Studenty spaghetti

Not really sure what to call this dish. Similarly to the courgette noodles, it’s a bit of a concept that you can do what you want with. It comes from a friend of mine from university who said to me once:

“Hey, if you’ve ever got nothing to eat, try making a sauce for spaghetti out of peanut butter and soy sauce, it’s great”

It is!!!!

Ingredients (serves one)

100g Spaghetti

½ clove minced garlic

5-6 mushrooms, chopped

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

3 tbsp water

 

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until cooked. While it’s cooking, fry the garlic in some oil and add the mushrooms (or other vegetables) and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce and water and mix together into a sauce.

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Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Eat.

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Home-made pan-fried potato gnocchi

Now I did mean to post this a week ago when gcse results came out. It’s been ten years since I got my gcse results! One thing I, and my parents, remember from that time is my food technology coursework. I can’t remember exactly what the theme was, I think I managed to choose something vague like “vegetarian dinners” and my dish that I made over and over again (improving each time!) was potato gnocchi with a roasted tomato sauce. I’ve tweaked my recipe a little bit over the years but I am a huge fan of gnocchi.

Ingredients

4 medium sized baking potatoes

1 tablespoon vegan margarine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

150g “00” (or just plain) flour

Salt and pepper

Little bit of coarse semolina

Bake the potatoes in the oven at 150’C for an hour and a half until cooked through.

Scoop out the flesh (or peel after dropping into cold water), allow to cool slightly and mash really well with the margarine , chives, salt and pepper.

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Add half the flour and stir in until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and get your hands involved, bringing together into a dough.

Roll the dough into long sausages and then chop into small dumplings using a wet knife.

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Use a fork to leave an indent in each one and roll in semolina.

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Chill or freeze until ready to cook.

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To serve:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi. After a few minutes, the dumplings should rise to the surface. Retrieve from the water, drain and then fry in hot oil and serve with your favourite pasta sauce.

Noochy courgette noodles

This is more of a concept than a recipe: courgette noodles. I love my spiralizer! It’s a fab machine that turns any vegetable into noodles using a turning handle and a clever grater!

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You could get a similar effect by using a vegetable peeler and slicing the pieces into long strips. Anyway, dress with ANYTHING (soy and chilli, lemon and garlic, ‘cheese’ sauce) and you’re good to go. Keep them raw for a bit of bite or fry in a wok for a softer noodle.

Ingredients

1 large courgette (per person as it loses a lot of liquid when fried)- 27 kcal

A few sprays of spray oil- 4 kcal

About a clove of minced garlic- 4 kcal

½ tsp chopped fresh chilli- 3 kcal

2 tsp tomato puree- 14 kcal

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast- 18 kcal

1 tablespoon gram flour- 30 kcal

Pinch of salt

Total Calories: 100 kcal

Spiralize the courgette.

Fry the garlic and chilli in a little oil and add the courgette.

As the courgette starts to lose water, add the tomato, nutritional yeast, gram flour and salt. Let this form a sauce with the liquid from the courgette.

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Serve! Add some breadcrumbs for extra texture.

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Three cheers for Mr Tofu!

Am I really that soppy? Erm, yes! My amazing husband ❤ for the past few days he’s been on a bit of a culinary mission. First on Saturday there was the pizza and tiramisu night. R is famous for his pizzas as he always gets a good crispy base with the pizza stone. We managed to find some Mozzarisella in Wimbledon so I had a pizza with this. It was pretty awesome! It melted nicely and had a good mild mozzarellay taste. It’s up there in my top vegan cheeses and I’m so happy the quality of vegan cheese has improved so vastly in the past 5 years!

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The tiramisu was amazing! No photo because, ahem, I ate it all. My only criticism would be that it could have been more boozy, but then I am a booze-hound and just chucked some ouzo on mine for that kick.

Also not a real recipe because Mr tofu doesn’t roll like that but basically a nice light sponge on the bottom- he used my standard sponge recipe (100ml oil, 200ml soy milk, 180g caster sugar, 280g SR flour, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt) soaked in 300ml strong coffee and a couple of shots of coffee liqueur (this is where I would also have added my brandy/sambuca/any other alcohol.)

Next he very cleverly made a sweetened marscapone-style topping with silken tofu, agave syrup and lemon juice and, as it was the best he could find in Balham, sprayed soyatoo spray cream over the top of this just before serving.

Then yesterday there was the wonderful rice pudding- pudding rice, soya milk, alpro single cream, vanilla extract and ST LUCIAN NUGMEG mmmm.

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Since I raved about my amazing mighty fork hotdog a couple of weeks ago, he decided to give my hot dog night tonight. Home-made wholemeal buns, vegi-deli hotdogs, fried onion and green chilli, tomato ketchup and vegan mayo.

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Followed by more rice pudding with apple and plum in calvados.

Good boy.

 

Curried vegetable gramcake

OK that’s probably a really bad name for this creation but I thought of it like a gram flour pancake.

I felt quite inspired to make onion bhajis the other day and followed a recipe on the side of my gram flour bag to make some. Then I ate them like I used to at university- as a burger in a bun with mango chutney. YUM

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Inspired by the same recipe, I made my gram-cake which I guess is kind of a bit like a vegan omlette.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely sliced

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 carrot, finely sliced

vegetable oil

1 cup gram flour

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried chilli

Start by gently frying the sliced onion, cabbage and carrot (or in fact any vegetables you fancy!) in a flat bottomed frying pan.

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while the vegetables are cooking, put the cumin seeds, corriander seeds, salt and chilli into a pestle and mortar and grind. Mix together with the gram flour and water and mix in the lightly fried vegetables.

Add some more oil to the pan and pour in the mixture. Spread out with the back of a spoon.

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Once the top of the gram cake is no longer wet, fold in half using a spatula and cook for a few more minutes, flipping if necessary to cook on both sides.

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I served mine with baked beans and brown sauce.

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Onion Soup

I am so excited that this weekend we’re going to Stockholm and seeing my lovely ex-housemate from university days! Amy taught me many things about life and one of the many important ones was how to make onion soup! The secret is burning the onions a little bit for flavour!! I have made a low Calorie version to fit in with my fasting recipes so omitting the wine but feel free to add a glug of wine or really any alcohol you can get hold of!! I remember Amy once making me teriyaki and absinthe sweet potato which was yummy.

Ingredients (Serves 2- under 60 Calories per serving)

½ tbsp. vegetable oil – 62 Calories

½ yellow onion sliced very finely (I used a mandolin)-30 Calories

1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar – 10 Calories

1 vegetable stock cube – 14 Calories

600ml boiling water

A twist of pepper

 

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions gently until soft and translucent. Then fry them a bit more so that they start to burn. This is ideally how they should look:

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Throw in the Balsamic vinegar and then the vegetable stock (dissolve the cube in the water at some point) and add the pepper. You may also add any herbs, wine (I say one glass is perfect) or other flavourings you like.

Simmer for 20 minutes and serve.

If you can find a bowl with a picture of a cat on to serve in you get extra points.

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The 5:2 diet and ratatouille with raw cauliflower rice

The alternate day fasting or “5:2” diet is very popular right now. The basic idea is that you eat normally for 5 days a week and then ‘fast’ for 2 days. That is, have 20% of normal daily allowance of Calories for the day- so this is around 500 for ladies and 600 for men. There are loads of supposed health benefits, as well as fast weightloss! I’ve been trying this for the last few weeks to try and get thinner for my impending wedding (81 days to go! Eek!)

A normal fast day for me will be nothing but water and green tea until 1pm- some of the studies suggest that an actual fasting period of 16 hours is beneficial. I will have a serving of soup for lunch- the Calories will range from 95 (for Morrissons Spiced Butternut Squash soup) to about 140 for Marks and Spencer Tomato and Basil. I sometimes also have 1/2 bag of mixed salad leaves for an extra 7 Calories or so!

During the afternoon, I will continue having herbal tea and water and I also have some Clearspring brown rice miso, for which a teaspoon makes a mug of miso soup for under 20 Calories.

For dinner I will eat as much as I can for my Calories! It’s often about 30g (dried) quinoa, boiled in salted water with some vegetables- like mushrooms and cauliflower, and soy sauce and tabasco. I’ll have a treat like a square of chocolate or a slice of toast if I’ve managed to save the Calories! It’s theoretically easy to stick to 500 Calories but can feel quite hard at times. But the beauty is that you can eat whatever you want the next day!

Today was a fast day, so I’m sharing my recipe for ratatouille with raw cauliflower rice.

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Ingredients

a few florets of Cauliflower (about 1/2 cup) – 13 Calories

5-6 mushrooms, sliced – 10 Calories

1/2 courgette, chopped – 9 Calories

1/2 tin chopped tomatoes – 41 Calories

3 sprays of spray oil – 3 Calories

pinch Salt

Pepper

Few drops tabasco

(I’m not a big fan of garlic and onion but feel free to add these too)

Total Calories – 76

 

Put the raw cauliflower in a food processor and pulse a few times until it has the consistency of rice. Put this on the plate ready for serving.

Fry the courgette and mushrooms in a wok with spray oil for 5-10 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes, tabasco, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Serve on the Cauliflower rice.

I added a little bit of grated vegusto on the top- for an extra 37 Calories 😉

It was lovely and quite filling!!!