Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Butternut squash chilli with quinoa - Vegan

I have another Vegan recipe to share with you that I made for the second time.  I made this the other week for dinner and loved it!  The ingredients are so cheap and easy as well - so being on a budget (a week before pay day), this really is a no brainer.

The link to the actual recipe I followed is HERE on the BBC Good Food website.

Ingredients
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves
Olive oil
1 tbsp of mild chilli powder (well, it is up to you how mild you want it!)
1kg of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
100g of quinoa, soaked in cold water for 10mins
2 x 400g tins of crushed peeled tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
Small bunch of coriander, finely chopped (I didn't use this as Michelle doesn't like it)

This generally makes 4 portions.  Good value or what? Huh?

 
So what you see here is one of my favourite smells in the world.  Garlic and onion frying in a pan.  Apparently you can smell it down the hall way.  Sorry I am not sorry.

Method
  1. Cook the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft (about 7 minutes). Add the chilli powder, cook for a minute then add the squash, quinoa and tomatoes. 
  2.   Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the squash and quinoa are tender and the sauce has thickened. Add the beans and heat through. Stir in the coriander and serve in bowls. 
Nutrition per serving:
306 kcalories, protein 13.9g, carbohydrate 53.4g, fat 5.6 g, saturated fat 0.7g, fibre 10.1g, salt 1.2 g  

That's lunch and some dinner packed up for the next few days.  Be prepared guys - seriously.  It is the easiest way to keep on track to reach your goals.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tuesday & Abs Class

Today I wanted to get up early and go for a run.  Even though my legs are a little bit sore from running last week, getting on the treadmill was the only thing I wanted to do.

Also, I woke up feeling massively annoyed at something / someone - running clears the head right?

This was a pretty uncomfortable run, with sprints at the end.  Thank goodness for my play list or I know I would have given up at some stage before the 35mins was up.

By the way, this is kinda what under my desk looks like now. I used to have heaps of pairs of shoes under there, but I took a bundle home the other day and now I only have the ones I am wearing or testing.  Cute right?

At lunch time I did the 30min ab class held at my work gym.  It was interesting.  Did a few different ab exercises and I found it all really difficult.  To be honest, the best thing about the class was perving on the hot instructor.  I burnt 109Kcal, didn't sweat and my abs are not sore today :/

Left overs for lunch !!  I did have 2 sausages, but I shared one with Janine as she only has a salad that I insisted would not fill her up.  Mates look out for each other.  If a mate needs a sausage, give her one.

When I got home I hooped for 30mins.  I now have bruises all over my legs and feet.  I am determined to get better though.... and my Nike Pro Combat shorts just love my ass.  Still...

Monday, 10 September 2012

Monday already?

Last night I had the worst nights sleep ever.  I fell asleep watching a documentary, with my laptop on my bed.  About 3 hours after I fell asleep, I slightly woke up, rolled over quite dramatically and proceeded to throw my laptop off the side of the bed.  Worst nightmare.  

Needless to say, that gave me a heart attack and I have been awake since 3am this morning.

Monday WOD

After work - Zwow #31.



I really like Zuzka's workouts.  I have tried to get back into BodyRock, but it just isn't happening for me right now.  Maybe in the future! I will keep checking them out though.

My time for this was around 16mins.  Sweaty as per usual.

 
Ps.  Nike Pro Combat shorts I love you but why you wanna squeeze into my butt crack?  Really?! Every single time?  I do NOT look pretty when I am wearing these and working out.  Just FYI.

After my workout I decided to do some hooping for roughly 10mins.  Such a nice way to "cool down" after an intense workout.

Dinner tonight was stir fried curly kale, butternut squash, mushrooms, hummus and tofu sausages.  Vegan AGAIN today.  Totally rocking this :)

It really doesn't matter which way you look at it.

It looks amazing from every angle and it was even tastier.

Right.  I'm off to text this guy.  Sleep tight :)

Semi Dried Tomato Hummus - Vegan

Sunday I was in the mood for cooking.  You might remember I made this amazing Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie.  So, while I had the blender out I used up some of the chick peas I had sitting in the cupboard for the last few months.  Good thing they keep forever... Oops.

Here are the ingredients so you can have a go yourself.  I added some links so you can see how easy it is to buy these things from your local supermarket.  The dip I made is 100% vegan so it is up to you if you want to choose that way or not.  I am sure either way, it will be amazing.

Ingredients
400g chicks peas from a can
A bundle of semi dried tomatoes (or you can use roasted red peppers) from a jar
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini 

I basically threw everything in a blender.  It went around a few times.  It took me roughly 5mins to put this all together and now I have an epic garnish/dip for the rest of the week. 

If you are interested, the recipe I used as a guide can be found here.

It is up to you, how you want the consistency.  Add some more lemon juice or even some juice from the chick pea can if you like it a bit less dense.

What is your favorite flavor of hummus?  Do you ever make it yourself?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie - Vegan

What a beautiful weekend it has been  London, you have made me smile!

I have managed to keep myself to roughly around 90% vegan these days.  I am still continuing my challenge I set for myself and I am really enjoying learning about all these new foods and recipes etc.  

Now, I have already cooked one vegan dessert in the past.  The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie from the lovely Chocolate Covered Katie.  The recipe is AMAZING and I knew it was a winner after originally making it last year.

Here are the ingredients as followed from her blog:
  • 1 package silken or firm tofu (such as 12.3 oz Mori-Nu or Mori-Nu lite)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 to 10 oz chocolate chips (a little over 1 and 1/3c or more)
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave or other sweetener (When I make this just for me, I omit)
  • optional: extracts, flavorings, or liqueurs
 
The tofu I used was just bought from the local super market.  Make sure you rinse and dry the tofu once you get it out of the packet.  As you can see, I dried mine with paper towel.  I had to press it quite a few times, firmly, to remove most of the moisture.  Looks amazing right?  Feels just as good as it looks, by the way.

Basically all you need to do is combine all the ingredients, then add the melted chocolate.  You can see here I used the Mint Chocolate from Holland and Barrett.  They are currently having a sale where you can buy one, get one half price.  I totally took advantage of that this last week.  Cough Cough, banana soy milk....

I use a hand blender to mix everything in a large bowl.  The melted chocolate starts to firm up fairly quickly so make sure you spoon it into your dish quickly.  Then pop it in the fridge to set.  The longer you leave it, the firmer it will be.

Tell me this doesn't look amazing?  I know my photography doesn't do it justice, but seriously, would you say no?

For the biscuit base I used the following ingredients:

Dairy free soy spread and vegan ginger cookies.

I used the whole packet of biscuits and threw them in the blender to make crumbs.  Then I used around 50g of spread, melted.

It doesn't look too attractive but my goodness - the ginger just adds to the all over awesomeness of this pie.  Oh, by the way, cook the base in the oven at 180deg c for 7mins.  Then you need to let it cool before you spoon the fudge mixture in.

Try this at home.  Trust me  Thank me later :)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Warm Sweet Potato Wrap - Vegan

Here is another awesome meal I put together for our week of attempting to be vegan/making better food choices.  Basically, it was left overs :) 

 
Ingredients:
 Curly kale
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Spring onions
Sweet potato
Carrot
Vegan tortilla/wrap

 
We baked the potato in the oven for roughly 40mins.  Remember to make some cuts in your spud before you bake, so they don't explode.

I am really loving this challenge.  I think that although right now, I probably don't see myself as sticking to a vegan diet 100% - I am certainly more aware of the foods I am eating and learning all these new foods/tricks & tips as reignited my passion for cooking.  Just what I needed.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Quinoa Salad - Vegan

During the week Michelle and I have been opening our eyes to better/experimental food choices.  Whilst exploring the benefits and ease of slipping into a vegan diet, I came up with this amazing recipe.

I have had a similar salads from Leon before and I also found this awesome recipe online.  I used both as guides but mainly followed my nose.

 
Ingredients:
Quinoa
Mushrooms
Spring onion
Broccoli
Fresh basil and mint
Avocado
Asparagus
Peas
Cucumber
Lemon juice, garlic and paprika for seasoning

I cooked the quinoa as per the directions on the back of the packet.  While this was going on, I threw some bits into a pan and then left the avocado with the lemon juice, garlic and paprika to stew in a separate bowl.

Once the food in the pan was warmed through and soft, I added it to the avocado while the quinoa finished cooking.

A little hint from myself, regarding cooking quinoa.  Don't do it unless you have a sieve.  That is all I have to input in that matter :)

This took me around 30mins to make.  Mainly because I hadn't done anything like it before.  I am confident that now I know what to expect from the quinoa, it will only take as long as it needs to cook.

Do you guys have any awesome vegan recipes you can share with me?