Tag Archives: low fat

Chinese ‘Egg-fried’ Noodles… Vegan Style!

As part of their Healthy Smiles campaign, SimplyHealth invited me to take part in a competition to design a recipe using ingredients featured in their Infographic for healthy teeth. As soon as I saw the list, the recipe that sprung to mind was my family’s favourite Chinese stir fry

Chinese 'Egg Fried' Noodles... Vegan Style!

It features three of the six ingredients listed in the Infographic’s ‘Eat It’ column  – purple cabbage, carrot and ginger. If you drink a glass of water with the meal, then follow it with a cup of green tea, then we’ve got all bar one of the ingredients covered (we’ll forget about the last one, salmon!)

Stir fry vegetables

This stir fry takes 20 minutes or less, so it’s perfect for busy week day nights or as a cheap, tasty (and healthy!) alternative to a weekend takeaway. It has a beautiful, distinctive Chinese flavour thanks to the Five Spice seasoning, which is a blend of star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper.

Instead of eggs, we much prefer the texture and flavour of scrambled tofu in this stir fry. It’s so easy to make. You simply squeeze the excess water from the tofu (no need to press it), and crumble it into a wok…

Scrambled Tofu Stage 1

… then stir in some soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a touch of turmeric to give it a lovely golden yellow hue.

Scrambled Tofu Stage 2

The stir fry vegetables are then added to the wok, along with a sprinkling of Chinese Five Spice, some cashews and a little vegetable stock.

Chinese Stir Fry

After a couple of minutes, the noodles are stirred in. (We prefer to use wholewheat noodles in this stir fry as they have a chewier texture which works well in Chinese dishes, but do sub with rice or other GF noodles if needed).

We add a final drizzle of soy sauce, then it’s done!

Chinese Stir Fry 2

This meal is so speedy and simple to make. It has to be the perfect Chinese Fast Food!

Products used in this recipe (UK Stockists)
Cauldron Foods Original Tofu, available from the chilled aisle in most major UK supermarkets
Kikkoman Less Salt Soy Sauce, available from most major UK supermarkets
Suma Five Spice Seasoning, available from health food stores and via Amazon (Other Chinese Five Spice blends can be found on the spice aisle in supermarkets).
Blue Dragon Wholewheat Noodles, available from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons

Chopsticks are optional 😉

Chinese Egg Fried Noodles Vegan Style 2

I would LOVE to be able to use chopsticks. I’ve tried so many times but I’m utterly useless. I’m the one in Chinese restaurants that has to put their hand up and ask for a fork. Shame on me!

 

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Filed under Dinners

Purple Haze Salad with Blackcurrant, Hemp and Mustard Vinaigrette

Salads have been noticeably absent from my blog and that’s because I only share recipes that are ‘Lil’ L approved’. Until recently, salad was definitely not on his love list. Last summer in Provence, I started to put tiny amounts of lettuce on his lunch plate and he would eat it… providing it was slathered in hummus or salad dressing. We slowly increased the portion size and, since Christmas, he’s actually been tucking in with enthusiasm. Finally, he’s feeling the love for salad leaves and he’s even enjoying taking them to school in his lunch box 🙂

Unlike Lil’ L, I’ve always been a fan of salad. As a kid, I would munch my way through my Dad’s homegrown salad patch – tomatoes, radishes, lettuces, beetroot, celery, cucumber – I loved it all! However, just like Lil’ L, I much prefer my salads well dressed. Tangy vinaigrettes or creamy mayonnaise can really help to bring a bowl of salad to life and definitely make it more appealing to kids!

When I was invited to take part in a Maison Maille Culinary Challenge, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to devise a new, family-approved salad recipe. We were invited to select two products from their range, and I opted for the Dijon Mustard Originale and Red Wine Vinegar with Dijon Blackcurrant Liqueur. Unfortunately, the vinegar never arrived, however it did provide the inspiration for my recipe.

Blackcurrant, Hemp and Mustard Vinaigrette

 

While shop-bought salad dressings tend to be high in empty calories with little or no nutritional value, I try to make my home-made dressing the exact opposite. I love to pack them with nutrient-rich ingredients so I can drizzle on the dressing to my heart’s content, in full knowledge that it’s actually good for me and isn’t going to pile on the pounds. The dressing I’m sharing today is actually oil free. And check out that amazing colour!

I absolutely love the flavour of this dressing, and it’s been a huge hit with the rest of the family too (including Lil’ L!) It’s tangy, with a touch of sweetness and beautiful hint of blackcurrant. I’ve used real blackcurrants in the dressing which are loaded with antioxidants. To add a touch of creaminess, I blended in some hemp seeds, which also happen to be a great source of omega 3.

To complement this beautifully vibrant dressing, I’ve compiled a colourful, crunchy, protein-rich salad. I love the contrasting colours of the Ruby Gem lettuce. Like most lettuces, it’s packed with phytonutrients to keep us healthy.

Gem Lettuce 500

And surely nothing can beat red cabbage for vibrancy? As well as adding flavour, crunch and colour, red cabbage is packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C. Just one cup of shredded cabbage contains 85% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C!

Red Cabbage copy

And here’s another antioxidant-rich, immune-boosting, tasty addition to my salad bowl – red pepper. I opted to use a sweet romano pepper, but bell pepper would work fine too.

Sweet Romano Pepper copy

For protein, I added some edamame (soya) beans. I love their fresh flavour and colour. I tend to undercook mine slightly so they’re nice and firm for salads or snacks. Soya beans have great health benefits but have received some bad press lately. If you want to find out more, check out this report from Viva!

Edamame Soya Beans

For an extra boost of protein and slow release energy, I added some chickpeas. This time, I opted for maple soy roasted chickpeas, but my Dukkah spiced chickpeas would also work well in this salad. Chickpeas are a nutrient powerhouse packed with protein, dietary fibre, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals including iron.

Roasted Chickpeas copy

While not featured in today’s pics, I also highly recommend adding avocado to this salad bowl. It adds another great dimension of flavour and texture, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Lil’ L is a huge avocado fan and always loves to add a few slices to his salad plates.

After snapping the photos, I couldn’t wait to tuck in!

 

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Filed under Lunches & Light Dinners

Old-Fashioned English Tea Loaf (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free / Fat-Free)

It might be old-fashioned, but I love tea loaf! It’s perfect for serving for ‘elevenses’ or as a mid-afternoon ‘pick me up’ with a lovely cup of tea

It also makes a great lunchbox treat, after school snack, or tasty sustenance for long road trips. While Lil’ L still won’t eat dried fruits in trail mixes or granolas (still a texture thing apparently!), he’ll happily eat them in this tea loaf. 😉

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

As cakes go, this tea loaf is pretty healthy. It’s filled with nutrient-rich dried fruits and wholegrain flour, contains a relatively low amount of sugar (compared to regular cakes) and it’s fat free!

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

I have my mum’s friend to thank for the recipe. I arrived at my mum’s house one day to discover this incredible smell wafting out of the kitchen. It turned out to be this tea loaf! Back home, I couldn’t wait to have a try at making my own. The original recipe contained an egg but I always bake it eggless and it turns out absolutely fine. I can’t actually tell the difference!

I’ve made countless loaves in the past year or so and I’ve yet to have a fail…

Vegan Fruity Tea Loaf (Fat-free)

… that said, I’ve yet to attempt a gluten-free version of the loaf. Lately, every time I try baking gluten-free, it ends up a total fail! If anyone does attempt a GF version of this loaf, I’d love to hear how you get on.

This loaf is incredibly simple to make! You simply soak the dried fruit in a cup of tea for a few hours, then mix all the ingredients together and bake!

Dried Fruit for Tea Loaf


Lovely cup of tea and English fruity tea loaf

 Are you a fan of fruity cakes? If so, what’s your all-time favourite? If you’ve got any recipes, please do link up below.

Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Healthy Snacking, Treats & Sweets

Vegan Crepe-style Pancakes

I’ve posted a few pancakes recipes on the blog, including some of our all-time favourites like Apple Cinnamon, Banana, and Blueberry pancakes. However, I’ve never got round to posting our favourite crepe recipe. It’s high time that I put this right, especially as it’s Shrove Tuesday tomorrow!

Vegan Crepes with Lemon and Sugar

It’s a common misconception that eggs are an essential ingredient in pancakes. I’ve been making eggless pancakes for years, and I’ve not had one pancake fail yet! If anything, I find the vegan crepes are more robust than the traditional ones. I’m one of those people that’s utterly rubbish at flipping pancakes, so I much prefer a slightly more robust batter that can easily be flipped over with a slotted turner.

These crepes are delicious served as a dessert or treat. The traditional way to serve them is with lemon and sugar.  You could use ‘regular’ (cane) sugar, but my all-time favourite is coconut sugar. It has the most beautiful, caramel-like flavour which works so well in crepes. As an added bonus, unlike cane sugar, it’s low GI and nutrient-rich. It contains B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron!

Vegan Crepes

Lil’ L loves to serve his crepes with a drizzle of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot. We tried Choc Shot for the first time last month when it arrived in our subscription box from The Vegan Kind, and it’s been a huge hit with the family! While it tastes totally decadent, I was pleased to find that contains only natural ingredients, is free of cane sugar and low GI

These crepes are also delicious served for breakfast. My all-time favourite filling is a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, ground golden linseed, finely sliced fresh banana, and a drizzle of home-made chocolate sauce or Choc Shot. It feels like such a “treat breakfast”, but it’s super healthy too!

Happy Pancake Day everyone! xx

Do you celebrate Shrove Tuesday (fondly referred to as ‘Pancake Day’)? If so, what’s your favourite toppings? For me, just for this day, it has to be the traditional lemon and sugar! 😛

 

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Filed under Breakfast & Elevenses, Desserts, Healthy Snacking, Treats & Sweets

Easy Gingerbread Blender Pancakes (Vegan)

We’re still loving our ‘special’ Sunday breakfast of freshly made pancakes. Lil’ L now helps me in the kitchen and is enjoying making the pancakes as much (well, almost as much!) as he enjoys eating them. This week, we flavoured our pancakes with the same spices as our favourite gingerbread cookies. We couldn’t wait for the taste test!

Gingerbread Pancakes (Vegan / Dairy-free / Gluten-free)

And the verdict?

They were utterly delicious! And arguably the perfect pancake for this time of year. Spicy, warming and filling

They also happen to be filled with goodness… The Blackstrap molasses fortifies the pancakes with iron, calcium and other trace minerals, while the addition of apple adds a healthy dose of antioxidants and dietary fibre. We used a gluten-free flour mix for these pancakes to see how it would hold up (it worked perfectly!), but they could easily be made with wheat flour too.

Gingerbread Pancakes (Dairy-free / Gluten-free / Egg-free / Vegan))

We like to top our pancakes with chopped walnuts and pecans, and a sprinkling of ground golden linseed. As well as adding a lovely texture, these toppings ramp up the nutrient factor, providing more antioxidants, protein and omega 3. And, of course, there’s the obligatory drizzle of syrup 😉

The first pancake stack was devoured within minutes so, much to Lil’ L’s delight, I made a second batch to photograph. From the look of things, these won’t be around long either 😉

Gingerbread Pancakes (Vegan / Gluten-free)

 

Products used in this recipe:
Meridian Organic Blackstrap Molasses, available in health food shops and online stores
Doves Brown Bread Flour

[This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend]

Gingerbread Pancakes (Vegan / Gluten-free)

I’m sure these pancakes will make a regular appearance on Sundays now, in rotation with other favourites like Apple Cinnamon and Banana. We also love traditional crepes served with lemon and sugar. Lil’ L reckons that our ‘veganised’ version tastes as good as the crepes he eats in France. Now that’s a statement! I’ll make sure I post the recipe in time for Shrove Tuesday 😉

Do you like breakfast pancakes? If so, what’s your favourite flavour? If you’ve posted any recipes, please do share below.

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Filed under Breakfast & Elevenses, Healthy Snacking