The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 2)

Mushroom Stroganoff Pasta

I’m always trying to think of healthy, quick meals to make and recently decided to give a one pot mushroom stroganoff pasta recipe a try. This recipe is for two people, it can be scaled up or down as necessary. It takes about 20-25 minutes to prepare and is a nice easy mid-week meal.

Mushroom Stroganoff Pasta

Ingredients

  • 400ml Roasted almond milk
  • 300g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g Onions
  • 1 Low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp Thyme
  • Salt and plenty of pepper
  • 2tsp Parsley
  • 1tsp Vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 10g flour
  • 200g wholewheat pasta

Method

Water sautee onion until soft. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes.

Add worcestshire sauce. Add flour and stir well. Add stock, almond milk and pasta and mix.

Cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until pasta is cooked and sauce is nice and creamy. Add parsley right at the end.

This is around 500 calories a portion, and that’s with 100g of pasta which is pretty generous. You can add white wine to the mix too but I’m not a fan of alcohol in food.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have made this or something similar, or maybe you have your own one pot recipes to share? You can find mon InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Add me oe n any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support and updates from me!

Cauliflower, Potato and Chickpea Curry

I always love a good curry, and my recent go to seems to be Saag Aloo, but I really fancied some cauliflower. I found something similar to this, but it had a load of oil, butter and yoghurt added so I just removed that, modified the amounts of spices slightly (I love lots of spices!) and came up with this cauliflower, potato and chickpea curry.

Cauliflower, Potato and Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

  • 180 g Potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 150 g spinach
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Method

Cook the cauliflower in boiling water for 5 minutes to get a little soft.

I left the skin on, then chopped the potatoes roughly. I cooked these in boiling water for around 10 minutes, again just to soften.

I water sauteed the onion, garlic and chilli until soft, and the onion was translucent. I know water sauteeing isn’t as tasty as cooking with a load of oil, but it also saves potentially hundreds of calories.

Add the cauliflower and potatoes and around 150 ml of water, and cook for around 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add a little lime juice and serve. I had mine with brown rice and broccoli.

Cauliflower, potato and chickpea curry

Each portion has around 450 calories and according to my fitness pal 20 g of protein, only 3 g of fat, 19 g of fibre (and that’s before the rice), along with 321% of  vitamin A, 339% of vitamin C, 30% of calcium and 63% of iron. All round a healthy, tasty meal.

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Vegan Alfredo | Low Fat

I’m not usually a huge fan of creamy (or white coloured) foods but I love garlic and that savoury umami flavour so thought I would give vegan alfredo a try this weekend. I added quite a few green vegetables to it to bulk it out and add a little extra goodness, and keep it in line with my majority of plant based foods. This recipe is for my large single portion but you can scale it up as required.

Vegan Alfredo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Large heaped tbsp wholewheat flour
  • Roughly 200ml Unsweetened Roasted Almond Milk
  • 1tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 80g Wholewheat spaghetti
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Extra vegetables – steamed brocolli, sauteed courgette, spinach

Method

  • Put on the pasta to cook.
  • Slice the garlic and and sautee in the olive oil until golden but not burned.
  • Add the flour and mix well so it clumps up.
  • Mix in the almond milk slowly, adding a little at a time. Keep adding until it makes a smooth mix.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder and seasonings. I kind of lost track how much garlic powder I added as I absolutely love garlic.
  • If the sauce is too lumpy it can be blended at this point, although I didn’t need to and I was happy to have the garlic in it. If it’s too thick add more milk.
  • At this point I got my green vegetables ready and I just mixed it all together.

Vegan Alfredo

Calorie wise this came in around 600 calories, it was worth every bite. I have seen other recipes with much more oil and fat but half a tbsp was about as far as I was willing to go.

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Tofu Scramble | Vegan Scrambled Eggs

When I first went vegan tofu was something I feared. I have no recollection of ever having tried it, and my main thoughts relating to it were about some sloppy tasteless soy concoction. However I had seen online tofu scramble that looked rather like scrambled egg, and as this was something I ate frequently I decided I would give it a bash. I dutifully googled how to prepare it and saw that it needed pressed. So off I went to tesco and bought my first packet of cauldron firm tofu, and pressed it for around 15 minutes before making my scramble. The resulting mess (tofu scramble)was water and flavourless, and I was left thinking “But I pressed it!”.

Around a year later I decided to give it a try again, this time with the cauldron smoked tofu chunks. I couldn’t believe it, these were delicious! They were pre-prepared and fairly expensive (£2.50 a box) but I did make a fairly regular habit of having them with my salad at lunch time, and sometimes with a stir fry. Now I had found a tofu I liked I went on to trying salt and chilli tofu from my favourite chinese restaurant. Again, it was delicious. I bravely decided to get back to trying to prepare it myself.

Round two with the cauldron block of tofu, I left it pressing for hours this time, wrapped in kitchen roll, a towel and with around 5 large books on top. This got all of the liquid out. I then fried it in slices, and low and behold it turned out delicious. Tofu scramble came back to mind once more. I googled a few recipes and found one that looked okay, modified it a little and here it is.

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients

  • 200g Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turermic
  • Water

Method

Most important here is to press the tofu sufficiently. I would suggest slicing it, wrapping it in kitchen roll, then a tea towel, then place 5 or 6 (as many as you can balance) heavy books on top for at least a few hours.

Mix the dry ingredients, add a little water to make a sauce.

In a frying pan, sautee the onion and pepper in water (I’m not using oil in this recipe but if you are you can use it here). Once these are soft push them to the side.

Once pressed, crumble the tofu with a fork. Add the tofu to the pan with some more water. Add the sauce over the tofu and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes, adding more water if required.

At the end mix all of the ingredients and add the spinach.

I then have this with toast and beans, you could have it with potatoes, waffles, anything you would usually have scrambled egg with. I also love to add sriracha to it.

Tofu Scramble

That’s it, pretty straight forward, and when made (and pressed!) correctly it’s delicious! Remember you can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Add me on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support and updates from me!

Vegan gram flour mini quiches

Quiche is something I used to take a notion for, I would stuff my face on it, feel sick and not eat it again for months. This recipe made 8 muffin tin size quiches, which are handy for lunch boxes for kids (and adults!). While not exactly egg like in texture, they are nice tasting, I always find the garlic powder makes them taste eggy. Another addition could be black salt which I believe has an egg taste, although I can never find it! If anyone knows anywhere easy to find it in the UK let me know in the comments.

Vegan gram flour mini quiches

Ingredients

  • 150g Gram Flour
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • Lightly sauteed vegetables (I used onions and peppers, along with some chopped tomatoes)
  • Garlic
  • Vegan Cheese (I used Bute Island Cheese’s soft chive cheese)
  • Vegan margarine for the tins

Method

Mix the gram flour with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper, water and any other herbs you want to add. Whisk until smooth.

Use the margarine to grease the edges of the muffin tin. Add a little of the quiche mix to the tin. Layer with a little cheese, then vegetables, then more quiche mix to cover.

Cook for around 25 minutes in a 180 degrees celsius oven. I can’t remember the calories on these but I would estimate less than 100 each.

Vegan gram flour mini quiches

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No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread

I found myself search No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread this week. We are almost a month into 2018 and I have been very good with my eating, fasting nearly every day, sticking within my calories, reaching my fruit and veg requirements. However sometimes you just crave something sweet, so I went looking for some ideas for banana bread that wouldn’t destroy the hard work I have put in so far, but still give my taste buds the hit as if I was eating a treat.

No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wholewheat flour
  • 2.5 cups mashed banana (3 large and pretty ripe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp flax seed powder + 6 tbsp water
  • Couple of Walnuts

Method

Mix the flax seed powder with water, stir and leave aside for 5 minutes. Mash the banana. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the banana and flax seed mixture and mix well.

Place in a greased loaf tin, bake for around 30 – 40 minutes in a 190 degrees celsius fan oven (check it though regularly!). Let it cool before slicing.

No Oil, No added sugar, wholewheat banana bread

Next time I think I’m going to try soaking the dates to make them softer. This is around 150 calories a slice which is pretty good for a fairly large slice! Plus it’s guilt free, no oil, no added sugar, wholewheat and vegan!

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Smoothies | Breakfast

I’ve recently taken to having smoothies to break my fast. Smoothies are something that previously I was never a fan of, I didn’t like drinking my calories, the smoothies in the shop seemed to be full of sugar, I just had an all round bad impression of them.

My opinion began to change when I listened to Michael Greger and Jami Dulaney’s respective podcasts (found here and here and also on any major podcast player you have). I really respect these two doctors (one a nutrition doctor and the other a cardiologist) and find pretty much most things they say sensible, well researched and I do try to follow their advice in my diet.

Now, some people are against smoothies, but both of them recommend them, in the occasion where you have having whole fruits and vegetables and not juiced, as when juiced the fibre is lost. They both agree they are a delicious and easy way to easily increase your intake of fruit and vegetables, so recently I’ve been giving them a whirl, especially the green variety.

My smoothies are around 350 – 400 calories a go, not a small amount, but they allow me to break my 18 hour fast with a nutrient dense tasty drink. What do I use in my smoothies?

  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Frozen Berries (strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/blackberries)
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Vegan Yoghurt
  • Almond/Rice Milk
  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds

Not all at once of course, this week I have been having 2 bananas, 1 apple, 2 large handfuls of spinach, yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds and ice. I use my nutri-ninja and pulse for a minute or two getting it really nice and smooth. I don’t use any artificial sweeteners as it is sweet enough already.

Vegan Smoothies - Green Smoothie

For the moment at least I am going to keep having these on a daily basis, I feel they are helping my weight loss (7 pounds off in 3 weeks, 56.5 overall), taste good, are great for me, it’s win win win! What combinations do you use in your smoothie? Are there any good flavours I’m missing out on?

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Vegan Pea Soup

I’ve been feeling the soup vibe recently which is unusual for me as I’m generally not a soup-y person, not sure if it is the rubbish weather or just the time of year but yeah, soup has been getting made every weekend. Last weekend I thought I would try a new type for me. I like peas, but can’t remember every trying them as a soup. This recipe serves 3 good sized or 4 smaller sized portions. I’ve not tried freezing it but I would guess it should be fine.

Vegan Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1tsp Vegan Margarine
  • 800ml Vegetable Stock
  • 250g Frozen Peas
  • 100ml Rice/Soya/Nut milk
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chives and Tarragon

Method

Chop the onion and sautee in a little water.

Add flour and stir for a minute or two until really well mixed. Take off heat and add 2 ladles of stock. Whisk until smooth.

Add remaining stock and return to heat. Add peas and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix milk with cornflour and pour slowly into soup, reheat until almost boiling.

Liquidise with a hand blender/in a blender. Add seasoning.

That’s it! Quick and easy (and tasty!) soup. I forgot to take a picture of just the soup but took one with a sheese and tomato bagel too.

Vegan Pea Soup

If you can’t tell from the recipe I am trying to avoid oil, it really is empty calories, I’ve never used a huge amount but in all honesty I feel with my real push to lose weight it is just empty nothing calories. I was down 5 pounds this week (whoop!) so I am really trying to keep my focus. This oil free recipe is around 100 calories a serving so barely anything. It’s not the most filling but it is delicious!

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Curried Barley and Mushrooms | Slow cooker

I’m trying to save some time cooking this year and would love to start using my slow cooker, so one of the first recipes I thought I would try was curried barley and mushrooms. This is out of one of my old non-vegan slow cooker cookbooks, although it has quite a lot of vegan options, and more that can certainly be veganised. This ended up more like a biryani but was very tasty, the barley was light and fluffy but very flavourful.

Curried Barley and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of Spring Onions
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Mild Curry Paste
  • 1 1/2 cups of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup of Pearl Barley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 cup of Coconut Milk (I made mine from 2 tsp of dehydrated coconut mix)
  • 400g Mushrooms
  • 1 tin of Garden Peas

Method

  1. Chop spring onions, sweat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and mix well. Add curry paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Rinse pearl barley and add to the pot, put back on a very mild heat for a minute or so, until well coated.
  4. Add stock, coconut milk and a bay leaf and bring to the boil.
  5. Put in slow cooker, cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4. This took less time that I thought it would so I kept it on warm for a while until we were ready to eat.
  6. When ready to server sautee mushrooms and drain a tin of peas then mix these both in with the grains. Serve with rice and vegetables

Curried barley and mushrooms

Definitely recommended if you like Indian flavour foods, it was something a little different as well with the barley. Very healthy and filling. I had leftovers the next day as well which was just as nice re-heated.

I also think I will start including a rough amount for calories, considering I am calorie counting! This served 4 people at around 273 calories a portion. Any rice/vegetables are extra. I had it with brown rice and veg which took the meal up to around 500 calories. Not too bad for such a big meal!

Also just wanted to say that so far I have had no takeaways this year! I know it’s only the 8th of January but my husband has had 2 lots of takeaway food so far so I’m feeling good about it! I’ve been fasting most days, having smoothies most days and it’s going well.

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Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree

For pudding this year I have decided to give the Bosh Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree a go. I couldn’t resist the look of it on facebook, it’s maybe not a traditional desert but warm teamed with vegan cream we are all in agreement in our house that tradition can go out the window for this!

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Hazelnuts, roasted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200g of melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Olive oil
  • Vegan Cream

Method

I had pre-shelled hazelnuts from Holland and Barrett so didn’t need to shell them. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Put in a food processor with salt and process until well broken up. Melt dark chocolate, I used a 200g 75% dark chocolate bar, add this to the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of oat milk and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Process until well mixed.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Lay down the first sheet of puff pastry. Spread the nutella mix in a tree/triangle shape on the first layer.

On top place the second layer of pastry to make a pastry/nutella sandwich. Cut the excess pastry where there is no nutella so you end up with a large triangle.

Slice in along the edges going up the edges of the tree. Twist these a little.

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree - Uncooked

Brush the tree with olive oil and bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for around 20 minutes. Enjoy with vegan cream. I forgot to take a picture of the finished tree but will be having some more tonight so will come back and add a finished picture!

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Christmas Menu 2017 | Vegan Christmas

Christmas Menu 2017

I know it’s late but I thought I would share my plans for what we are having this Christmas. I can’t quite believe that the year is nearly at and end already. I’m very badly organised this year due to work being crazy busy in the last few weeks, but I’ve not forgotten about my blog and in fact plan to use it a lot more in 2018 to help me reach my goals. More on that next week however!

Starter

  • Smoked “Salmon”/Carrot Lox on Bagels with Vegan Cream Cheese
  • Spiced Carrot Soup

Main

  • Turkey Style Seitan
  • Giant Sausage Roll
  • Stuffing
  • Vegan Sausage Rolls
  • Vegan Sausages in Fake Bacon
  • Maple Parsnips and Carrots
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Spiced Red Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts
  • Turnip and Carrot Mash
  • Vegan Bread Sauce

Pudding

  • Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree
  • Mince Pie Brownies

So that’s the plan for Christmas day, I still need to work out timings and I suspect some of it will be pre-made, or at least partially pre-made tomorrow. I plan to be eating leftovers for days.

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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese is something my daughter is always asking for. To be honest, I have an issue with white coloured food (excluding cauliflower and alpro vegan cream) so I’ve never really missed it, but for her sake I have attempted to make it a couple of times with no real success.

In previous attempts with potatoes and carrots the sauce lacked creaminess, however I had seen a few recipes pop up on facebook using cashews which certainly appeared to improve the consistency so thought I would give it a try. Additionally it doesn’t take that long, although a little preparation of the cashews is required in the morning/night before.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 200g dried macaroni
  • 1 cup of white potato peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup of carrots peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup of water from the boiled vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup of rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Method

  1. In the morning before I left for work I put my cashews in a bowl of water to soften them a little, my blender is good but not amazingly good so I hoped this would help and it did.
  2. When you are ready to start making it put the macaroni on to boil.
  3. Peel and chop the veg into small chunks, the smaller they are the quicker it cooks. Place them all together in boiling water and boil until they are all soft. For me this was around 15 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the veg and put in the blender. Drain the cashews and add all of the other ingredients.
  5. Blend until nice and smooth.
  6. Mix with the macaroni and serve. Next time I may use some vegan cheese and breadcrumbs and put in the oven.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

That’s it, nice and simple, tasty and filling. To get over my white food issues I added some sauteed mushrooms and onions and sprinkled a liberal amount of chilli flakes on but my daughter had as is and ate the lot.

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Fruit Birthday Cake | Fresh Fruit

It was my daughters birthday party last week, we visited our local laser tag place for two hours of fun with 10 kids and a couple of adults. May I just say at this point that I won both games. Not only did I beat 10 children, I beat my husband, teenage son and some random strangers. Clearly this is a proud moment for me! I’d like to thank my parents, my school etc etc..but most of all my weight loss because I could shoot/run/duck and hide my way to victory.

Ahem, now I have the tale of my victories out of the way I wanted to share my daughters birthday cake. Last year we made a Panda, rainbow, aquafaba layer cake which looking back on was pretty impressive! This year however she requested something a little different, a fruit cake, made with fresh fruit, namely a melon cake.

She loves fruit, and actually isn’t that big a fan of cake, and being the only vegan in her friend group and I think she likes being seen as the healthy one.

Sadly, I was a little worried about judgement. From who? Other parents, the venue, family, isn’t that mad? I was worried about being judged for giving children fruit rather than a huge amount of sugar.

Worry of judgement aside, I just went for it, and created a three tier cake from watermelon, gala melon and honeydew. We then garnished it with 3 types of grapes, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple.

fruit birthday cake

The kids absolutely tore into it, after two games of laser tag I think it was actually perfect.

I did also make some vegan cupcakes, these were for the party bags and adults there, but making a fruit cake and cupcakes was much quicker and easier than making a full birthday cake, which was good considering how busy I am at the moment!

vegan cupcakes

At some point I’ll do a post about the cupcakes but you can find a close recipe for them here.

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Vegan Pancakes | Sweet Stuff

Definitely not weight loss related but yesterday was pancake day. I’ve tried a few different recipes for vegan pancakes since going vegan and while they’ve all been okay, none have been really knock out. That is until these. Even my highly fussy non-vegan husband thought these were delicious.

This recipe is for the larger style of pancakes, the type that require flipping. However, I am a coward when it comes to flipping (plus I’m paranoid my frying pan handle will break off, that has happened once before) so I tend to use a slice to turn them. This recipe will make 8 large pancakes, of which we all had 2 each. One serving was around 250 calories, so not all that bad diet wise either.

Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1.3 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of Soya Milk
  • 3/4 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Really simple. I then whisked for a few minutes just to make sure all the flour was mixed in properly. If the mixture is a little thick (it should be pourable) add more milk.

Heat a frying pan and brush with vegetable oil, or use fry light. Heat up to pretty hot. I then used a ladle and used just over one ladle full per pancake. Fry for a few minutes on each side. If there was one complaint with them is that they didn’t really brown up but we were hungry so I didn’t overcook and to be honest the paleness did not detract from the flavour at all.

I had lemon and a tsp of sugar with mine, my son and daughter had maple syrup, and husband had dark chocolate buttons and sliced banana.

vegan pancakes

They really were tasty, I have been made to promise we are having them again at the weekend and I can’t say I’m complaining!

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Dark Seitan | Seitan Recipe

A few months ago I saw a new dark seitan recipe on facebook and thought I would need to try it out, I’m not sure why I took so long getting around to it but I remembered it this weekend and was sure I had all the ingredients so it was time. This seitan recipe is from the Buddhist Chef, I’ve split the recipe in half so makes enough for two – three decent sized portions, I have no idea on syns for slimming world, on the app 100g of tinned seitan is 0.5 syns as an idea.

Dark Seitan Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup of gram flour
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp paprika, basil and onion powder
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3/4 cups of warm water
  • Pot full of veg stock, around 3 – 4 cups

Method

Combine the dry ingredients well.

In a separate bowl combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and warm water. Add this to the dry ingredients, this will make a wettish dough. Mix well, kneading for around two minutes. I found this dough to be a little wetter than usual when I make seitan but I think this is probably what made it so nice.

Shape the seitan into an oval/log shape. Wrap in clingfilm, tying each end to make a sealed package.

Dark Seitan 1

Bring the stock to the boil and drop in the seitan. Lower to a simmer and simmer for one hour, turning the seitan occasionally.

Once the hour is up turn off the heat and allow the seitan to sit in the stock for another 15 minutes. Slice, eat and try not to eat it all at once. Dark Seitan 2

This seitan had a lovely flavour, I had it as part of a roast and it was so good, the only problem was that I couldn’t stop myself eating it! It certainly didn’t last long. This was the best seitan I have made yet, it could have been used across a variety of meals, in sandwiches, salads etc, I’ll definitely be making it again.

 

Dark Seitan 3

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Vegan Minestrone Soup | Slimming World

I was at a different slimming world group this week, usually I go on a Wednesday but this week I couldn’t make it so went on Saturday and while there the usual soup discussion happened. I overheard people speaking about accidentally vegan minestrone soup which was nice so thought I would give it a go. They were using pre-prepared veg which had to be synned, I don’t like synning things like veg so thought I would just knock together some soup with what I had. This is syn free and delicious.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Carrots
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 litre of Veg Stock
  • 100g Wholewheat Spaghetti broken up
  • 3 pickled onions
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Italian Herbs
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Sautee onion and garlic for two minutes. Add chopped carrots and Celery and a little water and cook for another 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add chopped tomatoes, picked onions, balsamic vinegar, veg stock, herbs and seasoning. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I cooked the pasta separate as my husband didn’t want any in it for around 10 minutes. I blended most of the soup, served my husbands, then mixed the pasta into the rest of the soup. There was enough for around 3 – 4 decent sized servings.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

I’m not sure the picture does it justice but it really was a tasty soup. I can be a bit hit and miss with soups but I will 100% be making this one again, I think the addition of the balsamic vinegar and picked onions gave it a bit of a nice kick.

Baked Risotto | Dinner

I can’t remember when I found this recipe for baked risotto, I think it was shortly after I went vegan. Pre-vegan days I used to make another type of risotto, thinking back it was so overpoweringly cheesy, the thought of it turns my stomach now. I now jump between this one and a mushroom and onion risotto, but I usually make one of them at least once a fortnight.

The baked version has the advantage that it takes a lot less work, you mix the ingredients and shove it in the oven. On the down side it is never quite as creamy tasting, but it is still a tasty dinner. It also has another positive, this week I didn’t realise I had ran out of arborio rice so made it with long grain rice and it turned out just as nice. This serves around 3 people (or 2 with leftovers for us).

Baked Risotto

Ingredients

  • Spray oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 1 box of chopped tomatoes
  • Dried Italian seasoning, basil, salt and pepper for the sauce
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to around 200 celsius (180 fan, 400 fahrenheit). In a large pan cook onion and garlic for around 5 minutes until soft. Stir in rice until coated.

Add tomatoes and seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly add stock and bring to the boil, stirring continually.

Transfer to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake in the centre of the oven until liquid is absorbed, which usually is around 30 minutes.

At the end, remove from the oven and stir in the spinach and nutritional yeast if using.

The nutritional yeast is 5 syns for the 2 tbsp, so split between the meal it’s around 1.5 syns a portion, it’s also optional and only makes a minor difference to the flavour leaving it out.

I have it with whatever fresh veg I have around, sometimes chips/onion rings.

baked risotto

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Vegetable Curry | Dinner

I often struggle making tasty curry’s, but this vegetable curry is a hard one to mess up. It took around 40 minutes to make, and has 1.5 syns and was enough for two biggish servings, if you doubled the quantities it would be fine for more servings.

Vegetable Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 white potatoes cubed
  • 1 large courgette sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 10 mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp of coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 a tub of passata
  • spray oil

Method

Using spray oil and a little of the curry powder, put the potatoes, courgette and red pepper in the oven for around 20 minutes to soften.

Once they are soft, sautee the onion, mushroom and garlic in a pot for a few minutes, then add the remaining curry powder and ensure it is mixed well, cook for another couple of minutes. Add the veg from the oven and passata and mix.

At this point I boiled the kettle and added an undetermined amount of water, you have to cook it on the hob for around 20 minutes to ensure the spices get through it all, so add enough to keep it liquidy, I would guess around 400ml. (This seems to be how much of my cooking goes, just throw it in and hope for the best!).

In the last 5 minutes I mixed my coconut powder with water, around 1/4 of a cups worth, to make a thin milk. You could also use coconut milk out of a tin if you like, I just find the powder is easier to store especially when you only need a little. 1 level tsp is 1.5 syns. I added the milk last and cooked for another couple of minutes.

We had this with rice and more speed veg in the way of purple and green cabbage. It was lovely, not too spicy, I could have chucked in some cayenne pepper but my husband wouldn’t have at it then so mild was fine.

vegetable curry

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Chickpea Omelette | Breakfast

Back in my pre-vegan days I ate a lot of eggs, in fact I found eggs to be one of the things I missed the most when I first made the switch. I’ve tried the follow your heart vegan eggs and found them to be overpoweringly eggy tasting, which was a shame, I was hopeful I would love them! (Although at £7 a box, I’m kind of glad I didn’t!) This week a recipe for a chickpea omelette popped up on my facebook, the picture looked delicious and they are something I’ve wanted to try for a while and I just kept forgetting about them. The omelette itself turned out to be incredibly quick to make, and really delicious.

Chickpea Omelette

Ingredients

  • 25g Gram Flour
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water

Method

Mix all of the ingredients. Whisk well to get out the lumps in the batter.

Heat a frying pan with some spray oil, pour in the batter. Cook on both sides.

As a filling I used mushrooms, onions and a tiny bit of vegan cream cheese, and I served it with baked beans.

chickpea omelette

Slimming world wise this is 5 syns, 4 for the flour and 1 for the nooch, but in my opinion it was worth every syn. Not quite like an omelette but enough to satisfy, and very tasty. Remember to give me a follow on instagram, facebook and twitter for more.

Tomato and Herb Sauce | Dinner

This tomato and herb sauce is made usually once a week in my house, it’s quick, can be frozen, nutritional and definitely slimming world friendly. I usually serve it with wholewheat spaghetti, occasionally I’ll have with rice, or even just vegetables. It can also be used in lasagne, and I use a similar base when making bean chilli.

Tomato and Herb Sauce

Ingredients

  • Spray Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped finely
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 8-10 Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, Chopped
  • Tomato puree
  • 1 Box of Chopped Tomatoes (or a tin)
  • Vegetable Stock, around 1/2 litre
  • Italian Mixed Herbs
  • Basil
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Sautee the garlic and onion in a pot with spray oil for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and herbs. I don’t measure the herbs, just a generous sprinkle of the basil and mixed Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme and parsley). I season with salt and pepper.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stock. This will make quite a liquidy sauce. This needs reduced and will take around 30 – 40 minutes to get to a thickness that is suitable. The longer you cook the sauce the richer it gets, 30 – 40 minutes at a simmer is usually about right, but taste it often to be sure.

Finally, right at the end I may use the hand blender to blend it up a little. My daughter can be fussy about vegetables in sauce, so if I blend it up she can’t see them. If it’s just for myself though I often won’t bother.

Syn free, delicious, packed full of vegetables, it’s a great sauce. I hate jarred sauces now, they taste way too salty for me, but with this being so easy to make I really don’t mind. Plus, it costs about £1.50 for four portions. Cheap as anything.

Tomato and Herb Sauce

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