High Protein Tofu Noodle Stir Fry

I feel SO busy at the moment. Somehow I’m packing in a 40 hour working week, 4 trips to the gym, trying to buy a car, and about umpteen friends’ birthdays and social plans. That’s just summer though really isn’t it? I feel like having the opportunity to cook something nice is really rare for me at the moment – there’s been lots of scrambled egg on toast for dinner (eeeek!). Anyway, I’m on holiday countdown as it’s won’t be long before we’re off to Menorca for a week of eating, beaching and reading. I cannot wait!

A brief gym update since my last post because I’m SO proud of the progress I’m making. This week I’ve managed sumo squat deadlifts all by myself (no PT spotting) at 30kg which is the biggest weight I’ve ever lifted so far. There’s people that can lift more (obviously) but to me this is a huge achievement, especially considering I could barely lift a 20kg bar this time last year. October will be my gym-iversary and if I’m feeling brave enough I might do some of those cringey before and after pictures. It’s never really been about the result for me though, more the feeling. Lifting that weight makes me feel like I can take on anything.

Now I’ll stop rambling on, on to the recipe. This yummy stir fry is so packed full of protein and vegetables and makes for great weekday lunches, especially as the longer you leave it, the more flavour the tofu takes on from the surrounding sauce. I love that about tofu! The wet sauce for this which is unusual for me with noodles, I usually like a drier noodle or just dressed sesame oil but the tofu really needs the moisture for this to work. If you’re a busy monster like me you can meal prep this bad boy by chopping up all the veg beforehand and keeping it in the fridge, and just lob it into the pan when you come home. You could even pre-chop the tofu and marinate it in a little soy sauce if you were feeling really extra.

High Protein Tofu Noodle Stir fry

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 280g block plain tofu (I like the ‘Tofoo’ stuff)
  • 1 medium pepper
  • 5-6 spring onions
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 1-2 nests of fine egg noodles
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • Sesame, chilli and vegetable oils

Finely slice the mushrooms, peppers, onions and spring onions and mince the garlic. Chop the tofu into small cubes and begin to fry in a frying pan with 2 tsp vegetable oil, and a couple of shakes of the chilli oil. In a separate pan or wok, make a quick, thin omelette with the egg and set to one side. Stir fry the veg with the garlic (I like to blanch the spring onions with the noodles so leave those out til later) just for a coupe of minutes until it starts to soften. Shred up that omelette you made earlier and add to the pan, and when the tofu is ready, add that in too. Boil the noodles in a saucepan according to packet instructions and drain into a sieve – place the spring onions in the sieve and pour the hot water over them. This makes them nice and soft without compromising the flavour.

Next, in a cup, mix together the cornflour, soy sauce, five spice and fish sauce with maybe 25ml water or so – you want it to fill about half way up a standard mug. Pour this into the pan with the veg and the tofu and add the noodles too. Stir until it’s thickened – add a bit more water if it goes too thick and then serve with a drizzle more chilli oil if you like a bit of spice!

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Greek Cannelloni – Aubergine Rolls Stuffed with Feta, Spinach and Ricotta

Aubergines might just be my favourite vegetable. After tomatoes. And asparagus. Ok, ok, they’re just up there. They’re delicious, really filling and not that bad for you if you don’t soak them in 1000 litres of oil while cooking them.

Aubergines really do absorb a lot of of oil, to avoid it one of the best ways I’ve found to cook aubergines is on a griddle pan, and that’s what happens in this recipe. Thin slices of aubergine are griddled, before being stuffed with a creamy cheesy spinachy filling and topped with tomato sauce. DELIGHTFUL.

If you don’t have a griddle pan you can fry the aubergines or bake them in the oven, but they do need to be cooked before you can roll them or they’ll just break apart.

I call this Greek Cannelloni because the feta, ricotta and spinach mix feels distinctly Greek to me, and they’re kind of cannelloni-like in being tubes baked in a tomato sauce. I guess the basil isn’t very Greek, but call it what you want, it’s really tasty.

 

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This was my first “experimental” dish and it was bloody gorgeous. I made this on a super hot Sunday during the one week of British Summer we seemed to get, and it was even better eaten outside. That said, it’s also the kind of dish you could enjoy on a cold winters eve. It’s adaptable. Versatile. Chameleon-like. OK, I’ll shut up, it’s just pasta. But it’s really, really good pasta.

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Asparagus is in season at the minute, so if you can find British asparagus then do use it! Don’t miss out the Harissa paste either, it really brings this dish to life.

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Creamy Garlic Mushrooms with White Wine

This is fast becoming my new favourite snack. Brunch, lunch, starter, creamy delicious garlic mushrooms are always appropriate!

I like to use a mix of chestnut, white and button mushrooms but this is good with any mushrooms you have available.

  

Creamy garlic mushrooms with white wine

Ingredients

This should be enough for two

1 punnet mushrooms of your choice, or 1/3 punnet each of closed, chestnut and button

4 cloves garlic

1 small shallot

1 teaspoon butter

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 small bay leaf

Small cup of white wine

1 tablespoon of single cream, or creme fraiche

Granary bread to toast and serve

Method 

Wipe the mushrooms with kitchen towel to clean and chop roughly into different shapes. I like to slice some and quarter others so you get a nice variety in the dish.

Finely chop the shallots and garlic and add to a hot pan with the butter and oil. Soften for 3/4 minutes and then add the mushrooms.

When the mushrooms are around 80% cooked add in your wine and reduce the heat. Add your oregano and the bay leaf and lave for 5-10 minutes to reduce the wine down. Stir in the cream or creme fraiche and then season to taste.

Serve immediately with crusty granary toast and enjoy!

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If I’m completely honest my favourite way to eat avocado is just on toast. Why try and make it into something it isn’t?

I have my friend Caoimhe to thank for this idea, and it really does make a truly tasty pasta sauce. You’ll need some things to bring out the flavour – lots of basil, garlic and lemon, but it’s worth it.


Cook the pasta first and reserve some of the pasta water to make the perfect sauce.

Take a splash of the pasta water in a jug (you can always add more later) and an avocado lightly mashed with a fork. Stir in minced garlic, salt and pepper, a handful of fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon. Blitz with a hand held blender until you have a rough textured sauce – some lumps are fine.

Serve stirred into the pasta with extra fresh basil and some grated Parmesan. If you’re that way inclined, dried chilli flakes can add some extra zing.

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The secret to a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables one by one according to their size and cooking time, rather than all at once.

 

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