The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Vegan Recipes (Page 1 of 3)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

While the world has really came on a long way in vegan food, there are some things you just can’t easily get in the shops. Sweet treats seem to be lagging behind savoury offerings, in my local supermarkets anyway. Okay, some of the biscuits are accidentally vegan, and you have the free from options but these are so expensive, for a family of four they are not bought regularly.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread is something I have seen only once, in 2019 at Christmas in Holland and Barret. This cost £5, and it was okay, I enjoyed it but not like I should have. Since then I have been on the lookout for a quick and easy shortbread recipe, and I recently found one.

This recipe is very quick to make, the longest time is to chill your dough. I make this in the morning and put it in the fridge for the full day. The shortbread is delicious, so good that even if there was vegan chocolate chip shortbread available in the shops, I would still be making this. It’s pretty cheap too, okay, definitely not a health food, but for an occasional treat, it really hits the spot.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

A delicious shortbread, surprisingly quick and easy to make.
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Servings: 24 Cookies
Calories: 170kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g Vegan Margarine I use flora buttery
  • 130 g Caster Sugar I used Golden
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 350 g Plain Flour
  • 100 g Vegan Chocolate I used a bag of bourneville buttons

Instructions

  • Mix the margarine with the sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, mix further.
  • Add the flour and mix until a fairly stiff dough is formed. You will have to use your hands at the end to knead the dough a little to ensure it is mixed well
  • Chop your chocolate into smallish chips, then mix these in well by hand.
  • Roll into a large ball, place in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Once chilled, roll out and cut into circles. Put on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake in the oven at 200 degrees cesius (fan) for around 30 - 40 minutes. My oven seems to cook quite slowly, so ensure you check regularly. The edge will begin to brown, if the shortbread isn't cooked at this point turn down the temperature and cook a little longer.
  • I allowed the shortbread to cook on the tray before moving.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread Mix

Cookie Dough, difficult to not eat straight from the bowl!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

This may sound a little strange, but I will more than likely have a mental link between this shortbread and the Coronavirus lockdown. I made this for the first time just before our lockdown began and I have made them now three times in the last two weeks. The whole family loves them, my husband even remarking that these were one of the best things I had ever made. Last time I made them I was unable to get the bourneville buttons at the shop so got some dark chocolate bars, including an orange flavour. The chocolate orange version of the shortbread was equally delicious so there are potentially many flavour combinations that can be tried!

Calorie wise, these are around 170calories dependent on the size of shortbread that you make. Last night we made 24 from this amount of mix so you can make these as small or large as you want dependent on your desire for chocolatey sugary goodness.

Keep safe everyone! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit.

Jasmine Fried Rice with Tofu

Well, we are still in lockdown and lockdown along with panic buying has meant that some specific staples haven’t been available in the supermarkets. One thing I’ve not been able to get a hold of for 3 weeks now is dried rice. I am onto our last packet, which isn’t great considering how much we eat!

On one of my minimal trips to the shops I did manage to get some microwave jasmine rice, it was one of the only types available, so decided to make a stir fry using vegetables I had left in the fridge and some tofu.

This recipe is very versatile, you can really add in whatever vegetables you have. For spices I literally only used soy sauce. This might not be to everyones taste but it was fine to me! It was so quick to make and deliciously umami flavoured, I have a real thing for salty/umami food. Of note though, I used reduced sodium soy sauce, this is optional of course,

Jasmine Fried Rice

A quick meal which doesn't take many ingredients but it delicious.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 500kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 10 Mushrooms White or fancy
  • 2 Carrots
  • 100 g Frozen Peas
  • 1 Broccoli Head
  • 2 Jasmine Rice Microwave Packets
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Instructions

  • Water sautee chopped onions.
  • Once transluscent add chopped mushrooms and julienne carrots. I julienne my carrots using my peeler, if you don't have a peeler you can chop thinly, as thin as possible to cook as quickly as possible. Add broccoli chopped into small florets.
  • Once cooked, add the microwave packets of rice. Alternatively you could use 250 - 300g cooked and cooled jasmine rice. I don't use this rice often enough to have a bag of it, so for this recipe just tend to use the pre-cooked packets.
  • Mix well and add soy sauce to taste.
  • Add peas and stir well, ensuring rice is cooked through. You can add a little olive oil if the rice is sticking to the pan and adding a little water doesn't help.

Jasmine Fried Rice

I had mine with smoked tofu and kale, which of course is completely optional. The calorie total is with tofu, without it would be around 400 calories.

Keep safe everyone! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit.

Vegan Jambalaya

Rice and beans, one of the best combinations of food. Protein, Carbs, and deliciously filling, I just love rice and beans and hence I love Vegan Jambalaya.

At the moment we are in lock down, so I’m currently using up dried and tinned goods that I have, and there are no complaints there from me, these already make up a large part of my diet.

I love spices, although I am trying to encourage my vegan 11 year old daughter to eat more whole foods, so have kept this tamed down a bit for my usual. We had this vegan jambalaya with green vegetables and chapati which I’ll post a recipe for soon.

Vegan Jambalaya

A tasty, filling and quick meal which is easy to make with cupboard essentials.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 487kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 g Brown Rice White rice can be used, but lower cooking time accordingly
  • 1 large tin Chickpeas Drained
  • 1 large tin Kidney Beans Drained
  • 1 White Onion
  • 8 White Mushrooms
  • 50 g Frozen Peas
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 Water or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Tahini

Instructions

  • Sautee chopped onions in a little oil or water until transluscent.
  • Add mushrooms and garlic and sautee until cooked.
  • Add tinned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce and spices and stir well. Add rice and stock/water and stir well.
  • Cook uncovered in large frying pan until liquid has evaporated and rice is cooked. More water or stock may need to be added.
  • Add drained kidney beans and chickpeas and cook for another two minutes.
  • Once beans are cooked through, and ready to be served add a tbsp of tahini and mix well. Serve with green vegetables.

Vegan Jambalaya

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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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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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8020plants

8020 Plants – No Meat Athlete

Well, I’m still stuck in plateau hell, I’ve been the same weight within a few pounds now for around a year, but I still have 50 pounds to lose. This is incredibly frustrating, having lost so much weight (80+ pounds), I feel I am almost being done out of celebrating the success I have had so far by still being so overweight.

I struggle with consistent exercise, fitting it in around work takes a lot of dedication and time, but even without much exercise I always strive to eat as close to a whole foods plant based diet as possible. However there are times when this slips, one too many takeaways are eaten, or one too many vegan doughnuts (damn you Morrison’s and your cheap, delicious, fresh doughnuts!). I have always felt that improving my diet to low calorie density plant foods, therefore giving me the ability to eat more and feel full is the way forward for not only my weight loss endeavours, but health and life in general.

I had been considering buying a meal plan to mix things up, when along came 80/20 plants, found at www.8020plants.com , a new meal plan and support service which offers videos, a community and a coach you can message alongside recipes. It was started by the guys from No Meat Athlete, one of my favourite podcasts I have listened to almost since day one of being vegan (along with some other people but I believe they are heavily involved with it).  Being a subscriber to their site and podcast offered a large discount so I thought I would give it a try.

I’m two weeks in currently, and they break up the roll out of plant foods in stages, focussing on different meals each week allowing for you to move change one meal at a time over to more plants.

Now they aren’t as strict regarding oils and processed food but heavily push the plants, hence the name 80% plants, 20% plant based processed (no animal products..ever). This works for me, as when I am struggling and I am probably closer to 50/50, and my weight creeps up at these times, generally I feel tired, just not quite as good.

The first week was breakfasts, and since I started I have had an 80/20 breakfast every day, this is something a little different for me. I have been intermittent fasting on and off for years now, but as I have completely stalled I have tried to mix it up. I still think intermittent fasting is great for you, and if/when I ever reach my target weight it is something I would consider permanently, but at the moment it just isn’t having the same impact it used to, and I do wonder if it encourages me to almost binge once my eating window starts. I have had some issues with binging, not in a eating disorder way but occasionally being unable to stop myself (especially with large takeaways), eating to the point of feeling sick.

For breakfast during the week I have had overnight oats, this is a good option for me as it means I can make it the night before, take it into work and eat straight from the tub with no preparation. Ingredients have been rolled oats, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, whole frozen pitted cherries and blueberries, a little vegan yoghurt, sweet cinnamon, unsweetened soy milk and then some frozen breakfast topper fruits which has strawberries, pineapple and some other bits and pieces. At the weekends I have been having tofu scramble with lots of veggies, homemade hash browns and some beans.

This is pretty similar with what I have eaten for a while, other than that I would usually eat it around 1 in the afternoon for opening my window, although at the weekends I would have a lot more processed foods in there such as vegan sausage, potato scones, oven hash browns, toast (again, to the point of feeling a little sick after eating so much). Breakfast at the weekend tends to be more brunch, around 11 am, during the week it is around 9 am. So far, so good, I wanted to see if eating earlier encouraged me to binge afterwards, and for the first few days I felt the familiar urge to start piling in the foods, but I am now easily making it to lunch time without anything else.

Week two was snacks, and I have made a few of these, but also tried to change what I snack on while cooking. I have made oat cups from a recipe on this blog www.shelikesfood.com . Instead of having them for breakfast they have been my pudding, and to be honest over the week I have began to really enjoy them. Initially they felt as if they weren’t indulgent enough, and previously I would have something small but very sugary (such as a mince pie/apple pie/aforementioned doughnuts). I’ve almost made some date/cashew balls rolled in desiccated coconut and these are so sweet! Sweeter than my previous snacks, but it’s natural sweetness from the dates so I’m fine with that! I’m also having two to three pieces of fruit per day.

Although I haven’t started lunch and dinner yet, eating this way has definitely encouraged me to eat in a more whole foods plant based way. I have tried some new recipes which may or may not make it to the blog, and I’ve lost a pound or two since starting, but I’m trying to keep my eye on the long game, and not focus on the minutiae of the week to week. Next week, on top of formally tackling lunches, I’m going to head back to the gym and see how that helps both weight loss and hunger levels. I can definitely say so far that 8020 plants is motivating me to eat in a way that is more aligned with my goals, and I’m excited to see how the next couple of weeks go!

I’ve been a little quiet on instagram recently as I have another project on the go which is taking up a large chunk of my social media time, but this week am going to at least post my interesting meals (possibly not the same overnight oats every day though!).

To join and support me (and also to get some support back too!) please add me on My Fitness Pal , and other social media, InstagramFacebookTwitterFitbit.

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.

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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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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

Pea Soup

Quick and Easy Pea Soup
Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp Vegan Margarine
  • 800 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 250 g Frozen Peas
  • 100 ml Rice/Soya/Nut Milk
  • 1 tsp Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Chives
  • 1 tsp Tarragon

Instructions

  • 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

Curried Barley and Mushrooms

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Fiona

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Spring Onions
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Mild Curry Paste
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Cup Barley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk I made mine from 2 tbsp dehydrated coconut mix
  • 400 g Mushrooms
  • 1 tin Garden Peas

Instructions

  • Chop spring onions, sweat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add turmeric and mix well. Add curry paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse pearl barley and add to the pot, put back on a very mild heat for a minute or so, until well coated.
  • Add stock, coconut milk and a bay leaf and bring to the boil.
  • 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.
  • 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

I definitely recommended this 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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January 2018 Progress Report February 2018 Weight Loss Report

A blip in a long long journey

I’m now a few days into the New Year and on have officially weighed myself and as I knew I had a bit of a blip, I am up a stone exactly, taking my weight to 218 pounds. I’m still 52 down but there is no doubt I am disappointed with myself and the gain.

Since I did the 10k, and even in the run up to it I knew I was eating too much. I was focusing on completing the race, knowing I needed to fuel my body, and to be honest I think I just needed a break. Losing weight is a long ongoing process, it takes up a lot of my thoughts, I need it to, that is the only way I can ensure that I keep going in the right direction. I need to be logging everything I eat, considering every single mouthful. If I don’t I go the other way. So for three months there I didn’t go completely haywire, I still fasted a fair bit, kept an eye on what I was eating but I knew I was eating too much. That, combined with Christmas and New Year has led to the stone gain.

Looking at this from the other direction though I can be positive about this gain too. Three whole months, not quite following plan, barely exercising, then Christmas and New Year and I only gained a stone! Previously, when I’ve had an off spell all of the weight has come back and more. So gaining a stone, what is that over the course of a lifetime journey?

This week so far I have been excellent with my eating, 18 hour fasts, smoothies and a salad for my first two meals totally around 500 calories, then a large evening meal. I’m averaging 10 – 13 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, feeling full, and way less bloated. I just need to wait and see how the weight loss goes now!

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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.

Remember you can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit. You can also now find my on Strava to follow my slow (hopefully getting faster) runs. Add me on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support ?

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