Monthly Archives: June 2014

Thai Curried Lentils

2014-06-29 19.16.51

Here is a really delicious, quick and easy curried lentils dish (particularly quick if you happen to have cooked lentils on hand – or use canned – you need about 3 cups cooked lentils).  Finding a good curry paste is essential for this, I used Ayam’s Thai Panang which doesn’t contain fish or shrimp – and 20g only contains 1.6g of fat.  This serves 6, or 4 really hungry adults. 🙂

Thai Curried Lentils
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Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 250 grams green beans (unprepared weight)
  • 3 heaped teaspoons thai curry paste - about 20g
  • 2 lime leaves, scored
  • 280 grams dry regular green or brown lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • to serve: fresh chopped coriander, yogurt
  • 1 cup soy milk mixed with 1 tsp coconut essence
  1. Put the lentils into a medium saucepan, cover with boiling water, bring to boil and simmer until just tender - about 20 minutes.
  2. Put your rice (we like long grain brown rice with this dish) on to cook.
  3. Chop the onion, dice or slice the capsicum, top and tail the green beans.
  4. Heat a large casserole or saucepan (which has a close fitting lid) on a medium heat.
  5. Add the vegetables, and once softening, reduce the heat, and stir in the curry paste, and stir for a few minutes until all incorporated. If you have to wait a while for your lentils you can just switch off the heat at this point, place on the lid and continue once your lentils / rice are ready.
  6. Add the lentils once they're ready, stock, lime leaves and lime juice.
  7. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  8. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until your green beans are cooked to your liking, then stir in the soy/coconut mixture, and heat through gently.
  9. Serve over your rice and top with coriander leaves and yogurt.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 244 Fat: 1.28 Carbohydrates: 18.6 Sodium: 70 Fiber: 16 Protein: 15.8



Broccoli & Corn Calzones

2014-06-22 19.13.51
This was adapted from a recipe on EatingWell.  I substituted homemade wholemeal pizza dough for their shop bought one, silken tofu for the ricotta and homemade mozzarella style cheese for the dairy version.  The “moxarella” is this one, and you will need about 1/2 to 2/3 of the amount that recipe makes (1 cup).

Broccoli & Corn Calzones
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Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 cup "moxarella cheese" (see link above in introduction)
  • ⅔ cup silken tofu
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place baking paper on two (or one large) baking trays.
  3. Prepare the pizza dough - as linked introduction. Roll out to about the size of side plate.
  4. Mix all the filling ingredients together, and scoop about ¾ cup onto one half of a round of dough and arrange into a crescent shape.
  5. Using a pastry brush - or your finger! - wet the dough around the edge next to the filling.
  6. Fold the other half over the top, stretching down onto the moistened edge.
  7. Crimp the edges together, making small overlapping folds working from right to left.
  8. Place on the baking trays and make 3 or 4 cuts in the top of each to allow the steam to escape.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, re-pierce the holes in the tops, then swap the trays over and bake for a further 12 minutes or until golden and the filling is bubbling up out of the holes a little.
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (or be prepared to take the skin off the roof of your mouth..!)


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Pizza Dough

Makes 4 small or 2 large pizzas

1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
1 tsp sugar
125ml warm water
100g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk the yeast, sugar and warm water together in a jug and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy.

Mix the flours in a large bowl with the salt, pour in the yeast, mix thoroughly then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place back into the washed and oiled bowl, cover with cling film and place somewhere warm for about an hour or until at least doubled in size.

Knock the dough back (i.e. punch it!) and shape into 2 or 4 even sized balls.  Roll out as required.

Vegetable & Tofu Chilli with Corn Muffins

2014-06-19 19.42.10
This is a hearty tasty chilli packed full of protein – tofu, beans, and quinoa!  Make it as spicy as you like just by adding some freshly chopped chillies along with the onion and garlic, or keep it mild for children with just the small amount of chilli flakes.
The muffin recipe is adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe here. I just removed the oil and doubled the baking powder – about a tablespoon in total.  I used standard medium grain yellow polenta.

Vegetable & Tofu Chilli with Corn Muffins
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Recipe type: Chilli
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 250 grams plain firm tofu, mashed or blitzed in processor to breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 large white cap mushrooms, diced (about 150g)
  • 1 large red capsicum, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 sweet potato (220g), diced
  • 2 cups passata
  • 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • ⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 can kidney beans
  1. Fry the onion, tofu, garlic, spices and herbs, mushrooms and tomato paste, in a splash of water or stock, until onions softened and mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated.
  2. Add capsicum, zucchini, sweet potato, passata, stock, beans, corn and quinoa and stir well.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until sweet potato is cooked.
  4. Serve with the muffins, mashed avocado, fresh coriander and salsa.



Thai Vegetable Curry

2014-06-18 19.44.05
Sometimes you really fancy that creamy, fragrant, hot curry from the local take away.  But then you think about all that coconut milk and oil and how it goes solid in the fridge overnight (only saturated fat does that..) and it makes you feel kind of queasy?  Well now you can have your curry AND eat it!  There’s a sneaky alternative to coconut milk (even the low fat varieties are actually high in fat) and you can’t tell the difference!  This uses shop-bought curry paste (I used Ayam Thai Panang) so you can make it as hot as you like – or add a spoon or two of hot chilli sauce to just your portion if you’re catering for little ones too.  Mine (11 and 16) handled the amount in this just fine – it’s warming and spicy but not hot.

Thai Vegetable Curry
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Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 6
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • Same amount of cauliflower
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 2 carrots
  • Handful green beans
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 packet baby corn
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 sticks celery
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 cups soy milk (we use Vitasoy Milky Lite)
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut essence (like you'd use for baking)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Thai curry paste (there are lots now without fish sauce or shrimp paste)
  • 4 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 4 teaspoons tamari
  • Juice of a large lime
  • 4 kafir lime leaves, cut through from centre to edge to release extra flavour
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  1. Cut the vegetables into smallish pieces so they will all cook evenly.
  2. Steam them in a large steamer, in batches if necessary. Once just tender, tip them into a large casserole dish.
  3. Meanwhile put your rice on to cook.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients. Check your sauce for heat/ salt / sour / sweet balance and adjust to suit your tastebuds (or those of your guests) and pour over all the vegetables, bring to a heat gently until hot.
  5. Serve over rice with lime wedges and a sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander.


Fruit Salad Friands

2014-06-17 14.15.57
As you might have noticed I’m not a big dessert kind of person.  Occasionally though you do need something for the kids for after dinner or when friends come round.  I like to spend my time making the “main event”  so desserts / cakes etc for  me have to be quick and very easy.  This is about as easy as it gets.  The moistness comes from the ground almonds so these aren’t exactly fat free but way better than using oil / margarine etc.

You can also ring the changes with these by using any type of canned fruit, e.g. pineapple, peaches,  pears etc.  Must try cherry… 🙂

To turn these in to Pina Colada cakes, substitute a can of crushed pineapple for the fruit salad and desiccated coconut for the almond meal. 🙂

Fruit Salad Friands
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Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
  • 1 heaped cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup panella (unrefined brown sugar)
  • 2 heaped tsp flax meal
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 1 14 oz can fruit salad - juice and all!
  1. Mix all ingredients together, spoon into friend or muffin trays, bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and risen.
  2. These are very moist and if you use silicone bakeware you may need to flip them over and bake again on a baking sheet for 5 more minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 154 Fat: 2.5 Carbohydrates: 29.6 Sodium: 3 Protein: 2.4

Quick and Easy Gozleme

This is a really quick snack which we all love.  You can also have them for dinner, as we did last night with potato wedges and fennel coleslaw.

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Quick and Easy Gozleme
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Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
  • 1 packet Mountain Bread, any variety
  • 300g classic tofu - silken firm
  • 16 cubes of frozen spinach
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  1. Cook spinach quickly in boiling water or in a microwave, rinse and squeeze out all the water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Take a mountain bread sheet, and evenly spread a heaped dessertspoon of the mixture over half and spread it to the corners.
  4. Fold the empty half over the top.
  5. Place in a grill /Italian toaster and put the lid down.
  6. Cook for around 3 minutes or until crispy and slightly browned.
  7. Keep them warm in the oven if you're making the whole lot at once, or just keep the mixture in the fridge for use later.
  8. Cut into strips, squeeze lemon juice liberally over the top, salt and pepper as required and devour!


Winter Bake

2014-06-10 19.35.12

Winter Bake

This was concocted in the far north of Scotland in 1998, whilst 5 months pregnant with my 1st child.  My husband still teases me that we could have gone to the Maldives for our final holiday as just a couple, but I wanted a cosy wintery holiday in Scotland!  It was very cold and snowy and we were staying in a beautiful old stone cottage.  I wanted something warming and comforting, and the only vegetables we had in were cabbage and potatoes, so I came up with this.  16 years later we’re still making it (albeit with a different cheezy sauce now)!

Winter Bake
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Recipe type: Bake / Casserole
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ large savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 ½ cups split red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely shredded (ditto)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 cups passata (or blended canned tomatoes)
  • 1 t vegetable stock powder
  • Tabasco - optional
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 4 medium / large potatoes (about 800g)
  • 1 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
  • SAUCE:-
  • ½ a raw onion
  • 1 T corn flour
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1.5 cups Soy milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chicken style stock powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ date paste / other sweetener e.g maple syrup, rice syrup.
  1. Heat a medium saucepan on a gentle heat with a spray of oil, add cabbage and herbs. Place on lid and allow the cabbage to steam in its own juices.
  2. Put lentils in a medium saucepan, cover by an inch with water, add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, passata, stock powder and optional tabasco; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked down to a thickish soup.
  3. Finely slice the potatoes (use a mandolin or processor, or with a knife, about ½cm thick) and steam for 10 or so minutes or until just tender.
  4. Make the white / cheezy sauce by putting all ingredients into a blender, blend til smooth, pour into a small sauce pan and stir constantly until thickened.
  5. Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish which has a close fitting lid e.g. Pyrex or Le Creuset)
  6. Layer in the dish as follows:
  7. - ⅓ of the potatoes
  8. - ⅓ of the cabbage
  9. - ½ of the lentil mixture
  10. - ⅓ of the white sauce
  11. - Half of remaining potatoes
  12. - Half of remaining cabbage
  13. - Rest of lentils
  14. - Half of remaining white sauce
  15. - Remaining potatoes
  16. - Remaining cabbage
  17. - Remaining white sauce
  18. - Breadcrumbs
  19. A quick spray of oil on top
  20. Bake for 40 minutes, in a moderate oven, placing on the lid for last 15 minutes to prevent top burning. Test is cooked through by piercing with a knife. Should be very soft, top crisp and sauce bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach, Basil, Mushroom & Potato “Lasagne”

2014-06-08 19.18.33
I was going to make a new type of lasagne but a gluten-free friend was joining us for dinner and I couldn’t find gluten free lasagne sheets (and the ingredients in some of those products is rather off-putting!)  so decided to substitute potato for the pasta layers.
This was SO GOOD!  Luckily I wrote everything down as I did it so can make it again!
The cheesy sauce is also on this site here, you’ll need half of the portion this makes.

Spinach & Basil, Mushroom & Potato "Lasagne"
Prep time
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Recipe type: Lasagne
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 450g silken tofu
  • 450g frozen spinach (frozen weight)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch of basil, blitzed in food processor with 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g mushrooms, diced. (I used flat mushrooms and white cup, but whatever you have is fine)
  • 50g cashews, soaked if necessary, and blended with enough water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g potatoes, sliced thinly.
  • ½ a portion of cheese sauce recipe (see intro)
  • 1 cup of passata / blended canned tomatoes
  1. Thaw and squeeze as much of the water out of the spinach and mix in a large bowl with the tofu, the onion - finely chopped; the nutritional yeast, salt, basil & pine nuts, lemon zest and juice and set aside.
  2. Make the cheese sauce as linked to in the introduction.
  3. Saute the mushrooms in a large pan in their own juices, mix in the cashew cream, tamari and lemon juice. Cook until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
  4. Meanwhile steam the potatoes until just tender - about 7 mins.
  5. Take a large lasagne dish. Layer as follows:
  6. cup of passata / blended tomatoes.
  7. A third of the Potatoes
  8. Half of the Spinach tofu mixture
  9. Half of remaining potatoes
  10. All the mushrooms
  11. Remaining potatoes
  12. Remaining spinach tofu mixture
  13. Cheese sauce (about half of the quantity the recipe makes)
  14. Place in a moderate oven - 180 for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and top is browning.

Cheesy Sauce

Cheesy Sauce
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Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: 8
  • 100g onion, peeled weight
  • 300g potatoes (peeled weight)
  • 75 g carrots
  • 1 spring onion
  • 75g raw cashews
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1 level tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed (start with 2, add another after tasting)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  1. Pulse the onion, potatoes, carrots, spring onion and cashews in a food processor, then put in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water, bring to boil, turn down to simmer, cover and leave for 20 mins or until vegetables all very soft.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and use stick blender (or pour into blender) and blend til very smooth.

This was adapted from the infamous Vegnews mac & cheese sauce.