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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Honey, Soy and Ginger Pork Loins

SHOE HORN ALERT. We bought a house 🙂 I realise that has NOTHING to do with honey, soy and ginger pork loins, but I just needed to get it out there. We’ve been looking for around a year and finally found our dream home back in June, and exchanged contracts a week or so ago. The really important part is that it’s got a ma-hoo-sive kitchen with a RANGEMASTER oven (omg omg), loads of putting down space and beautiful wooden work tops with loads of natural light. If you’ve watched my Insta Stories you’ll know I currently cook in a tiny kitchen maybe 1-2 metres wide so I am extremely excited to the upgrade! I cannot wait to show you all, we should be in by Christmas.

Anyway now thats out of the way, here’s a nice recipe for pork.

For ages I really wasn’t fond of pork, but then eating it in Chinese food as Char Sui really got me into it. Pork loins are pretty cheap in Aldi or Lidl and easy to cook with too! I love this recipe as a nice quick weekend dinner, just make sure you marinate the meat in the morning and it will be delicious by the time you come to cook it!

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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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Crispy Kale Chinese ‘Seaweed’ in the Air Fryer

I just love getting seaweed with my Chinese takeaway. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s SO GOOD. I couldn’t believe it when I tried to make some crispy kale in my air fryer and managed to recreate the exact same food – same taste, same texture, same everything!

crispy-kale-chinese-seaweed

I don’t know if the picture does it justice but honestly this is life changing. You have to try this if you have an air fryer and you love Chinese food. If you don’t have an air fryer, I have no idea how it would turn out in an oven, but you could give it a go on a baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid sticking, I just don’t think the results would be as crisp.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 bag kale (yes really, it shrinks!)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Soft brown sugar

Take the kale and remove any stalks, this is really important. You just want the green fluffy leaves. Get them all together on a chopping board and go over them with a knife so they’re finely chopped. Take the sesame oil and salt and rub all over, they really only need a tiny bit of oil or they will go soggy. Pop in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes on 180 degrees and voila! Toss them in the brown sugar and serve.

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Slow Cooker Chinese Hoisin Chicken

With Chinese New Year around the corner (the Year of the Dog!) I’ve been thinking about my favourite oriental dishes. Chinese is definitely one of my favourite takeaways but I rarely make the dishes at home because they just never taste quite the same! My go-to order is usually beef in black bean, or a classic chicken chow mein. I just love those noodles!

I was over the moon with the way this hoisin chicken turned out, it really tastes as good as takeaway and is super simple to make. I can’t tell you if it’s any healthier though as I imagine the sugar and salt content isn’t great but trust me this tastes amazing.

Coating the chicken in cornflour gives it a really nice texture and the sauce is cooked low and slow to get all sticky and delicious. If you’re looking for a new Chinese recipe, I heartily recommend this dish!

You completely don’t need to slow cook this if you don’t have time, it’s fine on the hob. In fact if you cut the chicken up small enough you don’t need to slow cook it for very long either, just 3 hours or so is fine. Any longer and your sauce will dry out!

slow-cooker-hoisin-chicken

I served this with egg fried rice (in a packet, I’m ashamed) and crispy ‘seaweed’ which is actually kale! I’ll save that recipe for later this week so for now, here’s the chicken!

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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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Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’ Stir Fry

Growing up we had a fairly fixed weekly meal plan. Soup Mondays. Fish Tuesdays, baked potato Wednesdays and ‘ricey thing’ Thursdays.

What is a ricey thing? You ask (rightfully so). It can be a number of things – this dish is also known as ‘tuna, rice and all things nice’. The beauty of it is that it can be anything!  The constants are rice, tuna, an egg and soy sauce. The rest can be up to you, and whatever you have leftover in the fridge. Some rules though: tomatoes aren’t quite right. Aubergines haven’t been successful in the past. And stay away from potatoes unless you’re into double carbs. Apart from that, the pan is your oyster.

Growing up the vegetables for this dinner would be chopped the night before and left in containers in the fridge, layered in the order they would need to hit the pan. Like all stir frys, you need to make sure you add the hardest vegetables first to get them cooking, so that it all cooks evenly.

This particular version featured carrots, cabbage, red peppers, onions, peas and mushrooms.

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Spicy Satay Asian Salad 

Hands up who feels huge and sluggish after Easter? *raises own hand* I’ve eaten so much chocolate plus a (delicious) roast dinner yesterday and I’ve lost track on the wine. Time to get back to vegetables with this crunchy Asian salad.

I made this for a set of weekday lunches and to make use of my new Veggie Bullet! It’s a shredder, chopper and spiraliser and it’s great for recipes like this where there’s lots of chopping. I used the shredding function for the carrot and then sliced the cabbage, peppers, onions and chilli.

I did the rest by hand because it wouldn’t do spring onions how I wanted them in long strips and the mini sweetcorn probably wouldn’t have really worked out well. It cut the prep time in half though.

Anyway on to the recipe and a word of warning, you can’t make this (either food processor or no) without getting finely chopped food ALL OVER your kitchen. So put down some towels and roll up your sleeves!

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Healing and Tasty Chicken Noodle Soup

I might be the only person I know that actually makes their own soup when they’re ill. I do get bored if I have to rest up, so doing a bit of cooking in the middle of the day is a welcome mindless activity.

Anyway onto the goods. You can use any vegetables in this but I like to have something green (feels extra healing) like cabbage or pak choi, some left over chicken is essential and I like to throw in an egg for extra protein. Sup up and rest.

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Crispy Beef With Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sweet Sauce

I couldn’t believe how easy this beef dish is to make! And it’s so tasty and delicious, perfect for a really quick midweek dinner.

I’ve seen a few variations of crisped mince served dry but I felt like it really needed a sticky sauce, and so this dish was born.

I also upped the veg content by serving on some fresh rice noodles mixed with chopped mange tout, edamame beans, green peppers and bean sprouts and topping with some blanched spring onion.

Blanching spring onion might just be my new favourite thing for oriental dishes. It calms down the flavour without any of the over browning or catching you can get when you’re stirfrying at a high heat.

Anyway, recipe time!

 

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