salad

Tomatoes on a Toast

Didn’t really want to have a big meal but needed something tasty, easy and cheap for supper.

When I was a kid, we’d have “something” on toast. Spaghetti or beans on toast were our childhood staples. One of the dishes that I loved was tomatoes on toast.

We used to cook them by frying the tomatoes in oil and adding some sugar to sweeten them. Hmmm. Not exactly healthy.

So here is my new version.

Ingredients:
2-4 slices of whole wheat bread (we had some sourdough bread), per person.

Lots of tomatoes, chopped (min of 4-6 per person)

For the cooking liquid:

1 Tsp Veggie Stock Powder

1-2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed/chopped

1 Cup of water

2 Tsp Tamari

2 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs or Herbs de Provence

2 Tsp Tomato Sauce (optional)

Sweetener – 2  Tsp Agave or Maple Syrup

Salt or Herbamare and Pepper

Garnish

2 Tsp Nutritional Yeast

2 Tsp Chopped Parsley

Method:

In a blender, food processor or using a stick/hand blender, whizz up the cooking liquid.

Place the liquid in a pan and bring to the boil, boil hard to reduce to about half the volume and to concentrate the flavours.  It should be getting thick and syrupy before you add the tomatoes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile toast or griddle the bread.

Serve the tomatoes on the toast, and sprinkle over the nutritional yeast and the chopped parsley.

1365656_26294722

Share Button
recipe makeover challenge

Plantalicious – Recipe Makeover Challenge

I am always up for a challenge. One of the challenges I set myself is to take recipes that I like and make healthier no-added fat whole-food plant-based versions of them.

So I thought why not ask my readers to send me their recipes that they’d like “made over”. It’s a bit like one of those Gok Wan programmes – “How to Look Good Naked” or in this case, “How to taste good Naked!” Well at least without the meat, fish, dairy, processed foods and added fats.

There are a few rules – I’d prefer it not to be something like “grilled fillet steak” although I might suggest a thick griddled slice of Aubergine instead! Pastry is also tough to replace, but I’d do my best. I cannot guarantee to be able to makeover every recipe you suggest, but I will have a go.

My goal will be to improve the quality of the nutrition of the dish, whilst retaining the flavour, texture and mouthfeel as much as possible.

So, put your recipe or idea in the comments on my blog or in the Facebook comments box, and I will think through a no added fat whole-food plant-based makeover version and blog about it. If you can add some info as to why you’d like the recipe made over or what it means to you, that would make it more interesting when I blog about the made over version.

I have my first challenge. It’s my Roman Chicken dish. A favourite of Mr G. It’s skinned thighs of chicken cooked in a rich olive oil, white wine, tomato, garlic, bacon and rosemary sauce.

My initial thought is to use flat cap/ portabello mushrooms to replace the chicken and smoked tofu the bacon. I will work on it and report back. I’ll only need to watch his face as the first forkful goes in to know if I’ve even got close or not.

So bring it on….

Share Button

Some examples of my food…Simply PLANTALICIOUS!

Share Button
A delicious, rich, thick and creamy carrot soup - perfect for lunch on an autumnal day.

Roasted Carrot Soup – So easy and so yummy – A good, cheap, quick and healthy autumnal lunch

Ingredients

12-16 Medium sized Carrots, washed, or peeled
3 Medium Brown Onions – Peeled and quartered
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tsp of Dried Thyme
Salt (or Herbamare) and Pepper
1 Handful of Cashew Nuts – soaked for 1 hour
4 Cups of Vegetable Stock
2 Cups of unflavoured and unsweetened Plant Milk
2 Tsp of Cornflour
Few Drops of Hot Sauce (Optional)

The recipe


Intro

This is just so simple. It came to mind as I found a load of carrots hiding out in the bottom fridge box. It’s a long way down there and they know that if they hide in there, they may go unnoticed.

But – I found them, and made this:

Makes 6-8 generous portions

Method

Wash the carrots and remove the tops and tails. Dry and place on a teflon sheet on a baking tray.
Add the peeled and quartered onions and peeled cloves of garlic to the tray.
Sprinkle with seasoning and thyme.
Bake in the Oven at 200c for 40-60 minutes until the veggies have caramelised. Be careful not to burn the garlic – if you do – throw it away as it will ruin the final flavour of the soup.

Soak the cashew nuts for at least an hour and drain.
Place the cashews, cooled roasted veggies, vegetable stock, cornflour and plant milk into a blender and blend on high until the soup is thick and creamy. You may need to do this in batches.
Pour into a saucepan and cook until the cornflour has thickened the soup – you can let it down with my water, or more plant milk. Add the hot sauce, if using and adjust the seasoning.

Most recent entries

Share Button
20130923-101405.jpg

Last taste of summer? Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients

1/4 medium Watermelon, peeled
1 Lime, juiced
1 Orange. peeled
1 Nectarine
Handful of ice.

The recipe


Intro

Watermelon is such a refreshing and hydrating fruit. I love watermelon juice. It’s packed full of goodness. Take a look at: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31

Decided to start my day with a light smoothie. The weather has turned cooler with morning mists and the leaves are starting to change colour, so this felt like the last taste of summer.

This makes 4 glasses.

The method

Peel and chop the watermelon and juice the lime. Stone and chop the nectarine. Peel the orange. Pop the prepared fruit into the blender.

If you have a high powered blender like a VitaMix. Add the ice. Blend until smooth and frothy. Serve over ice if you did not include it.

It is so refreshing and a lovely start to the day. It also is a good pre workout drink. My trainer didn’t know what hit him!

More recent entries

Share Button
pumpkins and walnuts

Plant-Based Living. Will it reach the masses in the UK

Interesting article by Doug Lisle on his view on Plant-Based Living reaching the masses in the US.

http://www.forksoverknives.com/take-heart-whole-food-plant-based-living-will-slowly-reach-the-masses/

I wonder if this is true for the UK too? With “free healthcare” and a lack of taking responsibility for our own health, I have to say that I am concerned that we may eventually lag behind the US.

Your thoughts?

 

Share Button
Quinoa, Pear and Walnut Salad on Shaved Fennel with a Nut Dressing

Pear, Quinoa and Walnut Salad, shaved Fennel with a (no-added fat) Nut Dressing

Ingredients


Salad:

4 Cups of cooked Quinoa

1 Pack of cooked Black Beluga Lentils

1 Cup of broken Walnuts

1/4 Cup of Sunflower Seeds

2 Ribs of Celery finely chopped

1 Red Pepper (finely chopped)

1 Med Onion (Red or brown) finely chopped

1 Med Avocado (peeled and finely chopped) – Optional

1 Inch of Cucumber finely shopped

Salt or Herbamare and Pepper Base:

1/2 a Bulb of Fennel

Dressing:

1/2 Cup of Nut Vinegar (Vinegre de Noix)

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave

2 x Tsp Dijon Mustard (I used a herb flavoured one – hence the dressing is green)

3 Cloves of Garlic (peeled)

1/2 Cup Water

1/4 Tsp of Guar Gum (do not overdo this or it will over-thicken)

3-4 Pears peeled, cored and chopped

Salt or herbamare and pepper

The recipe


Intro

I really do not like pears. See, I have finally come out about it. I find them yukky. I don’t like them when they are hard or when they ripen and go all mushy. Mr G loves them when they are rock hard, so quite often I will buy some and find there are a few sad specimens staring at me from the fruit bowl. I’m too mean to waste them, but what to do? I could poach them in red wine and coat in chocolate. I’ve done that before, or mull them in red wine, but what about a savoury dish? As I had cooked a box of quinoa at the weekend, I already had that in the ‘fridge. So I made this:

The method

In a small saucepan, gently roast the walnuts in a dry pan over a low heat for 10 minutes. Then add the sunflower seeds and roast together for another 10 mins on low. Be careful and patient as they will burn if you rush this. Slice the base of the fennel bulb and either slice very thin slices across the base or use a mandolin. Make the dressing: In a blender or food processor add the ingredients and process until blended and creamy. Leave for 5 minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile assemble the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly to break up any clumps of quinoa or lentils. pour all but 2 Tblsp of the dressing into the salad and mix thoroughly. Ideally leave in the ‘fridge for an hour for the quinoa to soak up the dressing. To assemble: Place a layer of the shaved fennel on the plate and dress with the reserved dressing.

Pile the salad on top of the fennel and drizzle over any remaining dressing. I have to say that I quite like the pears in this as there is lots of crunch and other texture.

The sweetness of the pears kind of works with the flavour of the nuts.

More recent entries

Share Button
mushroom pate

Mushroom Pate

    Ingredients

    200 g of good quality Chestnut Mushrooms (brushed clean – do not wash as they absorb water)
    1 Tbsp of Tamari
    2 Cloves of Garlic (peeled and chopped)
    1 Cup of Oats
    1 Cup of Nutritional Yeast
    1 Large Brown Onion (peeled and quartered)
    2 Sticks of Celery (chopped)
    2 Tbsp of Flaxseeds
    2 Tbsp of Chia Seeds
    1 Can Chickpeas
    1/2 cup of Vegetable Stock
    1/2 Tsp Guar Gum (optional – prevents the water leaching out and gives it a ticker texture)

    The recipe


    Intro

    When I first started, on my plant-based journey I used to use a lot of fats. I had the idea that olive oil was a health food! I also thought that coconut oil was a superfood! You should Google Jeff Novick on fats for a clear explanation as to why both of my assumptions above are incorrect.

    One of the dishes that I used to make regularly which incorporated a large amount of coconut oil, was a favourite with Mr G in our household. He loves mushrooms and loves something that he can grab out of the fridge when he comes home for quick snack, as he’s always starving when he gets back from being in town. My challenge was to replicate the rich creamy texture and deep taste of my mushroom pate but this time without the use of coconut oil.

    I came up with this recipe which I have to say it does seem to work quite well.

    The method

    In a saucepan place the mushrooms, garlic, onions, tamari, celery, chickpeas and half a cup of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until everything is cooked thoroughly nice and soft. In a high-powered blender or food processor blend the oats and nutritional yeast, flaxseeds and chia seeds until ground to a fine powder. Remove the powder from the blender and set aside. Once the mixture in the saucepan has cooled, place it in the blender and blend thoroughly until thick and creamy, adding the powdered flax, chia and oats and mix thoroughly until incorporated. You may need to add a little bit of extra vegetable stock to ensure it incorporates fully.

    Place the entire mixture into a container to store in the fridge. This will last in the fridge for about 7 days. You can spread it on toast, wraps, biscuits and whilst it is not as unctuous and melting has its version when made with coconut oil it is considerably healthier.

    Enjoy

    More recent entries

    Share Button
    chocolate mousse

    Amaretto Chocolate Mousse

    Ingredients

    For 6 Espresso cup size portions:
    1 100g bar of 70% (or more) Dark Chocolate (this should not contain dairy)
    2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
    1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    1/4 Cup of Plant Milk (I used vanilla rice milk)
    1 Pack of Silken Firm Tofu (drained)
    1/2 cup of Maple Syrup
    1/2 Tsp Guar Gum (optional)
    2 Tbsp Amaretto Liqueur

    The recipe


    Intro

    Having some folks to dinner tomorrow night and want to give them a nice indulgent but healthy dessert.

    My original plan was to provide some fruit – passion fruit, mango, raspberries, strawberries and plums to go with 2 sauces. One chocolate and one lemon vanilla.

    As I made the chocolate sauce, it kind of morphed into a new recipe, which is much more a mousse.

    The method

    Break up the chocolate and place in a small bowl along with the cocoa powder, plant-milk.
    Microwave for 1-2 mins until the chocolate is thoroughly melted.
    Pour this mixture into a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients.
    Process until shiny and silky smooth.
    You may need to scrape the sides down to ensure that it is all incorporated.

    Pour into small cups or ramekin dishes.  Chill overnight and serve with some fruit or berries to cut through the sweetness.

    More recent entries

    Share Button

    Supper for when you don’t feel like cooking.

    It’s Friday night. The dishwasher doesn’t work. I’ve been up since 5.30am and its 7.55pm and I have the shopping to put away and dinner to cook. It’s been a long day at the end of a long week. We all have them.

    In the past, I’d have reached for the phone or PC and ordered a delivery from a local take-away. Yes, I know that I still could, but thought I’d make something quick but healthy.

    So what did I do?

    I quickly cooked some potatoes with their skins on and cooled. Sliced into thick slices and oven grilled them on a Teflon sheet for about 30 mins at 190c hot air grilling. Perfect no fat sauté potatoes.

    While the potatoes were cooking, I made some of the non-dairy cheese sauce. (See recipe and video previously blogged).

    In the saucepan i cooked the potatoes in (remember the dishwasher is kaput) I shredded some spring greens (cabbage) and placed in the saucepan with half a cup of water. Clamped the lid on and cooked on high for 5 mins.

    I then added a pack of cooked black beluga lentils to the cabbage and stirred in the cheese sauce and heated gently until the sauce thickened.

    Serve sprinkled with some fake Parmesan (see previous post). alongside the sauté potatoes.

    Simple!

    Share Button