well as some basic recipes

 

Day one

Green thickie (recipe below)

1 apple, 1 banana and a Sandwich: 2 slices wholemeal bread, 1 grated carrot, romain lettuce, 2 tbsp hummus

250g wholemeal pasta with half of the pasta sauce recipe

 

Day two

2 slices of toast with 2 tbsps peanut butter and 2 apples

2 bananas, an apple and a PB&J sandwich

450g oven chips wrapped in romaine lettuce (with hummus or other sauce)

 

Day three

Green thickie

2 apples and a triple decker sandwich: sliced tomato, romaine lettuce, hummus

The rest of the pasta and sauce

 

Day four

Green thickie

1 banana and an apple and PB sandwich: 2 slices of bread, 1 or 2 sliced apples and 2 tbsps peanut butter

Curried vegetables (recipe below) and 200g chips

 

Day five

2 slices of toast with jam, a banana and an apple

1 apple, 1 banana and a Sandwich: 2 slices wholemeal bread, 1 grated carrot, romaine lettuce, 2 tbsp hummus

Vegetable stew and toast/bread

 

Day six

Green thickie

Baked potatoes with beans + an apple

Curried vegetables (recipe below) and 200g chips

 

Day seven

2 slices of toast and jam with an apple and banana

Roast 2 potatoes, 2 carrots and an onion and serve with (gravy) if you have it

The last of the veggie stew and toast/bread

 

Maybe a bit boring or repetitive in parts but cheap and (fairly) nutritious! There’s even CHIPS for vegan’s sake!!

 

RECIPES

Green thickie

3 bananas

2 handfuls of greens

water

(other fruit)

Stick the ingredients in the blender and add water to get your favored consistency

 

Veggie stew

2 potatoes, diced

3 carrots, diced

1 large onion, diced

(vegetable stock)

Saute the onion in a little veg stock or water in a large pan for 5 minutes. Add 1 litre of hot stock or boiling water (think kettle..) and the other veggies and then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until everything is cooked and tender and such. Eat half, refrigerate half.

 

Curried vegetables

1 potato, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 tbsp curry powder

(veggie stock)

Saute the veg and curry powder in a large pot with a little veg stock/water. Add a cup of stock at a time, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (around 20/30 minutes).

Pasta Sauce

1 large or 2 medium onions, diced

200g mushrooms, diced

4-500g jar pasta sauce

Saute the onion and mushrooms in a little water for 10/15 minutes until softened. Add the sauce and cook gently for a further 10 minutes (add some water if required). Eat half, refrigerate half.

 

SHOPPING LIST

17 items: £17.17 at Sainsbury’s
1x Reduced Sugar & Salt Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (420g) 35p
1x Basics Strawberry Jam (454g) 30p
1x Basics Crunchy Peanut Butter (340g) 65p
1x Pasta Sauce – Tomato & Chilli (500g) 95p
1x Medium Curry Powder (80g) £1.00
1x Medium Sliced Wholemeal Bread (800g) 45p
6x Large Onions (Approx 225g) 94.5p
20x Fairtrade Bananas Loose (Approx 175g) £2.38
8x Baking Potatoes Loose (Approx 217g) £1.74
2x Tomatoes Loose (Approx 90g) 36p
1x Romaine Lettuce Hearts (2) 80p
1x Basics Mushrooms (400g) 85p
1x Basics Carrots (1Kg) 50p
4x Basics Apples (4) £3.20
1x Wholewheat Fusilli (1Kg) £1.20
1x Basics Houmous (200g) 85p
1x Basics Chips (900g) 65p

 

What I ate today

I get A LOT of people asking what I normally eat as a vegan -and by ‘A LOT’ I of course mean none – so I thought I’d kick off my bloganations with a what I ate today thingy.

I try to stick with a high carb low fat diet because I have a BIG appetite and on HCLF I can pretty much eat constantly with no real issues. Today was a wonderfully healthy day which started with a banana and tropical (as in a pot of shop bought tropical fruit) smoothie and a cup of tea both of which preceded a sweaty 30 minutes of kick-boxing.

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Banana and tropical fruit smoothie and a cuppa

 

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Post workout smoothie – spinach, 2 bananas, strawberries, chocolate protein powder, dates.
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Brunch – homemade lentil and vegetable bolognese on toast
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One more smoothie! 2 bananas, a few dates, peanut butter powder, soya milk, spinach – gorgeous!
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OMG! DINNER!! That brilliant bolognese again, veggie sausages, peas and sweeeeeeeeet potato wedges! SO.. MUCH.. FOOD!
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A cup of tea and a dark chocolate Alpro dessert

 

Lentil and vegetable bolognese (WARNING: I do not make the sauce from scratch because in this case it was cheaper to buy and I’m a savvy little shopper)

Serves ‘6’

250g dry lentils (brown or speckled are good)

4-500g jar of bolognese sauce (I used tesco own brand as it’s low in fat, low in nasties and only 85p!)

Finely chopped red pepper

Finely chopped courgette

Finely chopped onion

100g mushrooms.. chunky chopped

Veggie stock cube

 

Rinse the lentils and then simmer in veggie stock in a big pan for around 30 mins until al dente, drain and stick ’em back in their pan. Meanwhile, chop up those veggies! ‘Fry’ the onions, peppers and courgette for 10 minutes until a little softened then add in the mushrooms for a further 5 minutes. Add to the lentil pan along with the bolognese sauce and put on the lowest heat to blurble together for an hour, stir occasionally. You may need to add a bit of exxxtra water but keep that bad boy thick! Serve it with whatever and put it in your MOUTH!