In the spirit of trying new wheats and pulses, I went and bought a kilo of bulgur wheat. I was determined to make amazingly complex dishes with this and it would taste amazing and I would love it. Except then Tuesday rolled around and I had no time for dinner and even less patience for complex food. So I made a salad with a bunch of leftovers. It was the simplest add-everything-and-stir meal, but it tasted delicious. Can’t believe I never tried bulgur before, it’s my new favorite thing!
Boil the bulgur in 2x the amount of water.
Cut red pepper, cherry tomatoes, olives (as many as humanly posible, if you like olives. Seriously, this dish can handle the olives) and half a red onion.
Drain can of chickpeas.
Have at the ready cut up fresh or dried basil, parsley and garlic powder.
Add cubes of Cheatin’ rashes and some cheese (both optional).
Add all together and stir. Add lemon juice to taste.
Price per portion: £1.40
Protein per portion: 25 grams
Over the weekend I made a trip to a lovely vegan wholefoods shop and bought an assortment of weird things I’ve been meaning to try for ages, but never did because I couldn’t buy it anywhere close by. One of those things: Seitan, the wheat meat alternative. It was a bit pricey, but I figured it would be worth it if I find that I really like it! I had a chance to try it out on Monday with a quick dinner of leftovers.
I boiled the pasta and some frozen veg mix. I used leftover cauliflower cheese sauce and added fried mushrooms and vegan pesto along with a bunch of herbs to make it more “mushroomy”. Finally I fried the seitan steak with a bit of chicken seasoning and voila, dinner was done in under 20 mins. I wasn’t a big fan of the taste of seitan with this, needed more flavour, so next time I will try marinating it. Otherwise the texture is nice and meaty and it blends in with the food, very much like tofu.
Price per portion: £2.10
Protein per portion: 50 grams
I decided to take the plunge and explore these so called risottos without rice. As someone who has grown up with lots of Italian food, I am rather cautious about messing with established food combinations. This may make me a terrible vegan. Either way, I’ve attempted an easy mushroom, leek and garlic risotto found here: http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/recipes/pearl-barley-risotto-with-mushrooms-leeks-and-garlic#image-rotator-1
I left out the garlic roasting (no one has time for that) and what even are Micro leaf garlic chives? I substitited the cheese for vegan cheese but it would have been great without it as well. It turned out nutty and creamy, definitely a favourite. I also added a few Cheatin’ bacon rashes, which I never had before but they were very yum and smokey.
Price per portion: £ 1.85
Protein per portion: 18ish grams
Here’s another quick and easy meal for when you don’t have a meal planned out, but you have lots of bits and bobs in the fridge.
Boil pasta as per instructions. Cut up and fry off an assortment of veg (whatever you have left over in the fridge). For the sauce, use some vegan pesto (I make mine from this recipe: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/morerecipes/r/Veganpestorec.htm) or use some cheesy cauliflower sauce (http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2013/05/cheesy-cauliflower-sauce.html) or any other sauce you want. Be adventorous and have it without sauce even! Fry some vegan sausages (I use for the first time the Cauldron Cumberland Sausages, and they taste delicious). Mix all of the things together and add some nuts to give it crunch. Prep time under 20 mins.
Price per portion: £1.50
Protein per portion: 30ish grams
In an effort to eat less sweets and more healthy snacks, I decided to make some protein bars. I came across these: http://86lemons.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-breakfast-bars/
They turned our wonderful and I almost forgot to take a picture of them before eating them all. They were a bit crumbly, so I suggest not changing the wet to dry ingreedient ratios (like I did when I added fruit and more nuts than called for). I kept them in the fridge and they stayed very yummy for the 3 days it took me to devour them.
Price per portion: £5 for the entire tray of bars
Protein per portion: 5 grams per bar
I was rearranging my spice cabinet (which anyone who knows me knows I do frequently) when I spied a can of mock duck hiding in the back of my cupboard, where it must have been quietly waiting for the better part of 3 months, mostly due to my distrust of “meat” that comes out of a can, and also probably fear. But this weekend I decided to bite the bullet and make something out of it, namely a fajita pizza. I must say that I was very impressed with the mock duck, it had the texture and look of real meat and tasted really good on the pizza!
Since I’ve posted about making dough pizza before (https://feedingscientist.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/dinner-mushroom-spinach-and-scampi-pizza/), I’ll go straight into the toppings:
I cut and fried an assortment of veg (mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, courgette, broccoli, peppers, etc). I used my homemade fajita sauce (from http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/17/homemade-enchilada-sauce/) for the base and then topped with melty pizza cheese, the veg, mock duck and a bunch of nuts I had on hand. Baked it at 200 degrees for just over 15 mins or until the dough was crunchy.
Price per portion: £1.50
Protein per portion: 40ish grams
I’ve realised in the past week or so that I don’t really eat much variety of food throughout the week, mostly sticking to pasta-rice-tortillas, which is why I haven’t had many new posts of food lately and also why I need to change things up. In the future I’ll be trying to incorporate more wheats and beans into my diet, but for now here’s some rice.
I found this recipe here: http://domesticsuperhero.com/2014/02/26/general-tsos-tofu/
While I’ve never eaten general Tso’s chicken while an omnivore, I liked the look of this. But. The frying of the tofu did not work at all for me, so I ended up with shredded, bland chunks of tofu. Also, the sauce was way too sweet (again, not sure if it’s supposed to be) so I had to dilute it liberaly with much rice. The boy liked it though, which is just more proof that I’m just very picky about my sweet food.
Price per portion: £1.55
Protein per portion: 40ish grams with a portion of wild and long grain rice