Thai-Style Crispy Tofu Noodles

Having just arrived back from a week away that involved a lot of heavy country pub meals (and maybe one or two drinks), I am feeling a little ‘heavier’ myself.  So, although this is the season to allow for a little extra baggage (to keep warm, obviously), I wanted to make something a little lighter in calories but something that’s still full on in yumminess and flavour (as it was a Friday after all).

This recipe is based on a classic Thai green curry recipe, with the deliciously fresh flavours of galangal, coriander and lemongrass stealing the show here.  I chose to use the seeds from the bird’s eye chilli (to kick start that metabolism!) in the paste, but if you prefer things a little less eye-watering, you can take them out.

If you are a tofu-sceptic I recommend giving this recipe a try, the crunchy tofu ‘nuggets’ are so delicious and provide a satisfying ‘crunch’ to the meal, I’m sure it will win you over!

Enjoy!


Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 200g Dried Rice Noodles
  • 400g Firm Tofu (sliced)
  • 3 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 Inch Piece Galangal
  • 1 Stalk Lemongrass
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1 Bird’s Eye Chilli (chopped, with or without seeds depending on how much spice you can handle!)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Cup Fresh Coriander (chopped)
  • 1 x 400ml Tin Coconut Milk
  • 200ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 3 Courgettes (sliced into batons)
  • 2 Cups Grean Beans (trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 2 Cups Edamame (shelled)
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Start by making the curry paste.  In a blender (I used my nutri-ninja), blend together the following; garlic, galangal, chilli, 1/2 cup coriander, zest of 1 lime and the shallots.  Blend until all the ingredients have combined together to make a paste.
  2. Place the cornflour into a small bowl, add in a pinch of salt and pepper and mix around to combine.  Cover the tofu pieces with the cornflour, ensuring each piece has been evenly coated.
  3. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in the tofu pieces.  Cook each piece for around 3-4 minutes (or until golden brown), on each side.
  4. Once they are crispy all over, remove from the pan and sit on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
  5. Place a large saucepan onto a medium heat and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6.  Once the oil is hot, add in the courgette batons and green beans.  Fry these off for around 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add in the curry paste to the saucepan and mix around to coat the vegetables.  Cook off for around 4-5 minutes.
  8. Next, add in the coconut milk, juice of 1 lime, veg stock and fish sauce.  Bring the curry to the boil for 10 minutes and then turn the heat back down to medium.
  9. Add in the edamame and leave the curry to simmer and thicken for around 20 minutes.
  10. After 15 minutes, place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover them fully with boiling water.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the noodles to soften for 5 minutes.
  11. Once the noodles have softened, drain and plate up.
  12. Top each portion of rice noodles with a large spoonful of the veggie curry and the tofu pieces.
  13. Scatter some fresh coriander over the top and enjoy!

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Buckwheat Flour Flatbreads

These flatbreads are made with buckwheat flour, which is naturally gluten free – if you want to read up about buckwheat take a look at my page explaining all about it’s wonderful properties here (how convenient!).

I’ve found these go really nicely with a curry (as an alternative to rice or naan), as a base for a bruchetta (YUM), or perhaps topped with mashed avocado and lime for a healthy and tasty lunch.   I’ve added chives into this batch as I think the distinct taste of the buckwheat flour  is complimented by the chopped chives; but you could experiment with other herbs and spices, I’m sure there are lots of delectable combinations out there!

Enjoy!


Makes around 6 flatbreads

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 Tsp GF Baking powder
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp Water
  • Handful of chives – finely chopped

Method

  1. Sieve the buckwheat flour into a large mixing bowl.  Add the baking powder, finely chopped chives and pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the oil and water into the mixing bowl and mix to combine. It should start to form a a dough at this point.
  3. Tip the dough out on to a surface that has been lightly dusted with buckwheat flour.
  4. Knead the dough for around a minute.
  5. Divide the dough into around 6 even portions and flatten with a rolling pin (or your hand as I did – for the more rustic look!!).
  6. Put a skillet onto a high heat, brush with olive oil and place the flatbreads down to cook on one side.
  7. Leave for around 3-4 minutes, so that the it has browned on the skillet-side, then flip over to cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
  8. Plate up and enjoy with whatever topping you desire!!

Smoky Pumpkin Soup

A very simple, seasonal and satisfying soup, which is ideal for an autumnal hearty lunch or dinner.

What’s not to love?!

The smoked paprika and sage really pep up the pumpkin flavour and with the nutritional yeast adding a good dose of umami, this is a fail safe soup recipe that I am sure you will love!


Ingredients

  • 1kg Pumpkin
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tsp Sage
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock
  • 200ml Unsweetened Almond Milk

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Peel and chop the pumpkin into 1 inch chunks, place on a baking tray and cover with olive oil, salt & pepper and sage.  Place in oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes (until browned).
  3.  While the pumpkin is baking, peel and finely dice the onion and crush the garlic cloves.
  4. Once the pumpkin has baked and is nicely browned, place a large saucepan onto a medium heat, with 1 tbsp olive oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and smoked paprika.  Cook for around 4-5 minutes (until the onion has turned translucent).
  6. Add the pumpkin into the saucepan, stir around before adding in the vegetable stock and almond milk, bring to the boil for 5 minutes before turning the heat down to low.
  7. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, add in the nutritional yeast at the end of the 20 minutes, stirring to make sure it has dissolved.
  8. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, pour into blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Serve with warm (GF) bread or oatcakes.
  10. Yum!

 

Sweetcorn & Coriander Fritters

I love these moreish sweetcorn fritters… so much so I ate 8 of them last night.

Moving on…

They were kind of an experimental dish,  I had very little food in the house (it was too sunny after work to go supermarket shopping), so with my limited food supplies came up with these.

The idea was to make enough for dinner and for lunch the next day… unfortunately I didn’t have much will-power when it came to leaving some left over for lunch – they were just too tasty!!!

Years ago, I made sweetcorn fritters with eggs as the binding ingredient, but as I had no eggs I used the old ‘flax-egg’ trick, which worked really well and also boosted the nutritional value of these beauties – extra omega-3 and fibre ‘brownie’ (or fritter) points here!!!

In this recipe I  have used chickpea flour which I found worked really well but could be substituted for many other types of flour (buckwheat/a gluten-free mix etc.)  I ate mine with some guacamole and tomatoes.. but they can be topped or paired with so many things, or eaten just by themselves.

*Flax egg – blended or ground flax seeds, combined with water, left for half an hour to ‘jelly – up’ and thus creating a binding mixture – the perfect substitute for an egg.  For this recipe I used 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp water.  Of course you could use an egg in replacement of this… depending on your fridge or dietary status.

Enjoy!


Makes around 12 fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Tinned Sweetcorn
  • 1 ½ Cup Chickpea Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Egg Mix* (or 1 egg)
  • ½ Cup Chopped Coriander
  • ½ Tsp Cumin
  • ½ Tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper
  • 1 ½ Cup Almond Milk (can be substituted for cashew/cow’s milk)

 

Method

  1. Place the flour, baking powder, cumin and coriander into a blender, blend to combine all ingredients.
  2. Pour in the milk and flax egg (or normal egg), blend once again so all the ingredients are combined and a smooth thick batter is formed.
  3. Pour out the batter into a bowl and add the sweet corn to the batter, stirring round to make sure the sweet corn is all mixed in and evenly distributed.
  4. Place a frying pan, on to a high heat, adding a tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, spoon dessertspoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, making sure they have a bit of space in between each fritter – so they don’t stick together.
  6. Once the fritters have cooked on one side for around 4-5 minutes, flip over and cook the otherside until nicely browned.
  7. Once the fritters are cooked, place them on to a plate covered with kitchen roll to absorb some of the oil.
  8. Plate up and enjoy the scrumminess!!!!

 

Oriental Style Rice Salad

This rice salad is a great way to use up left over rice, to make ahead of the week for quick on the go lunches or alternatively as a flavoursome side salad addition to a BBQ.  I’ve used tamari in the salad, which is a darker, more intense version of soy-sauce and most importantly, (more often than not) is wheat and gluten-free.  All flavour and no nasty side effects!! Perfect!

Enjoy!


Serves 4 as a side salad

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Cooked Basmati Rice
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Cup Frozen Petit Pois
  • 1 Cup Chopped Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Seasame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Cold Water
  • 1/4 Cup Tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
  • 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce

Method

  1. Chop the red pepper and baby spinach.
  2. Place the petit pois in a small bowl and pour over boiling water, ensuring they are all covered. Leave for 5 minutes and then drain.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the rice, petit pois, chopped spinach and red pepper.
  4. Blend (I used my nutr-ninja) together the rice wine vinegar, water, tamari, sesame oil, peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce.
  5. Pour the dressing over the rice and vegetables and stir around to ensure everything is coated by the dressing.
  6. Dish up and enjoy!

 

Pesto, Pea and Bean Potato Salad

This potato salad is a one-pot wonder.

And, if that isn’t enough to tempt you (hardly any washing up!!), it is also really tasty and filling.  You can be eating and enjoying in under half an hour, and enjoy it you will, believe me!

I have used a dairy and gluten free pesto sauce for this, feel free to make your own if you have the time but personally I think a bought one is just as good, for a quick, filling and delicious week day meal.

Green beans and petit pois match so beautifully with the pesto and the walnuts on the top are the icing on the cake, providing a good level of nutty flavour and crunch.

Enjoy!


Ingredients

  • 2 Cups diced potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Dairy & gluten free pesto
  • 2 Cups green beans
  • 1 Cup Petit pois
  • 1/2 Cup Crumbled walnuts

Method

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes
  2. Put a large pan on to a medium heat, add the potatoes and cover with boiling water.  Cook for around 15-20 minutes
  3. After around 12 minutes add the green beans and petit pois, cook for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes have softened.
  4. Drain the potatoes and vegetables, and place back in the pan (keep off the heat).
  5. Dollop in two tablespoons worth of pesto and mix around to ensure everything is combined.
  6. Top with the crushed walnuts.
  7. Plate up and enjoy your deliciously speedy meal!

Chickpea Flatbread with Garlic Mushrooms, Spinach and Halloumi

Chickpea flatbread or ‘Socca’ as they are known in the south of France are made from the naturally gluten-free flour produced from ground chickpeas (known as gram flour).

These flat breads are so easy to make and so versatile; the choice of toppings to go with them are endless as their flavour blends so well with many other ingredients.  They can be treated like delicious pizza bases or alternatively as wraps – which are great for on the go lunches.

Anyway, here is one of my favourite ways to eat them – topped with halloumi, garlic mushrooms and spinach; it’s a really quick and delicious dinner.

Enjoy!


Serves 4

 Ingredients

  • 1  Cup gram flour
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Pinch of salt & pepper (also additions such as smoked paprika or cumin are also good)
  • 2 Cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Packet of halloumi
  • 3 Cups chopped spinach leaves
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

 

Method

  1. Tip the gram flour into a mixing bowl and whisk together with the water.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, rosemary and any other herbs or spices if using (chilli flakes are a tasty addition).
  2. Set aside for around 20 minutes for the mixture to thicken.  (The consistency should be like double cream).
  3. In the meantime, chop your mushrooms and slice your halloumi into 0.5cm slices.
  4. Crush or finely chop the garlic.
  5. Place your frying pan onto a high heat and add a glug of olive oil.
  6. Once the oil is hot, pour your gram flour mixture into the pan and swirl around so it covers the base of the pan; like you are making a pancake.
  7. Cook on one side for around 3 minutes, once you can see the mixture is firming up and loosening at the sides, flip it over, to cook for another 3 minutes on the other side.
  8. Once browned on the other side, take off the heat, place onto a baking tray and place in the oven on a low heat, to keep warm.
  9. In the pan now add another glug of olive oil and throw in the garlic, with a pinch of salt to prevent it from burning. Cook for around 1 minute and then add in the mushrooms, moving them around to coat them with the garlicky-oil.
  10. While your mushrooms are cooking, set up another frying pan on a medium heat.
  11. Brush each halloumi slice with a little olive oil on both sides and place the slices into the pan.
  12. Cook the halloumi for 3-5 minutes on one side until the slices begin to brown and go soft on the inside, flip over and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  13. Now it’s time to plate up. Take the flatbreads out of the oven, place a handful of the chopped spinach leaves on each, a spoonful of the garlic mushrooms  and then top with the halloumi slices (how many is up to you… ), drizzle the remainder of the garliccky-oil from the mushrooms over the spinach leaves and gobble-up!

 

Greek-Style Quinoa Salad

For my first recipe I thought I would keep it seasonal and share a summery salad recipe. This quinoa salad uses ingredients typically associated with a Greek salad such as feta, oregano and black olives but is made even better (and more filling) by the addition of the quinoa which is packed with protein, making it perfect for a healthy lunch.  It could also be served as an accompaniment to some grilled chicken or portobello mushrooms for a healthy and filling dinner.

NB. If reading in the UK, ‘summery’ weather has probably yet to rear it’s head – thankfully this can be enjoyed come rain or shine.  Enjoy!


Serves 2 (4 if served as side salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Dried Quinoa
  • 1 Cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (or other variety nut or seeds)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup avocado

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch salt and pepper

Method

  1. Rinse the dried quinoa and add to a pan with two cups boiling water, cover with lid. Cook the quinoa on a low-medium heat, until tender (time usually is around 12-15 minutes).
  2. As the quinoa is cooking,  chop the spinach and prepare the avocado by removing the stone and dicing (splash a little lemon or lime juice onto the avocado to prevent from going brown).
  3. Combine in a blender (or whisk together by hand) the ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Once the quinoa has cooked, remove from the heat and fluff up with a fork.   Drizzle over the dressing and mix.  Add all other ingredients to the pan and mix again carefully – ensuring all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. Serve, eat and enjoy!