The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 3)

Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Soup – Slimming World Friendly

I’ve never been a huge soup fan, it has never left me feeling full, and having it as a main meal just feels a little disappointing to me (apologies to those that love soup!).

However, it is a low calorie way of getting in a lot of your daily vitamins, and I have learned that if I have it before a meal, it’s a good way of adding to the fullness of the meal with little calories.

Weekly, I have been alternating between two soups, my quick miso soup and this carrot, ginger and turmeric soup. This soup takes a little longer to make, but it has lovely warming spices in it, and is high in beta-carotene.

Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Soup

Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Soup

Low calorie, warming soup.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Soup, Vegan
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 75kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion White, Chopped
  • 750 g Carrots Peeled and Chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 5 cm Ginger Root 1.5 tbsp pre minced Ginger
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Ground
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 litre Vegetable Stock

Instructions

  • Water sautee onion, celery, carrots and a bay leaf for 10 minutes until all begin to soften.
  • Add ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin and garlic. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes until carrots have softened.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Use a blender or hand blender to break carrots up. Add salt and pepper to taste.

On the weeks that I have this soup, I take a cup of it with me to work and have it as the first part of my lunch, with my meal prepped lunch around 30 minutes to an hour later. Syn wise, this is free, so suitable for the slimming world fans out there.

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Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese – Slimming World

There are certain meals that I make regularly, and this is one that is usually on the menu at least once a week. It is included so regularly as it is quick to make, this seems to be a theme in my cooking. On week nights I try to stick to meals that take 30 minutes or less to make, and this takes around 25 minutes so fits right in.

As vegan meat is being used, this doesn’t take as long as meat to cook, so it really is quite quick. If you do have more time, you could add a little red wine and let it cook off slowly, but this is something I never have time for.

It’s also a healthy vegan twist on a classic, so could be a good introductory meal for those looking to begin to transition over.

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

A vegan twist on a classic.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion White
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Stalk Celery Optional
  • 8 Mushrooms White or Chestnut
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
  • 300 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 200 g Vegan Mince
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 160 g Wholewheat Spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Instructions

  • Put the pasta into slightly salted boiling water to cook.
  • Chop and water sautee the onion. Once softened, add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the chopped celery and mushrooms and cook until the water has released from the mushrooms, around another 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree and herbs and mix through well, stirring and cooking for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the mince, I use frozen but you can use fresh too. Mix well through the herbs and vegetables.
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stock. Don't add too much though, as this isn't cooking for long it shouldn't be too liquidy. You may not use all of the stock.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. In the last couple of minutes cooking, add the nutritional yeast.
  • Drain the pasta and mix well with the sauce.
Vegan Spaghetti bolognese

It’s not spaghetti but you get the idea, with vegan parmesan

I’ve also made this with vegan sausage or meatballs in place of the mince and it is very versatile. Of course, feel free to have this with any type of pasta. I also use this as the base of my lasagne which I will be doing a recipe for soon.

For syns, the nutritional yeast would be 1, and for the mince, it depends on what brand you use. For syn free you could miss out the nutritional yeast, and use soaked TVP. I usually have this with steamed vegetables (one day, I’m going to turn into a stalk of steamed kale I swear), but my family have garlic bread with this, either this 32p tesco option or this frozen asda garlic bread which is pre slices with bigger slices for 80p.

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Vegan Haggis | Homemade Haggis

(This is a repost but as its nearly Burns night it seemed a good post to share again)

I’m Scottish, therefore I love haggis. However, I’m following slimming world, and the readily available pre-made vegetarian haggis’ (that are vegan), are 9 syns per 100g. That is 9 syns per quarter. I usually have half in one go, 18 syns is not something I’m prepared to eat, nor am I prepared to only have one quarter, so when it was St. Andrews Day recently, I went searching on the internet for a vegan haggis recipe that was fairly straight forward, and I found this one. I have tweaked the recipe a little to make it slimming world friendly (syn free, it uses a Healthy Extra B in the form of rolled oats), while it was not exactly like one of the shop bought haggis’, it was pretty damn tasty. I’ll definitely be having it again.

Vegan Haggis (Slimming World Friendly)

Vegan Haggis

Not quite as calorific as your shop bought haggis but delicious nonethless.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Scottish
Servings: 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Onion White
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • 75 g Mushrooms Finely Chopped
  • 125 g Kidney Beans
  • 125 g Red Lentils
  • 300 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 40 g Rolled Oats

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 175 celsius, 160 for a fan. Use spray oil to sautee onion and garlic.
  • After 5 minutes add the bay leaf, celery, carrot and some salt.
  • After another 5 minutes add the mushrooms. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl roughly mash the kidney beans with a fork, Add lentils, spices and vegetable stock. Lastly add the oats and mix well.
  • Add to the vegetable mix and cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

When you’re getting it out it does tend to fall apart, so spoon it out of the dish when it’s done. I had it with mashed carrots and turnip, then some cabbage and brocolli on the side and of course gravy (2 syns worth) on top making it syn free and SP. If you’re looking for a no syn alternative this is it! Enjoy!

Homemade Vegan Haggis

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Vegan Creamy Chilli Pasta

This week I have been painting in my house before and after work, and as a result have been looking for some quick meals. On Monday night I was really struggling to think of anything, as I didn’t want to make my meal planned option. I just took a look in my cupboards and threw this vegan creamy chilli pasta together but it was so tasty, I’ll definitely be making it again.

Vegan Creamy Chilli Pasta

A 15 minute meal that is full of flavour
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 500kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Onion White
  • 6 Mushrooms
  • 200 g Spinach
  • 1 Vegan Chorizo Or plain vegan sausage
  • 75 g Wholewheat Spaghetti
  • 40 g Vegan Creme Fraiche Oatly is good
  • 2 tbsp Crushed Chillis
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Instructions

  • Put the wholewheat spaghetti on to boil for 15 minutes
  • While pasta is cooking, water sautee the onion and mushrooms until soft.
  • Start pan frying the chorizo with a little spray oil. I cooked my own in the same pan as the onions and mushrooms so some of the flavour transferred.
  • Add crushed chillis (as much as to your liking of heat) and garlic powder to the onions and mushrooms, and cook for another minute.
  • Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Add the nutritional yeast and mix through, then take off the eat and add the creme fraiche.
  • Drain the spaghetti, and mix with the creamy mixture.

Vegan Creamy Chilli Pasta

I’m struggling to calculate the syns on this, but I guess you would need to calculate the chorizo, nutritional yeast and the creme fraiche. Calorie wise though it’s not too bad for such a filling meal.

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Vegan Keema Aloo – Slimming World Friendly

I have a confession to make. I love potatoes, especially new potatoes. When I was a child and we used to go anywhere with a picnic, my dad would always make us new potatoes the night before and we would eat them cold with lunch, it was my favourite part (and I do the same to my children now). I can’t get enough of them.

My slightly unusual preference for potatoes also manifests itself in my trying curries all the time that have potatoes in them. Saag Aloo is one of my all time favourites, and this chickpea, cauliflower and potato curry was another tasty potato choice.

If you like potatoes, then this new Vegan Keema Aloo recipe is for you. The potatoes are nicely coloured and spiced with added turmeric, and combined with the heartiness and texture of the mince, and the spice from the chilli and garam masala, it was a delicious and quick to prepare meal.

Vegan Keema Aloo

A hearty, tasty curry made with vegan mince and potatoes
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 320kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g New Potatoes
  • 1 Onion White
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 chunk Ginger
  • 200 g Vegan Mince Frozen or fresh
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 Chilli Green
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Ground
  • 1/2 tin Chopped Tomatoes

Instructions

  • Wash the potatoes, then chop into bite sized chunks. Cover with cold water and 1 tbsp turmeric. Bring to the boil, then lower to a rolling boil. Cook for 12 minutes or until soft.
  • In a large frying pan, water sautee the onions for 5 minutes until soft.
  • Add half the chilli chopped (with or without seeds depending on how hot you like it), garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the coriander, garam masala, cumin and and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring well.
  • Add the mince and a little water to stop sticking and stir through the onion mix.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cooked, drained potatoes. Mix well and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, serve with brown rice, or chapati, and top with the remaining green chilli.
Vegan Keema Aloo

With brown rice and kale.

I had my curry with brown rice and steamed kale. It was really filling but surprisingly low in calories, most of them coming from the potatoes and the mince.

For slimming world followers, it looks as if this could be syn free. If my sources are correct, then the mince I used is free (Morrisons Meat Free Mince), you could use any free brand though or even TVP (textured vegetable protein) with a little soaking beforehand.

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Vegan Smoky Pasta – Slimming World Friendly

Sometimes you just want a plate of pasta, there is something comforting about creamy pasta, and I just love smoky flavours. This vegan smoky pasta, using smoked paprika for flavour, is very quick to make, but incredibly tasty, and flexible with vegetables. I use onions, garlic, mushrooms and spinach but you could also use others, courgettes and kale would be good too.

The longest part of this recipe is putting your cashew on to soak the morning or night before, but if you forget this then a trick I have used is to put cashews in boiling water for around 10 to 15 minutes. While this doesn’t soften quite as much as hours of soaking, it’s a good alternative.

I’ve decided as Slimming World is so popular to start adding the syns to meals. While I don’t follow this myself, there are a lot of vegans out there looking for recipes. While my recipies aren’t based on Slimming World’s method, they are mostly unprocessed food so may be good for some of you who follow it. I will caveat this with not having access to the app, so the syns may not be exactly right, but I’ll do my best! I believe this recipe has 8.5 syns, 7.5 for the cashews, 1 for the nutritional yeast, and you can use the unsweetened soy milk as a healthy extra A. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!)

Vegan smoky pasta

A delicious, quick creamy and smoky dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 People
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 g Wholewheat Spaghetti
  • 40 g Cashew Nuts Raw
  • 1 Onion White
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 10 Mushrooms
  • 200 g Spinach
  • 250 ml Unsweetened Soy Milk Or your favourite plant based milk
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Instructions

  • The night before, put your cashews in a bowl of water. If you forget then you can add them to boiling water for about 10 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add your spaghetti (or other pasta shapes)
  • Water sautee the chopped onion until translucent.
  • Add garlic and Mushrooms and cook until soft.
  • Blend the cashews and soy milk. Add to the pan with the vegetables. Add the nutritional yeast, spices, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for around 5 - 10 minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken. At this point you may need to add some more milk.
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
  • Drain the pasta and stir in the sauce.
Vegan Smoky Pasta

With Kale and Spring Greens

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Vegan Meal Prep Lunch – Slimming World Friendly

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been meal prepping my lunch for a while now. I work 9 – 5 outside of my home, and one of the main keys to me losing weight is organisation and planning.

It isn’t particularly exciting, but planning and preparing at the weekend for the week ahead gives me more time during the week for other things I’d like to get done, ensures I eat healthily, and is way cheaper than buying lunch at work every day.

My lunches can differ slightly from week to week, but generally follow a similar pattern, a grain, legumes and vegetables in measured out portions in a tub. I take the opportunity to make lunch my most nutritious and calorie dense meal of the day, and also make sure I’m fitting in the most important herbs and spices for weight loss and health. Added to my meal prepped salad, I have a cup of soup (miso usually) and a piece of fruit in the afternoon. All in, this totals around 500 – 600 calories, which is pretty weighty for that time of day, but as it is all plants I find it doesn’t weigh you down, and make you tired the way that processed rubbish can.

Vegan Meal Prep – Lunch

Vegan Meal Prep - Lunch

Grains Mix

  • 150g Wholewheat Cous Cous
  • 120g Quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Vegetables and Chickpeas

  • Vegan Meal Prep - Lunch1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • Vegan Meal Prep - LunchSteamed Kale
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp Nigella Seeds
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1tsp Garlic Powder

Salad

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber

Toppings

  • Houmous
  • Kimchi
  • Sriracha

There are a lot of flavours in this meal prepped lunch, and some may not like this. But I really try my hardest to eat many different colours and vitamins, while being flavourful. I don’t use all of these every week, often my ingredients are based on what is leftover in the fridge, but this is a pretty standard representation. 

To cook, I boil the cous cous and quinoa separately, while quickly steaming the kale. These all get added to a big bowl, with the flaxseed and chia.

Then for the vegetables I water sautee these, onions first, then garlic, then everything else until softer. They all still have a bit of a bite though, nothing is overly cooked. When I add the chickpeas, I add the spices and cook for around 5 minutes. Lastly I add the spinach and mix it through until it’s wilted. I cook all of this, it takes around 30 minutes to make this, the soup and some of my husbands lunches. I layer it in a specific way to keep the salad fresh all week. 

  • Salad 
  • Grains/Beans mix – protects the salad from getting wilted
  • Kimchi/Houmous and Sriracha – to mix in on the day

Vegan Meal Prep - Lunch

There are so many flavours in this, and there are so many combinations you can do, its difficult to get bored. I also quite enjoy eating the same thing every day. I think we put too much emphasis on variety, and this could be a reason that contributes to our continual drive for more fatty/salty/sugary foods. Even though I’m regularly eating this, I never feel bored with it, and I will continue to have my vegan meal prep lunch, if not increase the amount of meal prepping I do over time. 

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Quick Miso Soup

I visited Yo Sushi with my daughter about a month ago, and it was the first time I’ve actually sat in the restaurant to eat. I realised that they actually have a ton of vegan options! I’d had a few takeaway things from there but there seems to be more choice if you sit in. One of the things we had was a cup of miso soup. I’d never had it before and the umami taste of the miso was just delicious, and it was very low in calories.

The following weekend I was clearing out my fridge and I found some miso I had bought, then wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now I knew! Not only is it delicious, but this quick miso soup takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, so don’t take up a lot of time. I’m not sure this recipe is 100% traditional, but it’s a good way of using green veggies. I’ve used a few different variations but all have been good.

Now I make this soup once every couple of weeks on Sundays and have enough for five servings in the fridge. I take a cup with me to work and have it before I start my main lunch. It tastes delicious, is full of green vegetables, and helps fill me up a little before starting my meal prepped cous cous salad.

Quick Miso Soup

A delicious quick miso soup recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 60kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Litre Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Sheets Nori
  • 1 Cup Spring Greens Have also used cabbage and leek
  • 1/2 Cup Spring Onions
  • 1/3 Block Firm tofu Pressed
  • 4 Tbsp White Miso

Instructions

  • In a large pot, bring your stock to simmering. Break the nori sheets up and add. Simmer for 5 minutes .
  • While this is cooking, put miso in a small bowl with enough hot water to mix with it. Mix with a whisk to get out the lumps. The mixture should be fairly smooth.
  • Add chopped green vegetables and tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and mix the miso mixture through.

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Creamy Fajita Pasta

I’ve never really been a big fan of creamy food, but in an effort to diversify, and make some meals I think my husband would like, I have been pushing myself to try out some in the kitchen, while still keeping it healthy.

There have been a few of these types of recipes recently, Creamy Basil Pasta, Mushroom Stroganoff as a couple, but this Creamy Fajita pasta with chickpeas was one of the best. I love spices and flavouring, and I really feel that offset the creaminess. If it had just been me eating it, I’m sure I would have added more spice (cayenne pepper for example), but that would just cause the rest of the family to not like it as much so was left out. I use a fairly small measured amount of cashews for the cashew cream as the calories can really start to rack up here.

All in all this is a nice, quick dinner with a good level of nutrition.

Creamy Fajita Pasta

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

Spicy Chickpeas

  • 1 small Onion
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 8 White Mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Granules
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes

Pasta and Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 40 g Cashew Nuts
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
  • 180 g Wholewheat pasta
  • 1 Tomato

Instructions

Spicy Chickpeas

  • Sautee onions, peppers and mushrooms for 5 minutes until soft. I used water to sautee but a little oil can be substituted.
  • Add spices and drained chickpeas and mix well, add a little salt if required

Pasta

  • Cook wholewheat (or white) pasta until ready
  • Make cashew cream, for this I mix my soaked cashews with the soy milk in a blender
  • Drain water, and mix cashew cream into the pasta, add remaining spices and a chopped tomato
  • Gently heat until the sauce begins to thicken, if too thick you can add more soy milk, if not thick enough add some flour
  • Once thickend, and seasoned to taste, mix in most of the chickpea and vegetable mix, keep the rest to add to the top once served
Creamy Fajita Pasta

Chickpea, vegetables and spice mix

Creamy Fajita Pasta

Finished Meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You could also add use this meal to use up any vegetables you may have in your fridge, it’s a really versitile, yet delicious meal.

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Creamy Basil and Tomato Pasta

I’m always looking for quick week night meals which are healthy, delicious and fit in with my calorie goals. Added to this myself and my husband have fairly different tastes so it can be difficult to find meals that suit us both (and often I end up cooking multiple things at once!).

This meal though hit the spot, he loves creamy meals and this was nice and creamy, but calorie wise it wasn’t too bad for a fairly big portion. The added calories are in the cashews, these have so many calories for such little things, but they really do add to the creaminess. I suppose if you wanted to avoid some of these you could make a roux with vegan margarine, flour and milk, and for other meals I do this occasionally so may try at some point, but with the cashews it was lovely.

Creamy Tomato and Basil Pasta

A quick mid week meal which only takes 25 minutes to prepare,
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Vegan
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 456kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Onion
  • 4 Medium Tomatoes
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 160 Grams Wholewheat Pasta
  • 40 Grams Cashews (Raw)
  • 20 Grams Oatly Creme Fraiche (Optional)
  • 10 Grams Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Basil
  • Drizzle Olive Oil
  • Pinch Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • Preferably the night before soak your cashews, but if you forget or don't have time you can put them in a small bowl with boiling water, this will help to soften them quickly.
  • Chop the garlic, onion, tomatoes into quarters. Chop half of the basil, and put on oven tray. Drizzle with oil, give a shake, and add some salt and pepper for seasoning as required.
  • Put your pasta on to cook in a pot of boiling water
  • After 10 minutes in the oven, give your tomato mix a shake and put back in for another 15 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is done bring out your tomato mix and put into a high speed blender with the drained cashews, more basil, nutritional yeast. Give this a blast to make into a paste.
  • Drain your pasta and mix in the tomato paste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. At this point I added a dollop of oatly creme fraiche, this is my favourite thing at the moment for creamy dishes. It is a total additional ingredient but I find having a tub of it in the fridge is great for meals like this.
  • I served this with a large serving of steamed kale and spinach and it was very filling.

Let me know how you found this recipe!  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!

Banana Oat Muffins

I’ve recently been on a real money saving kick, and looking at food waste there can often be a few things getting put in the recycling bin every week. One thing is bananas, we go through a fair amount of them but there are always a few hanging about getting mushy. I do occasionally freeze them but then I just never use them, so I was looking for a recipe that fits with my whole foods plant based push, and something to use up ingredients when I came up with this recipe.

I have seen a few like this but I have changed those recipes, a little, and tend not to measure ingredients anymore, I just kind of throw it all together. I have made 12 of these every weekend and have one after dinner during the week, sometimes with lunch, plus my husband has taken a few too.

Banana Oat Muffins

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Bananas
  • 1/2 cup Wholewheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Wholegrain Oats
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Raisins This could be blueberries too
  • 1/2 cup Soy milk Could need more or less depending on consistency
  • 1 tsp Peanut Butter Not necessary but can add a nice flavour

Instructions

  • Mash the bananas in a big bowl using a fork
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, oats, baking powder and dry seasonings
  • Add dry mix to banana, add raisins and mix
  • Add peanut butter and enough soy milk to loosen, shouldn't be too runny but also shouldn't be too thick
  • Fill 12 small cupcake cups (I use silicone), they should be fairly filled
  • Bake in the oven for around 15 - 20 minutes. The consistency of these will not be like usual cupcakes, less cake like, but they are delicious nonetheless and a cheap and cheerful sweet treat which is pretty good for you.

They are a nice little snack, I keep mine in the fridge, as there is quite a lot of banana, I feel they should be refrigerated. They can only cost about 5 – 10p a serving too, so definitely a winner there on the money front!

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 on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support and updates from me!

The Best Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff….ever!

The Best Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff Ever…and it’s healthy!

A bold claim, but I made this recipe last week and I was so impressed, although I did make some tweaks to the original recipe. I’m not a massive fan of overly creamy dishes, and light coloured sauces, no idea where that little foible of my personality came from, but in a restaurant, or takeaway I would never choose something light coloured. 

When I was a child, my mum used to try to get me to drink milk (being good for the bones nonsense). It always made me feel sick, eventually she gave up on it as I could barely even drink a mouthful without feeling queasy. Milkshakes were a no go, even ice cream, definitely never not mayo though other so it appeared to have transferred to the colour. Since going vegan I have tried to open myself up to foods like this a little more though, and my husband loves a creamy meal, so I saw this recipe online and thought we could give it a try. Well, it was so good I’m going to add it to my fortnightly list, we all really enjoyed it. The original recipe has the stroganoff sauce with garlic cream on top, this was too much for me to take so I mixed the garlic sauce in with the stroganoff (which also heated it up) and this really made it perfect. 

The Best Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff...Ever!

A creamy cashew based vegan mushroom stroganoff, which is not only very tasty but healthy too.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 2 people
Author: Fiona

Ingredients

Garlic Sauce

  • 1 Cup Cashews (Soaked)
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 pinch of Salt

Pasta and Sauce

  • 80 - 100 grams Wholewheat Pasta per person
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Wholewheat Flour
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce (Reduced Sodium)
  • 1 Tsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Sage
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 400 Grams Mushrooms Cut into Quarters and Sixths
  • 1/2 Tin Garden Peas
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley

Instructions

  • The cashews should be soaked the previous night/earlier that day. I put mine in a small bowl covered with cold water and drained before using.
  • First of all, add your pasta to a pot of boiling water and cook until ready.
  • For the garlic creamy sauce, I drained the cashews and put in a blender with the garlic sauce ingredients, then blended until smooth.
  • Water Sautee the onions until transluscent. This recipe is oil free so adding a little water until evaporated, then a little more at a time to stop the onions sticking is the way forward here.
  • Once the onions are soft add the flour and a little stock, mix this well and try to get rid of the lumps.
  • In a separate bowl mix the remaining stock, tomato puree, soy sauce and lemon juice.
  • Gradually add this stock mix to the onion/flour mixture, thoroughly stirring until all is added. Let this cook for a minute or two to thicken.
  • Add the cashew garlic sauce then add the chopped mushrooms and stir well. Put a lid on the pot, turn down the heat and let the mushrooms and sauce simmer until they are soft.
  • Once the mushrooms are cooked, drain the pasta and mix well. Add the peas and parsley and serve.

Let me know if you try this recipe, I think in future I will start calculating the rough nutritional estimates for the recipe per serving, and may go back through my old recipes to update these.

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Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff Recipe

I know, I have posted a recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff previously, but if I’m being honest, this one is better and I would try it first.

Ingredients

  • 400g Mushrooms
  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp wholewheat flour
  • Olive oil for frying onions (as little as possible)
  • 20ml Vegan single cream
  • Brown pasta/rice and green vegetables for serving

Method

This doesn’t take long to make so you can put on your pasta or rice first.

After this sautee onion, garlic and regular mushrooms in a little olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Place aside in a bowl.

Chop the portobello mushrooms into slices around 1/4 inch thick. Sautee for a couple of minutes then add one cup of vegetable stock and Worcestershire sauce. Boil until reduced.

In a separate bowl mix the remaining cup of stock with the flour until dissolved. Once the fluid has boiled off the portobello mushrooms add back in the regular mushrooms/onion mix and then the stock/flour mix. This will thicken quickly so put on a very low heat. Once well mixed add vegan single cream, I used Alpro. I didn’t actually measure my cream but it wasn’t too much, I reckon about 20ml.

Mix well and serve with brown pasta or rice and green vegetables. This was a really nice creamy quick dish that had around 200 calories without pasta/vegetables. It did 2 good sized portions and the full meal was 500 calories.

Mushroom Stroganoff

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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

Cauliflower, Potato and Chickpea Curry

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Fiona

Ingredients

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 180 g Potatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 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
  • 200 g Chickpeas Drained
  • 150 g Spinach
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice

Instructions

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

Cauliflower, potato and chickpea curry

I had mine with brown rice and broccoli. 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 and a big serving), along with 321% of  vitamin A, 339% of vitamin C, 30% of calcium and 63% of iron. All round a healthy, tasty meal.

Thanks for reading and 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 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

Vegan Alfredo

A deliciously garlicky yet healthy alfredo perfect with pasta. Full on taste, low on fat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 Person
Calories: 460kcal
Author: Fiona

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Wholewheat Flour Large Heaped
  • 200 Ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 80 Grams Wholewheat Pasta
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1 Serving Green Vegetables Steamed Broccoli, Sauteed Courgette, Spinach

Instructions

  • Put pasta on to cook
  • Slice garlic and sautee in olive oil until golden
  • Add flour and mix well so it clumps up
  • Mix in almond milk slowly, adding a little at a time. Add all milk until it makes a smooth mix
  • Add nutritional yeast, garlic powder and seasonings. At this point I lost track of how much garlic powder I added but I love garlic powder, definitely keeping away vampires!
  • If the sauce is a little lumpy it can be blended at this point. If it's too thick add a little more milk
  • Mix the sauce with drained pasta and vegetables.
    Vegan Alfredo

Calorie wise this came in around 450 calories, it was worth every bite. The calories will change depending on how many veggies you use, but if you stick to low calorie density vegetables then it’s all good nutrients and fibre so I wouldn’t hold back! 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 without compromising the flavour.

Thanks for reading and 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!

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

Vegan Mini Quiches

Mini quiche alternative made from chickpea (gram) flour
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 8 Muffins
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Fiona

Ingredients

  • 150 g Gram Flour
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • Lightly Sauteed Vegetables I used onions, peppers and tomatoes
  • Soft Vegan Cheese
  • Vegan Margarine Flora Buttery/Vitalite etc
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • 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.

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?

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!

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