Hot Quorn “wings”

Me and my boyfriend were recently on a cooking expedition; one of those “I can make that” trips that can either end horrendously or amazingly.
Luckily these ended up falling into the camp of the latter.

If you’re a fan of hot wings or just in love with Frank’s Hot sauce (like me) but you’re a veggie this might be up your street. (Recipe not vegan but I’m pretty sure you could find alternatives!).

Ingredients:

4 frozen quorn fillets

For the coating;

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 garlic powder

2 eggs

1 cup milk

For the sauce;

Frank’s Hotsauce‚ĄĘ
(Simple)

Method:

Firstly you’re going to want to cook your quorn fillets. I like to use fry light (low fat cooking spray) to heat them up. No need to get them charred. You just want them unfrozen.

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Whilst those are on the go get a glass bowl and crack your eggs; give ’em a whisk with the milk to combine them and set aside.
Also mix all your dry ingredients in another bowl and set aside.

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Just take a minute to glug some vegetable oil into a frying pan and get it on that heat.
Whilst it’s getting hot you can do the fun part; coat the Quorn!

Cut the Quorn into whatever shapes you want- I just went strips but you could do the whole thing or chunks, the choice is yours!

Dip each piece in egg and then the flour and then egg and flour again; that’s right, we’re double dipping! Put the sticky mess on a plate and continue until all are done.

Place the battered Quorn pieces in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up.

~grab yourself a glass of red and take a load off~

Now your oil is good and hot you can grab the plate from the fridge and begin!
Pop as many pieces of Quorn in the pan that fit and cook. Flip after a few minutes and once it looks cooked (you’ll know) move into a plate with an appropriate tool.

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Next is the best part, really; pour hot sauce ALL over them.

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Now; eat. Add salad to feel healthier!

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Enjoy!

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RECIPE: Udon Noodle Veg Pad Thai

Hi there!

Today I bring you a recipe that I put together tonight and it’s already made my list of Most-Favourite-Meals-I’ve-Cooked-Ever.

If you’re a fan of mild spice, zingy lime and noooodles (I’m a huge noodle-enthusiast), then this is the recipe for you.

The Udon Noodle Veg Pad Thai has everything it says in the title.

Udon noodles are the really thick, slippery-type noodles and they work so well with this I don’t think I could go back to skinny noodles ever again, the veggie’s are fast cooking and the recipe so simple yet so tasty it’s kind of embarrasing to say I ‘cooked’ it, when really I just threw this in a Wok and then ate it.

So without much further ado;The Recipe

Ingredients

(Serves 1)

1 packet of Udon noodles. I used Amoy straight to wok, which are divided into two handy separately packed portions)

1/2 brocolli head (I used 5 or 6 little ‘trees’)

1/4 punnet of closed cup (or button) mushrooms – chopped if you like ’em chopped.

2 spring onions, diced (including the greens)

handful of mange tout – cut in half if you like!

3 or 4 leaves of a pak choi – diced

1/2 red chilli (I went ‘mild’, which is 2 chilli signs on the packet!)

1 lime

1 vegetable stock cube

dark soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

The Method:

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Pop a little boiled water in your wok and cook the broccoli until it’s bright green and a little softened, add half a stock cube and stir around until the water is all gone and the stock full absorbed.

Once the water is gone add a little oil to the pan (I used low fat fry light) and add your mushrooms, mange tout, pak choi and spring onion. Stir fry until all the vegetables have also softened. Add a little more oil if they are sticking to the pan!

Next, add the chopped chilli and squeeze the juice of the lime into the pan. You should get a good bit of liquid out of the lime which is the start of the sauce.

Next add a little more boiled water – I’d say just a couple of tablespoons, it’s just enough to get some liquid boiling in the pan so you can add the rest of the stock cube – you want the stock to be fully absorbed but you don’t want the liquid to cook away, so this is the time to lower your heat – you’re almost done.

Add your noodles – they don’t need to be pre-cooked if you get the ones I used – and stir, adding plenty of dark soy sauce (or light if you prefer) and add a little salt and pepper to season.

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Serve with half a lime and a little raw spring onion if you have any left over. Enjoy!

It really is just a glorified stir fry, but the lime and chilli go a long way to make this a little something more. I love sour flavours so this was a real treat for me.

If you’re feeling up to it, get some peanuts and chop/ blend them to sprinkle on top. Sadly I couldn’t find any in my local supermarket (!!) so I had to go without ūüė¶

Sometimes a quick stir-fry with plenty of zing is all you need!

BON APP√ČTIT!

Sam

BLOG: Juicing

Even as a vegetarian I find it hard to get all of those portions of fruit and veg into my daily eating life. There are so many alternative foods that at times I find myself not only avoiding meat, but also avoiding anything green as well! 

I recently decided to try juicing to help me get some more of those vitamins and minerals into my life so I thought I’d blog about it.¬†

I avoid fruit juices as a rule as there is some scientific thing about the breakdown of sugar when you blitz it… somehow the fruit is actually not good for you when it’s not in it’s original state – I don’t know, I’m no scientist, but ever since I was told this I’ve stopped drinking the stuff.

Instead I’ve decided to try juicing vegetables. I’m assuming that it probably¬†is healthier to actually eat the stuff, but sometimes I just don’t have time to cook lots of veg, so I’ve just started making a green juice that’s jam packed with iron and what not.¬†

I’ve been using water, spinach, cucumber, the juice of a lime, a few grapes and agave nectar to make a sweet green shake that makes me feel healthy, but isn’t totally hardcore on a veg juice scale, but I will be trying more.¬†

Do you juice? What are your favourites? I’d love some helpful hints and tips! ūüôā

 

Sam

RECIPE: Broccoli & Halloumi noodle stir fry

Hands up, who has half a block of halloumi cheese left over from the other day? 

Well, if you want to do something fun and healthy with it (rather than just eat it like a pig!) why not try this:

 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

whole head of broccoli, chopped into small trees ūüôā

half a carton of medium sized mushrooms – if you’re buying individually its about 6 – chopped in half

1 bell pepper – colour of your choice – sliced

half a packet of halloumi cheese

1 nest of dried egg noodles 

dash of soy sauce (I used dark, but regular or light is fine)

 

Method:

You’re going to want to heat up some water in a wok – I don’t know exactly how much I use, I just boil the kettle and pour it in the wok until there’s about 2 inches of liquid boiling away.¬†

Once the bubbles are going throw your broccoli in – when it comes to stirfry I always part boil the broccoli in water before I cook anything else, as it means it gets a good cook but it’s still firm enough when all the other ingredients are added!

Cook this on a medium/high setting until there is no water left. 

Add your mushrooms and peppers. I don’t add any oil to the wok when cooking with mushrooms because they create their own liquids. Adding more just tends to get too ‘juicy’ – and I also never cook with oil anyway. If I have to use some form of pan lubrication I just use a spray called Fry Light, which is low cal and does the job OK.¬†

After the mushrooms have been in for about 5 minutes you can cook your noodles which will take about 7 minutes. At this point you should also add the halloumi to the wok and give it a good stir. 

Keep it moving to get the flavours infused in the cheese and turn off the heat when the mushrooms and cheese look soft. This should also be around the time the noodles are ready. 

Drain the noodles and divide between two plates and then divide the stir fry. I added a good slosh of soy sauce just to dress it, but it’s not needed and you can use anything to add a little flavour – I imagine sweet chilli sauce would work a treat!

 

Sadly no pictures today because I wolfed it down before thinking – I was ravenous, what can I say? ūüėõ

BON APP√ČTIT!

Sam

 

 

RECIPE: Soba Noodle & Edamame salad with grilled Halloumi

If you’re into green eating, you’ll love this one. As you’ll be able to see from my picture, the majority of this salad is green, green, green, but don’t be put off by that – you could add any vegetable you want to this and it would look and taste delicious!

 

This recipe is low fat, super healthy and contains a vegetable I’ve been wanting to use for a while now – edameme.¬†

For this recipe I bought a pack of lightly salted beans, which I had to de-shell myself (it doesn’t take long, and it’s quite therapeutic!), but I’m pretty sure you can buy them pre-shelled.¬†

Ingredients (serves 2):

140g soba noodles

1 pack of edamame beans – you can use a handful up to the whole pack, totally depends on how much you love them!

4 spring onions, finely diced

broccoli – again, however much you want. I used 5 stalks and it was enough.

half a cucumber, peeled, deseeded and thinly sliced.

1 avocado, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 pack of halloumi – if you can stop at half a packet, do, but I actually can’t resist so for 2 people I’d use the whole thing!

Soy sauce

 

Method:

Start by slicing and dicing all your vegetables (and deshelling your edamame if you need to).Image

Boil the noodles for 7 minutes with the broccoli. Once done rinse well under cold water to stop the cooking. You want the noodles cool and the broccoli still firm.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir in some soy sauce to you liking – not too much, as this should be a salad, not a soup!

¬†Grill your halloumi for around 3 minutes on each side. Depending on how you like it is key. I both don’t mind it just-warmed, and can’t wait for it to grill properly so I only end up doing it for a few minutes!

Share the salad out onto plates, slice the halloumi and divide – you can do cubes or long strips, it doesn’t matter so much ūüėȬ†

Serve! Image

It doesn’t take too long, it’s so quick to put together on plates and it’s so healthy you’ll feel like you cheated the world somehow – my only warning is once you taste the halloumi and edamame beans you’ll never go back – one of the best combo’s ever!

Let me know what you think – if you have any halloumi or edamame recipes let me know, I’m always looking for good recipes to try with them!

BON APP√ČTIT!

Sam

RECIPE: Tomato & spinach Penne Pasta Bake

Yes, my obsession with pasta is back!

I’d say I was sorry, but I’m not! I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make it for dinner and boy, was it yummy!! Really simple and EXTREMELY tasty… so there’s cheese on it, it’s still¬†kind of healthy!!¬†

 

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

400g penne pasta

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 small white onion, diced

handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped

splash of red wine

splash of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

grated mozzarella (enough to cover the top, so probably half a bag)

tub of small mozzarella balls

Handful of pre-made packet breadcrumbs (enough to create a slight crunch on top)

salt and pepper to taste (as well as 1 sweetener tablet*)

 

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and throw in your penne pasta, set the oven to pre-heat at gas mark 5.

Whilst this is cooking make your sauce. All you need to do is soften your onions in a lightly oiled pan. I like to add a spoonful of water from the pasta pan, this way the onions don’t actually fry but boil so they just soften.¬†

Throw in your 2 tins of tomatoes and stir. Next you want to add all of your other 

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ingredients – it doesn’t matter what order. Just splash in a little red wine (however much you want, I like about 3 tablespoons) and then a splash of balsamic (again,¬†

however much you like, but I use around 2 tablespoons). Add your salt, pepper, 

sweetener and oregano and stir. Finally add the basil and spinach and stir. You’ll¬†

only want to cook this 

for about 5 minutes once you’re at this stage. Once the sauce starts to boil take it off the heat.¬†

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Drain the pasta and mix the sauce in. Once the pasta is well covered pour it into a 

baking dish. Here comes the fun part! 

distribute the mozzarella balls on top of the pasta, sprinkle the grated mozzarella onto until the pasta is covered – it’s up to you how much you want to use really – and then sprinkle on breadcrumbs. Again – it’s totally up to you. I just sprinkled about a handful over the top as I only wanted a light crust. ¬†

 

Pop this into the pre heated oven for 20 minutes and serve. The cheese will be all melty and gooey and amazing and it will be delish! Trust me! Here is a photo of the finished thing:

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Let me know if you make this or have any great pasta bake recipes that are easy and healthy. I really want to use more kale in my pasta recipes so watch this space! 

 

As usual, thanks for reading and liking! 

BON APP√ČTIT!

Sam

*when making tomato sauces you normally have to put sugar in to bring the flavour out, but I don’t use sugar in anything I make so I use small sweetener tablets)

Graze Boxes

Hi there!

 

So, I don’t know if any of you have ever heard about Graze boxes. They are these little boxes of healthy snacks you can have delivered to your door one or two times a week (UK based, I’m not sure if there is a US version), and what it basically means is you have perfectly sized snacks for that time of the day when you might normally grab a cookie, or a packet of crisps.

 

I didn’t want to buy into them at all when I first heard about them because I had this crazy idea that it would be too expensive, or it wasn’t really that healthy. However, neither of these things are true.¬†

A box costs ¬£3.89 – to me, that’s nothing. You get 4 separately packed snacks which can be anything from some dried fruit, some nuts, popcorn, a little bit of cake, or something like dried bread and a dip, and they are actually pretty darn good at keeping the munchies at bay. Some of them even count towards your 5 a day, which is a bonus.¬†

 

Anyway – to cut a long story short, I figured I’d share this with you. If you want a FREE box with no obligation to subscribe to them or anything just go to GRAZE¬†and enter this code for a free sample :¬†NVV721Z

I’m not going to lie – yes, I do get something out of this (money off my next box, or something), but that’s not why I’m blogging about it. I really do think it’s a great idea. If I had the money I’d have every meal delivered to my door, but I don’t. So for now I’m enjoying snacking luxury and I wanted to let you in on it.

Let me know if you’ve already signed up – do you like it, don’t you like it?

Until next time,

 

Sam 

BLOG: Not Vegetarian?

I’ve been a vegetarian for about 6 years now and for the longest time I thought I had a handle on all things vegetarian and all things NOT vegetarian.¬†

Let me show you an example:

Vegetables = Vegetarian friendly 

Meat = Not vegetarian

Simple as a pimple, right? Right. Except for the fact that in the past year or so I’ve had a few bombshells dropped on me regarding food I deemed ‘safe’, which have then turned out to be… well, not so much!¬†

I look at labels as much as the next person (ok, ok, probably a little less because I’m lazy), but due to these aforementioned bombshells I’m now having to re-check a lot of things I thought we OK, just to be on the safe side.¬†

So! What am I harping on about? Well, here is the list of things I assumed were Veggie, but have turned out not to be. 

French Fancies (of the Mr Kipling variety)

Nutella (I know… heartbreaking… but it gets worse…)

Oreo’s (However, only in the Uk, the US ones are vegan)

Ferrero Rocher 

Apparently ANY Kinder chocolate (though I still have to look into this…)

some¬†Tic Tacs (again…unsure and will be looking into it!)

Apparently most sweets that are RED!

 

So there you have it – I’m sure there are a million more, but they are some of the ones I’ve only recently been confronted by and shed a tear for. I mean… French Fancies and Nutella? Am I being punished?¬†

 

Let me know if you’ve found something you thought was fine but turned out not to be!

 

Until next time,

Sam

Recipe: Mint yoghurt

My last recipe¬†had a suggested dollop of mint yoghurt, and yes, you can¬†buy it ready made, but where’s the fun in that?

 

For an easy mint yoghurt I suggest getting some natural yoghurt (Yeo Valley is always good) and a sprig of fresh mint.

Diced up the leaves and stir into the yoghurt and voila! It really is that simple. Sure there are more complex recipes out there, but why do complex when you can do simple with maximum results?

 

Just a suggestion – let me know if you have any good mint yoghurt ideas!

 

Sam

RECIPE: Quinoa, red pepper & cucumber salad with avocado and lime

This is a great recipe to try if you’re entertaining friends, because it makes a lot of food and it’s easy to make, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. It’s also one of those ones where you can make it in advance – which is always great!¬†

Ingredients:

(serves 4-6, easily)

salt 

Not my photo – I didn’t take one of my meal, but I will do and replace this ASAP.

1 cup quinoa 

1 garlic clove

1 large shallot – finely diced

1 jalepinio , deseeded and finely sliced

2 limes, juiced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 medium cucumber, diced

2 ripe avocados, sliced

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt. 

Rinse your quinoa under cold water and then add to the pan – you’ll want to cook this until tender. How do you know when it’s ready? I still have trouble being able to tell, because the grain is so small, so I’d just say after 10-15 minutes you should be good to go!

drain the quinoa and spread it out onto a baking sheet to cool – this will help it dry out (you don’t want a soggy salad!) and also cool quite quickly.¬†

Whilst that’s cooling, take a pinch of salt and your garlic clove and pop into a bowl. If you have a pestle and mortar you can crush these together to make a grainy paste – if you don’t you can do what I do and just use the back of a table spoon to grind it together.¬†

Next, add this paste, the diced shallots, jalepino and lime juice into a small bowl – season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir. You’ll want to let this sit for about 10 minutes. This will be your dressing. After it’s rested add your table spoon of oil into the bowl and stir. It may not seem like a lot, but you can always add oil later, you can’t take it out if you put too much in!

Next, take your quinoa, the red peppers and cucumber and put them into your serving bowl (I like to use a large glass bowl so you can see it all) and stir in 3/4 of your dressing. You can season to taste again, depending on how salty/peppery you like it. 

When serving, pop your sliced avocado onto the plates, spoon out the quinoa salad and drizzle with the remaining dressing. If you feel you’d like more oil, add it, but I find that it’s not needed.¬†

This sounds like it will take a long time, but it really doesn’t. It’s all in the prep.¬†

Serve this with warmed pitta bread (yes, I love pitta!). 

I’d also suggest serving this with olives, humous, and mint yoghurt – it’s great food to pass around in a party and it’s really healthy. For someone who loves eating, I can say I was truly full from this meal, and there was plenty of left overs, even with 5 of us eating it.¬†

BON APP√ČTIT!

Sam