VEGGIE SKEWERS, SUPER QUINOA SALAD & PEANUT SAUCE

#MeatfreeMonday, dairy free, exercise, fitness, food, free from, fun, Gluten Free, go vegam, health, Healthy, healthy food, Herbs, Information, lunch, main, meat free, meat free monday, nutrition, plant based, plant power, plant strong, plants, quick, quick food, quinoa, recipes, salad, Vegan, vegan food, Vegetables, Vegetarian, what vegans eat, whole food, wholefoods

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Preparation & cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 4 portions

This is a really tasty and really nutritious meal. I had this over the weekend for a post workout meal and I enjoyed it so much! All of the ingredients in this meal will do you a world of good and make you feel energised and help you prepare for your next workout. In my meals I really enjoy having a wide variety of flavours coming from a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and so on. I like my meals to be packed full of flavour and I think this one really delivers on that front.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • ½ a cup of pre-cooked quinoa
  • ½ a cucumber, cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into cubes
  • A handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • A large handful of frozen peas, thawed out in boiling hot water
  • A teaspoon of cumin
  • A teaspoon of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Sea salt and pepper

For the skewers:

  • 2 courgettes, cut in half lengthways and into inch thick chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms
  • A das of olive oil
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt and Pepper

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3 heaped teaspoons of peanut butter (I use meridian peanut butter because it uses only blended peanuts without any added salt, sugar or oil)
  • 6 tablespoon of water
  • The juice of half a lime
  • A small handful of coriander
  • ½ a spring onion
  • A dash of soy sauce

Skewer collage

Method:

1.   Preheat your grill on the highest heat setting and boil a kettle full of water.

2.   Put the skewer vegetables into a large bowl followed by the oil, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands toss all of the vegetable together and make sure that they are all coated in the spices. Once coated, evenly distribute the vegetables onto 10 to 12 skewers and place on a large baking tray. Place the skewers under the grill until they have got some nice colour to them; this should take between 5-10 minutes.

3.   Now you can make the salad. Follow the cooking instructions on the pack for the precooked quinoa. The usual instruction is to use a ratio of 2:1 boiling water to quinoa and leave to soak for 3 -5 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Once the quinoa has been cooked through, add it to a large bowl followed by the remaining salad ingredients and mix together well.

4.   Finally, you can make the peanut sauce. Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needs be.

Now you can serve up the skewers, salad and sauce. I like to put the skewers on a board in the middle of the table with the salad and the sauce and left everybody dig in.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegans. It consists of around 20% protein; it is also a good source of lysine and is a good source of iron and potassium. High levels of B vitamins, in part responsible for the conversion of carbohydrate into energy, are also found in quinoa. Quinoa is commonly referred to as a grain, but it is actually a pseudograin. Pseudograins are actually seeds and they don’t contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible.

Cucumber: Cucumbers are made up of around 90% water and are a moderate source of vitamin K.

Bell Pepper: Bell peppers are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Red bell peppers have a higher vitamin C content in comparison to green bell peppers. They are also a moderate source of vitamin B6.

CorianderI love putting coriander in literally everything, luckily for me it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Coriander is also a moderate source of vitamin B2, vitamin B9 and vitamin E as well as ironmanganese and potassium.

Dates: Dates are high in glucose and are sometimes referred to as ‘Nature’s fuel’. Upon consumption glucose is rapidly converted into glycogen in the liver. It is a great ingredient to eat before, during or immediately after a workout.

Peas: Peas are starchy, but high in fibre, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.

Courgettes: Courgettes are a moderate source of folate, potassium and vitamin A.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins, an excellent source of the essential minerals, selenium and copper, and a good source of phosphorus and potassium.

Peanuts: Peanuts are rich in essential and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, and dietary fibre. They also contain about 25 g protein per 100 g serving, a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

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Update and plan going forward for The Nomad Kitchen!

Information

Hi everyone,

I am so glad to be back up and running again and I can’t wait to continue posting through my blog The Nomad Kitchen. I do want to apologise for the months that I have been away; I have been in a period of transition as I have moved back to the UK from Spain and I have changed jobs etc. but I can’t tell you how excited I am to bring you new content on this blog. I will be posting delicious plant based recipes weekly as well as other lifestyle and informative posts that will share my evolving plant based journey.

I really hope you enjoy this blog and I cannot wait to interact with all of you.

Thanks everyone 🙂 

What coffee are you buying?

#ViniDrinks, coffee, General, Information

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Buying coffee can be a somewhat stressful affair when you are bombarded with words such as robusta; single origin; Kenyan; blend etc.! I used to get so overwhelmed when I went into a supermarket and looked in the coffee isle; I saw endless options with descriptions that I just didn’t understand, so in the end I just went with any old coffee! I really do understand that the insurmountable descriptions associated with the word ‘coffee’ can be extremely off putting, however, the topic of coffee is very interesting and once you get to grips with with the basic principles, you will be able to buy the best coffee and have the most enjoyable coffee experiences that you can just through enhancing your knowledge a little. So without further a due, I am going to take you to the absolute bare bones of coffee to help you understand exactly what you are buying!

Is there more than one type of coffee bean?

Simply, yes there are. There are different species of coffee bean, however, there are only two that you will need to know about and these are the Arabica and Robusta beans.

Robusta Beans

Robusta beans have a much more aggressive flavour and contain twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans do. When you have a cup of coffee made from Robusta beans you will generally get earthy and nutty qualities. Robusta beans are much easier to grow than Arabica beans as they flourish at much lower altitudes and because of the high yield, Robusta beans are cheaper than Arabica beans. Robusta beans are considered inferior to Arabica beans, however, they are sometimes desired to make espressos due to the rich and intense flavour and for the velvety crema (the golden foam on top of the espresso) that it produces.

Arabica Beans

In comparison to Robusta beans earthy and nutty qualities, Arabica beans have a a much softer, sweeter, fruitier and floral flavour that is accompanied by a high level of acidity. Arabica beans are much more popular and widely consumed of the two species and accounts for the majority of the coffee production around the world. The main producers of Arabica beans are Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil.

Due to the topography and climate, some coffee producing countries are able to grow both species, such as Brazil, whereas Colombia only produces Arabica beans.

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Where does your Coffee come from?

On a global scale there are three main continents from where your coffee is likely to come from, namely from countries within South America, Africa or Asia. Now you can narrow the coffee down to the specific origin, i.e. the farms that your coffee will come from. Again, I will try to make the terminology as easy to understand as I possibly can. Here I will explain what  Single Origin, Estate, Micro-Lot and Blend coffees actually are.

Single Origin

Single Origin coffee, as the name describes, is a coffee that comes from a single place. Single Origin coffee is often desired as it is a good way of achieving a consistent flavour, making Single Origin coffees a popular choice for independent coffee shops, roasters and cafes.

Estate

Estate coffees are beans that are grown on a single farm.

Micro-Lot

Even more specific than estate coffees, micro-lot coffees are from a single field within a farm, harvested on a specific day or even from a small range of altitude.

Blends

Blends are coffees that have been crafted by roasters to create a coffee that encaptures all of the qualities that they desire e.g. the perfect combination of sweetness, bitterness and acidity. Some single origin coffees may have some flavour imbalances so creating a blend is a great way to remedy these issues. Once you have tried a lot of different coffees from different countries, different farms, estates, micro-lots and different beans creating your own blend at home is great fun and is definitely worth giving a go. All you need to do is combine different measures of different single origin coffees until you get a coffee that has  your favourite flavours.

I really hope that you enjoy this post and that it has helped you to really understand the coffee that you buy in the future. I hope that it helps you enjoy coffee more and makes you feel more relaxed as you enter the coffee isle at the supermarket! Please let me know if you attempt (or if you have attempted already) to make your own blend as I would love to hear about what you create and come up with.

Thank you 🙂

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Whats in Season?

Fruits, General, Healthy, Herbs, Information, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Food that is in season always tastes so much better than using the same old ingredients the whole year round. There are a lot of people that don’t know what ingredients are in season at what point during the year, as these days the same ingredients are supplied in supermarkets all year round. To help people get the best out of their food, experience the most amazing flavours & produce and help with ideas to encourage people to experiment with ingredients they may have never used before, I have created a table showing what fruits, vegetables and herbs are best during each season of the year. I hope this table helps you out and helps broaden your knowledge and experiences of great in season produce.

Click on this link to view the seasonality table

Welcome to my new blog!

General, Information

Hi everyone!

I thought that an introductory post to describe why there has been a total change to my blog was necessary, so here it goes.

I haven’t written a post in a long, long time because I have felt that my blog lacked direction and wasn’t really representing myself and the things that I love properly. Whilst I have been away from blogging I have had a long, hard think about what it is that I want to do and what I want to write about and what to share with you all. After many weeks brainstorming and going back and forth with ideas with my girlfriend about what I wanted my blog to focus on, I realised that the answer was hitting me in the face the whole time. All I had to do was match up my passions with what my goals are for the future. Once I realised how simple it was, my decision was made.

Firstly, what are my passions and what do I really enjoy blogging about?

This is such an easy question for me to answer. My passion (for as long as I can remember) is food. Everything about food excites me as there are literally no boundaries for where your creativity can take you and also because I have the best time when I am with my friends and family talking over a great meal. The food I will blog about will be based around my diet. I am a vegetarian but I will also be posting vegan recipes as I cook a lot them because my girlfriend is a vegan. I am new to vegan cooking, so it is an exciting adventure for me to take on and try to learn as much as I can to produce amazing vegan meals.

As well as food, over the last few years I have become really interested in amazing coffee. I was really shocked about how wrong I was making my coffee and how little I knew about what affects the flavour of your coffee. Once you understand the little details about coffee and how to treat it correctly you will have a completely different view of it and experience a drink that is as complex as wine with so many amazing flavour notes. There are so many ways in which you can brew your coffee, all of which create a different flavour and consistency; this really excites me as you can have one bag of coffee beans but you can brew them differently to create a noticably different cup each time! I will be blogging about all of the coffees that I am drinking as well as all of my favourite brewing methods in the search for the perfect cup of coffee! I hope that my simple tips and recommendations inspire you to try and create your very own perfect cup of coffee.

Secondly, what is the that one thing that I would love to do in the future?

I have always had a love for food and I always thought that a career in the kitchen would be for me, even whilst I was completing my masters degree in Economics! People may have thought it was a terrible idea and a waste of four years of hard work to forgo a job related to my degree and pursue a job that I had a real passion for. To cut a long story short, I pursued my dream of becoming a chef and ultimately realised that it just wasn’t for me! I tried working in many different restaurants with the hope that I would overcome this feeling of utter dissapointment that the career I dreamt about just wasn’t for me, but unfortunately nothing helped no matter what restaurant I worked in. It was a definite kick to the plums (pun intended) but in no way did it affect my passion for food! I do not regret my decision for pursuing my dreams (or doing my degree for that matter, as I am now using what I learnt every day!) as my whole experience has helped me realise what I want to do and what environment is perfectly suited for me.

With my passion for food and coffee and my experience of business, I would love to one day be able to combine all three and open a coffee shop that serves the most amazing food and coffee. The food that I will blog about will be the food that I would love to offer in my very own coffee shop; so you can expect a large range of seasonal sandwiches, pastries, cakes, exciting twists on classics and exciting recipes that would offer a unique experience that I aim to offer people in the future.

I hope that you enjoy what I will be posting about from now on and I cannot wait to share all of my ideas with you.

Thank you,

Thomas