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

DSC_0035

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.

Advertisements

AWESOME SWEET POTATO & BEAN BURGERS!!

#MeatfreeMonday, bean burger, Bread, burger, dairy free, exercise, fitness, food, free from, go vegam, health, Healthy, healthy food, meat free, meat free monday, nutrition, plant based, recipes, sweet potato, Vegan, vegan burger, vegan food, vegetable burger, Vegetables, Vegetarian, what vegans eat, whole food, wholefoods

Sweet Potato and bean burgers

Preparation & cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Makes: 10 medium sized burgers

Coming into this weekend, both me and my girlfriend really fancied making a big batch of burgers. We both love having bean and chickpea burgers but I wanted to make something a little different this time. I have seen lots of different recipes for vegetable burgers but in the end I decided to make sweet potato and bean burgers; I am so glad that I did because these turned out so well! Sweet potato is really versatile and goes so well with lots of different spices and flavours as well as offering its delicious sweetness to the burger. This recipe makes 10 good-sized burgers and if you are greedy (like we are!) you can polish them of yourself or you could put them on a board and put them in the middle of the table along with some potato wedges and a nice salad to make a perfect weekend lunch. These burgers taste so, so good and won’t leave you feeling guilty for eating them as they are healthy and packed full of fresh ingredients. I really hope you like them 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 very large sweet potato (or 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tin of kidney beans (400g), drained and rinsed
  • A large bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (stalks and all)
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Half a cucumber, thinly sliced
  • A large bunch of salad leaves, e.g. rocket, spinach, watercress etc.
  • 10 wholemeal rolls, sliced in half

Burger collage

Method:

1.   Place the sweet potato chunks into a large pan of boiling water and boil until they are soft and are easy to mash. This should take about 10 minutes.

2.   Whilst the potatoes are boiling you can prepare the rest of the burger mixture. Put the kidney beans, coriander, spring onions and all of the dry spices into a large bowl and mash with a fork until the beans have broken down and you have a nice thick mixture. The key with keeping a good texture to the burgers is to not overwork the mixture and making it too fine. A course mixture will give you a much better burger.

3.   Once the potatoes have cooked, drain them in a colander and leave them for a minute or two to steam dry. Add the potatoes to the bean mixture and again mash with a fork to get all of the ingredients combined.

4.   Once the burger mixture has cooled a little, use your hands to make 10 burger patties.

5.   Put a little drizzle of olive oil into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. When hot, place the burgers into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the burgers have a nice golden crust on each side.

6.   Whilst the burgers are cooking, place the the rolls under a hot grill to toast. Take them out when they are nice and golden.

7.   Once the burgers have cooked, you can put the burgers together. Put some salad leaves on the bottom followed by the burger, then the cucumber, tomato and avocado. They are now ready to be devoured! I love to have some ketchup and mustard on my burgers, but you can have whatever sauce you like on the top. 

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fibre, and vitamin A as well as being a moderate source of vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and manganese.

Kidney beans: Kidney beans are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B9 and iron. They are also a good source of magnesium potassium and zinc. I love kidney beans (and beans in general), they are so tasty and really good for you.

Coriander: I 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 iron, manganese and potassium.

Spring onion: Spring onions are a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C.

Avocado: Avocados are such a good ingredient; not only are they delicious, they are also really healthy for you. They are a good source of vitamin B5, B6, B9 and vitamin K. They are also an amazing source of essential fatty acids. 

Cucumber: Cucumbers are usually around 90% water. They are not significantly rich in any vitamin or mineral but they are a moderate source of vitamin K.

Tomato: Tomatoes are not significantly rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, but they are a moderate source of vitamin C.

Spinach: Spinach is another ingredient that is delicious but it is also so good for you and will do a lot of good when it is incorporated into your diet. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre.

Tropical ‘Nice Cream’ Brunch

Breakfast, brunch, Desserts, exercise, fitness, food, free from, fruit, Fruits, fun, Gluten Free, Healthy, Holidays, ice cream, nice cream, nicecream, plant based, quick, raw, recipes, smoothie, smoothiebowl, smoothies, summer, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, what vegans eat, wholefoods

Tropical Brunch

Preparation & cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: Enough for 4 people

When the summer comes around and the weather gets better (which is quite rare in the UK!) all I want to do is eat fresh fruit as I feel so good, hydrated and energised for the day ahead. There is so little energy used in digesting and converting fruit into energy that you instantly feel better and more awake. My girlfriend and I recently went to Barbados, where the weather was absolutely amazing, and all both of us wanted to eat was fresh fruit! There was nothing else that made us feel as good as eating watermelon in the sun every morning for breakfast! Recipes like this are a really easy way to impress people whilst there is literally no effort in making it. If you put a dish like this in the middle of the table it will WOW people as it looks so colourful and appealing but it is also amazingly tasty! It is also a great way to get a wide variety of fruits, nuts and seeds into your diet which will give you a wide array of vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. Use this recipe as a general guideline and not something that has to be followed meticulously as you can easily use any fruits , nuts and seeds that you wish. 

Tropical Brunch 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 small watermelon, cut in half, scoop one half out so you can use peel as a bowl and slice the other half into slices.
  • 1 honeydew melon, sliced
  • 1 large orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 2 mangoes, that have been frozen
  • 3 bananas, that have been frozen
  • 1 peach, cut into slices
  • A handful of raspberries
  • A handful of pecan nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds (pumpkin seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds etc.)

Method:

1.   Put the frozen mango and frozen bananas into a blender and blitz together until you have a nice thick and velvety smooth texture. This will take a couple of minutes. If the blender is having to work overtime and is struggling to blend the fruit then add a little drop of water to make the mixture a little looser, but don’t add too much as you want your nice cream to be nice and thick.

2.   Whilst the nice cream is blending, you can prepare your dish. In a big flat bottomed dish place the hollow half of the watermelon and arrange the rest of the sliced fruit around the outside so that people can just grab pieces easily.

3.   Once the nice cream is nice and smooth, spoon it into the hollow watermelon bowl and top it with the seeds, raspberries, pecans and peaches. I really like to grill the peaches as it gives them such a good flavour but if you are following a raw diet then you don’t have to do this.

That is it! Just put the bowl into the middle of the table and watch everyone dig in and really enjoy themselves!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

From now on, I am going to provide nutritional information along with my recipes to help me further my own knowledge and to hopefully help you understand what and why foods are good for us. By using this nutritional information you can start creating your own meals with the understanding of the composition of foods and what different foods will do for your body enabling you to get a really good balanced diet. I will deliver this information on an ingredient by ingredient basis detailing their composition and attaching links to a separate page where the benefits of all of the vitamins and minerals will be listed. I hope that you find this information helpful and that it plays a good role in the understanding and improvement of your diets.

Bananas: Bananas not only taste great but they are also a great source of vitamin B6 as well as a moderate source vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.

Mango: This is a really delicious stone fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia (it is definitely one of my favourite fruits). Mangoes provide a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

Watermelon: Watermelon is such a good fruit to eat on a hot day; for me it is one of the most refreshing fruits to eat as it is so hydrating. Watermelon, as you can probably tell by its name, has a high content of water (around 90%). It is also a good source of vitamin C and it is low in fat and sodium.

Honeydew melon: Like watermelon, honeydew melon is a really refreshing fruit and is made up of mostly water. Similarly, it also is a good source of vitamin C.

Oranges: As with most citrus fruits, oranges are an amazing source of vitamin C and they are also good sources of folate.

Apples: Apples are a significant source of dietary fibre with modest vitamin C content.

Raspberries: I love raspberries and I am just grateful that they are healthy for you! They are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and they are among the highest known in whole foods for dietary fibre (this represents 6% of their total weight).

Peaches: Peaches taste really nice (especially when grilled like in this recipe) and they contain diverse essential nutrients, however, they offer no significant values. They are a moderate source of vitamin C, vitamin B3 and vitamin E.

Pecan nuts: Nuts in general provide so many health benefits when included into your diet. Pecan nuts are a great source of manganese, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B6. They are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats as well as being rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The list continues! They are also a moderate source of vitamin B2, B5 and B6. Including nuts into your diet can really have great effects as you can see from this copious list of vitamins and minerals that they contain.

Sunflower seeds: As with nuts, seeds are a really great nutrient dense food that will provide so much when they are incorporated into your diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, all of the B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9 in particular) and they are an amazing source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of dietary minerals including, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Linseeds (Flax): Linseeds or flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and also offer moderate levels of vitamin B3, B5 and B6.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also offer good levels of riboflavin, folate, sodium and potassium.

Pineapple & Orange Sorbet!

#MeatfreeMonday, Desserts, exercise, fitness, Fruits, fun, Gluten Free, Healthy, plant based, recipes, summer, Vegan

Pineapple & Orange Sorbet

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 large portion

After lunch the other day, I really fancied something sweet yet healthy. I had a lot of fruit in the house but I wanted something cold as it was a hot day so I decided to make some healthy sugar-free sorbet! I am so glad that I did because it was so tasty and refreshing! This recipe is similar to ‘nice cream’ which uses banana as a base and creates the most amazing soft serve ice cream that to me actually tastes better than actual ice cream. What I like about this recipe is that it is so hydrating and refreshing. Using fruit this way is also a really good way of minimising any waste as you can just cut up any fruit that is on its last legs and freeze it in a sandwich bags which makes it perfect for smoothies or for sorbet. You could literally do it with all fruits, for example, kiwis, mango, blueberries, strawberries, apple etc. and then create all sorts of sorbet flavours. Kids will also love this recipe as it tastes great and they can get involved; it is also a great way of ensuring that they are eating a lot of fruit instead of processed sugars.

Ingredients:

  • 150g frozen pineapple chunks
  • 150g frozen orange segments
  • 150-200ml of water

Method:

1.   Firstly you need to freeze the fruit; so chop up the pineapple and peel and pull apart the orange. Place the fruit into freezer bags and put them into the freezer until they are fully frozen.

2.   This is so simple!! All you need to do is add the fruit and most of the water to a blender (I use a NutriBullet which is powerful and makes a nice smooth sorbet). Depending on the power of your blender you may not need all of the water so add it gradually. Blend the mixture until you have a lovely silky smooth texture and then transfer the sorbet into a bowl or a jar and enjoy!!

Get kids to make their own sorbets as it is a great way in getting them healthier. Let me know what sorbet flavours you come up with.

Tomatoes with Infused Basil Oil

Gluten Free, Healthy, Herbs, Holidays, Side Dishes, Specials, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

DSC_0051

Makes: 2 portions
Preparation & cooking time: 35 minutes (including the time to infuse the oil) 

This is probably the simplest recipe I will ever post, but it is one of my favourites and it represents the food that I really enjoy eating. The flavour of this dish really does depend on being able to use the best ingredients available, so if you can get your hands on some amazingly ripe tomatoes then this recipe is so enjoyable. Since I have been in Spain, I have realised how good the tomatoes are here! They are probably the best tomatoes that I have had anywhere and for this reason I have been eating so many of them this summer and this is why I am showing you probably my favourite way of eating them. On a hot day this really is a perfect light dish to enjoy at lunch or dinner and for me it really does show off the amazing flavours of summer. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Method:

1.   Put the oil, basil, garlic and chilli flakes into a saucepan and place it over a low heat. Infuse the oil for 35 minutes. The garlic should have a slight colour to it after the 35 minute infusion. After 35 minutes, strain the infused oil into a jar using a sieve. There will be more oil than you need for this recipe which is great as it goes so well with so many dishes. You can use it in pasta sauces, salad dressings, for roasting vegetables etc.

DSC_0048

2.   Slice the tomatoes and place the slices nicely on a plate. Season the tomatoes with a little sea salt and black pepper and then drizzle over some of the gorgeous infused oil. To make it look even nicer, roughly scatter some basil leaves over the tomatoes and enjoy!

I know this seems so, so simple but trust me, it really is something special when the best ingredients are used. I hope you like it!

DSC_0054