Lunch: Falafel wrap

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I have these so many times for lunch at work, it would be statistically accurate to say that I eat these all the time. It’s healthy, delicious and full of protein!

Recipe:

wholewheat wrap

falafel (I love the spiced falafel I get at my local food shop)

hummus (red pepper, yum)

avocado

veg (cucumbres, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, olives, etc)

Bake the falafel, smear the wrap with hummus and mushed up avocado, cut up all the other veg and arrange it all on the wrap. Squish the baked falafel into the veg and wrap it up. SImple and delicious!

 

Price per portion: £1.40

Protein per portion: 17ish grams

Lunch: milkshakes and burgers

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These, my friends, are chocolate and blueberry milkshakes, with a chicken royale burger with cheese and a “special” burger, made of a double “beef” patty, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, fried mushrooms and onions, onion rings, cheese and veg mayo. They tasted just as amazing as they look! The best place for cruelty free junk food in Manchester is V Revolution. It is my favorite place, mostly because they sell my favorite cheese, but also because they make amazing mouth watering food. Is it still junk food if none of it is bad for you? Ok, maybe there’s still lots of fat in there, but it’s good fat right? Either way, this was my treat to myself after a pretty hectic week and I’m already craving more milkshakes!

Breakfast: Waffles

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The lovely boyfriend (who is Belgian, so it’s only right that he make Belgian food) made me these on Saturday morning. First time he tried making them vegan, and they turned out beautifully!

I don’t have a recipe for this (family secret, obv), but I can give you the rough estimate of what goes in them, curtesy of the internet. Oh, and this only works if you have a waffle maker:

To make 5ish waffles

250g plain flour

pinch of salt

pinch of baking powder

a bit of vanilla extract

50g sugar

500 ml hazelnut milk

to substitute 1 egg: 1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with two tablespoons water

30 ml vegetable oil

Mix all of the things together until you get a smooth, not too runny dough mix. Don’t overmix, because the waffles won’t be as fluffy. Put 3/4 of a cup of mix in a waffle iron and cook for 3-4mins until the waffles are golden brown on the outside.

Price per portion: £1.25

Protein per portion: 15 grams

 

Dinner: Mushroom, spinach and scampi pizza

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Perhaps the worst of all my newly vegan woes is the one where I can’t have normal pizza anymore. That is to say, can’t smother my pizzas in cheese anymore. I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time trying out various vegan cheeses, but have been thouroughly disappointed thus far. HOWEVER. I discovered a melty, delicious cheese (Violife for pizza) that’s perfect for pizzas and tastes so good I used up all of it for my one pizza. Ok, I may have eaten some as I was grating it. Either way, need to buy more of it and die happy and fat. Here’s my pizza recipe:

For the dough (makes two pizza bases):

300ish g strong bread flour

200ish ml of warm water

teaspoon of dry yeast (not essential if you’re not going to letthe dough rise)

some salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Stir together flour and salt. Add yeast to warm water and mix until the yeast activates (you can see bubbles forming). Pour the water into a well in the flour and mix until a slightly wet dough forms. At this point I add a bit more flour to get it a bit more dry, then kneed it on a floured surface until it’s smooth (5-10 mins). At this stage you can cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 30 mins to 1 hour, or go straight ahead and roll it out. I find it’s a bit more crispy if I let it rise, but otherwise the dough is delicious regardless. To roll it out, split the dough into two balls and roll out into rounds on a floured surface. The dough should be very thin and at least 25 cm in diameter to fit onto a baking sheet. If you want thicker dough, you obviously don’t need to makie it very thin, but it will rise in the oven so keep that in mind. Once the dough is rolled out, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

For the sauce:

100 ml passata (I added some protein powder to it)

a few chopped garlic cloves

handfull of chopped basil

Mix all the ingredients together, season to taste. I like to use the passata with basil already in it, as I love the taste. Put half the passata on one pizza, half on the other and bake in the oven for 5 mins. This gets rid of any excess moisture which can make the pizza soggy.

For all of the toppings:

180 g mixed mushrooms

200 g fresh baby spinach

Linda McCarthney’s fish free scampi (which I discovered later are not vegan)

assortment of other veg (I used sliced baby corn, baby courgettes and olives)

grated Violife for pizza cheese (I used the entire block of cheese, but you may wish to use less, because you have self control)

Fry all of the veg before putting it on the pizza to avoid too much moisture. Fry the veg until just slightly underdone, then scatter on the pizzas. Add the cheese and scampi, then bake for another 15-20 mins until the dough is crispy and the cheese melty.

Price per portion: £3

Protein per portion: 20 grams

 

Dinner: Mince, rice and veg tortillas

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I came home yesterday very much not looking forward to eating the leftover mince I had lurking in the fridge. What I wanted (what I always want) was some mexican food and since I had a lot of the ingredients at hand, I decided to experiment. I transformed the mince with bolognese sauce into a mince with enchilada sauce, added some rice and fried veg and baked it in tortillas. It turned out really well and I ate my leftovers like a responsible adult!

Recipe:

To transform leftover mince and bolognese sauce into enchilada sauce you need to experiment with the spices a bit. I added paprika, coriander, ginger and garlic, as well as some marmite and fresh passata, then warmed it up. I continued seasoning it until it tasted vaguely how I wanted it (no clue on the exact measurements I used).

In the mean time I boiled some basmati rice and fried off peppers, mushrooms, baby corn and beans in a bit of soy sauce and garlic. I added protein powder and combined it with the mince sauce when done. I piled the rice and sauce on tortillas, sprinkeled some vegan cheese on it and cut avocado over it to give it more protein. I poured some passata over the wraps and heated up the oven. I baked the tortillas in a dish for 5-10 mins, then served with lots of the guacamole.

Price per portion: £1.65

Protein per portion: 30ish grams

Dinner: Vegan spaghetti bolognese

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I told you I was excited about that mince. As soon as I bought it I had to try it and it did not disappoint! I had it with a bolognese sauce and veg and it tasted just like the real thing. I’ not sure about the other brands of vegan mince out there, but the Tesco meat free mince gets a thumbs up from me (especially because it’s pretty cheap as well).

Recipe:

Fry the mince as per instructions

Add pasta sauce (I used Dolmio bolognese sauce with extra mushrooms- love mushrooms)

Add any veg you have lying about- I added peppers, carrots and more mushrooms, but a frozen vegetable mix would work well also

Add nutritional yeast

Let it all cook until the veg is done, then serve over wholewheat pasta.

 

Price per portion: £1.45

Protein per portion: 25 grams

Food haul!

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I went on a food adventure yesterday! It was a gloriously sunny day, so I decided to venture into Gorton (tip: there is no reason why you should ever want to venture into Gorton) to seek out a big Tesco store in the hopes of finding delicious vegan food. Other than the grim Mancunian architecture and people, the place wasn’t all that bad. I got some nice frozen food to keep me busy (omg, vegan mince) and finally found hazelnut milk, yay. Oh, I also acquired some delicious looking melty vegan cheese (all of the pizza) at V Revolution which I’m DYING to try out!

I’ll update when I try out the new food, in case it’s terrible (or awesome).

Baking: Peanut butter banana cookies

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Once in a while I walk into my kitchen and realise I have a problem. I have too much of some food or other and it needs to be used right now or it’ll go off. This weekend i had some bananas way past their prime and some peanut butter that’s been sitting in my fridge for a few weeks, so the most logical thing to do was to make some cookies. Recipe: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/19121/peanut-butter-and-banana-cookies.aspx

They were super easy to make and looked amazing when they were out of the oven. I brought them to work, where my collegues assured me they tasted just as delicious as they looked!

Price per portion: £1.45

Protein per portion: 3-ish grams

Dinner: Mac n’ cheese

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When I have a bit more time on my hands I like to experiment with new recipes. Over the weekend I had a huge mac n cheese craving (ok, just a cheese craving), so I attempted to make a vegan equivalent. And oh my was it good! I started with a basic cauliflower sauce from this excellent food blog: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2013/05/cheesy-cauliflower-sauce.html

I adjusted the spices to suit my tastes (add all of the spices! And substituted tumeric for curry powder because, why not) and put in fresh mustard instead of powder. I had lots of sauce left over, so I thickened it into dip consistency to be used on nachos at a later date. It looked a bit dubious, but I swear it tasted delicious!

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I mixed the sauce it with macaroni, leftover broccoli and mushrooms and baked it in the oven with some breadcrumbs sprinkled on top until it was crispy.

Price per portion: £0.75-ish

Protein per portion: 33 grams