Soy & Honey Marinated Tofu with Stewed Bean Sprouts

I really went off tofu for a while. I had a bad experience where I got really horrible indigestion after it, and labeled myself as fully intolerant to it. And then I missed it, so I tried it again, and now it’s fine. I’m back on the tofu train. Choo choo!

This was a spur of the moment recipe inspired by Chinese new year last week, it had been a while since we cooked anything with Asian vibes and I was craving something salty and sweet. It was really easy to do, but I would stress that the longer you can marinate the tofu for as long as you have available. The day before would be best, or the morning of the day you want to eat it. It really does need time to absorb the flavours!

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Frugal Smoky Bean Stew with Feta

I haven’t blogged ALL YEAR. I don’t think that’s too bad to say it’s February though. Anyway let’s get into it, I hate those posts that just complain about how long it’s been etc etc.

What have I been up to so far this year? Well me and Gary have been settling into our new house, making it ours and it’s finally starting to feel a bit more normal and like it’s our home. I’m typing this out sat in front of the fire, it’s such a treat to have a log burner though we are still getting the hang of keeping it lit. It’s a bit of an art!

I’ve also been keeping to my two new years resolutions really well which were:

  1. Drink more water
  2. Stop buying meat in our weekly shops

I’ve not been missing the meat at all, and our weekly shops are a heck of a lot cheaper. I’m still eating it if we go out, but largely trying to be as veg-based as possible to do our bit for the planet.

The water drinking is going great, I’m drinking a pint before I leave the house every day, and then at least three 500ml bottles while I’m at work. I never realised the effect staying fully hydrated can have! I feel more awake, alert and not as groggy in the mornings.

Anyway onto the recipe! I made this up one evening based on what we had in the cupboards. It’s really easy and quick and the leftovers make a delicious lunch. Recipe after the jump!

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Mushroom Risotto

My new favourite kind of risotto. I’ve made this before but without dried mushrooms, and they REALLY make this good. You must soak dried mushrooms before using them, which means you get an extra lovely mushrooms stock to use in the risotto which makes it incredibly savoury and mushroomy and yum.

It might be a bit of a faff to make for brunch but you can certainly enjoy the leftovers or make ahead of time. It really is very good with a poached egg on top, I also made some crispy proscuitto too to serve (just put proscuitto in a very hot frying pan with no oil and cook until crisp) but you can leave both off if you’re veggie/vegan.

Recipe after the jump!

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Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagne

Autumn is well and truly here! The nights are getting darker, the air is getting crisper, and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE! If you do get one to carve and you’re reading this, PLEASE eat the insides, don’t let them go mouldy. We waste so many pumpkins every year and they’re not even hard to cook. This lasagne is a bit more advanced, but at the very least you can roast the flesh and blend with stock and some chilli to make a warming soup. If you’re looking at this recipe and it’s not autumn, you can substitute with butternut squash or sweet potato which are both pretty much available year round!

pumpkin-lasagne

Anyway onto the goods. Shout out to my homegirl Nigella Lawson who’s recipe this is based on, but, I didn’t have any eggs, or mozzarella, and didn’t want it to be quite as rich as hers, so I’ve paired it back and also added kale into my tomato layer because it was just sitting in my fridge and needed using!

Pumpkin-Goat-Cheese-Lasagne2  pumpkin-goat-cheese-lasagane

It does take a while to make, but you can prepare each layer in advance (pumpkin, tomato and the bechemel) so you don’t have to do it all at once.

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Roasted Aubergine with Veggie Ragu

I have my fellow blogger Deepa Mistry to thank for the wonderful aubergine part of this recipe! I hadn’t ever tried roasting an aubergine in half before but her recent Instagram Story persuaded me otherwise and I was so glad I tried it! The best part of her tips was to take the aubergine out of the fridge and cook from room temperature to avoid it being rubbery. It worked!

roasted-aubergine-veggie-ragu

To roast your aubergine, slice it in half and score all over. Rub a little oil all over each half and then place in a hot (150c or so) oven for 40-50 mins, flipping it half way through so it cooks nice and evenly.

While the aubergine was roasting, I made a yummy ragu to stir through its pasta bed. Recipe after the jump!

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Mushroom and Lentil Stew

Lentils are such a staple in my cupboard! They’re so good for bulking out a meal. I love mixing the green and red ones so that you have some that retain their shape and some that sort of drift into thick sauciness. Plus you can flavour them with whatever you like! Mushrooms are a great shout as their earthy savouriness really comes to the foreground of this one.

Put an egg on this and it’s brunch. Have a slab of bread and a bit of cheese on top and it’s dinner! It’s the ultimate versatile, make in advance and throw in the fridge meal.

I used a mix of dried porcini mushrooms and normal chestnut mushrooms but you can just use whatever you have lying around. I also used chicken stock because I’m a meat eater, but if you wanted to keep this plant-based just swap out for stock of your choice (and obviously leave off the egg).

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Veggie Packed Lunch Noodles

I make this recipe so often I couldn’t believe I haven’t blogged it before! These noodles are amazing for weekday lunches, they keep really well and actually taste better for a few days marinating in the fridge! I like to make a big batch and portion out into tupperware for the week.

This is completely veggie but you could add in some leftover meat if you wanted to. There’s plenty protein in here anyway if you’re counting your macros, the egg noodles, shredded egg and edamame are all high protein foods.

One thing I love about stir fries are the colours, especially using lots of fresh veg! How pretty does this pan look? Recipe after the jump!

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Quorn Keema – Curried Mince with Peas

I love to order keema in Indian restaurants and it’s one of my favourite curries. I usually have lamb, but I spied some Quorn mince in our freezer and decided to replicate a veggie version! How hard can it be? Turns out not very!

So just a side point that I don’t pretend to be a curry aficionado, by any stretch! Maybe this isn’t technically a keema and maybe my order of ingredients is wrong but what it is, is delicious. I only started liking and cooking curry a couple of years ago so I’m still finding my way around the techniques and ingredients. The great thing about this version is that the two key things are probably already in your freezer!

A word of warning – it’s a good idea to add your peas at the end! Silly old me prepped this in advance and you can see the colour difference from when I first added them to the pan to now! If you want nice bright peas, wait til the end to add them in. No need to defrost either, just pour those bad boys straight in.

I ate this with garlic naan and yoghurt but you could enjoy it with rice, even turn it into a bit of a biriyani style dish by adding the rice straight into the curry with a bit more water.

See how less green these peas are? Add them at the end!!

Recipe after the jump!

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Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

Lentil, Mushroom and Quorn Shepherd’s Pie

Guys. WHAT a couple of weeks. I’ve had quite a bit going on (including a NEW JOB YAY) so the blog has taken a bit of a back seat, but I’m back now with this yummy veggie shepherd’s pie recipe I made not too long ago. On reflection feels a bit out of place now we’re getting into summer weather! Ah well. I’d eat shepherd’s pie all year round, wouldn’t you?

I love a good mash-topped pie. More than pastry, actually. I love sprinkling a bit of parmesan onto it and making sure it gets nice and crisp under the grill (use veggie parmesan or cheddar to keep it veggie). Those little crispy bits of mash are so oooommpphhh. Delicious.

Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

Generally I find pies really hard to take pictures of once they’re served, but here’s an attempt. We ate it with wilted garlic spinach (soften garlic, oil and butter in a pan for 4-5 mins until the oil/butter goes all garlicy and nice and then toss the spinach through it) but any nice green veg you have will do.

Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

TBH I’m not fully sure if I should even be calling this shepherd’s pie seeing as it contains no meat whatsoever, but I guess it’s an interpretation of it! I used quorn, lentils and mushrooms topped with lots of mash and extra gravy to serve. Meat-free, cheap as heck and pretty easy to rustle together if you’ve got an hour or so. You can speed up the cooking time by making the filling ahead of time, or use a pressure cooker to cook those lentils super quick.

Recipe after the jump!

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Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chilli

I’m having a big quinoa kick after finding this amazing tri-colour quinoa in Aldi. It looks SO pretty I had to put it in my basket, and then I ate out at the weekend with a friend and who ordered a quinoa chilli and I was fully inspired to make this at home.

I coupled it up with a butternut squash I already had in the cupboard, plus a couple of peppers and tin of spiced beans and this became a really easy, cheap dinner that’s nutritious and perfect for this hellish snowy weather. I love eating something spicy when it’s cold outside, don’t you? I used the slow cooker for 3 hours to cook it through, but if you were in a rush you could simmer on the hob for half an hour or so.

I got really extra with the plating up here. I went a bit crazy on the heat, so to cool it down I served this with avocado, Greek yoghurt (healthier than sour cream!), cheese, spring onion and… Tangy Cheese Doritos. Just try it, trust me. It was an absolute TREAT.

Here it is, have you ever seen a chilli so extra?

Quinoa-Butternut-Squash-Chilli

 

 

Recipe after the jump!

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